Book of the Month

By: Dan Wetzel
Speaker & Personal Coach

As I journey into my 10th year as a speaker, basketball entertainer and personal coach, I have found many books to be inspiring, motivational and resourceful.  Living in a culture where people often ask each other what book they are reading or voluntarily offer up suggestions for a “good read,” I thought it would be fun to nominate my own “recommended book" this month.


Despite the many books I’ve read or the numerous trips made to the library, Barnes & Noble, Borders and the like, only one book continues to transform my life each and every time I read it.  The challenge many times is the simple phrase - when I read it.  And if you’re like me, it can be a great struggle to read period at times, let alone this particular book.  Yet there is something so gripping about its historical narratives, something so beautiful about its use of poetry, something so humbling about the role of its characters.  The chapters on romance can be quite erotic while the battle scenes can be hard to imagine and seem excessive, cruel and over the top.  But it is the profound love story woven throughout its pages that is absolutely compelling.


I was first introduced to this book as a child and immediately found it to be rather unimpressive in its appearance.  The cover design certainly did not capture my interest, nor did the amount of content I quickly noticed bound between its two covers.  Although this book occasionally came up in conversation among my childhood friends, we never really discussed it.  In fact, often times when visiting their homes I noticed a copy of this book sitting on what appeared to be a special stand or centered on the middle of the coffee table as if it were some rare artifact.  I began to wonder if this book was actually meant to be read or simply to be used as house decoration.


That same penetrating thought has remained with me to this day.  Now as a grown man who is married and has a career, the question I ponder is this: if this book is so able to transform a life (like it has mine and many others), renew the mind, serve as living water to those who are thirsty or be like milk to new born babes, why then would anyone want to just have this book sit on their hutch or entryway table as some sort of furniture adornment?


Answer…simply stated, because the book I'm referring to is The Bible.  A volume of 66 different books comprised in one complete volume written by more than 40 identifiable human authors over a span of 1600 years1 with more published copies in print than any other book on the planet.


My Book Overview


The premise or storyline of the book is this: A holy and righteous God made the heavens and the earth and all that it contains for His glory.  Part of this creation was the human race or otherwise known as man.  Because man was created in the likeness of God, God gave man instructions and guidelines in how to live.  But man chose to reject God’s design for their lives and therefore took on a new identity known as unrighteous or sinful.  A holy God could no longer be joined with that which was unholy or not righteous, so a punishment for man had to be implemented and God cursed man by - in effect - separating Himself from man and condemning man to hell.


But wait!  Here is where the love storyline unfolds so magnificently.  God being rich in mercy and full of grace so loved His creation of man that He made a way for sinful man to be regenerated and brought back into a rightful and pure relationship with Him.


In order to accomplish this plan, God sent a pure, blameless and faultless sacrifice to bear His wrath and judgment as a punishment on man’s behalf.  That sacrifice was the horrific crucifixion of His one and only son…Jesus.  Death was not the end result however.  In a display of vindication for His own glory, Jesus rose again from the dead, breaking forever the power and curse of sin over mankind and then ascended to heaven where he sits at God’s right hand to this day!


The result of that display of love is this…whoever believes in Jesus will not perish but experience the glories of heaven.  Or said another way, whoever acknowledges the truth that they are a sinner, turns away from their sinful and wicked ways and calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved from their sin and its punishment!  Or said yet another way, once a man recogizes that because of his sin he deserves only the judgment and sentencing of hell, but if he would - because of God’s unconditional love toward all mankind - throw himself upon the mercy of God and accept the free gift of salvation, he will be SAVED!


That in my opinion is why this book sits unread on many shelves.  Man does not like to be told they are evil, selfish and full of sin.  Man does not like to be told what to do and how to live.  For a created thing never tells its creator how to write the owners manual.  Does a computer tell the computer manufacturer how it ought to perform?  NO.  It is the computer-maker who creates the software that instructs the computer how to operate in order that the computer fulfills its intended purposes and designed plans.


So it is with God.  God created you and gave you instructions written in book form - The Bible.  In it He instructs you how to operate efficiently and effectively so that in doing so you could live life in His abundance and be completely satisfied.


Therefore every man has a choice.  Continue in your state of sinful living and self-gratifying ways or repent and believe in the God who crushed His own son under the weight of your sin so that you could benefit and be redeemed from the throws of damnation and have freedom and victory over the curse and power of sin.




There you have it… the greatest book ever assembled and it was written by human agents under the divine authority and inspiration of God so that He could reveal Himself to a lost and sinful man like you and I.  We are part of His story.  Whether you recognize it as such or not, the Bible is actually a book were the reader has a choice in how they want their personal ending to conclude.  You can either choose life or death, blessings or curses.


A wise person - namely Stuart Briscoe - once told me, “Dan, never let your head hit the pillow until your nose has been in The Book.”  If you haven’t picked up a copy of The Bible, may I urge you to do so and prepare yourself for a truly thought-provoking and heart-stirring read so that when applied can change your address for all of eternity!  Have you decided which ending you’ll choose?  If not, start reading The Bible today!

1 Howard G. Hendricks and William D. Hendricks, Living by the Book (Chicago: Moody Press, 1991), p. 23.