This school year (2017-2018) our High School Youth group is going to spend time with Jesus everyday by reading one chapter a day starting in the New Testament (NT). There are 260 chapters in the NT, so if we start on Thursday, September 14, 2017 with Matthew 1, we will end on Thursday, May 31, 2018 with Revelation 22.
So cool, eh?!
The impetus to do this came from Acts 4:13 (NLT)
“The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures.
“They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus”
We wondered what it would be like to be “accused” of being “ordinary” men and women, teenagers and adults who have no special training in the Scriptures, who had been with Jesus.
The goal is to develop a regular, daily routine of spending time with Jesus.
If any of us miss days of reading a chapter or start the process late, there is no worries. Through spending time with Jesus we will discover that God is extremely loving and gracious with his people. God just desires humans who want to build a relationship with him! Leaders and students will be extremely gracious with one another, but constantly inviting and challenging one another throughout the process.
We spent some time talking about how to have a daily time with Jesus
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work”
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV)
- Time. Decide on a time of the day to spend with Jesus. Ask yourself: “What is the best time of the day when I am at my best?” Then use that time to spend with Jesus. The amount of time may vary depending on the chapter, but try to set aside at least 15-20 minutes each day.
- Place. Find a quiet place where you can focus and not be distracted. Set aside and
silence your phone. Have your Bible, a pen, journal, and beverage of your choice close at hand.
- Prayer. Start with prayer.
- Scripture. Read the chapter of the day from the New Testament.
- Observation. Write what you notice in the chapter: what stands out to you, what the Spirit might be teaching you, and what doesn’t make any sense to you? Record any questions the chapter raises about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and life in God’s world. As the school year progresses we will learn together how to read and pay attention to things in ancient literature.
- Application. Reflect on things in your life that you need to repent of (surrender, let go, confess) and things about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and life in God’s world that you need to believe (have faith and trust in) because of what you have just read and observed in your time with Jesus. Write down some of those things.
- Prayer. Any change that happens in your life is Christ doing it because you continually repent and believe. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 ESV). Repentance is being crucified with Christ and faith is living in light of Jesus’ resurrection who loved us. Write out a prayer of repentance and belief in light of what the Spirit taught you in the chapter.
I made journals for the students and leaders so it could keep them on track and be a place where all the observations and applications and prayers are in one spot (S. O. A. P.). They appreciated it because they thought it would be a helpful guide to staying the course. Plus, it’s something they can bring to Youth group each week as they share what the Holy Spirit taught them the previous week in their small group.
I’m excited to see how the year goes and how God uses this to shape our hearts toward him!
Here are some digital links to see what the journal looks like: