Summary: The first of a three-part series on the Bible. Without God’s Word we’re lost in the world. Using the illustration of a little boy who gets lost in Mammoth Cave, this message shows the importance of having a light and a map. (General Sermon, but used on

Bible - A light and a map

Purpose: To illustrate the importance of the Bible

1. Max, the lost Boy Scout in Mammoth Cave.

Max’s Boy Scout troop took an end-of-the-summer trip to Mammoth Cave. They didn’t take the lame 90-minute family tour. They took the 6-hour "Wild Cave" tour. In this tour, the boys saw only by helmet lanterns. The tour goes farther into the cave than any other public tour, and includes crawling on your belly through cracks in the tunnels less than 20 inches.

After the tour the troop gathered to turn in their equipment and eat dinner. As everybody got on the van, the Scout leaders realized that one boy was missing. Max was nowhere to be found.

Precautions had been made and safety was strictly enforced. The boys had been told to stay with a "buddy" at all times and never to wander off. But at a break in the tour, Max had taken off his backpack to get a candy bar. They got right around the corner, not 60 seconds away, when he realized he had left his backpack on the ground behind him.

Max turned around to get his backpack, squeezed through a small opening and grabbed his bag. But when he turned back around, he hit his helmet lantern on the rock face and smashed the bulb.

He was instantly so frightened, that he couldn’t even shout for help. He felt around in the darkness for the opening, but couldn’t find it. After a few minutes he started to shout. But no one came.

After a while he just curled up against the cave wall, holding his knees against his chest, crying softly. He was completely alone, not knowing where he was and it was totally dark.

2. Can you imagine what that would have felt like? Alone, without a clue as to where to go or what to do. No light. I’ve been to Mammoth Cave and I know how completely dark it is. I can’t imagine what Max went through.

3. If I was Max, you know what I’d want most? A light, a map, or maybe even a tour guide.

4. When I was a kid, my parents gave me a Bible. It was my first "big kid" Bible. Inside the front cover, my Dad wrote these words, "Rich (really he wrote Richie, but I don’t respond to that name anymore), this book is a road map to Heaven. Live by these words and you’ll never stray from the path. Ignore these words and you’ll wander far away from God’s plan for your life. Even better, the author of this book will travel with you. Look for Him. Listen to Him. The one who wrote this book, is the one who loves you most."

5. Turn to Psalm 119. This is the longest chapter in the Bible. It has 176 verses. Psalm 119 is all about the Bible. It is full of words like law, statutes, precepts, decrees and commands. Basically Psalm 119 says that God’s Word, your Bible, is a light and a map for your whole life.

6. Map: Psalm 119:19, 35

7. Light: Psalm 119:105, 130

8. You want to know what happened to Max? He was alone and lost for 10 hours. The Park Rangers had to get organized, then set up two rescue teams - one to start at the beginning point of the tour, and one to work back from the end. When they found him, he wouldn’t take a step without his own helmet lantern. In the haste, the Rangers didn’t bring an extra, so one of the Rangers had to give his to Max. Max wouldn’t budge from where he was unless he could see the path ahead.

9. Go back to what my Dad wrote in my Bible when I was a kid.

· Some of you kids will believe in Jesus, read the Bible and follow it all the days of your lives. You’ve got the One who wrote the book to guide you through your entire life.

· Some of you, however, will get away from God, get away from church, you’ll rarely look at a Bible and one day you’ll realize that you’re lost. You’ll be like Max. You’ll be lost in a dark world and you won’t know where to turn.

· But let me give you some good news. That same God who loves you this morning, will love you even when you’re lost. He’ll be willing to show you his love for you through the Bible. Where you’ll be in darkness, this (Bible) will be the light. Where you won’t know where to go or what to do, this will be your map.

10. Blessing: Psalm 119:1-2

11. The Bible can be the most important book you’ll ever own. Or it can be just another book that lies around the house gathering dust. The choice will be up to you.

12. Prayer for kids and adults alike.

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