The Magic 8-Ball
This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. —2 Timothy 2:15
Not long ago my daughter reminded me of a childhood toy that I absolutely loved, the Magic 8-Ball. In case you aren't familiar with this iconic toy, allow me to refresh your memory. The ball itself looks like a large black 8-ball used in the game of billiards, except that this ball is larger and is filled with a dark liquid that gives cover to its contents: A small three-dimensional triangle that has phrases on each face such as "Signs Point to Yes," "Don't Count on It," "You May Rely on It", "Yes," or "Definitely." The person holding the 8-ball gets to ask a question, shake the ball and then wait breathlessly for the answer to appear. Of course, if you were like me and the answer wasn't one you liked, you would shake the ball again until a better answer appeared.
Some people mistakenly approach the Bible this way. They have a question, open the Bible, point their finger on a verse and claim that as an answer from God, that is, as long if they like the answer. The problem is, the Bible isn't a Magic 8-Ball nor is God a "Genie in a Bottle" that seeks to serve us and grant our wishes.
The Bible is an amazing collection of God-inspired letters, writings, poems, songs, history, prophecy, judgment and more. It was written over hundreds of years by over forty different authors ranging in profession from king to shepherd, fisherman and recovering Pharisee. It is God's love letter to the world. The Apostle Paul wrote of the comprehensive nature of the sacred Scriptures stating, "All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man or woman of God may be competent, equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16).
The early Christians in Berea were on the right track. They revered the Scriptures and were commended because they studied them daily. May Christians who come after us be able to look at our lives and similarly commend us for our commitment to God's Word.
Not sure how to approach Scripture? Try one of these reading plans:
- Begin reading the book of John. Read one chapter a day through the end of the book.
- Read through the book of Proverbs in one month.
Psalm 119:11; Acts 17:11; John 1:1-5