As we read God's words, we begin to see how God responds to things. Doing daily devotions re-patterns the way we think and transforms the spirit of the mind. Then, when we face similar situations as Jesus did, we begin to respond in the same way and we begin to GROW in our faith!
Journaling is an excellent way to both record and process what God has spoken to us. It's also a useful tool to use at a later time to reflect on and review some of the "gems" that you have received. Without writing these down, you may forget those blessings and some very important lessons! While journaling is a very personal time with the Lord, you may want to share some of your daily devotions with your small group or mentors. Through discussion, you may be able to look deeper into what God is speaking to you, gain new insights and even encourage others.
S for Scripture Open your Bible to the reading found under today's date of your Bible bookmark. Take time reading and allow God to speak to you. When you are done, look for a verse that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it in your journal.
O for Observation 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.
Here is an example:
S: Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. (Philippians 1:28, 29 NLT)
O: "Father forgive them", was Jesus living this very thing out. He stood tall in the face of adversity and it brought conviction to those who opposed Him. No one could buy Him, deter Him or persuade Him from what the Father called Him to do. He in no way was intimidated by His enemies.
A: Godly confidence I the face of adversity is Godfidence. When those who oppose the message of Jesus stand against me, I have no need to cower or yield, but instead I need to stand firm and laugh at it.
P: Father help me to stand firm to what You have called me to. May I laugh in the face of adversity and continue in the direction You lead, irrespective of what or who may come against me. Amen.