Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A Pre-Chewed Banquet

Imagine that I was taking you out to the world’s greatest smorgasbord…I mean one that would make Shady Maple here in Blue Ball, Pennsylvania look like the "Romper Room" of buffets. Now imagine that when we got there, this unbelievable spectacle of piggery before you included your most favorite foods and the taste would be far greater than anything you have ever digested. Because I would only take you to a real classy venue, imagine that a waiter carried your plate for you as you loaded it up with all the delectable morsels. Then he carried it to your table so that you didn’t have to.

As you sit down, your mouth watering, and tucked your napkin into your collar, this waiter surprisingly places an empty plate in front of you. He then proceeds to take your plate of food and bite by bite he places it in his mouth, chews it up 36 times, and then spits it out on to your plate. He then continues until every speck of the food you so relished is now laying in a saliva piled mound on the once empty plate in front of you. My guess is, that with the exception of a few Junior High boys I know, you would not put one bite of that pre-chewed food into your mouth. Am I right?

If that is true, then here is my question? How come that is the only way many of you ever eat spiritually? For many of you, the only time you take in any of the Word of God into your heart and mind is listening to the pre-chewed principles that come from me on Sunday morning. Folks, you have got to start feeding yourselves from Scripture!

Every once in a while I will hear someone say, “I sure wish church or youth group or whatever was deeper!” Folks, listen, if you are not getting depth in your spiritual life, quit blaming the church! You have no one to blame but yourself. You want to go deeper? Then open your Bible and have at it! Learn how to feed yourself! Do you realize the price that many men paid so that you could have your Bible today?

William Tyndale (picutred)was a theologian and scholar who translated the Bible into an early form of Modern English. He was the first person to take advantage of Gutenberg’s movable-type press for the purpose of printing the scriptures in the English language. Besides translating the Bible, Tyndale also held and published views which were considered heretical, first by the Catholic Church, and later by the Church of England which was established by Henry VIII. His Bible translation also included notes and commentary promoting these views. Tyndale's translation was banned by the authorities.

Tyndale was betrayed by a friend and was arrested and imprisoned in the castle of Vilvoorden for over 500 days of horrible conditions. He was tried for heresy and treason in a ridiculously unfair trial, and convicted. Tyndale was then strangled and burnt at the stake in the prison yard, Oct. 6, 1536. His last words were, "Lord, open the king of England's eyes." This prayer was answered three years later, in the publication of King Henry VIII’s 1539 English “Great Bible”. Pre-chewed spiritual food may be fine for Sundays, but the real need in the church is for each Christian to feed on the Bible daily!

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