Does anyone out there remember those Magic Eye pictures that were all the rage during the mid 90’s? They were those pictures that hid a 3-D image in a pattern of dots that only looked 2-D at first glance. If you focused in just the right way you could see things like corvettes or a wizards beyond the dot pattern. I don’t know about you, but I could never see the 3-D image. I would strain, cross my eyes, move closer, back up, and blink rapidly, but I got nothing! What made it so frustrating was that no one ever told me what I was looking for, they’d just say something like, “You’ll know it when you see it”. So, the only thing I got out of the deal was a headache and a severe case of shaken ego.
I think my frustration with Magic Eye is a frustration that a lot of people have with the Bible. As Christians, we’ve been told that we need to read our Bibles everyday, but we’re often not told what we’re looking for, so we end up getting exasperated and either start neglecting the Word or just reading it out of duty without much enjoyment. Many Christians who read the Bible regularly, do it hoping that what they’re supposed to get out of it will just jump out at them (a.k.a. “you’ll know it when you see it”). Today, I want to help us know what we’re looking for when we read the Bible, so that this discipline will become a delight and a life-changing adventure instead of a dry, dull task that we have to do to keep our accountability partners at bay.
About five or six years ago, our senior pastor at Calvary Bible Church (a.k.a. Pastor Dan) published a series of questions to ask yourself about the Bible text that you are reading for the day. I’ve added two questions to His list to make it ten. I hope they transform your time in God’s Word! Here they are:
-What does this passage teach about God, His character and His plan?
-What does this passage teach about Jesus, who He is, how He lived, His death and resurrection, and His future return?
-How does this passage fit into the overall storyline of the Bible (creation, fall and redemption)?
-What does this passage teach about ourselves, our nature, our struggle, and the purpose for our lives?
-What does this passage teach us about right and wrong, good and bad, true and false?
-What instruction is there about relationships, about love, authority, etc.?
-What does this passage teach about life, it’s meaning and purpose?
-What does this passage teach us about the inner man, the heart, and how it functions?
-What is there in this passage that will help us make decisions and guide the way we live?
-How does this passage help us understand and critique our culture?