I am a devoted Christian but I did not practise what I preached. I had turned myself to a Sunday believer if you know what I mean. It is only on Sundays that I got a chance to read my Bible in Church when the Pastor gave his sermon. Believe you me after a wonderful sermon in Church I would go home and forget my Bible until the next Sunday or if I missed a service it meant my Bible would remain unattended to. Why? You may ask, I prioritized other things over nurturing and cultivating my faith in Christ. Many of us fall in this category. We profess we love Christ but is that enough? You will agree with me that many a times we are engrossed in other things like following a telenovela in Telemundo, we even put reminders lest we miss an episode. Can we use the same energy in reading our Bibles which to us Christians is food to our souls?
Do you forget to read your Bible at times? I know the answer is yes because I have been there. Every New Year I would make a resolution that I would make an effort to read my Bible everyday, but it ended at that,just a writing on a piece of paper. I did not work on it and with time it affected my growth spiritually. I made the same resolution this year and did pretty much nothing about it until March when I said enough is enough. I sought for a lasting solution and to my advantage, I saw a friend post in a prayer group asking of ways to be reading the Bible everyday. In short what she was seeking was a guide on how to read her Bible. I realised I was not alone in this. Another friend suggested a way of doing it and from that day I have not looked back. If we can religiously follow a weight loss routine like the smoothie challenges, wheat challenge etc I believe we can equally do a Bible challenge that can help us to make it a lifestyle as a Christian.
My friend suggested we try a 21 days Bible Challenge which covers the whole of the Epistle of John that has 21 Chapters. This I started in the month of March and by the time the twenty-one days were over, I had formed a habit of reading my Bible. I sought for something long-term, I felt I was ready to take the six months Bible reading challenge. The journey has been awesome and today I am on day one hundred and thirty-one roughly four months and some days later. The six months challenge covers the book of Psalms(it is wide) and covers New Testament from the book of Acts to Revelation. I am in Chapter 142 of Psalms and Hebrews Chapter 8.
Let me share with you what worked for me. You can follow the guidelines below;
You have to plan way in advance to cover loopholes that might hinder you from taking this bold step. Step out from your comfort zone and make the decision now. In planning you might consider the following;
i) Allocate Time
Once you have a routine it becomes easy to accomplish a task assigned for each day. If you are forgetful then put reminders that will help you to remember the task ahead. Choose time that you are not busy or involved in activities that may make you forget what you ought to do that day.
ii) Ensure you have study materials
For this challenge you will need a Bible, if you have one you are good to go, if not then you might consider purchasing one. You will need your own Bible not a borrowed one as this journey is a long one. I would not want you to make excuses that the owner of the Bible took it hence you were unable to read the allocated verses for that day. Stick to a version you will understand easily.
iii) Other miscellaneous materials
You will need a notebook that you will be recording everything you do. As a guide I had the day,date,old testament and new testament sections that I filled each day(see the picture for illustration). You will also need a pen, I used highlighter too that I would use to underline verses that I would use as prayer points. This would also help me to memorize some of the verses.
After preparation it is time to implement the plan. In this stage you will make the bold step of starting the challenge. You can make notes everyday on each chapter read, it will help you understand the Bible better and your faith will grow.
3) Pray, Pray, Pray
It is one thing to read the Bible and another to practise what is therein. Always pray after each session and ask God to open your inner heart to be able to understand everything you read, call on the Holyspirit to guide you in this journey. It is my prayer you will not get distracted along the way and that even if you fall, you will rise up again and continue with the fight.
4) Join Prayer/Bible Study groups
You need others to grow too. By sharing with others through fellowship, you get exposed to other teachings that you might never get to know if you do it on your own.
It is my prayer that you will step out of the habit of being a Sunday believer and become a 24/7 type of Christian. Make the song we used to sing: read your Bible pray everyday a reality not a cliché. Be blessed. You can follow the following links for guidelines on the Bible Reading Challenge. Be blessed. Cheers!
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people (Hebrews 8;10).