Saturday, November 16, 2013

2014 Operation Deepen Faith

This challenge has multiple parts. (You wouldn't have to sign up for 
each part. But. Ideally participants would be interested in doing more than just one.) The challenge is from January 2014 through December.

I. Wonderful Words of Life. Goal: Read the Bible using a Bible Plan. Note: I did not say the Bible plan had to take you through the whole Bible in a year. You might want to try the MacArthur method of reading the NT. His method has you reading one short book (an epistle, for example, like 1 John or Colossians) thirty days in a row! You might want to try Woodrow Kroll's method of reading the Bible. His plan strongly encourages you to read whole books at a time. There are plenty of books that take under thirty minutes to read. You might just be surprised at how many! You might try Professor Horner's Bible Reading Plan. His plan has you reading ten chapters a day in ten different Bible books. Sound complicated? Well, there are bookmarks to keep you going in the right direction. Here is the pdf for his system. Or there is the M'Cheyne Bible Reading Plan (pdf for this plan). Many (but not all) Bibles include reading plans. Some are plans for reading every chapter of the Bible, other plans are more highlights and overviews. The challenge isn't to get you to commit to strictly following a plan for twelve months no matter what. The challenge is to get you in the habit of reading the Bible daily--no matter what "plan" works bests for you.

II. How Firm A Foundation. Goal: STUDY one book of the Bible throughout the year. Read it at least four times. (You might even challenge yourself to read it twelve times--once each month.) If possible, read the notes in a study Bible. Or read a commentary book about it. Read or listen to sermons on it. Consider reading it in different translations. Get to know that one book well. Let God speak to you through it. Online commentaries are available. Classic Bible Commentaries. Bible Gateway offers several as well: IVP New Testament Commentary Series; Reformation Study Bible; Asbury Bible Commentary

III. Deep and Wide; Goal: read multiple books of the bible in multiple translations.

For example that might mean reading four to six books of the Bible (OT or NT, whatever you prefer) in four to six different translations. The books wouldn't have to be long books. You might choose Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, etc. Or you might choose  John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Revelation. Or Luke, Acts, Romans, Hebrews. You can choose a group of books that makes sense to you. Books that you want to explore further. You choose the books, you choose the translations. You choose the pace. 

IV.  Meditate or Memorize. Note the OR! Not everyone is comfortable committing to memorize Scripture. (I'm one of them!) Goal: Choose about a verse a week--or a verse every other week--to reflect and meditate on. It might mean memorizing it. It might mean writing or journaling about it. (Or blogging about it if you like.) It might mean praying it. Or studying it. It's taking the reading of Scripture into something a little more--worship. These verses would not be chosen ahead of time. I'm not asking for a list. This is all about choosing-as-you-go, choosing as you read, let Scripture speak to you.

V. Taste and See. Perhaps you're new to reading the Bible, not quite sure where to start, a bit intimidated... Goal: read one gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), read one NT epistle (Romans-Revelation). And consider reading one book from the Old Testament, I suggest Genesis OR Psalms. Of course, you could choose any OT book. 

VI. Christian Nonfiction. Don't be afraid to give it a try. Read some theology. You choose the number of books to aim for. A beginner might not feel comfortable committing to more than one book. And that's fine. I want to challenge you to start somewhere. This challenge is for everyone. Not just for people who want to commit to reading twenty! 

  • books about God (his attributes, his character, his names, etc.)
  • books about the birth, life, death, resurrection of Jesus; the person and work of Christ
  • books about the Bible (how to read, how to study, why it's reliable, how it is translated, etc.)
  • books about Bible characters (Moses, David, Solomon, Abraham, Jesus, Peter, etc.)
  • books about prayer, fasting
  • books about worship or worship music 
  • books about church life or church growth or church leadership 
  • books about missions (evangelism, outreach, service)
  • sermon collections (sermon note collections), essay collections
  • biographies/memoirs of theologians, preachers, missionaries, etc.
  • books about pain, suffering, tough questions, etc.
  • books about apologetics
  • books about end times

Sign up by leaving a comment. Be sure to let me know which of the six you're interested in joining. You don't have to commit to specifics. (You don't have to tell me which one book you're going to study. Or how many books/how many translations you're going to read. Or the number of theology books you're wanting to commit to.) Though if you have decided, then feel free to share! But you don't have to have it all exactly planned out in order to join!

