I’ve recently had several people ask me the question, “What do you start with for illustrating in your Bible, the verses or the idea?” That’s kind of like the old question, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” The answer for me is that it depends! It depends on whether I’m reading and studying through a book of the Bible or responding to a message at church or using a devotional reading like Jesus Calling or the ones that Illustrated Faith has provided over the last few months. Those things often lead to verses that I want to highlight in my Bible. Sometimes it’s a product like a die cut or sticker or a stamp that makes me think of a verse in the Bible that I can illustrate with that product.
Recently I sat down with my Journaling Bible and the Bloom devotional and stamp set by Stephanie Ackerman. I had been reading and thinking about the idea of “blooming” or becoming the person God wants me to be that Stephanie talks about and thinking about how I could use the stamp set in my Bible to express the thoughts that were in my heart. As I looked at the words in the set, I thought of the idea of sowing and reaping. If I want my life to “bloom” with beautiful things, then I need to be sowing the seeds that will produce the results that God wants me to reap. I turned to Galations 6 where it talks about sowing and reaping – it’s a lesson that God has been teaching me all my life: what I sow – what I put out there, is what I will reap – what I will get in return.
I took my colored pencils and started marking repeated words and meaningful phrases and then began to pull the words into the margins with stickers and the stamps, coloring around them with my colored pencils. As I did this, I could see the relationship between the end of Galations 5 where it talks about having the fruit of the Spirit and the following verses in chapter 6 with the warning that what I sow, I will reap. If I sow the fruit of the Spirit, I will reap the benefits of mercy and grace and eternal life.
The stamps were perfect for illustrating these verses – a great reminder of what I want to have blooming in my life – a beautiful harvest of the godly characteristics that the Spirit is developing in me as I let Him sow those seeds in me but yielding to Him everyday.
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SUPPLIES: ESV Single Column Journaling Bible | Illustrated Faith Bloom devotional and stamp set | Kelly Purkey letter stamps | letter stickers by Fancy Pants, Kelly Purkey, Jenni Bowlin, and American Crafts | Versafine ink | misc. colored pencils.