Have you ever read the entire Bible? If you’d like to, there are all kinds of “Read the Bible in a Year” calendars available online and there are even One Year Bibles you can purchase that have broken your reading up by the day for you. I’ve used one of the calendars for the past couple of years. To keep me looking at the Word with fresh eyes, I try and change the translation of the Bible I read each year. I’ve read the NIV, the Message, and this year I’m reading the God’s Word translation.
Yesterday I was reading Matthew 11 and came across a verse that stopped me dead in my tracks. I don’t know if I’ve read it before and just glossed over it or if this particular translation jolted me to pay attention, but verse twenty caused me to pause and ponder.
“Then Jesus denounced the cities where He had worked most of His miracles because they had not changed the way they thought and acted.” Glancing back at other translations, “changed the way they thought and acted” is typically translated repent. Repentance is more than just feeling sorry for what you did. It is turning from it and going a different direction. Seeing the definition of repent spelled out in the God’s Word translation really jolted me.
How does it impact you when you see a move of God? Does it cause you to change the way you act and think? The very Word of God is a miracle of God in and of itself, yet many of us read it then we set it down and go on about our day. It doesn’t change who we are or how we think. When we attend church and hear the Word of God preached, do we walk out the door different than we came in or was it just something to do? Something to check off our list for the week?
When God is present and moving, it should impact us, causing us to change. When Moses was in the presence of God, it changed him [Exodus 33:17-34:33]. After Jacob wrestled with God, he was never the same [Genesis :20-32]. Saul, who had been murdering the followers of Christ, was completely transformed after one encounter with the Lord [Acts 9:1-20].
How has the presence of God in your life transformed you? Matthew 7:16-27 warns us some will claim to know Him but He will reply “Depart from Me. I never knew you.” Chapter two of the book of James is all about living out our faith not just claiming to have it. An encounter with God changes things. How has He changed you today?