Have you ever spent time with a child doing puzzles? They can be a lot of fun – even if they are a little bewildering for a learner.
Puzzles that require that you connect the dots to reveal the greater picture are great. Initially, looking at the page in front of you, all you see are dots and numbers. Children in particular will say, “I don’t understand it. What does it mean?” But, as you join the dots in numerical order – voila – the picture appears. The mystery is solved.
We speak of God’s hidden and mysterious wisdom that God decided to use for His glory long before the world began. The rulers of this world didn’t know anything about this wisdom. If they had know about it, they would not have nailed the glorious Lord to a cross. But it is just as the scriptures say, “What God has planned for people who love Him, is more than eyes have seen or ears have heard. It has never even entered our minds” -1 Corinthians 2:9 (CEV).
Reading Without Understanding
Even Christians will admit to not always reading the Bible; claiming they do not always understand what it means. Their eyes read the words but their mind cannot unravel the message.
I have to fess up and say, “I too, have done it.” Some days I can read the Bible and totally claim the words as relating to my life or situation; while on other days, I put this wonderful book aside and say, “I don’t get it. What does that mean?”
Relating to the Bible’s Message
Many years ago, when I decided I had suffered enough by worldly living and gave my life back to God, I regularly wondered what the Bible was trying to communicate. It took me a little while to discover it might help if I got a Bible version that I could truly relate to.
My favorite Bible version is the Contemporary English Version. I can understand (most of the time) what the passages mean. To get a much bigger picture, a study version will not only give you God’s message but also a very clear translation of the words.
In addition, if you become a part of a small Bible study group within your church, this will further your understanding. Having discussions and hearing the perspective of others brings the bigger picture into view. It makes the reading purposeful and relevant to today’s issues in society. Quite simply, it helps you connect the dots, giving clarity as to the meaning of the message you are reading.
A Prayer for Understanding
God, sometimes we struggle as we try to understand what is required of us. Help us to not only read the Bible, but to also use all that is available to us to live life fully to Your glory. Let us always take the right next step; a step that will ultimately give us the bigger picture of meaningful living. Amen.
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