A Primer On
Related Resource: Memorizing God's Word
DAILY DELIGHT IN
THE WORD OF GOD
When you truly delight (take great pleasure in or experience a high degree of satisfaction) in the Word, you will have a desire (a craving, a longing , a "hunger or thirst") to spend time in it and to meditate on it. Beloved, we do not naturally delight in the Holy Word for we are by nature unholy. Therefore when any man or woman begins to delight in the Word, they can know for certain that they are experiencing God's amazing grace (cp Php 2:13-note wherein we see that the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to delight and the dynamic to understand God's Holy Word! cp 1Cor 2:11-13. In expectant humility, always ask Him to illuminate His supernatural Word which is otherwise unintelligible to the natural mind!)
In the following verses from Psalm 119, observe the association between delight and meditation.
If God's Word is not the desire and delight of your heart, plead with Him until He grants your request (1Th 5:17-note) so that your soul might cultivate an appetite for the pure milk of His Word (1Pe 2:2-note). If you pray this with clean hands and a pure heart (Ps 24:4-note), you can be assured God will answer it affirmatively for it is in accordance with His good and perfect will (1Jn 5:14, 15, cp Mt 7:7-note). Will you dare to pray this prayer? Will you dare not pray this prayer!
Meditation is not giving free rein to your imagination,
Meditation is the bellows of the affections.
What made Charles Haddon Spurgeon such a powerful, Spirit anointed preacher of the Word? There are probably many answers to this question, but the following quote from Spurgeon suggests one of his "secrets"…
So we must, by meditation, tread the clusters of truth,
M. A. Rosanoff, long associated with Thomas Edison, had worked futilely for over a year to soften the wax of phonograph cylinders by altering their chemical constitution. The results were negative. Rosanoff relates how he mused night after night trying to "mentally cough up" every theoretical and practical solution.
"Then it came like a flash of lightning. I could not shut waxes out of my mind, even in my sleep. Suddenly, through headache and daze. I saw the solution."
"The first thing the next morning, I was at my desk and half an hour later I had a record in the softened wax cylinder… this was the solution! I learned to think waxes… waxes… waxes, and the solution came without effort although months of thought had gone into the mental mill."
Rosanoff learned to think waxes. It was like unrolling a ball of string out of the unknown and night after night pulling it toward his mind, not knowing what might be attached to the other end of every thought or concept. Meditation is the art of hauling in that ball of mental thread.
This is a generation of hustle and bustle. "Time out" for anything except sleep and medical checkups is considered idling your motor when you ought to be in high gear. Reflection and deep thought in a quiet place is a thing of the past. This idea of taking time to be holy is more often a song we sing than an accomplishment. It takes time to be holy. It takes lots of time to be truly effective for God. Each of us needs time to think waxes -- this was Rosanoff's secret. He daily gave his problem a second thought. It is a mistaken idea that meditation is only for those who have time for it -- daydreamers, scientists, novelists, ascetics and cloistered saints of religion. Giving life a second thought is the need of every man.
"Meditation is the skeleton key that unlocks the greatest storeroom in the house of God's provisions for the Christian."
The men who carry this key upon the chain of their daily life come into a knowledge and relationship that the "activist" and the restless ones have never known. With the solitude of the meditation room, there is produced a quality of life that must be standard equipment for all the Master's men.
"Now come along to some quiet place by yourself and rest for a little while" (Mk 6:31 Phillips Translation).
A. T. Pierson says that…
"Meditation is simply thought prolonged and directed to a single object. Your mystic chambers where thoughts abide are the secret workshop of an unseen Sculptor chiseling living forms for a deathless future. Personality and influence are modeled here. Hence, the biblical injunction: 'Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life'"
J. I. Packer says that meditation is the practice of turning each truth we learn about God into matter for reflection before God, leading to prayer and praise to God.
“Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God… It is an activity of holy thought, consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God, as a means of communion with God.” (Packer, J I: Knowing God)
Saturation with the Scriptures
Secret to Satisfaction of our Souls
The Puritan writer Thomas Brooks offers an excellent description of Biblical meditation…
Remember that it is not hasty reading—but serious meditation on holy and heavenly truths, which makes them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the mere touching of the flower by the bee which gathers honey (cp Ps 19:10-note; Ps 119:103-note)—but her abiding for a time on the flower which draws out the sweet. It is not he who reads most, but he who meditates most—who will prove to be the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian."
