"I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep." John 10:11
Motion picture actor Gregory Peck declared after he had recorded the New Testament on 16 cassettes, “I’ve always been a reader of the Bible.” The traditional King James Version is, he said, “the most majestic and beautiful of the translations.” He stressed the content -- “the teachings and doctrines” – not only the great literacy and poetic value.
The Holy Scriptures are our great heritage. They are available to us in the beautiful language of the King James Version as well as in the updated language of more recent translations. The words are not an end in themselves; if they were, we would still have to use the original Hebrew and Greek words. What is important is God’s message that these words convey. In all translations that are faithful to the original text the message is the same.
What is the message God conveys in this unique, divinely inspired book? It goes far beyond offering golden rules for morally upright living, although it does have moral guidance. It is not human philosophy, or essentially ethical wisdom, or aesthetic expression of great thoughts, or only a road map for life’s journey. What good the Bible conveys in these areas comes as a result or fruit of something far greater, that is, of God’s message of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, God’s Son and our Redeemer. Through this message of the Gospel the Holy Spirit brings people to Christ, to the one who for our sakes died on a cross and was raised.
God makes Himself perfectly clear in the Bible’s message written by inspired authors. The message is good news. It can be discoursed upon at great length, or it can be briefly stated in "bumper sticker” length statements, such as: “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son” (John 3:16). Again: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). Or in Jesus’ own words: “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” This is God’s message in the Bible.
How blessed we are to have God’s Word as our great heritage!
PRAYER: Bless me, Lord God, as I read Your Word, the Bible, so that I may be drawn closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ. 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 www.cph.org.)
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