My friend told me about an interesting Scripture journal she found. At $2.75 each for the paperbacks, they seemed a worthwhile stocking stuffer. But oh how much more than filler it has turned out to be!
Journibles are arranged to let you copy out a book or chapter of scripture on one side of the page, while the other side is blank for your own notes or have lightly printed occasional questions to get you thinking. But the whole point is to write out the Word of God in your own hand, just as God instructed the kings of Israel. This idea appealed to me since I often saw the benefit of re-copying my notes from class during college. It helped me remember the information as well as helped me make correlations that weren’t clear to me just reading or hearing the information.
So I bought the journible for Psalm 119, since I figured discovering what God has to say about His own Word was a good place to start. I started writing two or three verses each day. Jotted a few notes. But it wasn’t until I hit verses 33-40 that the writing it out paid big dividends.
Here are the verses I’ve read I don’t know how many times:
Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I shall observe it to the end.
Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart.
Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it.
Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to dishonest gain.
Turn my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in Your ways.
Establish Your word to Your servant, as that which produces reverence for You.
Turn away my reproach which I dread, for Your ordinances are good.
Behold, I long for Your precepts; revive me through Your righteousness.
As I wrote those sentences, it occurred to me that all of those things–those verbs–were done by the subject of an implied “you.” The You, in this case, is God. Look at it again. Teach me. Give me. Make me walk. Incline my heart. Turn my eyes, Establish Your word. Turn away my reproach. Revive me. Those are the things God does in me, not the things I somehow have to find a way to do myself. Not that I do nothing, mind you. In fact, my work implied in these verses consists of one very big thing: submission. I submit myself to God. He changes my heart. While this is a concept I’ve long understood, writing out the scripture showed it to me in a new way. Isn’t that cool?
Have you ever tried different ways of experiencing scripture–for instance listening or writing instead of reading it? Did you find fresh revelation when you did something new?