Today was Week 1 Day 4 and Jen Hatmaker had us read chapter 4 in her book A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study. On page 56 she wrote, “We must do our part to grow beyond salvation by allowing what began in our hearts to infect our minds…. as the Creator is well acquainted with our questionable habits and propensity to wander, but we have to respond with due diligence.”
Page 60, “Journaling forces our minds to engage with the Holy Spirit in Scripture. We listen as we read; we respond as we write. It is a concrete way to talk back to God in the absence of His audible words and discernible body language. It focuses our attention on God’s Word….
“The Bible is a direct message of eternal significance. Journaling acknowledges that we care. It not only helps us retain Scripture more easily but also reveals to our Father that we are committed to ‘working out our salvation.’
“We’ll do the work. We’ll give the time. We’ll offer our full attention.”
I love what she wrote here. She did this in such a way where, like, for the first time I understand what studying the Bible can be like. Talking to God. I mean, I know we talk to God in prayer, but this is something different. As I’m reading the Bible and see what He wants me to see, in those moments He’s talking directly with me. And when I write down what I’m seeing, understanding, it’s like I’m talking directly back with Him. How kewl is that!!!
“In your journal, give an honest self-examination.” Okay, who honestly likes any examinations let alone one where you have to look at yourself and be honest about who you are on the inside and out? Um, no one I’d guess (I supposed I could be wrong but can’t imagine it for myself).
1. What is your interaction with the Bible like?
a. I’m engaged. I ask questions and respond to what I read.
b. I read and ask occasional questions in my head.
c. I just read.
I chose “c. I just read.” I have never done an in-depth study on my own without some other aid (i.e. book) to help me study the Bible. To be honest, while I’ve been somewhat interested in doing this, I’ve never really had the desire to do it.
2. Read Hebrews 5:12-14.
In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s Word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
You have had enough time so that by now you should be teachers. But you need someone to teach you again the first lessons of God’s message. You still need the teaching that is like milk. You are not ready for solid food. Anyone who lives on milk is still a baby. He knows nothing about right teaching. But solid food is for those who are grown up. They have practiced in order to know the difference between good and evil.
[rad-hl]By this time, you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet I feel like you want me to reteach you the most basic things that God wants you to know. It’s almost like you’re a baby again, coddled at your mother’s breast, nursing, not ready for solid food. No one who lives on milk alone can know the ins and outs of what it means to be righteous and pursue justice; that’s because he is only a baby. But solid food is for those who have come of age, for those who have learned through practice to distinguish good from evil.[/rad-hl]
a. How true is this passage for you?
I honestly don’e know for sure. I know I’m a believer but I know I don’t know enough about the Bible. Maybe I’m a “toddler” in comparison.
b. What stands out?
What stands out is how in order to “eat well and be nourished”, I must “eat up” the Word of God. No more “milk” for me.
3. a. How do you honestly feel about journaling? b. What, if anything, keeps you from journaling?
a. Journaling has never bothered me, but I always did it as a way to write out my inner most thoughts. A safe zone of sorts.
b. I think I ultimately get bored with it so it’s no longer important. When I need it again I start journaling again.
4. Which, if any, of the following merits of journaling are the most convincing for you? Why?
a. It forces my attention.
b. It helps me retain what I read.
c. It helps me process what I’m reading rather than taking the words merely at face value.
d. It allows time for the Spirit to teach me.
e. It’s a way that I can follow the example of the writers of the Bible.
f. It’s my written legacy.
a. I can see this working for me since I’m now a writer anyway and it usually comes easy for me.
b. Not sure about this one.
c. I think this could definitely be a possibility for me.
d. I can’t imagine that this won’t happen as I’ll pray beforehand for God’s guidance as I’m doing it and the Spirit will in return teach me.
e. Not really me.
f. Not really me either.
5. What strategies for structuring personal Bible study did you pick up from chapter 4?
Reminder to do it in small chunks of no more than 8 to 10 verses usually. Focused journaling to the best of my ability. Meet with another like-minded partner. I need to make sure I make the time to do personal Bible study.
6. Commit to a specific time and place to meet daily with God in His Word.
I will do my very best to commit to a half hour of Bible study before school (homeschooling Athena) starts.
The verse isn’t from day 4’s lesson but in Day 2’s.
The Voice, Psalm 139:23-24
Explore me, O God, and know the real me.
Dig deeply and discover who I am.
Put me to the test and watch how I
handle the strain.
Examine me to see if there is an evil bone in me,
and guide me down Your path forever.