Amazing Love, do you know that song?
How can it be That You, my King, should die for me?
I know it’s true.
It’s my joy to honor You,
In all I do, I honor You.
Does it amaze you that Jesus would lay down his life for us? Not just those who believe in Him but for those who never will. That is amazing! Unfathomable! Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!
Jesus gave it all for us. Some ordinary men gave their lives as well. Why? To make Jesus’ name known among all people. The more I learn about them the more their faith inspires me.
This week as I prayed and prepared my lesson for Wednesday I became overwhelmed by the sacrifice of so many before me. Do you know how we got the English translation of our Bible? If you don’t I urge you to do some research. Google® names like John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, Miles Coverdale, John Purvey, William Whittingham. Many of these men died because they believed that it was important for ordinary people (people other than scholars, bishops, the Pope) to have a bible that they could read and understand. A bible that spoke to the people’s hearts.
The simplest way to explain how we got the original Bible (Scripture) is this:God gave us His word through 3 means. Revelation, Inspiration and Transmission.
Revelation is God’s communication to man (Romans 1:18-21).
Inspiration is divine influence (2 Timothy 3.16; 2 Peter 1.21)
Transmission is the process by which the biblical manuscripts have been copied and recopied. I just wanted to clarify between the original and the English version.
God knew all of these things. He foreknew and determined what books would make up what we call the Bible. If you do not believe this than you will be haunted by confusing and destructive doubts. He expressed perfectly and infallibly the truths which God wanted to convey to mankind. The Bible is Truth. The Bible is the final authority.
Going back to Wycliffe, Tyndale and the rest of the men who were martyrs for translating the bible to English. It seems crazy to think in this day and age that anyone would die for wanting people to have the bible in their own language, doesn’t it? I had to ask myself why did these men die? I have an English translation. Many versions as well. Many of us do. So the question could very well be stated, Why did they die for me?
The church felt threatened. Whenever this would happen the church would declare the person a heretic and have them killed. Problem solved. This was more common than people would think. You see, the church wanted the people to come INSIDE to teach them what they wanted them to know. Men like Wycliffe and Tyndale wanted to bring God’s Word OUTSIDE to the people. (Today the people would mean the housewife, the trucker, the police officer, the farmer, the preschool worker, the greeter at WalMart). They wanted the heart of Jesus to be brought to the people in a language that spoke to their heart. The church didn’t like it. They wanted to keep everything inside with them where they controlled it all. The refused to break with tradition. Did you hear that? They refused to break with tradition!
The Good News of Jesus Christ is not meant to be kept locked up tight in a building! Jesus commanded us to Go into all of the world making disciples. Go!
Does this strike a chord with some people? I suppose it will. You may see already where I am going with this. I myself had to repent. I am not a go-er. I find myself comfortable many times right where I am. God has other plans for me and for you. He commands us to go.
What have we done to the word of God that so many died for? I pray as William Tyndale did as he burned at the stack. “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.” I pray for the Lord to open the eyes of the church (this includes myself). We have made programs, events, and more programs to entice the people to come IN. We have replaced the message of the Good News and the presence of God for showmanship. Shame on us! Jesus and His disciples never gathered at a meeting with the elders in the synagogue to discuss how they can attract people to bring them in. Can you imagine that?
Jesus, “Now Peter what are some of your thoughts on how we can attract people to come to our church and grow our numbers?”
Peter, “Let’s build our synagogue bigger so that the people will notice and want to check it out! ”
Matthew, “I know, I know, we can have sound equipment and get the best of the best singers to sing for us and that will draw them in.”
Jesus, “Sounds good. I will present it to the people as a ‘strategically planned out plan’.”
Ridiculous! I think you get my point. I am not saying there is anything wrong with stragegy it is the way we put it out there that is the problem. We make strategies that don’t involve going and doing something. We must Go. Go into the communities as Jesus did. Lay down our lives for those who haven’t heard the Gospel or the name of Jesus. Help those in desperate need of a Savior. Reach out! Make relationships. Build trust. Share Jesus. Our hearts need to grow a burden for the lost. Jesus said it. I didn’t make it up. Go.
I am inspired by what I have learned about these men and how deeply God has touched my heart with the Truth of His word. It is not for man that I labor but it is for my Master, Jesus Christ. May You, Jesus, always be the One I keep my eyes on. Every day I am more and more desperate for Your presence. I crave Your attention. I seek Your will in all I do. May my words and deed be pleasing in Your sight and hearing. I pray that we all have a burden for those who have not heard the saving name of Jesus.
I pray that many leaders in the body of Christ get their eyes off of themselves and their own agendas and turn back toward You before it is too late. I pray that if community and outreach is not a burden on our hearts that You Lord grow that desire in us. If reaching the lost is not our priority and making Your name great than please Lord bring us down from our position of authority until we are able to submit to You. I thank You for your amazing love Lord, that You would lay down Your life for us. I thank You for the faithfulness of the many before us that gave their life so that Your name would be made known and we are able to have a relationship with Your amazing Son, Jesus. It is in His Holy name that I pray. Amen.