As a kid I was never really encouraged to read the bible on a daily basis. I owned a bible, and I occasionally read it, but as far as being encouraged to, well, that never happened. My parents were culturally Catholic- we went to Mass each week and we went to Catholic school where we received our religious education. We prayed before we ate and we gave something up each Lent. Outside of this, our faith wasn’t really important. Of course, given the fact that I was in Catholic school and we went to Mass each week (plus during the week for school) I was exposed to the bible and its many amazing stories on a constant basis.
A few years ago I decided that I wanted to read the entire bible from beginning to end. I started off great but quickly realized that reading the bible from the first page to the last isn’t really a great way to read the bible. So, I stopped trying to read the entire bible and I made the decision to allow God to guide me to what he wanted me to receive from his Word each day. I have to say that my bible reading experience has been so much better since I decided to read the bible in this manner.
During this time I felt God leading me to read the Gospels. While Mark is the shortest, Matthew and parts of John are my favorites. They are my go-to when I need to be reassured about problems I am having or when I simply need to be inspired.
Chapter 25: Delve into the Gospels
One of the key aspects of this chapter that I thought was very insightful was the idea that many people view the books as simply history- an archive of what Jesus said and did and what people went through “way back when”. I know there are people who look at the Gospels and feel they have no value in today’s society; that as times have changed the messages contained within the Gospels are no longer relevant. They couldn’t be more wrong!
I really appreciated how Matthew Kelly tells us that we can approach reading the Gospels in various ways. I have never felt that the Gospels are boring no matter how many times I read them, but I can see the value in reading them from various perspectives. I know that depending on where I am in my life, what battles I might be fighting or crosses I may be carrying can affect how I hear God’s message. God may speak to me in a completely different manner when I encounter a passage when I am happy as compared to when I am sad. But that is what is so amazing about the Gospels- God speaks directly to us and in the way that means the most to us when it needs to means the most to us.
Point to Ponder: Jesus’ teachings are astoundingly practical when we pause to reflect on them.
I never cease to be amazed at how we can find the answer to all our questions in God’s Word. He gives us the advice we need; we simply have to be open to hearing it and following it. What’s more is that his advice is simple. That’s not to say it’s easy to follow, but it is very simple. But we have to make the choice to accept it and follow it.
Verse to Live: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
The Word has everything we need to light our way. But if we never open the Word then we never turn on the light that will dispel the darkness and lead us to Christ. When we read God’s Word we have the ability to light not only our own way but everyone we come in contact with. By reading the Gospels we are given the ways to change the world!
Question to Consider: Have you ever really read the Gospels?
I have read the Gospels on my own but I really enjoyed last year after Lent was over and our small faith group continued to meet to do a study on the Gospel of Matthew. Whereas the facts regarding the history of each verse were interesting, I loved hearing how each person in our group felt that the verses and overall message could be practiced within their own lives. I always came away from our group with more to think about and ways to incorporate the Scriptures into my life.
Your Turn: Do you read the bible? If not, what’s holding you back? How do you think your life can change if you simply commit to reading the bible for 10 minutes a day? Can you make the time?
Prayer: Jesus, reveal yourself to me as I begin to rediscover you through the Gospels.