While Robby and I were dating, we spent more time apart than we did together. We lived an hour and a half away from each other, which means that the time we got to be together were on the weekends—until he went away for the summer to be a camp pastor in Glorieta, New Mexico.
Our main source of communication was electronic: we talked almost every day on the phone and we corresponded constantly through email. Every morning, I would get to work with fresh excitement as I checked my email to see if I had a message from him. I eventually printed our emails and laminated some of them so I could always have them. I put them in a little keepsake box along with cards and post it notes he used to write me all of the time.
Less than a year after we were married, in August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall miles from where we lived and forced us to evacuate. When we were packing our single suitcase each, Robby and I were debating what else we should take. Should we take the wedding pictures off of the wall? No, we decided. We’d be back. Should we take the golf clubs? No, we decided. We’d be back. I ended up taking only my suitcase and the little box of memory keepsakes, not realizing that everything we left behind would be lost forever.
To this day I am so thankful that I have these emails, notes, poems and cards because they mean so much to me. I want to pass them down to our boys one day. We go back from time and time and re-read them reminisce. We like to remember what God was doing in our lives at that point and time.
That’s exactly what Journaling does. It time stamps your life and what God is doing during different seasons so that you can return one day in the future and see what He was up to.
Imagine if the authors of the Bible hadn’t written down the words God spoke to them through the Holy Spirit. We wouldn’t be reading them today! Yet they have endured through the ages and still flourish and accomplish their purpose today.
Journaling through your time in the Word will help you in at least five ways:
You record to retain
Nine times out of ten, you won’t remember what you read if you don’t write it down. Interacting with God’s Word through writing helps you write it also on your heart.Nine times out of ten, you won’t remember what you read if you don’t write it down. Interacting with God’s Word through writing helps you write it also on your heart. Click To Tweet
You teach yourself and those you are discipling to be a self-feeder.
Journaling shows what God’s Word is speaking to you instead of depending on what someone else has said and learned.
You are leaving a legacy
How many times have we been thankful for the words someone we look up to left behind? All the time! By preserving the way your heart is changed by God’s Word, you could be helping countless people down the line.
You demonstrate how a learner can be a leader
Your actions done in private set up the kind of person that you will be in public. If you are taking God’s Word seriously enough to record the things it’s teaching you, you’ll be more likely to live out those truths in front of others—and those you are discipling will want to do the same.
You prevent box-checking
By intentionally engaging with Scripture, you turn a Quiet Time into a time of personal transformation, rather than a few minutes to quickly check off a box.By intentionally engaging with Scripture, you turn a Quiet Time into a time of personal transformation, rather than a few minutes to quickly check off a box. Click To Tweet
One of the easiest ways to journal Scripture is with the HEAR method: Highlight a passage from your reading that jumped out to you, Explain what the passage is saying, write down how you see it Apply to your life, and Respond to the truth God showed you in His Word.
In your D-Groups, take a few minutes to share with each other one or two HEAR journals from your week. That way you can celebrate what each other is learning through their own personal study, hold each other accountable to stay the course, and set up healthy habits that will continue for a lifetime, leaving a legacy for years to come.