Ever since becoming a Christian at the age of 14, I’ve been committed to reading the Bible. My family would read it every morning at 5 a.m., often snoozing over genealogies!
But my "commitment" to daily reading didn't happen. Too often it consisted of little more than a line in my personal mission statement.
The 7x7 Experiment
Then in 2012, my friend Jon Swanson announced a Lenten discipline called “7x7: Listening to God for Lent." He started an experiment of sending emails to help people spend 7 minutes every day listening to God. Each email contained a link to a passage of Scripture that would take 5 minutes of Bible to read, leaving a couple minutes for prayer.
This totally worked for me! In no time, I was reading the Bible and listening to God on a daily basis. It wasn't just something I said I valued. It was something you could actually find on my calendar!
At some point, he started adding longer, 14 minute passages. That was even more my style. When I was a pastor, I'd typically read a chapter or two of Scripture before preaching from it. I like getting to see verses in context.
After a while, I started helping him create these 14 minute passages. Rather than going through the Bible in order, we chose to mix Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament) and Christian Scripture (New Testament). Sometimes we’d do individual books. Sometimes we'd group books together--like Deuteronomy, Malachi, Luke, Hebrews, and Romans because as Jon put it, it’s “the clearest statement of the law, the despair of ever filling it, Christ living and fulfilling the law, the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles.”
After we'd worked through the entire Bible, we stopped the emails.
And before long, I fell out of the habit of daily Bible reading.
So in 2014, I created 14MinutesaDay.com for my own devotional use. This has been so helpful to me, I've decided to open it up for others too. I call it: "Bible reading at the speed of life." If a free, no-frills, daily email with just a link to a passage of Scripture that will take roughly 14 minutes to read sounds like something you’d want, sign up at: 14MinutesaDay.com