Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Value of Writing Out Passages


 
I am making some bookmarks for the girls who attend the Bible study I lead. Since we've been studying the book of John for months now, I opted to write out a verse or two from the book on the blank side of each bookmark.

To start, I flipped open my Bible to the Gospel of John and started skimming. I didn't make it far before I found verse after verse I wanted to remind the girls of. There's something about really spending quality time in a book that makes it come alive in a way that I don't get when I causally read a passage. 

My interest in John started with reading a novel that relied on the book heavily. I've looked at passages in my study Bible and with the help of a guide by John MacArthur. I've talked them over with the girls in my study. I've read and reread them, taken notes, and thought about how they apply to today's teens. But writing out the verses for the girls was a whole new experience. 
I found myself paying attention to each word in a new way. I couldn't skim or go into auto-pilot the way we sometimes do when we already know what something says as we read. I needed to write the verses word-for-word exactly as they appear in the Bible. 

New themes appeared to me as I realized how many of the verses I chose use the words "eternal life." Same with the word "whoever" (as in "whoever follows me" and "whoever believes in me" and "whoever comes to me"). Jesus wasn't just offering temporary solutions to a select group of people; he was offering hope and everlasting life to anyone who would believe in him. What a Savior!

I found myself wanting to put exclamation points where the Bible doesn't have them or to underline some words or write them larger. 

The experience has me thinking I might be cheating the girls in my study of a great experience by making the bookmarks for them. Time to change plans. I'm going to bring the supplies and ask them to choose and write out their own verse from the book, and I'm extending the same challenge to you. 

Pick a verse from John that you love, and write it out. Share it with us here. What new insight did you find?

Love,
Your Sister

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