Wow, 400 years old. That’s old in my estimation.Some would say at my age I am old, but 400 years? I’ll never make it that far, but as I sat at my desk this morning lying beside me is something that has lasted 400 years and still is the most powerful book in the entire word. On Monday, May 2, 2011, the King James Version of the Bible celebrated 400 years in existence. My preference to preach to the congregation we pastor is the King James Version. I read from a plethora of others. But, when I stand and deliver what the Holy Spirit places in my heart for the congregation we use the King James Version. Contrary to many the King James Version was not Jesus favorite. Nor did Paul pen his letters in King James English. But, according to statistics 67% of households in America have a copy of the King James Bible.
Today in the church world it is amazing to see, when it is time to read from God’s word in a congregation, leafs of pages are not turned, but IPAD’s are clicked in to, Apps on cell phones are downloaded, and in a variety of various ways God’s word is being streamed to us in all kinds of amazing technological ways. Sometimes my mind is boggled by so much. Yet, the power of God’s word cannot be stopped, stymied, or silenced whatsoever.
In 1604 when King James I announced that a new version of scripture would be made available, and seven years later it became a reality, I doubt that any of those who had an impact on the KJV had any clue there would be a generation in the year 2011 still reading from its pages. From all races, dialects and cultures God’s word cuts through time and space and fills hearts and minds with such force that its message can drive out discouragement, mend broken hearts, heal sick bodies, restore ruined lives, revive broken relationships, guide lost souls and deliver bound lives. I believe in the word of God so strong that I honestly believe when you and I speak it forth from our lips its words are like beams of light piercing the darkness that surrounds us constantly.
Every one of you, if you are a student of the word of God have your favorite passages, chapters or verses that are special to your heart and life. There may be verses stuck to your refrigerator door, or posted in your office, or attached to your computer screen. I have mine. For example, Psalm 19 describes for me the sweetness of scripture no matter what translation you happen to love. Psalm 23 is like an arm reaching around you and holding you close when your world comes falling apart.Ecclesiastes 11 instructs me concerning my financial giving, as does Malachi 3, Luke 6 and 2 Corinthians 9. Ephesians 5 brings me insight on how as a married man I am to treat the woman I love. Passage after passage no matter what your favorite one happens to be is loaded full of insight, instruction, and inspiration that adhered to can and will change an individual’s life forever. Here is how the writer to the Hebrew believers describes God’s word. “God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon's scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God's Word. We can't get away from it—no matter what”. (Hebrews 4:12-13 The Message)
I honestly do not know how long it has been since you have picked up a translation of God’s word and read from it. But, you would do not only your heart and mind a great service, but your entire being as well. Every one of us is extremely busy on a daily basis. Sometimes I run out the door without having breakfast. It’s not my favorite meal. But, one that the experts say is best for me. When I do not take the time to eat something my body tells me before long I should have lingered just a few minutes more to consume something. When I don’t take the time to eat from God’s word my spirit man informs me as well. So, on this 400th anniversary of the printing of the King James Version of scripture the Holy Spirit is not offended by whatever translation you chose to read from. Just read. Allow the word of God to get inside your mind and heart. Its power, if permitted and spoken will change the atmosphere around you. That I know for sure!!!!