Thursday, January 26, 2012

Enjoy the Word

A family was driving through Florida and decided to stop for breakfast. Climbing out of the car, they were greeted by the scent of fresh oranges and saw hundreds of citrus trees loaded with fruit.

Inside the diner, they eagerly ordered eggs and a cup of orange juice. “I’m sorry,” the waitress replied. “I can’t bring you orange juice. Our machine is broken today.” What a tragedy! Right outside were hundreds of ripe oranges, but no one could get a simple cup of juice.

Did you know many people suffer from a similar spiritual problem? The Bible is full of comfort and guidance. It’s like a ripe orange ready to be enjoyed. But many never learn to extract its juice.

Some say in despair, “I’d try reading the Bible, but I don’t know where to start. It’s just so big and confusing!” Here are a few steps to help you begin to enjoy God’s Word:
  1. Get a Bible. Blow the dust off that Bible, find a version online, or run down to the store and get a copy. If cost is an issue, just stop by your local church. They’d be delighted to give you one!
  2. Pick a book. The Bible is one book made up of 66 smaller books. You’ve got to start somewhere, so I’d suggest the Gospel of John. It’s a gripping account of Jesus Christ, who is the hero of the entire Bible. But other books like Genesis, Luke, or Romans are great places to start too. You really can’t go wrong in your choice. After all, it’s God’s Word!
  3. Ask three questions. When doing Bible study, take a paragraph at a time. Say a prayer and ask “What does it say?” Look at the facts. Study the setting. Make observations and put it in your own words. Then ask, “What does it mean?” Try to interpret what the author was saying to his original audience. Finally ask, “What does it mean for me?” After we’ve learned the meaning of a passage, God wants us to apply it. It’s not enough just to learn facts about God. He calls us to know Him personally and to live for Him. His Word was intended to change us. As Jesus said, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24).
So get a Bible. Pick a book. Ask three questions. And discover something even more wonderful than freshly squeezed orange juice -- living water for your soul.

Today's article first appeared in this week's Minister's Message of our local newspaper, The Hi Desert Star.
Photo credit: greenzowie

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