Cabbage Coupon (Understanding The Bible) (Sharing The Gospel)
For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. Hebrews 4:2
The Basic Bible Truth
The Bible is a complex book to be sure. And there are many passages that are difficult to explain or comprehend. That is not surprising. An infinite God expressing Himself in a finite number of pages is an incredible feat. The Word of God is so deep and rich with God’s perfect knowledge, we struggle to understand it. There is no excuse, however, to just not even try. And as we begin to understand God and his commands towards us, we would do well to share our belief with others.
A Cabbage Coupon $1,000,000 Gospel Tract
Cabbage Coupon I give my personal guarantee that my word is good and valid. I will, at a time of my choosing, fulfill my promises completely. Until then, you may hold this coupon in confidence of my commitment and honor. This coupon may be redeemed for some cabbage. Some may prefer to call it lettuce. The important thing is that you understand that simoleons are worth waiting for. A simoleon is a dead president, for those who do not know, and clams are scratch. The cheddar that you will receive will have a face value of 10,000 yards. Ten sawbucks or five dubs is a C note. Your long green may be obtained at the end of our time here this morning. I hope you enjoy your cabbage.
At the beginning of the talk, I hand each person a Cabbage Coupon like this one on a slip of paper. For those not familiar, the word cabbage is slang for money. In fact, the coupon wording is filled with slang. Cabbage, lettuce, simoleons, dead presidents, clams, scratch, cheddar, yard note ($100), sawbuck($10), dubs($20), c-note($100), and long green, are all common slang for cash money. 10,000 yard notes are equivalent to $1,000,000. At the end of the talk, I redeem the coupons and hand each person a $1,000,000 Gospel tract. They can be purchased through the Living Waters web site. (And yes they are legal to own. The US never minted a $1,000,000 note, so it is not considered counterfeit.)
For many, the Bible is a daunting book. It is long, to be sure, and the wording is also at times difficult to wade through. There are passages that may not make sense to us at the present time. All of these arguments are used to avoid reading the most important book in the world. What a pity. There is so much information available, right at our fingertips. The Bible is not just a book, it is The Book. Many years ago I had a friend who read through the entire 26 volume set of The Encyclopedia Britannica. He was a walking treasure trove of miscellaneous information. There exists a stark difference between that encyclopedia and the Bible. Britannica attempts to bring their books up to date and keep them current with the latest knowledge, and, its content is most likely true. But the Bible is in no need of update. It is absolute truth as it stands, and not only is it truth, it is the very Word of God. The same Word that caused this universe to come into existence in Genesis 1, that created all of the stars in the sky in one 24-hour day, is in front of us in written form! What a treasure to have access to.
As we go through life, we will undoubtedly face many obstacles that we may have never seen before. It is the challenge of every Christian to continue to walk in the straight and narrow path that Jesus commands us to follow. The key word here is “follow”. Jesus has gone before us and demonstrated what the Godly life is to look like, and how we are to react to circumstances in which we find ourselves. But how will we know what to do if we have no first hand knowledge of the issues that we may be facing for the first time? We follow. And that requires that we watch a leader traverse the gauntlet successfully first. Then we may follow. Jesus has gone before us and blazed an amazing, perfect trail for us to follow.
There are no justifiable shortcuts in life. The most difficult lessons to learn take time. We can be good students, but they still require a commitment to stick with it and a willingness to learn. Moses spent 40 years in the desert before God had him where He could use him as a leader of His people. He was 80 years old when he walked in Pharaoh’s court. Daniel was 90 when he was thrown into the lion’s den. God painstakingly prepared these men for their place in history.
Now with the written Word at our fingertips, we have a distinct advantage over the Old Testament saints. We can look at their successes and failures in detail and study each and every step that they made and learn from their lives. And make no mistake, it does take study to accomplish this. Listening to a preacher give a good sermon is an excellent effort, but personal time in the Word will accomplish much more. The pastor may have doctorate initials behind his name, but his words are simply that—his own words. The Bible, however, does not just contain the Words of God, it is the Word of God. Taking His Word directly into our lives is so much more effective than we can possibly imagine.
I could show you many photographs that I have taken of my work over the years. I am a woodworker by trade and have had the privilege of working in some of the finest homes in the nation. My photographs show finished product and display our capabilities to a large degree, and you could probably learn some basic woodworking skills from my verbal descriptions. But, I have had many people over the years ask if they could come and work for me for free on their vacation, just to learn some of the technical skills that they want to perfect. Going to the source is much more effective. And so it is with God’s Word. Personal time in the Word is never, ever wasted time.
God has ingeniously placed in the pages of Scripture all that we need to know about life and how to live it. It’s like a giant manual for life. My daughter recently purchased a new car. I saw her soon after that, sitting down and reading through the entire manual that came with the car. It was extremely helpful. She learned many things about the car that the salesman had not bothered to explain to her. I recall a comic strip called “Frank and Earnest” many years ago, and in one comic panel, Frank was lamenting that it wasn’t bad enough the Earnest didn’t know what was going on, but that he didn’t even suspect anything! How many go through life with no knowledge of God’s plans and, in reality, don’t even suspect anything.
We live in an exciting time. Nearly every one of us has access to numerous types of study aids and materials to help us comprehend the written Word. But it is ultimately the Holy Spirit who opens our minds and teaches us how to understand Scripture. It is a wise practice to spend a few moments in prayer, seeking understanding from God, as we prepare to study the Bible. We are told to not just read the Word, but Paul told Timothy to “study” to show himself approved unto God. There is a time and place for casual reading of the Bible. There should also be a time for genuine study. Take that time.