How To Implement A Scripture Top 10

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If your scripture reading has become stale and you wish you could get more from it, then you might want to try what I call the Scripture Top 10 Method. Earlier this week, I detailed how it has worked for me and which passages made my list. Today, I want to offer a guide to implementing your own Top 10.

1. Change Your Thinking – If we have been in the church for very long we have been exposed to Bible Highlight Shows. This is where a pastor will take a topic and then dump every verse he can come up with on that topic on the lap of the congregation. A virtual highlight reel on the topic. This is a problem because it makes us view individual scriptures in complete isolation and without context, language, or history. Some have called the Bible “God’s love letter to his people”. Who would write a love letter just filled with one liners and isolated phrases? No, your letter is going to have recurring themes and consistent emphasis. In order to implement a Scripture Top 10, you have to start recognizing the major themes and connections within scripture.

2. Start with what you know – Even if the only verse you know is “Jesus wept,” you can still begin to ask questions that will lead you to other verses. In this example, you could ask, “Why did Jesus weep?” And then determine that it is because of his humanity. Then this could lead you to the Christmas story and the humility and earthiness in which Jesus came into the world. In this story, the Wise Men bring gifts fit for a king. Then you could find the verses that talk about the Kingdom of God and start to understand what kind of King Jesus is.

3. Ask a friend or find a Bible with good study notes – You will need help making connections with other passages, especially with ones in the Old Testament. Find someone who is more knowledgeable of the Bible than you and talk to them about your desire to discover more of scripture based on your favorite passages. You may also need a Bible that will give you some background on certain passages and references you to other passages that address the same concept. Don’t make too much of the study notes, use them for reference and discovery purposes. Save in depth study for another time. The Bibles that I have used include Life Application Bible, Spiritual Formation Bible, and ESV Study Bible.

4. Ask Why? – If you have a favorite verse or passage, ask why that scripture means so much to you. Pray for God to show you to parts of the Bible that remind you of your favorite scripture.

5. Relax – God did not inspire scripture for us to understand all of its complexities and mysteries. Our entire life will be filled with more discoveries of God through scripture. He designed it this way. The whole point behind this method is to start the frustrated Christian toward a path of lifetime discovery in a way that is fun and adventurous. Don’t take it too serious. Remember that this is your process and God has unique and personal things that he wants to show you that he does not have for anyone else. Enjoy the ride.

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My Scripture Top 6-10

Yesterday, we looked at five scriptures passages that have not only been enriching to me but also key transition points to other passages. Today, I list the rest of my top 10.

6. 1 Samuel 16 – By the time I had become taken by the Sermon on the Mount and many of the other passages in my top 5 it was becoming clear to me that God is obsessed with the makeup of the heart. When he changes a person it is through a formation of the heart from the inside out. So when I re-discovered the story of Samuel anointing the future king, David, and here God tell Samuel that “man looks on the outside but God looks on the heart” I knew exactly what he was talking about.

7. Galatians 5:19-25 – Another well-known passage, this one discusses the Fruits of the Spirit. The best words of scripture are ones that inspire and convict. This one convicts me every time. I often ask myself, what am I doing to foster the development of the Fruits of the Spirit?

8. Psalm 1 – ‘Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.’

Before God broke me down and changed me, I would have read verse 2 with dread. How do you delight in law? And who would want to meditate on the law day and night? But I understood the law to be not a just set of rules but a God ordained way of nourishing my soul. Could I delight in the Sermon on the Mount? In the Ten Commandments? In 1 Corinthians 13? Yes. And I had already meditated on these “laws” and found meaning and strength for my life.

9. Galatians 2:20 – All that I had learned and processed through the previously mentioned verses kind of culminates with this verse. From a salvation stand point, I understood the new life found in Christ but this verse showed me the ultimate step in discipleship. “The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God.”

10. Philippians 3:10 – All of the New Testament falls into these few words. The life of Jesus, his crucifixion, the mystery of the resurrection, discipleship; it is all there and just bursting off the page. This verse will take a lifetime to comprehend and live out but through the process of my Top 10, I can think of no other worthy cause for my life.

So there it is, the 10 passages of scripture that have had the most impact on me and renewed, not only my interest in scripture reading and study, but also my life. Next time, I will demonstrate how you can develop your own Top 10 and what benefit you will gain from it.