walk in the word
17The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. 18I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book; if anyone adds to them, God will add on him the plagues described in this book, 19and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. —revelation 22:17-19
It is a serious thing to tamper with the Word of God. The emphasis is not on the concepts or the thoughts, but on the very words. God doesn’t want people messing with His book; He doesn’t want people changing it; He doesn’t want people adjusting it. Yet there are some very troubling trends in the church today.
First, the emphasis on study notes over the sacred text. Some people spend more time reading the notes than what God actually wrote, or else they give them the same authority as the verses. Now I am not saying, “Lose your study Bible.” I’m saying that when you pick up God’s Word, make sure you’re learning it—that you’re a student yourself and not so reliant on others that you can’t come up with your own insights. People have understood God’s Word without notes for thousands of years.
Here’s a second trend that concerns me: marketing the package instead of the content of the Bible. Years ago all you needed to say was: “Hey. I’ve got a book that will change your life.” But that’s not enough anymore. Now we’ve got to package the Bible for each demographic segment of society: the High School Bible, the College Bible, the Worship Bible, the Seeker Bible, the Revival Bible. It’s out of control! Where did this idea come from? Did it come from people who want to get God’s life-changing truth into the hands of people, or from those who want to profit from the Word of God?
Here’s the third trend: the emphasis on readability over accuracy in translation theory today. For two thousand years people translated the New Testament with one primary agenda: accuracy. They tolerated translations that were awkward at times because they believed that the Holy Spirit chose the words; they wanted to know what God really said. But nowadays people are like, “Just make it readable. People will never understand that; smooth it over.” It’s getting scary. If you pick up some of the modern translations, they’re really nothing more than paraphrases.
Is that where we want to go with the Bible? I’m telling you, that’s where we’re headed. We need a group of people who will stand up for verbal inspiration. The Holy Spirit chose the words, and the words matter! Remember: God wrote a book; the Holy Spirit chose the words. —James MacDonald
Prayer: Dear Father, I am so thankful that You wrote a Book to teach me about Yourself and how to live my life for You. You chose the words. You chose who wrote it. You chose everything about it. Forgive me for not recognizing what I hold in my hands every time I open my Bible. Help me to stand up for Your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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