Years ago when I was just starting out as a youth minister, one of the Elders in our church used to give a Bible to everyone at their baptism. He would always write the following on the inside cover. SIN WILL KEEP YOU FROM THIS BOOK, AND THIS BOOK WILL KEEP YOU FROM SIN.
I recently was reminded of the story of Max Jukes & Jonathan Edwards, which illustrates the truth and power in those words.
Max Jukes lived in New York, he did not believe the Bible and he thought the church was full of hypocrites. He never attended or allowed his children to go to church. He had 1,026 descendants; 300 were sent to prison for the average term of 13 years; 190 were public prostitutes; 680 were alcoholics. Many live on the welfare system, and have not contributed to society.
Jonathan Edwards lived in New York at the same time as Jukes. He read his Bible daily and loved the church. He and his family were in church every Sunday. He had 929 descendants: 430 were ministers of the Gospel; 86 were College or University presidents; 75 authored a book; 5 served in the US Congress; 2 served as Senators; one as vice president of the United States. None were ever in the welfare system. They were serious contributors to their church and this nation.
The difference was the Bible and church! I trust you believe this and are committed to growing as a Christ follower. I look forward to growing along with you.