This is my fourth year taking up the challenge for the “30-Day Shred,” similar to Jillian Michaels’ workout program, from Nathan Finochio.
If you’ve never done this kind of Bible reading plan, I highly recommend you try it. Here’s why.
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1. You get a bird’s-eye view of God’s story for humanity.
I’ve talked to a lot of Christians that have never read straight through the Bible, or, in my case, listened. If you’re anything like me, you have to pause and reflect, but reading the Bible in 30 days allows you to step back and get the overall picture. Finochio describes it as seeing the shape of the “tree” as opposed to studying the “leaves.”
2. You start to see themes you may have never picked up before.
There’s a lot of different themes between Genesis and Revelation. And there are a lot of heroes of the faith and stories that point to Jesus in the Old Testament. And you start to see that although many stories took place thousands of years ago, they relate to our everyday. It also helped me picture the culture of biblical times in a better context when you hear the stories connected instead of picking and choosing.
3. You can listen to different versions of the Bible.
Whether you prefer NIV, King James, or another version, this is a chance to try out ESV or any other versions that the Bible App offers. Each year, I’ve tried to do a different one and I’ve found it interesting. Even hearing the stories phrased in a different way can give us new insights or be able to better hear God’s unique voice.
4. You immerse yourself in God’s Word.
I recommend listening to the Bible (or reading) throughout your day. I start listening in the morning as I go about my routine. Then I listen as I take breaks throughout my day. And I generally finish in the late afternoon or before I go to bed.
5. You can focus on Scripture like never before.
If you’ve read through the Bible in a year or chronologically, this is a new experience. One thing I recommend is to take the pressure off yourself to do anything but just listen. If you miss a day or start getting behind, that’s ok. The important part is to keep going. You can also listen at a faster pace. I typically listen at 1.5x the pace but if I’m rushed for time, I will listen at double speed. Similar to a NASCAR driver, when you’re going at a fast pace, you’re more likely to pay attention instead of going at a leisure pace and falling asleep at the wheel.
Whatever hesitation you might have, I want you to know you can do it! The Bible App gives you the option to join others with the plan if that helps.
Finochio is the author of 3 books. Check them out!
- Hearing God: Eliminate Myths. Encounter Meaning.
- Killer Church: Why Some Just Survive and Others Thrive in the Presence of God
- Theos Starter Pack: Toward a Recovery of Essential Christianity