This past week we challenged the students in our youth group to read through the New Testament in 90 days. If you read 3 chapters every day, you'll pull it off easily. In fact, in my Bible the New Testament is only 276 pages long.
So many Christians claim the Bible as a source of authority for their lives but have never read it. They know bits and pieces they've picked up along the way. But those bits and pieces don't represent the whole story and, what's more, they get pulled out of context and easily ignored.
For example, did you know Jesus said "Anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery"? I read that in Matthew 5 yesterday. You better believe the context matters. Pull that verse out of context and you can hurt someone with it or use it in the exact opposite way from Jesus' direction. (You'll have to look it up if you want to see what I'm talking about).
Reading the Bible is one of the most significant ways we can connect with God. When I sit down with my Bible, it seems like every day there's a relevant, challenging word for me. Yesterday, in Matthew 6:16, I heard a challenge from Jesus to quit flaunting my tiredness as we juggle the twins. In my frequent mentions of my tiredness hides a subtle hunger for praise, recognition, and affirmation that will consume me if unchecked.
Over the years, reading the Bible broadly has been a source of comfort and power for me and for the communities where I've served. My hope and prayer for my students is that God would meet them as they read.
Here's a link to the chart we gave students to us to keep track of their challenge
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