52 Day Challenge
We looked at the book of Nehemiah a few weeks ago in a lesson titled “Rise Up and Build.” The walls around Jerusalem remained in shambles for 90 years after the Jews first returned from captivity. When Nehemiah comes along, he helps the people rebuild the walls in just 52 days! This story is a testament to what children of God can accomplish, even in a short amount of time, when we have “a mind to work,” (Nehemiah 4:6).
What can you accomplish in just 52 days if you have a mind to work? Is there a habit you need to develop, or a habit you need to break? Is there something you have put off for far too long that needs your attention? Is there something you can start doing this week that will glorify God or strengthen your faith? Here are a few possibilities to consider:
Read the Bible every day for 52 days. Parents, read the Scriptures with your children. Luke and Acts collectively have 52 chapters, so you can read just 1 chapter each day and end up reading about the life of Jesus and the establishment and early days of His church in that time.
Pray every day for 52 days. If you’re not use to praying first thing in the morning, or last thing before bed, then commit to praying during one of those times for 52 days. Maybe consider starting a prayer journal for just 52 days.
Listen to a sermon or faith-based podcast everyday. You can do this while driving in car, or while completing a household chore like doing dishes or laundry.
Delete social media from your phone for 52 days. When you get the urge to check social media on your phone, use that moment to do something more constructive. Call a shut-in or a friend. Send an encouraging text message. Read a Psalm or another passage of Scripture instead.
Have more family dinners. Maybe 52 consecutive days of family dinners is unattainable. Could you commit to family dinners at least 4-5 nights a week for 52 days? Use these dinners to discuss your daily Bible reading. Try to incorporate some type of spiritual conversation amongst your family.
Have daily spiritual conversations at work for 52 days. Be on the lookout for ways to share God’s wisdom, talk about your faith, or ask a spiritual question amongst your co-workers.
Aim for perfect attendance at worship service and Bible classes. If you are not currently in the habit of attending “every time the doors are open,” give it a try for the next 52 days.
Ask 1 person for a Bible study. This one does not take 52 days, but think about it like this: did you ask someone for a Bible study in the last 52 days? This one is easy enough you can complete it today!
Plan a small get together for 1 or 2 families from our congregation whom you have not spent much time with. Pick a date in the next few weeks to have them over for dinner. Again, this on does not take 52 days to complete, but have you had any familyies over in the last 52 days?
Set your own goal. Talk to our shepherds for ideas. Think about what you can do and what you need to do in order to give God maximum glory.
If you’re reading this in our weekly email on Saturday, September 16, then 52 days from today is Tuesday, November 7. Fifty-two days is a bit arbitrary. Do you need 2 full months? Go for it. Maybe you would like until the end of the year, that’s fine, too. The basic idea is to embrace more of a “sprint” than a “marathon” approach to a specific goal. If you are up to the challenge, then be sure to pray about it.
The goal of this exercise is improvement, not perfection. Do not get discouraged and quit if you do not get off to the start you want. The idea is to build a habit and develop “a mind to work.” Consider sharing your goal with someone and asking them to be your accountability partner. Let’s see what we can accomplish in our walk with God in the next 52 days.
“Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31