Lent 2014: The 40-Day Bible Reading Challenge

Margaret —  February 5, 2014 — 76 Comments

Lent 2014: The 40-Day Bible Reading Challenge

If you’ve read Wonderstruck or been following this blog, then you know that I’ve fallen head over heels for Lent. Over the last few years, I’ve come to believe that the 40 days leading up to Easter can be some of the most life-giving, perspective-changing, hope-filled days of the entire year—not just for me, but for you.

Lent 2014: The 40-Day Bible Reading Challenge

Here’s how:

This is the moment in the church calendar when we prepare our hearts and minds for the resurrection of Jesus at Easter. Past years have plunged me into the Gospels, silenced my prayer life with shocking results, and exposed the layers of contempt in my heart.

Last year, I felt compelled to read the entire Bible during Lent. I invited you to join me! And thousands upon thousands from around the world responded. We were wonderstruck as pastors, churches, parents, kids, coworkers, and friends dove head first into the great big story of God.

What I didn’t realize at the time is that many of the passages that came alive as I read would soon become my lifeline. Just a few months after Lent we were ambushed with a heart wrenching diagnosis.

That intense time of Bible reading helped prepare us for what was coming.

But I can’t shake the nudge of the Spirit I felt last Spring: “Do it again.”

After much prayer, I’d like to invite YOU to join some friends and me in reading through the entire New Testament this Lent. [Tweet this]

Lent 2014: The 40-Day Bible Reading Challenge

The New Testament contains 260 chapters. That means reading the Bible in 40 days requires reading about 7 chapters per day. And if you’re running errands, working in the garage or have a daily commute, you can listen to an audio version of the Bible. About 30 minutes a day for forty days—and you’ll journey through the entire New Testament.

It may sound like a lot to you. But I am confident you can do this. Yes, even you.

I believe in these 40 days, God wants to speak to you through Scripture. He has words that are written just for your heart, just for this time, and just for what’s coming around the corner. [Tweet this]

Some friends are going to join me in this New Testament Lent Challenge, including our buddies at Catalyst Conference, Jonathan Merritt at Religious News Service, Lori Wilhite at Leading and Loving It, Jenni Catron at Cultivating Leaders, New Testament scholar Dr. Craig Blomberg, Heather Zempel at National Community Church, Shelly Miller at Redemptions Beauty, and more.

Click here to download the free Lent Challenge: 40 Day New Testament Reading Guide. [Tweet this]

Even if you can’t read through the whole New Testament, will you commit to dive into the Gospels, study the Epistles, or just read the red words of Christ?

HCSB Study BibleTo celebrate this 40 Day Bible Reading Challenge, we’re giving away 1 copy of The Holman Christian Standard Bible. To enter, simply tell us what Scripture you hope to explore during Lent through a comment on this blog.

Congratulations to the winner: Bonnie

I’m counting down the days until March 5! (28, in case you’re wondering).

*Original Photo Source

76 responses to Lent 2014: The 40-Day Bible Reading Challenge

  1. For Lent this year, I’m Doing It Again. Reading the WHOLE Bible again. Or should I say, listening to the Whole Bible again. I Enjoyed it so much last year, that I just want to do it all over again. I found so many new things out as I listened to the whole thing. I know I always find new nuggets each time I listen to a passage of scripture, so want to see what will pop out to me this year. I can’t wait to begin again as well.

  2. There are many Scriptures I am hoping will speak to me during Lent as I read through the New Testament with you. I am going to start praying now for God to reveal which Scripture I need to explore during this time.

  3. I commit to the whole NT. However, I think listening to the OT in my car instead of music will also be my goal.

  4. I loved this last year and look fwd to what God will bring. Praying expectantly knowing his word is alive and ready to share Gods heart for me. I would like to be more of a listener to what Gid is trying to say this time vs my own perceptions.

