Engaging with the Bible in 2017
In November I was attending a conference when I heard some sobering statistics from a representative of Back to the Bible. After surveying over 200,000 people for many years, they discovered the magic number of 4.
“A key discovery from the CBE(Center for Biblical Engagement) research is that the life of someone who engages scripture 4 or more times a week looks radically different from the life of someone who does not. In fact, the lives of Christians who do not engage the Bible most days of the week are statistically the same as the lives of non-believers.”
Their research shows people who do read the word 4+ times each week are:
228% more likely to share faith with others
407% more likely to memorize scripture
59% less likely to view pornography
30% less likely to struggle with loneliness
Learn more here.
Just Do It!
In 1976 I was a young undisciplined seminary student with a hunger for God. I began attending a humble church near my school and found many of the members of the congregation already had this habit of reading through the Bible each year. There was even a yellow paper schedule in a rack in the narthex. It began with Genesis 1-3 on January 1 and concluded with Revelation 19-22 on December 31. Simple and yet sublime.
A few months later I decided to jump in, and began on September 20, when I read the book of Joel. The next day I read Amos, and by December 31 had read 10 minor prophets and the whole New Testament.
After several years of plowing straight through the Bible I developed a new schedule which combined an Old Testament reading with a chapter from either the New Testament or a Psalm each day. This worthwhile activity has proven to be the best habit I have ever maintained. Almost 40 years later and I am still engaging with the word of God regularly.
There and Back Again
In 2016 many readers of this newsletter, with their families, participated in a an online “race” to help us read our bibles more diligently. To help chart our groups progress, the folks at Racery have graciously changed ‘miles’ to ‘chapters’ of the Bible.
Beginning on Wednesday, February 1, we will be starting a new “race”. For anyone who would like to participate, sign up here. Click on ‘Teams’ select ‘Pilgrims’, and enter your information. You will receive an email with further instructions.
Learn more and read testimonials from 5 veterans of our trek last year here.
PRIZES and REWARDS
Win a free book or Hymns for Family Worship for those who engage at least 4 times per week for the month of February. It is not how much you read each day, but how consistently you read.
25 Benefits for Engaging with the Word of God in 2017
1. The scripture points me to Jesus.
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me” (John 5:39)
2. Every word of scripture is inspired.
”All Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Timothy 3:16 NASB)
3. Every word is full of life.
“The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John 6:63)
You may download the rest of the 25 Benefits here.
Engaged with God’s Word,