For the last twenty weeks, we’ve been going through the e100 Bible reading challenge from Scripture Union. Many people have shared that it’s helped them to get into God’s Word and grow in their faith. The book is great, but having finished the book, I don’t think people need another book. In my mind, there are three ingredients that make the e100 challenge so powerful and it’s those three ingredients that I would commend to people for a lifetime of Bible reading. You need three things:
1. You need a plan.
The e100 gives a plan of 100 carefully selected readings. It’s a great plan to get an overview of the Bible. But there are many plans – the key is to choose one. Let me suggest three.
Discovery: One of the easiest plans is called "Discovery," by Scripture Union. By subscribing, you get an e-mail every day with a section to read from the Bible, a short reflection on the passage and a question to help you apply it. You can learn more at the following link and subscribe at the bottom to get started. https://scriptureunion.org/daily-guides/
The Bible Project: If you've never read through the Bible in a year, I'd encourage you to try. It will give you a great overview of God's message and take you to passages you wouldn't otherwise read. The Bible Project helps you to do this with a list of daily readings and short video overviews of themes and books of the Bible which are visually stunning and theologically rich. You can sign up for daily e-mails at the bottom of the page at the following link (https://thebibleproject.com/) or get the "Read Scripture" app which comes with the ESV text and videos built right in (http://www.readscripture.org/).
SOAP Method: Reading through large portions of Scripture can be very rewarding, but sometimes people complain that they read and nothing seems to stick. The SOAP method has you taking a chapter of the Bible a day (which you choose) and then reflecting on the meaning and application in four steps: Scripture, observation, application and prayer. Choose a book of the Bible and work through it a chapter at a time. Find out more here: http://www.soapstudy.com
2. You need a pen.
Once you’ve got a plan, you need to get a pen. Reading the Bible is rewarding, but there’s so much that doesn’t happen until you start writing things down. Write down verses that stand out to you. Write down questions you’d like to investigate further. Write down personal reflections on the text. Write down things you feel you need to apply. Write out prayers of response. I find that Bible reading with a pen almost automatically becomes more focused, reflective and personal.
3. You need people.
The final ingredient that made the e100 effective was other people. There’s encouragement in knowing that you’re not alone. It helps when you can hear from others and talk with others about what you’re reading. At Grace, our life groups are the place where people encourage each other in their Bible reading. But you can include other people in your Bible reading, by making the decision to talk about it with your friend, your spouse, or your family.
As we wrap up the e100 this week, choose a plan, get a pen, and tell someone about it.
Could I ask for your assistance? If you’ve enjoyed the e100, would you take a minute to share with me how it’s helped you? Send me a quick e-mail as a way of celebrating what God has done over the last twenty weeks.
In awe of Him,