Tell me if this sounds like you: you like the idea of reading through the New Testament, but you haven’t had a way to do it! The good news is that the CenterPoint family has just started our Think Like Jesus New Testament Challenge and we are reading through the entire New Testament—discussing what we’ve read in our groups (you can register for one of our groups here), as well as covering 9 major themes in the New Testament each week in our services.
But if this is the first you’ve heard of it, or are out of the area, why not join us by downloading the syllabus (here) and catching our messages online? You’re not too late to join. It is going to be a great ride together.
As of today, we are three days in to this Challenge. If you were with us since the beginning, how is it going? If you have never read through the NT before, you may feel like me when I first started: “I don’t know if I can do this!”
The reality is that you CAN read through the New Testament—but it will take some focus.
Well, the reality is that you CAN do this—but it will take some focus. There are three habits that are important to establish to help you successfully accomplish this challenge:
The first is a set time. Set a time that works for you. My best time is first thing in the morning: a cup of coffee and I’m off to read! Whatever your best time is, set it and guard it!
Whatever your best time is, set it and guard it!
Reading Tip: If you find the reading sessions too long in one sitting, split it up. So, for example on Day one, you could read Matthew 1-2 in the morning and Acts 1-3 in the evening before Bed.
The second is a set place. Where will you meet with God as you read his word? Determine this place and meet there each morning/day. The important criteria here is silence. If there are too many distractions, you may find it hard to complete your goal each day.
Whatever your preferred method, be consistent!
The third is a set method. You might prefer having a leather-bound, gold-leafed-paper book in your lap, with margins that you can write in. Or maybe you like having an app on your phone. Whatever your preferred method of reading, part of forming a habit is to be consistent! A few ideas to help you succeed/stay on track:
- Use a non-Study-Bible Bible. If there are notes, references, maps, etc, you will be distracted from the reading. Plain text is best here.
- Use the same translation. I like to use the New Living Translation for reading and preaching. There are some really good translations out there, but again the key is consistency.
- Some of us are visual learners, some are auditory learners. If you’re a visual learner, you’ll jump into the text with both feet. But, if you’re an auditory learner, you may struggle to complete this. For all you auditory learners (my primary learning style) I have good news: there are some amazing tools out there to help you conquer this challenge of reading through the New Testament. Bible.com is a powerful, free resource that enables you to hear the Bible read, as you follow along with the text. Check out Bible.com on either your PC or the YouVersion Bible app for your mobile device (via the App Store or Google Play). Create an account (its all free), and most of the translations have an audio version to listen to as you read.
Finally, remember, remember, remember: Your goal isn’t to have a perfect reading record; your goal it so see how to love, serve and follow Jesus better. When you learn to apply Jesus’ teachings to your life, it is transformational. If you continue in this, you will not be the same. Our goal is to think, respond and care for others like Jesus.
Remember: Your goal isn’t to have a perfect reading record; your goal it so see how to love, serve and follow Jesus better.
I would love to hear what works for you. And let me know if there is any way we can help you succeed in reading through the New Testament with us.