Continuing on the road map of being a Christian, we must make an effort to read and understand the Word. What is the best way to not only read, but also retain the knowledge we are receiving?
Pronounce. Read scripture out loud and say it with inflection. Reading and hearing the words will allow the brain to retain the information.
Picture it. The Bible contains real stories with real people. Insert yourself into the scene and feel the emotion, understand the culture, and apply the story to your life now.
Probe it. Ask the right questions as you read through the books. Is there a command to obey? Is there a prayer to pray? Is there an attitude to change?
Paraphrase. Put the story in your own words. This will allow you to share it easily with someone who may need to hear that story as they go through something in their life.
Personalize it. Make the verse apply to you. For example, John 3:16 that says “for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Take the same verse and apply yourself to the message. “For God so loved ME that he gave his one and only son….”
Pray it. Take a verse and make it into a prayer. For example, Psalm 25:4-5 say “show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long. Change this to a prayer to God, such as “God, I pray for your guidance today and showing me the best to serve you. Teach me the truth as I enter this trial. Please teach me and show me the way. I put my hope in you, Lord, that you will give me strength and no matter what – you will be with me.”
- Devotional books should supplement Bible, never replace it.
- Know context of scripture. Text without context is pre-text for proof-text.
- Let scripture define Scripture. Do not allow wrong interpretation.
- Read Bible literally.