1. Start with the essence of the passage (What is happening in this passage? Who is the subject? Summarize the passage as if you were explaining it to a child)
2. Think about other Scriptures related to this one that may bring greater clarification or application of it (Do any come to mind from other biblical books?)
3. Bring questions to the passage (especially what, why)
4. Wrestle with these questions in God’s presence, allowing His Spirit to guide your thoughts. Feel free to use other Bible translations to help you get to an understanding of difficult words (i.e. HCSB, NIV, ESV, NASB, NET, LEB)
5. Apply this passage to your life (How does this apply to me? What should I do in response?)
Example of this practice:
Psalm 1: 1-3
We see that the man who meditates on the Scripture brings forth fruit, like a tree, and prospers at whatever he does.
In the New Testament letter of Galatians, Paul mentions in Galatians 5:22-23 that the Spirit of God and bring forth fruit in our lives, namely, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control.
There is also a passage about God giving increase in 1 Corinthians 3:6. Here Paul says regarding the Gospel that he planted, Apollos watered, but only God could give the increase.
Why does the one who meditate on Scripture bear fruit and prosper?
What kind of prosperity is the Psalmist talking about?
The one who meditates on Scripture bears fruit because he has placed himself in a place of surrender before God. In this place, one is more ready to surrender himself to God’s work in bearing spiritual fruit in his life, namely, things like those mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23.
The Psalmist seems to be speaking of prosperity which comes from the Lord in many facets of it. As he obeys God, He then blesses him in his work. This reminds me of something the apostle Paul said, that he planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.
The one who meditates and spends time in Scripture appears from this passage to bear spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) and become prosperous in all that he does because the Lord has blessed him in it and blessed the very things he put his hand to (1 Cor 3:6).
In response, I need to meditate on Scripture like the Psalmist so that I too may bear fruit, becoming more Christlike in my interactions with others. This will also benefit God’s kingdom by having His blessing upon all that I do, to ensure that it is 1. Done well/faithfully, and 2. Given growth and made beneficial by God, even as it was at the beginning of Creation (Gen 1).