Evangelicals believe in the verbal inspiration of Scripture. This means each word is loaded with content waiting to be unpacked. But we have limitations on time and doing so requires a method. Let me suggest an approach that resolves both issues.
It entails meditating on each word of a passage. Most believers know Psalm 23, or at least the opening lines. Therefore, we can reflect on the individual words of this passage wherever we might be: trying to get to sleep at night, caught in a traffic jam, driving the daily commute, or even getting a shower.
These frequently wasted moments can be put to good use by reflecting on the words of passages one at a time and thinking about their implications and applications to our lives. Focusing on an individual word draws fresh meaning from the passage. Consider the first phrase of some 23.
- “The Lord is my shepherd.” It is the one and only Lord, the God of the Bible, who shepherds my life.
- “The Lord is my shepherd.” He is Lord over all and therefore possesses the power to meet every need.
- “The Lord is my shepherd.” Not was or will be my shepherd, but is so now.
- “The Lord is my” He cares for me personally.
- “The Lord is my shepherd.” That word connotes a relationship characterized by love, care, and wisdom to meet every need.
I briefly reflected on some of the meaning of each of these words. Much more could be discovered. Using this method to mine meaning from Scripture will redeem wasted time, keep us spiritually focused, and vastly enrich our lives. The more Scripture we memorize, the more mining we can do. Let’s do some mining in Philippians 1:1 next.