All the pictures filling my Pinterest feed recently are of Bible journaling. The beautiful artwork that is on each Bible is inspiriting and yet, there is no way that I could ever do this. I am not artistically inclined, in the painting kind of way. I’ve always longed to do Bible journaling but there was no way that I could ever paint like that.
So instead, I just pin my little heart out of Bible journaling pictures and hope that I will have some inspiration for using it in my Bible…one day. All the pretty florals and the watercolors inspire me because they bring the Bible to life.
There is nothing sweeter than a Bible that is personal and has notes written all over it. There’s a saying that goes, “A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” A Bible that is well read and has notes all inside has personality. All the notes, quotes, reflections, and thoughts that are in my Bible come from my quiet time with the Lord. I love being able to look back over six years worth of notes and see what the Lord has done in my life.
All the journeys He has taken me on.
All the lessons that He has taught me.
All the dates that represent changes in my life
A couple of weeks ago, I started a new Bible journaling method and I’m super excited to share it with you! I put together a video with more explanation along with the post below! I hope this helps you to grow closer to the Lord and that you will enjoy your study time with Him and that His words would be as sweet as honey to your soul!
- Journaling Bible or a Regular Bible
I would highly recommend a journaling Bible because it has so much more space on the side to take notes! One of my favorite journaling bibles is the ESV Journaling Bible. It’s a perfect size and it has a wrap that goes around the Bible to keep it all closed. It’s so cute and has tons of space on the side for notes and bible journaling!
If you have a “regular” Bible, no worries! I use the NLT version of the Bible but you can use whatever Bible you typically use. There is not a lot of space on the side but I’ve learned how to make it work because I’m not ready to get a new Bible quite yet. Don’t feel like you have to get a new Bible in order to start this method! You can use your favorite Bible, the one that you have already, or you can purchase a journaling Bible! All of them will work! The most important part is that you are reading the Bible and spending time with the Lord!
- Pick a book and chapter
Once you’ve got your Bible, then the next step is to pick a book or a chapter! Right now, I am going through Matthew as part of devotion time so I started in Matthew 1, the first day, and then read Matthew 2 the next day. Each day I will read a different chapter but still in the same book.
You can use any book in the Bible! If you are already reading a specific book, then just start with the chapter that you are on. You don’t have to start a whole new book in the Bible in order to do this, that’s why I love it so much! I can just open my Bible to the book that I am reading and begin right there!
- Use pens, highlighters, post-it notes, washi tape
Who doesn’t love colorful Bibles?! If I can’t paint in my Bible, then I am going to make it as fun and colorful as I can! I recently started using highlighters to brighten my Bible and post it notes for when I’ve run out of room for notes. But, you can use washi tape to decorate your Bible or to tape your notes down, if you write them on a separate card. Not only does it brighten your Bible, but it helps you to remember what you learned while you were reading that chapter.
All you have to do is walk down the aisle at Hobby Lobby or your local craft store, and you’ll find tons and tons of cute stickers, washi tape, post-it notes, highlighters, and pens galore! The options are endless!
The highlighters that I use are the Sharpie brand because they don’t smear and they don’t bleed through the pages of my Bible. I have a specific highlighting guide that I use which helps me to know which color goes to what. I keep the guide for highlighting in the back of my bible and a little cheat sheet where I am currently reading. The guide that I have goes:
Orange – definition of words
Blue – description of the verse
Pink – personal thoughts
Green – relates to other verses and/or connecting verses
Purple – historical notes
Feel free to make up your own guide or to use a different highlighting color every year to distinguish between the years. Find what you like best! This works the best for me and I’m loving all the colors in my Bible!
- Use Resources Like Commentaries, Books, and Bible Studies
Using resources like commentaries, books, and Bible studies will help your devotional time tremendously! Typically, what I like to do is to read the chapter first, then read a commentary or two that goes along with the chapter I am reading.
If you have a bible study that goes along with the chapter you are reading, then I highly suggest using that as well! I did a Bible study on the book of James recently and it helped me so much to see connections and thoughts I would never have noticed without it. Another reason for using resources is that it brings a new perspective to what you are reading and it provides details, like historical notes, that you may not have realized on your own.
- Read it first before you read other resources
Before you read through commentaries, read the chapter for yourself. Pray before you start reading through the chapter and ask the Lord to speak into your heart and give you ears to listen to what He will teach you as you read!
It can be so much easier to rely on commentaries or Bible studies to give you all the insights and information first before you read the chapter, but I want to encourage you to read it for yourself first!
There is just something so special about the Lord speaking directly to you! When you read through the chapter and you see key pieces come alive in ways that you never noticed before you will be amazed at how He can speak in and through you if you just allow Him to.
- Let Him speak to you
This is THE most important part of Bible journaling! Spending time with the Lord can be SO sweet and precious because it is the time when we get to have a relationship with Him and read the words that come flowing right off the pages into our current day-to-day lives!
First, pray and ask the Lord to speak to you while you are spending time with Him in your devotionals.
Second, have a heart that is ready to receive anything that He wants to teach you or show you about Himself while you are reading! There are days when I just don’t really want to read but those are the days when I seek Him all the more and the days that I realized how much I truly need Him! Those are the days when I learn so, so much about Him and how precious my time with Him really is!
Bible journaling is so easy and it’s a great way to brighten your Bible and grow deeper in your walk with Him! I hope you are able to make your Bible come alive and that you develop a closer relationship with Him. There is nothing like walking with your Savior!
To learn more about the Bible journaling method that I use, watch the video below!