|Virtually everything in everyday life has an expiration date.|
When you buy food at the grocery store, particularly dairy products, do you check the expiration date? Occasionally I forget and discover several days or a week later that the milk remaining in the carton has expired and taken a turn for the worse. Or the formerly white cottage cheese has turned green, but not from envy.
These days virtually all consumable products – packaged lunchmeat, canned goods, cereals, even over-the-counter drugs, have expiration dates. “Best when used by,” “sell by,” “best enjoyed thru,” or simply, “Exp. Date.” Things get old. They spoil or get stale. They lose their usefulness. (Sometimes I suspect there must be one of those dates stamped on me somewhere.)
|Even medication carries|
expiration date warnings.
Computers and TVs don’t carry such dates, but we can readily recognize when their time is up. They just don’t have the speed, expanded features or capacities of the newer versions. Planned obsolescence is standard in the technology industry. We buy devices and they’re out of date almost before we learn how to use them.
That’s why I marvel at the Bible – and frankly, it's one of my reasons for writing this blog. Despite claims by some that the Scriptures are archaic and irrelevant, outmoded by “enlightened” 21st century society, I’ve found just the opposite.
Over the years as I’ve read through the Bible – some passages dozens of times – it’s proved to be timeless, just as important and meaningful as when the 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books were written and compiled centuries ago.
Are you looking for wisdom on how to build a healthy, thriving marriage? You’ll find no greater advice than in the Scriptures. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:25-33). Not a simple solution for complex relationships, but a good starting point.
What about handling finances? “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). “You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24). Those are just two of hundreds of verses the Bible offers about money and the uses – and abuses – of material wealth.
Wondering how to successfully raise children in a challenging, sometimes terrifying world? “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6). “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Again, a good foundation to build on.
|Unlike most things, the Bible does not come with|
any expiration dates.
Wanting to know how to succeed in the workplace? “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23). “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty” (Proverbs 14:23).
Questions about relationships? “The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:14). “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).
This hardly scratches the surface of the wisdom and instruction I’ve gained from reading the Bible almost daily for more than 30 years. Its depth on every topic of importance has amazed me, and yet there’s so much more to learn.
How is it that almost everything around us has time restrictions and limitations, but the Bible doesn't? I believe the reason is simple: Eternal truth has no expiration date.
Unlike passing fads (bellbottom pants, the Twist, long sideburns) and slang vocabulary (“cool,” “groovy,” “far out,” “hot”), the truths about life transcend time, culture and trends. Just as gravity is a physical constant, truth about human nature – especially truth found in the Scriptures – is equally constant and unchanging.