Keep a Foot in the Four
Read the Gospels
At Northstar Church’s 2022 State of the Church address, I presented our church with three focal points to shape our spiritual journeys this year and beyond.
We’ve come out of a pandemic that fostered fear and disrupted unity in society, families and churches. I can’t think of a better medicine for the heart and soul than reading the gospels in 2022. We need a consistent, daily dose of wonder, joy and hope that are all in extravagant supply in the first four books of the New Testament – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These writings, inspired by God, are like exfoliation for the soul. They peel off layers of yuck that accumulate daily in our hearts by simple exposure to Jesus.
I encouraged our church to “Walk Daily” by setting aside time each morning to pursue their relationships with God through reading the Bible. I’m convinced that you can’t grow in faith without growing in your love for God’s Word.
Where do you start reading the Bible?
So many people just assume that you start from the beginning. They pick up the Bible, open to Genesis and dive in. A few days later, they’re feeling bogged down. Some give up reading. I want to suggest that you begin someplace different.
Begin with the Gospels
Scott Hubbard wrote The Most Wonderful Books on Earth over on Desiring God. In it, he used the phrase “Keep Your Foot In the Four.” I had to reuse it as the title here.
“I am not proposing that you read only the Gospels this year, but that you consider finding some special way to plant (and keep) your soul in them.”
He shares some reasons to read the gospels:
The Gospels give glory a texture.
The Gospels shatter false Christs.
The Gospels make Bible reading Personal.
The Gospels are bigger than they look.
“We will never catch all there is to know and love about Jesus, but we can catch something more next year. So come again and walk with him on the waters. Come and watch a few loaves feed five thousand. Come and sing with Zechariah, rise with Lazarus, and walk with the women to the empty tomb. Come and remember why the Gospels are indeed “the most wonderful books on earth” — because they give us the most wonderful Person.”
Back in March 2019, I wrote a review of the CSB Christ Chronological Bible.It’s a wonderful resource that places the gospels in four columns across the page so that you can see when a gospel writer tells the same story, and when he diverges and writes material unique to his perspective.
If you’re looking for a great help to get started on your adventure through the gospels, you can’t go wrong with this resource.
The Bible Project
The Bible Project has produced tons of videos to help you grasp the story of God as revealed in scripture. They have an app, a podcast and other resources available at their site. If you use them, consider making a donation, as they are crowdfunded and provide everything for free.
Here’s their video on the gospels:
I hope your adventure in walking daily with God through reading the Bible begins today!
Listen or watch 2022’s State of the Church from Northstar Church.
Available on Amazon for $20 or Christianbook.com for $15