Proverbs 30:5, Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him."
Reading God's words transforms our us! (Romans 12:1) These daily devotions re-pattern the way we think, speak, and respond to others. Then, as we face situations just as Jesus did (Hebrews 4:15), we begin to respond the same way... all for God's glory!
Journaling is an excellent tool to help us process and remember.
Below is a useful pattern to keep your personal devotions time fresh!
It's called the S.O.A.P method.
S for Scripture ~ Begin with a simple prayer asking God to give you a heart to know Him more and open your mind to His word. Then open your Bible to a reading plan. (Whether it is reading a Psalm a day or stepping up the challenge to Read Through the Bible in One Year) >If you miss a day on reading, just start back on the current day... don't overload and try to make it up!< As you read, underline everything that speaks to you. Marking down notes or questions in the margin along the way is fine, but don't get distracted from completing the text. When you are done, look for a verse that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it in your journal.
O for Observation For the one scripture... What do you think God is saying to you in this scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you. Paraphrase and write this Scripture down in your own words in your journal.
A for Application ~ Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this Scripture can apply to you today.
P for Prayer ~ This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this Scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out.
If you want to spend more time... GREAT, but let this be a guide for studying God's Word (2 Timothy 2:15). If you want to pray over a list GREAT!
To complete the process, I give the daily reading a title and record in the front of my journal as a table of contents for future reference.
I pray that "God may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Him more." ~ Ephesians 1:17