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HOW TO MEDITATE ON SCRIPTURE – Part 1
(14 January 2019)
I've written about meditating on the Bible before, but I want to revisit the topic, as it is such an important Christian discipline we need to make part of our time with the Lord.
We are going to look at the topic for a few weeks, starting with some verses on meditation, as well as what it means to meditate on the Word.
There are numerous verses in the Bible that instruct and encourage us to meditate on Scripture.
In Joshua 1:8 God told Joshua to meditate on the Law of God: "Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do."
The Book of Instruction or the Law was all he had to meditate on, but we have so much more than that. We have the Gospels, where we can meditate on the teachings and miracles of Jesus. His life, death and resurrection were recorded for us. We have the letters of the apostles, the Psalms, Proverbs, and the writings and prophecies of the Old Testament prophets. In the Bible, we have a vast amount of books, and letters and topics to choose from to meditate on.
Psalm 1:3 is a beautiful picture of those who meditate on God's Word day and night: "They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do."
In Philippians 4:8, Paul gives us instruction on what to fill our minds with. He tells us to fix our thoughts on things that are true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable, and excellent, and worthy of praise. We find all of these in the Word.
And in Hebrews 3:1, we are told to fix our thoughts on Jesus: "And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and are partners with those called to heaven, think carefully about this Jesus whom we declare to be God's messenger and High Priest."
But what exactly does it mean to meditate?
If you Google, How to meditate, you will find advice like: Sit or lie in a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Breathe naturally. Focus on every inhale and every exhale. If your mind wanders, bring it back to focusing on your breath.
While relaxing and breathing is certainly not harmful, it is not Biblical meditation.
In his book, Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation, Robert J. Morgan gives us this definition: "Biblical meditation is the powerful practice of pondering, personalising, and practising Scripture."
We will take a closer look at this definition in subsequent posts.
Today, I just want to draw your attention to the fact that God instructs us to meditate on Scripture. I want you to remember that you have so much more to meditate on than Joshua and others in the Old and New Testament had. And I want you to think about Morgan's definition of meditation. What do you understand when you think about pondering, personalising, and practising Scripture?
Next week, in Part 2, we will take a look at the benefits of Biblical meditation, and in Part 3, we will learn how to meditate.
So join me again next week to learn about the benefits of Biblical meditation.