ANCHOR POINTE Audio Burst with Skip Orem


by Skip Orem | Anchor Pointe


 Audio Burst THE MESSAGE with Skip Orem

(23:50 in the Podcast):

Skip Orem

Until a couple of weeks ago, I’d never read any parts of The Message. That’s Eugene Peterson’s translation of the Bible. It is even actually more of an American translation of the Bible because it does use some American slang. I grew up on the King James version, and if I didn’t have really good Sunday School instructors helping me study the Bible, I’m not sure that I would have ever been able to really understand that old King James version. Thank God for those adults who volunteered their time every Sunday and every Wednesday night to teach us kids about Jesus. My go-to hard-copy Bible, which I carry with me to church, is the Holman Christian Standard Version, which is more of a traditional translation.


I have two awesome Bible apps that I use, the Tecarta Bible app, which is a really good phone app, and it has over 30 versions of the Bible to choose from. It’s cool because if you’re sitting around waiting on a doctor’s appointment or really any situation where you have to wait by yourself for a while, it’s really convenient to open up your phone and just read from the Tecarta Bible app. The other app which I use is an audio bible for your iPhone. It’s cool because you can listen to it while you’re in your car, just sitting out at the beach or anywhere where it’s easier to listen than to read. The name of the app is Dwell. It has four or five different versions of the Bible. With some versions, you can actually choose which voice you want to have reading to you, so that’s pretty cool.


So anyway, using the Tecarta Bible app, I’ve started to read some of the Bible books I love with The Message translation, and I’m convinced now that if you were going to introduce someone to the Bible for the very first time, that Message translation might be the way to do that. Of course, if you’re going into some actual Bible study, I would definitely choose one of the more traditional studies. I’ve gotten myself off track here talking about Bible versions, so let me ask you this question. Can you have a favorite book in the Bible? I don’t know the answer to that. All the Bible books, they are important, very important, all of them, in understanding God’s overall plan.


Speaking about favorite books in the Bible, I can even get into arguments with people about which book of the Gospel is best. They all tell the story of Jesus’s life in different ways. For me, I like reading Luke the most because it comes at you similar to reading a history book or a historical biography. Some folks will say it’s less inspirational than, say, the Book of John or Mark, but if you look at it overall, that’s the beauty of God’s written word. It appeals to so many people on so many levels in so many different ways.


The first book that I turned to when I started to explore and read The Message version of the Bible was Acts. Acts of the Apostles is one of my favorite Bible books. It was probably written by Luke, and it starts right there after the resurrection and Jesus’s ascension into heaven, right there at the very beginning of the spread of Christianity. In the Book of Acts, you’re there at the very beginning. Jesus’s disciples still alive. The Holy Spirit descending on them. Paul as Saul hunting them down and punishing and jailing Christians. And then Paul’s amazing conversion, and then he starts spreading the Good News.


What a wonderful adventure story Acts is, too. When you think about it, Jesus’s disciples, who learned so much from him when he was alive and then became apostles, Paul becoming an apostle, all of them messengers, delivering the message of God’s grace and love throughout the world. This very small group of Christians there in the first century, spreading the word, and because of what they did, Christianity becoming what it is today. And I realize this a lot from reading the book of Acts.


I think the word, the message at the heart of Christianity, the reason for its growth, here it is, God’s unconditional love. He loves us so much, and he wants us to love him in return. God’s love, isn’t it so great that, well, he sacrificed his son so that we can be forgiven of our sins? Not just our sins now, but our sins in the past and the sins that we will most definitely commit in the future. We are forgiven now and forever. What a gift that is, eternal life, if we only just believe.


Perhaps you’re like I was before cancer came to take me out. I knew all of the Bible stories. I knew about Jesus. I certainly believed in his life and his resurrection, and I believed in the eternal life he offered, but I became lost trying to live my life. At one point, I was even somewhat ashamed to talk about my belief in the cross, too much going on to really commit my life to Jesus. Jesus, he stayed in the back of my mind because the devil was telling me to not worry about it, I needed to enjoy my life right now. Jesus will be there. But don’t worry about it right now. There’s too much to do, too much going on. You need to live your life right now. The words of the devil, “You’ve got plenty of time.” And then I didn’t.


Something came to destroy me, and then what came to destroy me brought me back to Jesus, and I’m never going to leave him again. Everybody, if you really think about it, you know this, you know that you want to be more than what you are right now, then give your life to Jesus. Please do that now because the devil, he’s telling you that you’ve got so much time left. Don’t be in a rush. Take more time to think about it. The purpose of The Anchor Pointe Podcast is to help you get healthy, to enjoy your life, but most importantly, I want Jesus to be in your life.


If you know him but haven’t been with him for a while, pray to him now. Ask for forgiveness. Tell him you love him. Promise him you are with him. Start reading the Bible again. You can start anywhere in the Bible, maybe one of your favorite books or chapters of verses. Open up your heart to Jesus again. And if you don’t know a lot about the Bible, about Jesus, you maybe have all of these questions about how to get started, well, do this right away. Walk into any church any time, any day. Tell the first person you meet you want to learn about Jesus. You’re going to put a smile on their face, and they will help you take the first steps in making Jesus part of your life. There is no time. You don’t have the time that you think you have. You need to do this today, right now.