The news was not at all what I expected. I heard the word malignant through my spotty connection after running out of my exercise class to answer the phone. It “IS malignant or ISN’T malignant?,” I inquired, but he couldn’t make out my words. After driving a few miles, I jumped into the three-way connection with my immediate family.
“Mom, the biopsy came back showing that it’s malignant.”
No mother wants to hear these words, but there they were spoken from the mouth of my son. Now, what exactly was I supposed to do with them when I literally could do nothing? My mind threatened to go to that place where all mamas go when faced with danger and a hurting child…the worst case scenario.
I sent out a few messages and heard comforting words from a few friends. Then, I glanced down to a little pile of books that had just come in the mail. Oh yeah, I had agreed to review the new “NIV Verse Mapping Bible” and the companion “Verse Mapping Bible Study Journal.”
I started flipping through the pages at the beginning of the journal until I came to these words in the introductory pages…
“What’s on your heart today? If you’re facing a difficult circumstance, or find yourself in an unexpected path in your own story with God, select a verse(s) that speaks to the theme of your heart for today.”
Hmm, I was definitely facing a difficult circumstance. Why not put this new method to a real-life test? A verse came to mind.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Could this verse mapping method speak to my heart today and possibly breath new life into what I already knew in my head? Could it speak something deeper at a time when I could really use some comfort? So, I read through the tutorial and then launched into the process of verse mapping this familiar verse.
The verse mapping technique helps the reader go deeper to explore scripture from several different angles. Although I learned how to study scripture in seminary, I found this method well-organized and thoughtful for the everyday Christian. After all, it’s one thing to know how to do something; actually following through on a regular basis is an entirely different thing.
The verse mapping Bible and journal lead the reader through a thoughtful, doable process of Bible study. I really appreciate the simple layout that guides the reader deeper and deeper into the scripture. Researching the original meanings of key words from the verse opened the door to see things in a more meaningful way.
In relation to my verse, Isaiah 41:10, I felt God’s reassurance in a powerful way after researching the original meaning of the key words and placing the verse into the context of God’s continued care for the people of Israel. My natural inclination was to wallow in the fear of the unknown…to gaze at the imminent danger, which meant tearing up the internet in search of every grizzly detail. But, God’s Word reminded me that He’s ALWAYS been there in the past and He will continue to be our strength whatever the future brings.
I highly recommend the NIV Verse Mapping Bible for anyone who desires to take their Bible study to a deeper level, but who also desires a method that is straight-forward and easy-to-follow. I like that each page of the NIV Verse Mapping Bible includes lines and space to write notes beside the verses. What’s more, the Verse Mapping Bible includes 350 preselected verses to give any reader an easy place to start.
When I first received the Verse Mapping Bible Study Journal, I wasn’t really sure if it was necessary since the five structural elements could easily be recorded in a separate notebook. However, I must admit that I enjoyed having everything laid out and ready at my finger tips. I was ready to dive into the scripture immediately without any initial setup, which would undoubtedly help anyone who hesitates to go deeper with their Bible study for fear of having too little time.
There’s also an NIV Verse Mapping Bible For Girls. In substance, this Bible includes all the same elements as the adult version. The primary difference between this version and the adult version is found in the introductory material, which is all written to communicate with a younger reader. Also, the color and style of the girl’s version would be more attractive to younger girls. But even more importantly is the message it conveys to younger readers…meaningful Bible inquiry is something that anyone can do to enhance their understanding of scripture.
I am excited about the prospect of using this Bible study tool from now on; both in my personal study, but also as a part of my scriptural preparation for speaking and writing.
** I received these books for free as a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid, but the thoughts and opinions voiced in this post are solely my own. #BibleGatewayPartner