When Reading The Bible Isn’t Enough

It is my personal observation that nowadays the Word of God has taken a back seat in the world and sad to say, even in some churches. Somehow our post-modern generation seems to prefer science and technology over the Bible. They would go for the new inventions, technologies and the latest electronic gadgets to satisfy their whims and fancies. This phenomenon is not new. It is my desire that we do not fall into the trap of the devil and thus take God’s Word lightly. More than five centuries ago, William Tyndale (c.1494-1536) laid down his life so that the common people would have free access to the Word of God. He said, “If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy who drives the plough to know more of the Scriptures than you do.” The ‘you’ has reference to the pope and powerful church leaders of his day. Why was Tyndale so passionate in translating the Bible into the common language of England? Why did he sacrifice his life to achieve that goal? The answer, I believe lies in the power of the Scriptures itself. You see, when people read, reflect upon, and respond to God’s Word, their lives will be changed. They will know the truth and the truth will set them free from the bondage of superstitions, falsehoods and tyranny of religious systems. Satan’s hold on men will be broken. Satan knew it and so did the Roman Church. Today we may not face the same situation as William Tyndale but we may face the same danger and threats of apathy and neglect of God’s Word. Our generation pride itself of knowing the Word because of the abundance of and easy access to commentaries, devotional resources and biblical information and all that, with just a ‘click’. We are in a situation of information overload! Yet the irony is that today a typical believer may not know his Bible well enough to withstand the ‘wiles of the devil’ (Eph. 6: 11). We are like children in our Sunday school who get bored listening to Bible stories every Sunday. To them, “I have heard that story before” which is tantamount to, “I know the Word of God already, thank you very much.” What is the remedy for this malaise? There is no quick solution. I believe one of the root causes could be what I called ‘the James’ Syndrome.” We have gotten to the place where we, like James’ readers, are ‘hearers’ only but not ‘doers’ or practitioners of the Word (Jas. 1:19, 22). It is not how much we know, but what we do with what we know, if we are to be the blessed people of God (Ps. 1:1-3). Let us then examine our hearts and seriously ask ourselves the following questions: Are we kidding ourselves that we are people of the Word when we blatantly sidestep God’s commands? Are we living up to our name as Bible-Presbyterians? Are we putting our ‘money’ where our mouth is? Warren Wiersbe, in his devotional commentary, With the Word, put the challenge succinctly for us: “You have been thinking about what the Word of God will do for you if you allow it to work in your life. Now it is time to discover what you must do with God’s Word. You must do more than simply read it, although that is necessary. You should also love it, treasure it, learn it, memorize it, meditate on it, believe it and practice it. The way you treat your Bible is the way you treat your Lord, for it is His Word to your heart.” I say, ‘Amen’ to that.

Rev. Mark Tay