My first edition
I believe my first Bible was give to me for use in school by y parents. Living in Jamaica, a Bible was always on your booklist. It was a Good News Bible, and it had these cute figures as illustrations to help young minds understand the stories better. My second Bible was probably one from the Gideon Missionaries.
They would visit schools and hand out small Bibles that comprised the New Testament including Psalms and Proverbs.
As an adult, I may have been gifted a Bible or two, therefore growing up Christian, I was always in arms reach of the Good Book. In my own efforts to know God and understand my walk, I invested in a study Bible some years ago.
I still have that physical Bible, but I must admit that my reading of it is done mostly via the Bible app on my electronic devices these days. Despite whatever happens, I still love having a physical copy and I do believe that this is something every believer should have.
As an acronym?
Over the years I have learnt that the word Bible was turned into an acronym. The most common one I have heard meant ‘Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth’. I went ahead and did some more research and found at least ten other variations that pretty much meant the very same thing:
1. BIBLE - Basic Instructions before Leaving Earth
2. BIBLE - Basic Information Before Leaving Earth
3. BIBLE - Best Instructions Before Leaving Earth
4. BIBLE - Best Investment Before Leaving Earth
5. BIBLE - Be Informed Before Leaving Earth
6. BIBLE - Basic Instructions before Life Ends
7. BIBLE - Be Informed Before Life Ends
8. BIBLE - Best Instruction Book for Living Everyday
9. BIBLE - Basic Instructions Before Living Eternally
10. BIBLE - Believer's Instruction Before Leaving Earth
11. BIBLE - Basic Instructional Book for Living Everyday
12. BIBLE - Basic Instruction Book for Living on Earth
13. BIBLE - Biblical Instruction Before Leaving Earth
There are as many options as one can choose. I would say my top picks are No.s 1, 3 and 8. The Bible as we know it provides a wealth of knowledge, inspiration and teaching for Christians. But not just us, as it is also a great guide for non-believers. This of course stems from the fact that there are some principles in the Bible that when applied, anyone can reap its benefits for daily living.
If the Bible is our Basic instructions before leaving earth, providing a framework/foundation for daily living, what serves as the filling/body of that basic framework/foundation?
The Holy Spirit
He is literally the one who fills us. Called by many names, Holy Ghost/Spirit, Dove, Comforter, Intercessor, Paraclete, Presence of God, Spirit of God and Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit comes with fruit and gifts to help us walk out a better life.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians chapter 5 verse 22 – 23). It is important to note that the reference is ‘fruit’ and not ‘fruits’, so though we can count nine attributes listed, as Christians, we should strive to have them all.
If we have not one, we have not any. It is this fruit of the Holy Spirit that is living proof of our transformation and the substance in between the B.I.B.L.E that we should read and study each day.
It is this Spirit that will indwell us and teach us how to live, give us guidance and show us how to interpret the Bible. Together, both are a wholesome synergy. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come (St. John chapter 16 verse 13).
As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him (1st John chapter 2 verse 27).
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words (Romans chapter 8 verse 26).
His constant presence is a gift in itself. As Jesus ascended, he promised us this comforter and it would be difficult to live a Christian life without the Holy Spirit.
Making the most of your ‘instructions’
As I have established, the Bible provides the basis and framework and the Holy Spirit the filling/body. What is our role in all of this?
1. Be strategic about studying our Bible. Don’t just read it. Make every effort to truly know and understand it. Remember, we need the basic instructions.
2. Spend as much times as possible with God. We will want to have all the guidance of the Spirit.
3. Exercise the fruit of the Spirit. In order to demonstrate our beliefs, we have to live it. It is simply just talk to say we believe something, yet we have never exercised it in our own lives.
4. Understand your purpose and walk in it. Having done all of the above, we will be in a better place to understand our calling and live in it ‘before leaving earth’.
Kimberley Salmon from Jamaica West Indies is a praise and worship leader who remains passionate about touching hearts through singing and writing as she thrives to become a published author of Christian women’s fiction. She loves the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is grateful for God’s saving grace which continues to transform her life. As a senior Press Service International Columnist, she is elated that she can now share her journey with God with the world.