Have you ever had a dream that you were witnessing to someone, and you turned to a familiar passage of Scripture, only to find it missing from your Bible? No matter how much you searched for it, it just wasn't there? No?
Maybe I'm the only one who has had a dream like that, but maybe in real life, you've wondered where to find a certain Scripture for a specific problem, but you couldn't remember where to find it. Yes, there are concordances to look up key words, but it would be nice if you just had your own topical reference so you could look up Scripture passages that mean the most to you and the issues you face in daily life.
I reviewed the book What Do I Know about My God? by Mardi Collier several weeks ago. I am convinced this is the best book I've ever read on making God and His Word real in your life. Mrs. Collier writes about getting to know God better through writing out Scripture verses that have to do with His character and attributes.
Beginning Your Journal
I want to share with you how I made my journal and how I've expanded upon it. I began with an 8.5"x5" 3-ring binder with a plastic sleeve on the front that I already had. I slipped in a piece of scrapbook paper that I love, and made a label that says "Prayer Journal" (I had originally started this notebook as a prayer journal, but I am using it as my Scripture journal in addition right now). By the way, my journal is based on the prayer journal that my friend, Mrs. T, at Across My Kitchen Table, has shared on her blog. I had just begun the prayer journal when I got the book that lead me to start the Scripture journal, so I decided to combine them for now.
|The Prayer section of my journal. Right now it all fits in this one binder, but I'll probably have to transfer the Scripture Journal to its own binder later on.|
Adding Categories to Your Journal
I added tabbed dividers and lined notebook paper to the binder. I just hand-wrote the categories and slid them into the dividers - nothing fancy here. Then I started adding verses! It's so simple: just write the verses out as you come to them in your Bible-reading, in categories describing God.
Some of my categories are My God is the Creator; My God is Merciful; My God Answers Prayer; My God Is To Be Praised. I have arranged them in alphabetical order according to the key word of each category. It's already getting big enough that I'm considering adding A-Z tabs in this first section to help me find my categories more easily! Even if you add just 2-3 verses each day, it grows fast!
|I write the category at the center top and highlight it|
When I add a new page of Scriptures to a category, I put the key word of that category in the top right corner of the new page to make it easier to find where to write the next verse. For example, the picture below is the last page in my category My God Empowers Me. I just wrote Empowers at the top of the page when I needed another one to add more verses.
Adding Other Sections to Your Journal
I've also carried my notebook a step farther. Keep in mind that this evolved over several months; I didn't plan this or put it all together in one day! I began noticing many verses that dealt with character issues and sins as I read, so I began two sections in my notebook for these types of issues I am dealing with in my own life (as suggested by Mrs. T in her prayer journal post), and in that section I write verses that instruct me in overcoming these issues. These are verses that spoke specifically to my heart about each issue. Your journal would most likely have different issues and different verses; it's personal!
Here are some of my page headings in the My Faults section: Anger, Fear, Gossip, Laziness, Pride . . . again, arranged in alphabetical order.
And some character-building topics: Contentment, Excellence, Time Management, Prayer, Witnessing . . .
There's no end to the topics you can add to your own notebook, and as the Lord impresses upon your heart to add them, you will begin seeing verses that apply to your life all over the Bible! You can make it so personal that you have a wealth of verses that mean something to you, to your heart. They're not just verses someone else has suggested as help in certain situations; they are personalized for you. And isn't that the way God works?! He deals in each of our hearts individually.
I've already reviewed the book, but I absolutely believe in the power of this simple notebook to help us not only get to know God and learn to trust Him, but also to help us lay aside those "weights that so easily beset us."
I hope you'll find something here that will encourage you to begin your own personal journal of Scriptures that speak to you!
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