The new year is a time of goal-setting and fresh starts!
I’m excited about several things I’ve got on my agenda this January: these awesome new meal plans from Tiffany at Don’t Waste the Crumbs, the Mastermind and Body Challenge from StayAtHomeYoga.com that’s starting soon, a decluttering project I have in the works, and more. Alongside all of this, I’m going to commit to another Bible in 90 Days reading challenge, and I’d love to have company! I’m hoping to start in mid-January.
The Bible in 90 Days is a group-oriented Bible reading curriculum, which helps people attentively read the entire Bible — from cover to cover — in 90 days. Churches across denominations, prisons, drug rehabilitation missions, corporate Bible studies and neighborhood small groups have all used the curriculum successfully to help people read the entire Bible. Small towns have even invited their citizens to do this curriculum. Groups have ranged from 2 people to 1,000 people spanning 49 states and 20 countries. – from the official website
Have you ever started out to read through the Bible only to get bogged down in Leviticus or Numbers?
I know I have. The first time I ever successfully read straight through the Bible without getting stuck in one of these books was when I did the Bible in 90 Days challenge. I know it sounds crazy, but I figured surely I could commit to 90 days, and it worked! It’s intense, like a sprint rather than a marathon. But that intensity is what I needed to push through those tough passages. And yes, I did benefit greatly, even reading that quickly! That was in 2010. I not only read the Bible cover to cover for the first time ever, I did it in just 90 days. It was such a life changing experience that I volunteered to be a mentor in the subsequent challenges.
I really loved how I was able to get a “big picture”, “birds eye” view of God’s entire plan of redemption, spanning both Old and New Testaments. I have understood the historical “timeline” if you will, and even the flow of the books themselves, but it now has a whole new depth. I think especially reading it in such a short period of time allowed for picking up on things that might not be picked up on reading it in a longer plan. When I got to the Gospels and Epistles, it had literally only been a few weeks since I’d been reading the OT books that were being alluded to, so it was very fresh in my mind. Much different than flipping back and forth to see the cross references. I could remember reading the reference and what the immediate context was quite clearly. I especially noticed this when it came to the Gospels, Hebrews, and Revelation.
Another thing I found edifying was reading an entire book in one sitting. This was especially true for some of the longer Epistles, which I’ve generally read broken up in several readings in the past. Even a book like Romans that I’m very familiar with has a new dimension when read all at once, following the train of thought unbroken. When I reached the Epistles, I ignored where the schedule said to stop and read at least a book at a time, more for the shorter ones. I was especially blessed reading Romans and Hebrews this way.
Of course, I still love and value in depth study. It’s absolutely necessary. There’s value in both ways, and in many ways I see that a quick, intense reading straight through and deeper study actually complement each other. I know that things that came to light for me as I read will be applied when I go back to study in depth. I will definitely do the 90 day plan again…I feel certain that each time through will add another layer of depth to my understanding as more and more things jump out or hit home each time.
Read the rest here.
I truly think that this is something everyone should do at least once in their lifetime, Christian or not! The Bible is one of the greatest works of literature in history, and the bestselling book of all time! It’s an essential for cultural literacy.
For those of us who believe it’s the inspired Word of God, it’s essential on another whole order of magnitude. If you have a hard time sticking with a year-long Bible reading plan, this may be just the thing. It’s intense, but it’s a shorter commitment. And it’s truly unique. There’s nothing quite like reading the New Testament with the Old Testament still so fresh in your mind. You’ll be amazed at the references you pick up that you have never noticed before…things that would have been immediately apparent to many of the very first followers of Jesus because of their familiarity with the Old Testament books.
Have I convinced you yet? I hope so.
If you’re at all interested in possibly reading along with me, fill out this quick form and I’ll be in touch!