Read: Jeremiah 33:1-34:22, 1 Timothy 4:1-16, Psalm 89:1-13, Proverbs 25:23-24
Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you. (1 Timothy 4:16)
Relate: What to Winston Churchill, John Wesley, Thomas Jefferson, Soren Kierkegaard, Ben Franklin, Teddy Roosevelt, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Christopher Colombus, Ronald Reagan, Thomas Merton, Henry David Thoreau, and Anne Frank have in common? The last one probably gives it away. They all kept a journal.
React: I could talk about some of the many reasons why it is important to keep a journal. I could show how it is a great vent for stress and greatly reduces the odds of getting stress related illnesses. I could talk about how it improves your organizational and relational skills. I could show how it improves both short term and long term memory. I could talk about how it helps maintain a better focus and purpose in your life. Actually, I will stop there. Because that is what Paul is commanding Timothy here. Keep close watch on your lifestyle and teaching. Stay true to what is right. Keeping a journal is the best and most efficient way to be obedient to that command.
What are some of the meaningful conversations you had yesterday? What did you do right? What did you do wrong? How has the way you think and act and speak changed over the course of the past year? How are you moving forward in the long term goals in your life? Not only does keeping a journal help you ask and answer questions like these, but it is also a great way to see how your answers have changed over time. It helps you step back and listen (then record) what God might be saying to you regarding your faith and conduct. A lot of emphasis has been put on the importance of having a mentor (or life coach) in the past few years and I think it is important to have one, but keeping a journal is like having yourself as a mentor with more frequency and honesty in the discussion.
Instead of just saying a prayer or reading mine, why not grab a pen and paper and write out your own prayer to God?