For my confirmation, I received a copy of “The Living Bible.” At the time it was one of the first paraphrase Bible’s (paraphrase meant that the grammar was made simpler so younger people could understand what was being said). I still remember how excited I was holding this Green Bible in my hand. The cover was soft, almost quilt-like. Inside was the word of God and I couldn’t wait to get to it. It took me a number of years but by the time I finished High School I had read the Bible.
Now I wouldn’t say that I understood everything I read – I still don’t! But that Bible began my journey into the word of God and today I am even more excited about getting into it. I love reading and finding new bits of information to help me draw closer to Christ, and others.
Today the Bible is revered, but rarely read. That’s a problem. So, I want to challenge all of you to pull out your Bible’s, and if its too hard to understand, give me a call and I’ll help you match up with a Bible that’s easier to understand.
Start with a Gospel, I recommend Matthew, Mark or Luke (lately my favorite Gospel has been Luke). Start reading it – slowly. Don’t demand that you have to read so much each day. Instead, give yourself a time limit and if you read five verses and it makes you stop and think, then five verses might be all you read that day. The important thing is to let the Words move into your heart – for when they do, they’ll start changing how you think, feel and act.
Let me share a true story: Kathleen Norris tells about a man her and her husband met in the rural town of South Dakota, they live in. His name was Arlo. One night at the bar Arlo, a rather tough man, began talking about his grandfather, who had been a deeply religious man. His grandfather’s wedding present to Arlo and his bride had been a Bible, which he admitted he admired only because it was bound in white leather and had their names, and the date of their wedding set in gold lettering on the cover.
“I left it in its box and it ended up in our bedroom closet,” Arlo told them. “But,” he said, “For months afterward, every time we saw grandpa he would ask us how we liked the Bible. The wife had written a thank-you note, and we’d thanked him in person, but somehow he couldn’t let it lie, he’d always ask about it.”
“Well,” he said, “the joke was on us. Just a few years ago, we finally took that Bible out of the closet and I found that granddad had placed a twenty-dollar bill at the beginning of the Book of Genesis, and at the beginning of every book of that thing, over thirteen hundred dollars in all. And he knew I’d never find it.”
They all laughed as Arlo shook his head and said, “Thirteen hundred bucks, that
was a lot of money in them days.”
The Bible tells the rich story of God and His people – of which we are all a part of! So, make a new commitment to pick up your Bible’s find its richness. Then, live out those words and fulfill your part in God’s great story of salvation.
~ Blessings, Dan