Do you want to spend time studying God’s word but either don’t know how or have trouble staying focused? I hear two frequent struggles from young Christian women in my peer group.
- “I want to go deeper than just reading the Bible, but I’m not sure how.”
- “I struggle to make time for studying my Bible and when I do sit down, I can’t focus.”
If you resonate with either of these statements, or just want a fun new resource, let me introduce you to a tool that might help.
The Walk in Grace journals from Well-Watered Women take you on a guided study through either Colossians or Ephesians. I’ve been following Well-Watered Women on Instagram for some time and finally decided to give one of the journals a try. I’d never used anything like it and wasn’t sure I’d like it. I fall into the category of, “Know how to study the Bible but often have a hard time focusing.”
At the beginning of the journal, several pages are dedicated to explaining how to do a book study. Their suggestions are concise, straight-forward, and easy to follow through on. I loved how uncomplicated yet effective they make it.
Next the journal guides you through establishing context and overall understanding of the book. The first week you spend reading through the entire book and researching the historical context, overarching message and theme, and your own outline. They suggest printing the entire book out without chapter divisions or verses and with plenty of space to take notes. I loved this! I’m always hesitant to mark up my Bible. I’ve had it since I was five years old, and I want it to last a lifetime. I found that printing the passage out gave me the freedom to highlight and write notes, and the exercise really aided me in processing the passage.
After establishing a big picture understanding, future weeks guide you through the book a few verses at a time, providing journalism prompts to help you think through key points and practical applications.
In case you haven’t figured out, my initial skepticism about whether or not I’d enjoy the guided journal approach to a study proved unfounded. I don’t like to default to books and commentaries during my devotional times, wanting to learn directly from the Bible before allowing other people’s thoughts to influence my understanding of what God is saying. The Walk in Grace Journal provided me a tool to keep me focused and engaged without layering someone else’s opinion over God’s Word. The week-by-week format motivated me to avoid skipping days, and for a words person like me who thinks better on paper, the pretty layout was also motivating.
The Walk by Grace Journal definitely pushed me to spend more time on my daily devotions than usual. I couldn’t finish thinking through the passage and writing answers to the prompts in my normal morning Bible time. I frequently ended up taking my Bible and journal to work and finishing during my lunch break, or catching other random times throughout the day to complete it. At times I found this a little frustrating but, for the most part, I was grateful for the push to fill those in-between moments with something productive. I definitely found that continuing to be in the Word throughout the day put it into a more front-and-center position in my mind instead of checking it off my list in the morning or before bed and not thinking of it again.
These journals are definitely a little pricey, but I found it to be worth it. I’d recommend them to anyone who wants to learn to study better or needs a little extra motivation and help focusing.
What are your favorite Bible study resources?
P.S. After finishing my Colossians journal, I decided to purchase the Give Me Jesus Journal, which is similar but not devoted to a particular book of the Bible. If you’re interested, there’s a sale that ends today. You can find a coupon code on this Instagram post from Phylicia Masonheimer.