My Bible, My Journal, and Owning My Schedule

“One of the easiest things to do is to make excuses why we don’t have time for God.” Mark Wanders, Dec. 2017

A life journey in relationship with Jesus Christ will take time and effort, and include some hard work. It will mean owning our schedule and dedicating intentional time put towards hearing what God has to say to us through His Word and communicating with Him in prayer.

Here is a brief guide for personal worship along the journey.

For the Journey

  • Find a Good Study Bible, Pen (or Pencil) & Highlighter, a Journal

Beginning the Journey

  • Decide to DO IT.   Quit making excuses. “One of the easiest things to do is to make excuses why we don’t have time for God.”
  • Decide on a time & place. This helps to be intentional and consistent.
  • Decide on approx. duration. (incorporated into your schedule)
  • Leave your smart phone out. Keep this time just between you and God. No distractions. If digital study or video help is desired do this at different times. Guard this time of focus on God, His Word and prayer.
  • Select a Bible book you are going to read or a reading plan you will follow.
  • Pray before you read to clear your mind and ask for Spirit illumination. Jot down initial thoughts if need be.
  • Read the introduction to the book.
    • Note: who wrote it; when it was written; who it was written to; the main theme, and the purpose for writing.
  • Reading the Bible:
  • Observation
    • Ask questions of the text.
      • Who? What? Why? When? Where? How? Why?
    • Highlight/journal what stands out to you, including key words or phrases.
      • Are there connections to the theme and purpose of the book?
      • Are there connections to other parts of Scripture?
  • Interpretation
    • Journal thoughts on what the passage means in your own words.
    • Compare your thoughts with other studies. What have others said about this passage?
    • Keep in mind what the passage was aiming to say to its original readers.
    • Remember for interpretation…
      • Interpret within the context of the passage, book, time frame of writing, time frame of the story, time frame in God’s larger Redemptive Story.
      • Always compare Scripture with Scripture.
  • Application to my journey
    • Sin
      • Is there anything in this passage that teaches us about sin?
      • Has study of this passage highlighted any sins that I need to repent from?
      • Does the passage describe or help explain sinful patterns we see around us in the world?
    • Salvation
      • What have I learned about God and His Story?
      • In what ways have I been pointed to Christ?
      • How is the Holy Spirit working in me as I glean this passage?
    • Service
      • How has this passage directed me in how to live my life in relation to Christ and others?
      • Is there anything that I need to change, implement, or personalize?
      • Is there someone I should share this with?
  • Close your devotion time in thanksgiving prayer perhaps with song. Pray over what you have written and read and how Christ will continue to work in you through you.

Tracking the Journey: in my Journal

  • A Journal is a place to record and reflect on my thoughts about living life in God’s service and all of the experiences that entails.
    • Entries can include my feelings, joys, frustrations, failures, celebrations, discoveries, artistic work, words, favourite things, desired change, journey of learning, goals, saying, and so on
  • It’s a place to record and reflect on prayer and prayer lists and stories of God’s faithfulness in my life.
  • It’s a place to be FLEXIBLE.  This is my journal.  My structure. The forming of my story in God’s story. Entries do not need to be daily but regular.
  • It’s a place to grow in realizing and recognizing God working in me.

A life journey in relationship with Jesus Christ will take time and effort. But that’s the nature of journeying. Hard work and dedication. In the end it’s worth it because a life journey connected to the Saviour and all that He has said and done for us, will bring us to our final destination… a new heaven and a new earth. Life eternal… beginning now… and lasting forever.

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