Lesson 08: Reading the Bible-Meditating and Journaling
Objective: Practice the habit of meditating and journaling as you read the Bible daily
For this lesson, you’ll need your Bible and a notebook. Have those handy before you continue.
Have you ever read a few chapters of your Bible, closed it, and then realized, “I don’t remember what I’ve just read”? It happens to everyone when we fall into the trap of reading it like other books.
The Bible is not like other books. It isn’t mean to be read once and just put down. The Bible is an instruction manual for living a Godly life and is meant to be studied and followed. It is to be studied, meditated upon, and as
you are able…memorized. Journaling as you read your Bible is a great way to do this.
Here are a few Bible verses to consider:
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 a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.”
Psalm 119:15-16, “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.”
Psalm 1:1-2, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
To Meditate on God’s Word:
- Start by reading a paragraph or two. As soon as you feel like you are forgetting what you just read-Stop! Go back and re-read what you’ve just read.
- Close your eyes and try to play back (paraphrase) what you’ve just read. This isn’t memorization. This is just asking your mind to get working. If you can’t do it, go back and re-read the same paragraph(s). Repeat this until you can easily paraphrase what you’ve just read with your eyes closed.
- Next, think about what you’ve just read. Say a quick prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal the meaning of the text to you.
- Invite the Holy Spirit to convict you of what’s most important about these verses to you, right now. Then listen.
To Journal on God’s Word:
- In its simplest form, journaling can be simply re-writing a few of the verses in a notebook. If a verse stood out in the passage, write it down in your notebook.
- The next level of journaling is to write what you feel God is trying to communicate to you.
- Next, as in the form of a written prayer, write what you say back to God. Tell God what YOU think of the verses.
- Next, write what you will do to apply the verses to your life.
- Lastly, think upon these verses throughout your day. Re-read your notes during your lunchtime or during a break in your day. Continue to listen as God speaks through His word.
Reading the Bible isn’t a race, and there is no finish line. So, take your time and read, meditate, and journal as you go. This is reading for quality. You will be blessed with a much richer experience than if you just read for quantity.
1: So, your job this week is to read the Bible every day. No matter how busy you get, read at least some of the Bible each day. Every few paragraphs, stop, meditate, and journal on what you’ve just read. This may mean you only read two paragraphs a day. That’s fine. If you miss a day, don’t double-up. Just do one day’s worth at a time.
2: After a time of reading, meditating, and journaling, share with your mentor what verses you read and anything you feel is relevant from your journal notes: what God said to you and what you said back to God. If you are unclear about a passage or have questions, ask your Mentor about it.
3: Share with your mentor any other “aha” moments or spirit-guided thoughts you had during your reading time.
Here is a reading suggestion this week: Read Galatians 5:13-26. If you finish that, continue reading Galatians 6:1-10 or other verses suggested by your mentor. Hint: if you finish all these verses in only a day or two, you are reading too quickly. You have our permission to read more slowly. There is no prize for finishing first.
4: Feel free to use the space below as you start journaling.