Religion This Week — Let's talk with Jerry Donovan

By Jerry Donovan, Pastor, First United Methodist —

Studying the Bible in a way that changes your life doesn’t take a lot of expensive tools.

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 I learned
from Rick Warren called the “pronounce it method” that you can use to
meditate on God’s Word.

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.

Each time you emphasize a different word, you get a different perspective.

Take the first part of Colossians 3:16 for example. The verse says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly;” (NRT).
The
first time you read the verse, emphasize the word “let.” What does it
mean to let? It means to give permission. I open the door; it’s my
choice. We have to choose to let the Word of God dwell in us richly.

Then,
read the verse again and emphasize “word.” That means I need to get
God’s Word in my mind. Then, emphasize the third word of the verse,
“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!

Then
you focus on the word “dwell.” The word “dwell” means to hang there
for a long time. It’s not rushing through God’s Word so you can get on
with the rest of your day. To let the Word of Christ dwell in you is to
let it live within you.

Continue pronouncing each word and
asking what does it mean to you and you will find 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!