Take the Read the Bible Challenge
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:16-17 (NASB)
The Good Book, the Holy Scriptures, the Word of God, Holy Writ, the Sacred Scriptures. These are some of the terms that we use to describe the library of 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament—the Bible. Have you read much of God’s Word during 2023? If not, I would like to encourage you to take the time to do so this year. “But I’m too busy!” That would be true for many of us in our culture. “What can I do about that?” Do less. Say, “No, I’m not able to do that.” If you have used some of your time foolishly, the solution is not to say, “I’m never going to do that again!” Rather, the solution is to confess that sin to Your Heavenly Father and receive His forgiveness for Jesus’ sake. Then ask for the Lord’s wisdom in your priorities. There are urgent things calling for our attention; there are unimportant things calling for our attention. We are to pursue the most important things.
Seek to establish the habit of regular Bible reading and prayer. Read a chapter (or more) of the Bible and pray daily. Write out a prayer list to remind you what to pray for. If you read a chapter a day, in 260 days you could complete the New Testament! Have you every done that? If you read 3.26 chapters a day, you could complete the whole Bible in a year! (There are 1189 chapters in the Bible: 929 in the OT and 260 in the NT.) How do you start? Let me encourage you to take one of the following challenges with me:
A. Easy: Read 1 chapter a day to complete the New Testament in less than a year. Supplement this with a Psalm or two per week.
B. Medium: Read 3.26 chapters a day to complete the whole Bible in a year.
C. Tough: Read a book a month for shorter books of the Bible 1-6 chapters or divide a longer book up into sections of 5-6 chapters. For example, let’s begin with the Gospel of Mark. It has 16 chapters. Each day for the first month read chapters 1-5. Read that section each day or in smaller sections if you prefer. Read that section again and again until that month is done. Take notes. Give a title to each chapter. Make an outline. But the main thing is to read it. The second month (February) read chapters 6-10 in the same manner. The third month (March) ready chapters 11-16. In three months you will know the Gospel of Mark. At this pace you will study through the whole New Testament in 4 years.
D. Tough: Use Grant Horner’s reading method (of my modified version of it) to read 10 chapters a day (to finish in one year) or 5 (to finish in two years). You will be reading through 10 sections of the Scriptures at a time.
Download guides here:
Guide C to study the NT over four years
Guide D1 for original 10/5 a day
Guide D2 for adapted 10/5 a day
Guide from the Bible Project with links