After reading the previous post, you may be wondering what do I do to get started. How do I prepare for such a challenge?
Here are some practical tips as well as some ideas to prepare your hearts:
Genuinely Seek His Kingdom
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
We cannot fool God. He knows our hearts and He knows our every need. Humble yourselves by praying and asking Him for strength, wisdom, and peace during these 40 days. Reading the Bible has a ripple effect that reaches out not only to your relationship with God but your relationship with neighbours as well. Knowing him and how he has loved you will give you the freedom to love others well.
We will be reading the Bible over Lent, which is an observed reminder of Jesus and his walk to the cross. It begins on Ash Wednesday, February 26, which is 40 days prior to Good Friday. Lent is also known as a time for fasting. What will you fast from in order to read the Bible for 40 days?
Take a short book or letter (such as Jude, Philippians or James) and try reading through it quickly. Try pairing it with an audio bible (YouVersion or Dwell). Or just try an audio bible on its own. See which way you prefer that will allow you best to be bathed in the Word.
There are many translations out there that provide a word-for-word translation or a thought-for-thought translation or a mixture of both. My recommendations for each category are: English Standard Version, New International Version and the Christian Standard Bible. If you are an avid bible reader, try a different translation for the 40 days to give you a different experience.
Just Keep Reading!
This Bible plan is not about the details. If something jumped out at you or you are not sure what something meant, make a note of it and keep reading! Maybe have a pen and paper nearby to write down the book, chapter, and verse or make a quick note on your phone. This is all about the big picture. Return later to do a thorough study on the passages that you had questions about. Just keep reading!
Schedule It In!
This may not be for all of us but pick a time that might work for you and have a general plan set out. Are you a morning person? Evening person? Lunch person? Transit person? Plan when to best read but give yourself the grace if you miss.
What Happens If I Fall Behind?
This happens! Remember this. You are okay. Everybody is okay. We are given a catch-up day for this reason! I would suggest to just keep going with the day you are at (not the day you missed) and come back to it later.
Remember the Parable of the Ten Virgins
Finally, remember the parable of the ten virgins from Matthew 25:1-13.
This is a moment in time that you can equip yourself for Christ’s second coming.
Learn to be wise. To be discerning. To be prepared. God gave His Word for these purposes. God will shut the narrow door one day for good. Don’t forget that.
Let’s do this church!