The Word of God is our ultimate guide. It helps us navigate through life by pointing the way to Christ. That’s why we encourage our members to prioritize daily personal devotional times (DT’s) where we: 1) Read select Bible passages, 2) Reflect on its implications for our lives, and 3) Respond by living our lives accordingly.
What is journaling? Journaling is the art of reflecting on one’s inner life based on a particular incident, a feeling, a recurring issue, or a prompting and connecting this to one’s relationship with God.
How does journaling help your spiritual life? The process of spiritual growth engages all the faculties of your soul (your 5 physical senses, emotions, mind, will, and spirit). We need to pause daily to reflect on how we have responded to a certain situation, how we interacted with others, or how we feel inside and identify the reasons behind the feeling. Then we need to process these incidents in light of God’s Word. The key is to connect our daily life with its joys, surprises, disappointments, incidents, regrets, and sins with God’s promises and the reality of our personal relationship with God.
How do I journal? Spend about 10 minutes per day starting with the word “YESTERDAY.” Follow this with a paragraph or two about what happened yesterday or how you felt.
(1) Journal based on feelings and processing the feeling in light of the Gospel. Yesterday, I felt _________ (sad, angry, guilty, anxious, disappointed, frustrated, irritated, etc). Explore the reasons behind the feeling and write about what would be the appropriate way to process that feeling in light of God’s Word. Write also about how God maybe using what you are going through to draw you closer to Him.
(2)Journal based on a recent issue. Reflect on a significant interaction or event this past week that you don’t feel settled about: What did you learn about yourself? What were you corrected about? What did you discover about yourself through this correction? Why did you do what you did? Reflect on how else could you have responded to that situation?
Read the assigned text several times without stopping.In the second or third reading, pause on key words, phrases, or verses that speak to your heart, address an area of your life, or highlight God’s characteristic, principle, or promise.
Utilize the commentary provided to gain knowledge of the background of the text and explanation of words, phrases, or verses.
Choose a verse or multiple verses from the text and commit to memory.Develop a system that works best for you. For example, you can start with one or two verses a week and write it out on a flashcard and carry it with you to memorize and review.
Spend some time in prayer after each day’s devotion timeAdoration – praise God for who He is and acknowledge His claim over your life
Thanksgiving – thank him for specific things
Confession – confess and repent of sins needing Christ’s forgiveness & cleansing
Supplication – commitment to do what God is asking you to do and pray for others in need