Saturday, June 4, 2016

{Truth Journaling}

"The truth will set you free, but only the truth that you know."

I have a confession: I did not teach my children how to study their bible. I thought because we attend church multiple times each week, we are involved in Sunday School, and my kids belong to other children's programs designed to teach them the Word of God, that I did not need to teach them how to study their bibles. I was wrong.

A few months ago, some sin was brought to light in the lives of a couple of my children. I had suspected something was going on, but I was not exactly sure of what. When I found out, I was devastated, angry, and convicted all at the same time.

I was devastated because, let's face it, sin hurts! It hurts ourselves, it hurts others, and most importantly, it hurts God. I was angry because I had been lied to for a very long time and now all trust had been broken. I was convicted because of my wrong assumptions about studying the bible as described above.

I knew I needed to change. I knew that if I was going to disciple my children as the Lord has called me to do, I needed to begin with the most basic of skills: reading and studying the bible.  I knew that if I wanted my children to cling to the promises of God's word during the storms of life, I needed to be the one to teach them those promises. And I'll be honest, I also needed to learn those promises for myself. I knew of them so to speak, but I didn't KNOW them.

I began a bible study with my oldest son since he is homeschooled and time is on his side in the mornings. As time went on, I included my other children who are old enough to read and write. We began in the Psalms, and each morning we read a Psalm and then basically take it apart verse by verse. We ask ourselves three questions:

  1. What does this verse teach me about God?
  2. What does this verse teach me about myself?
  3. What does this verse teach me about others?
After we read, we go back and answer the questions. For questions 2 and 3, we just talk about and take notes in our bibles. But for the first question, I created a "Truth Journal" for us to use as we work our way through the bible and answer the question. 

For this project, I simply took a 3-ring binder, some sheets of blank notebook paper, and grabbed a pen. I labeled one sheet of paper with a letter of the alphabet (starting at A and going through Z). I have 26 labeled sheets in all plus extra blank pages in the back. Each letter represents an attribute of God. We write it in the form of "God..." and include the scripture reference. For example, under A I have listed: 
  • God has anger- Psalm 7:6,11; 18:7; Proverbs 6:16-19
  • God acts on my behalf- Psa. 7:6
  • God atones sin- Prov. 16:6
  • God is my avenger- Psa. 9:12; 10:14; 18:47
As I read through the bible and learn more about the God I serve, the closer I grow in my walk with Him. I cannot adequately express the comfort and peace that I have in knowing these (and many, many more!) attributes of my God. I have something in my Truth Journal for almost every letter of the alphabet. As friends have experienced their own storms, I have been able to draw from my arsenal of truth to share with them about the Lord. As I share, I am reminded of His attributes and am again blessed. 

Here are some other ways I am using my Truth Journal:

A-B-Cs of God
  • Starting at A, go around the dinner table and each person share one attribute of God until you reach Z. See how many times you can do it without repeating an attribute. It's fun!
  • Can't sleep? Do the above activity in your mind. There is nothing the devil wants more than to shut you down! He will allow you to fall asleep quickly!
  • Pray through the attributes of God, thanking Him for who He is. These are great promises that only He can give!
I challenge you- study the word of God to find out more about Him. You will not be sorry, and God's word will not return void (Isaiah 55:11). He will use this study to grow you, your children, and whomever else you share this with.

Grow in grace,

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