We want to invite you to join us for Bible Reading Challenge 2021!
Church, let's read through the entire Bible together in 2021. Four quick reasons you should join us in this:
- God works through his Word. The Bible is God’s instrument of change in the lives of all who believe. When we read our Bibles regularly, God cures a thousand ills in our hearts without our even realizing. He equips us for trials we don't know are coming. And he delights us daily with his presence and reminders of the gospel.
- God sovereignly applies his Word to unexpected situations. You’ll be surprised how often a morning’s Bible reading is “just the right thing” for the needs of the day.
- God will show you his grace in portions of Scripture you might not often visit. The gospel is on every page of our Bibles. Every day, we will be freshly reminded our of need for Savior because our sin and God’s disposition to provide a Savior because of his mercy.
- God will meet you as you read it together. There are so many great conversations awaiting us around the dinner table, sitting at a stoplight, or in a community group, encouraging one another with what God is showing us.
To get ready: technically, all you need for this is a Bible, but it will really help to have a plan. Some details you’ll need to work out on your own, like when and where you will read your Bible each day (do make a plan for this, though, since consistency is powerfully habit-forming!). Of course you are free to use any Bible reading plan you like, but we’re encouraging the church to use Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s plan (never heard of M’Cheyne? John Piper will tell you about him.)
- If you have the ESV Bible app, the reading plan is easy to access in the app
- Or, with a free login you can get it on the ESV website.
- Or you can subscribe to a Crossway podcast and listen.
- Crossway also sells an ESV Daily Reading Bible laid out on the M’Cheyne plan.
Some more practical helps:
- We highly recommend reading D. A. Carson’s For the Love of God (volume 1 or 2 will work; if you’ve never read either, start with volume 1). Carson’s book consists of short daily readings to help you spot the biblical theology connections between the different texts that we will be reading each day. The book is available on Amazon and for Kindle, or you can download the entire PDF of his books for free! (Get Volume 1 or Volume 2).
- You can even print customized Bible reading bookmarks: one for each spot of the Bible we will be reading in. And, Emily Donovan designed a printable PDF that she has kindly made available to the church.
If you have the capacity for supplemental reading alongside your Bible reading, the following books are at the top of CJ’s recommended list:
- Trent Hunter and Stephen Wellum, Christ From Beginning to End
- John Piper, Reading the Bible Supernaturally
- John Piper, When I Don’t Desire God
Get inspired! If you have a couple minutes, let John Piper tell you about why he is committed to reading through the Bible every year.
For your edification and encouragement, here some Bible reading quotations we’ve shared over the last few weeks:
“The best advice I can give you: Look unto Jesus, beholding his beauty in the written word.” John Newton
“Let our secret reading precede the dawning of the day. Let God’s voice be the first we hear in the morning.” Robert M’Cheyne
“Many good things do not happen in our lives for the simple lack of planning…Most Christians neglect their Bibles not out of conscious disloyalty to Jesus, but because of failure to plan a time and place and method to read it.” John Piper
“This book is for Christians who want to read the Bible, who want to read all the Bible…This is a book to encourage that end. Devotional guides tend to offer short, personal readings from the Bible, sometimes only a verse or two, followed by several paragraphs of edifying exposition. Doubtless they provide personal help for believers with private needs, fears, and hopes. But they do not provide the framework of what the Bible says-the ‘plot line’ or ’storyline’-the big picture that makes sense of all the little bits of the Bible. Wrongly used, such devotional guides may ultimate engender the profoundly wrong-headed view that God exists to sort out my problems; they may foster profoundly mistaken interpretations of some Scriptures, simply because the handful of passages they treat are no longer placed within the framework of the big picture, which is gradually fading from view.” D.A. Carson, For the Love of God