In recent weeks, I have felt a desire to change my Bible study habits to include personal reflections. One of the challenges of reading scripture for a pastor is that we’re constantly thinking about how the passage will preach, as well as things like historical and cultural context, theological perspectives, and how some of our favorite (and least favorite) theologians have approached passages. The challenge is to turn all of that off for a while in order to focus on how the word becomes incarnate to me. Rather than asking “how would this speak to a congregation?” I have to intentionally turn that way of reading off, and ask myself “how is God speaking through this text into my life?”
Enter the NIV Journal the Word Bible. This is exactly the change to my devotional routine that I have been looking for. Each page has a wide, lined margin for notes, thoughts, and reflections. As I read my devotional passages, I am able to journal how the Spirit is moving in me.
The pages are sufficiently thick, so the writing does not bleed through, and there is more than enough space for the kind of reflections I am writing. As I write, I can’t help but think that at some point, this Bible will be in the hands of someone who I love, and might even function for them as a resource (or at least, insight into my mind).
If your devotional routine is in need of a healthy shake up, this might be the very thing you’re looking for. I know it has been highly beneficial for me.
I was fortunate to receive this as an Advance Review Copy.