When I was young in
my single digits, the bible held a unique fascination. What little I
knew of it was gleaned from the several times I attended Sunday
school at Union church in Hinsdale in the 1950’s.
No mention of the
bible made in my home. All I knew of God from my parents was when I
was 5 years old upon beholding December snowfall first year in our
newly built home. I asked my mother, “who is God?” She said “God is
sufficed my five year old mind for some seasons but questions brewed
in my mind as I grew older. The bible seemed special and unique and
promised answers to deep important questions.
It was a huge book. Seem an insurmountable task to read the whole thing specially at now
8 years old because I had only recently learned to read.
decipher what mysteries the bible held I tried many times to do a
cover to cover read of the tome. Genesis went down pretty ok. Upon
encountering the genealogies, my comprehension fell off sharply but
not my interest.
Rather than try to
make sense of the impediment of the genealogies I figured there must
be some code to crack that would make it all understandable.
Codes and mysteries
were all the rage in the late 1950’s post WWII and the looming space
race, cold war, all reflected in popular cinema, television, and
unprecedented quantum leaps in technology. Radio was still an
amazing thing. Short wave radio even more amazing as ham operators
communicated around the globe with other radio operators from their
garages and basements signaling Morse code.
Television was yet
a new invention and everyone soon had one. Color tv? Only for the
very rich to view the few broadcasts “in living color”. These were
all mysterious exciting new technologies.
I figured there had to be some sort of hidden meaning in the bible.
mysterious like all the new emerging technologies surrounding me. Secret codes helped us prevail in war. Perhaps there was a secret to
understanding the bible.
In my then 10 year
old mind I figured the trick was to read the bible in reverse. I
took my bible and opened it in front of the mirror hanging in the
back hall of my home between the two bathrooms.
I hoped this would
be the key to unlock the secrets I sought. Holding my open bible up
to view the text in reverse reflection I soon realized the answer
was much deeper than my naiveté presumed.
Well I was at least
half right. There is a code so to speak to understanding the bible. It took at least 10 more years before I began to get it. What I
didn’t know at the time was that the bible is spiritually discerned
unlike other books I had read. Spiritual discernment was only
possible by aid of The Holy Spirit.
Thought I was
spiritually aware but later learned I wasn’t when I personally
encountered Jesus Christ. Christ taught simple parables
simpleminded people could understand and “swallow”.
“sophisticated” choked on His message missing the point entirely.
That was by design because Jesus taught that we must become as
children to enter His kingdom. The prophets wrote that Messiah would
be rejected by His people. The wisdom of God was revealed to the
simple and confounded the worldly wise and even the religious
leaders of His day.
His words are
spiritually discerned as concepts revealed by The Spirit. It’s like
a download from heaven. Only those with correct processor can
receive it. Wrong processor and message freezes the computer.
Literal reading of
the bible gleans history people question, and poetry I guess but
it’s pretty dry to read as literature. That’s nice and all I suppose
but it’s a sliver of a fraction of God’s intent and potential.
I tried reading
bible as literature as a kid and quickly gave up. Lots of way more
understandable books of history and poetry out there than the bible.
Yet there are none that can be compared to The Bible in content and
primarily to those who are curious about my devotion to the Bible
and Jesus Christ in particular. If you don’t know why the bible is
so important to me it’s either because you’ve not read it or you’re
not personally acquainted with Its Author.
between the bible and any other book. Yes bible was written by men.
Actually lots of it was conveyed generation to generation orally.
Point is what differentiates the bible from any of the other books
about God. First and foremost, the bible is God’s Word. Though man
recorded it, the history cited actually occurred and was so
significant and incredible and the news so astonishing that the
message was passed along from generation to generation so that it
would be forever remembered.
Important note for
those with legitimate questions: The bible is a collection of
writings by men inspired by God, testimonies of people who witnessed
miracles, and written of stories passed previously orally from
The “canon” of what
we now call “the bible” was determined and “closed” by the Nicean
council in 325 AD. Those men selected and rejected numerous
documents about God based upon conformity to uniform depiction of
God as omniscient creator from the beginning of time, consistent
testimony of His attributes by various witnesses, and to the
exclusion of any variance thereof. Thus the cannon of scripture was
closed and is now the final testament of Who God is was and forever
When was the last
time you saw someone perform miracles? Just asking. Let’s say you
did see someone walk on the water defying laws of physical science.
Surely that video would go viral on youtube if not a magic trick and
even those go viral. What about the real deal?
Try this on for
size… you meet a guy at a wedding and see him turn dirty water into
fine wine. What say you? It gets even better… you follow this guy
around for a while. A friend of yours dies. Few days later this guy
calls his name and your friend comes back to life. You saw it. You
were there. What are you going to do?
Here’s some more…
friend of yours born with a withered arm comes to Jesus and returns
with two perfectly good arms. Then there was the blind guy who now
sees after being with Jesus. Not fairy tales but stuff that really
happened! Hundreds of people saw this and even more happen. Let’s
say you were there. What are you going to do?
