by: Rich Vaughan
Currently the Monday morning Men’s Bible Study has been studying the “shortest books in the Bible”. As of today, we have studied the Old Testament books of Obadiah (shortest book in the OT), Jonah, Nahum (sequel to the book of Jonah), Haggai (very tough and depressing writing), and next will be the book of Habakkuk. Then we will begin to study some of the New Testament’s shortest books. By the way, the shortest book in the Bible and of course, the New Testament, is 3 John with only 219 words (1 Chapter, only 15 verses)!
With all that said, do you have a favorite book of the Bible? If you respond to this devotional, mention your favorite book if you have one. Now, can you guess what mine is? There have been hints during my ministry at Holland’s. In the Old Testament it is of course my favorite prophet, so therefore it is the book of Jeremiah. BUT THAT IS NOT MY FAVORITE BOOK in the entire Bible! My favorite book out of the 66 books in our beloved Bible, is Luke. Why Luke? There are many reasons. To begin with, I love the Christmas story found in Chapter two. While it does not have the story of the Wiseman (that is in Matthew), it does have everything else of the Christmas story. Luke (chapter 4) also has the story of Jesus’ battle with Satan in the wilderness that I find fascinating and so teachable to me when I face spiritual battles. Luke has one of my favorite healing/miracle stories and it has been my favorite since I was a child. That is the story in Luke 5 of the paralyzed man lowered through the roof by his friends that Jesus heals. The gospel of Luke also has the powerful story of the “sinful woman” who anoints Jesus’ feet with an expensive ointment at the home of Simeon the Pharisee and the love and forgiveness Jesus offers her when Simeon and others are so quick to judge. Luke gives us 3 of Jesus’ most famous parables in chapter 15. The parable of the lost coin, the lost sheep, and the lost son (the Prodigal son). Luke gives us the parable of the Good Samaritan (chapter 10). Luke gives us the story of Zacchaeus (19) and a powerful account of Holy Week, from the arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection, and closes with the Emmaus story (24). Luke’s Greek is excellent and apparently his handwriting is better than a lot of modern day doctors (Luke was a doctor)!
For me, it is this book I turn to when life is getting the better of me. When Satan is cutting loose all the demonic forces of Hell at me, my church, or my family – or all 3! In the gospel of Luke is where I find my hope, my strength, and renew my faith. In this year between COVID, the issues happening to some of our church families, the political mood, the unrest, I have worn out the Gospel of Luke. But that is good. That is why it is part of the Bible known as “The Good News” (The gospels). And we all need good news! So, do you have a favorite book in the Bible? If you do, dive into it and see if your mood, hope, and faith doesn’t improve. If you do not have a favorite book in the Bible, 2020 is a really good year to find one! Amen? Amen.