In just a couple of weeks we will begin our E100 Bible reading program. This will be a unique experience in the life of our church family! We have never made such a coordinated and concerted effort to engage the entire congregation in reading the Bible. I think it holds tremendous potential for our growth together in Christ individually and corporately. Of course, that potential will only be realized if each one of us participates! And so if you have not yet committed to be a part of E100, decide today.
Perhaps you are thinking, “That sounds a lot like a New Year’s resolution. And I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.” Well, yes and no. Yes, this is similar to a New Year’s resolution since it comes at the beginning of a New Year and since it requires a commitment on your part. But it is different than those resolutions in one HUGE way. There are a lot of other people whom you know who are doing it as well! In other words, you will have a lot of encouragement and support along the way to keep going.
Sometimes we fail at our New Year’s resolutions because they are overly ambitious or not clearly defined. We get discouraged and soon give up. E100, however, is well planned out and manageable. You don’t have to design a plan, the E100 “Daily Planner” has it all clearly laid out for you … and everyone will receive a free E100 “Daily Planner” at Sunday worship on January 10.
Not only is the program mapped out in detail, it is also manageable. There are five passages to be read in one week. That allows for some flexibility, some margin. If you miss one day, you still have six days left in the week to read five passages. This five-readings-in-seven-days approach also allows you to spread out one day’s reading over two days. Some of the readings, especially some in the Old Testament portion, are a bit lengthy. The longest may be reading #18, “The Ten Plagues.” That reading is Exodus 6:28-11:10. That’s a long reading! I would encourage you to look in your planner at the beginning of each week and note the length of the assigned passages. If one seems long to you, you can allot two days to read it, making the week a little more manageable.
Another practical suggestion I would offer is that if you find yourself having fallen behind the schedule, jump ahead to the assigned readings for the new week. In other words, let’s say you missed three readings in in week 2. Instead of starting week 3 by reading what you missed from week 2, skip ahead to week 3’s readings. That will keep you on track with the themes for the sermons and for interacting with others on Sunday. Trying to catch up may put you further behind. And since the planner has a punch-out method for tracking your readings, you will know what readings to return to if you find yourself with extra reading time during a week. (And this is certainly possible. Some of the readings are very short. Reading #84 is only 7 verses long! In fact, all the readings in that week, “Paul to the Churches,” are short. That could be a catch-up week.)
Another reason we sometimes fail at our New Year’s resolutions is that we go at them as “Lone Rangers.” You are the only one working on your new goal for the year. In that scenario it is easy to get discouraged and give up. With E100, however, we are all doing it together! As you work at keeping your commitment from day to day and week to week, you can know that many others are doing the very same thing. The struggles you face, they also face. The benefit you are receiving, they are also receiving. Then when we meet together on Sunday, we can encourage each other to stand strong and finish well.
One of the ways we will support each other along the way is by talking about our E100 experience during Life Groups. Our Life Group leaders will devote some of the connecting part of the Life Group time to interacting about E100. You can come to your Life Group expecting opportunity to respond to questions such as, “What has God shown you through this week’s reading?” and “What surprised you in your reading?” and “How can you apply in your life what you read in the Bible?” and “What did you learn about the character of God?”
Not in a Life Group? Now, there’s a great New Year’s resolution for you to make!! We resume our Sunday LGs on January 3. Now is a great time to join!
Let’s all resolve to read God’s Word through the E100 Bible reading program.