Will you join me in reading the Gospels during the 40 days leading up to Easter?
Then, one more day and read the first two chapters of Acts.
I contacted Dr. George Guthrie of Read the Bible for Life for permission to use his chronological reading plan for the 41 Day Challenge and received a very enthusiastic response and permission. After a few minor adjustments, the reading plan is in place. So beginning March 5, we will read through the Gospels in the chronological timeline that many scholars believe the events happened. On Good Friday, we will read the crucifixion accounts from all four Gospels. Easter Sunday will find us reading the resurrection from all four Gospels as well.
If you are like me, sometimes the busy-ness of the season can steal away those moments of silence, solitude, and introspection that are so vital to our spiritual life. As a result I do not hear the still, small voice of God because busy-ness, deadlines, and traveling all over Oklahoma for our ReConnect START Campaign Road trip has kept me distracted.
About 15-20 minutes a day is all that is required to read the Gospels in 40 days. Each Saturday during the 40 days is open, so you can use them to catch up or meditate. Then on day 41 we will read the first two chapters of the book of Acts. These two chapters contain the disciples’ response after three years with Jesus followed by His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension.
Many friends and ministers of education in Oklahoma have already joined me for the 41 Challenge, including Jerry Ross of Quail Springs in OKC, Danny Ringer of First Baptist in Elk City, and Keith Jordan who is the Director of Church Development for the Capital Baptist Association.
I would like to encourage you to make a commitment with us to read the Gospels in 40 days by registering for the 41 Day Challenge by clicking this link. We will email you with the 41 Day Challenge Reading Plan after you register. Also, you have an option to purchase the 41 Day Challenge tshirt ($8.00) when you register.
Note: You have probably figured out that this challenge coincides with Lent. I am a Southern Baptist and we do not generally celebrate Lent. Lent is a 40 day period before Easter when a person gives up or sacrifices something in an effort to focus his or her self on Christ. There is nothing inherently wrong with that. In essence it is a fast. Jesus and His disciples fasted. Jesus also had some unpleasant words for people that fast in order to promote themselves or their self interests. If we are not careful, it is easy to orient ourselves into some sort of works-based righteousness based on our own effort of self-discipline. Self-based discipline (works righteousness) is not the Gospel that Jesus has freed us from. As J.D. Greear states in his Gospel centered prayer: there is nothing you can do today to make God love you more; and nothing you did yesterday that will make God love you less.
Rather than give something up, we are seeking the Lord through the reading of His Word. That is always an appropriate way to seek a closer relationship with Christ.