2002-04-15 - The Book
John 20:31 But these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
I was in earshot of a conversation last week between a man in his early 60's and two men in their mid-20's. They kept talking about "the book." This made me interested to some extent. The basic comment was that everything must be done "by the book." The book was the standard by which all other standards were established. The book was the law. Thus we had the importance of the book.
It was very interesting to listen to this conversation. You might think that I was listening to three pastors talking about the Bible, but I wasn't. I was listening to three union guys discussing their union manual which they simply called "the book." I wish we, as Christians, had as much reverence for our book as these gentlemen did for their book. Their book was their master. It told them what they could and could not do. Their book defined what was a possibility and what was crossing the line. There were rules in the book and they needed to abide by these rules. As long as they stayed within the confines of the rules of the book they were OK, but if they violated the book they were at the mercy of those who had written the book.
This might seem nuts to someone who has never been in a union but that is how it works. I was in a union shop for about a year once and that really is how things work. One interesting comment I heard in this conversation I was listening too was the older gentleman saying, "If you are careful, you can get around the book." For all their love of the book, they still knew that there ways to avoid following the book. As Christians we are not much different from these men. We far too often justify our attempts to get around our book. But God would not have us do this. He has given us His book for a reason and much more than a union book, our book is to our eternal advantage.
We also need to be people of the book. The Bible is the "Word of truth" James 1:18. It is the "Sword of the Spirit" Ephesians 6:17. It is authoritative in all areas of our life, 1 Peter 4:11. Yet, I think that if we as Christians had reverence for and studied our book like the union gentlemen did their book we would have changed lives. Our world would be a different place. Our book is a book is a book of revolution. It might seem to be a book that focuses on personal revolution, but as our lives are transformed by the Word of God, so is the world around us. Let us not become so caught up in this world that union folks know their book better than we know our book. Our book has words of life and never changes, their book has words of instruction that can be revised at any time. There is every reason for us to be people of the book.
Soli Deo Gloria,