I’ve been reading a great book; Worldliness – C.J. Mahaney, and in the first few pages he asks the question ‘Is this verse in your bible?’, it follows the story of a man called Jefferson, who cut with a razor sections of the New Testament to create his own bible. You can read about it on that ever reliable website wikipedia here. Mahaney asks if we too have an attitude of metaphorically creating our own bible.
Are you crazy was the first thing I thought when I read this, of course not, the Bible, is the Bible, is the Bible, I can’t make my own.. But wait, except maybe in that situation I can twist it to suit me, and that verse isn’t so relevant today is it.. I’m just as guilty as the Jefferson of picking and choosing, albeit sometimes subconsciously, what I want to see as God’s word and what I don’t.
As I sat and dwelt upon this I could think of countless times when I have chosen to ‘forget’ a verse I know clearly tells me to do the opposite of what I’m doing, or passages I will skip over in my quiet times because they’re just not what I want to read right now. If I was to sit and think of the all the verses that I have memorised over the years, I wonder what sort of gospel they would give, would it even be a gospel? Would it speak of a good good Father, a God who loved his people so much he sent his Son to die the most horrendous death to save them? Or would be a nice happy story, would it make a nice U rated movie?
In the stillness of my heart I can see I too have the ability to create a Megan bible, and that would be an awful shame, because no longer would it hold power, would it speak truth and wisdom into the darkness, would it give strength to shine light into the world, would it be God’s word.
We need to be prepared to read the hard truth of God’s word The Bible. We need to soak up the challenging verses, because those are the ones that stoke a fire in our souls to proclaim the good news to the poor, to set the captive free, to bind up the broken hearted and radically make a difference in our towns and cities, our workplaces, our schools, our communities. Enjoy those passages that make your heart sing of God’s goodness, but don’t disregard the other because it’s too difficult.
I’ve been encouraged afresh to see all of God’s word for what it is, the Sword that leads us in the fight of this world. It’s the tool we use to do battle against Babel and bring the dead to life. It is the power that saves souls.
Let us use it to do just that.