I don’t know about you, but I am inspired to read the Bible more faithfully when I hear others share about the specific lessons God is teaching them during personal quiet time. With that in mind, I’ve decided to give you access to my journal.
As part of my regular devotional time, I journal about what I am reading and what the Lord is teaching me. It’s a very private place that I’m not prone to letting others take a peek at. But as I look back through my journal pages, I can see the immeasurable impact of God’s Word on my heart and circumstances. As we endeavor to love God’s Word more together, I want to share that private place with you.
For the past several months I’ve been studying what I call “the forgotten books.” That is, those books in the Bible that I’ve never read before. Even though I’ve been a Christian for more than a decade I recently examined the Bible’s table of contents and noticed that there were 15 books that I had never read. I realized that it was impossible for me to claim to know the Word of God when there was so much of it I hadn’t read.
Most recently, I’ve been studying the book of Joel. Here’s what I wrote in my journal during my quiet time on January 7th.
“The Lord thunders at the head of his army, his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command” Joel 2:11.
“Even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate. Slow to anger and abounding in love and he relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing” Joel 2:12-14.
Lord, too often I rend my garments—my outside, my behavior, my habits, my media intake…without ever turning my heart toward you. Teach me how to turn my heart toward you so that I can receive your blessing.
As you can see, my journaling process is fairly simple. I just jot down Scriptures that are particularly meaningful. I also write out my prayers to God. Some days I write a lot. Some days I just scribble down a sentence or two. But there are always benefits. Writing verses down helps me understand them better and commit them to memory more easily. Journaling my response to Scripture and my prayers to God helps give me clarity and provides me a record so that I can look back and see how God’s hand has moved in my life. This simple practice has made a big impact on my personal quiet time (for more devotional tips click here).
So, how about you? What has God been teaching you through his Word lately? What do you do to make sure that Scripture is being sealed into your heart?