My 15-minute Challenge

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Full disclosure: I do not always have time set aside in my day to read the Bible and have a concentrated amount of prayer. It’s actually one of the main things I’m often convicted of. It is an area that I’m repeatedly asking forgiveness for and repeatedly committing to do better. Then I’m failing again and I’m back to asking forgiveness.

So a 15-minute challenge…Surely I can do 15 minutes for 15 days, right? I’m on day 2 and going strong! 

Day 1.

I had to sneak in 15 minutes of Bible reading and 15 minutes of prayer right before bed.

I wondered where I should start. When I’m on a Bible-reading roll, I’m usually involved in a group study so without having a book to guide me, I pondered where I should begin. My mind went to James. It’s my favorite book. It’s short (you’ll find out how short momentarily), and God has some great stuff in there.

I started the 15-minute timer on my phone, turned my phone face down and thumbed through the feathery pages to the book of James.

About half way into the book of James I thought, “Man, has it been 15 minutes yet? Did I set my timer right? Is it on silent?” Then I told myself, “You’re half way done anyway. Just go ahead and read the whole book.”

Somewhere during the last chapter of James I thought, “Yeah, I definitely forgot to hit start on my timer, but I’ll go ahead and finish anyway.” 

I read the last word of the last chapter of James, turned my phone face up and the timer went off. Reading (and re-reading a few parts—probably the parts when I was distracted as I contemplated the accuracy of my phone timer) the book of James, took me exactly 15 minutes.

Earlier that day I had a conversation with my son about the phrase, “I swear to God.” He was relaying it in a story as something his friend had said. I took the opportunity to talk about the word “swear” in terms of it meaning a promise, or an oath, OR being an inappropriate word. I said, “There’s verse in the Bible that says, ‘Let your yes be yes, and let your no, be no.’ If you just say what you mean and are truthful, you really don’t have to promise or swear to anything—least of all God, because he knows your heart anyway.” I wanted to tell him where that verse was, but I couldn’t remember and he scampered off to play.

So any guesses as to where that verse IS in the Bible? Yep. That’s right. James. James 5:12.

Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your yes be yes, and your no be no, or you will be condemned.

I was thankful that God led me to read James. He knew exactly how long it would take me to get to that verse and exactly why I needed to read it.

God is real and present in my life, in my parenting, and in my marriage. The truth of his Word is always right at my fingertips anytime I can take 15 minutes to meet him there.

For real, I’m committing to the 15-minute Challenge for 15 days. I’m excited about what else God will show me! Join me and see what He reveals to you!


Do you have a story about how God is speaking to you through the 15-minute Challenge? Log in and share your story as a comment, or share your story here and we will use it to help encourage others!

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