Another said he preferred the American Standard Bible for its literalism and accurate translation from the original text. A third man preferred the newer translations because of their practical application.
The fourth scholar listened thoughtfully and then added, "Personally, I prefer my mother's translation." When the other men laughed, he explained, "My mother translates every page of the Bible into her daily life and it is the most convincing translation I have ever seen."
Now there's a goal!
You heard about the Catholic priest who devoted his life to Bible study. When he died an angel met him at heaven's gate with, "Welcome! What would you like to do first?"
Trembling with excitement he sputtered, "Oh I'd love to see the original version of the Bible!"
He was led through huge double doors into a mammoth, marble room with a pristine Bible spotlighted on an altar. "Stay as long as you like." So he did.
Hours later the angel heard the priest weeping and wailing loudly so he opened the doors to find the distraught priest pointing to a passage, lamenting, "It says celebrate! CELEBRATE! Not celibate!"
Personally, it's not more knowledge I need. While there's still plenty to learn, I'd do well to just act on what I already know. It's that daily thing that makes living the Christian life a challenge. I keep tripping over obstacles, most of them named Kathy. Self, pride, comfort, laziness, judgmentalness. My uninvited sidekicks seem to creep along behind me wherever I go.
In a recent interview Billy Graham was asked what he would do differently if he lived his life over. "I'd read the Bible more and meditate, rather than travel and take so many revivals."
His answer surprised me. Then it intrigued me. Finally it inspired me.
The hard things I try and fail to DO probably come from what I'm NOT BEING.
There. Just be there. Like God instructed Moses.
In that vital, life-giving flow of sitting at Jesus' feet is found my power to go out and DO, LIVE and SUCCEED at whatever He calls me to. Too often we get a little knowledge then regurgitate it to impress others.
Farmers tell me a cow has seven stomachs. When she grazes and swallows, she later brings it up and chews it again. This process of chewing her cud extracts the nourishment through seven stomachs.
What if I meditated over and over until God's Word became a part of me? In that time of stillness He would mature and grow me strong enough in Him to then go out and become salt and light to a dark world. Not through my own effort or pride but in His power.
I must decrease, He must increase.
* * *
We can know doctrine and never know God.
* * *
We can grow in knowledge but not grow in grace.
* * *
1 Corinthians 8:1 "Knowledge puffs you up with pride, but love builds up."
* * *
Some Christians grow. Others just swell.
Lord, take me beyond KNOWING and into GROWING. Teach me to STAY at your feet, to LOVE what you love, THINK like you think. Then as I face a needy world, may they say, 'She looks a lot like her Father.' A little less me, Lord, a lot more You.