Bible Journaling for Beginners
Bible journaling is a great way to plant God's word in your heart, refresh its meaning, and can even be a tool used to help you memorize these words of life! I started Bible journaling in 2019 and it has since enhanced my connection with God and all He offers in The Good Book. Now, many people use the art of Bible journaling to study, meanwhile others are wondering where to start. If you are part of the latter group, fear not! I am here to give you the ultimate keys to successful Bible journaling. Be sure to pin this post so you can easily find it later 😉.
First Things First
One of the most common questions I get asked on instagram is "what kind of pens / highlighters do you use?". When I first started, I just used what I had. Now, my go-to is Fineliner Pens. Admittedly, sometimes I can see it from the other side of the page, but I haven't found a "perfect" pen yet. These are close. For highlighting, I like the Zebra Mildliner Double End Highlighters. (This is not sponsored) Some also employ the use of color pencils or even watercolor! The key is to use whatever medium suits you. Use what you can use easily and what will help you focus on The Word.
Now for what's REALLY important...
Though medium is usually the first aspect of Bible journaling one wonders about, it ultimately is the least important. One must be careful not to get so caught up in the art of it all, that the importance of God's word is forgotten.
Key #1: Remember, God's Word is more important than the art.
Sometimes, I see such beautiful art painted in Bibles on Pinterest, but the words are covered up and are hardly legible. To me, the point is lost. Your notes, and art, should point to The word, not distract from it. What a shame it would be, to spend so much time in the Bible, and not know what's in it. The ultimate goal should be to know, understand, and apply God's word. The journaling bit is just there to help you achieve that goal.
Keeping that in mind, it is okay to get inspiration from others, but comparison will also ruin the purpose of the process.
Key #2: Focus on the purpose of the process.
If you are a tad artistically challenged like myself, then you might check what others have drawn on Pinterest for inspiration. One of the problems with that, however, is that this might result in trying to create art like someone else, rather than drawing or writing what helps you remember the word. If you spend too long trying to replicate someone else's drawing, it becomes a trap. The process then becomes about replicating someone else, as opposed to drawing what you are inspired to. And if your version doesn't come out as good as theirs, then you might experience disappointment and/or frustration. Remember, what makes Bible journaling helpful is its ability to help you connect to The Word. Draw/write what helps YOU connect. THAT is the purpose of the process.
Speaking of connection, the more I study the Bible, the more I say to myself that everything connects! I am connecting with God and He is revealing how each chapter and book connects to each other, which then helps me connect with Him further. This is why prayer is the most important key (I saved the best for last 😉).
Key #3: Always start with prayer.
When opening the Bible, prayer must be the first action taken. There is a lot of room for distraction, misinterpretation, and wrong application. Praying for wisdom, guidance, and discernment can help prevent these things from happening. Prayer will also help with both keys 1 and 2. Prayer will help you focus on what matters. Prayer will help remove the outside voices -- the distractions around you, the authors of commentaries, the hype of the preachers -- and help you hone in on what matters -- what God is teaching you. Sermons are helpful; commentaries are helpful; but they are not God's word. They are add-ons, not the full package. Spiritual discernment is needed to rightly divide The Word of God. When you sit down to study, it would behoove you to pray.
When it comes down to it, the tools you use for Bible journaling matter, but they aren't what's most important. The fool-proof keys to successful Bible journaling are to always start with prayer, focus on the purpose of the process, and to remember that God's Word is more important than the art. With these in mind, you cannot fail!
If you are looking for a way to kick start your Bible journal journey, I've created a FREE Bible reading challenge designed to help deepen relationship with Christ by understanding who He is, what He says about us, and what He expects of us. Click Here to get your copy!
I am always excited to hear about the journey of others, so don't hesitate to reach out to me to chat or ask questions. The comment section is always open.