“That we henceforth be no more children…But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things…” (Eph. 4:14-15) “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” (1 Pet. 2:2)
Some books—the good ones—are fresh each time you read them (e.g., C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity). Obviously, this is not because the book is any different, but because we are different. George Morrison (1866-1928) has written that life does not give us new words after the years, but does fill the old words with deeper meaning. And there is some truth in this. But, if this is true of the writings of men and women, it is even truer of the living Word of God. That’s why as I reread its pages, I suddenly find myself riveted on some portion that may as well have been written in boldface, so new and meaningful does it now appear to me.
It’s clear from my opening verses that an integral part of growing in grace is growing into the Word of God. And for myself, I don’t need a new translation with new words; I just need to make sure my life lines up with the one that has worked for all these years. As they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
As I said earlier, books, and especially the Book of God do not change; we do. Hebrews 4:12 informs us that the Word of God is “a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart,” and our hearts are characterized by different thoughts and different intents as we go through life. We can rest assured that the Bible discerns this when others may be fooled. It judges our motives as well as our methods; it sees the terror behind the tyranny; and it knows the pride behind the pretense. Not only that, the verse also assures us, it’s capable of “dividing asunder” the soul and spirit. That tells me that if one will not flinch at its incisions, it will enable us to divide feelings (soul) from faith (spirit), so that we no longer grasp for selfish dreams but lay hold on the perfect will of God.
If the compassions of the Lord are “new every morning” (Lam.3:23), so are His words to me. I was born again by the Word of the Lord, that can never be corrupted, and that “liveth and abideth forever” (1Pet.1:23). I will never, ever, outgrow it; but I can continue to grow into it, as long as I live. And, by the grace of God, that’s exactly what I intend to!