Will You Join Me?

When I began this blog in 2010, I really had no idea what my purpose was. I loved to write and I thought this would be an easy way to do something I loved to do. In a few years, I started recognizing the incredible need for Christians to discern in our current age, and that became a frequent topic. But, sometime, over the past few years, I have realized that the true need for all Christians is to know their Bibles. So few of us do. Many of us have never even read it through.

I called myself a Christian for almost 40 years before I ever read the Bible through or made Bible memory a regular part of my life. But here’s the thing I learned: Once you get into the Word, the discernment kind of takes care of itself. Our thoughts on other issues, such as worldliness and Christian liberty, also change completely as we learn the Word. When we study the Bible, we begin to understand God’s love and grace, His hatred for sin, and His demand for pure and holy worship. We also begin to understand the battle going on in the spiritual realm and the agenda that Satan has for this world. Getting in the Word teaches us the truth about the things of religion and philosophy so that when some false but pleasant message comes along, we recognize it for what it is.

And so, while I still write about discernment and worldliness and other topics that are important, my overarching purpose for Growing4Life has become simply this: Encourage Christians to get in the Word. Read it. Study it. Memorize it. Know it.

This is life-changing, as I can attest.

It is with this purpose in mind, that for the past several years, I have started to offer the Growing4Life Bible Reading Challenge each year. I thought it would be a way to keep us all accountable to be in the Word. I create a Facebook group each year (see details in link below) where I post reminders, encourage discussion, and provide biblical resources and articles that go along with what we are reading.

This year I am trying something different. I have been wanting to try this for several years now. We are going to read the same book (or passage) for a month. In this way, we will become extremely familiar with each book. We will naturally learn its message and its themes. This idea comes from John MacArthur and I will share a little about what he says about this on a post entitled How to Study Your Bible

When I was in seminary, I decided to read 1 John every day for thirty days. That’s a good place for you to start, too. The first day—the beginning of the month—simply read all five chapters of 1 John. It will take you only twenty to thirty minutes. Do the same thing the next dayand the next. About the seventh or eighth day you will say to yourself, “This is getting old. I think I understand 1 John by now.” That’s the hard part. But if you push through and stick with your reading for the rest of the month, you’ll have a tremendous comprehension of 1 John.

That is the method I use to prepare my messages. I read through the passage I’m studying over and over again until it fills my mind. I suggest that as you read, you jot down the major themes of each chapter on a three-by-five card. Every day as you read the book, look at the card and read through your list. You will soon know by heart the main points of each chapter.

This is a really helpful article, so I definitely suggest you read the whole thing (link is above). But this is what we are going to do. We are going to start with I John and we are going to read it all through January.

You can find all the details for this year’s challenge on the 2020 Growing4Life Bible Reading Challenge Page. I hope you will consider joining me!

I know that some of you have other ways and methods for studying the Bible. You already have a plan for next year and you can’t join me. That’s totally fine! I just want to encourage you to set aside your devotionals (at least until after you read your Bible) and pick up your Bibles. Whatever your plan is for the new year, I hope you will make sure it includes a healthy daily dose of reading the actual Bible.

For, as I have learned from my own experience, this is the heart of the Christian life. Anything else, whether it’s devotionals or experiences or rituals, is just a poor substitute that has no power to transform.


Do you want victory over sin?

Read your Bible!

Do you want to know right from wrong?

Read your Bible!

Do you want to be able to discern true from false?

Read your Bible!

Do you want comfort during hard times?

Read your Bible!

Do you want to look more like Christ?

Read your Bible!