I love trying to tackle a new challenge (most of them anyway). At the beginning of 2014, I decided to attempt reading through the Bible in just 90 days. On March 30 (Day #89), I finished reading Revelation 22, the last chapter in the Bible. Currently, I am returning to a few chapters a day pace and reflecting on the lessons I learned during this 90 Day Challenge:
Cons: (Hard to say anything is a "con" about reading Scripture, but these are a few things I didn't exactly like about the challenge.)
1) Reading through the Bible in 90 days requires a very fast, intense pace that definitely did not allow me to focus on many details.
2) The 90 Day Reading was challenging. It required 30+ minutes EVERY day, and that forced a re-arranging of my schedule. This was not easy or comfortable.
1) By reading entire Bible books in a single sitting, I noticed some things like a particular Bible book's tendency and theme because of its repetition of certain words or phrases. I know better how each of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are different even though they have cover similar events. I now know (or think I do anyway) what exactly are the themes of books like Judges or 1 Samuel. (By the way, it's not in their name: Judges isn't primarily about judges, and 1 Samuel isn't primarily about Samuel.)
2) It forced a re-arranging of my schedule. I know. I listed this under the "con's". But it is also a pro. My schedule needed a makeover. It is so easy to slip into lazy, wasteful habits. While I don't think it is wrong, to watch some TV and "veg out" sometimes. I was amazed at how often this Bible reading thing forced me to abandon some really amazing habits I had accumulated like: web browsing with TV on for 2-3 hours every evening without the slightest idea afterward what I really saw on either the TV or the internet.
Bottom line: The 90 Day challenge was hard, but definitely worth it.
I'm now looking for my next challenge. Drop me an email and let me know what spiritual challenge you think I should try next, or tell me about what you are currently attempting.
--Matt Gregory (Lead Pastor @ Soul Purpose Community Church)