HOW TO READ THE SCRIPTURE
by paul hoffmaster
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The 23rd Psalm starts out with “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” The joy of knowing that He is my shepherd is overwhelming. To know that He takes care of me and leads me into endless possibilities brings a confidence that is displayed with excitement and joy. My Shepherd does not drive me, but leads me into each new day. I do not fear tomorrow for I know who holds it. There is no wanting in my life, for He is everything I would ever want. Even my sleep patterns have been determined by Him. He leads me beside the living water of His Word. This water refreshes and renews me. He renews my mind each day with the same energy of the day before. As I enter the new day, the road of right living awaits my arrival. I will walk in His ways and represent His Kingdom that His name may be magnified.
If there ever comes a time in which I face death by persecution, or accident, or sickness, I will not fear the experience, for my Shepherd will not forsake me. He is there to comfort me with His staff of preservation and His rod of protection. When my enemies surround me, He prepares a spiritual feast for me to enjoy, while the unrighteous stand in need. I am blessed to receive His anointing that overflows from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.
As my Shepherd leads me, I will be surrounded with goodness and mercy that will accompany me all the days of my life. To top all this off, I will worship Him in His dwelling place throughout all eternity!
Whenever I read the Scripture, I read it as if it were addressed to me. I take it personally. In every story that is related, I picture myself being there. I am at the Red Sea parting. I am with David as he flees from Saul. I am with Jonah on the ship to Tarshish. I am on the hillside listening to Jesus’ teachings. I am on the boat with the disciples when the storm comes. I am in the Upper Room on the day the Holy Spirit comes upon His disciples. When we allow ourselves to experience the Scriptures, it will produce a life changing experience. When I see the nails driven into Jesus hands and hear Him say, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” I feel He is saying that to me. It is like He sees right through me, knowing how I have failed Him, yet He forgives me. I feel a pain in my side when they pierce my Savior while on the cross. I am there on the road to Emmaus with the two disciples who were confused with the events of that day until Jesus opened their understanding. They would later proclaim how their hearts burned within them as He opened the Word. I can feel what they did as the Holy Spirit opens my understanding to the Scriptures.
The Bible is not literature, but is the living, written Word of God. It is as up to date as the internet. God is still speaking through His Word; we just need to listen! As I read and experience the Scripture, I read it as God’s personal Book sent just to me. Learn to take it personally, for it is truly God’s Word for you.
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