Meditation is CHEWING. Meditation is aptly depicted by the cow's process of mastication (chewing). God has so constructed bovines to bring up previously digested food for additional grinding to enable optimal assimilation of the "cud." Meditation is pondering and reviewing various thoughts (especially the thoughts/words of God) by mulling them over in one's mind and heart (our "control center" so to speak - see Pr 4:23-note). Meditation is the processing of God's food for our soul (real "soul food!) One might call it "divine thought digestion." "Chewing" upon a divine thought, deliberately and diligently, a process which (enabled by the Spirit our "Sanctifier") provides the vital link between theory and action, between God's Word on paper and God's Word in our life. What mastication is to the physical life of the cow, meditation is to the spiritual life of those created in the image of God. C H Spurgeon asks a good question…
“Have you a spiritual taste, dear Hearer? It is one thing to hear the Word. It is another thing to taste it. Hearing the Word is often blessed, but tasting it is a more inward and spiritual thing—it is the enjoyment of the Truth in the innermost parts of our being! Oh, that we were all as fond of the Word as were the old mystics who chewed the cud of meditation till they were fattened upon the Word of the Lord and their souls grew strong in the Divine Love! I am sure of this—the more you know of God’s Word, the more you will love it!”—The True Sayings of God - #3144
Meditation is ANALYZING. Literally analyzing describes the art of taking an intentional, lengthy look at a given object as the jeweler does when he puts his eyepiece on to examine the character and qualities of a flawless diamond. Indeed, "The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times." (Ps 12:6-note) Meditation on the living and active (energetic) Word (Heb 4:12-note) is like gazing at a prism, which breaks a single beam of sunlight into many component colors. As we take time to steadily focus on the "diamond" of God's Word, the Spirit illumines the Son's light in His many and variegated "colors and hues."
Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law (Psalm 119:18). (Spurgeon's comment)
Meditation is ACTION. Someone has described it: "Making words into thoughts and thoughts into actions." It is mental planning ahead with definite action in mind for accomplishing a job. Andrew Murray describes it: "Holding the Word of God in your heart until it has affected every phase of your life… this is meditation."
Now tie these three thoughts together: chewing, analyzing and action. Reflect on each of them now before reading any further. Give God time for divine polishing in His secret place in order to more effectually reproduce His glory and beauty in public.
NOT WITHOUT DIFFICULTIES
"Muse" was the name given to an ancient Greek god who spent much time in solitude and thinking. The statue of "The Thinker" is the artistic concept of deep concentration and absorption. Add an "a" to the beginning of "muse" and you have: "amuse" -- sports, games, television and a score of other tools used by the enemy to keep God's men from concentrating on man's God.
Dawson Trotman illustrated Biblical meditation by comparing the way cows get the cud on which they chew…
A cow eats grass as it grazes early in the morning. When the sun gets hot, it will lie in the shade of a tree, and through the use of a unique elevator system it will bring up the grass from one stomach and thoroughly masticate it. When this is finished, it will put it into another stomach, having gotten from it everything possible in the way of nutrients.
Beware of getting alone with your own thoughts. Get alone with God's thoughts. There is danger in rummaging through waste and barren desert-thoughts that can be labeled -- daydreaming or worse. Don't meditate upon yourself but dwell upon Him -- seek God in your inner thought life. There is always danger in meditating upon problems. Develop the habit of reflection upon the Word of God and therein find the answers to your problems.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips: When I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches" (Psalm 63:5-6).
Lying awake, the good man betook himself to meditation, and then began to sing. He had a feast in the night, and a song in the night. He turned his bedchamber into an oratory, he consecrated his pillow, his praise anticipated the place of which it is written, "There is no night there." Perhaps the wilderness helped to keep him awake, and if so, all the ages are debtors to it for this delightful hymn. If day's cares tempt us to forget God, it is well that night's quiet should lead us to remember him. We see best in the dark if we there see God best.
And meditate on thee in the night watches. Keeping up sacred worship in my heart as the priests and Levites celebrated it in the sanctuary. Perhaps David had formerly united with those "who by night stand in the house of the Lord," and now as he could not be with them in person, he remembers the hours as they pass, and unites with the choristers in spirit, blessing Jehovah as they did. It may be, moreover, that the king heard the voices of the sentries as they relieved guard, and each time he returned with renewed solemnity to his meditations upon his God. Night is congenial, in its silence and darkness, to a soul which would forget the world, and rise into a higher sphere. Absorption in the most hallowed of all themes makes watches, which else would be weary, glide away all too rapidly; it causes the lonely and hard couch to yield the most delightful repose -- repose more restful than even sleep itself. We read of beds of ivory, but beds of piety are better far. Some revel in the night, but they are not a tithe so happy as those who meditate in God.
