I’m so excited to focus on a couple of tools that we could use to take our study of God’s word to a deeper level. One tool is bible journaling and the other is verse mapping. Some of us may already use these tools, but there may be others of us that are uncertain as to how to start.
I can tell you that while I love the look of bible journaling I’m a bit hesitant to jump in. I’m pretty creative, but I don’t have a lot of artistic ability. So for now I’m studying the techniques and checking out supplies. Pinterest has beautiful examples with step-by-step instructions on how to get started.
In essence, bible journaling is ‘devotional art.’ How we translate verses into art is a result of our praying about the scriptures and how to connect those scriptures to our lives. It’s really not about the beautiful images–it’s about the process and the study of His word.
The images above are from one of my sweet friends, Becky Layton. She recently started bible journaling after a friend introduced her. What a talent she has as she strives to find meaning in the scriptures that resonate with her and translates them into beautiful keepsake images.
“It feels freeing to actually let the verse lead my art. I’m learning that just as God expects us to make mistakes, it’s also okay to make mistakes in my journaling. Because through our closeness to Him we learn to be better. The closer we are to Him, the better we become.” Becky Layton
The other tool I like and use on a regular basis is verse mapping. I first learned how to verse map from Proverbs 31’s Sarah Travis during a P31 online book study. Sarah is so good about outlining the process of digging deep into His word. Again, there are a number of resources to get you started on Pinterest and by simply googling ‘verse mapping.’
There’s no right or wrong way to do verse mapping. It helps make God’s word more personal and it helps us connect with how He wants us to use a particular verse in our lives. It may take us a little longer when we start, but it may be just what we need to take our quiet time or study time to another level.
I actually started with a verse from the book I was studying at the time. But we can also start with a verse that has particular meaning to us; our life verse as we know it.
Write the verse on an index card or in a journal. Personalize it by replacing the pronouns with our own name. (See the example above.) Next highlight the words that grab our attention. Then read the chapter or several verses before and after so as to get the full meaning.
Then look up the verse in several translations and make notes of the word differences. I’m an NIV girl, but love to read the translations in ESV and The Message bible. These can be accessed online through Bible Gateway and Bible Hub (these are two of my favorite online resources.) Feel free to cross reference verses that align with the verse being studied and make a notation of that on the card or journal. (I highlight the cross references, write the date next to them, and note the topic I’m studying next to the scriptures in my bible for future reference.)
As each of us considers trying either one or both of these tools, I hope the result is a closer walk and richer experience with Christ. I look forward to and encourage you to share your journaling or verse mapping experiences with us at PI.
Blessings my friends as you draw closer to HIM.
Supplies needed for Bible Journaling: Single Column Bible found at Christian Bookstores or online; markers, stickers, washi tape, templates for patterns; Verse Mapping: Index cards, Journal or Spiral bound book, markers, washi tape. It’s all about letting our creativity flow.