Stop and Reflect on God’s Word
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. Romans 1:16
When the Catholic Bishop Gerard Trickle opened his mail, he found the ordinary items–letters and parcels from friends in his native England along with the usual assortment of advertisements. A parcel from Ireland contained a box for a large-print Bible. But as he removed the Bible from the box, however, something caught his attention. Two tiny wires were protruding from the pages at the binding. Suddenly an alarm went off in his brain, and the Bishop ever so gently laid down the Bible to call police.
The pages of the Bible had been removed, and were replaced with explosives designed to kill whoever opened the cover. Obviously the Bishop had enemies who wanted to take him out.
When Paul wrote to Romans he said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (Romans 1:16). The word Paul used was dunamis, from which we get the word dynamite. The Bible’s power, though, doesn’t come because the pages are removed and replaced with explosives. It’s powerful because it has been energized by the Spirit of God. “God-breathed” is Paul’s term for it.
Taking time to reflect on this awesome book can change your perspective. No other book in all the world has both the fascination and the dread associated with it as does the Bible. When customs officials in a Communist country once informed me that I could not take a dozen or so Bibles into that country, I asked, “Why do you fear this book? It only makes people honest and trustworthy. It results in their being good citizens. There’s nothing to fear in this book.”
In one of his messages Billy Graham asked the question, “Do you know why the Bible is called holy?” He then answered his own question, saying, “I can tell you why. It is because the Bible tells the truth. It tells the truth about God, about man, and about the devil. The Bible teaches that we exchange the truth of God for the devil’s lie about sex, for example; and drugs, and alcohol, and religious hypocrisy.” (George Sweeting, Who Said That? P. 65).
The reality, though, is that not everybody likes the truth–whether it comes from their mother, their doctor, or from God. If we don’t like what we see, we turn off the lights.
Soren Kierkegaard, the Danish theologian-philosopher, once wrote, “When you read God’s Word, you must constantly be saying to yourself, ‘It is talking to me, and about me’.” (As quoted from For Self-Examination by Sweeting, Ibid.)
When it comes to what this book says about your personal life and your destiny, you have but three choices: You can abide by it, striving to follow its directions, accepting the truth of what it says; you can deny it and push it aside, hiding behind a multiplicity of excuses and smoke-screens, saying that truth is found in all religious expressions, so why accept what the Bible says exclusively; or–and this is what many do–simply ignore the truth of this book.
Vast numbers of people today recognize that the book contains profound expressions of faith and life, factual history, sublime poetry and thrilling sagas of human experience, but virtually ignore it in faith and practice. Ignoring what they know is true is the most profound form of contempt and insult.
A final thought. You can be ignorant of many things and yet succeed in life, but the person who is ignorant of the truth of this book has an ignorance which he can ill afford. You have but three choices: abide by its teaching, deny it, or ignore it. Wise is the person who discovers how its spiritual power can enrich your personal life.
Resource reading: 2 Timothy 3:10-17.