Simple Bible Verse Mapping To Jumpstart Your Bible Study
While it breaks my heart, I need to share something with you - I've not been taking my quiet time during the day like I usually do. I'm still praying, still reading and still teaching, but I've not dug as deeply into God's word as faithfully as I once did.
Sure, there are a lot of excuses I could give, like increased responsibilities at work, stress, exhaustion, spring cleaning ... but you already know these because you're probably experiencing some of them, too.
Excuses aside, I need Bible study to keep my mind stimulated, my heart focused and my emotions in check. I am calmer, more at peace and a little wiser after I study, and I want those things back in my life. Hopefully you do, too.
During a recent Bible reading time, the devotion quoted Deuteronomy 33:27 in another translation, so I had to go read it in KJV. The words of this beautiful verse made my heart skip a beat:
The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them. Deuteronomy 33:27
Now, if that verse doesn't stir up the heart of a woman doing spiritual battle right now, I don't know what will! I have a place of refuge where I can rest in God's everlasting arms. You can't tell me you didn't just sing the chorus of that hymn. I know I did. It also says that we don't have to worry about facing the enemy unprepared because God is going ahead of us to get rid of them and destroy them. What a reason to praise the Lord!
Reading is reading and studying is studying, which may seem simplistic, but they are two very different things. I can read my Bible for hours and days, and the Holy Spirit will definitely show me what He wants me to know, but studying brings in more resources to shed more light and more wisdom. For example, I have Matthew Henry's commentary on my iPad app where I read my devotions. He's one of my favorites, and he always looks at passages differently than I do. I also have my paper Bible with references to other Scriptures in the center column. With these two reference sources next to me, I can study. For. Days.
So starting with the Deuteronomy verse, I went to Matthew Henry, and he made the comment that never were the Israelites so well seated and well sheltered than when they were claiming refuge in God. My Bible dictionary's definition of refuge is a habitation or mansion-house where you are safe, easy and at rest, as a man in his house. What a beautiful description of our trust in God, enough that we can let our guard down, relax and have complete faith that He will handle our situations for us.
A note in my paper Bible (that I wrote there at some point) said that our soul returns to God and reposes in Him as our resting place. And who doesn't need some rest right now, in this world full of noise and busyness? In the reference column by that note, it sent me to a psalm that repeats this thought - and anything God repeats is vitally important.
Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee. Psalm 116:7
My soul is called to take refuge in the one place I'll find real, true, refreshing rest - in the sheltering arms of God. This is my soul's hiding place when trouble rears its ugly head. Oh my goodness, how much did I need these words this week! I don't have to go through life beaten down, weary and sad. I can find replenishment any time I need it, I just have to turn to God and His word.
See the pattern here? Reading, looking, studying, writing, curiosity and praying. Yes, it takes a little bit of our precious time, but I can't begin to tell you how refreshed I was after these 20 minutes or so of studying. It didn't solve all my problems, but it reminded me of how much God cares about my life and my circumstances. It made me curious about what God says about other things, like love, joy, peace and standing firm. I can pick any topic that God lays on my heart, do a little digging and turn up shovels full of treasure from His word.
What Bible verse will you study this week?