The One and Only
Bible Reading: James 1:19-25
Remember, [God's Word] is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. James 1:22
You've probably heard it more than once. In a tone of voice that makes you feel like you have only half a brain, someone blurts, “You read the Bible? What for?” Or maybe you’ve run into a teacher or another adult who boasts of having the King James Version of the Bible on a shelf at home-covered with dust probably, but right there alongside the complete works of Shakespeare. He or she claims the Bible is one of the great works of literature.
That’s a myth. The Bible isn’t one of many great books. It is the one and only great book. There is no other book like it. In All About the Bible, Sidney Collett cites Professor M. Montiero-Williams, who spent forty-two years studying Eastern books. He said, “Pile them, if you will, on the left side of your study table; but place your own Holy Bible on the right side-all by itself, all alone-and with a wide gap between them. For … there is a gulf between it and the so-called sacred books of the East which severs the one from the other utterly, hopelessly, forever … a veritable gulf which cannot be bridged.”
The Bible isn’t like any ordinary book. It’s a book you practice and obey. The positive difference the Bible makes in your life—like building your faith and making your life fruitful, meaningful, and productive—never happens just by owning a Bible or reading the Bible or believing the Bible or carrying a Bible. You benefit from this unique book when you experience it by allowing it to impact your thoughts, words, and actions.
You might have read or done research from a grand set of books called the Great Books of the Western World. One day a salesman for that series came to my house. He spent five minutes talking to me about the Great Books series. Then I spent the next ninety minutes talking to him about the greatest book, the Bible. I asked, “If you introduced a controversial subject, would ten authors from the Great Book series agree?”
The guy paused, then answered, “No.”
Then I reminded him that the Bible was written over a period of 1,600 years on three continents by more than forty authors from every walk of life. Yet this astoundingly diverse book speaks with astonishing continuity. It tells one story from beginning to end: God’s working to save humankind. Two days later, that guy committed his life to Christ because he recognized the uniqueness of the Bible and its life-altering message.
REFLECT: Just think: God has carefully preserved the Bible so, today, you can take it in and live it out. What do you think of a God that good?
PRAY: Praise God today for providing his Word for you.