To gain understanding of an individual passage, it is beneficial to have both the Strong's concordance and Webster's 1828 dictionary on hand.
Choose a Passage
Sometimes, the Lord will lead you to study through a book. Other times, maybe it is just a memory verse or another verse that God has brought to your attention.
Study Key Words
Find the key (strong) words throughout the passage (these could be many or a few). Then, look up the definitions of these words both in Strong's Hebrew/Greek dictionary and Webster's 1828 dictionary.
For example, I will use a study that I recently did.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-6
3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
Greek - (38) hagiasmos (hag-ee-as-mos'); from NT:37; properly, purification, i.e. (the state) purity; concretely (by Hebraism) a purifier:
Webster's - 1. The act of making holy. In an evangelical sense, the act of God's grace by which the affections of men are purified or alienated from sin and the world, and exalted to a supreme love to God. 2. The act of consecrating or of setting apart for a sacred purpose; consecration.
Greek - (567) apechomai (ap-ekh'-om-ahee); middle voice (reflexively) of NT:568; to hold oneself off, i.e. refrain:
Webster's - In a general sense, to forbear, or refrain from, voluntarily; but used chiefly to denote a restraint upon the passions or appetites; to refrain from indulgence.
Greek - (4202) porneia (por-ni'-ah); from NT:4203; harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively, idolatry:
Webster's (fornicate) - To commit lewdness, as an unmarried man or woman, or as a married man with an unmarried woman.
Greek - (5092) time (tee-may'); from NT:5099; a value, i.e. money paid, or (concretely and collectively) valuables; by analogy, esteem (especially of the highest degree), or the dignity itself:
Webster's - 1. The esteem due or paid to worth; high estimation. 2. A testimony of esteem; any expression of respect or of high estimation by words or actions; as the honors of war; military honors; funeral honors; civil honors. 4. Reverence; veneration; or any act by which reverence and submission are expressed,as worship paid to the Supreme Being. 5. Reputation; good name; as, his honor is unsullied.
Greek - (3806) pathos (path'-os); from the alternate of NT:3958; properly, suffering ("pathos"), i.e. (subjectively) a passion (especially concupiscence):
Webster's - 1. Longing desire; eagerness to possess or enjoy; as the lust of gain. 2. Concupiscence; carnal appetite; unlawful desire of carnal pleasure. Rom 1. 2 Pet 2. 3. Evil propensity; depraved affections and desires. James 1. Psa 81. 1. To desire eagerly; to long; with after. 2. To have carnal desire; to desire eagerly the gratification of carnal appetite. 3. To have irregular or inordinate desires. 4. To list; to like.
Greek - (1939) epithumia (ep-ee-thoo-mee'-ah); from NT:1937; a longing (especially for what is forbidden):
Webster's - Lust; unlawful or irregular desire of sexual pleasure. In a more general sense, the coveting of carnal things, or an irregular appetite for worldly good; inclination for unlawful enjoyments.
Greek - (4122) pleonekteo (pleh-on-cek-teh'-o); from NT:4123; to be covetous, i.e. (by implication) to over-reach:
Webster's - 1. To deprive of right, either by obtaining something by deception or artifice, or by taking something wrongfully without the knowledge or consent of the owner; to cheat; to cozen; followed by of before the thing taken; as, to defraud; a man of his right. 2. To withhold wrongfully from another what is due to him. Defraud not the hireling of his wages. 3. To prevent one wrongfully from obtaining what he may justly claim. 4. To defeat or frustrate wrongfully.
By looking into the definitions of the word, it helps me to understand the subject this passage is speaking about.
Make it Personal
Once you study the passage, you can use the definitions to make it applicable and personal. From the definitions above, my mom wrote:
"For this is the will of God, even purifying you and making you holy, that ye should refrain from indulging in idolatry (specifically in the physical sense), that everyone of you should know how to possess his vessel in purity and dignity . . ."
To make it personal, she wrote:
"For this is the will of God, even purifying me and making me holy, that I should abstain from indulging in idolatry . . ."