Sunday, July 30, 2006

But You Shall Meditate

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. ~ Joshua 1:8

Have you ever gotten a song in your head and you couldn’t get it out? Especially a song that you don’t like? No matter what you do you can’t get that song out of your head. Wouldn’t it be great if that thing that got stuck in our heads was God’s word? It is pleasant and encouraging. It strengthens us and keeps us from sin. Reading His word is good! Memorizing His word is fantastic! But we also need to meditate on God’s word.

Meditate: To focus one’s thoughts, (ponder), to plan or project in the mind (intend), to engage in contemplation (reflect)" ~ Webster
God has commanded us to meditate on His word.
The Psalms are full of accounts of meditation and commands to meditate
Psalm 1:2 - [Blessed is the one] whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night.

Psalm 77:12 - I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.

Psalm 119:48 - I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees.
Jesus calls his disciples to consider the ravens and the lilies in Luke 12. The word "consider" means "take a long, feasting look at," or even "meditate on."

I. What is meditation?

A. Definition
The Hebrew word translated "meditate" literally means, "mutter." When one continually mutters God’s word to himself, he is constantly thinking about it. To meditate on God’s word is to slowly and reverently repeat God’s word to yourself. Meditation "involves reflecting on God’s word and ways and applying them to every area of your life." God tells us in Joshua, "you shall meditate…" This doesn’t sound like an option to me! God commands us to meditate on His word. He also tells us the word of God "shall not depart from your mouth."

B. Application
It is not enough to read the word and then forget about it the rest of the day. In order for God’s word to take root in our lives we must make it a part of our entire lives.

James 1:22-25 – "But if you keep looking into God ’s perfect law—the law that sets you free—and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you in doing it."
One of the best ways to be a doer of God’s word is to be a meditator of God’s word. If we are obsessed with a particular hobby we think about it constantly.

How to meditate on Scripture: Meditate on small passages – a couple of verses, one story, or one Psalm. You may want to read it in context first, and the concentrate on a bite-sized piece. Meditation is not about getting through a book in the fastest way possible, it is about stopping to smell the flowers and letting God speak to you through his word.

We need to become obsessed with God’s word!

II. Meditation brings obedience.

A. "...that you may observe to do all that is written in it..."
One of the benefits of meditation is that it helps us to be obedient to God’s word. If you are meditating in the Word, and the Word is constantly on your mind and in your mouth it will keep you from sin.

B. Helps us live right.

Psalm 119:9, 15-16 – How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to your word. I will meditate on your precepts, and contemplate your ways. I will delight myself in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
We can keep ourselves from stumbling into sin by meditating on the Word. If we are meditating on the Word then the lies of the enemy will not have an affect on us.

III. Meditation brings blessing.

...for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous...
"Those who know and obey God’s word and law will be prosperous and successful in that they possess the wisdom to live righteously and to achieve God’s goal for their lives." Being prosperous and successful in life is often times dependent upon knowing the right thing to do. Nowhere do we get more practical advice than God’s word.

Psalm 1:1-3
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

"Those who seek to live under God’s blessing meditate on God’s word in order to shape their thinking, attitudes, and actions"

  • A tree planted by the water always has everything that it needs.
  • A tree that is planted by the water never dries up.
  • A tree that is planted by the water never worries about the hot sun.

If you want to be like that tree you need to meditate on the word of God. You may not always be successful in the world’s eyes, but you will always be successful in God’s eyes!

C. To be successful in spiritual warfare

Ephesians 6:10-18 - Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

The St. John Factor: Thinking on the Cross

"Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God." (I John 3:1)
1. To think deeply on how much God loves you. "God’s love was manifested by sending His Son" (I John 4:9 ELT).
2. To consider the quality of God’s love. Agape love is "self sacrificing" love.
3. To focus on the source of that love. "The Father " loves us as His children.
4. The focus on the act of love. "While we were sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
5. Considering the recipient of God’s love. John thought of himself "As the disciple whom Jesus loved" (John 13:23).
6. The results of God’s love. Jesus was called a Nazarene, we are called "children of God."
7. The outcome of God’s love. "That we should be called the children of God, and we are" (I John 3:1).

Do you meditate on the word of God? Can you remember what you read this morning? Can you remember what you read yesterday morning? Have you considered how what you read applies to your life? Meditating on God’s word just makes God sense.

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