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Benefits of Writing Scripture
Do you include writing scripture in your quiet time with God? If not, you may want to consider adding writing scripture to your worship time. Each morning, I read a short devotional and write that day’s verses in my journal or war binder. Then, I pray over them and ask God to reveal to me what He wants me to learn about His Word. It has impacted my faith life immensely. Writing scripture helps me to focus on the verse and remember it, writing it in my heart, as well.
- Writing scripture forces us to slow down the process of reading and encourages reflection on the Word. It gives us expanded time to digest what is written and focus on the meaning and how it applies to your life. Often, we read quickly and can’t recall what we’ve read – even a few minutes later. Writing scripture helps us slow down and read for deeper meaning.
2) Writing scripture helps us to memorize His Word. When I was in college, I would write nearly entire chapters of my textbooks when studying for an exam. Handwriting helps with memory and can be particularly helpful when memorizing Bible verses. A study conducted by Intech found that writing something by hand “leave a motor memory in the sensorimotor part of the brain.” This helps establish a connection between reading and writing and helps you better remember what you are studying as it allows the verses to enter both your conscious and subconscious thoughts.
3) Writing God’s Word allows you to personalize scripture. It’s one thing to read His Word, it’s another to allow it to get inside us, to change us and to serve to help us into a deeper relationship with God. We internalize Scripture by making it our own. More than just memorizing verses, you can journal about what the verse(s) mean to you, ask God to reveal to you what He wants you to take from the passage and even to pray His Word back to Him. You can add your name, as well. For example, Psalm 23:1-3:
The Lord is Sue’s shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He let’s Sue rest in green meadows; and leads her beside peaceful streams.
He renews Sue’s strength.
He guides Sue along the right paths, bringing honor to His name.
4) Writing God’s Word helps you think deeper. When we slow down to write His Word and not rush through simply reading it, we can think more deeply about what we’ve read. We can rest in what verse we are reading while we write it. We can mull over what each word means – you may even choose to add verse mapping to your scripture writing, digging even deeper into the words and meanings of each verse. Writing scripture also helps our minds not to wonder while we read.
5) Writing scripture helps us to be faithful. In Joshua 23:6, we are reminded to “be very strong to keep and do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses” We will stay focused on what is right when we write it out.
Therefore, be very strong to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left, – Joshua 23:6 (ESV)
6) Writing His Word keeps you more engaged. I’Il readily admit that sometimes when I read, I’m not sure what I just read becaue my mind was wandering or I just didn’t understand what I was reading. Writing scripture, as you read through it, keeps you and your mind more engaged. It allows you to process what you are reading, word by word. You’ll certainly get more out of your study time!
7) Writing scripture helps you to uncover overlooked details. When you work more slowly through the verses as you write, you’ll be able to see details that you may have overlooked before. In addition, writing the words and phrases helps you to understand which are important and what God has emphasized in his Word.
8) Writing scripture can help us to live humbly. Humans tend to have an issue with pride. Writing scripture by hand can help us to “not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites.” We are all created in the image of God. When we take the time to focus on God’s design for our lives and the lives of others, we exhibit a greater love and respect for all people.
“that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.” – Deuteronomy 17:20 (ESV)
“And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests.And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, – Deuteronomy 17:18-19 (ESV)
10) Writing Bible verses helps us to obey God. As we see in the above verse (Deuteronomy 17:19) when we write scripture, we are more likely to obey it! Studying God’s Word not only provides wisdom, but writing it helps us to apply it to our daily lives.
11) Writing scripture helps us to live blessed lives. The final verse in this section notes “…so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.” (Deuteronomy 17:20). When we write God’s Word in our journals, thus writing them in our heart, we can be blessed as scripture tells us.
We may not be worried about a long reign, but most of us desire God’s blessing. What better way to live for God than to interact with his words at the most basic, personal level of writing them out?
The Ultimate “Job”, Writing Scripture
For thousands of years, there were scribes, whose sole job was to pass on God’s Word by hand writing the Bible (they were the first “copy machines”!) They also became intimate with the Word by writing it and were revered for their knowledge of Scripture developed through copying the Scripture. Monks have also been tasked with transcribing the Bible, devoting their lives to studying and living out God’s Word. When we include writing scripture in our faith walk, we mirror the practices of these scribes and monks and can gain the same spiritual benefits that others have gained.
In Deuteronomy 17:18-20, we see a command for the Kings of Israel to personally write out their own copies of the Bible.
When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel. – Deuteronomy 17:18-20.
A king could have easily had a scribe do this for him, but followed the command of the Bible and wrote out their own copies. Can you imagine how long it would take to hand write the entire Bible? Can you also imagine how much more intimately you would know God’s Word if you did this?
All you need is your Bible, a journal (or any paper!) and a pen. I encourage you to start writing scripture (if you don’t already) and include it in your quiet time with Lord. Your faith and knowledge in the Word will grow exponentially.
If you are looking for a great journal for writing scripture, here are a couple of my favorites (I’ve filled many!):
Because of Him,