Does the Chronological Bible Challenge impact the person?
The CBC recently finished up. A challenging but powerful experience. What is it? It is an experience of reading the whole Bible together in story order in a year.
As I finished, I was reflecting upon the feedback of others as well as the impact on me. These affected views on growth, family, as well as God and the Bible. Some were surprises, others not as much. But all have been good.
So here are ten thoughts (and some takeaways for you) inspired by this special focus and intense survey of the whole Bible in story order.
- Renewed a commitment to read it through regularly. Although you can become weary keeping up, the fruit of these times (as you will read) was significant. And I am committed to return to this again.
- The importance of having our children read it through while still at home. I had a privilege of one of my kids expressing interest in this. As we went along, there were moments we talked about a question, why we read the Bible, perseverance, and the importance of the whole Bible...and so much more. Consider trying this (at least) once before your kids leave home so they can ask questions or talk through difficult passages with you.
- Reading the Bible takes discipline and perseverance. It's not just a "when I feel like it" book. In fact, so many of these other points are missed without a sense of commitment.
- Importance of reading the Bible on God's schedule. I stopped counting how, in God's sovereign and full plan, I would run across a passage that awoke, challenged, or comforted me. There was no way, in my power, that I would have chosen that passage for that day...but God knew. He is involved in my story too.
- The story in the Bible continues today. While we capture so much history in the Bible, good study reminds us that it is also a story that has implications for today. That the people of God walk the same story of faith with the same God that I do today. And I continue in that story.
- How useful a "fast" survey can be in tying themes together. While a slower, reflective, more in-depth study is important, this fast overview allowed one to tie themes together that might not be caught if reading over a longer period.
- The importance of reading it all. I'm surprised how much I forget over time. Or how well the story ties together. (The notes sent out helped a lot with this.) That doesn't always mean the commitment is easy, but it is fruitful.
- How unfinished I am...and my personal need for God. As I approached all of God's Word, it reminded or convicted me of themes or areas I would not have thought of if just doing a "pick what I want" approach. It comforted, inspired, and encouraged to continue, knowing He is over all things.
- God became bigger. His glory is great but also the scope of His power and love as I saw Him interact with people and events of the past...and saw some things on the future horizon.
- God is the central character of the Bible story. It can be easy to see the events, individuals, or even ourselves as central in the story. But when you read with God as the central character, a new richness is found and a vision of His love, holiness, grace, power, and mercy. He reveals Himself in the story of seeking to bring lives back to His hope and plans that rise to their climax in Jesus Christ.
It was a great experience and, if you didn't join us this time, I hope you will consider it next year. We seek to offer this every couple years. God truly does amazing things through our time in His Word as we pray and watch with eyes to see and ears to hear.