  5. I would love to do this. I am looking forward to Revelation.

  6. 2014 has already been a year full of awe & wonder. As I’ve drawn near to the Lord, He has revealed so much and blessed me beyond my wildest expectations. I can’t think of a better way to prepare my heart for the celebration of the ressurection than reading through the NT. Thanks, Margaret – challenge accepted!

  7. What a wonderful idea!

  8. Looking forward to that two-edged sword …. I need the living and active word!

  9. This was such a beautiful experience last year. Thank you for your gentle yet enthusiastic encouragement to race after God. I’m reading through the Bible this year in the HCSB but was wanting something special for Lent. I love the idea of Lent in the NT. I am looking forward to the journey. ❤️

  10. I am so ready to “do it again”! I love the plan to read thru the NT I feel it will give more time for reflection. But I just loved reading and listening thru the entire Bible last year. Thank you for this amazing challenge Margaret!

  11. I love that this year we will be concentrated in the New Testament…I loved doing the whole Bible last year…this Lent’s reading seems like a perfect fit for where I am this year. Looking forward taking this journey with you and others…blessings~

  12. I hope to get through the New Testament. Last year I was blown away at the prospective of reading the entire bible in such a short amount of time. Things clicked as the gears in my brain began to register what/how I was reading. I will can’t wait for Lent!

  13. I’m working on memorizing the book of Colossians with my daughter (19). I look forward to extra time in that book.

  14. This will be my 1st time on this adventure with you. I am looking forward to dive in for a lifetime change in my life. Thank you for sharing this challenge.

  15. I am going to do the NT. Love this challenge! I am looking forward to what the Lord has for me in the Gospel of John. Thank you so much for doing this for us all. Blessings!

  16. Yes I would like that Bible. My mom’s maiden name was Holman and the name of this Bible has always fascinated me. I will join you in this study of the New Testament.
    Janis http://www.janiscox.com

  17. I am going to be reading the New Testament to draw in closer.

  18. I will definitely be joining in with the New Testament reading plan. I just followed the 40 day reading plan of the whole Bible starting at Thanksgiving and it was indeed life changing and life giving! I am excited for this new adventure to keep me in His word!

  19. I love how alive and active God’s word is. This time through I am wanting to focus on healing verses. God wants to heal me in many ways and I want to learn to let him….

  20. Julie Gutierrez February 5, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Im in!!

  21. I loved reading the whole Bible during Lent last year. I look forward to concentrating on the New Testament this year. Focusing in on the Gospels will especially help my focus on Christ’s sacrifice for me!

  22. Valerie Mangrum February 5, 2014 at 9:25 am

    It’s a deal! I’m in! As to scripture focus – I had committed myself in January 2014 to learning to live joyfully. As I read I will be looking for those themes whether they be obvious or obscure. May God reveal what I need to learn. Great challenge Margaret. Thank you!

  23. I look forward to joining you this year reading thru the NT …I am looking forward to reading scriptures of Hope 🙂

  24. I am so in!! I think this is a great opportunity to work through some questions I am having regarding my church and ministry work. Pleas pray that I may find the peace to make the right decisions for my life and the ministry I lead.

  25. My husband ,Gabriel, is also battling cancer (stage 4).If there were ever a time I needed Words of Life and streams of living water it is now. I’m in.

    • Praying for you Adele and your husband during this season. So glad you’ll be joining us as we read the New Testament– may God’s voice echo again and again!

  26. I joined you last year and was so blessed by this adventure. I am truly looking forward to traveling along side of you on this journey during Lent! I love the book of James! Can’t wait to see how it speaks to me this year! Blessings to you!

  27. This is my first year reding with all of you. I am looking forward to reading all of the NT, but especially Acts & Romans.

  28. Yes! I’m in! And looking forward to exploring scripture about fear and trust!

  29. I love that you are pointing us to the Word so we may better know and rest in the Keeper of the Storm. Many devastating storms are being faced- One Answer. Jesus. I’m in. Thank you.

  30. I would love to join.

  31. Count me in! I would like to get more into Romans during this time period. And maybe Hebrews! I’m looking forward to this.

