Lent Bible Reading Challenge
by Mike Windley on March 7th, 2014

If you have not started already, I want to invite you to be a part of a 40-day Lenten Bible Reading Challenge. This might immediately cause you to ask a couple of questions. One, What is lent? Two, why?
So, what is Lent? Lent is a 40-day season of preparation leading up to Easter that begins on Ash Wednesday for most Christian traditions. The Lenten season is a time of reflection and self-denial as we contemplate God’s love for us as displayed by Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. Most Christians who observe Lent will typically give up something (a fast) for the 40-day period.
So, why the challenge? Instead of encouraging you to give up something during the Lenten Season, I thought we might be just as well served to take up something! Fasting, from food or other things, is a great and needed discipline. But, as far as I know, there is no greater way to grow closer in fellowship with God than daily Bible intake.  Even though I have read the complete text of the Bible several times over, I am certainly unable to remember it all, much less live out it’s applications. I find it necessary to go again and again to God’s word for constant reminders of His truth and direction for living.
I love what the apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:1:
“…It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.”
Paul was constantly reminding his readers of some of the same lessons. Why? We forget! There is so much to take in! And there is so much at stake.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” And from one of my favorite movies (You’ve Got Mail), “You are what you read.”
We get a constant diet of the ways of the world. The only way to balance that diet, and to tip the scale of our lives towards God is to expose our hearts and minds to His truth. It’s a “safeguard!”
So instead of giving up something for Lent this year, I challenge you to read through the New Testament with me over the next 40 days. And even if you’ve missed the first couple of days, jump right in! You can catch up! The reading schedule doesn’t include Sundays, so you can make up some time on those days as well.
So what do you say? Are you up for the challenge? I double dog dare ya!

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