The article about “Journibles” (see the guest post at knowableword.com by Angie Stanley entitled “Why I Love Journibles” (October 25, 2019 ) (link: https://www.knowableword.com/2019/10/25/why-i-love-journibles/ . ) reminded me about the significant benefits that result from copying Scripture. Some of these benefits are listed below.
(1) Copying Scripture promotes quietness. Our American world is too noisy. T copy Scripture I must find a quiet place where I can have quiet thoughts free from distractions. Being quiet helps me to listen to God more intensely. Mark 1:35 (ESV) records Jesus early morning solitude:
35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
While Jesus prayed and did not copy Scripture, the principle of solitude applies to copying Scripture. Solitude helps me focus on God along the lines of what the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 46:10a (ESV):
10a “Be still, and know that I am God…. !”
(2) Copying Scripture gives me spiritual rest. Copying Scripture can be a shelter from the storms of life. The Psalmist sought shelter in rest as recorded in Psalm 55:4–8 (ESV)
4 My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. 5 Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me. 6 And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; 7 yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah 8 I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest.”
(3) Copying Scripture shows, I value God’s Word. Copying Scripture takes time and effort. I copy Scripture because I appreciate God’s Word like did the Psalmist when he wrote Psalm 119:72 (ESV):
72 The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
(4) Copying Scripture improves my time management. It takes time to copy Scripture legibly. In today’s fast-paced world, it seems like time is in short supply. Because time is so precious, I need to be careful how I spend time per what Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:15–17 (ESV):
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Paul gave the same advice in Colossians 4:5 (ESV):
5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.
(5) Copying Scripture better engages my mind. Copying Scripture causes me to better engage my brain with God’s Word than by reading or listening. My brain has to work harder to read the words of the passage, copy them down on a separate sheet of paper, and finally recheck them to make sure I have copied them correctly. Copying Scripture is consistent with loving God with all my mind per Mark 12:29–30 (ESV):
29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
(6) Copying Scripture helps me to meditate on Scripture. By writing down the words, I better ponder and ruminate over each word. I consider how each word connects with the other words of the passage. I think about the things of God and not the things of the world. Such a thought pattern is consistent with Paul’s writing in Philippians 4:8 (ESV):
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
(7) Copying Scripture produces spiritual growth. The slower I go through His Word, the more it penetrates my heart and mind. The result described in Proverbs 4:20–22 (ESV) is correct:
20 My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.
Paul instructs Timothy in the same principle per 2 Timothy 2:7 (ESV)
7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
(8) Copying Scripture increases my interaction with Scripture. Each word or phrase takes time to copy and during this time, my mind interacts with the text. Also, the text interacts with my mind. This makes sense because of how Hebrews 4:12 (ESV) describes God’s Word:
12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
(9) Copying Scripture helps me see the details of Scripture. Many times the little words reveal significant meaning. God values the little things. Note the detail (i.e., “all the words”) with which God instructed Jeremiah in Jeremiah 30:1–2 (ESV):
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you.
(10) Copying Scripture helps me to discern God’s will. By better knowing God’s will, I can better define how I am going to pray. Praying consistently with God’s will is vital to answered prayer according to 1 John 5:14 (ESV):
14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
There are benefits from using a journal along with copying Scripture. These benefits include the following: (1) I can record my insights from my journey through God’s Word; (2) I can record my responses to my interactions with God’s Word; and (3) I can record milestones in my spiritual journey as I walk through God’s Word. All of what I write I can use for future reference. I possess a memorial of my engaging God’s Word through copying Scripture.
To combine the benefits of copying Scripture and journaling, I developed what I call a Graphōble Hybrid Journal. It is still in its embryonic stage, but what I have done is divide a sheet of 8.5” x 11” paper into two columns. I copy the Scripture in the right-hand column, and I write my observations in the left-hand column. Another sheet of 8.5” x 11” paper faces the first sheet, and I divide that facing page into a column for “Prayer Pointers” (things about which I want to pray) and the second column for journaling. I keep my Graphōble Hybrid Journal in a three-ring notebook. The second sheet also includes a section to list “Interpretive Help” such as definitions of keywords.
If a Christ-follower wants to appreciate better God’s Word and the value of copying God’s Word, I suggest that he or she use something like a Graphōble Hybrid Journal to copy Psalm 119. Over the next several months, I plan to use this journal to interact with Psalm 119. I will keep you advised of my progress.
Thanks for reading my blog.
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I am mindful of and respect the rights other authors and/or publishers possess in their works. I thus try my best to not violate any copyright rights other authors and/or publishers possess in their works. The below copyright permission statement is the result of my best efforts to understand that limited usage or “fair use” is available and/or to secure direct permission for specific works. Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version) copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission.