I have a Bible that I love. It's maroon leather (classy, of course), not too big, not too little, it falls open and stays open just perfectly, it's NIV, and it has all my notes and underlines from the past few years. However, over Thanksgiving break, I left that Bible in my dad's truck after church. I realized it about 30 seconds after pulling away from my parent's house but considering the fact that we have a whole shelf full of Bibles at home, and I knew I would be seeing my parents soon again anyways, I knew it wasn't worth turning around for.
So, when I got home, I pulled out another Bible from the shelf. I don't use this Bible often so it won't even stay open, which is annoying because I always lose my place. It's also in the New Century Version which I've never even really heard of, and I have become quite the lover of NIV. Needless to say, I haven't been thrilled to be using this Bible but figured it could get the job done until I get mine back.
Then I actually read it. When I get my Bible back, this other one will still be going back on the shelf, but it has offered some great new perspective! I'll probably be pulling it out a little more often now to get a different view on things. Let me share with you a big one I learned the other day.
I was reading Romans 12:1-2. I have this verse memorized (in NIV of course), and we just got done studying Romans in Sunday School so I probably normally wouldn't be reading these verses AGAIN, but I was reading a devotional that my dad gave me and it was in Romans. I was blown away with the way this other Bible worded things. It was saying the same thing, of course, but I think I had read it over and over in the NIV so much that I had become numb to the message. Romans 12:2 really jumped out at me.
Here's Romans 12:2 in the NIV:
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is- His good, pleasing, and perfect will."
And here it is in the NCV:
"Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect."
Doesn't the NCV offer a great new perspective?! There are so many things I could touch on but let me tell you about the biggest one for me.
In the NIV, I was always reading the end of that verse pretty selfishly. I read the end of that verse thinking God's will was good FOR ME, pleasing TO ME, and perfect FOR ME. And I do believe it is all of those things...BUT the NCV pointed out something I was missing. Did you catch it up there? It says "you will know what is good and pleasing TO HIM."
And this is one of those moments where I learn, yet again, that it's not all about me! God's will is not for me to live a life that is good and pleasing and perfect and wonderful for myself. He has transformed me into a new being, a new creation, and His will is for me to live a life that is pleasing TO HIM.
Yes, this is one of those lessons that we all know and have heard a million times... but I have shown time and time again that I need to be reminded of this often. And God is always faithful to find ways to offer a new perspective for me. Maybe I didn't leave my "favorite" Bible in Mount Pleasant on accident... :)