There is a saying; “The church that prays together, stays together.” Let’s take it one step further and beef up our arsenal against our foe. Join us as we spend 2019 reading through the Bible together. By reading together, we will have the opportunity to learn, grow, and seek the Lord in new ways as a family.
The age we are living in can feel scary and confusing. The best way to combat fear and confusion is to get to know and understand God and His perfect plan. This can only be accomplished through a solid understanding of the story He has given us - His word.
As His church, we can only serve God well when we know Him well. By reading together, we can prayerfully dig deeper and gain insight into the heart of our Creator collectively.
How It Will Work
The Bible we have chosen to collectively read is called Reading God’s Story, A Chronological Daily Bible, and can be found on Amazon and through most major Christian booksellers.
Following the daily readings could not be easier since this bible breaks down what to read by weeks and days. In order to make tracking easier, at the end of each day’s reading there is a place to mark that it has been completed. Some days begin with a commentary to help set the scene and provide additional information for the day’s account.
Each week only six readings are assigned. This means you have a day to catch up, review what you read the week before, or just take a day to meditate on what you’ve read for the week.
Monthly, we will publish a blog with information to help you follow along. We will do a recap of the previous month as well as a quick look ahead to what you can expect to read the following month.
Special South Bay Facebook Group
We also have a special South Bay Facebook group for this year’s Bible reading challenge. It is a closed group that you have to join. The benefits of joining this group include encouragement, motivation, getting questions answered, helping someone with a question, and hearing the general conversation and the journey of others. We will put up a daily post to accompany the daily reading to keep the discussion going. The post may also include guided questions to consider while you are reading.
Reading God’s Story
You might notice two things immediately upon looking into this Bible. First, it is in chronological order. Second, it is the Holman Christian Standard Bible version, which is a different version than many people are used to reading. We have researched the different options, and we enjoy and trust this version as authoritative and true to God’s story.
The Bible we are going to read together is the Holman Christian Standard Bible translation. This translation uses the traditional chapter and verse divisions found in standard Bibles. It was compiled using standard translation methods originating from original manuscripts into the most modern version of English. You can read more about the particular version of this Bible in the front of the book.
Components of This Bible
A quick tour of this Bible shows some unusual components. Although this version is separated by chapter and verse, the chapters are not in traditional order. To break the sections down chronologically, it is broken into three acts and 17 scenes. The author’s vision for this story-style rendition is to draw the reader into God’s story and gain an understanding of how the lives of each individual are interwoven into His perfect plan.
Reading the Bible in chronological order may seem a bit strange. After years of reading and searching the Bible in book order, a chronological reading may take some getting used to. The first time I read the Bible chronologically, I learned so much. It was the richest year of devotions I ever had. Thankfully, this Bible lays it out simply. Instead of searching by book, you will read each day’s reading. The following day, instead of finding a book and chapter, you will find the next day of the reading schedule.
The purpose of reading the Bible in chronological order is two-fold. First, it gives a clear understanding of the flow of history, which leads to a better understanding of the people and overall story. Second, reading chronologically builds the storyline out and helps build anticipation and full comprehension of the need for Jesus and the cross.
Free App and Audio Podcast
Most versions of this Bible have a sticker on the front that states there is a free app and podcast. Unfortunately, the app never came to fruition and, according to the publisher, is no longer in the works. There is, however, a daily reading podcast where you can listen to the sections instead of reading them. Similar to an audiobook or podcast, this is a wonderful way to get your reading in while you are on the road or working out.
There are two ways you can listen to the daily readings. If you are on a desktop and are streaming, you can listen here. If you prefer to listen through an app, the audio is also hosted on Soundcloud which can be found in your app store. To find the series on Soundcloud, search for BHPublishingGroup’s Reading God’s Story Audio Bible. There are 313 tracks that are broken up into daily readings and follow the Bible precisely. Be sure to click the heart to save it to your library, so you can easily find the current day’s readings.
There is also an instructional video series on YouTube that can be helpful. The video series digs a little deeper into a few of the sections of reading. They are very informative!
I highly recommend purchasing the Bible for your own reference and notetaking purposes. You can purchase it with the link below.
This is an exciting endeavor on which we are in embarking! We are bound to face opposition as we read and draw closer to the Lord. Let’s commit, as God’s people, to pray for one another and follow through on our reading. It is an honor to be a part of God’s church and to learn and grow alongside His people.
Bible Reading Challenge Checklist
Here are the steps to take to ensure that you are ready to begin with us on the first of the year:
- Purchase the Bible through the link provided.
- Join our Facebook group.
Decide which of the free resources mentioned above you would like to use to supplement your daily reading and download any necessary podcasts or apps.