Thursday, September 11, 2008

Making Scripture Personal

I've been reading Philippians. I read through all four chapters in about 20 minutes. I'm not really “in a place” to do in-depth Bible study right now; not with starting to home school, preparing for a new baby and maintaining a home for five people, so I'm just reading and trying to think about what I've read.

After a couple of days of just reading I noticed that specific verses created a “twinge” every time I read them. So I wrote them all down in my journal. Not verbatim. Just the phrases that resonated with me.

The next day as I read over my list of verses or phrases I decided to paraphrase them with more personal words. That's not to say the original words aren't personal. I just needed to hear them as though Jesus himself wrote them down just for me.

Here are a few examples.

Philippians 2:13
“For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” NASB
“I am working in you, Stephanie, both to think and to act for My holy pleasure.”

Philippians 2:14
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing.” NASB
“ Stephanie, do everything I ask of you without complaining or arguing.

Philippians 4:13
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” NASB
“Stephanie, I will give you the strength you need to do everything I've asked of you.”

Philippians 4:19
“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” NASB
“Stephanie, I made everything so it all belongs to me. I can and will meet all your needs if you let me.”

After reading through my paraphrased list I feel closer to Jesus and encouraged. I also grasped a little better the meaning behind the words. I think this is a good thing.

What about you? What helps you move scripture from your head to your heart?


Alicia said...

This was great! Thank you for sharing that technique! One thing I always like to do is read each word of a verse with emphasis and see how it changes the focus for me. For example, recently I was not feeling like I was being given much grace in a situation, and then I clearly heard this verse, "MY grace is sufficient for you..." I had never thought if that way. If no one else gives me grace, His is enough. It's neat that you wrote this because I've just really felt compelled to start memorizing scriputre, and I'm putting the verse I'm working on right underneath my blog heading (it's a spot I look at a lot).

Amy said...

Very encouraging! Thanks for sharing! I've been thinking about some of these verses all day...

lifelaughterchaos said...

i remember when i'm reading along and feel like i've been hit in the head with a 2x4! although His voice is never is so clear in those times that i remember!

i have a small pretty notebook that you can display...i write on it verses that "hit me" and then on the back i write why they were meaningful to me...meaning what was going on with my life at the time and what He was saying to me.

wherever HE leads we'll go said...

Great idea! I love that God can "hit you between the eyes" with something even if you have read it 20 times before. He is so personal & knows just what we need, when we need it. What a blessing!

I used to use Devotional Books in my quiet time, but over the past few years I have started going through entire books verse by verse instead. Sometimes I go through 2/3 verses in a day & other times it is a bigger chunk depending on the book/topic. It has been so wonderful! God has really used this type of study to speak to me in amazing ways.

As an example, when I was pregnant with Emily He brought me to the book of Job. I didn't really know why at the time, but when she was born and our lives were turned upside down - it made perfect sense! His word is SO powerful!

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