2020. What. A. Year.
This scripture writing project began last year because I wanted to do something with my Mom that would keep us both busy in God’s word. Of course, others have done it for many years, and I loved the simplicity and practicality of it. I thought it would be great if Mom and I both read and wrote the same scriptures every day, and then shared them with each other, especially when John and I are away in Denver. I tried to choose scriptures that I thought would be especially encouraging for her, so I began in the Psalms.
Truthfully, I got a little weary of writing the Psalms – they lasted until well into October.
But when I look back on it – I realize that we wrote the word “lovingkindness” countless times. It was hammered into my brain. Loving-Kindness. Kind-love. I already knew it logically, but I wrote over and over that God is good and kind, and zealous toward me. He has loyal love for me. He showed favor to me. He is faithful to me. His love is unfailing for me. His love causes Him to keep His promises toward me. Indeed, when I look back on this year and especially this past ten days, I wonder: what if I had NOT had this drilled into my heart, soul, and mind? That knowledge preserved and protected me! Lovingkindness is just one of God’s characteristics that I learned over and over. His justice, His protection, His demands…I internalized so much about my God, and I needed that. His word in my heart has had an enormous impact on me. It has truly, truly sustained me through the difficulties of this year. It has come bubbling out of my heart at the most surprising times, filling me with strength. My love for God has grown exponentially. I love the word of God. It has been reinforced that MY strength is not necessary, because I become strong in HIM, and in HIS mighty power. There have been days, especially lately, where the scriptures I’ve written have been uncannily fitting for what we have faced. “There’s not a day ahead He has not seen” is a phrase that has been on repeat in my mind, a comfort and foundation that has calmed me in some dark moments. As I’m writing this post, John is having a pacemaker/defibrillator implanted into his heart – and in every way, the peace that I have is because of God’s word that is implanted into my heart.
Writing God’s word is not the least bit difficult. It can be as intensive or as simple as you decide. Taking the time to write it down makes you slow down and concentrate on the words. It brings new things to light in passages you’ve read over and over, your entire life. You don’t have to be a Hebrew or Greek scholar to dig into the Bible. Sometimes I think we are intimidated because we feel we aren’t capable of deep study. Jerome said “The scriptures are shallow enough for a babe to come and drink without fear of drowning, and deep enough for theologians to swim in without ever reaching the bottom.” Some of us are babes. Others are theologians. God is pleased with both. He wants us to know Him. Isn’t that incredible? He—the Creator of the universe—wants to be in fellowship with ME. He listens to ME. He feels the same about you.
Where to start? With a pen or a pencil and some fun colors. There are tools readily available online or in book form that will help you learn the meanings of the words as they were used when they were written. Www.biblehub.com is a great, free resource. Online Bible dictionaries are good. I’ve used the New American Standard Bible, but you can use the one you prefer. You don’t have to print it out (printing can be expensive – look for coupons online. If you do print it out, make sure you add a plastic cover on the front and back and use a heavier paper. It takes ink better. Mine printed from Office Depot has held up very well this year.) You can use notebook paper, the back of an envelope, your iPad, a spiral notebook…but I really have loved having it printed. It’s been all over the world with me. It is precious to me! I’ve added some instructions inside. Always keep the context in mind. Don’t be a perfectionist. Really. Just don’t. If you try to keep up some complicated color scheme or make your handwriting look perfect, you’ll quit and that defeats the whole purpose. This is just between you and God. I’ve posted pictures of mine this year, but that was for my accountability – I’m glad I did. But when I wrote the scriptures – it wasn’t for anyone but me. I’ve added a couple of maps for you to plot locations (and if you know John, you know that made him extremely happy!) Look for repeated words and phrases – think about why they might be significant. Make this book yours – a means of drawing nearer to God. I chose the book of Acts, because it is the history of the early church. It is action packed and interesting and informative. Then we’ll write through Colossians and James and 1&2 Peter – super practical! I’ve added the entire year download, but I also will add a download of just Acts that will take you through mid-September, if you don’t want to print so much.
My sweet daughter in law, Erin, designed the cover. I love it! If you print it out, why don’t you write a few aims and goals on the inside of the heart as you begin this coming new year? We’ve all been looking forward to the end of 2020, but who knows what 2021 holds? God does. There’s not a day ahead He hasn’t seen. That is such a comfort to me. With the many valleys of this year, I still knew nothing took Him by surprise. We can rest in His sovereignty, knowing that if we are willing to submit to Him and obey Him, there is nothing the devil can throw at us that we need to be afraid of.
Writing scripture has been a blessing to me. I know it will be to you, too.
Click below for the complete 2021 download.
And below for just the book of Acts: