Sunday, September 26, 2010

Understanding the Bible

Recently, I met an old friend for lunch.  She contacted me because she received a Bible as a gift and did not know how to use it.  It reminded me of the first time I actually opened one while vacationing at Forest Home in the San Bernadino Mountains, a non-demoninational Christian camp for families.  "Open your Bibles to Proverbs, chapter xx, verse xx" the leader announced.  With the precision of a group of marines, vacationers arrived at the appropriate location while I looked like a deer in the headlights.  "Is that Old or New Testament?" I asked my wife who was hiding behind me.  By the time I found the right verse, the crowd had already moved on to Hebrews.  The only time I kept up was at the point where our speaker referred to Revelations.  At least I knew how to find one chapter.  I was definitely flunking when it came to understanding the Bible.

The best advice I ever heard about the Bible is that it is written just for you.  The characters were placed there for your benefit so that you can look in a mirror while reading stories and see yourself.  It is a way of getting to know God on a very personal level.

Some people are naturals at understanding the Bible.  I have found that study Bibles give great background information to help you understand what is going on.  If you get a chance, join a Bible study group.  Learning in a group will help you to understand just how much God loves you.

The Bible is full of misfits, people who were lost and fallen.  Somehow, God reached these people and formed a special relationship with them.  If you are feeling lost while reading the Bible, do not worry.  The Holy Spirit will be there to guide you.  Stick with it.  Make reading the Bible a part of your daily life.  It will bring you closer to your Creator.


Carly said...

It was fun to read this entry for me. First, because I've been there searching for Scripture and getting behind so I end up missing the message anyway. Second, because I work at Forest Home right now and could picture you and probably many others sitting in Hormel furiously flipping through Scriptures.

Thanks for sharing!

Michael Mulligan said...

Thanks, Carly. I spent many years there with family and neighbors and am hopeful to place "God's Black Sheep Squadron" in the bookstore at Forest Home when it is released next March. My daughter was a CCA this year and hopes to be on staff when she graduates. Great memories! Come back again and keep reading your Bible. I have learned to put tabs in mine so I don't feel so lost. God Bless.