One thing that has been very important to my walk with Jesus is the devotional journal that I keep. It’s not fancy like the journals you can buy, and it’s not full of pictures, stamps, and doodles. It’s just a journal sized notebook. And when I fill one book, I pick right up where I left off and start a new one.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the new devotional journal books that are in stores. They inspire creativity and help guide people in their devotions, but I’m afraid I would be stuck in a box with one of these journals. Meaning, they guide you with questions and sections for scripture, prayer, etc; but I personally need room to write anything, using as many pages as I need, as the Lord leads me. I would probably also get lost in decorating my pages rather than getting into the meat that I need!
So how do I use my journal during my devotion time? My scriptures are always labeled; sometimes written out, sometimes not. I write definitions sometimes and underline the vocabulary word. My personal thoughts are just written down. If I feel my thought is an important point that I want to keep coming back to, I put a star next to it. Or If I am writing quotes from other people or books, I write the reference with it. Sometimes I write lyrics to songs that I am working on, and I draw a treble clef next to it. And each day that I write in my journal is always dated. It’s a pretty simple system. I never really thought about how I wanted to organize it, I just did it.
That’s me, but what about someone who needs help starting to keep a devotional journal. These pre-made devotional journals are great, setting people in a routine and path of what to focus on during a devotional. Specific bible study guides are also great. They walk you through different topics and ask you questions to really help set your thoughts on the right track.
Now I know that it’s not law that we should write our devotional thoughts, scriptures, and prayers down; but in life when we write something down, we tend to remember it easier. God wants us to remember His words; not just so we can say we know them, but when we know them and understand them, we begin to live them. His words become part of who we are, and we pass who we are on to our children and those around us. I would say that is a good reason to do all we can to remember what He has spoken to us.
So grab yourself a notebook, journal, Bible study workbook, or whatever works for you; dig in to God’s word and write down the words that stand out to you today!
There are many scriptures that speak of keeping God’s law and remembering and meditating on His words. One thing that is constant in the Bible about knowing God’s word is that it is for our own good. I have listed some verses below, but there are many more that you can look up on your own…
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. “Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
Joshua 1:8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Psalm 37:30-31 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just. The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip.
Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Proverbs 2:1-5 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
Proverbs 3:1-2 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.
Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
John 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
James 1:22-25 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
Lord, thank You for Your word. You have provided us with a tool to know You better and to help us get through life. Thank You for looking out for our good. Your word is alive and You speak to us through it when we seek You. Help us to seek You every day of our lives. Please help us to hold on to Your truth and live by it. Thank You for loving us, Father. Amen