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Here’s a Bible – hold it. It’ll make you feel good.

That line was spoken by the late character actor Ward Bond in the 1956 movie “The Searchers.” He gave a Bible to a wounded man and told him that it would help. It seems that the thought is that just the nearness of the ancient talisman would affect some good. That’s just about how many people view things today. We sing a chorus of Abide With Me and place a Bible somewhere nearby. In our actions we appear to mostly want to feel good rather than to do good. So we don’t pay much attention to God’s Book other than at weddings and funerals.

The Lord God Almighty might just have another view.

What is in God’s book has been long ago settled in heaven and therefore ought to be settled for us. As I understand things, it is our duty to pay attention and to do what has been given without sifting God’s Word through to make things meet up with our petty desires, or to adapt it to our convenience. It is without question about listening to, learning and doing God’s will. It aint about me.

No matter how we feel, we have not been given a multiple guess, go to the church of your choice, worship as you please, give to God what you choose, believe whatever you like, pick-any-ending-you-prefer religion. We made those things up all by ourselves. You can’t find that kind of stuff in God’s Word. And the notion that you can slip by through ignorance and plead the Fifth has no place in the Word of God either.

God gave us his Son and the new covenant, pretty much in that order. We were told to respect every bit of what was handed to us without exception. We were not told to add any ingredients to it or to leave off any parts and pieces. We don’t need to thump it, hit people over the head with it, or place it on the table with the flowers – we, as individuals, are to read it and heed it. It is not a large or complex volume, and it is not a large and complex issue.

We are commanded to exercise our intelligence in studying it and then to do what we were told. We are to put its precepts in action and to serve Him and His Son selflessly without question. But, instead we have generally ignored what was given, and we have added things and done things that can’t be found in His Book. And if any of those alterations remain in place in our lives until we die – we are told then that “[we] will surely die.” And this second death will make the first one look easy. But that does not sway us or alter our path in most cases.

“He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.”

We’ll clutch that volume to our wounded chest and wait for the warm touchy feely stuff to happen, and just like a dog lying in the cool of the porch we doze off and find contentment. But it is a false contentment if we do not spend any time with the golden volume open and our eyes searching its pages. “For the engrafted word is able to save your souls.” Yet it cannot do that without our hands opening it; our eyes looking it over, and over again, our time being spent in it; and our clear objective being to seek out God’s will and with all our will to do it and it alone.

For me, I would suggest that it is a sterling idea to get it right, right here and right now. There won’t be another opportunity to do so outside of this life. And just having a copy in the room will offer no succor.

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