This summer I read through the entire Bible in 83 days! I had joined the 90 Day Challenge hosted by Mom's Toolbox. This was quite a commitment, but well worth every minute. You should seriously and prayerfully consider joining this incredible challenge starting again January 3, 2011.
I have had several people ask me what I thought about this challenge and style of reading. I want to share some things I have been thinking about, including reasons why I strongly recommend this crash course to everyone, at least once in your life:
- Reading the Bible cover to cover gave me an incredible perspective on salvation history and flow of God's action through Israel. I could see so clearly the chaos and rebellion of Israel, and God's incredible patience and His unspeakable holiness. This view of the old testament strongly affected how I read about the revelation of Jesus as the fulfillment, the discipline of the church and the final wrath of God in Revelation.
- The rapid pace of this reading schedule kept the recently-finished books of the Bible so fresh in my mind that I began to see patterns and repetition I had never noticed before, adding to my understanding of scripture and of God -- beautiful patterns of forgiveness and redemption, and horrifying patterns of man's sin and rebellion.
- Reading through the entirety of scripture (whether in 90 days or over the course of a year) gives a better perspective for understanding the context of smaller portions you may read or study. I have noticed this especially in my recent study of 1 Peter. As I read this book more carefully for a Bible study group, I recognized references to the law that helped me understand the author, his purpose in writing the letter, and its recipients; deepening my understanding and appreciation for this book.
- Reading in only 90 days requires a serious commitment and significant sacrifice. In addition to the benefits listed above, the discipline, sacrifice and faithfulness required to complete this goal taught me a lot about myself. I quickly saw the many things I spend my time on that I really don't need to do. It put a spotlight on areas where my priorities are not what I want them to be, or what they should be. But this also taught me that God desires sacrifice and faithfulness in our lives as we seek to know him better.
I understand that this challenge is not everyone. But I encourage you to playfully consider committing to this, or some another program that will challenge you spend daily time reading Scripture. This "Bible in 90 Days" / "Blogging through the Bible in 90 days" challenge also has a great online community for support and accountability. But I recommend you find a friend who will read with you and help keep you faithful.
This short, three months commitment will take a lot of your spare time and then some, but it can be a life-changing experience. I am still seeing the ways God used this challenge to change my heart and mind -- to reveal things in me he wants to change, but in the big picture, to know and love HIM more.
On Monday, November 29, Mom's Toolbox will be posting a link to the official sign up for the next session of Bible in 90 Days/Blogging Through the Bible in 90 Days.