Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cricket & the Bible ~ Understanding

Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it. Proverbs 16:22

In my Bible blog yesterday, I talked about hope as a necessary element in living a faithful life. And clearly, the way to keep our hope alive is by having the Holy Spirit living within us. In Chapter 28 of Meeting God in Quiet Places: the Cotswold Parables  by F. LaGard Smith, the point is made that understanding is the key to our enlightenment through the Holy Spirit.

This parable is taken from the popular game of cricket, which is played, watched and loved by most of the British people. In fact, the game of cricket gets much more attention from the British people on Sunday than does any worship service, in spite of the fact that its rules of engagement are obscure to most Americans. The obsessive fever of the Brits for cricket comes closest to our obsession for baseball, but at least we understand the rules of baseball and know why we're excited. The fact that we don't understand the rules of cricket is probably the biggest reason we don't enjoy watching it. And through this analogy, we can see that when we don't understand the Bible, we find it impossible to know God.  

So you may well ask the question: What would it take to know God? And you may feel that understanding the rules of engagement with God are as muddied in your mind as the rules for cricket.  It isn't hard to see that many people find it difficult to appreciate the worship of a God they've never seen; a God who can create a universe, but who later takes human form and is killed on a rude cross by the very creatures He's created. Like cricket, the rules of engagement involving propitiation, reconciliation, and salvation may sound like a foreign language to the uninitiated. And so do all those scriptures telling us that to live we have to die, that to receive we must give, that to love God we may have to "hate" our own families! Nonsensical verbiage or profound truths? The game of cricket could NOT be this difficult to understand! 
                                                                                         
Of course, reading the Bible--which is considered the Christian's rule book--is very helpful in gaining understanding about God. But in spite of this view of the Bible, please remember that it is much more than a rule book! LaGard says: "Far surpassing any such comparison, the Bible is meant to reveal to us nothing less than the wonder of God and the mystery of faith!" And the apostle Paul says in Romans: "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." That sounds simple enough until we hear Paul say that "the mystery of godliness is great!" In other words, two people can read the same Bible--one turns to God in faith and the other turns away in doubt and skepticism. We have to figure out the answer to this question: What activates the transition between reading or hearing the gospel and actually becoming a person of faith? 

The important point of the parable will be explained in tomorrow's post. For now, contemplate the questions proposed here to see where your own understanding lies. 
Have a great weekend!
Blessings...Mimi   

   

9 comments:

  1. There's much that cannot be known or seen when we follow God in faith with the choices we must make and the way we live life differently from worldly understanding. And it surely can't be contained within a man's/woman's system of logic.
    Maybe if we don't understand why we must do what we do to follow Him now, we'll be enlightened in the hereafter! I know there are questions I might ask...

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  2. There IS a way which I'll give tomorrow! The lessons get too long sometimes when I try to give the whole lesson in one post. Thanks for commenting and stay tuned for more tomorrow.

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  3. Paula, You will not have to ask for I Cor. 9:12 tells us that now we now look in a mirror dimly and know in part but then we shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as we have been fully and clearly known and understood by God.

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  4. To both Paula and Anonymous, I would say for you to read Sunday's post. The point of this chapter is the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives right now. Yes, it's mysterious, but it's also something we can recognize as something that helps us--right here and now!

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  5. I understand the work of the Holy Spirit. My comment was in response to the comment Paula made about having questions. We all have questions. Even with the help of the Holy Spirit our finite minds cannot understand all the works of God. When we stand in God's presence the word tells us we will have no more questions.

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  6. I thought Paula's comment referred to asking ME questions! Yes, of course, when we stand before God we shall understand the answers to all the many questions that fill our hearts and minds.I love this chapter because it takes us closer to an understanding of the mysteries existing between God in heaven and our worldly nature. Amazingly simple and amazingly complex!Thanks for commenting.

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  7. Thank you Anonymous for your help & comments! You can also email me at pjcsullivan@gmail.com. I'll keep it a secret! :-)

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  8. Thanks, Paula. I am blessed by God with insight and wisdom, neither to my credit, but to His glory. Maybe I will email you sometime. For now I will just remain anonymous.

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  9. My questions were partly answered in part 2 which was an encouraging article. The verse you, Anon., used for knowing about things later was given to the early Christians by Paul stating they would be given the revealed Gospel in His word the New Testament. Now they didn't have it all & neither did the Jews.It was being revealed during that time. The apostles were to proclaim it. Our answers are to be found in the Bible now. I don't think we can see how things will work out sometimes & we know life isn't fair. Like when a child is killed by a tornado.

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