Yesterday, I discussed the Scripture Top Ten Method of approaching scripture. It starts with a favorite passage or verse and then through discovery or study leads to other similar or noteworthy passages. Here is five of my top ten and why they are significant. Nos. 6-10 will come tomorrow.
1. Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) – I used to read self-help books and books on how to achieve success until I found the teachings available in the Sermon on the Mount. I discovered that if I became the kind of person presented in the Sermon then I would have no need for leadership gimmicks and success platitudes. Jesus became someone who could teach me how to live my life.
2. Ten Commandments (Exodus 20: 1-21) – Much of the Sermon is referencing the Ten Commandments and the commands of the Old Testament. I felt that I needed to have a better understanding of the Ten Commandments. I realized that I had never really read them in context before and that they are not written in nice little one line commands. I was so taken by them, I decided I needed to memorize them. Memorization had never been a priority until scripture started to come alive to me.
3. Psalm 23 – I understood the command to have no other god before God but I didn’t fully understand what it meant to have the Lord be my “shepherd,” my protector, my nourisher, and “restorer of my soul.” I memorized this one as well and it has been a great comfort to me.
4. 1 Corinthians 13 – Another famous passage that doesn’t need to be dismissed just because it is well known. It is well known because it deserves to be dwelt over and meditated on. Also, if I was still thinking that the Sermon on the Mount and the Ten Commandments were simply rules and not a way of life then I would look at 1 Cor. 13 in the same way. Looking at this great passage on love and thinking that I have to go out today and be more patient, kind, and less boastful is to miss the point of inward transformation into Christlikeness.
5. Colossians 3: 1-17 – I think this one may eventually move ahead of 1 Corinthians 13. Once, I read this passage daily over a week’s time and it was one of the most fulfilling experiences I have had with scripture. I encourage you to try the same exercise.