Bible Society of South Africa

Preventing a crash - 19 October 2023

By Imogen Campbell

Bible text(s)

16Watch yourself and watch your teaching. Keep on doing these things, because if you do, you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

1 Timothy 4:16GNBOpen in Bible reader

The aerodynamics keeping a bird or plane in the air is grounded upon the premise that neither can fly with just one wing. In much the same way, we are called to watch both our lives and our doctrines. We can know every Scripture in the Bible, but if our lives do not stack up, we are liable to crash as Christians.

Charles Edward Jefferson once remarked, “To be a Christian is to admire Jesus so sincerely and so fervently that the whole life goes out to him in an aspiration to be like him.”

“Then he [Jesus] said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)

I studied the Bible with friends and came “face to face” with the Jesus of the Bible and I agreed to follow him. Or did I? In those early, heady days, we all used to ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” And off we went and did it.

Despite being a regular churchgoer, I had limited knowledge of the Bible, had never encountered people of the Jewish faith nor visited the Middle East and was completely unfamiliar with the customs. It certainly affected the way I read the biblical text.

At the time of my conversion, I was in a church founded in the United States. I am afraid; my Jesus was a bit American. In my mind, the Jesus I was following was loud and extroverted. I started berating myself for things not found in the text. As I mentioned last time, I had to dig deep into the Scripture in order to apply the Word to my life appropriately.

The deny-myself part was obviously not always done in accordance with the truth of the Word, but rather based on assumptions. Ironically, I nearly lost myself in all that dying-to-self business. I had to learn about Jesus in the context of the time in which he lived, before I could extrapolate life lessons successfully. And certainly before I could hold others to account based on the Word.

Today, may I kindly urge you to study the Word of God and become deeply acquainted not only with the text itself, but the man Jesus, the walking Word of God.

Prayer: Thank you for revealing the truth in your Word, Lord Jesus, and that the Holy Spirit guides us in all truth. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.16
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