Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Living Word

The grass withers and the flowers fall, 

but the word of our God stands forever.   Isaiah 40:8

The Living Word

by Dr Harold Sala

There are some truths that are so profound and meaningful that it becomes intensely painful to really confront them.  The implications are too great, too all-inclusive, too encompassing; so, refusing to confront them, we do one of two things: we ignore them, pretending that they are not there while all of the time they lie before us like the iceberg did when the Titanic, oblivious of warnings, pushed through the dark night.  Or, recognizing that they are there, we simply trivialize them, pointing out that things are not always as they appear and that there are other options.

OK, you may be thinking. Give it to us straight. With maturity and age (which are not always synonymous) you begin to see some things that just are not obvious at age 25. Now that I'm past that milestone, I see some things far more clearly than I used to. Such is the profound implication of how you view the truth found in the Bible.  "Just a minute," you may be thinking.  "Does it really matter that much what your views are of this book!"

Aha! That's where you find yourself in the category of those who trivialize the implications of this book.  Here's why. The implications of the contents of this book are tremendous, touching every part of my life including my business, my marriage, my money, my ethics, my work, my morality, my sex-life, my views of men and women, how I treat the elderly, what I think about abortion and stem-cell research and on and on.

If you confront what this book says, understanding that what God said in the book is to be taken at face value and embraced, then neutrality about some issues is not an option. In simple terms, the truth of this book touches my life, my conduct, and my thinking.

Many, of course, never get to that point. While vast numbers of people say they are Christians-and yes, own and carry Bibles to church with them-in reality they never fully confront what this book says. They dance around it, spiritualizing it, considering it a benchmark, something nice to shoot at but impractical in the world in which we live.

But most simply ignore the Bible, thus embracing situational ethics and weaving through the minefields of life hoping that they will not be discovered and thus embarrassed when society condemns their behavior.

OK, how do you know whether or not this book should be taken at face value, whether or not it is the living Word of God and that its truth should serve as moral and spiritual guidelines for living?  Jesus made a promise.  He said, "If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own" (John 7:17).  Take the challenge to find out for yourself. No other book in the entire world makes claims as does this one. Paul wrote, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16). Twice-one time in the Old Testament and another in the New-it says, "The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8).

The greater your knowledge of this book, the greater will be your respect for it, and when you come to understand that it is a book given by God, you gradually begin to recognize that God gave us the direction He did for our benefit, not to make us miserable, but to show us how to live.

Don't take my Word for it. Study it and find out for yourself. It will change your life.

Dr Sala was my first bible teacher over 35 years ago.

God bless you my friends, Bob

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