The question should not be “Devotional or Bible Study” because the truth is that we need both. A daily devotional is something we use daily to apply scripture to our lives. It may be from a book with short daily readings, an email you receive every day or a systematic program you use to read your Bible.
Why You Should Use a Devotional
Have you ever read something in a book and then heard a sermon that very week on the same subject? God can use a systematic program, book or emails, to speak to your heart. It does not have to be systematic for Him to use it, of course. But it can help you to form a habit and love for daily Bible reading.
Daily reading and devotionals are where a lot of people do their Bible journaling. Some draw and doodle in their Bibles where others like a journal instead. Regardless of what you like, it is a great outlet for your faith. It can be an excellent way to share your faith with others as you post a picture on social media of your latest artwork, especially if it includes scripture. The Bible says that God’s word never returns void.
One of the reasons I started this blog was to share some of the things I learn about Jesus and the Bible. I will be sharing more about Bible journaling very soon. I am still learning every day, yet I love the creative outlet it provides me. You do not have to be an artist. You can use stickers and printed fonts just as easily.
Devotionals Often Lead to In-Depth Study
During my devotional times, I look for several things when reading. In a recent study with Amanda Schenkenberger of Move-the-Mountains.com of the book of Romans, I learned the term for it is “read and jot.” This is basically highlighting, underlining and making notes in the margin of my Bible. When going through this study with Amanda, I put words to some of the things I had been doing for some time. Some of the things I look for are listed below.
- Word Study. I have always looked for and noted the words I want to learn more about, in a word study. When I compare different translations, (ie. King James and NIV) I look for differences in the text. I then use a website or app like<Blue Letter Bible/li>. Using the scripture reference, Blue Letter Bible notates the Greek or Hebrew text and the meaning of the word or phrase. Words like “love,” for example, have many different meanings in the Bible. There is a brotherly love and the love God has for His children.
- Declarations. This is one of my favorite things to find in The Word. 2 Timothy 3:16 reads, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” Basically, a declaration is something in the Bible that applies to our lives, that we can declare for ourselves or others. We should be praying these declarations daily. For example, the Bible says that I am a child of the King, which I can declare of myself.
- What Do I Need to Apply? As I read, I look for things I need to work on in my life. It may require more study or cross-references in other verses and books of the Bible. I will note those in my margin or notes. I may look those up at that time or later, depending on how much time I have.
- Topical Study. Sometimes when reading, I find a topic that I want to learn more about. I try to keep a running list of these in my bullet journal. When I sit down and don’t have a particular thing in mind for Bible study, I may choose one of these topics to work through. There is something so satisfying in working through a topic that God puts on my heart.
I want to share two of my favorite blogs for Bible Studies and such. One that I referred to above is Move the Mountains and the other is Arabah Joy. I have learned so much from them both and been blessed by these blogs and wanted to share with you. Visit their sites and check out what they have to offer.
In the coming weeks, I will be developing my devotionals and even beautiful pictures paired with scriptures that you can use for wallpaper and posting on social media. If you sign up with your email on my blog on my homepage, you won’t miss a thing. Just bear with me as I continue to add to my site.
I welcome your comments and questions anytime. Please drop me a comment below and let me know how you like what I have written so far.