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The Bible: map, mirror, microscope

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The Bible: map, mirror, microscope

When I lived in Haiti I had a friend who flew a small airplane and, when I had some free time, he would take me for a ride. One day, while we were flying, he asked me to put my head between my legs and close my eyes. While I was in that position he proceeded to toss and turn that airplane in all directions. After a few minutes, he asked me to tell him which way we were flying. Because my inner ear fluid was now sloshing around like the high seas, I had no clue.

Our inner ear fluid, which helps us keep our balance and sense of direction, can sometimes be unreliable. In the same way we have a conscience, which is supposed to help us keep our ethical and moral balance and sense of direction. Unfortunately, it can be unreliable at times.

The good news is that God has given us a guide which is unchanging and without error. It’s called the Bible. Just as an airplane has instruments which give exact readings on speed, direction and lift, the Bible is our “instrument” for navigating through life. It is a wonderful instrument in that it functions in so many ways.

1. The Bible is a map. Maps serve two basic purposes. First of all, there are maps which show physical landmarks to look for, which indicate that you are going in the right direction. Another use of maps is to show where there are dangers to avoid. A friend of mine works for the Hydrographic Society, which makes maps of the sea floor. Sailors need to know where the coral reefs are, as well as any other dangerous formations which are not visible from on top of the water.

2. The Bible is a mirror. We use mirrors to detect imperfections and notice improvements (which may explain why gyms have wall-to-wall mirrors). James 1:22-25 compares the Bible to a mirror. If we “look intently” into it, not just reading but also doing what it says, we will live well-balanced lives. But beware: the Bible is the ultimate “talking mirror.” It tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. In a word, it’s convicting. As someone once said, “It’s not what I don’t know about the Bible that bothers me; it’s what I do know.”

3. The Bible is a microscope. Microscopes reveal things not seen by the naked eye. The Bible helps us “see” Jesus Christ for who He is, something history alone couldn’t reveal to us. For example, throughout the Gospels, which record the life of Jesus Christ on earth, the writers repeatedly point out that what Jesus said and did was “according to” what had been prophesied about the coming Savior. They were proving that this Jesus is “the real deal.” If I am invited to put my trust in Him for salvation I would certainly want some proof that He is who He needs to be.


We live in an age in which people are giving all kinds of advice about spirituality, but without the Bible, we’re left with nothing but subjective speculations, theories and the traditions of men. Jesus said the truth will set us free and that the Bible was the truth (John 17:17). Therefore, it makes sense to follow the Bible so we end up at the right destination and avoid the pitfalls of false hope and broken promises. If the spirituality we’re seeking does not conform to what the Bible says, it’s not true spirituality. A rose, without thorns, is just a carnation.

The Bible is a map ................ look at it, and follow.
The Bible is a mirror ............. look in it, and change.
The Bible is a microscope ..... look through it, and worship!

Don’t look at the wrong map or you’ll never get to the right place. Don’t look in circus mirrors that distort your true condition. And don’t miss the wonders of knowledge that come from close examination of the truth. The reward is directly proportional to the effort.

I leave you with these sobering words from 2 Thessalonians 2:11: “They perish because they refuse to love the truth and so to be saved.” Perhaps the real issue is not intellectual but moral.

Think about it.



Comments to date: 2. Page 1 of 1.

Jorge,  Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Posted at 5:32am on Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Awesome stuff! Thank you.

SK,  Vancouver

Posted at 1:27pm on Sunday, April 25th, 2010

I believe Bible was revealed but today it does not remain in its pure form... it has gone under many revisions.. and that bothers me


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Rev Jim Beerley

Monaco Christian Fellowship Perspective
by Pastor Jim Beerley

The Passion of The Christ - Free Bible