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SOME PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS
ON HOW TO MEDITATE
Related Resource: See Watson's Treatise on Meditation for much greater detail
Let's get started. Since we want to make this a built-in habit of daily living, start with a moment of prayer. Ask God's help in concentration, alertness of mind and that inward sense of His abiding Presence. As a means of getting under way, here are five suggestions that will make the following Bible verse extremely practical:
"Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My Name; ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." (Jn 16:24)
One of the most helpful approaches in meditation is to emphasize different words within the verse. As you throw them out vocally, the Holy Spirit will echo them back to your heart through your ears and mind. Read the first phrase aloud several times with striking emphasis upon the word in caps:
HITHERTO have ye asked nothing in My Name.
Hitherto have YE asked nothing in My Name.
Hitherto have ye asked NOTHING in My Name.
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in MY NAME.
Put this verse from the King James Version into your own words. Say it over and over, silently and aloud, until you can communicate it back to yourself in language that has meaning. Reflect slowly. Don't be in a hurry to reword it -- rearrange the words and use your dictionary to look up words you don't understand. Perhaps you will end up with something like this:
"Up to this moment you have not been asking anything in God's authority; go ahead and ask, see if God doesn't love to answer. This is because He wants you to be full of cheerfulness."
(3). Ask Questions:
Now that you have taken it apart and have paraphrased it so it is your very own, start asking questions. Use the ones the newspaper reporter starts with: who? what? where? when? why? and how? (See discussion of this interrogative mindset under Inductive Study) Here's how it works on John 16:24.
Who is Jesus talking to?
What is He saying? What does He say I should do?
Where should I pray? Where have I failed in my praying?
When should I ask? When is my joy full and complete?
Why does God say I should pray?
How should I go about asking?
Every question is not equally productive, but by asking such questions, your mind will be focused on the Word of God -- this is the beginning of meditation. When you start asking questions, you start to dissect. Not questions that just bring up facts and doctrine but also heart-feeding application. Questions and answers to the above put the Scriptures into the bloodstream of your soul.
Apply Jn 16:24 immediately. 2Ti 3:16, 17 (see notes) says that all Scripture is profitable in a four-fold function: it is useful in teaching the faith, for correcting error, for resetting the direction of man's life and for training him in good living. Tackle John 16:24 once again from these four angles: (Click here for Application in Inductive Bible Study)
a. Is there some truth I should know from this verse?
b. Is there something I should stop doing in light of this verse?
c. Is there a practice in my life I should change?
d. Is there a habit I ought to begin?
A "verse a day" can be selected during your quiet time in the morning. To begin with, it can be done within ten minutes. Try analyzing, dissecting and chewing over such a verse during odd moments of your day -- walking to work, riding the train or bus, waiting for meals or "killing time" for that appointment. Apply it that very day. Perhaps you will have the opportunity to share it with someone else. [A workable plan for busy people desiring a daily morning time with God has been written in a little brochure - for this booklet click Seven Minutes With God. As a practical exercise click and meditate on all 23 uses of "meditate" in OT. Make a list of what you learn about meditating on meditation! Then "Selah" which indicates a pause, which also implies meditation. See the 74 uses of "Selah" in the Psalms.)
( Ro 12:2- see note)
The crown fruit of meditation is the changed life. Without the transformed life, meditation is of little eternal value. This was the problem Jesus had with the Pharisees of His day. They knew the facts and were experts in doctrine. They were conscientious, sincere and dedicated. But the Lord called them sons of Satan -- "Ye are of your father the devil." Why this stinging indictment? Because for all their study of the Old Testament, there was no change in their lives. As D L Moody said "Every Bible should be bound in shoe leather," alluding to the importance of applying the truth we learn to our lives. These religious hypocrites continued to oppress the poor, defraud the widows and pursue doubtful business practices! In a word no repentance which signified they had no regeneration.
Beware of meditation that ends in pious words without pious practices (cf Jas 1:22-note). True meditation fuels God honoring moral actions. A changed attitude toward God and fellow man should be the result, including things like a changed work habit, a changed relationship to one's spouse or family, in short -- a changed life! Anything less means your "meditation" is little more than "pious platitudes" as they say.
"O how I love Thy law: it is my meditation all the day" (Ps 119:97-note)
Comment: This verse is very practical and very convicting for we all understand that if you truly love someone, you will want to spend time with them! And this thought in turn reminds us of Colossian 3:16-note where Paul instructs the saints at Colossae to let the Word of Christ richly dwell within them. The key word is dwell (enoikeo) which means to take up residence or make one's home, giving us a great word picture of believers being at home with the Word of Christ, living in it! Does that describe you beloved disciple of Christ?
