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There are many different ways to read the Bible but one of my favourite ones is scripture personalization.

There are many times when the Bible seems to speak more to other people, than to you personally. You can argue that the Torah was written to the Israelites at that time and doesn't really relate to you; or maybe the Pauline letters were written to the churches then; and maybe the book of Revelation was written to a future unborn generation.

And because of this, we are always reading the Bible and never really relating to it. We read the Bible just so we can check some imaginary list in your head that "today, the 29th of September 2017, I have read a whole chapter". We read the Bible to try and show God how religious we are, while not giving heed to what the Bible actually says.

This makes the Bible lose the 'personal' touch; the knock-out punch. The Bible never has an impact in our lives because, well, "it isn't for me".

And this is where personalization comes in.

Personalization

The word personalization comes from the word personalize which means:

To make personal, as by applying a general statement to oneself; Relating to, directed to, or intended for one particular person.

Scripture personalization is taking a general verse, personalizing and applying it to yourself. This will make it sound like that verse was written and meant for you personally; which makes obeying it and relating to God easier.

It brings you from 'there' to 'here'; from a passive study of the Bible to an active, life changing study. The Bible stops being just another book and it becomes the true Living Word of God.

How to Personalize Scripture

This is a general guideline of what you can do to personalize scripture. Kindly go through it, test it out, fine tune it and come up with a guideline specifically for you.

  1. Read out loud and/or also write down the scripture as is directly from the Bible.
  2. Replace key pronouns with personal pronouns. Example, "His Father..." becomes "My Father..."
  3. Replace direct replies with your name. Example, "Jesus said to mary..." becomes "Jesus said to {your name}..."
  4. Highlight words that stick out to you; words in that verse that capture your attention.
  5. Look up words in the dictionary, even words that have a clear meaning to you. You may be surprised as to how a simple definition can help you understand the Bible better.
  6. Write synonyms to key words using words that you would normally use.
  7. Read out the personalized scripture and meditate on what it means to you.

Example: Matthew 6:11-13a

This scripture is part of the Lord's prayer. Let's see how we can personalize it:

  1. Matthew 6:11-13a
  2. Give us this day our daily bread.
  3. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
  4. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

1. When personalized, this scripture becomes:

  1. Matthew 6:11-13a (Personalized)
  2. Give me this day my daily bread.
  3. And forgive me my debts, as I forgive my debtors.
  4. And lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil:

2. We then highlight words that stick out and check their meaning in a dictionary:

  1. Matthew 6:11-13a (Personalized & Highlighted)
  2. Give me this day my daily bread.
  3. And forgive me my debts, as I forgive my debtors.
  4. And lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil:

Notice it's this day: Not tomorrow's or next weeks. Do you think this agrees with Jesus telling us not to 'worry about tomorrow' in Matthew 6:34?

The Bible says as I forgive - which should challenge you on whether you forgive those who have hurt you if you are expecting God to forgive you too.

Why do you think we need to be led not into temptation but delivered from evil? This then brings up another question, what is the difference between temptation and evil?

Let us look up these words in the dictionary for presice meaning:

Temptation: A desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.

Evil: Intense, large, deep, great in value; immorality, wickedness, and depravity; especially when regarded as a supernatural force.

So you see, it's clear, we need to be led away from wrong desires but delivered from deep intense immorality and wickedness. The definition of these words has given this common scriptute deeper meaning.

What do you think the word 'give' means? What about 'forgive'?
Kindly check them up in a dictionary or Google and see if they give extra meaning to the scripture.

TIP:
To search for the meaning of words on Google type 'define' before the word then search. Examples: type 'define give' to know what 'give' means and 'define forgive' to know what 'forgive' means.

3. We try and use synonyms (words of similar meaning):

Then we need to rewrite some words using common language synonyms or even in different language.

Give can become provide; daily bread can become daily needs; forgive can become pardon; debts can become sin; lead can become guide; deliver can become save; etc

Rewriting the personalized verse:

  1. Matthew 6:11-13a (Personalized & Synonym-ed)
  2. Provide unto me this day my daily needs.
  3. And pardon my sins, as I pardon those who sin against me.
  4. Guide me away from wrong desires and save me from deep immorality and wickedness.

In such a state, the scripture becomes real to you as an individual. You can understand what it says and you can relate to it; And the Word of God becomes 'quick and powerful, sharper than a double edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder between soul and spirit, and of the joints and the marrow.' (Hebrews 4:12)

DIY

The example above gives a step-by-step process of personalizing scripture. I now want to give you some homework.

I will give you one scripture below which you can try and personalize.

  1. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
  2. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
  3. (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
  4. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

What do think walk means? How about walking in the flesh?
How about war? What word can you use as a synonym to war in verse 3?

What is a weapon? What weapons has God given us in this warfare? Who are we even fighting? What does the word 'carnal' mean? Check it up on Google. What do the words 'strong holds' mean in that verse? Why do they need to be pulled down?

What imaginations are these that need to be cast down? How can we know which imaginations to pull down and which to leave standing up? How exactly can we 'cast down these imaginations' and 'bring into captivity every thought'? Why do we need to make sure that they are obedient to Christ?

Happy researching :)

Conclusion

It is my sincere hope that I have been able to impact your life as a believer on how to actually read and understand the Bible by making it personal.

If you have any questions or clarification or even some more insights I can add unto this post; kindly get in touch with me and I will gladly help.

Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Amen.

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