"Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives" (Col. 3:16, NLT).
Studying the Bible in a way that changes your life doesn't take a bunch of expensive tools. You don't need commentaries or Bible study software. In fact, if you were stuck on a desert island with just a Bible, you could simply use the method you'll learn about in this devotional.
God says that if we meditate on his Word, we'll be successful. Here's a method you can use to meditate on God's Word in a way that'll please God.
The "pronounce it" method of biblical meditation is an easy method for meditating on Scripture—and getting every ounce of spiritual nutrition you can out of it.
You start with a verse and read it over and over again. Each time you read the verse, you emphasize a different word. It's the simplest way to start unlocking Scripture. You can do it even if it's the first time you've ever opened up a Bible. It's simple but amazingly powerful. Each time you emphasize a different word, you get a different perspective.
Take the first part of Colossians 3:16, for example: "Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives" (NLT).
The first time you read the verse, emphasize the word "let." "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you." What does it mean to "let"? It means "give permission." You open the door; it's your choice. You have to choose to let the Word of God dwell in you richly.
Then read the verse again and emphasize "message." "Let the message of Christ dwell in you richly." That means you need to get God's Word in your mind.
Then emphasize the word "Christ." You're not dwelling on what some philosopher, guru or talk show host has to say. You're dwelling on the words of Christ. You may not want to let the word of the world dwell in you, but that's what happens when you spend your time watching TV instead of reading God's Word.
Then you focus on the word "richness." What does that mean? It means the opposite of "poorly." In other words, "richness" means lusciously, extravagantly and profoundly. God doesn't want his Word to be a poor substitute in your life. He wants it to create beauty in your life.
Then emphasize the word "fill." Don't rush through God's Word so you can get on with the rest of your day. To let the Word of Christ fill you is to let it live within you.
Finally, focus on the words "your lives." The Bible isn't just God's Word for your pastor, a seminary professor or your small group leader; it's God's Word for you. The Bible is instruction for every single believer.
See all the great jewels you discovered in this passage just by focusing on one word at a time? You didn't need a seminary degree or a great library of reference tools. You can do this.
Talk It Over
- How will you dwell on God's Word throughout your day?
- How does your life reflect the richness of God's Word and his grace? How would it look different to other people if you allowed God's Word to make a greater difference in your life?
- Practice the "pronounce it" method during your next quiet time. What difference does it make?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global internet community for pastors.
For the original article, visit pastorrick.com.
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