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Why You Should Read Your Bible in 90 Days
“The only time most Americans hear from the Bible is when someone else is reading it.”
Ouch. Are you one of “most Americans” Lifeway Research is talking about in the aptly-named, Americans Are Fond of the Bible, Don’t Actually Read It?
Or perhaps you relate to this truth bomb from the Ponce Foundation’s Christians Don’t Read Their Bible:
“Of over 2 billion Christians in the world, less than 30% will ever read through the entire Bible. The fact is over 82% of Christian Americans only read their Bibles on Sundays while in church.”
The stats are shocking.
…or are they?
How many Christians do you know who actually read their Bible? Better question: Do you?
My goal today is to convince you of 2 things:
1️⃣ Read your Bible (all of it)
2️⃣ Do it in 90 days
Why read the whole Bible? The Bible is God’s Word to humankind, the Truth by which we understand:
· God: who He is and what He’s done for me
· Me: who I am and how I’m to live in light of what He’s done for me
In other words, when you don’t read it (again, all of it), you don’t understand who God is, you don’t grasp what He’s done for you, you don’t know who you are, and you don’t know how to live.
But when you do read it, here’s (a mega-simplified version of) what happens:
1️⃣ You discover who God is
Through the Bible, God reveals Himself to us. When we read Scripture, our ignorant, underdeveloped view of God begins to grow and change. Instead of understanding God only as, say, Creator and Father (which He is), our eyes open to Him as Provider, Judge, Shepherd, Healer, Counselor, King, Refuge, and too many more names and characteristics to count.
Ask yourself, do I know the God I claim to live for?
(P.S. You also learn about Jesus. Spoiler alert: He’s what God has done for us.)
2️⃣ You realize who you are
Our culture wreaks of an identity crisis. We’re all searching for ourselves in a million places other than in the God who created us.
The reality is, you won’t find yourself on some mountain peak meditation retreat or at the top of the corporate ladder. You’ll find you in the pages between Genesis and Revelation.
3️⃣ You find out how to live
We’ve all heard this verse: Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105).
But what about this less famous passage from the same Psalm?
How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes! — Psalm 119:9–12
You can’t keep your way pure — not sin against God — if you don’t know what’s pure and what’s sin. God’s Word is the light that guides us in walking in obedience to Him. How are you to walk the right path if you can’t see it?
(Side note — the power to actually do the things we know we’re supposed to doesn’t come from us, but from God’s Holy Spirit, the Helper who dwells in those who’ve placed their faith in Jesus. You can read more about Him in your Bible in John 14:15–31.)
4️⃣ You flourish in a personal relationship with God
Relationships take time. And effort. The more you know who God actually is and the more of your time you invest in Him, the fuller and richer your relationship with God becomes. Consider what John Mark Comer has to say in The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry (a MUST-READ, by the way):
“In the chronic problem of human beings’ felt experience of distance from God, God isn’t usually the culprit. God is omnipresent — there is no place God is not. And no time he isn’t present either. Our awareness of God is the problem, and it’s acute…We sit around sucked into our phones or TV or to-do lists, oblivious to the God who is around us, with us, in us, even more desirous than we are for relationship.”
As someone who ignored and neglected God for most of her life — while blaming Him for feeling distant — I get it. And I have good news: God’s beckoning you. All you have to do is fall into His open arms.
Crack open His Word, surrender your time to Him, and see what He won’t do!
5️⃣ You’re armed against temptation and false teaching
Blessed is the man [whose]…delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither…The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. — Psalm 1:1–4
Scripture is our firm foundation. When we know God’s Word, our roots run deep. When we don’t, the soft breeze of an enticing half-truth, an “almost-Gospel,” is all it takes to blow us away.
Scripture is also our sword. In the Armor of God illustrated in Ephesians 6, a sword symbolizes the power God’s Word has “against the spiritual forces of evil” in our lives (v. 12). Are you armed against the temptations you’ll face every day of your earthly life? Or have you dropped your guard?
6️⃣ You’re ready to share what you believe with others
Finally, God’s Word doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) end with you. 1 Peter 3:15 teaches us to “always [be] prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” The Truth recorded in the Bible is precisely that: the reason for our hope.
When we know it, it outpours through our thoughts, words, and actions. When we don’t, it doesn’t. And we aren’t prepared when God gives us an opportunity to advance His Kingdom.
Why do it in 90 days?
Research shows that, on average, it takes 66 days to form a habit.
You say you’re struggling to read your Bible? Buckle up.
Ninety days from now, you’ll be in the habit of reading your Bible. Every. Single. Day. And, even better, you’ll love it.
I recently adventured through the Bible in 90 days (using this YouVersion study) with a group of women from different churches, life stages, and faith journeys. And what did we all find in common as we celebrated over charcuterie and cookies? We were all hungry for more (Scripture, not snacks). Though we’d expected to feel burnt out, we found ourselves eager to dig deeper and discover more.
We tasted the joy of reading God’s Word and got hooked. And you can, too.
So read it. All of it. In 90 days. Then go back and go slow. Once you’ve hit your stride, spend the rest of your life taking a close look at all God has for you.
Because day 90 is just the beginning.
P.S. I strongly recommend doing this in community for three reasons: it’s super encouraging, it provides much-needed accountability, and it means more people are reading the Bible!