Journaling—especially using a journal to document your spiritual growth, God’s faithfulness, and insights you have from the Bible—while not prescribed in Scripture, can be a huge benefit to your spiritual life. In this episode, I am going to give you seven reasons why you should journal and then show you how to do it consistently and easily.
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Episode 043 Overview
In this episode …
- you will know why journaling can give your life focus, clarity, and boost your spiritual growth
- you will be introduced to seven key reasons why you should consider keeping a journal
- you will receive an easy five-step process to make journaling easier and more consistent
- I will give you my personal template for my daily journal as well as a bunch of questions and ideas you can use in your own journal
Show Notes / Additional Resources
Reasons to Journal
- Piles of Stones (remembrance)
Joshua 4:3, 6-7 — … and [Joshua] command them, saying, “Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight. … that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”
- Reminds you of God’s faithfulness … and thereby builds your faith
Psalm 77:11 — I will remember the works of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
- Documents personal growth and discovery (tracks progress)
- Improves communication skills and can help you brainstorm better and think more creatively
- Brings clarity to thinking … helps your process.
“Thoughts untangle themselves through lips and pencil tips.” — Howard Hendricks
- Helps you process hardship, trials, and difficulties
Psalm 62:8 — Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.
- Forces us to slow our pace amidst a hurried society
How to Journal
- Choose your medium:
- Paper Journals (with lines or without?)
- Computer document (i.e.: Word, Pages)
- Dedicated app for computer or smart phone (I like DayOne)
- Blogging Online (private or available for anyone to read?)
- Find a consistent time to think and write
- Don’t just write about what happened (ie: “Dear Diary”) but rather process the day (it is the thinking /processing time that proves most valuable.
- “Evaluated experience is the best teacher.” – John Maxwell
- Date each entry (even better to also list the day of the week)
- Review and reflect on past entries
My Template for Daily Journal
1. Daily Bible Journal
» Note: for me, this section is the most important for consistent growth
- Bible Reading
- Bible Study
- Bible Memorization
- Key Message • Thoughts from my Bible reading/study
(promises, commands, principles, application)
2. Key events from the day
» Significant events, meetings, memories, etc. I want to record for future review
- Personal life
- Humorous moments
- Meetings / conversations
- Emotional experience
- God highlighting something
- What I learned today
- What I did well today
- What three things am I grateful for today
- What I’m going to do about what I learned
4. Key Prayer Requests
» This is a general journaling section for me to write whatever muse is on my mind
6. Today’s Overview
- Date / Day of Week
- Location (where I’m at when I write the journal: at home, at work, in another state or country)
- Emotions (am I tired, excited, happy, in a funk?)
- Exercise accomplished today
» I like to use a tagging system to “batch” similar themes together for easy reference
Want additional questions and ideas to help you journal?
I’ve created a “Go Deeper Resource Guide” to help you get started. Click the button below to download your copy of the How to Journal Consistently and Easily Resource Guide.
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Join the Conversation
The difficulty with podcasts is that they are one-sided—so each week I ask one question for you to participate in the conversation. Head over to the deeperChristian Facebook page to leave a comment and join in the conversation. This week’s question …
Question: What is one question or idea that you often use in your own journal? Leave a response or ask a question and we will try to address it in a future episode.
About NRJohnson & the deeperChristian Podcast
NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the Gospel, and Studying God’s Word. He is a writer, teacher, and communicator who helps other believers understand and apply the Bible as they grow and mature in their faith—desiring that they gain greater intimacy with Christ, experience the victorious Christian life, and transform the world through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Read more about him here.
The Deeper Christian Podcast is the podcast to help you study God’s Word, know Jesus intimately, and discover how you can build your life around Jesus Christ. This weekly audio program, hosted by NRJohnson, dives into Scripture and encourages Christians to keep their focus upon Jesus Christ—equipping believers in how to study the Bible and know God’s Word, grow in their spiritual lives, and change the world. Main discussion topics center around practical advice on Christian living, Bible study, prayer, the Gospel, freedom from sin, evangelism and how to share your faith, the Christian disciplines, and the lives and messages from the Christian heroes from yesteryear such as A.W. Tozer, Charles Spurgeon, Major Ian Thomas, Oswald Chambers, Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, Corrie Ten Boom, C.T. Studd, George Müller, Andrew Murray, Leonard Ravenhill, E.M. Bounds, and others. Learn more about the deeper Christian life.