Sometimes the smaller books of the Bible get the least attention. As you peruse through the Word of God, flipping through pages to find where to land next, it’s easy to breeze past those small books because they’re maybe one or two pages. But have you ever heard the phrase that good gifts come in small packages? Then buckle up because today we’re going to explore 5 books in the Bible that might seem small but pack a powerful punch!
This small twenty-five verse New Testament book of the Bible is a powerful account of forgiveness and grace. Paul is writing to a man named Philemon--the only book he writes to an individual--who hosts a church in his house. What’s unique about this account is that Paul is interceding on behalf of a runaway slave named Onesimus, who once served Philemon.
As a runaway slave, Onesimus could have faced dire consequences with one word from Philemon. At this point, Onesimus had since become a Christian and a dear friend to Paul’s, so Paul intercedes on his behalf with Philemon.
Philemon found himself in a difficult situation: he could let the offense slide and create tension among other slaves and masters, or he could enforce justice and hurt his witness. So, Paul offered a solution to take on the slaves debt.
This offering is a beautiful picture of what Christ has done for us. Jesus takes on our debt and bridges a gap with the Father. He paid the price and so did Paul. This small book is a declaration of forgiveness, grace, redemption, and love.
Jude was the half-brother of Jesus and in this small book he makes an urgent call to the Christians. He writes of false teachers and those who would seek to draw people away from the true Gospel of Jesus. It’s an important book to read because it’s a reminder for us to remain faithful.
We are all living in a world that doesn’t want us--Christians--to flourish. It wants to deter us, discourage us, and even cause division within the body of Christ. It’s why Jude shares near the end of his letter that we must build each other up. There’s no room in the Church for quarreling, division, disunity--the enemy is already trying to do so on his own. We must stick together, encourage each other, and go after those who would be led astray in order to stay strong as one body. If we don’t have each others back, no one else on this earth will.
This book is a great read on unity in the Church amid those who would seek to divide it.
The book of Titus was written by Paul and is a full three chapters! This is absolutely a go-to book for me because it’s full of wisdom and practical guidelines for everyday living. Paul was writing to a dear companion of his named Titus, who at the time is working in Crete to establish elders over some of the churches there.
In the first chapter they are addressing the qualifications of an elder, in chapter two looking at relationships, and in chapter three a final call to righteous living. We see so much covered--from money to mentorship, slavery to quarreling--this book a phenomenal read on living a wise and righteous life.
Jonah may not be a book you’ve skimmed past or never read; it’s a popular sermon topic for kids church and Sunday service alike. But it’s more than just a story about a man who got swallowed up by a whale. It’s a tale of calling, disobedience, restoration, and grace.
Jonah was called to go preach to a violent people in a very wicked city and instead of moving forward in obedience to that call, he went in the exact opposite direction. Boarding a ship, he chose the farthest possible location from Nineveh, where he was called to go and preach.
Along the way, there is the account of him being thrown overboard and swallowed by a whale, but in the whale there was this beautiful time of communication and intimacy between Jonah and God, showing us that in our darkest seasons God is with us.
Once Jonah made it to Nineveh, he preached repentance and the whole city did indeed repent, sparing the destruction of the city. Although Jonah went to a discouraging place afterward, we see the power of stepping out in faith wherever God has called us to. Look past the obvious and dive deeper into this account for encouragement to hold firm to path God is placing before you.
5. 2 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians was written by Paul and this book is largely an encouragement in the face of persecution. He speaks to the believer going through a difficult season; praying rest and a life worthy of the calling over the reader.
He continues by accounting the destruction and rebellion that will play out before the Lord’s Second Coming and how we must stand firm in the faith, further exhorting the call to stand firm in the face of adversity.
He concludes the book with an exhortation to proper living; working hard and never tiring of doing good. It’s a small book packed with encouragement to the believer and one you can find great rest and strength in.
These books may be small but they are full of wisdom and truth for Christians today. We learn so much about grace, redemption, calling, wise living--the list could go on. If you have yet to dive into any of these books, consider doing so today!
Brittany Rust is a writer, speaker, and has the privilege of serving on staff at Red Rocks Church in Denver, CO. She and her husband Ryan make their home in the Rocky Mountains, pursuing outdoor adventures, great food, and memorable stories together. Her website brittanyrust.com aims to supply encouraging resources for the world-wearied believer.
Publication date: October 26, 2016