I finished this challenge yesterday! In 89 days!
Three months ago I was not sure if I could do this, but once I got started I just persevered. I really, really enjoyed it. I learned so much by reading the entire Bible in such a small time period. I am actually looking forward to reading it in 90 days again, beginning in July. For these next three months, I am planning to study one or more books of the Bible in depth, or maybe study one book and then choose a topic to study in depth. It all depends on how long it takes me to study the first book I chose: James.
To begin my study, today I retrieved my Bible Study Binder, and I thought about how I would like to reorganize it. It needs a little bit of cleaning out, and I plan to file away most of the papers in the binder (thankful lists, Bible study notes, helpful articles) to make room for my new study. I think I am going to put all of the encouraging articles that I print out from time to time and put them in their own binder.
Next, I thought about how I would like to study the book of James, and I decided to use the inductive study method, using notes and outlines that a preacher friend, Joel Ellis, shared with me. This morning I simply read through the entire book of James, made a note listing the date I read it, which reading it was (the 1st), the version I read from (ESV), and then I listed one verse to ponder today.
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded."
For the first three or four days I will simply read the entire book of James in different versions of the Bible, and list a key verse in my notebook. After that I will begin to make notes as I read, listing the themes of each chapter, dividing the book into major divisions and then making outlines of each division or chapter. The next step will be to answer questions such as "Who? Where? When? Why? How?" as I read each section. Following this I will read cross references, and use Bible dictionaries, commentaries, and concordances to further research the book. The last phases of this inductive study will be to summarize the purpose of the text to the original audience and then analyze the purpose of the text for my life today.
I am looking forward to this Bible study!