How to Life Journal
God has invited you to live a life full of wholehearted devotion to Him and to learn from the greatest mentors in history under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit, by daily being in the Bible, reading about promises, warnings, life examples, and most of all, revealing who Jesus is.
You can wisdom two ways, experience or learning through others experience. You will learn both ways, but learning through experience is a much, much higher tuition. By turning to God daily, reading the scriptures and noting what the Holy Spirit is showing you, gives God a place to continually trim your heart to Him and His ways.
So, how do you Life Journal?
Pick a time when you are at your best. If you are a morning person, pick that. If you are a night owl, do your devotions then. Set the time in your calendar as an appointment. Make it sacred and try to be consistent.
FInd a place. Perhaps its a favorite coffee shop, or a favorite chair. Take measures to make sure you can concentrate and be focused on the LORD. You will have people in public ask occasionally what you are doing, or give you encouragement, so be ready for that, it leads to exciting moments!
What should I bring to a morning devotion time?
A good translation of the Bible.
A pen for writing and notating in your Bible and journal.
A reading plan to move systematically through the Bible.
A journal to write and record what the Holy Spirit shows you.
A note and thought capturing system, calendar, notepad, or app
Now that you have your starting five, how do you proceed?
First, find the Bible chapters you will be reading in your Bible reading plan. (See number three above.) Turn to the first section in your Bible and then pray, asking the Holy Spirit to open the scriptures to you, highlighting what you need for His kingdom, as well as, your growth and life.
Second, begin reading and as you do, highlight or underline anything the Holy Spirit is highlighting and most importantly, write why in the margin of your Bible. Trust us on this one, “wow”, won’t give you the insights you need in the future as you re-read it. Linger as you read the word. Don’t read to accomplish a “done” check mark. Allow the Holy Spirit to mentor you. If something stands out, stay there a moment and ask the Lord why it is significant. The Holy Spirit will help you see lessons to be learned, examples to be followed, promises to be enjoyed, and Jesus revealed! Finally, pick one verse you feel led to write about. Avoid trying to write about too many. Choosing one will help you establish your habit of being in the Word more quickly and easily.
Third, begin writing in your journal on the next available page and start writing according to the acronym, SOAP - Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.
Start with your SCRIPTURE, not your title. You can put a title on it after you are finished. Write down the verse and be sure to record it’s location in the top quarter of your page. Then, take a moment and write a quick observation about that scripture. What did it mean to those who we’re involved or who heard? What was it saying to them? This is the OBSERVATION section and should be written in the second quarter of your page.
Next, ask yourself, what does this mean to me? What is it teaching you, or what example is it showing you to avoid or emulate? What promises are in the scripture? Where is Jesus in this text? What are you being called to do? This is your APPLICATION of the the scriptures. Write that in the third quarter part of the page.
Finally, write a PRAYER to the Father. Ask Him sincerely to help you in this. That prayer will capture your heart in this moment forever and will be as source of comfort as you return to your journal again.
Now, write your title at the top. Then turn to a table of contents page and record it there with the scripture, the title, the date and the page number. Now it will last forever!
This is the beauty and simplicity, therefore the power of Life Journaling. Join me in creating a lifelong habit that will change your world!