Sample Journal Entry

As promised in my previous post, here’s one of my journal entries exactly as I wrote it. So if something reads a little bit weird, that’s why.

1/17/17

1 John 1:8-2:2 (NASB)

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgives us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

  1. What does this passage teach about God?

– God is faithful (v9)

– God is righteous (v9),  esp. in regards to forgiving confessed sins

– God is forgiving (v9)

– Jesus is righteous (v1)

  1. What does this passage teach about people?

– People are sinful (v8)

– People can deceive themselves (v8)

– People can be righteous (v9)

– People can behave in such a way as to make God appear to be a liar (v10)

  1. What does this passage teach about the relationship between God and people?

– When people confess their sins God will forgive and cleanse them (v9)

– Jesus is the advocate between people and the Father (v1)

– Jesus is the propitiation for every person’s sin (v2)

  1. How does this passage help me know God better?

– I always need to be reminded about how God is faithful to forgive when I confess. Confession is something that I can certainly improve.

  1. How does this passage show the glory of God?

– How amazing is that God is willing to forgive the people who killed His son in wickedness? That’s glorious!

5 Questions To Ask The Bible

For those of you that do not know, my degree is in Biblical Studies with a focus on Biblical Exegesis. That’s just the technical term for in-depth Bible study. I genuinely love reading and studying the Bible. I would love to someday be able to go back to school to study some more just for the love of it.

Something that concerns me is the way that I tend to see people reading the Bible. I see people injecting whatever they want into the Bible and picking and choosing the parts they want to believe. When a lot of people read the Bible it seems more like they are choosing ice cream flavors rather than actually trying to discern what God has said to His people. I think most of this is based on simple ignorance. I’ve never been in a church that consistently teaches its members how to read the Bible in a proper and effective way. I think that sharing what I do might be helpful to some of you.

Here’s what you need to daily read the Bible:

  • a Bible- preferably one of those fancy journaling ones so you can draw cool pictures
  • an artistic latte
  • a leather journal
  • plenty of Instagram filters

JUST KIDDING, here’s what I actually do

  • Before reading anything, I pray this prayer that I developed;
    • Father, give me the wisdom and understanding to comprehend your word. Jesus, thank you for being the physical manifestation and fulfillment of the word. Holy Spirit, help me to know the meaning and the intent in the words you breathed into our people long ago and help me to live it through you for the glory of God, Amen.
    • Admitting that I don’t know everything has been very helpful and asking God for help understanding the Bible does work. It’s His book, He wants you to know what it means.
  • While reading;
    • ask 5 questions
      • What does this teach about God?
      • What does this teach about people?
      • What does this teach about the relationship between God and people?
      • How does this help me know God better?
      • How does this passage show the glory of God?
    • I like these questions because it takes a lot of my own opinions out of the process. Sometimes, you won’t be able to answer all the questions because not all passages speak to each item.
  • Once I have thoughtfully and prayerfully answered the above questions, I know that I have a better handle on what the passage says without me injecting what I think it means right off the bat.
  • This is a great daily method. I typically read a paragraph at a time and following this method, it usually takes about 15 minutes. EVERYONE has 15 minutes a day to read to Bible.

Later I’ll post an example straight from my journal so you can see what it looks like.