by Laura Berrey
BJMBC's five-pronged approach to redeeming the time while under lockdown.
As BJMBC winds down to a close this week with final exams, a major concern for us is that we don't wind down spiritually. With all of Luzon--and many other parts of the Philippines and the world--under a lockdown of some sort or another, we are approaching the end of the school year with the burden to continue our efforts to grow spiritually during this unique time.
To this end, BJMBC has put together a five-pronged approach to redeeming the time under lockdown. For each of these five aspects of spiritual growth and ministry we have included a page of resources to empower you to take part.
1. Read the Bible in 40 Days Challenge
"Your grandparents were called to war. You are called to sit on the couch and watch Netflix." This meme, which has been floating around social media, is not true for those of us who are Christ followers. We too have been called to warfare, although it is primarily a spiritual warfare. To be effective soldiers of Christ, we need to wield the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Doing a deep dive into Scripture by binge-reading the Bible is a great way to get a bird's eye view of the big picture of the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation.
Reading the Bible in 40 days or 60 days takes time, but it is time well spent. Two of our BJMBC faculty members have chronicled their experiences in reading the entire Bible in a short period of time in these articles:
Meditations from Binge-Reading the Bible by Joel Arnold
Observations on the 25 Day Bible Reading Challenge by Timothy W. Berrey
2. Feed Your Mind Each Day
School may be out for the summer, and you may be quartered in your home, but that doesn't mean it's time to let a screensaver take over your mind. Instead, view this as a God-given opportunity to pursue more individualized learning. Choose a good book, listen to a sermon, or watch some educational and soul-strengthening videos.
3. Help Filipinos dig into God's Word
With churches taking place mostly online, many of your normal ministries are probably on hold. But you can still minister and have an eternal impact by helping with this extremely valuable translation project. Work together or with a group. Change the world from inside the four walls of your home.
4. Pray for a World in Crisis
This is an unprecedented time in history. Never before has the entire world been under lockdown in an effort to combat a common enemy. Now is not the time to let down our defenses; it is a time to storm the mercy room with petitions for the souls of men. Where two or three are gathered in Christ's name, He is in the midst of them. Let's join in praying for spiritual revival for our needy world as well as physical healing.
5. Share the Gospel of Hope
You can't go door-to-door. You probably can't even be handing out tracts right now. But that doesn't mean you can't share the Gospel. Take the time to email, message, or video chat with someone who needs the Gospel. Learn more about how to be an effective soul winner.
We hope that you, too, will redeem the time during your lockdown in one or more of these five ways. Our goal at BJMBC is to encourage and strengthen you in your work for Christ. May these resources be a blessing and a help to you as you seek to use this time for the glory of God.
Joel Arnold is on the Bible Faculty at BJMBC.
Transform your understanding of the Bible with this 25-day sweep through Scripture.
Read the Bible in 25 days?!?
Another year at BJMBC is nearly finished. The holiday fever has begun as students struggle to stay focused through their last week of classes.
But this year we challenged our students to end the year by blowing the top off of their expectations; to do something so radical it sounds impossible and to use their Christmas break in the best possible way. Specifically, we challenged them to read through the entire Bible in 25 days.
It’s a little crazy, but less crazy than you think. It’ll take about 2-3 hours per day, starting this Saturday.
And now we are inviting you to join us. We have a schedule (see below), a Facebook accountability group to keep everyone motivated, and more than enough excitement. Here are a few practical suggestions to make it possible:
Make the Impossible Possible
1. Be alert.
Don’t read lying down. We all know where that goes. Stand up, or walk around while you read if you need to.
2. Be active.
Buy a cheap award Bible and mark as you go. Keep it super simple—underline things that amaze you. But resist the temptation to get too detailed.
3. Be fast.
There are times to read the Bible slowly and digest every word. There are other times to just keep moving. The goal is to get a fly-by overview of your entire Bible. Discipline yourself not to stop—just keep moving!
4. Be creative.
You could read some books out loud together with friends. (Extra fun is to read it like a play with parts!) Or try reading and listening to an audio book at the same time. I suggest not relying on audio Bibles alone, though—your mind will wander.
5. Be accountable.
Have someone hold you accountable, either a friend or a family member. Or join the Facebook group for daily encouragement and check-ins.
Reading the Bible intensely in a short time transforms the way you understand it.
Why do we view so much of God’s words to us closed, confusing and opaque? Maybe because we don’t read the whole thing! Or maybe because even when we do, it is spread out too far for us to notice the constant, rich patterns in the tapestry?
The most powerful memory I have with reading Scripture was one Christmas break when I decided to read the Bible in as short a time as possible. It was like flying over Scripture in a helicopter. I’ll never forget it. It changed my life.
No question, reading like that is a lot of work. There will be days when you feel like quitting. Life will happen and you’ll have to catch up.
But I’m also absolutely certain that no-one who finishes this project will regret it. One month from now, you could have a radically expanded vision of the richness of Scripture. What better thing could you hope to accomplish in the next 25 days?
Come join us!
Reading, learning, growing. God calls us to be changed through His Word. At BJMBC, our goal is to speak truthfully and clearly about that Word, while we prepare a future generation of students to proclaim it.