The Challenge

“The law shall be his constant companion. He must read from it every day of his life so that he will learn to respect the Lord his God by obeying all of his commands. This regular reading of God’s laws will prevent him from feeling that he is better than his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from God’s laws in the slightest respect.” Deut. 17:19-20 (The Living Bible)

I recently read an article in InTouch magazine (Dr. Charles Stanley) about a woman who cut apart and re-bound her Bible into 4 sections to help her read through it easier. Admittedly, holding the Bible in my hand and thinking about reading through the whole thing-cover to cover-seems rather daunting unless it’s divided into little bite-sized pieces over the course of a year.

Thinking what a fantastic idea this woman had, I was also convicted about my own scattered reading plans. God spoke to me there and challenged me to read from Genesis 1:1-Revelation 22 in one week. No, that wasn’t a typo, I said one week. My first thought was, how will I ever find time for that? But God is bigger than my excuses and quickly brought to mind many things I could give up for one week to accomplish this goal.

Taking on this challenge has been one of the best experiences I’ve encountered in God’s word. Reading through the books in order has opened my eyes to things I’ve never understood before. Stories are making more sense read in context. And by context I don’t mean the 12 verses surrounding one verse, but the books surrounding other books. For instance, many people (including myself) avoid the book of Leviticus. Granted, it’s not the “easiest” read, but is important since “the whole Bible is given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what it true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right.” (2 Tim. 3;16-The Living Bible)

There was something so inspirational and special about reading the Bible continuously. I can’t adequately describe it other than to recommend doing it.

I wrote a 30-day Bible reading plan (understanding very few would be able to devote a week to it) and am challenging you, my friends and lovers of the Word, to ask if God would have you do this. It is a challenge, I won’t say it’s not. Prayerfully consider if God would have you do this or perhaps adapt the plan to suit your needs.

The average reader can easily accomplish this goal in 2-3 hours per day. I’ll list some tips I’ve employed to help me read the word in one week that will help you read it in one month. You may want to consider using a different version than you normally study from in order to provide a new experience. I chose a paraphrase (The Living Bible) so it reads more like a novel. This is for reading, not studying, so don’t get too hung up on the translation.

1-Get up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour later. (It’s only one month-a worthy sacrifice indeed.)

2-Listen to the Bible on audio while you drive, cook, clean, shower, etc. You’ll find there’s a lot of time for your ears to be working while your hands are busy.

3-Avoid the temptation of social media-the articles, cutesy pictures, posts, statuses, and other time-consuming reads. You’ll find those things add up quickly. 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there is an hour before you know it. In an hour you could have read several chapters in the Bible.

4-Give up the news or other programming you consistently watch on television. Even one or two shows is an hour or more that you could be reading.

5-When you are reading the Bible at length you will discover things you want to look up and research. Avoid the bunny trails! Keep a note-pad handy and write down the verse/subject so you can study it at a later time, once you’ve reached your reading goal.

6-Finally, don’t read just to read! Read the Story to grow in your relationship with Jesus and ask Him to open your eyes to new things each and every time you begin. He will answer that prayer and your eyes will surely be opened more than you’d ever imagine.

I can’t wait to hear your testimonies and pray you will be encouraged and strengthened in your journey. Who knows, maybe you’ll like it so much you’ll decide to do it a couple times every year. I know I’ve been inspired to do as much. Please let me know in the comments if you are going to be taking this challenge so I can be sure to pray for you!

Through the Bible in 30 Days

Day 1: Genesis 1-40

Day 2: Genesis 41-Exodus 30

Day 3: Exodus 31-Numbers 3

Day 4: Numbers 4-Deuteronomy 8

Day 5: Deuteronomy 9-Joshua 15

Day 6: Joshua 16-1 Samuel 7

Day 7: 1 Samuel 8-2 Samuel 17

Day 8: 2 Samuel 18-2 Kings 12

Day 9: 2 Kings 13-1 Chronicles 29

Day 10: 2 Chronicles 1-Ezra 4

Day 11: Ezra 5-Job 11

Day 12: Job 12-Psalm 10

Day 13: Psalm 11-51

Day 14: Psalm 52-92

Day 15: Psalm 93-133

Day 16: Psalm 134-Proverbs 14

Day 17: Proverbs 15-Ecclesiastes 12

Day 18: Song of Solomon 1-Isaiah 32

Day 19: Isaiah 33-Jeremiah 6

Day 20: Jeremiah 7-47

Day 21: Jeremiah 48-Ezekiel 31

Day 22: Ezekiel 32-Hosea 14

Day 23: Joel 1-Zechariah 5

Day 24: Zechariah 6-Matthew 28

Day 25: Mark 1-Luke 14

Day 26: Luke 15-Acts 10

Day 27: Acts 11-Romans 16

Day 28: 1 Corinthians 1-Galatians 6

Day 29: Ephesians 1-2 Timothy 4

Day 30: Titus 1-Revelation 22

 

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “The Challenge

      • You are so blessed to be a fast reader! The Lord has given me a trade off I am retaining about 90% of what I have read! AMEN! I Samuel 8 Now If the Lord would just give me something new to write for the blog! AMEN!!

      • Just finished Ecclesiastes this morning. Im not that fast of a reader. It takes me a couple hours to read the daily 40 chapters. Some days I can only do a few. So, my 30 day reading plan may end up taking more like 40 days. 🙂

  1. Rebecca, You ask me to keep you up dated on my progress: Well here it is I am at Numbers 17, Now for the good news one of our brothers of Men of One Accord has joined in the reading through the Bible. I have started a new prayer group in a new town.
    On to the really Good News I was explaining to my wife that my handy-cap was giving me fits and anger was getting almost getting out of control.
    She said, “It is your throne in the flesh and His grace is sufficient, why haven’t you asked?”
    Not to remove the throne but to use His grace to keep working for the goal. James

    • Thank you for the update! Just knowing you’re doing this keeps me motivated and encouraged. And how thrilling to hear someone else has started too! That’s a God-victory.

      I don’t know what your physical challenges are, but I have some of my own that tempt me to get angry and frustrated but His grace is sufficient, and I have to choose to rest in that. I look forward to hearing more about your ministry!

  2. Wow! I think I can do that. Even with my handy-cap of dyslexia, I am sure I can do that. If it takes me 60 or 90 days to decipher the Bible I will do that. It only took me 7 years to study through the Bible the first time. A straight read through the Bible? OK you are on I take your challenge, James of Men of One Accord.

    • James, thanks so much for joining me. I was just getting discouraged that no one had so much as responded to thus challenge, but God used you (as He has in the past) to encourage me. I can’t wait to hear how it goes. I listened to Joshua, Judges and Ruth via audio today while I was cooking, watering the garden, playing with my daughter, and doing chores. Its a wonderful experience to be totally saturated in the word for hours on end! No matter how long it takes you, I know you’ll be blessed!

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