This weekend I finished what has become a regular practice in my life. I read the Bible in 90 days. Actually, this time it took a little longer, but I kept up the practice of a long read of scripture in a rhythmic fashion. I believe all Christians benefit from frequent 90 day bible reads.
I usually keep to it 4 times a year, so it would get done every quarter. I love reading the Bible this way. A good friend challenged me to try it out and I have never stopped. I also have a different reading strategy at night (I read one book a month and pray through it). For the last several years I sit down every morning and spend some time reading scripture. I do around 12-15 chapters a morning. I use the plan on youversion or a print out this PDF.
It isn’t for everyone. One of my best friends and I argue about it. For me, it works great.
I know some of you are thinking “Of course..shouldn’t preachers be reading the Bible that much?”
I would be doing it no matter what. I love how it consistently orients and prioritizes my time towards God.
I want to share with you a few reasons why I love reading the bible this frequency and speed.
1. I like a longer, frequent read.
I like the connect the dots of the biblical narrative. This is easier to do when you read through the entire Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Old Testament) in around 2 weeks. Many of the New Testament letters can be read in one sitting. After I did this several times I found myself realizing the large scope of the biblical narrative in ways I had never seen it before.
2. It draws me to Biblical Theology.
I believe the Bible matters. It is the word of God and the story of redemption drawn over thousands of years. I also think the Bibles construction with purposeful. It is hard to see this when we are always reading small and often unrelated pieces. My 90 day read builds Biblical familiarity. I can’t think about worship in Chronicles without thinking of the Exodus or visions of St. John in Revelation.
3. It’s a great way to start the day.
I love making my coffee and sitting down to read familiar words. I have done this enough to where I can anticipate what will happen next. It’s like having a conversation with a friend. If I miss my reading early in the morning I am thinking about finding the time for it all day.
4. It’s handy as I build sermons and studies.
This last read I kept a small notebook as a placeholder. Every day if anything struck me I would write it down. I know there are several sermons in a formation stage in the notebook. The repetition and frequency of my read also help me see the large chunk of scripture and how sections interpret other sections. If I am preparing a message and I see something helpful, I can make a quick note in Evernote where I collect sermon notes.
No matter what you do for a living, I would encourage you to try the 90 day read. It will be one of the most spiritually beneficial practices you have experienced.