2002-04-12 - The Whole Message
On a recent trip, I did a double-take when I saw a restaurant sign that said "Bread $8.99." Even if it was the best French bread available, that sounded a bit steep to me! It turned out that the sign marquee was an animated one, and I had missed the first part of the message, which said "Steak, salad and." Missing part of the message made quite a difference!
Sometimes we do that with the Bible - we receive only part of the message. Some preachers emphasize God's judgment, without much mention that He literally IS love, that He removes our sins "as far as the East is from the West," or that "His mercies are new every day." Some teachers read the verse about wives submitting to their husbands, but leave out the part about mutual submission and men loving their wives sacrificially. These are only a few examples.
People can take a verse of the Bible out of context and make it "prove" almost
anything, while the message can be completely different if we read the same
verses in light of the entire Bible's message. When we read God's word, to
get His true meaning, we need to read it carefully. After all, it is the
most important book in the world. Below are a few suggestions to help us
grasp the true meaning of a verse or passage.
I encourage you to delve a little more into God's word, and get to know it - and Him - on a deeper level.