In an online course I’m taking on research and writing, my professor encouraged the class to pick a favorite book of the Bible as a go-to topic to focus our writing around. His inspiration for that recommendation was from a sermon by Pastor John Piper in which Piper encouraged his listeners to make a life-project out of getting to know one favorite book of the Bible really deeply. That simple suggestion sparked some serious reflection on what my favorite book of the Bible would be.
I realized I had never really considered that question before. I have a favorite verse: Second Corinthians 9:8. I have a favorite chapter: Romans chapter 8. I have several favorite Psalms: 46, 63, and 130, among others. Jonah is a little book that I have studied and taught often. Philippians is a book I have memorized. But if I had to pick one book as my favorite, what would that be?
I figured it would have to be a book that I keep coming back to again and again, both in my own devotional life and also in my teaching and preaching. It would have to focus on key themes that have become my heartbeat and passion. It would have to contain multiple large sections that continually minister deeply to my heart. And if it were to become a life-long project of plumbing its depths, it would have to hold my curiosity and interest throughout varying seasons of life.
So as I thought through the various sections of Scripture that I am regularly drawn to, what God brought to mind was 2 Corinthians chapters 3-5 and portions of chapters 1, 9 and 12. In those sections are themes of transformation, suffering, dependence, hope, and glory. It is the intersection of those themes that is becoming more and more the driving passion of my ministry to the Church. So 2 Corinthians takes the prize as my favorite book in the Bible.
Granted, there is much in 2 Corinthians that I have not studied very deeply and which may not carry the same interest to me as these favorite sections, but as I compared this book with other possible favorites, I became more and more convinced that this was the one for me to invest deeply in for the remainder of my life on earth.
What about you? If you are a Christian who reads the Bible, what is your favorite book? I pray that this consideration might spark in you the same kind of interest and desire as it has surfaced in me. And feel free to leave a comment–I’d love to hear your favorite book of the Bible too.