Note from Eric: No book has impacted my life more than the Bible. If you’ve ever tried, or wanted to try, reading through the Bible in a year (or even if you’ve read it many times before, but have gotten bogged down lately) you might try the approach my friend Bill Allison suggests below. With the New Year starting on Thursday, why not gather some friends and start this week? (Also, as a reminder, if you’d like to make a year-end donation to The Ranch, please make it by Wednesday, December 31st to count it towards your 2014 taxes. Just visit this link to make a donation. Thanks, and Happy New Year!)
15 Minutes A Day That Will Change Your Life Forever
by Bill Allison
By far the single most important thing I did in 2014 that helped my relationship with God was reading through the Bible–with some friends.
In the words of Nacho Libre, “It’s fantastic.”
I’d like you join me in creating your own study-and-share group (face-to-face and/or online) to read through the Bible–together–this year.
But first, let’s talk about your big BUT.
I know. You’ve tried to read the Bible in a year before, BUT about the time you got to Leviticus you ran out of gas. (Pun intended.) Then you felt guilty about it. (I feel your pain.) You felt like such loser! (I may be projecting my own feelings onto you now.) Well, let me help you get over your big BUT by introducing you to…
Did you get that? This year is the guilt free–not the guil-ty–read through the Bible.
So what happens when you miss a day? A few days? A week? A month? Three months? Six months? A year? (Again, I might be projecting my own past failed experiences in reading through the Bible in a year onto you… sorry.) If you miss a day, week, or month or whatever, I invite you to simply start reading the Bible–not where you left off–but on whatever day it is that day. No Bible-reading mafia types will show up at your house to confiscate your Bible and break your legs. Seriously. No guilt. Say those words slowly right now out loud: “No. Guilt.”
Why this approach? I suspect if you take this no guilt approach, you will actually read the Bible more this year than any other year in your life. Next year, we can work on reading the WHOLEly Bible : )
Here’s the kicker: Reading through the Bible in a year takes only about 15 minutes a day, but it’s 15 minutes a day that will change your life forever.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a true story.
I dirty-double-dog-dare-you to try to read the Bible for 15 minutes day… and regularly share with some friends how God is changing your lives.
Following Jesus Together…
The best way to take this Bible reading adventure is to invite some friends you see and interact with often to take it with you. It was my wife who got me to do this in back in 2011. So I encourage you to invite your face-to-face friends to join you on this adventure. You could use the “study and share method” (not to be confused with the Sonny and Cher method): Each person studies the daily readings at home, and then you gather weekly, twice a month, or whatever–to share what you’re learning with each other. I know of one church that decided to read through the Bible together in a year–so they actually started a study-and-share Sunday school class that met weekly. The whole class was simply sharing with each other what God was stirring and teaching in the previous seven days of readings.
Not sure who you can invite to take this adventure with you? What about your spouse? Your mom or dad? Your kids? Friends from church? Small group? Neighbors? Coworkers? (I hope you’re getting the idea that it’s the people all around you everyday.)
While I prefer face-to-face gatherings for study and share, I also enjoy the study and share that happens via Skype, texting, and Facebook. You could start a no-guilt-read-through-the-Bible-together Facebook group right now. Such a group will make it possible for you to leave comments and share what your learning with each other. Most important, it will enable you to share how God is working in our lives as you read and apply his Word.
Why all this reading the Bible together with friends? Friends don’t let friends read the Bible alone. To quote Barney: “Everything is better with a friend.”
So, are you in?
If yes, then here are your next steps in starting a group right now…
Download the two-page PDF plan for reading the Bible through in 2015. Please pass the PDF on to your friends and invite them to join you in this guilt-free adventure!
Here’s the exact same plan as found in the PDF above as found on Youversion. Youversion makes it possible to not only read the Bible online via your smart phone, iPad, or computer, but you also can read it in whatever translation you choose. Another bonus is that you can also listen to an audio of each day’s readings for FREE!
Is your big BUT still getting in your way?
If yes, then watch this video.
P.S. If you like today’s message from Bill Allison, you can get more blog posts from Cup O’ Joe with Bill in your email inbox! You’ll hear from him about 2x a week. Email addresses are never shared with anyone and you can unsubscribe at anytime. Subscribe to Cup O’ Joe with Bill by Email. Be sure to check your email and confirm your subscription from Feedburner.
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