It is the most widely read book in the history of civilization. It has been translated in its entirety into 469 languages – more than any other book . People sacrificed their lives so that accessibility to it would be granted to the common man. Yes, I’m speaking of God’s Word, the bible. The bible itself claims that it originated with God who utilized human instruments to communicate the words He desired. My sermon today to the people of New Bridge Church will remind us that the bible is still the measuring stick against the lives of humans in all generations. We love the Word of God and have made it our life’s pursuit to know it, believe it and live it out. Skeptics still laugh at the bible. Theologians spend their lives unfolding its truths in the quest to know its Author. Sadly, most of humanity rejects it outright. But what about you…what do you think about the bible?
Proverbs 13:13, 18 – “Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded…Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored.”
What do you think about the bible? Our 21st century Western culture needs to consider this question as we seem to continually reinvent ourselves. In a chaotic world of economic collapses, constant threats from deranged political tyrants, the exaltation of self and the extermination of sacrifice, we do well to reexamine our current foundation and ask how high we may build thereon before it topples again. When we are no longer wise enough to accept the biblical parameters of family, society and theology, perhaps we do well to consider submitting ourselves to the counsel of God so that we avoid the looming experience of God making His point undeniably clear to us in the future. What – you didn’t think He had foregone His commitment to rule and reign did you? He has always done what He says and our generation will not be the first to be excluded.
So, again, what does the Bible mean to you? I hope you will leave a reply below. Until then, here is my own answer:
Avoiding preachy clichés, let me tell you what my Bible does for me:
· It humbles me constantly because it reveals God’s holiness and my own sinfulness
· It encourages me regularly because it instructs me concerning God’s mercy and grace
· It guides me practically because it specifically addresses much of what goes on in my life
· It empowers me relationally because it commands me to consider others before I consider myself
· It inspires me powerfully because it reminds me of the greater realities that transcend space, matter and time
· It changes me incrementally because it is the tool that God the Spirit uses to make me like Jesus
· It rebukes me severely because it pulls no punches concerning what it means to be flesh and bone
· It challenges me maritally because the standard for a husband is to love his wife like Christ loves him
· It cautions me parentally because, as a human father, I am a reflection of the Heavenly Father to my children
· It transforms me pastorally because to lead God’s people means a constant commitment to dying to myself
· It thrills me inwardly because I am constantly reminded that the best and the greatest is yet to come
My Bible does much more for me than what I have written, but these thoughts were in my veins this morning. I realize that it is ultimately God who does all of the aforementioned things, but He does so through His word and His Spirit. My generation of believers is the first who have been groomed to seek to grow in Christian faith apart from objective truth, namely, Scripture. We have been encouraged to seek experience first then, if deemed necessary, consult the bible. We have elevated what we fancy above that which is to instruct us. Churches are literally questioning how essential biblical exposition is because the crowds no longer have an appetite for it. We have put our finger to the wind and found that the unreached masses prefer relative truth instead of dogmatic truth. We are closing our objective bibles and opening our subjective hearts and waiting to see what will come of it. I know the answer: Nothingness.
You and I may never change the entire course of our current age. The very bible that modern Christendom is currently distancing itself from actually predicts that this departure will occur. The love of many has grown cold. We are heaping together teachers who will scratch our itches but otherwise remain hands-off in shaping our souls for the coming King. We do not endure sound doctrine any longer. Forgive the negative tone, but you know this is so and if your church still exalts Christ according to the Word then you are in a church of a diminishing number. Because I will not likely be the one who prevents the tsunami of lukewarm waters drowning our churches does not mean I do not care. Quite the contrary, actually. I care about you. I care about what is happening in your heart. I care about God’s glory emanating from you. So again I ask you the question:
What does your Bible mean to you? It’s not a side issue so let’s stop side-stepping the question.
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