I've decided to do my readings in the ESV translation again. I've completed the 90 day challenge with NIV once, NKJ once, NLT twice, and this will be my second time through with the ESV. I bought a new ESV Bible since last time I read with the ESV I used my ipad. I wanted a compact Bible that could easily fit in my car console or purse. What do you think? (Plus nothing says I'm in it for the long haul like spending $24 on a new Bible!)
|I taped my handy-dandy 90 day reading schedule to the front.|
For those of you who read the Bible through in a year or read the Bible one book at a time depending on what you're interested in, your pastor is preaching on, or whatever... you might be wondering what's so great about the 90 day Bible challenge.
Why read the Bible in 90 days?
1. Context and interconnections between the Old and New Testaments and even individual books of the Bible. Before reading the Bible in 90 days, I had studied books of the Bible in isolation and sometimes even just verses in isolation. The Bible takes on a life of its own when you read it in a shorter period of time. I've had so much fun making connections between Jeremiah and Josiah, the books of Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel, and of course Hebrews and Leviticus. You can't really understand one part of the Bible in isolation from the rest of it. The books were written by many men over more than one thousand years, but it's all God's Word and His redemptive plan. Reading the NT in 2 weeks after spending 2 and a half months in the OT makes so much more sense than it ever did before.
2. It's great accountability to be in God's Word EVERY DAY! We all know we're supposed to have a daily quiet time, but I've been tempted in the past to give it short shrift. I am involved in two Bible studies, after all, and both of them recommend stretching their study out five days of the week. But, I've never done that. I always sit down in one sitting and do my lesson. I know, I'm a rebel. Unfortunately this means that I can be in two Bible studies and only really studying the Bible two days a week. Yes, I do stuff with my kids and Sunday school, but that's not the same as individual time in the Word. The 90 day Bible challenge keeps me in God's Word. Every. Single. Day. I love it! It really does make a difference in my spiritual life, too. God works in us through His Word. Why short-change that?
Sold, but don't think you have time? Some hints for completing the 90 day Bible challenge on a tight schedule:
1. Make the most of every minute. Often I find myself waiting on kids to get out of swimming, art, etc. I always have a Bible in my car and read while waiting. I used to listen to talk radio. You know what? Not only do I have more time for reading, but I'm lots happier with fewer worries! And one of my favorite places to read is in the bathtub- my last sanctuary.
2. Even if you have a bad day and think there's no way you can complete your reading, just read for however long you have. I'm so all or nothing and struggle with this, but you have to get over this mindset to do the 90 day Bible challenge. There will be days that are unpredictable and leave you exhausted at 11 pm not having read your Bible. Don't let them defeat you, just read for 10 or 15 minutes and that way at least you won't get a whole day behind.
3. Invest in an audio Bible for those emergency situations like out of town swim meets. I'm not a good listener while driving around town, but when I'm on the highway and the kids are plugged in to their movie, I'm pretty good at listening to the Bible. It's not ideal and my goal is always to read every word myself, but sometimes you just can't get it done and I think it's better to listen for two days then get right back on track with reading than to get two days behind. I keep my NLT Bible on CD in the car for these emergencies.
4. If you love to read, don't let yourself read anything else until you've finished with your Bible reading for the day. This is a powerful incentive for me! If I leave it until the end of the day, I won't be reading anything else that day. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you apply this logic. What if nobody ever watched television, read blogs, or read anything else until after reading their Bible for an hour? We'd probably all get it done first thing in the morning, huh? I don't usually finish in the morning, but I like to at least start first thing before the kids are up. Then by the time I take advantage of 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there throughout the day, I'm usually very close to being finished by evening.
Please comment below if you're up to the challenge. I'm really looking forward to it again after a month off.
I found a 90 day Bible reading schedule at http://www.haventoday.org. They fit 3 schedules to a page, so you even have a couple to give to friends.
May God get the glory as we make time in our daily lives to put His Word first!