Friday, 11 March 2011 10:40

Celebrating God's Word

Written by  Bob Crittendon
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Over 400 years ago, a group of theologians gathered at the request of King James I of England to craft an English translation of the Bible that would be available on a widespread basis. The King James Version has become one of the most influential books of all time, containing the truth of the Scriptures, and also certain phrases which have become part of the common English language. This year, we celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the culmination of that 7-year process to translate the Scriptures, resulting in what we know as the King James Bible, in 1611.

 

There’s a question we can ask ourselves as we celebrate this achievement: Do we leave God’s Word contained within a book or do we allow it to fill our hearts and govern our lives?


I think of the words that God spoke to Joshua in Joshua 1:8 (from the KJV):


“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (emphasis mine)


There are 3 instructions that God gives to Joshua here that can be applicable to our lives: Joshua is told that the Word should be in his mouth. Our speech should reflect the presence and principles of the Scriptures – as we engage in conversation or give direction, our words should demonstrate that we have a relationship with Christ.
Also, Joshua is told to meditate on God’s word. As we think about the Word and absorb it into our consciousness, then we set the stage for transformation into the image of Christ. As we think Godly thoughts rather than worldly thoughts, we embrace the precepts of the kingdom, which lead to life, rather than the teachings of this world, which result in death. Meditation, which can be defined as personalizing the Word and thinking carefully how it applies to us, is much more than study, which produces mere head knowledge. Meditation can produce a changed heart and a life.

Finally, Joshua is told that as he speaks and meditates on God’s Word, he will walk in obedience to God. If Scripture is absorbed into our souls, then we will have access to Godly wisdom. Knowledge of the Word of God is important, but it’s critical that we apply His Word, so that we will know what to do and how to behave in any situation, possessing the power to live the Christian life.

In today’s culture, there is competition for our consciousness; we have opportunities to place so much content in our minds. A recent Pew survey on religious knowledge illustrates that there is a noted lack of commitment to even a cursory knowledge of faith-related matters. Americans correctly answered 16 of the 32 religious knowledge questions on the survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. Atheists and agnostics actually had an above average mark – at 20.9 correct answers. Protestants as a whole averaged 16 correct answers; Catholics, 14.7. Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons generally performed better than other groups on the survey.

Now, the nature of the survey and the specific questions do not indicate this is an exhaustive study, but I think it can be used as an indicator of what is taking place within the Christian church today. In response to the survey, Randy Frazee, Senior Pastor of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, was quoted by The Christian Post as saying: “It’s a good wake-up call for us. It brings to light one of the challenges for the contemporary Christian church.” He said that Biblical illiteracy is a problem that he and others in ministry have seen for quite some time now, and called it the “dirty little secret” in the church.

A number of organizations are being used by God to address that perceived deficiency in Biblical literacy. Recently, a number of churches in the River Region formed a task force to support the E-100 Challenge, a reading plan developed by Scripture Union and the American Bible Society that emphasizes 100 “essential” storylines of the Bible (e100challenge.com). Faith Comes By Hearing has crafted the Bible.is app that features an audio Bible in a host of versions and languages. Lifechurch.tv has developed YouVersion.com, which is a smartphone app, including many versions of God’s Word, as well as a variety of Bible reading plans, including the E-100, One Year Bible, and many more. YouVersion was downloaded on almost 10 million devices during 2010!

I would hope that the availability of God’s Word would serve to strengthen Christians in their walk with the Savior and equip us to live Biblically in the years to come.
 

Last modified on Friday, 11 March 2011 10:45
Go to Top