Sigh . . . reading the Bible. Sigh. At times, reading the Bible doesn’t feel so engaging and “alive,” much less as personal as we desire it to be, as though God is sitting right next to us, speaking directly to us personally. He actually is, through His Word and His Spirit, when we’re engaged; but the truth is, there can be a lot of noise in our thoughts that scrambles our ability to feel truly fed and nurtured from the riches of His table. What God said about His Word is true, but it doesn’t always feel true until our hearts and minds are free from the noise.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword,
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow;
it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
Wow! That’s what I want!! But how . . . .
The other day I read about Philip Melanchthon (4th century), a friend of Martin Luther. Philip apparently had a similar lackluster when reading the Bible. His solution, which is a BIG idea, was to hand write the passages he read because “he wanted to make it more perfectly his own.” Twice, Philip copied by hand the entire book of Romans—a series of letters written to ALL believers that is just as relevant and life-giving today as it was when the Apostle Paul wrote them to the believers in Rome 2,000 years ago. WAIT, I’M NOT PROPOSING HOURS OF WRITING!! Keep reading. :o)
I’ve mulled over Philip’s BIG idea, thinking how appealing and perfectly personal it would be if we, women of faith, each:
- Picked up a spiral notebook from the store, with a cover that appeals personally to you. Again, I’m NOT proposing hours of writing; keep reading! The appeal effect of the spiral notebook you choose is important. Don’t pick up just any notebook. Find a cover that makes you feel good! For some that might be an inspirational text cover, or a patterned design that draws you in, and for others it might bear the picture of a puppy, a frog, a unicorn, or a ’70s psychedelic flowers print.
- Choose a book of the Bible that you’re drawn to. If you have no idea where to begin, consider my favorite book: Ephesians. But you might rather start with a praise and worship book like Psalm, or any of the Gospels would be a great start (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), or you might want to read a woman’s rags to riches saga like the book of Esther.
- Just once a day, take a moment to prayerfully, intentionally write ONE verse from your chosen book of the Bible, beginning with verse 1. At some point, you’ll have written the entire book.
See if Philip’s BIG idea doesn’t bring the Word of God ALIVE and personal to you. We’re in an age of “thumbing” instead of handwriting, and while that’s fast and fun(?), the lost art of handwriting is actually very therapeutic and soothing, and causes what you’re writing to be engraved more deeply in your thoughts, and thus in your heart.
I’d LOVE to hear from you after you’ve begun this day-by-day, verse-by-verse handwriting journey through God’s Word, into your appealing notebook. I’d love to know how this BIG idea is impacting your walk with Christ and your knowledge of God’s Word in practical use in your daily life.
Thanks for the BIG idea, Philip Melanchton!!