Darren Lippe helps facilitate Journey 101 “Loving God” classes, guides a 3rd grade Sunday school class, is a member of a small group & a men’s group, and serves on the Curriculum team.
Today’s passage brings home the point that the Bible is really only effective if we read it. Like the treadmill in the bedroom, it doesn’t really help us to be more physically fit if it remains covered with clothes hanging on hangers from its handlebars.
So what should we do? Like any exercise plan, its always seems to be more effective if you do it with someone else. Perhaps join a small group or take Alpha or Journey 101 or even better join a Disciple class to start exploring the Bible with the additional support of other growing Christians.
If those options aren’t workable at this point, you might start reading the Bible for yourself. Now some very admirable folks can start with Genesis and read through the whole Bible to Revelation. However, for me that has always proved to be a daunting challenge. Perhaps we could find another way to help make our Bible study more fruitful.
When the boys were smaller we’d all go to the Library to choose that week’s books. The librarian would always ask us, “What are your favorite subjects or what kind of books do you like to read?” We’d respond with mysteries, books with monkeys, or stories about dogs. We’d be off to the shelves to find books like Nate the Great, Curious George, or Skippy Jon Jones to take home that day.
Sometimes we forget that the Bible is really a collection of books with all sorts of different styles & varied writers. What if we looked at the Bible like a library & then started our Bible Study? Let’s peruse our “shelves” and see what we find:
If you love watching ESPN’s Sports Center with its quick review of that day’s highlights, then check out Mark’s Gospel for his version of the “2 minute drill” of Jesus’ ministry.
If you like books like “Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten” with its short pithy sayings, then consider the Book of Proverbs. You could start tomorrow reading a chapter each day & be done by the end of the month.
If you enjoy stories of espionage & intrigue, then the Book of Esther is a perfect starting point for you.
If you love music & enjoy hymns, then start with the Bible’s own hymnbook – the book of Psalms. It’s fun to imagine what the accompanying music might have sounded like as you read through these lyrics.
If you are fond the Left Behind series, then go “old school” with the book of Revelation or Daniel.
If you are plain tired of relying on the endless-loop of the Veggie-Tale version of Jonah, then go to the source & read the Book of Jonah. It’s only 4 chapters; you could read it while enjoying the Endless Shrimp special (and the irony) at lunch at Red Lobster today.
If you prefer books of great thinking & deep thoughts, then consider Paul’s letter to the Romans – viewed as one of the world’s great philosophical works.
If you want to read more about the early church & its history, go to the book of Acts. If you prefer a seamless version of Jesus’ life and the early church, the Gospel of Luke + Acts is a super combo-platter.
If you enjoy reading short stories, then skim the Gospels & select Jesus’ parables. Many literary scholars consider them to be among the greatest short stories ever written.
If you like books filled with romance & passion, then after a furtive glance around give the Song of Solomon a read. (As the French inspector on the Pink Panther cartoon series would say, “Ooh-la-la.”)
You get the idea. I don’t want to belabor the point (Too late! – Editor), so let’s go ahead & clear the proverbial clothes off our religious treadmill & give our mind & souls a great workout starting today.
Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.