How to Use a Journaling Bible, in Four Simple Steps

So you got yourself a Bible to journal in… now what? This four-step process will help you learn how to use a journaling Bible, so you can dive deeper into God’s Word through creativity!

how to use a journaling Bible

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There are so many benefits to Bible art journaling, it’s no wonder it’s become so popular!

Really, though, people have been “Bible journaling” for centuries. Taking detailed Bible study notes, creating illustrations and paintings of key Bible stories… those things are nothing new. “Bible journaling” is simply the modern-day version of creative Bible study, and one way of bringing the Scriptures to life through art.

For me, creating art in the Bible enhances my study of God’s Word in many ways. It helps me meditate on the truths of God’s Word, gives me a way to praise God and simply spend time with Him, is a great tool for memorizing key Bible verses, and enables me to easily remember and refer back to different Scriptures I’ve studied before (and need to study again!).

What benefits are YOU hoping to gain from Bible journaling?

If you’ve got that shiny new journaling Bible you haven’t used yet (or yours has gathered some dust since the last time you opened it), there’s no better time than NOW to learn how to use a journaling Bible! You can’t benefit from it, if you don’t actually do it.

Bible journaling - His Book stamp set

How do you use a journaling Bible?

Okay, so what is a journaling Bible best used for? That depends on who you are, and how you to learn best. Think about what you enjoy, and what helps you to process and retain information.

I would argue that while ART journaling may not be for everyone, there are still simple Bible journaling ideas out there that can work for you—even if you’re not a visual or creatively-inclined person. The whole point of Bible journaling, is to study God’s Word on a deeper level.

And there are so many ways for how to use a journaling Bible to do just that! You can use your journaling Bible to write, take notes, or create art that’s inspired by that passage you’re studying. You can focus on the Scripture itself (what it means/how to apply it in your life)… or, you could record how you feel about that Scripture, what’s going on in your life that relates to it, and so forth. You can praise the Lord, think about all the ways He’s helping you in your current situation, record your prayers, and so much more!

If you’re a super visual person, you can create elaborate artwork that helps you absorb and learn from God’s Word. If you’re not artistic at all, you can simply write about what you’re learning. And if you’re an auditory learner? Try listening to an audio Bible while writing, drawing, or coloring on that same passage you’re listening to.

Bible journaling on Joshua 1:9

How to Use a Journaling Bible, in Four Simple Steps

But no matter whether you write, paint, draw, or whatever, there are four simple steps for how to use a journaling Bible that apply in every situation! If you’ve ever sat down with your Bible open, and wondered what to do next, these how to start Bible journaling for beginners steps are for you.

(SIDE NOTE: If you’re reading this and you don’t yet have a journaling Bible, be sure and check out how to choose a journaling Bible—it’ll help you decide on the best journaling Bible for you.)

1) Dive Into the Scriptures!

Since the whole point of Bible journaling is to study God’s Word, of course the first step is to JUST PICK A VERSE and DIVE IN! But, what if you still have no idea what passage to journal on? In that case, you’ll love my Bible journaling challengeit gives you a new devotional topic each week + journaling prompts to spur your creativity!

Sign up for the Bible Journaling Challenge

If you still feel stuck on this step, let me tell you another trick that helps me: I’ve taken to keeping a list of “Bible passages to journal on”. Anytime I come across a Scripture that I’d like to dive deeper into (or just praise God for), I add it to my list. That way, when it’s time to journal (Sunday afternoons for me), I can simply pull out my list and choose a passage to journal on.

God's grace is sufficient - Bible journaling

2) Decide What You’ll Write/Create

Okay, so your next step in how to use a journaling Bible, is to think about what you’ll write or create. Always, always, ALWAYS use your chosen Scripture as inspiration! Take some time to study on it, read different translations, do a verse map, or just pray about it.

Consider what God is teaching you about it, what elements of the story jump out at you, how it relates to your current life challenges, and so on and so forth. If you need some extra Bible journaling ideas for beginners, check out these 12 Ideas to Write in Your Journaling Bible and 10 Bible Journaling Prompt Questions.

Inspire Praise Bible with Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

3) Choose Your Tools to Create With

Once you’ve decided WHAT you’ll create, it’s time to think about what supplies you want to create WITH.

The best Bible journaling supplies for beginners, are the simplest ones: colored pencils, pens, and maybe some Bible highlighters too. You can always branch out to new art supplies, like paints or inks, as you grow your Bible journaling skills.

Don’t overthink this one though! Remember, Bible art journaling is about studying God’s Word, so at the end of the day, which supplies you used won’t matter as much as what you learned. If there’s a specific art supply you enjoy (for me, that’s gelatos), then use that. Or maybe you have specific imagery in mind for the Bible story (like a rainbow, or a lion), in which case you could choose the best art tools you think would bring that imagery to life (maybe some watercolors for the rainbow, or colored pencils for the lion).

treasures in heaven Bible journaling page

4) Get Started!

And now, we’ve come to your last step in how to use a journaling Bible… This is perhaps the #1 Bible journaling for beginners tip I could possibly give: JUST GET STARTED! Once you’ve chosen your Bible passage, you have at least some idea of what you want to write or draw, and you’ve selected your supplies, just dive in!

You DON’T have to have every detail all figured out before starting, and it’s totally okay (and even expected) to improvise and adjust as you go along. My Bible journals almost never go exactly as planned, and quite often I’ve changed my plans mid-journaling, either because I felt led to or because an unexpected issue came up (like I made a mistake, ran out of space, the colors didn’t work, etc.).

It’s always a GREAT practice to pray while you’re journaling, and ask God to guide you in the process. Pray that He would be glorified through your journaling, that you find the right words or pictures to capture the lessons He’s teaching you, and that His Word becomes ‘hidden in your heart’.

I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:11 (NIV)

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)

Above all else, use Bible journaling to grow closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and to learn from Him! Even if that’s all you remember about how to use a journaling Bible, that’s really all you need.

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