If you look at the list of 100 best-selling fiction authors, you'll see William Shakespeare and Agathie Christie running neck-in-neck in number of estimated sales of their works. Scrolling on down the list, notable names such as Danielle Steel, Nicholas Sparks, Debbie Macomber, Dr. Seuss, John Grisham, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, C.S. Lewis, Beatrix Potter, and Richard Scarry appear. One author (EL James) made the 100-best-selling list with only three books, while another (Corin Tellado) has 4000 to her credit. That means that one person can produce a few words which resonate and catch fire, while another person can burn up a dozen typewriters or computers producing endless reams of pages in order to make the list.
My guess is that when John Grisham produced his first novel, he labored feverishly and hoped a publisher would take note and agree to turn his pages into a book. In fact, it took him five years to produce his first two novels. He had stories burning in his head that HAD to come out. Now, with his reputation and fortune firmly in place, he's happy to produce 1000 words a day and spend 3-4 hours writing. When both he and Nicholas Sparks write novels, there's a very good chance they will be made into movies, producing yet another lucrative income stream.
I didn't write EITHER of my books to make money.
I read this article recently on The Insider Expert naming the Top 5 Reasons People Write a Book, here's what those reasons were:
You have a story to tell.
You have valuable expertise to share.
You can motivate or inspire others.
You can create a powerful sales tool for your business.
You want to leave a legacy.
When I wrote Telling It On The Mountain: 52 Days in the Life of an Improbable Missionary, I had a story to tell about our four years in Ecuador, and I really wanted future grandchildren and great-grandchildren to read the stories. I also wanted people in churches in the States to understand more about how to pray for missionaries effectively.
When I wrote 100 Things To Do In Huntsville And North Alabama Before You Die, I had valuable expertise to share derived from being a travel writer AND from living in North Alabama for more than 50 years of my life. As a former educator, I often find myself wearing my teacher hat. I learn something, and I want others to know it, too.
All of this got me thinking about the Book that God wrote and what His motivations were and continue to be.
The Bible took almost 1600 years and 40 authors to write from Genesis to Revelation. Scattered throughout the pages, we find the words "God said" or "Thus says the Lord" 3800 times.
We have some key hints about why the Bible was written.
John 20:31 -- "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name."
John 5:39 -- (Jesus said) "You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about Me,"
Hebrews 1:1 -- "In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways,"
2 Timothy 3:16 -- "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,"
Clearly, God gave us the Bible because He wants us to read it. He wants us to know everything about His Son, Jesus Christ. He wants to guide us in how to live our lives. He wants us to know how to have eternal life.
Yes, God had a story to tell.
Yes, God had the ultimate expertise to share.
Yes, God wanted to motivate us (to accept Jesus as Savior) and inspire us (to live a holy life).
Yes, the Bible is a powerful sales tool for God's business -- bringing salvation to mankind.
Yes, God left us the legacy of the best instructions ever given.
We are to READ His Word, accept the words as truth, and OBEY the Word.
No other book ever written comes close.