25th October 2020
'...it penetrates... '
12 For the word of God.... is living and active.
Sharper than a double edge sword,
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit,
joints and marrow;
it judges the thoughts and attitudes
of the heart.
.... Hebrews 4:12
Today is Bible Sunday,
which to me seems strange;
why should we have a 'Bible Sunday'?
Every Sunday is a Bible Sunday,
in fact the Bible is not just for Sundays
but every day.
It is our 'go-to' book
with advice for every situation in our lives.
A few years ago,
Reg gave me a set of CD's for Christmas.
There were of David Suchet reading the Bible -
a wonderful gift.
I would play them
in the car going to work,
the journey took 1hr 20mins
so I was able to get a good amount
in at a time.
David Suchet was raised without religion
but in 1986, while lying in his bath,
in a hotel in America,
he had a sudden and impulsive desire
to read the Bible.
He managed to find a Gideon Bible
and started to read the New Testament.
As he read, he encountered Jesus;
when interviewed he said:
'From somewhere I got this desire to read the Bible again.
That's the most important part of my conversion.
I started with the Acts of the Apostles
and then moved on to Paul's Letters -
Romans and Corinthians.
It was only after that
I came to the Gospels.
In the New Testament
I suddenly discovered a way that life
should be followed.'
The most powerful words ever written
are in the Bible
and we must cling to God's Word
as perfect, timeless, eternal
and transcendent (above all things);
otherwise what good is it?
If we think of the Bible is anything less,
it becomes another human work
of philosophy and history.
If we follow only the parts we agree with,
we are not reading the Bible,
we are writing it.
Parts of the Bible can be uncomfortable;
but they weren't meant to be only a comfort to us,
they were designed to guide,
teach and unsettle us,
to make us think.
If we disagree with, or dislike, something
we read in the Bible, is God wrong?
Will he change to fit in with our thoughts? No!!
The famous writer G.K. Chesterton wrote,
'The Christian ideal
has not been tried and found wanting;
it has been found difficult
and left untried.'
We could say that the primary purpose of the Bible
is to show where our thoughts
are out of sync with God,
so that we may change our thoughts
to come in line with his.
So, if we revise, ignore
or misinterpret something in the Bible
we are getting it backwards.
We are blinding ourselves
to the truth God has given us,
because we don't like it.
We are changing God's Word
to agree with our worldly minds,
instead of bringing our worldly minds
in line with God's perfect truth.
If we are to know what God says,
what he wants of us,
we must set aside our preconceptions
of what is right and wrong
and pick up our Bibles.
There is a story about some American soldiers
during WW2 who ended up on a Pacific island.
They were greeted by natives
and taken to village.
Their Chief welcomed them
and ordered a feast to be prepared.
He then said,
'Let's read the Bible together
while the meal is prepared.'
One soldier replied,
'We don't do that anymore,
we've gone beyond that,
that's for yesterday.'
The Chief smiled and said,
'The Bible is very much for today -
be grateful -
if it were not so
YOU would BE the meal!!'
When you read a story from the Bible
ask yourself 3 questions:
What is the story about?
What is the story trying to tell me
(what's the underlying theme?)?
How does this apply to my life?
There is an old saying,
'If your Bible is falling apart,
you won't be!'