Directly after Christmas last year, I set off to attempt something that I have only done once in 30 years of knowing Jesus... Read the Bible before Easter (essentially, in 90 days). There isn't anything mystical in accomplishing this, though it really isn't a small feat. In the past I have encouraged people to read whole books of the Bible in one sitting, especially their favorite book. This however, isn't something I would recommend as someone's normal mode of interacting with Scripture. Though doing it once every five years or so, should prove fruitful!
Don't get me wrong... It takes about the first week and a half to start really seeing and enjoying the benefits of such a commitment. For reference, it is roughly 13 chapters a day; which, for me, is about an hour's worth of reading. Again, not a small effort. When we take in large swaths of scripture, we make connections that aren't normally made. People, places, allegorical imagery all come to light that most people generally miss when only reading a chapter or two at a time.
The point of this post is really to encourage myself, and those who feel like they might want to do something like this in the future by handing down some wisdom, some hints, and tidbits that might help you push through and complete the effort. I've attached several lists below that will correlate with some of my points. Consider the following when attempting to read the entire Bible in 90 days.
1) Get a list that works for you. I great resource I stumbled on was biblereadingplangenerator.com There you are able to customize your list pretty well. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel here. Plenty of lists are readily accessible on the internet. What I do encourage you to do is to make the list your own. I always copy the list into Word and edit it a bit to make sense to me. One of those ways is to add or subtract 1 chapter to or from a day when the beginning or ending of a book is dangling within the list. This way my mind feels some sort of accomplishment knowing that I read the entirety of the book and didn't leave the last chapter of the book for tomorrow just because a list told me to.
2) Be graceful with yourself. Life happens and you'll miss a day or two. Try and make up for it somehow, rather than beating yourself up over it. AND be comfortable with making things up at some point in the 90 days, rather than the next day. Some readings are simply shorter than others. Maybe use an audio Bible to make up for lost time in the car, read on your lunch break, etc. Just keep track of where you are and where you should be. Over time, catching up a day or two isn't at all that difficult or insurmountable as it may seem at first. Just commit during these 3 months, that when you have some extra free time, you'll be willing to spend 15-30 mins of it doing some extra reading... And bingo bango bongo, you've caught up.
3) Read in a way that makes the most sense for you. Use familiar versions and audio Bibles, have multiple times of reading in a day. This last is my personal favorite. I sit down willing to commit at least a half an hour in the morning while all is still relatively still. Then in the early evening, I have committed to spend another 30 minutes. 7 weeks in, I am surprised at how often I have simply found myself pushing through to the 45 morning minute mark to wrap up for the day. OR how about setting an alarm on your phone to chime every hour and you spend the minute or two reading 1 chapter at the top of every hour. Be creative. You might surprise yourself with what you come up with.
4) Try to talk a buddy into doing it with you. Accountability is always a good motivator.
5) My biggest piece of advice I really just happened onto. I suggested to the small group that has been reading with me since Christmas, that we should start in the New Testament instead of the Old since we were in the Christmas season. Everyone thought this was a good idea and we proceeded. This was a game changer for me! You may have heard that it takes 21 days to develop a habit. Reading this much Bible is equivalent to exercise and we all know how easy it is to develop THAT habit in our lives. When one starts reading the Bible in 90 days and begins at Genesis, that real tentative time (the 14-21 day mark) you will be in Leviticus and Numbers. Lots of lists and who begat who's, etc. Very repetitive, and frankly it can be sort of dry. Personally, I struggle reading through this section of Scripture. CONVERSELY, if you start in the New Testament, you will finish reading Revelation as week 3 ends and push on to the Old Testament. By the time you hit that same place in Numbers, you are roughly a month and a half in and staring down the half way point just on the horizon! I wasn't about to give up all that time and effort at that point and pushed through. My guess is that maybe the same would be true for you. Seriously, GAME. CHANGER.
I hope you choose to invest your time in reading the Word. If reading the whole thing in 90 days seems a little much for you, try reading just the New Testament or the Old Testament in 90 days. I've attached those lists too. They are also ordered Chronologically rather than Canonically to help me get a better sense for when things take place, but remember... Make the list your own.
I didn't mention it before, but there is another benefit that I find in reading scripture this way. Along with forcing a certain sense of regularity and consistency in my schedule, it does the same for my spiritual walk as well. And that should be the aim of any time spent with the Lord. Being more consistently in step with the Spirit.
Serving through love and laughter is a great way to live.