Today I’d like to give you typical steps to CRAM a book of the Bible. As I said in detail in part II, CRAM is an acronym for Character and Truth of God, Responsibility of the Believer, Attitudes and Actions, and Meditation.
Here’s what a day of CRAMming might look like for you:
1. Pray, asking God to help you gain understanding from your reading and to apply it to your heart.
2. Read the first (or next) chapter of the book being CRAMmed. Apply the CRAM principles to the verses you have selected from your reading. (I tend to take those verses that flow together. Unless it is a small chapter, I don’t attempt to CRAM it in its entirety!)
3. Taking each of the selected verses, look for the C contained in them. Be sure to list those things you see that pertain to the character of God, or that pertain to the truth of God.
4. Next, go through the selected verses again, this time looking for the R contained in them. You are looking for those examples of the actions and attitudes of a believer. Scripture is chocked full of examples of the godly path a believer should follow.
5. Now, repeat this process for A. Remember, this time you are looking at yourself specifically. While looking at those things listed in both C and R, what attitudes do you need to change? What actions must you take for your life to be on the godly path exampled in Scripture? It is important that you be specific. Changes should be tangible, sensible and specific. Grand visions are not often completed but step by step actions can be accomplished by God’s grace. We want our changes to be God glorifying. In order to do this, we must fill any changes made to negative behaviors with positive behaviors. If you give up watching television during a specific time, you need to fnd something God glorifying to fill that time. You will easily gravitate back to the bad habit if you leave a void that will cause boredom.
6. Now it is time for M – Meditation. While memory of scripture is not the goal of this portion, it is important to our walk as believers. As you meditate on the scripture you have selected – as you read and re-read the chapters in the book you are studying – you may just find that God has freed your mind up and that you are memorizing verses! Write down 1 – 3 verses from the section studied and place them where you will see the verses throughout the day. If you have identified an attitude during study that you wish to have “set before you” for correction, you may want to select verses from other areas of the Bible that pertain to that attitude. Writing these verses on 3×5 cards will give you a collection of God’s word that you can review over and over. I have several spiral bound sets of 3×5 cards that I use somewhat like a perpetual calendar. I am lousy at memorization, but I have found this tool has really helped me in that area.
7. Pray, thanking God for His Word and for His grace and help to put off sin and to put on godly choices.
I pray I have given you some useful information that will help you in your study. If this is too vague, or if you have any questions, feel free to comment or e-mail me and I will help you however I can. A day of my personal study of Psalm 119, using CRAM follows the continuation of this post.