As I’ve grown as a Christian, I’ve learned that my times of Bible study don’t always have to look the same. Knowing Jesus is not a formula, it is a relationship. And just like relationships with friends and family change through various seasons, our times with God change as well. Sometimes it looks like grabbing a huge commentary and my Bible and really digging into a passage or book of Scripture. Other times it looks like an intense season of Scripture memorization, or camping out in one book for an extended period of time (I “lived” in Psalms for over a year and didn’t study anything else for that entire time).
At times I’ve found it to be helpful to rephrase certain passages of Scripture in my own words in an attempt to better understand what is being said. I’m sure you’re familiar with this concept. Instead of “For God so loved the world” you would read it as “for God so loved Emily (or fill in your name).” Now this does not mean changing Scripture to say what I want it to say, but rather rewording it in an attempt to more clearly understand what God is saying.
One way I do this is by re-writing certain passages of Scripture in poetry form. I find this helps me meditate on what is being said (and sometimes see truths in a fresh, new way), and allows me to use my creative gifts for the glory of God. As an example, here is Psalm 23…
The Lord is my Shepherd, my heart will not fear
for in the green pastures I rest. He is near.
He leads by still waters, my soul He restores
He guides me and I will His greatness adore.
At times through the valley of death we must go
but I will not fear, for He comforts His own.
His rod of correction and staff keep me close
I won’t go away, or His guidance oppose.
I sit at His table. He meets all my needs
in the presence of terror, my hunger He feeds
He welcomes me in and my cup overflows
So I will not fear when through darkness we go.
I know mercy and goodness will follow always
for the Lord is my Guide throughout all of my days.
In the House of the Lord I will dwell for all times
Yes, the Lord is my Shepherd – what a comfort! – He’s mine!
What are some ways that you have found helpful in studying Scripture and seeing familiar passages in a fresh light? Let’s continually be seeking to grow and learn in Scripture… the wonders of God to be explored in the Bible are limitless!