  32. This year I’m focusing on scriptures pertaining to gifts of the spirit – 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, Ephesians 4:11-13, 1 Corinthians 12:27-31, 1 Peter 4:10-11, Romans 12:3-8

  33. Last year’s Lent Challenge was super meaningful. I “read” by audio and learned things I missed by reading in the past. I’m looking forward to joining you again. Love to you, Margaret. You’ve been on my heart as you’ve done battle, and I continue to #prayforzero. Grateful for the Word who fights for us.

  34. I am beginning a study of Hebrews during Lent so I am especially excited about reading through Hebrews. Thanks for the challenge! I am in!!

  35. I’m doing this:) I’m especially drawn to Romans lately and look forward to studying it more.

  36. I think I can do that this year. When I saw “do it again” I thought ‘whole bible’ and I know that would have been out of my reach. But this, this I could do. Too bad it’s not on YouVersion (my bible app) cause I could totally keep track of it there!

  37. Count me in and thank you for this much needed challenge. My focus will be the words of Jesus.

  38. Margaret, count me in. Can’t wait to start.

  39. I would love to join the challenge….look forward to finding things I haven’t read before!!!!!

  40. I read the Bible daily; however, I don’t read whole chapters. So I’m taking the plunge … I’m going to make it my commitment to get through the whole New Testament during Lent. Whew, I’ll need some encouragement.

    • Wahoo! So excited you’re joining us. Don’t worry– we will all need a little boost of encouragement. So thrilled we have this giant community to share in the joy of Scripture with!

  41. Count me in. Looking forward to what God is going to show me as I dive into His Word.

  42. I want to know God more- to understand his Word clearer- to experience Jesus afresh.. And feel how His church grew / where we are heading

  43. Having never even read the whole Bible, I am looking forward to diving into the deep of the NT!!! And when I am done, I’ll go backwards 🙂

  44. Im excited to explore the New Testament verses and stories and specifically, the teachings of Paul.

  45. I am excited and looking forward to Lent. Yes, I will read the New Testament with you! I am currently studying Deuteronomy and learning so much about the love of God, but I know His ultimate love was shown through Jesus. I look forward to reading about Him in 40 days! Thanks for the challenge.

  46. I felt a strong pull to read through the Bible this year and have http://notesfromabluebike.com/blogtour/ me. Then your post pops up in my Facebook News Feed today! I’m so excited to be in this community!! I love the book of James and expect that I–no, all of us–will be stretched and equipped for what 2014 holds in store for us all.

  47. Margaret, yes the NT count me in!
    When do we start ?
    I guess well do the email ? Readings & ?’s
    What do you need from me if anything!
    I’ll need to get a new Bible I love mine but it’s quite small
    And I’m ready to focus on The Fruit of the Spirit!

  48. I’m looking forward to reading the whole New Testament. I’m thinking Revelation will be especially meaningful.

  49. I want to use the season of Lent to really get the Word Of God deeper in my heart. I have decided to concentrate on John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me.

  50. I’m in! This has been on my heart the last several days. I’m ready to put all my devotion books aside and dig into the New Testament this Lent. Thanks for the challenge, Margaret!

  51. Can’t wait to get started!

  52. Im looking forward to the entire book of John! So much in that book speaks to me.

  53. I looking forward to learning about all the Scripture that Jesus fulfilled with His life on earth. I know there are some that still elude me! It would help if I had a study Bible for that!
    Thanks for your generosity!

  54. I would like to join it &I’m ready .. Thnks so much for invited me :’) . GodBlessYou 🙂

  55. I’m working my way, chronologically, through the Bible this year. For Lent, I’m going to add at least the Gospels in the New Testament to my morning devotionals. Lent is such an enriching time. I look forward to it every year!

  56. Looking forward to joining you during lent this year as I did last year! Believing that this lent season is anointed for break through, healing and restoration! God is doing a new thing! Can’t wait!

  57. Yanira Dunagan March 1, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    I’ll love to start this great adventure,so excited,thank you Margareth!

  58. I will try.

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