Dear Christ Church,
This past Sunday, as we started our summer series in the Psalms, we saw how true, lasting happiness comes from meditating upon God’s revelation of himself in the Bible. Meditation is very different than simply reading.
The reason we come away so cold from reading the word is, because we do not warm ourselves by the fire of meditation- Thomas Watson
To meditate literally means “to chew on.” God’s word is like steak. It can’t be swallowed in one gulp or you will just make yourself sick and not be able to get it down. To light the fire of our heart with delight in God we need to spend time meditating upon God as He has revealed himself in scripture. Meditation is really hard for us though, as we live in an instant culture of getting whatever information we want with a few keystrokes on google. And few of us have the patience to meditate, because we have built a habit of constantly distracting ourselves with our smart phones. The average person looks at their phone every 4.3 minutes and will not read much more than a few captions on Instagram or a brief post on Facebook. How can we grow in cultivating a habit of meditation?
Discipline yourself to only look at your phone during specific times of the day. Turn off the notifications on your phone and stop picking it up any chance you get. Buy an alarm clock, so that way you don’t just pick up your phone first thing in the morning or look at it as the last part of your day. Start giving yourself some mental space to meditate and stop constantly distracting yourself.
2. Pick a Bible reading plan
It can seem really intimidating to know where to start in the Bible. Two things usually end up happening. One, you use a devotional that just picks a few verses out every day and miss out on reading large sections of scripture. Two, you start in the beginning of the BIble and try to read it straight through and about 2 chapters into Leviticus you give up. Bible reading plans are really helpful to expose you to all of God’s word. I personally like the M’Cheyne Reading Plan, but there are a bunch of great ones out there.
3. Repeat what you read
When you read a section of scripture try to pick out one verse and repeat it to yourself in different ways. It is amazing how you will pickup on different aspects of the verse as you place emphasis on different parts of the verse. (E.g. Psalm 1:1 BLESSED is the man, blessed IS the man, blessed is the MAN, etc…)
Take a few minutes to reflect on what you read and write down your thoughts. Try to rewrite what you read in your own words.
Use what you read as a template for your prayers.
God made us to be people who grow from being in relationship with one another. What’s on our mind is what ends up on our tongue. What goes out of our mouth puts things further into our mind. You simply can’t beat good conversation as a way to grow in meditating on God’s word. Ask your friends what they have been reading lately and what God is speaking to them. Share about that yourself.
May you enjoy God this week!
Grace and peace,
Facebook Jeff Boettcher