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Guest post by Neely Beattie
Looking to grow your relationship with the Lord?
What if I told you I knew something that could perhaps help your relationship with God grow in ways that you didn’t know were possible, would you be interested in hearing me out?
If I were to tell you of a way to worship and study God’s word in a way some might think was unconventional, would you be open to trying? I hope so! Here goes…
I paint in my Bible. Yes, I totally just said that I paint in my Bible. I paint, draw, and color in it! I have done this almost every single day for over a year!
It has helped me go from never reading my Bible… well, pretty much ever… to doing a devotional and translating what I learned to the pages of my Bible almost every day. I have spent more time with God in the past year than I probably have in my entire life. I have learned things about Him and myself that I didn’t know before.
It has helped me remember different themes, stories, and lessons as well as individual scriptures. It has taken reading the Bible from feeling like a boring chore to something I looked forward to and am excited about!
So, what is this fabulous practice that made reading the Bible such an exciting activity called? Bible journaling.
Bible journaling: interacting with the Word in a creative way as you allow the Holy Spirit to guide and inspire you to worship through art. It is an intimate way to grow in your relationship with Jesus.
Bible journaling looks different for everyone. There is no single right way to journal. Journaling can range from taking notes in the margins to painting full page artwork.
Bible journalers typically use one of 3 different mediums:
Journaling Bible: this is a Bible with 2 inch margins on each side, and you can choose from a variety of translations.
Interleaved Journaling Bible: this Bible has a blank page on the left side and scriptures on the right side. This Bible works well for those who want to journal in their Bible but don’t want to cover the text
- Art Journal: this is simply a plain papered journal you use in conjunction with your current Bible. If you want to get started and don’t have an actual journaling Bible, you can start immediately. Also, if you aren’t comfortable drawing or painting in your Bible, this is a great option.
There is no end to how you can create your art. You can use pencils, pens, colored pencils, watercolors, acrylic paint, stickers, stamps…whatever you like. Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be!
I’m sure your next questions might be, “How do I know what to journal?!” Again, just like freedom in Christ, there is freedom in journaling. You can use devotionals, worship music or life in general to gain inspiration on what to journal. (I will be doing another post with tips on how to begin, so don’t panic!)
Suggestion number one, PRAY FIRST. Don’t try to jump into this feet first and expect to do it all on your own. Pray about it. Soak in what God has to tell you. If this is something you’re supposed to do, He won’t leave you hanging. I have learned that first hand, friends.
While it’s extremely easy to get excited about this creative form of worship, it’s important to point out that the supplies you’re using aren’t your focus. The purpose to Bible journaling is not having the best supplies or the prettiest artwork.
The purpose of journaling is to allow God to work on and transform your heart.
God wants a relationship with you. He wants you to worship Him using the gifts and talents He’s given you. Ultimately God wants to help you grow in a new, refreshing way.
If you're not sure where to start, I can help! Check out How to Start Bible Journaling to get you on your way!