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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Translating the Word of God"

January 25, 2005

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Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22

More than 600 years ago John Wycliffe issued the first English Bible. Since then many translations have been published, not only in English but in more than 1,000 languages. Thanks to these translations, people everywhere in the world can read the Word of God in their own tongues and come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior.

There is another kind of translation of God’s Word, that is, the translating of it into everyday Christian Life. Several steps precede this. The first is hearing the word, or reading it – making ear and eye contact with it. Then comes believing it. Saint Paul, whose conversion the Christian church observes today, tells us that faith comes from hearing the message that comes from the Word of God.

From hearing the Word we go on to the doing of it, as Saint James tells us. Only a believer can be a doer of works that God desires. The Bible states: “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). Faith in what? It is better to ask, Faith in whom? Saint Paul gave a clear answer to the converted jailer of Philippi: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved’ (Acts 16:31). Believe in Him as the one who gave His life to redeem you from sin and to enable you to be His follower.

Given hearing and believing, the translating of the Word into Christian action can begin. It began immediately for the jailer when he washed the wounds he himself had inflicted on Paul and Silas. Early Christians translated the Word of God when, to the astonishment of their heathen neighbors, they practiced love, also in their relation with enemies. Those who reveal the fruit of the Spirit in their lives are translators of the Word in terms of Christian virtues, and these are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Practice this in the home, in the community, in school, and at work, and you are translating the Word of God.

PRAYER: O Holy Spirit, strengthen my faith in Jesus so that I can bring the Gospel to life where I live and work. Amen.

(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at

Today's Bible Readings: Job 41-42    Matthew 16

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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