Thursday, April 7, 2011
I am always amazed at those who claim to be Christians, claim to love God and boast about being humbled when in fact, we can’t give Christ 15 minutes of our day to study His word. Let me offer clarity folks….being humbled and being stripped are two very different things. Some of us have been stripped but many of us have no idea what humility feels like. I’m equally amazed at how we will study every manual that comes with our cars, HDTV’s, camera’s, cell phones and even manuals for inserting batteries into a clock, but so many people can’t give God the same study time. This is your life we are talking about and isn’t your life worth so much more than your television or cell phone? So how do you expect to learn who He is and what He requires? What’s selfishly worse is that so often, when we do pray, it is filled with our requirements of Him and our wants. It is filled with “gimme, gimme and gimme some more.” Can I enlighten you to a thought? God is not in place for your comfort and He never told us that life was about us, but when we willingly, unselfishly long for our hearts to be filled with God, He will bless us beyond belief and our cups will run over. Trust me. This I know. So, I am sorry to break the news to you, but it is not about you. It’s all about Him.
What is just as poor as always asking God for what we want are the many people who still carry around the King James Version of the Bible. Who do you know who speaks like this? As a people, in order to effectively communicate, you have to understand the language. When have you ever throughout your life used words like thou, speaketh, thy, or art so why and how do you expect to know God, what He’s like, what His requirements are and how you can be blessed if you are not able to understand what He is saying? Even a small child will cry out when they require food, and if we instead administer a diaper change, then we aren’t meeting their requirements of us because we do not understand the language. Let’s do a little bit of history here. Do you even know who King James is? I bet half of you would say no and I sure wish I could see your faces. Then let me ask you, why are you reading a Bible in this version when you don’t know who King James is and YET, you claim to know who Christ is and won’t pick up a Bible written in everyday language to understand Him better? Gotcha!
When was the last time you spoke and wrote in Greek or the Hebrew language? Here is the history folks….The King James Bible, published in 1611, was England's authorized version of the Bible translated from the original Hebrew and Greek languages into English at the request of King James I of England. At the time, other English Bibles existed, but King James did not like the most popular translation, the Geneva Bible, because he felt that some of the marginal notes encouraged disobedience to kings. So when a Puritan scholar, Dr. John Reynolds, suggested a new English translation of the Bible at a 1604 conference of bishops and theologians at Hampton Court Palace, King James readily agreed. Even though King James agreed to the new Bible translation, the King James Version was never officially recognized by the king, nor was it ever authorized as the only text permitted to be read in church. Despite this, we have taken advantage of the King James version and it has contributed to the detriment of our growth in Christ. How sad. Would you ever consider having an ongoing and meaningful relationship with someone if they spoke only in their native tongue of a third world country? No! Would you consider giving your children a chore list written in Greek or Hebrew? No! Then why are you reading your chore list in Greek and Hebrew from your Father? Elementary right? Thought so.
Now, I am not completely insensitive to those who were given this version of the Bible as a gift from dear old grandmother, your mother, your child or maybe you bought it yourself, but in any relationship it requires a true understanding, depth and meaning. In any relationship, it is required that one speaks while the other listens. You can’t hear what God is saying, if you don’t understand His language and won’t pick up the correct version to learn what He wants to share with us. And since you have this manual called the Bible, then we will assume that your intention is to understand what you are reading right? Right! When you understand what you are reading, you begin to become transformed which should ultimately lead to conviction right? Right! And true conviction causes a process of transformation right? Right! You simply CAN NOT read the Bible without it causing transformation and growth right? Right! So, it's safe to say that if you are not growing then you are stuck as a spiritual infant or could be spiritually dead.
Have you ever considered that one of the causes could be that you have a word that you simply do not understand? Another cause could be that you are not gathering with Christ-like people, who can help teach, grow, counsel and correct you and another reason is that your heart could simply be hard. Remember this…God wants us to confess it all. He wants us to tell Him when we are angry, upset, disheartened, afraid, and weary. He wants us to spill it all to Him. He longs to be closer to us and have a relationship with us. He’s God and He can handle it. When we don’t, we are not allowing Him to fill our hearts with Him and we begin to fill our cups with everything else under the sun. Sometimes it’s our jobs. We will spend countless hours at work trying to fill our cups with something that only Christ can fill. Other times it’s our children. We will become dependent on them for a love that only Christ can provide, or we may become intrusive and barge in where they simply do not want us or where we don’t belong. In other cases, we overdo it with our spouses…expecting them to fill our cups, make us happy or provide for us what they were never meant to provide. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me break to you a bit of bad news here….”You will always end up hollow and in search of someone or something to fill your cups when you don’t allow Christ to fill your cups first. Your jobs, spouse, children and material things are the overflow. God is the only one who can fill our cups. The rest is the cherry on the top.”
People, God hates sin and He will not take up residence in a sinner’s heart if they don’t want Him there. He simply will not do it. If He’s called you, you have one of two choices. You can answer or you can walk away and do it your way but let me assure you, your way will bring pain, emptiness and a hard life. Your way will cause brokenness, unnecessary tears and will leave you with a constant limp. It’s only when you are able to spill out the gunk in your hearts, can He then come in and fill it with Him. A start is your everyday language Bible. You must stay in His word and this word must be something that you can understand. Dear old grandmother, mom and your child did nothing wrong when they bought it for you, but today you require growth and healing. If you profess to be a Christian then you should be growing. If you are not growing, now is the time to start the re-examination process. That process always begins with you, Christ and His word. You don’t have to believe me. In fact you can delete my blog and never look at it again, but the reality is that the truth remains and the truth will place you on the path of complete and total freedom. Trust me when I tell you….I am a testimony to this and it makes no logical sense to choose death when you have already been given freedom and life though Christ. Get a Bible that you understand, one that allows God to speak loud and clearly to you. You owe it to yourself and you owe Christ so much more.