The Mid-Year Challenge

If you’ve opened the YouVersion Bible app recently you would have noticed something called ‘The Mid-Year Challenge’. It’s got nothing to do with exercising, eating or budgeting, though those are all good things. It’s a challenge to make time with God a daily habit by selecting a Bible reading plan and then completing daily readings for seven days in a row.

For some, this might sound like a significant challenge, while for others, it may sound like your average week. Wherever you find yourself, it’s a good challenge for all of us to consider and a good reminder about the importance of regularly feeding on God’s word.

Psalm 1 powerfully reminds us that the pathway of life with God leads us deeper into the word of God: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” (v.1-3).

It is generally agreed that it takes around 60 days of doing something repeatedly before it becomes a habit. Now, 7 days is obviously well short of 60 days, but it’s a start. And if you have currently fallen behind or fallen away from regularly feasting on the truth of God’s word, can I encourage you to take up the mid-year challenge? Can I encourage you to pick up your Bible and read? Can I encourage you to hear from God and spend time with God?

It doesn’t have to be long, you might only read for a few minutes and then pray for a few minutes more, but it’s a start. And it’s not always going to be a time of incredible insight and overwhelming emotion, but God will shape you through the regular and repeated habit of soaking your heart and mind in the truth of who He is and what He has done.

If you’re not sure where to begin, let me offer a few suggestions:

  • Download the YouVersion app and select one of their many Bible reading plans
  • Read one psalm per day and use it as a guide for prayer
  • Read through 1st Peter (to prepare for our Term 3 sermon series)
  • Read the Gospel of John using the reading guides from (free)
  • Make use of helpful resources like the following study Bibles and commentaries:
    • ESV Study Bible
    • NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible
    • New Bible Commentary by Gordon Wenham, Alec Motyer, D.A. Carson

Let’s together take stock of where we are and together make the important choice to prioritise time with God in His word.

With you on the journey,