My guess is you’re
going to tell everyone you know about the amazing miracles you
witnessed. You’d be so jazzed by it you would write letters and
insist you really did see it and want everyone to tell
everyone so that history would never forget this actually happened.
Put yourself in the
shoes of those there. Hundreds if not thousands of people saw Him do
stuff like this. They told everyone they could and wrote it
down. Come on people you’d have done exactly the same! It was
Who doesn’t like
the supernatural? We all watched Twilight Zone, Outer Limits,
Science Fiction Theater, countless sci fi movies… all of them
challenge conventional thinking. Why is it that though you embrace
and enjoy (not saying believe) such shows you are quick to dismiss
the Christ of the bible?
I know why.
Christ speaks of
righteousness and sin. When we read His words we find ourselves in
the sin category, it’s brutally uncomfortable, and we seek another
way outside of the light he casts on our life.
It’s no fun being a
sinner. So we call it something else. We call it natural or excuse
it as old fashioned out of touch with reality, or whatever natural
reasoning comes up with to get out of the severe light of His
I know. I’m just
like you. I did everything I could to hide my sins from Him
justifying my thoughts and deeds in light of popular convention. We
all do! You can run but you can’t hide. God is everywhere!
Why do we hide from
The One Who created us and loves us? I know. We hide because we know
inside we’re wrong. Nobody wants to be wrong. We strive to be right
but we do so for ultimately prideful reasons.
Think about it. How
many little old ladies did you walk across the street? 10? Well I
walked 20! Does that make me better than you? My pride may say so. Oh wait… pride… that’s a sin. Dang sin thing!
Try being perfect. It’s actually not possible. I tried it all my life and I totally
suck at it. Is perfection possible? Ask the guy born of a virgin who
turned water to wine walked on the water and raised the dead. Seriously... ask Him. He’d love to hear from you.
BTW He’s listening
to this written conversation in your head right now and totally
interested in your thoughts on the matter.
So back on topic…
well actually Christ is the topic because according to the bible He
is and always has been the topic. That’s been my point in this rant. The bible is all about Christ. He is the thread throughout. He was
there at the beginning and is there at the end.
The thread is
scarlet because of His blood shed for us. He was there in Genesis
because everything that was made was made by Him and He was there in
the end in Heaven. It’s a long drawn out drama from beginning of
time to the end of time.
beginning of time till end of time and entrance into eternity where
time is no longer a factor. I know that’s cosmic and far out but its
all there in the bible. I’ve read it and though still far out to me,
His words are the most beautiful, wonderful, rewarding, and
comforting words ever spoken, written, or read.
I’m not religious.
I ask nothing from my reader other than to consider the historical
scarlet thread found throughout the bible.
If you don’t yet
know this Jesus I write about, He knows you. He is the God Who
created you. He’s been there with you all along even when you
refused and resisted and struggled on your own. He created all of
the universe for you to inhabit for eternity if you will but simply
believe Him. He asks nothing of you other than for your sin. He
knows everything about you already. A perfect God would know
everything. A perfect God would love you perfectly. He would not
want any to perish but for all to come to Him rather then die in sin
outside of His perfect Heaven.
Sin is abhorrent to
God because He and His heaven are perfect. Selfish sin conflicts
with His loving will and purpose for life and eternity. He went to
the cross in your stead to pay the just penalty you fear. Sinners
know they are guilty.
Do you know you are
guilty of sin? We all are my friend. All have sinned and fallen
short of the Glory of God’s perfect righteousness.
Give Him your sin
and He will give you His righteousness because He loves you that
much. Then you will have peace with God and discover the peace OF
God forever. God loves us so much that He paid the penalty for our
sin on the cross.
Who are we to
reject so great a love? Now is the time. Draw near to Him.
He’s been near all the time though we hid from him in shame.
Bring your sin out in the open and God will take it from you and
make you clean and new and give you His Sprit so that you can live
forever with him in newness of life.
Back to the bible
for a moment. It’s unique among all books ever written.
You can’t understand the bible spiritually if you’re spiritually
dead as all of us were. It won’t make sense and if interested
you will seek for the code to decipher it.
Only the author can explain it to you. He lives inside of you.
If you are honest with Him and acknowledge yourself a sinner, He
will forgive you and reveal the bible code. A preacher friend
of mine once explained the bible this way.
“If you had
discovered a shoe box filled with love letters I had written to my
wife when we were dating and read them, you would learn lots about
me and her and probably relate to the sentiments. It could be a
blessing to you.”
“However, if I
discovered that shoe box filled with love letters it would be an
entirely different experience for me. You see, I would recall
the fragrance of her perfume, the texture of her hair, the sound of
her voice, the glint in her eye when we first kissed, the music
popular in the day, the make and model of the car I drove, and so
much more. The difference being that I was there and you were
When reading God’s
words the difference is the author is resident in you. He was
there. Let Him reveal His life to you through the scriptures.
It’s the only life we have and it’s worth living forever in Him
considering the great cost is was to Him to make it possible and the
horrific consequence of eternity without Him.