Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The 90-Day Challenge

It's Day 2 of our challenge to read the whole Bible in three months. It's not too late to join us! Here are some tips for staying focused on our goals. 

Reading the whole Bible in 90 days is more than an idle attempt to see if we can do it.  And it isn't about checking off a list so that we appear more righteous before God or our friends -- or, conversely, feeling guilty over failure if we don't make our goals.

Don't worry too much about "getting behind."  Yes, we want to challenge ourselves, and that's the reason we are following a reading plan in the first place. But don't be so focussed on "staying on track" that you lose sight of our real goals:

Goal 1: To gain an understanding of THE OVERALL STORY OF SCRIPTURE and a  MORE COMPLETE PICTURE OF GOD. 
I encourage you to do your reading from a Bible with study notes, that you can refer to for things that don't make sense to you.  Or for online reading, I recommend the New English Translation (NET), which includes translators' notes (t) and study notes (s) to help you understand better.

For each story, ask yourself, "What does teach me about God's character? about the plan that he has for the world? about human character? about me?"

Goal 2: To have a DAILY DISCIPLINE of spending time with THE LORD AND HIS WORD
Don't just read for the sake of reading; ask the Lord to open your heart to what he has to teach you. Share your problems with him; pray for unbelieving friends.  Keeping a journal is another great way to record what God is teaching you.

Goal 3. To CONNECT with other believers through A COMMON EXPERIENCE
Something powerful happens when people do things together, and there are several ways helps us do that.
  1. Accountability. Find a partner to encourage you and can discuss what you've been reading. YouVersion can also be set to automatically email a friend whenever you do your reading.
  2. Notes. You can add notes to verses  you find interesting, inspiring, or confusing. You can find your friends' notes under My>Friends' Activities.
  3. Connections. Connect to your Facebook/Twitter account, and share your favorite verses with your friends.

I'm really excited to see where this leads.  Please be praying with me!


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