— By Mark Avery, Editor, Herald and Banner Press, Overland Park, KS
Someone told of a group of Bible college students discussing the merits of various Bible translations. Each told which was his favorite and listed some reasons for his choice. Finally the last student spoke. “My favorite translation of the Bible is my mother’s translation.”
The other students were taken aback. “Your mother translated the Bible?” they wondered incredulously.
“Yes,” came the simple response. “She translated it into everyday living.” If the Bible is the Word of God, and we believe that it is, we should put every effort into practicing it in our lives.
Some simple steps can be taken to translate the Bible into everyday living. Reading the Bible is necessary to this translation. Some believers seem to think that they get enough of the Bible through preaching services and Sunday school classes. In reality, the Bible is the means God often uses to speak to us to conform us to His will. Daily contact with Him through His Word helps us develop a deep, intimate relationship with Him. We gain spiritual strength and stamina from the Word that enables us to live holy lives from day to day.
Praying is necessary to translating the Bible into life. Being a God-inspired book, the Bible becomes much easier for us to understand as we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts. We talk to God in prayer, and He talks to us through His Word. A close communion develops as we communicate with each other.
Meditation is necessary to translating the Bible into life. Regardless of how many times a person has read the Bible, from time to time a verse or passage seems to “jump off the page” at us. Of course, that does not happen literally. Yet having read the Bible several times, I still discover “new” messages tucked away in its pages just for me. The written Word of God is still the living Word of God. It does not change, but it opens to us in various circumstances to help us know how to become more like Christ.
Have you ever noticed how often we use food in our spiritual word pictures? The need for food is universally understood, even though the sorts of things we will and will not eat varies wildly. Food, no matter what our preferences, must be consumed if we want to stay alive and healthy.
That is exactly why the Scripture calls Jesus the Bread of Life. In the Old Testament, the Garden of Eden had a tree which provided life-giving fruit. Adam and Eve had to stay close to the tree if they wanted to live. In the New Testament, we learn about a life giving Bread which not only sustains us but also is available wherever we may be. You may be physically present in a land with no Bible, but with Jesus in your heart, you will always be spiritually near His life-giving bread.
— By Michelle Avery, Editorial Assistant, Herald and Banner Press, Inc.
Mary, one of the most famous mothers in the history of mankind, must have been worried by the problem of busyness and feeling like her life was going by too quickly. After all, she was only carrying the Son of the Almighty. That little one beginning to learn to talk? Just the one who spoke an entire universe into existence. Can you imagine the first time young Mary cleaned up her Son’s bloodied knee? Do you suppose she realized the knowledge and the healing power He had?
Maybe she did not realize at first. How could she understand the role her Son would play in the history of the world? The angel had explained how a virgin could become a mother but not how that Baby would be able to save the world. Surely Mary did not know what was in store for her Son.
“But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). In other words, “Every circumstance relative to her son’s birth, Mary treasured up in her memory; and every new circumstance she weighed, or compared with those which had already taken place, in order to acquire the fullest information concerning the nature and mission of her son” (Adam Clarke).
Even with all the prophecies down through the centuries and the recent messages from the angels, Mary did not know how life would treat her Son. What she did know — and could trust — was that there was a faithful and loving God overseeing everything He would encounter. And taking time to weigh that certainty against each new experience kept life from running away from her.