Book Of Acts
Off the Wall, February 23, 2017

I was astounded to read sometime back that there are over 150,000 denominations of the Christian religion. To go along with that, it is said that there are over fifty different versions of the Bible that the faithful use in these churches. It should go without saying that somewhere throughout the world people are reading the Word in one form or fashion.

What surprises me is that among the millions of all these Christians, are these people just reading the verses or taking it one-step further? Does the devout meditate and then act upon what they read or just read the scripture for the sake of doing so?

In my opinion, the most famous statement is found in the book of John, verse 3:16. It reads: “For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

I remember listening to a Christian radio station one day while working in my store when a young lady called in with a question. She asked, “If I state that I believe, do I have to do anything more?” The announcer stated, “No.” She followed up by saying, “You mean I don’t have to do ‘nutn’ more?” “That’s right,” he said.

I can only wonder which of the fifty Bibles he is reading?

It is stated plainly in the Letter of James 2: 14: “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “’Go in peace; and one of you says to them, ‘keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.”

Now as we all know, God sent Jesus Christ, His Son, into the world. Why? Just to walk around and shake hands like politicians do just before an election? We all know that to be untrue. The Almighty sent Jesus onto our planet to teach sinners the right from the wrong.

When our Lord and Savior walked among God’s creation He brought the message that we should love one another unconditionally. That encompasses a multitude of behavioral patterns.

Even before his arrival, it was written in the Old Testament in Exodus 20 ways and means we have to conduct ourselves. The Ten Commandments spells out the dos and don’ts of conduct of Christians.

For example, the first commandment states, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.” I’ve been told, “That meant for back then, it can’t possibly mean for today.” Don’t bet your bottom socks on that. We can make earthy things our gods. He is our Creator, Father and Foundation of Living Waters, yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Here is one that is abused more times than I care to admit, 7: “You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.” This falls under the famous expression, “Think before you speak.” I’d like to take it one step further and comment, “No matter what you say, make sure it carries forth respect.”

One more. “Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land your God is giving you.” How often do we hear these days or see on the television how offspring have abused their parents? It goes without saying that we live in a selfish world and many children visit their folks only in time of need and not to care for their parents’ necessities.

I was recently walking with one of our outstanding city officials recently when we got on the subject of believing. He stated, “I like to listen to Christian music on the radio, but the only problem I’ve noticed is that the songs just talk about believing and that’s all one has to do, but that’s wrong. One can believe in anything, but acts have to follow.” I couldn’t agree more.

That is why I call the Bible, the ‘book of acts.’ Belief and faith are primary. Obeying His Word is priority

- Paul J. Volkmann
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