News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 2, 2013

THE JOY LADY: Think of how the Bible applies to ‘us’ rather than ‘them’

Verna Davis
Special to the Tribune-Star

---- — Today, I’m just full of all kinds of questions. It’s early, and I’ve already driven my husband to hurry off to work for a quick escape.

Honey, did you know that a laugh is a smile that bursts? Did you know that an awful lot of money is tainted because it tain’t yours and it tain’t mine? Did you know that a bicycle can’t stand because it is two tired? Did you know that a hangover is the wrath of grapes? Did you know that a short fortune teller who escapes from prison is a small medium at large?

But when I began, “Did you know that a man’s home is his castle because…” and before I could come back with my quick comeback, my quick-witted husband came back with, “Yes, he is, in a manor of speaking!” Needless to say, I was happy that hubby had made his escape!

Did you know that reading familiar passages from a non-familiar point of view can sometimes give the passage new meaning? For instance, James 4:1-12 is one of my favorite passages. It speaks of fights and quarrels, friendship with the world, not having because we are not asking. I usually read from the New International Version, but this morning, I read from Eugene Peterson’s “The Message,” and James 4:1-12 and I found a new point of view.

“Where do you think wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. …You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way. You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way. …Yell a loud ‘no’ to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet ‘yes’ to God and He’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. …Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet. Don’t bad-mouth each other, friends. It’s God’s Word, His Message, His Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You’re supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it.”

Remember how Ephesians 3:20 tells that God gives more than we can ask or imagine? “The Message” says it like this: “God can do anything, you know — far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us?”

Did you know I am not advocating or advertising or asking you to read “The Message?” I am merely pointing out that reading passages from the Bible and thinking of how it applies to “us” rather than “them” will give you a new insight into that passage.

Did you know that God is waiting for us to do this very thing?

Verna Davis, speaker and writer, may be reached at