The Bible is Not a Fortune Cookie Factory

A quick google search of the most popular Bible verses on Biblegateway.com reveal the top 5 verses searched in the last two months are:

  1. John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

  2. Jer 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

  3. Rom 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

  4. Phil 4:13: I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

  5. Gen 1:1: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

All of the above verses are great. EVERY verse in the bible is great. The Bible tells us that all scripture is “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

Sitting down every day and reading our Bible can be a taxing chore (ever read Leviticus?). Sifting through pages of scripture looking for an answer can be arduous and frustrating. What is the solution? It would seem that “a bible verse a day keeps the devil away.” Right? No. I wish it was that simple.

One quick verse won’t solve your problems.

Let me be clear though. Knowing scripture well, and pulling one to the forefront of your mind in the midst of struggle or temptation is VERY helpful.

What I am referring to is using bible verses like fortune cookies. If you crack open your bible, go to the concordance in the back, and look up a specific need, you will miss so much of what you need. The Bible wasn’t written to be picked through like a little girl skipping through a field, picking flowers that she likes best. When we treat the bible that way, we miss the whole field of beauty God has laid out for us.

One of my favorite sayings is “What is the THEREFORE there for?” If you just pick a verse and call it a day, you won’t really even know what it means.

In order to really grasp what God wants for our lives and to follow the direction He has so lovingly set our lives in, we have to actually read that gosh darn thang.

I’ve heard it said that reading the bible can be akin to taking a vitamin. After taking a vitamin, you don’t feel any different. A lot of the time, you probably feel like you aren’t getting anything out of it. In reality though, your cells are becoming stronger. Your immune system is laying brick after cellular brick to ready against a pathogenic invasion. Reading the bible works the same way. If you crack it open and are faithful to read it, you will be prepared and ready when the enemy strikes and temptation comes knocking.

If you’ve struggled to read the bible in the past, you’re in good company. The Bible isn’t an easy read.  Try one of these reading plans. You can also go to your local book store and get a bible that is easier to read, like the “Easy to Read” version, or “The Message Bible.” Several different ministries sell bibles with commentary and devotions included in the bible, and you can find these at book stores as well.

Do you struggle to read the bible? Has God used you recently? I’d love to hear your testimony. Also if you have a prayer request, I’d love to support you in prayer. Click here to email me.

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2 thoughts on “The Bible is Not a Fortune Cookie Factory

  1. You make a very good point, although I usually experience this phenomenon from the other side, so to speak.
    I am a decent person who lives their life according to what I believe to be fairly high moral standards, but I’m also an atheist and therefore have no use for a bible.
    I have no problem with religion per se, but I do object to alleged “Christians” using the Good Book as a sort of soundbite directory for bigoted ignorance.

    I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard some self-righteous, holier-than-thou barroom preacher misquoting scripture in order to bolster their own prejudice.

    Leviticus is a prime example.

    • You are so right. It drives me crazy when people like that completely misrepresent Jesus’ message. Those types are super wrong, and Jesus himself preached against those types. Christianity is about Jesus and love. Period. Not rules and pride.

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