Perhaps my greatest period of rapid growth in my relationship with Jesus came when I was just 17 years old.
Each day I worked verse by verse through the pastoral epistles. I journaled questions like, “What is Paul saying?” “Who was this written to?” and “What is God saying to me through Paul?”
One habit that began then which has carried on to this day is to personalize Scripture.
Where it’s appropriate, I always read my name into a passage. For some reason that just makes things more real for me. It helps me realize that I’m not reading a historical document meant purely for those people at that time. By adding myself to it I see that the Holy Spirit intended much of the Bible to be recorded and miraculously transmitted through the hands of scribes for generations… for me!
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:9-10: (for me)
Adam, for it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith– and this is not from yourself, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that you can’t boast. For you are God’s workmanship, Adam– created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do.
When I personalize Scripture with the understanding that God meant it for me (and believers forever) I find the Holy Spirit’s of illuminating to run much deeper. I internalize it so much deeper and faster.
This little method I started as a 17 year old helps me know that the Bible isn’t just truth, it is truth for me.