Personal Bible Study

Personal Bible Study I love studying God's Word; combing through the Scriptures, cross-referencing, and digging in deep. I'm not talking about reading something someone else has written, don't get me wrong, I love reading devotions and messages others have written, but, back-to-basic Bible study, opening up God's Word, and going to a Scripture that has been on my mind or heart or one I recently heard or read, and just breaking that passage or verse down, growing deeper in God's Word and understanding what the Lord is saying.
I honestly can't remember where I first learned about or saw 'Scripture diagramming' or verse mapping as others call it, but it is a wonderful way to help you get into and understand God's Word! You can keep it simple or get as complex as you feel comfortable doing. I like keeping things simple. When I do Scripture diagramming I use my Bible, my Scripture-writing, 3-ring notebook and colorful pens, and either my phone or computer for a dictionary. That's it! I've sat down at the kitchen table more than once to diagram Scripture and ended up sitting there studying, researching and writing for over an hour! Once I get started feasting on the Word, I can't stop!
When diagramming Scripture, I read and write down the verse, then I break it down into short "mini" statements. For example, Proverbs 3:5 and 6 - Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. - this is how I would break these verses down -
1. Trust in the Lord
2. Trust the Lord with all my heart
3. With all my heart
4. Lean not unto my own understanding
5. In all thy ways acknowledge Him
6. In all my ways
7. Acknowledge Him
8. He shall direct thy paths
First I broke these verses down into eight "mini" statements that can stand on their own. Then I would begin breaking down each statement, one at a time, looking up words I didn't understand, and write it out beside the statement. I then write out ways I can apply the verse to my life or how I have applied it to my life.
1. Trust in the Lord - Trust as a noun means, "firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something" and as a verb means, "believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of". If there were any words in those definitions I didn't understand, I would look them up too. Then, I write out what trust, particularly trusting in the Lord, means to me; trusting in the Lord means I can trust His Word that it is true, and that He keeps His promises; I can trust that He loves me and will continue to provide for me, and that I have eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ - Also, the definition says firm belief, God's Word says it is impossible to please Him without faith {complete trust or confidence in someone or something. strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof}Hebrews 11:6; and continue doing this with each word or statement in the definition of the word 'trust' and each word or statement from the verse or verses I am diagramming.
I could go on and on about what it means to trust in the Lord to me!
If I were going through a dry season I could list all the ways in which I trust the Lord or have faith in Him, getting specific, even recounting the times He has fulfilled promises in my life, and acknowledging that He continues to fulfill His promise of meeting my basic needs every day, and promises of protection, and so on, thus building my trust in Him.
Doing these things draws me closer to the Lord, helps me keep my imperfections and problems in perspective to the greatness of my Lord and turns my focus back on God, where it belongs. The Lord said for us to cast our burdens upon Him in Psalm 55:22, and digging deep in His Word, diagramming Scripture, helps me do that.
Since I began diagramming Scripture I feel closer to the Lord and feel like I have a little better understanding of His Word, I hope and pray as I continue diagramming Scripture I'll grow even closer and my understanding will broaden even more, and I pray this for you too!
Here are some more examples of my Scripture diagramming;

How I Delight Myself in the Lord

and

Ephesians 5:22-23

Here is a great article about Verse Mapping that may help you too,

Verse Mapping by Arabah Joy

Jenn
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

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