“If we have not entered (the Bible) as participants we aren’t going to understand what is going on. This text cannot be understood by watching it from the bleachers—or even expensive box seats. We are in on it.”
-Eugene Peterson (Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading)
If you read the Bible, I wonder if you, like me, get stuck. You don’t know where to begin. Perhaps you don’t even understand what you are reading when you do start. But there is something very daunting about “reading the Bible” that for many people keeps us away from it.
For a moment, I want to take the pressure off of you. You don’t have to read the whole Bible in one sitting to understand it’s message or the implications it has on your life. Whew… aren’t you glad the pressure is off? You don’t have to swallow it all down. It’s broken down for you.
I have a five year old little girl who loves to eat steak. Yep. Steak. She loves eating it. But I know that if I gave her a whole steak to eat without cutting it into bite-sized morsels, she would not eat it at all. She wouldn’t even know where to start.
When you get stuck with the whole “I need to read my Bible” thing, I want to encourage you to stop for a minute and cut it up into bite-sized morsels.
Here are a few morsels to chew on for today.
- The HISTORY portion. The Bible is a book that is split up into different books that give you a history of the beginnings of the earth, a history of the original fall and sin of mankind, and a history of the people that God chose to bring about salvation to all of mankind in spite of our mistake. But it doesn’t stop there.
- The SONGS & POETRY portion. The Bible is also a book that has songs and poetry written by kings and men who struggled with life and all the questions that life brings us. It has a love story written throughout it, the love story of God who is wooing his people like a man would woo a woman in a romantic dance of relationship, struggle, pain, suffering, love, ecstasy, and adventure.
- The RESCUE portion. The Bible also has an entrance moment for God as He became human like us and lived on this earth and showed us truly what He is like. You’ll find this story in the four New Testament gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. You’ll also find the history of what happened to Him when mankind rejected Him and nailed Him to a wooden cross.
- The CHURCH/ACTION portion. After that you will read the stories of those who gave their very lives to follow in the footsteps of Jesus to be a part of the birth and growth of the Church, God’s Bride and His chosen people for the advancing of His Kingdom here on earth. You will find yourself in this portion of human history as told by the Bible, and you will hear the invitation to come and be a part of the mission of God in the world.
And there is more, much much more. You see, there is a lot for you to take in when you read the Bible. There is much to be digested and worked on. Much like a good steak, the Bible is meant to be tasted, savored, rolled around on your tongue, and swallowed as an experience, not just a quick meal.
This is not fast food…it’s fine dining.
So if and when you read your Bible, do yourself a favor. Sit down to a feast. There are lots of fast food restaurants all around.. but this meal is really meant to be enjoyed and taken to heart.