"Are God's consolations not enough for you, words spoken gently to you?" Job 15:11 (NIV)
There are many great Christian books out there. Everything from Christian growth - to uplifting compilations - to Christian-themed romance novels. Books on Jesus, books on God, books on marriage. . . you get the picture.
Paul shared his concerns to the believers of Corinth:"Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God." 2 Corinthians 2:17 (NIV)
Paul was speaking about preaching. Don't water down the words of God for personal and financial gain. I do believe, in this age, we are watering down the words of God through fancy words and simplified translations. . . all for money.
Wow, when was the last time you stepped in to a Christian bookstore? You will find 20 - 30 translations of the scriptures(at least!) It has become a commercialized industry. Fancy covers. Thousands of additional footnotes. More modern, simplified translations. There are literally millions of Christ-based books out there today.
I am not saying all translations are bad and all Christ-based, self help- spiritual growth books are unuseful. There are many great resources out there for us to use in order to improve our walk and life with Jesus.
A fellow Christian said to me, "I love to read! I read at least a (Christ-based) book every 2 weeks!"
His wife and friend boasts about how he is a 'reading machine' and can take in a lot of literature without much effort.
My question is, "How much of what you are reading are the actual words of God?"
It's good to read. It's good to read books that challenge you to have a deeper purpose with God, but are you getting actual meat directly from the word of God?
It's sad, but more and more I hear people share about things authors are saying instead of what God has been sharing with them. I remember the ol' days when there was excitement in a fellow believers voice, saying, "Wow, God shared with me in His word about this... or that."
Now it goes more like this, "I was reading a book by Lucado or Warren or Eldredge and they said this... or that." See the crucial difference? We are living our lives not through the Living Word, but through the words of those who have done all the research and discovering for us.
The Church has fallen more and more into the trap of publicity, marketing, and main-stream materials. How often the church spends thousands of dollars on bible studies based on the newest book. Buying into the dvd's, workbooks, study guides, and such; when a Pastor or a church leader could invest bible-time with God and put together a study course for FREE(minus printing cost on the copier). The word of God is relevant - it's alive - it's God Breathed! The Bible alone has the answer to every life's tough questions!
1 Corinthians 9:14 says, "In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel." (NIV)
The point here is, don't let your Bible be the supplement... the supporting actor... second string towards the reading of other authors. Alone time with God isn't reading someone else's words or discoveries about scripture. God never intended His Words to become secondary. God intentioned from the beginning to speak to you DIRECTLY; to have a one-on-one relationship with you.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ: To live it, you must know it!
Many believers today would much rather read more "exciting" - more "watered-down" illustrations of the scriptures than the real meat of it all. Don't take spiritual instructions solely from Christian authors, but by the One who is the Author and Creator of our lives.
The Bible must be your primary source of instruction and spiritual growth.
God wants to talk to you directly. The only way to do that is to turn up your Bible and see what He has to say to you. Don't let the Word of God be supplementary, it needs to be primary in your life if you want to succeed and have a fulfilling life with Him.
Don't settle for leftovers!
Read more about "Are You Eating Leftovers" at: http://heartlikejesus.blogspot.com/2008/08/are-you-eating-leftovers.html
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