Thursday, March 24, 2011

What’s Your Problem!

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. 2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT)

I love my Bible. I love to just sit and hug it sometimes. Does that sound a little strange to you? Try it. Go and grab your Bible, dust it off if you have to and give it a tight squeeze. I love to sit in a quiet place, close my eyes, hug my Bible, take a few deep breaths inhale…..….exhale……… and just be still. Can you feel it? That overwhelming sense that you are not alone. That the One who created you, the One who loves you and needs you is eagerly waiting to spend time with you.holy-bible

I have to be honest with you, I stopped reading my Bible years ago. Reading it was doing nothing for me. One day while I was visiting with a friend I told her my problem with my Bible. She told me what I was doing wrong, the problem was not my Bible, it was me. You’re not supposed to read your Bible you are supposed to study your Bible. Oh, I get it. If I am serious about my faith and understanding what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ I need to study God’s word.

As I began to study amazing things began to happen. I saw passages in the Bible in ways that I never understood before. Things I had learned over and over again in Sunday school and youth now took on new meaning and I began to understand how these things that happened so long ago are applicable to my life right now.

Are you up for a little Bible trivia? What is the longest chapter in the Bible? Psalms 119. What is the shortest chapter in the Bible? Psalms 117. Do you know what the middle verse of the entire Bible is? Psalms 118:8 which reads, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people.” (NLT)

Wow, did that verse ever speak to me. It is better to take refuge in the Lord—it is better to escape, find cover, shelter or sanctuary in the Lord. Then to put your trust, confidence, hope or faith in people.

How often I found myself dealing with something and the first thing I would do, is to run to one of my friends. But what does that verse tell us? The best place to go would be where we can find shelter, at the feet of our Lord. It’s a hard thing to do. People are tangible, they are right there in front of you, you can ask them questions and you can clearly hear their response. You know what? That can happen in your relationship with Christ as well!

As you begin to study His word (Joshua 1:8) and hide it in your heart (Psalm 119:11), you are developing your relationship with Him (2 John 1:9). As that relationship blossoms you will be able to understand scripture more clearly (Matthew 13:12) and be able to hear His “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12).

How does that sound? Does it sound a little overwhelming? I know sometimes when I look at my Bible it just seems so big. I am not sure what I want to read or what God wants me to read. I get so overwhelmed that I just put it down and do something else. If you look at the last paragraph I listed five scriptures. That is a great place to start!

Take time to apply it to your life: Here is your challenge. Begin to study those five verses. How do you study? Let’s use Joshua 1:8 as our example. I begin by learning about the book. In my Bible it gives you a synopsis of each book. So I would learn who wrote it, when it was written and what the main theme of the book is. So now I know all about the book of Joshua. With that information in my head I would then read the whole chapter. So in this example I would read Joshua chapter one. I want to find out what is happening, why was this verse written and who is the author writing it to.

Why is this important or necessary? Let’s take for example that you found a note on the floor at school. You glace at the letter and half way through you see your name and it says, “Cj just makes me sick I am going to have to tell her I what I think.” Your first reaction? “Oh ya, I will tell you what I think!” You feel your body getting hot and you need somewhere to sit down. Your head is spinning with all kinds of thoughts, “Who would say that about me?” You look to see who wrote it- “What! I thought she was my friend!” Who did she write it to? Your friend in drama class? What is going on here? You begin to read the whole letter from the beginning; soon the understanding begins to unfold. Your friend began the letter by writing about this and that; then she began talking about your performance in the recent school play. The two girls were complimenting you on the great job that you did and that they should encourage you in your acting and singing abilities. Once you took the time to read the full letter, you understood that you made your friend sick with envy.

Do you see how your understanding can get confused if you don’t take the time to get the full story. The same goes with scripture. In order to understand what you believe in you have look at the big picture. Reading a verse here and there gives you very limited knowledge of scripture and who God is.

I want to leave you one more verse to study and meditate on:

2 Timothy 3:16 “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.” (NLT)

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