The What, How, and Why of Meditating on Scripture

Psalm 1:2 says,

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he mediates day and night.” (Ps.1:2)

Secular/Eastern Meditation

A couple of years ago, I watched the movie Eat, Pray, Love. The movie is about a lady trying to find herself. In the process, she travels to India, just like everyone who is trying to find themselves do. While she is there, she encounters a guy who tells her about one of his meditation experiences. One day, in particular, he had gone on the roof to meditate, and that day he was able to clear his mind in a way he hadn’t been able to do before. As result, the universe came rushing in and provided the insight he was seeking.

While that’s an Eastern and secular idea of meditation, that’s not what I’m encouraging.

Meditation in a Biblical Sense

Meditating in a biblical sense is much different than what’s commonly practiced in Eastern Religions, and even in our secular culture. By telling you to meditate on the Bible, I’m not encouraging you to hum in a monotone tone, with your legs crossed in an effort to completely clear your mind so that the universe can come rushing in. Instead, I’m encouraging you to do the exact opposite — to fill your mind with Scripture, to turn it over and over in your head in an effort to understand it and apply it to your life.

An Everyday Practice

Meditation is something we should practice each day after we get done reading the Bible, which means we aren’t to close the book, check the box on our reading plan, and never think about what we read again. Instead, we are to meditate on that day’s reading throughout the day.

I find the best way to begin meditating on a text is either to memorize it, put it in my own words, write a journal entry, or a blog post. Once I do one of those, I find I am able to think about my reading for the remainder of the day.

Why Meditate?

You might be wondering: Why do I need to do this? Isn’t reading God’s Word enough? Yes, reading God’s Word is a good practice. But the reason we are to take this extra step is so that we can come to a better understanding of how the Bible applies to our life so that we can better serve God by living accordingly.

Question for Reflection

  1. Do you take the time to meditate on God’s Word?

Resources

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Post adapted from my sermon: What should we do with the Bible?

What is the Bible and What is it For? – Part 4

When I was in Middle School, we bought our first personal computer. I believe it was a Packard Bell. At the time I didn’t know much about computers. We had them at school and used them a little bit to play Oregon Trail, but I hadn’t taken a typing class or a class on how to use any of the programs yet.

I remember looking at the keyboard for the first time. I knew what the letters and numbers did. Delete and enter were self-explanatory, as was Caps Lock, but I had no idea what the other keys did, which meant they weren’t all that useful to me until I learned what they did and what they were for.

In a similar way, we may look at the Bible and ask: What is the Bible and what’s it for? Until we are able to answer that question, it is not going to be all that useful to us just like those other keys on the keyboard weren’t all that useful to me.

What is the Bible and What is it for?

(4) The Bible Can Tell Us How We, As the People of God, Can Live in God’s On-Going Story

As we immerse ourselves in Scripture our knowledge of ourselves and God will grow. In the process, we will be formed into the type of people God wants. That’s because, as Paul tells us in verses 16 and 17,

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Ti 3:16–17)

Now notice that Paul tells us it is “all scripture” that is inspired and profitable, which means we can’t just pick and choose to follow this text but not that one. Instead, we have to allow the whole Bible to influence how we live. When we do that, we will find that the Bible does a number of things.

  • It Teaches us
  • Reproves us
  • Corrects us
  • Trains us in righteousness.

First, It Teaches us 

By this, Paul means that the Bible is able to teach us about God, His plan, His Savior, as well as it teaches us about ourselves, our church, our family, and the world in which we live. The Bible teaches us about all those things and more. Which is why I said earlier that if we want to know who we are we must look to the Bible instead of within or to our culture. The Bible tells us who we are as it teaches us all these different things.

Second, It Reproves us  

It tells us if we have done, taught, or thought something wrong. As one commentator puts it,

“Scripture can show sinners their failures, clarify [their] mistakes, and lead them to a new sense of peace and wholeness.”

Third, It Corrects us  

The Bible doesn’t just point out what we have done wrong, it goes a step further and directs us to the behavior, thinking, or teaching that’s inline with God’s will.

Lastly, It Trains us in righteousness 

This phrase means that Scripture provides us with a system of teaching and discipline that develops Christian character so that over time we grow to be more like Christ.

The result of all this teaching, reproving, correcting, and training is that we are made complete or mature, and we are equipped for every good work. In other words, as we immerse ourselves in the Bible, and allow it to have influence over us, we will be taught how we are to live as God’s people within His story. So if we want to follow Jesus and live how He wants us to live, and we should if we are Christians, then must read His Word. By doing so, we will be taught how to live as God’s people within His story.

Conclusion

So that is what the Bible is and what it does:

  • It’s a unified story that points us to Jesus.
  • It tells us the real story of human history.
  • It is a divine human word through which God’s Word is revealed to us.
  • It tell us how we, as God’s people, can live in His ongoing story.

Since the Bible is and does all those things: It’s useful to us. It’s relevant. It’s a book worth spending our time and mental energy reading.

Question for Reflection

  1. Do you turn to the Bible to determine how you can live in God’s ongoing story?

Resources

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Post adapted from my sermon: What is the Bible and What Does it Tell Us?

What is the Bible and What is it For? – Part 3

When I was in Middle School, we bought our first personal computer. I believe it was a Packard Bell. At the time I didn’t know much about computers. We had them at school and used them a little bit to play Oregon Trail, but I hadn’t taken a typing class or a class on how to use any of the programs yet.

I remember looking at the keyboard for the first time. I knew what the letters and numbers did. Delete and enter were self-explanatory, as was Caps Lock, but I had no idea what the other keys did, which meant they weren’t all that useful to me until I learned what they did and what they were for.

In a similar way, we may look at the Bible and ask: What is the Bible and what’s it for? Until we are able to answer that question, it is not going to be all that useful to us just like those other keys on the keyboard weren’t all that useful to me.

What is the Bible and What is it for?

 

(3) The Bible is a Divine Human Word 

In 2 Timothy 3:16 we learn that:

“All Scripture is breathed out by God” (2 Tim. 3:16a)

Now when Paul says that Scripture is breathed out by God he doesn’t mean God literally wrote with His own hand every word in Scripture and delivered it to man. We know men wrote the Scriptures. Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. Paul wrote this letter to Timothy. And the other books were written by other men. So we know that God didn’t just hand us a completed book right out of heaven.

While it is true that men did write the Bible, it’s still said to be God’s Word. 1 Peter 1:20 and 21 give us an idea of how the Bible, which was written by men, is God’s Word. The text says,

“knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Pe 1:20–21)

So Peter tells us that the Holy Spirit worked alongside and through men to produce the Word of God. That is how the Bible, which is written by men, is consistent with God’s character and can be said to be His word.

Since the Bible is God’s Word, we can’t just ignore it as if it was something written for people a long time ago. God’s Word is still applicable today. It’s still relevant. It still provides encouragement, joy, and hope. It still teaches and challenges. It still tell us how we are to live.

So the Bible can’t and mustn’t be ignored because it’s God Word to us.

Questions for Reflection

  1. Do you realize the Bible is God’s Word to you?
  2. How does that realization change your perspective on the Bible?

Resources

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Post adapted from my sermon: What is the Bible and What Does it Tell Us?