Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Sunday afternoon car show in Brittany

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 31

Well here we are...Day 31 of our original 30 Day Challenge. It's been exciting and encouraging to hear the stories of how many folks accepted the challenge to read their Bible every day for 30 days. Amazingly, the challenge managed to spread far beyond our church as people from facebook took it up and more than a few took it our into our community and even more into other communities and campuses.

Not everyone was on the same reading plan. But, that was never the point. The whole idea was to find some time in your day to devote to reading the word of God. Some folks read 10 chapters a day (Grant Horner's Plan). Some read one chapter a day, some read five. Some listened on CD or their iPods and some read on their phones. Families were reading together. Folks were meeting in local eateries and reading together. More than a few of our younger people began reading plans all on their own (what could be more exciting than that??). Many folks signed up for an email reading plan. Others read via a handy online tracking program.

The original challenge was to find the time in your day to do this, giving a higher priority to reading the Bible than other activities that suck up our time in non-productive fashions. Personally, I gave up watching TV. My wife put aside Farmville. We both found ourselves pleasantly and surprisingly comfortable without them.

So....what happens now? Do we all go back to doing things the way we did them 31 days ago? Do we just stop reading the Bible, having proven we can do it for 30 days? Do we pat ourselves on the back feeling a sense of accomplishment and then get back to watching House and tending to our virtual crops?

Or have we changed?

Speaking for myself, I have gotten to the point that my reading has become an integral part of my day. The odd thing for me was that I was reading the Bible every day prior to the Challenge. But the type of structured reading I found in the Challenge (just for that sake of getting more familiar with the Scriptures) has eluded me for a number of years. All my reading has been in study and sermon prep for the last 8 or 9 years. Now, I love sermon prep and study. But that's a different type of reading than a Bible reading plan. The plan is there for the pure enjoyment of reading the Word and communion with the Father. So before walking away from it, if you are considering that at all, ask yourself these questions:

  • How many times was I challenged by what I read that day?
  • How many times did I find myself saying, "I never saw that before?"
  • How often did I find myself in situations when a Scripture I had just read came to mind?
  • Did it become easier, at any time, to encourage or edify someone else with something I had just read?
  • Did I find myself looking forward to my reading each day?
  • On those days I somehow managed to miss reading, did I miss the reading?
  • Do I know more about the Bible today than I did 30 days ago?
  • Has this changed my life or my walk with the Lord for the better?
Brothers and sisters, if you made it this far, the Bible has become part of your day, part of your life. I hope and pray it has had such a positive impact on you that you refuse to put it down but continue reading in whatever plan you started. May the Holy Spirit be your companion and your convictor as we move forward together. This is important. Why? Because "...man does not live by bread alone..." (Deut 8:3, Matt 4:4

2 comments:

  1. John,
    I got a late start on the reading plan, but was inspired by the many commentaries from my Brothers and Sisters. The challenge came at a time when I was feeling quite overwhelmed with everything going on with my mother, my job and other commitments. Andy's message was particularly inspiring for me. I decided to do the read the Bible in a year plan. Everyday during my reading I am convicted, humbled, inspired and awed by the word. I should be finished with "Reading the Bible in a Year" in 3-6 months. I will probably start again at that time to have some new truths revealed that I missed in the first pass. Thank you for presenting this challenge. It is extremely timely for me. I pray that everyone that took on the challenge has been as blessed as I have been.
    Matt

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  2. John,
    I just want to say when I first heard about the challenge, I didn't want to even attempt it, thinking,” been there done that and have failed”.
    But two days after your sermon, the Lord planted the seed on how I could do it. I do the audio bible. It has become a regular part of my day and it has not been a chore but a joy. It has enlightened me in many ways and I look forward to keeping it as a very high priority in my life. I feel my relationship with the Lord has grown. In the environment I work in, it is truly needed and a blessing.
    The irony of it all, (not really it’s just the way Lord works!! Praise God!!) is that I was looking to get back to the closeness I had with the Lord and digging into the word as I did when I was a new believer and then you present this challenge!
    Isn’t that how the Lord works answering prayers in the way we least expect?
    So basically I want to thank you for being a good servant to the Lord in seeking His will and leading His flock.
    I pray the Lord will heal you, and bless you and your family.
    Bob Adinolfi

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