Tuesday, April 24, 2012
A year ago, I lived in a different state. A state that I moved to because I couldn't find a job in my home-state. I lived in this other state for a little over four years before God called me back to my home-state. This move was met with tears of joy and sorrow by both me and my friends in the other state and my home-state. This other state had a little country church that I attended for most of the time I lived there. It wasn't until the fall before I moved back that I finally started attending a Sunday School class at that little country church. I know that some questioned why it took me so long but I had my reasons. Ever since my move to the state, I'd been wanting to go back to my home-state. I knew that once I started attending Sunday School the relationships I would have at the church would grow and deepen making it harder to leave when God answered my prayer to return to my home-state.
I joined the Sunday School class as the class was working through the book Radical by David Platt. If you haven't read it, you should. As we finished the book in class, we were challenged by our teacher to do the Radical Experiment for a year, beginning April 24, 2011. I don't mention the book or the experiment because I'm trying to sell you something; far from it. I mention the experiment because it is a good thing for you to consider.
As I looked at the 5 challenges I needed to work on for the year, I realized that a couple of them were things that I was already doing. I also realized that there were a couple that I needed to do. I set out this past year to read the entire Bible through in a year. I also started working on the challenge to pray for the entire world throughout the year but I was unable to keep up on that challenge. I did pray every night as I did my Bible reading but I wasn't able to keep up with the countries.
By God's grace I was able to read the Bible through this past year and this past Saturday I finished the last couple chapters of Revelation to meet the challenge. I've been a Christian for a number of years; I've grown up in a Christian home; and I've attending Christian school and Christian university. Unfortunately, I've never read the entire Bible through before this past year. God's Word is pretty cool!
Did I understand everything I read? No. Did I learn a lot? Yes! Nehemiah is my new hero. I loved reading that girls worked on the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem (Nehemiah 3:12.) I quietly celebrated this milestone by getting a new Bible for myself. I love my old Bible (Scofield KJV) but many of my friends have been recommending the ESV Study Bible so I chose this as my reward. I'm not setting it aside to use it only on Sundays but have challenged myself again to read through the Bible this next year with the additional challenge to pray for the entire world this year. Sometimes I can only meet one challenge at a time. Now that the Bible reading is a habit, adding in prayer for the world won't be as hard. Yeah, there'll be a lot more books for me to take with me on trips but getting into into His Word and praying for His world is important.
What milestones have you reached in your life? Have you set goals and met them? I challenge you to look at the Radical Experiment. Meeting all 5 challenges can be difficult but if you were to only pick one challenge, I strongly urge you to read the Bible through in a year. The long list of "begats" in the Old Testament can drive you nuts but have a study Bible nearby and that might help make sense of the lineages you read. Reading the Word can only help bring you closer to God.
Read the Bible. You'll be glad you did!