The Bible - Practical Today
SOME recent news stories have prompted me to appreciate even more the Bible's great value. One concerned the collapse of a large corporation, at one time highly successful. I couldn't help thinking, as I read the accounts, that things might have turned out differently if simple Biblical teachings had been followed more closely. Maybe greed and selfish ambition were factors in the negative outcome. I wondered what would have happened if those involved had been guided more by a spirit of God-derived w i sdom.
Referring to God, the Bible says in First Chronicles, "Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. These powerful words vividly echo the message of the First Commandment, to have only one God, and show its importance in every aspect of our lives.
In his Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew's Gospel, Christ Jesus said, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. And speaking of life's basic necessities, he taught, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. We all have a good deal of work ahead of us in living such precepts to the fullest. But doing what we can to obey them each day will make a difference in our lives.
Worldly thinking suggests the Bible is irrelevant in today's society. But the direct truths of the Bible are precisely what we need in order to sort things out and find genuine security.
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, observes, "Take away the spiritual signification of Scripture, and that compilation can do no more for mortals than can moonbeams to melt a river of ice. Clearly, it's through a profound, spiritual understanding of what the Bible teaches that we get beyond a superficial, contradictory view of its contents and begin to find a practical healing message. The spiritual sense of the Bible poi n
ts to the allness of the one God, Spirit, and to the supremacy of His law. It points to the demand progressively to put off a worldly, carnal sense of identity and to live in obedience to the one God. As we do so, the reality of our being as God's spiritual, perfect likeness increasingly comes to light.
Our more consistent conformity to the Ten Commandments, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, and so forth isn't simply a religious obligation, nor is it a burden. It's the most natural, freeing course we can take, because we come into harmony with divine law and express our true nature as God's image.
Being honest when dishonesty seems the expedient approach; striving to be pure when the very opposite is most fashionable; yielding to God-impelled temperance and wisdom when the carnal mind is offering us the world if we'll follow the selfish route--such humble efforts show us tangibly the power of God. They bring us into accord with His goodness. Human life is complex, and the answers to people's challenges aren't always easy to come by. But this doesn't invalidate the Bible's message. It does jus t
the opposite and shows us how important it is to embody Scriptural teachings in our lives for our own and mankind's benefit.
If our obedience to Bible precepts is supported by a growing understanding of the spiritual reality underlying them--the absolute truth of one God and man in His image--we'll prove, even in modest ways at first, that the Bible is practical today, that the most basic yielding to divine wisdom can change things for the better.