What Translation Are You?

  There are so many excellent translations of the Bible available today.  King James, New King James, New Living, New International, and a number of others.  Most of us have a favorite we like to read, a translation of His Word that speaks clearly to us.  With this in mind, I'm pondering a question today; Just what "translation" of His Word is my life, your life, speaking to not only the world around us, but to the church we're a part of?  Is it a translation tinged with bitterness, selfishness, unforgiveness, coldness, lukewarmness?  Do our lives translate His life and word in a way that demeans both?  When those around us "read" our lives, what do they read?  Woundedness that never heals and just festers into ever deeper decay?  Anger that simmers beneath the surface, exploding at the most unfortunate times and in the most embarrassing places?  I Peter exhorts us to live properly amongst our unbelieving (and believing) neighbors.  We're to be a translation of His life, love, healing and forgiveness that can be read and understood by those we come into contact with on any level, day by day.  What translation are they reading as they read us?    I think most of us are so absorbed in our own lives we never really think much about this.  We live in the state of "Oblivion."  In this place, the only life that really matters is our own.  Our life, our family, our goals, desires, and needs.  We come into contact with so many people each day, but for the most part, they remain faceless, lifeless people, barely noticed, and quickly forgotten.  We don't see them, but we do see us, except somehow, we never really see "us" as we are, and even moreso, as He created us to be.

    Have you ever wondered what Jesus meant when He said in John 14 that we would do His works, and in fact do even "greater works" than He had done?  He raised the dead, gave sight to the blind, made the lame to walk, and healed their disease.  How can we do greater than that, even though our flesh may long to?  We so often think the greater things mean the applause of men and the notoriety we receive among them.  Yet I'm coming to see this isn't what He meant at all.  It means, I think, that we live out our lives among others, for others.  Patrick Morley in his book, Walking With Christ In The Details Of Life, writes, "Jesus calls us to be like Him, to do what He did when He entered the river of humanity......He did not develop a great organization.  Instead He gave His life to a handful of improbable men.  Whom are you giving your life to?....Are you sacrificing your life for God, or building monuments (to yourself)?"  What translation are we living out; one founded upon our life, or His?

    Today, and everyday, we'll have opportunities to do greater works than He did.  Opportunities with the weary cashier at Wal-Mart, or the heavily burdened single mother waiting upon us at our favorite eatery.  We'll have opportunity to give of our life to them, to do the greater work, to be the only translation of His Word and life they may ever see?  Will we do that greater work, will we be that life giving translation?  Or, will they remain just another blank, unnoticed face, as we go on, building our monuments to self?  What translation of His life are we, the real thing, or just a lifeless counterfeit?  This life is not lived by imitation, but by intimate participation in His life, living that life in His power and presence.  May we truly enter into that life, and so be the living translation of Himself.

Pastor O
   May 2019   
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