Like many of you I have started another Bible through the year reading plan. So this morning I was looking at day 2 of the READ plan sponsored by the Church of God in conjunction with Tyndale Publishing and I noticed something that I had never really grasped before.
It's found in Genesis 3 and centers on the fall of mankind;
2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.' " Genesis 3:2-3 (ESV)
Now this is not what God told Adam that is found in Genesis 2
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Genesis 2:16-17 (ESV)
You do you see what I am talking about when the serpent addressed Eve she responded with an instruction that was what God had given them. However she added, "Neither shall you touch it" its funny to me this morning that human beings have been adding to God's word since the very beginning, trying to either add to it for emphasis as Eve did or to lead people to follow after a certain ideal that they understand from scripture.
Let me ask you a question are you well versed enough in scripture to not be led away. Do you know more verses of the Bible than John 3:16? If not I want to challenge you to take the time to read God's word I promise you His word never returns void it will find its way into your heart and mind and when you hear others sharing it discernment will be available to you. When you read it don't look for some hidden meaning. Don't add your own personal preferences just to make a point or find support for your view. Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal what God's word says to you and how it impacts your situation. We must approach Scripture as what it is the divine inerrant Word of God. As you can see when we start adding to it for one reason or another it only leads to our own destruction.
That is one reason I love to read scripture God uses different passages at different times in different ways in the life of the believer. Something you read last year that was just words on the page can have meaning when you read it this time. So don't treat the Bible like any other book and read it once and stop. Pick it up with new eyes everyday search it for what God would have in it for your walk with Him.
I pray that God's word finds a place in your heart, mind, body and soul in ways that you have never experienced. Have a blessed day as you walk in the Light of God's Word.
Rev. Brian H. Mathis CSC
Ordained Minister Church of God, Cleveland TN
Currently serving as the Associate Pastor of Discipleship at Westminster Baptist Church
Graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary MDiv in Chaplain Studies