It was a sunny morning as 14 year old John Smith walked into his into his classroom and sat at his desk. As he sat down in his chair he noticed a note sitting right in front of his hands. Quickly he looked up to see if any of his classmates were looking at him, but to his surprise everyone in the classroom was busy with their own conversations with each other. As he opened the note and read the first two words he froze up. The words read, "Dearest Johnny." John could not stop thinking of those two words. John was thinking, “I wonder what tone, what type of context the writer was using while writing those two words. I wonder if the writer was so passionate about me and wanted to express to me how deeply they had felt about me." As he continued through the note his eyes grew bigger and bigger with each word that passed by. It took John 25 minutes to read a half page letter. He dug into each word of the note as he read it over 3 times.
I tell you this story for many reasons. One is that a lot of us we can relate. Have you ever had a secret admirer? Or were you the one writing the letter? Either way, this is story is an example of how we need to read the Bible.
As Christians, we view the Bible as God’s Word. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
We need to view the Bible just as John read his note. We need to read it carefully. We need to realize that the stories in the Bible are real history, with real people, and real situations. We need to understand the culture and why the people did what they did in their own particular situation. There are several situations that I have run into where people don’t view the Bible the way God intended for us.
Every so often I hear churches say that they are going through the entire Bible in “X” amount of time. In this situation I do find it hard to hear. Each word, sentence, paragraph are so important in the Bible. Have you ever heard of someone say that the Bible is contradicting? How about someone telling you they just don’t understand the Bible? I want you to realize that the Bible is not meant to be contradicting or confusing. God wants to reveal His word to His children.
The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3: 5-6)
I pray that you read the Bible like my example with John. There is meaning in each word, sentence, and paragraph of the Bible. Please don’t overlook what God has in store for you. I want to encourage you in faith! Just as in Matthew 10:16 – “I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.”
God bless you all!