There are many ways to dig more deeply into Scripture – organized Bible study, Scripture journaling, color coding, praying a verse or passage in color, and many, many more.
This method, like the others listed above, helps you become more familiar with a verse and really digest it. It allows the meaning of the verse to penetrate both heart and soul.
Verse Mapping can be done by anyone. I mean anyone – young or old; Spiritual Babe or Seasoned Saint; artistic or not so much. Because…there are no rules; there’s no set method! There are only suggested ideas for those of us who may need a nudge to get us started.
Here’s the gist for those who would like to give it a try:
You will need something to write ON (an index card, a sheet of paper, a journal page)
You will need something to write WITH (a pen, pencil, color pencils, markers – you choose)
…And your Bible
Choose your verse. Ask God to share a verse with you that He would like you to focus on.
Here are some ways to select your verse:
Bible Study: Use any verse from your current Bible study. (For those who are currently participating in the Nourish Your Soul: 30 Day Challenge on Facebook, you could choose the daily verse from the challenge.)
Bible Cracking: Allow your closed Bible to fall open to a random page. Then point to a verse.
Concordance: Use the one in the back of your Bible or use an online source such as Bible Gateway or Blue Letter Bible. Look up a specific word or topic that God is laying on your heart. From the Bible references pertaining to that word or topic, choose a verse.
Ask a Friend: Ask someone you know who is walking closely with God to recommend a verse.
Devotions: Perhaps in your morning devotions a verse jumps out at you, use it for your verse mapping.
Write your chosen verse on your index card or paper of choice.
Read your verse several times. Focus on different words or phrases. Really take it in. What does that word or phrase actually mean? What does it mean for you? What is God trying to share with you through this verse? (Use the Ideas and Suggestion for Step 4 – Mapping from below to guide you through this process.)
Some Ideas and Suggestion for Step 4 – Mapping:
Personalize it…cross out words like “you,” “we,” “whoever,” “them” and write your name or a personal pronoun above it.
Highlight parts that jump out at you.
Read the verse in context – the whole chapter or passage.
Read the verse in at least two other translations. Note on the card words or phrases from other translations that help you understand or apply the verse. A couple of good resources for accessing multiple translations are Bible Gateway, Blue Letter Bible, and YouVersion.
Find cross references and note anything that brings new meaning. Cross references are verses that have similar words or phrases. Some Bibles list cross references in the center column; others in the bottom-page footnotes. Again, Bible Gateway, Blue Letter Bible, and YouVersion can also be a source for locating cross references.
Circle a word or two and do a word study on it.
o Look up the word in your dictionary and see if the definition gives you any insight.
o Use a topical index and/or concordance in the back of your Bible to find other verses where the word appears.
o Look up synonyms (same meaning) and antonyms (opposite meaning) in a concordance or online Bible tools site to find other verses.
Step 5 – Follow-Up Ideas
Carry your Verse Map with you, pull it out as you go through your day, and reread it.
Come back to your Verse Map throughout the day and add to it.
Meditate on what God is showing you through your Verse Map.
Engage in ongoing dialogue with God about what you are learning as you study this verse or passage.
Use your Verse Map to write out a prayer.
Let me know if you give it a try. I would love to hear about your experience with Verse Mapping.