For thirty years,
I was a die-hard fan of
The New American Standard Version of the Bible.
I don’t know how many times I read it cover to cover.
I simply know that I knew it well enough
to find myself skimming over familiar chapters…
letting my mind wander while I simultaenoulsy quoted
the words to myself.
I had two copies.
One I used all through high school and college.
It’s marked up in amazing ways
and when I look back
I remember the men who preached,
the friends who spoke truth,
and the journey that my God and I walked together.
Though it’s now worn and fragile,
I still have that Bible.
It’s a treasure to me.
The second copy I received for Mother’s Day
twelve years ago.
I ordered it just before Jesus took our unborn son,
Matthew Eli, home to Heaven.
That Bible arrived all pristine, with my name engraved in gold,
just the day before I delivered our tiny boy.
Those pristine pages brought healing to my broken heart,
and I treasured that Bible for more than a decade.
Then I gave that Bible away.
Since I am, at heart, a recovering Pharisee,
I found it extremely difficult to let go of that which I knew.
God laid it on my friend’s heart
to replace the Bible I handed to Larry.
As I stood next to Tammy in the book store
and held different copies of God’s Word,
I knew it was time for a change.
Only I wasn’t brave enough to really change.
I went with a beautiful copy of
The New International Version.
For the past sixteen years,
I have mostly sat under teaching that took place
from the NIV.
Good, solid teaching that has seeped deep into my soul.
When I brought that beautiful Bible home,
I found out it familiar and comforting,
I knew it well.
Sometimes the rote becomes mundane…
at least it did for me.
My man, who knows me, best
bought me a new Bible for my birthday.
I chose something completely different
and out of my ordinary for me…
The New Living Translation.
I’m in love, again.
This morning, I read through Galatians,
and then went back and read parts again.
Same truth but new words to grab my attention,
to impact my heart,
to open my eyes.
And, the lesson this morning?
Die to self-imposed rules
and live to faith.
Sweet words to a die hard Pharisee.