When I first became a Christian, I had no Bible and knew nothing about it. I was handed one and told to read it, which I tried to do for a while, but I was totally lost without someone to break it into bite-size pieces for me.
Fortunately, today there are many more ways to help people become regular Bible readers. Below are five fresh ideas.
"The Essential 100 Challenge" or the E100:http://www.e100challenge.com/pages/#
Scripture Union's mission has been to help people read God's Word regularly, notably through their Bible reading guides that have been published quarterly for over 100 years. However, a few years ago, they started working with churches using "The E100 Challenge," an easy-to-use Bible reading program that includes 100 Bible passages—50 from the Old Testament and 50 from the New Testament. Churches are taking the E100 Challenge in small groups, as a church-wide program, and as individuals. Pastors are preaching on these passages, and feel their congregations are more in tune with their messages because they have read the Bible passages ahead of time. As a result, those who did not read the Bible on a regular basis start to read it regularly after finishing the 100 readings.
The Bible in 90 Days:http://www.biblein90days.org/
The Bible in 90 Days is a Bible reading curriculum. It helps people read the entire Bible—from cover to cover—in 90 days. Churches of various denominations, prison ministries, drug-rehab missions, corporate Bible studies, and neighborhood small groups have all used the curriculum successfully to help people read the entire Bible. The Bible in 90 Days is not a speed-read through the Bible. Rather, it's akin to reading the Bible like a novel. Each participant reads on his or her own, then meets once a week with other participants. The weekly meetings include guided small group discussion, activities, and a video lesson. For most people, the fellowship, accountability, and material shared during the weekly meetings is crucial to their successfully reading the entire Bible.
Do you want a Bible that is as ever-present as your mobile phone? This program for your iPhone includes 41 different translations in 22 languages. You can choose from 20+ reading plans for daily selections, and it allows you to search the entire Bible for a word, phrase, or verse and get your results in seconds. You can jump to a verse quickly by typing the reference in the search box, and learn from others by checking out recent contributions by tapping the number next to the verse.
Glo is an interactive program that brings the Bible to life with HD video and documentaries, high-resolution images, historical animations, zoomable maps, 360-degree virtual tours, and more. You can customize your reading plan and share your thoughts and insights with friends. Soon it will include an audio recording of the entire Bible.
EXAMEN.me is a simple-to-use website that fosters your personal interaction with God. This modern approach to ancient devotional practices guides you to "examen" your life as you meditate on Scripture, pray, and journal all of your reflections, with the goal of life obedience. Prayer Examens help provide focus as you pray, serving as a catalyst to deepen your conversation with God.
As you can see, the ways to read, study, and apply your Bible are ever-expanding, and take away any excuse on the tip of your tongue.
JoHannah Reardon is the managing editor of ChristianBibleStudies.com. She has written seven novels and a family devotional guide, and blogs at johannahreardon.com.
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