Well God is definitely hammering this ‘Community’ theme into my life at the moment.
A few days ago I finished doing a bible reading plan. The plan was called ‘Community Bible Experience: New Testament’ and it involved reading the entire New Testament of the Bible in 40 day.
Hold on, now that I write that, who on earth got me to agree to this, that is half the Bible in a little over a month! Anyway now that I have noticed how insane that idea was I am proud to say I made it to the end, every single word of the New Testament, I would love to say that I could remember it all word for word and will now put it 100% into practice but I just can’t guarantee it, I will definitely try because the reward is so great.
The point of this reading, as the title of it suggested, was to share it in community. We had a small group of us that chose to sign up for this challenge and read ‘together’. We did it at separate times when it best suited us, morning, night, during work after work, on the toilet, whenever, no rules, just read it during that day. We would then at some point during the day pass on the message to each other with the verse that really spoke to us. One of the things I really enjoyed The best bit for me was seeing what others got out of the same verses I had also just read. I would often consciously try to not be the first person to get in and message my verse. I would wait until I saw what the others put, not so that I could check to see if I was on the right track or for any self gain when I found something better, but I would use it as a challenge to search and seek God even harder to find another verse that speaks to me other than the regular ones that others had chosen. I like to make myself look harder so that I am taking away the maximum wisdom and knowledge from the Bible that I could possibly find, after all, what is the point of reading the Bible if you aren’t going to take something away from it.
I have just started another one, its a bit of a longer contract this time. It is called ‘Life Journal Reading Plan’ by YouVersion. It’s a full year but if anyone wants to be involved and be part of this little reading community that does these reading separately and in our own time but then share a verse with others, please get on board and let me know, I promise it won’t be anywhere near as insane as last time. The more people in the group, the harder I have to look to find something that others haven’t chosen and I would love to have that challenge.
If the thought of reading the whole Bible or signing up for a full year is a crazy, ridiculous thought to you because the longest commitment you are comfortable making is choosing to wear ‘closed toe shoes’ instead of ‘Thongs or Havianas’ for the day, then I encourage you to just ‘read the Bible’, start off reading a small section of something, maybe Luke is a good start, and go from there. Get yourself a reading partner, it definitely keeps me accountable on those days that 30 mins more sleep seems more attractive than even Jesus (please don’t judge me). Everytime you look at God’s word, you are so much richer for doing so. The Bible is such a fountain of knowledge, wisdom and power, it opens eyes, it sets hearts on fire, it give strength in times trouble, it tells you how to live in this crazy world we face daily, its an instruction manual to being human.
I give you this challenge.
‘Think about how much you read the Bible last week, add 10 minutes to it on every day you did it, or add one extra day of actual Bible reading a week to it, or just add one extra chapter per sitting to it, or even just skip one less day this week, do it for only a week, a fortnight, a month, even a year and watch God increase in you life’
Simple, even if you just read your bible once last week and that was at church on a Sunday, Great, what a perfect starting point. Give an extra 10 mins of your spare time to reading the bible on a weekday this week (God gave you 10,080 mins this week, I’m sure you can spare 10 of them to at least know about the guy that gave them to you). If God doesn’t reveal something new and exciting to you then you have done a really good job by finding a section of the Bible that God wasn’t speaking through, even the ‘genealogies’ and ‘building of the temple with all its measurements’ has excitement throughout it if you read it right.
Can you spare that extra 10 minutes more this week. 10 minutes more out of 10,080 a week, even while Jesus was bringing salvation to the world by dying on a cross he had time to cry out and know God’s heart better. Shouldn’t you?
Just a Thought.