April 21, 2015
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 21 April 2015
The existence of the Holy Bible is mindboggling. Scripture is unique in that it was written over a period of 1,400 years, by (at least) 40 different authors from various backgrounds (most of whom never met), on three continents, and in three languages. The Bible addresses hundreds of subjects, yet Scripture manifests incredible uniformity in continuity, theme, and purpose. Scripture is not simply instructive; it is also inspired.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work (2 Tim 3:16-17).
The word “inspiration” is derived from the Greek word theopneustos, which means “God-breathed.” The origin of Scripture is God, and the Bible represents his thought. God inspired the very words of Scripture (this doctrine is called verbal inspiration). Verbal inspiration applies only to the original autographs, which were penned by the biblical authors (who were not, in actual fact, inspired; rather, they were “moved by the Holy Spirit” so that the text itself – the very words – are inspired). To say that the Bible is inspired by God is to assert that it is literally, God-breathed.
I remember when first learning to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Prior to the conventional use of CPR manikins, individuals learned to perform CPR by placing strips of gauze over the mouth of an actual person while practicing breathing into them. The sensation of having someone’s breath coming into me is unforgettable. There is hardly anything more personal to us than our breath, as it carries our very life force.
The Bible is the breath of God. Scripture is not merely a book; it is the living Word of God (Heb 4:12). The Bible brings God’s life force into us, and thereby pierces “as far as the division of soul and spirit.”
“Whosoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:19).
A defining moment occurred in AD 303 when the Roman Emperor, Diocletian, ordered all Bibles to be destroyed, and anyone who did not surrender the Scriptures was executed. An obvious question arose: “Which Scriptures would one be willing to suffer the sentence of death?” Tertullian’s most famous work is entitled Apologeticus (AD 197), wherein one finds the assertion, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church” (ch. 50). God breathes upon believers when we open the pages of Scripture, and begin to read and study his precious Word.
Could you imagine your life without the Bible? What if God never inspired his Word? Would you be lacking anything? What is your response to passages of Scripture that appear unbelievable? Have you ever experienced the sensation – in reading or teaching Scripture – that God was truly “breathing” upon you?
King David sang, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer” (Ps 19:14). There is no substitute for the Word of God. Your spiritual wellbeing depends upon giving the utmost value to the Bible, and heeding all its words with an eager heart.
“Breathe on me, Breath of God, fill me with life anew, that I may love the way you love, and do what you would do. Breathe on me, Breath of God, until my heart is pure, until my will is one with yours, to do and to endure. Breathe on me, Breath of God, so shall I never die, but live with you the perfect life for all eternity” (words by Edwin Hatch, 1878).
Your Missionary to Georgia's Leaders,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia