It Is Finished—Psalm 119: 105
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
—Psalm 119: 105
It’s become popular of late for churches to promote themselves as “relevant” — you’ll even see some churches put up banners and advertisements saying things like: “We make the bible relevant for today” (insinuating, of course, that other churches don’t!). Likewise, a popular-selling bible in recent years named itself the “Life Application Bible” (we’ve got one at my house). I believe these churches and bible publishers have good intentions, but I wonder if they don’t have things backward. Does God really want us to take scripture and make it “relevant”—or to “apply” it to our lives? It seems that this mentality starts with “us” rather than with “God” and his word. Perhaps we’re the ones who need to make some adjustments in order to line up with the bible—not the other way around.
A seminary professor of mine once said: “Rather than us reading the bible, the bible should be reading us.” What I think he meant was that we in the Church are too fond of taking God’s word, picking and choosing parts and sections we like, studying and discussing them ad nauseam — but then seldom actually allowing the bible to live through us. The bible is a book (made up of many books); but it’s more than simply a piece of literature to be read, studied, and discussed in a classroom setting. It’s really only being honored to its potential when it’s being lived out. Memorized verses are great; but “lived-out” verses are better. Bible study is great; but “lived-out” study is better. It’s not up to us to try and make God’s word “relevant” in the culture. If all followers of Jesus would simply live out his word, He will take care of the rest.
Today ends our “Walking Thru the Bible” journey. Thank you for making this trip with me. I’ve appreciated your time, participation, and commentaries. We began this “walk” back in September of 2009, when we opened the bible to Genesis 1. Over the past 15 months, through 120 e-mails and over 60 sermons, we’ve looked at more than 180 bible stories. But that really only scratches the surface of God’s word. There’s so much more to read, write about, discuss, and enjoy. But be sure, God is most praised when we truly begin living and “walking” the Bible through the world.
[Editor’s note: originally published November 16, 2010. The “Walking thru the Bible” series were sent out as emails to the congregation. They were so popular, we decided to share them with the world. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have. Please leave your comments below.]