Understanding the Bible

Many years back, in middle school, I was handed a tiny New Testament book, which is the other half of the Bible, beginning with Jesus coming into the world and God’s message that spread like fire after the death of Jesus. Although, I must add, the other half of the Bible, the Old Testament, written before Christ was born into the world, foreshadows His birth and purpose.

I kept the New Testament in my room, not intending to read it. We had a Bible at home, which was gigantic and heavy. It seemed to just serve the purpose of decoration for the coffee table. No one ever read it, just opened it to look through, the rest of the time, it collected dust.

There was a time when I opened up the tiny New Testament sitting on top of my radio. It was a hard time for me, one of those emotionally heart aching times when It felt like things were never going to improve. It was a King James Version, the hardest version to read with the old English. After trying to understand the few versus I read, I got frustrated and just threw it, and questioned, “Why God?”

My recollection of Bible reading was just watching both of my Grandmas read it. I always thought it was something to read when one gets closer to potentially passing away. I didn’t hear a testimony from either of them about what it does for them and just assumed it was preparation for them before leaving this earth.

Many years I spent without knowing the treasure it contained, that it is like a guide for life. It has been said that the BIBLE stands for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth and that it is. It reveals who God is and answers life’s questions. Although it’s been written decades ago, the words still apply to life today.

The Bible holds the message of faith hope and love, which remains. There are many theories and philosophies about life, but the Bible holds the truth. When something it true, it can never be denied. Of all books, the Bible is the only one that actually reads the reader. It goes hand and hand with a relationship with God. I’ve heard many say that they’ve read the Bible so many times and they cannot understand it. It’s not just any book. It doesn’t matter how intelligent someone might be, the message speaks to the soul, not so much the mind.

When I first started reading it, I had others interpret it for me, but I questioned their perspective of the message behind the words. I question what sounded contradictory. I question Jonah being eaten by a fish and the donkey speaking to a man. There are many stories in the Bible of the miracles of God, but from a world that looks at a dependency on God as a weakness, pride and self-righteousness can be a blindfold to the truth.

It wasn’t until I restarted my prayer life and kept seeking God and His truth and who He is, that the Bible, the Word of God started to seek me. The situations in my life, the confusion or trouble I was facing would be eased as I opened up to the perfect verse in the Bible. When the eyes of my soul started to open up and I started to realize that God is actually speaking me through His word, it started to make sense. Over an over again, consecutively, I would open up to the few words I needed to read at that exact moment. I could no longer deny His existence. I could no longer deny that God didn’t know me by name.

It took me walking out of a totaled car, after God was telling me about it two weeks before it happened and even that morning, that I finally realized who He is. That He loves me. God loves the world as said in John 3:16, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” A year later I fully surrendered my life to Him and was baptized. That day I opened up the Bible and for the first time, I could clearly understand the scriptures. Although some passages can be straightforward, there are many that can only be comprehended by the spirit and not the mind.

I pray that anyone questioning the meaning behind the scriptures will start on the path to finding the truth, to seeking out who God is and eventually come to the point of realizing that God is love and He knows your name. I would suggest finding a Bible study to join. I pray it would have a good leader strong in interpretation of the Word. The book of John is usually a good starting point, then there’s the book of Romans and Psalms. There are churches out there with small groups/Bible study groups to sign up for through their church website. May this is a a starting point for many to start walking in the truth and the light of God.

Falling off the Path of God’s Promises

There are many stories of people who find God or who grew up in the church and later fall off the path later on in life, taking anew path that leads to an empty soul. The beginning of finding God is like a honeymoon stage where one is so in love with God. All the love songs point to God and the experience is a high that lasts for months, constantly smiling, laughing and loving others, but without trials, how can love and faith be tested?

Just like in any relationship, there’s circumstances that can make it or break it. I have a deep respect for couples who have been married for more than forty years. Through thick and thin, they have fought through hardships and learned to forgive, work together, compromise and sacrifice some of their own desires.

