Friends, Maps, and the Direction of the Gospel—Guest Post!

By: Orlando Javien Jr, Author/Speaker

When I was 20 years old I got a job working for a real estate appraiser. One of the job assignments I was frequently given was to drive to Los Angeles to photograph residential and commercial buildings.

Now allow me to tell you a little secret.  “I don’t know how to read a map.” To this day, I still get lost in my hometown of San Diego! That’s why you will usually see me in the passenger seat with my lovely wife driving.  I’m a lot better now since the invention of the GPS, Google Maps and an episode of the hit 90s comedy Friends.

Ask for Directions

Joey, Chandler, and Map

Friends? How did I learn how to read a map from Friends?!  It was the episode when Joey and Chandler were in London for Ross’s wedding.  Not knowing how to get to their destination, Joey Tribbiani lays his map on the ground and steps on it.  In order for Joey to know where he is going he puts himself in the map.  Genius! Isn’t it?  It’s just like the maps you find at the mall.  In order to get around you look for the store you want to go to then you look for the little man with the notation, “You are here.”

For those who know how to read a map this is nothing new. However, to a simple-minded man like me it was pretty profound.

Socks Religious

From Maps to the Way, the Truth, and the Life

So how does this all tie to the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  The Good News too is simple— yet profound.  You have to step into the story.  Many have said that the Bible is boring.  I’ve said in the past, “The Bible is boring!”  I’ve come to realize the reason I believed the Bible was boring was because I didn’t know how to read it.  Over the years I’ve come to a better understanding of the Bible. If I can give you one piece of advice, try stepping into the story.

how to read the bible

In Mark 12:38-44 Jesus tells a parable about the scribes, the wealthy and a widow.  “And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go about in long robes, and have salutations in the market houses and for a pretense make long prayers.  They will receive the greater condemnation.”  And he sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the multitude putting money into the treasury.  Many rich people put in large sums.  And a poor widow came, and put in two copper coins, which make a penny.  And he called his disciples to him, and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.  For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living.”

Put Yourself into the Gospels

Now that you’ve read the Gospel try placing yourself into the story and ask yourself, “am I the scribe who wants to be seen by others? Am I the wealthy who only gives of my excess? Or am I the widow that gives my all?”

When I read the Gospel and I place myself in the story I can see sometimes in my vanity that I am the scribe who wants to be noticed by others, hence the title of my latest book: Stop Googling Yourself. Sometimes I am like the wealthy who only gives of my excess financial treasure.  But sometimes I am the widow when it comes to giving of my time and talent to the church.  When I read the Bible with me in it, the stories begin to come to life.  It comes to life because I am not reading a stranger’s story.  I am reading my own personal letter from the Almighty Father.  He is showing me that He knows me and can see what’s in my heart.

Questions to Ponder

Questions

Do you know God in the most intimate of ways?  Do you want to learn more about God?  If you want a deeper relationship, then read your Bible daily.  And when you read the Bible take the time to step inside it and watch it come to life. When you do that you will find a faith beyond ordinary. That’s my hope for you!


To learn more about Orlando visit: http://www.orlandojavien.com

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