Like most things in life, simply starting is the hardest part. When you think about starting a diet or something like that you could spend hours looking up what to do and what options you have. The hours turn in to days, and the days turn in to weeks. And you make no progress.
The contemporary church has turned the Scriptures into a diet. There are so many options, so many self-helps, and so many “approaches” to reading Scripture that we make it difficult to simply get in God’s Word.
There are really only three basic guideposts for the first-time reader:
- The Gospels are the center, the pinnacle. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
- The books before lead us to the Gospels.
- The books after reflect on the Gospels and help us understand them.
So we elevate the Gospels above all. We start there and work our way out. It is easy to make the mistake of not elevating the Gospels enough, or elevating the other books of the Bible too much. Yes, all the Bible matters, but we must keep the Gospels at the core, remembering that all the other books revolve around them.
Similarly, it is easy to elevate the Bible above faith. We must remember though that the anchor of the anchor books (the Gospels) is faith in Christ!
When the reformers 500 years ago first made translations of the Bible in their common language, the books were often burned by the authorities. This though did not erase their faith; their faith in Christ remained.