I have a passion…
…to support those who desire a better grasp on the Bible.
I put this book together to support two of my grandchildren in their 90-Day Engagement of the New Testament at this crucial time in their developmental process as young teens. I hope this also stirs many to rapidly read through the NT with the aim to put it into practice. There are four values that underlie this book aimed at our spiritual transformation.
First, as I read church history,
most all the men and women who have been greatly used throughout church history have been men and women of the Bible. I believe the Bible is foundational to becoming radical followers of Jesus.
Second, by this, however, I mean more than the study of the Bible.
Biblical “knowing” is more than storing knowledge. As we put knowledge into practice, allow truth to encounter life. Active doing transforms truth into experience. As we reflect on this experience of truth, obedience changes us. So I encourage each to actively put truth into practice in their own lives, and pass a nugget on to another on a regular basis.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves (James 1:22).
Third, the best way I have found to study Scripture…
…is the BIG-small-BIG rhythm. Survey a book by rapidly reading (the first BIG), which is what we are doing in 90 Day Engagement. Then analyze a smaller passage like a chapter (small). On my website, I have a number of “DiscipleMaking Companions” that support this approach. Now read it rapidly again to synthesize, putting the parts back together (the second BIG). The whole helps us understand the parts, and the parts add understanding to the whole as all three synergistically work together.
Fourth, since God designed us in the image of the relational Trinity,…
…the original Small Group, He designed us to learn best together in small groups. We can learn alone. Yet when we bring the fruit of our immersion in the New Testament from the prior week back to a group and share insights, our learning leaps forward and we also influence one another in the group.
How Do I Get the Most Out of This?
I called this “Engagement” because both meanings of the word are crucial to learning. The Bible is God’s Love-Letter to us, our Groom/Husband partnering with men throughout history to communicate the love of God to us. When we read Scripture, read it as a Love-Letter, like from someone you are engaged to marry. God deeply loves you, not as a manual.
We must also actively engage the 90-Day Engagement with our full effort. The good news is that we have a Helper, the Holy Spirit. He comes alongside to open up God’s Word to us (John 14:26).
This is why each day I have the same focus statement (you may turn it into a prayer).
“Open my eyes to actively embrace Your invitation into deepening relationship.”
As you write down a short reminder of what the Spirit opened up this day, look for how this truth can impact your day. Learning must be active.
The difference between those who influence and those who plateau or dropout is “deliberate practice,” according to more recent studies by Anders Ericsson. Even without any special aptitude or training, “deliberate practice” focuses on continuous improvement to avoid getting trapped on learning plateaus.
As a final reminder, dating of New Testament books is not an exact science. I have consulted a number of experts to compile this, but experts disagree on some dates. For me, this has still been a great help to see how the books fit in with a timeline of Acts.
The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword….
It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).
For this 90-Day Engagement with the New Testament, I have drawn on a number of books to compile this ninety day immersion in the New Testament. The introductions to Eugene Peterson’s The Message have been extremely helpful. You will hear echoes of these in my short summaries of each book. I also drew on my longer work called “NT Companion.”
This short book is available as a free PDF download as 90-Day Engagement.