Even outside of a relationship there’s always a battle in life, a test of strength. After surrendering my own will to God, I was high for three months, but after that, there’s more the walk. The faith of a believer is constantly tested. Sometimes life can get so hard that it turns Believers away from walking towards God and then walking into a dark life, but God seems to have a way of bringing them back.

Faith without backing or reinforcement is like a tree with shallow roots. When a storm comes, it’s roots are ripped out from the ground and topples over. When Jesus was in the desert, he was tempted, even tired and hungry, He still overcame temptation.

Ephesians 6:13-14,16-17 says Wherefore take unto you the whole amour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. [14] Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; [16] Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. [17] And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Just like in a marriage, there’s a fight to stay on the path that leads to life. Truth, righteousness, faith, salvation and knowing the Bible are a few ingredients, but there’s also another factor that enables us to fight temptation. Jesus did not minister to the crowds alone, He had twelve other men with Him. Fellowship is pertinent for any walk. The serpent tempted Eve when she was alone. To have others around praying with you and offering support through hard times will keep any Believer from tipping over like a dead tree or getting off the right track. When you know the voice of God, you can easily identify when it’s not His voice in your mind.

When Looking for Life’s Answers

Some big events in life can keep us questioning why and sometimes we’ll never know the answers, years later or till the day we leave this earth. However, sometimes answers come as we live life. Sometimes the answer remains a big mystery and can cause us to turn to various sources: astrology, tarot cards, meditation, secret societies, other philosophies or theologies, dark rituals and or various religions. We seek answers on this earth, but the big picture is beyond the universe.

Years ago I believed that there was a God somewhere out there, but I had no faith in His existence. I had no sight of who God is. Anything bad that happened I would call karma if it was similar to something I had done to someone else.

There were times in my early adult years where I learned how to pray the rosary. I thought I was doing something that God would be proud of, along with touching the feet of a baby Jesus statue. I tried reading a King James Version Of the New Testament and ended up throwing it aside frustrated trying to understand it.

I think about the way people lived back in the BC days, some sacrificed babies or humans in front of their community. They felt that God wanted them to do that to heal their land, not knowing, they were bringing a curse upon themselves.

I think about the time I spent at a friend’s birthday party playing with the spirit board and when I went home the next day creepy things started happening in my life. I started having horrific dreams of not being able to wake up or something holding me down while I was half asleep, but I would always wake up after calling on Jesus. When we mess with spiritually dark things, we opening up the wrong door in our lives that allow spiritual torment. Sometimes it can be someone in our ancestry, family or an event that happened in a place we’ve moved into.

After walking through life in darkness, not knowing the “whys” in life, accepting circumstances just as they are without any meaning, living religiously and being tormented with horrifying dreams and thoughts, life finally made a turn when I started to read God’s word, the Bible and finally came to know who God is and that He actually exists. The horrific dreams stopped and eventually, God delivered me from many other things, not just in me, but from the generation passed down to me. The Lord is always at work. After fully placing my life in God’s hands and reading His word, life made perfect sense. I no longer had to search for answers elsewhere. I found truth, peace and joy in life through God.

John 14:6 say, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.”

After reading the Bible, I came across a scripture that speaks against repetitive prayers such as the rosary.

Matthew 6:7 says, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do : for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”

It also says that God is spirit and He does not live a statues. John 4:24 says, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

So praying in repetition and touching the feet of a Jesus statue does not please God. As Abraham went up to the mountain to pray and trusted God so much, willing to let go of his one and only son, his heart was all in. What God wants is your heart, a relationship with you and faith in Him.

Although life still has its hardships, God is still at work on my heart, allowing the hardships to strengthen my faith and trust in Him. Many times I felt angry toward God for my situation, but it’s only because I don’t see the big picture. I can’t see God working behind the curtain, then it becomes a question of, “Am I going to choose to believe that God is good and am I going to continue to trust Him,” and thus far, it’s been yes with a greatness later on. Even in the most devastating loss in my life, I still trust Him and know that one day, I will see my Mother again in heaven.

Having the Lord in my life and growing in knowledge of Him through reading the Bible and prayer, the events in life become the brush painting the canvas of God’s masterpiece and everything that brings it together is like the poetry of life telling a love story God’s undying love for humanity.