I have been Bible journaling for nearly two years now. I am by no means prolific, and only tend to complete a journal entry about once a month, but it is a practice that I find massively rewarding. One of the challenges I have with journaling is that I sometimes struggle to be motivated to do the study part, even though I know when I get going I will really enjoy it.
To help make studying Scriptures a bit more fun and organised (in my life, fun and organisation go hand in hand!) I decided to set up a notebook that was going to specifically for Bible Study notes. I use it make notes on the passages that I want to journal. I can use up as many pages as I like on one scripture and then afterwards choose one thought to journal in my Bible.
To keep it fun I try to make my notes colourful, eye catching and easy to read. One thing that has massively helped me are these stencils from Amazon. I don’t have great handwritings and very little artistic skill. Whilst I drool over other people’s doodles and bullet journal pages, I know that is not something I can easily reproduce. But these stencils help me to format my notebook pages in interesting ways and adds little flourishes without me having to spend a lot of time thinking about it.
Here is an example; these notes were made based on Exodus 8:1 – Let my People go so that they may worship me.
This got me thinking about how Moses demanding freedom from Pharaoh is similar to how Jesus delivers us from our Oppressor and into his freedom. A lot of the plagues that fall on Egypt could also be seen to foreshadow Jesus’ on the cross; water turned to blood, the darkness that fell, the loss of the firstborn and the Passover lamb. For my Bible entry I wanted the pages to depict the water turning into blood along with God’s firm command to the oppressor; Let my people go so that they may worship me.
My image didn’t turn out how I imagined it; I really am no artist and other people looking at it might not see the Nile turning into blood but for me when I look at this page I see God’s determined will to deliver us from oppression. It’s powerful to me, even if it isn’t to anyone else.
Now I am a few entries in I feel like I have a good flow with my study. I start with the Date, title and scripture and once I have taken the time to do that some thoughts and questions are already brewing in my mind. If I feel stuck I can follow my study process that I talked about here.
I like that now I can pick up my study book and flip through the pages and be reminded instantly of some great Scripture and what they mean. As a preacher I can also see how these studies could be the building blocks of future messages, which is exciting for me! But the main thing is that it has given me fresh motivation to sit down with my pens, notebook and Bible!