4:102 – Read the Whole Story
#faithbites #faithjourney whole
Iron Man is only a tech giant playboy. Aslan dies in the middle. Rocky gets knocked out. Daniel LaRusso gets beat up. If you only read part of these stories or only saw part of the movie, you wouldn’t understand the character development and path each of these characters go through. Look at yourself. If someone read one chapter of your life’s book, what impression would they have about you? I know if someone just saw my freshman year in college, they would think I’m an annoying, no-it-all, people pleaser. (Well, some of that is true). The point is, we have so much more to us than one story or one chapter. Why is the Bible any different?
I often see people pick one or two verses from the Bible and say, that is Jesus. Or they find one thing they disagree with and say, how’s that God for you? The fact is, the story of God and Jesus, is the entire Bible. Those who read it, understand the loving, forgiving, and sacrificial nature of Christ. They also understand that God loves us, forgives us, and wants us to live in harmony with one another. God is not against one people. God doesn’t hate X group. But, if you haven’t read the whole story, what do you believe?
Today’s Questions: How do you fully understand God? What misconceptions in the past did you have about your faith based on a smattering of verses? What can we, as people of the light, do to correct misconceptions others have?
- Deuteronomy 29:29 – The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
- Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
- Mark 4:11-12 – And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that “they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.”
Our three verses, help us understand the breadth of God’s word and why it is important to follow it. As early as Deuteronomy, we know that we can’t fully understand God as he hasn’t shared everything with us. But he has shared, through his Word, the path for us to live. He made clear his rules and when we couldn’t follow them, he sent Jesus to clarify and make it even more simple. The Bible isn’t just a book or series of books. It is God’s active word helping us live, directing us, and making sure we are true to him and his way of life.
When we see people misquoting the Bible or taking something out of context, it relates to the Mark 4:11-12 passage. They don’t see the connection to the whole story nor do they understand what they are saying. When someone says that God hates x group but them wears mix-fabrics or eats shellfish, they are picking and choosing. When they say they shouldn’t give to the poor because the poor need to get a job, they are missing it. The Bible is a collection of God’s word that tells a complete story from the beginning of time until Judgement day. If we just pick one day, we are missing a great deal of the before and after.
Spoiler alert, Iron Man saves the Universe, Aslan comes back from the dead as he sacrificed himself for others (sound familiar), Rock goes on to win title after title, and Daniel LaRusso wins the Karate championship and later gets a successful line of car dealerships 🙂
As we close, let’s reflect on who we can share the complete story of Christ and not just pick one or two verses to make a point.
Father God, your word is vast and important. Help us study it so that we know your full and complete story. Give us ways to make reading your word part of our daily activities and help us apply it to every situation. We know that we can never fully understand you, but help us be as close and complete in that understanding as possible. Lord, we also pray for those who misuse your word. Help them see the truth of the whole story that is you, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. We pray all these things in your name, Amen.