40 Days Through the GospelsPosted: February 8, 2012
As part of our new sermon series, The Gospel, I challenged our church to read through the four gospels over the next 40 days. I wanted to share a few thoughts and tips to guide you in your reading and to encourage you to stay in the game the entire 40 days.
Before I start…how did you like Day 1 starting with a list of names in Matthew 1 that no one can pronounce?! For a GREAT explanation on why those names matter and why they are in the Bible, check out what our Executive Pastor, Ryan Allred, wrote on the NRHC blog.
Here are some thoughts to guide your reading time:
- Remember the primary purpose for your reading is not to increase knowledge or to check off a box, but to worship God. Start your time in prayer thanking God for who He is and what He has done for you through the finished work of Jesus. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you.
- As you read each section, find a verse or two that really stand out to you. Spend some time meditating on that verse or those verses and write them out in a journal.
- Write down your observations from your key verses and/or the entire passage. What do you learn about God? What are the key phrases or words that appear multiple times or are prominent in the entire passage? How do you see the gospel in the verses and/or the entire passage?
- Determine how you can apply the truths you’ve read to your own life. Is there a sin you need to repent of? Is there someone you need to forgive? Is there someone you need to serve? Is there something you can share with a friend who does not know Jesus? Is there an encouragement you need to apply to your life? Write down your application points and steps.
- Close your time in prayer. Thank God for His Word. Thank Him for speaking into your life. Ask Him to help you apply His truth to your life and to those you interact with.
A few practical tips & ideas…
- Pick the same time each day to read.
- Consider taking at least one day per week to reflect on how God spoke to you through the last week
- If you get behind, don’t get discouraged! Just pick up where you missed and keep going.
- Consider meeting and reading with 2-3 other people, maybe from your Journey Group or people you serve with. Or, ask 2-3 people at your office or in your neighborhood , get them a reading plan, and ask them to read with you.
If you didn’t get a reading plan or if you’d like to share it with a friend, you can download one here.
I can’t wait to see what God does as we engage Him through His Word!