Tuesday 7th July 2020

Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’ (Matthew 4:4)

How much of the Bible have you read? All of it? Well done! All of the New Testament? Not bad! A couple of Psalms? Well, at least a good start!

You probably won’t be shocked to learn that I have read through the entire Bible several times – although the fact that I’ve read through the whole New Testament over 15 times since I came to Milford might surprise you slightly. (I’m afraid the Old Testament is lagging behind – probably only 4-5 times in the same period.)

I’m not telling you that to boast, but to emphasize that I think reading the Bible is very important! We have no other source for the good news about Jesus, and no other firm foundation for our faith. If you don’t read the Bible for yourself, you have to rely on what others tell you about it, and they might have misunderstood and misconstrued what it says!

And yes, that applies to me as well: most honest preachers will tell you that if you think what I say differs from what the Bible says, believe the Bible. (But also, please ask me about it! 😊 )

We are very blessed in the western world: Bibles are easily available, both in print and online, and in most western languages several translations are available to choose from. We have no excuse for not reading the Word of God for ourselves!

The situation is very different in other parts of the world. There are still thousands of languages that don’t yet have the New Testament, never mind the Old. There are several organisations whose mission it is to provide translations in those languages – Wycliffe Bible Translators is possibly the best-known among them.

Wycliffe currently has 367 people from the UK and Ireland, working with 360 different languages (some spoken by millions of people) – and interestingly, 45% of those languages are in places that oppose missionary activity!

This obviously adds a dimension of danger to the ministry – but it seems those intrepid translators think it’s worth it to get the Word of God to people who haven’t yet had a chance to read it in their own language.

So please pray for those workers and their labours for the Gospel; and please make sure you make the most of the opportunity you have to freely read as much of the Bible as you please, in your own language!

Here’s a classic hymn that starts by reminding us How Firm a Foundation the Bible is for our faith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwGW8qRqz4I

This one is quite different: this is a lively children’s song that teaches the order of the books in Scripture – this is how Lara and Simi learnt to find their way round the Bible! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHV0nFaY7ZA&t=128s







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