Good morning TRC and Friends.
I want to share a little tool I have developed from trial and error that I have passed on to my family to use in our bible study.
I find that journaling is a key discipline that helps me to put some “teeth” into the practice of my bible reading. I have been using the same bible reading plan for almost 26 years. So, I get through the Old Testament once per year, and I get through the New Testament and Psalms twice per year. As I read I have thoughts and ideas and prayers that come to mind. I have found that if I don’t write that stuff down, it is gone in a flash.
I get what some think when they hear “journaling”, particularly men. They think it’s “girly”, and perhaps some girls think journaling is merely about recording things that lack substance. I may be over generalizing this a bit, but many folks may not have a grasp on what solid journaling can do to help them in their bible study and life.
So, let me share a photo of a page in my journal that puts some order to my bible reading and capturing my study and thoughts.
I put the Scripture reading for the day at the top with the date.
I read the Scriptures assigned for that day.
Then I simply record my observations and what the texts mean (interpretation is another study for another day, but the goal is to get at what the author intended in the text, and to keep it brief).
Next, I move to application. What am I going to do with these passages today?
I like to keep a record of my “resolutions”. What am I resolving to do today? I then write those down with a Y/N beside them. This causes me to look back at yesterday’s resolutions and grade myself on a pass/fail standard. Did I do what I resolved to do? This is a way to help me be accountable to what I believe the Holy Spirit is counseling me to do.
I then write out some of my prayers. I like to use the order of ACTS (adoration/confession/thanksgiving/supplication). This is a good discipline to keep track of what you pray so you can also look back and give thanks for the Lord hearing and answering.
Finally, with the command all over the bible to “remember”, I find it important to record things I need to remember whether it be a scripture passage or thought or task or idea or whatever I feel like the Lord wants me to remember.
Why don’t you try this for a while? If you attend or are a member at TRC, you received a little journal in January you can use. If not, get yourself a little notebook. Just get started. If you stay on it, you can fill one up in a year.
Parents, these are little tokens we can leave behind to your kids one day…a record of our time with the Lord daily.
One final byproduct of this little order? You have yourself a little bible study you can use when called on in a pinch. You can read the passage that day, share your observations and interpretations, then share how others can apply it themselves. Do this daily, and you’ll have 365 little bible studies. Want to get crazy? If you are ever called on to preach or give an account of how a Christian thinks on God’s word, you’ll have a sermon and an apologetic on ever page. It also makes you study and apply the whole bible, not just pet passages.
So, again, give this a try.
Have a great day!