The Psalmist declared, “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path."(Psalms 119:105 NLT) His word lights the way, giving direction for each step (“for my feet”) and giving wisdom for long-range plans (“for my path”). Let God’s word guide, correct, instruct, lead, teach, and confirm, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.” (2 Tim 3:16-17 NLT)
These are some principles of interpretation to keep in mind as we are admonished, “Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.”(2 Tim 2:15 NLT)
NOTE: A "translation" attempts to communicate word-for-word from the original language. A "paraphrase" takes the meaning of a verse or passage of scripture and attempts to express the meaning in the “plain language” of today.
There are many tools and techniques available at your local Christian bookstores to aid and enhance personal Bible study. One such tool is called “journaling” and consists of systematic daily bible reading, along with writing a journal following the acronym S.O.A.P.
S for ScriptureTake time reading and allow God to speak to you. Highlight, underline or place a mark in the margin of your bible next to the scriptures that stand out. When you are done, reread the verses you marked, look for one that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it in your journal.
O for ObservationWhat do you think God is saying to you in this scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you. Paraphrase and write this scripture down in your own words in your journal.
A for ApplicationPersonalize what you have read by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this scripture can apply to you today.
P for PrayerThis can be as simple as asking God to help you use this scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Then, write it down.
Many of these resources can be bought at your local Christian Book store or even checked out at your local library.
May God’s blessing be upon you as you endeavor to be a faithful follower of Jesus, living out the command, “Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed.”(Joshua 1:8b NLT) And may the promised blessing be yours; “…be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”(Joshua 1:9 NLT)
If you would like more information or someone to pray with you please call 1-800-525-5683 or email us.
Steven Curtis Chapman