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible


Monica said...

Hi Becky! I am glad to be a part of this challenge again in 2014! I hope to do better than I have this year! I do feel more dedicated to my Bible reading now than I was at the beginning of 2013. I have set my goals and will post them on a new page at the end of December!

Thanks Becky!

twiga92 said...

I will definitely be doing #1 and #6, these are both a regular part of my life now. I will also likely do #4 as I'm currently working on Ephesians 1 and hope to continue on with Ephesians 2. I still hope to re-memorize Philippians.

Monica said...

I guess I should share the ones I will be taking part in...
#1 - Reading a Chronological KJV bible
#2 - Isaiah all year
#4 - Meditate (can't memorize) on scripture each week.
#6 - Read at least 4 Christian Non-Fiction books.

Becky said...

Joyful Reader, welcome to another year of the challenge! I'm glad to see you return! I've not read the bible through chronologically in KJV before, but the KJV is one of my favorite translations! I have a chronological bible in HCSB and NIV. I think Isaiah is a GREAT choice!!! It's one of my favorite OT books. And it is sometimes referred to as "the fifth gospel." I recently bought a commentary on Isaiah (Preaching the Word series; published by Crossway) and I'm eager to start it, but I'm saving it up for the new year!!!

Twiga92, welcome back! I'm glad that Bible reading is now a regular part of your life now! I always look forward to reading your reviews of books too! Feel free to share links if you like for the books you read. (Though, of course, it's not a requirement!)

Sidne said...

Hi Becky,
I will be partaking in this wonderful reading challenge and I've decided upon #1 and #6.

Vicki said...

I've decided to do this challenge for 2014.
Here's My Challenge Post

Melissa said...

I'm so happy to have found your blog and 2014 reading challenge!

I am jumping into reading the Bible next year with #2 (Revelation) & #5 (Luke, I Corinthians, & Isaiah). Maybe I can add in #4 too if I can memorize some scripture along the way! :)

Meg said...

I plan to join in on challenges one, two, four, and six.
You can find my challenge post here.

Annette said...

I'm joining again. Will read through the whole Bible, OT once and NT twice. In addition will be reading 1 Corinthians twelve times in twelve different translations. I read forty-eight Christian non-fiction books in 2013, maybe I can surpass this with fifty in 2014.
Thanks Becky.

DC said...

doing bible in 90 days. my passion tends to wane over a whole year and doing 14 chaps a day is exciting for me, and not as hard as it sounds. i'm trying to combine with the soap method. i've never read the bible from end to end so this will be cool. blessings and thanks for the challenge!

Susan said...

I just found your blog and this challenge today, and I love the purpose of this challenge! So I'm joining in. I'll be doing #1, #2, #4, and #6. I'm using M'Cheyne's reading plan this year - so far it's going well. I chose Romans as my book to study all year - so excited about that! Our entire church is memorizing I John together this year. And my husband is a pastor, so I have a whole library of Christian nonfiction at my fingertips - in addition to my own library of Christian nonfiction geared toward women. I have about 12 books chosen to read. Thanks for the challenge!

Monica said...

Hi Becky,
I just wanted you to know that I am still in but have moved this challenge and Cloud of Witnesses to a new location! I am very excited about it too! all my updates will be here! :)

SusieQ said...

I'd like to commit to this challenge. Especially focusing on 4 and 6. Thanks.

Melanie said...

I just found this challenge so I'm beginning a bit late. I'm doing:
#1: using the Prof Grant Horner plan although when a book is completed, I'm not going to repeat it.
#2. I'm studying the book of Isaiah.