Spurgeon's Comment regarding the phrase it is my meditation all the day "This was both the effect of his love and the cause of it. He meditated in God's word because he loved it, and then loved it the more because he meditated in it. He could not have enough of it, so ardently did he love it: all the day was not too long for his converse with it. His main prayer, his noonday thought, his evensong were all out of Holy Writ; yea, in his worldly business he still kept his mind saturated with the law of the Lord. It is said of some men that the more you know them the less you admire them; but the reverse is true of God's word. Familiarity with the word of God breeds affection, and affection seeks yet greater familiarity. When "thy law," and "my meditation" are together all the day, the day grows holy, devout, and happy, and the heart lives with God."
Bring the fruit of your meditation and offer it to the Lord for His blessing. Ask the Holy Spirit to apply the Word to your heart and enable you to live today in conformity to it.
Let the words of my mouth,
And the meditation of my heart,
Be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord,
My strength, and my Redeemer
- Spurgeon commenting on Psalm 19:14 said that this verse is…
- A sweet prayer, and so spiritual that it is almost as commonly used in Christian worship as the apostolic benediction.
Words of the mouth are mockery if the heart does not meditate; the shell is nothing without the kernel; but both together are useless unless accepted; and even if accepted by man, it is all vanity if not acceptable in the sight of God. We must in prayer view Jehovah as our strength enabling, and our Redeemer saving, or we shall not pray aright, and it is well to feel our personal interest so as to use the word my, or our prayers will be hindered. Our near Kinsman's name, our Goel or Redeemer, makes a blessed ending to the Psalm; it began with the heavens, but it ends with him whose glory fills heaven and earth. Blessed Kinsman, give us now to meditate acceptably upon thy most sweet love and tenderness.
- THE ART OF MEDITATION
by George Mylne
(From "Lessons for the Christian's Daily Walk" 1859)
"So I applied my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things." Ecclesiastes 7:25
We live in stirring days, when deeds are everything--when closet work is often neglected for active business, and little time is given to meditation. Yet, with more thought and prayer--wholesome activity would be greater in the end, and all our actions more successful. Time is not lost, which is spent in meditation--in searching wisdom's ways, and seeking out profound realities. There is one who often meditates--and yet accomplishes much. There is another who hastens--and yet does little.
None works so heartily, nor reaps so fully--
as he whose wits are sharpened by prayer and meditation.
Reading either Scripture or Christian books, apart from meditation, does little good. It is much the same as not digesting what you eat--this only starves the soul. How many read the Bible thus!
The art of meditation may be learned by dint of effort.
You say, "I am quite unused to meditate. How shall I begin?" Deal gently with yourself at first. Select your subject--some passage from the Word. Then fix the time you choose to give; say, five minutes at a time. Begin, and think aloud. This makes it easier, and saves the mind from distracted thoughts, the hardest task of all. The sound even of your own voice will help you; it is like speaking to a friend. And what is meditation, but communing with self (Ed: And with God through His Word)--that self may be a constant hearer.
But, more than all, make it a time of prayer--of communing with God. This helps the matter greatly. Take the words of Scripture--and ask Jesus what they mean. In doing this, the mind is exercised. A glow of thought attends the effort. You honor Jesus; and He will honor you, by pouring out a largeness of capacity--a quicker mind. The interchange of thought between you and Jesus goes on apace, and you are surprised to find how long the exercise has lasted.
Thus meditation grows, the more it is exercised. It …
feeds the soul,
expands the mind,
increases thought, and,
best of all, it brings you into fellowship with Jesus.
This is the very life and soul of meditation.
A Simple Study
Below you will find the 23 Scriptures in NASB that are translated with the word "meditate" or "meditation". Read through these passages and observe for answers to the questions "who, what, when, where, why or how?" (see discussion of 5W'S & H type questions - Related Resource: Inductive Bible Study) For the most accurate interpretation, you will want to click each respective link to check the corresponding context. Where are most of the references found? What is one to meditate upon in each of these uses? As you discipline yourself for godliness (1Ti 4:7, 8-note) and learn the art of interrogating the Biblical text (remember you are conversing with the Living God in and through His living Word - don't ever lose the sense of awe at this priceless, precious privilege!) for as you interact (actively, rather than how so many read the Scriptures - passively) you will be in a sense "meditating"… in this case you are meditating on what the Bible teaches about meditation! Make your observations into a list or a short paragraph with a Biblical description of meditation. Finally, pray some of these passages to our Father Who delights to see His children "chewing the cud" of His Word.
Dawson Trotman illustrated Biblical meditation by comparing the way cows retrieve the cud on which they chew…
BIBLICAL MEDITATION: Hampton Keathley, III in his excellent summary from Bible.org writes that…
|QUIET TIME: SEVEN MINUTES WITH GOD:
A good place to begin if your quiet time has become too "quiet" or your schedule has become too busy for time alone with God (a place we all have been from time to time).
|MEMORIZING HIS WORD:
Illustrations, helps, devotionals, testimonials, etc on the value of memorizing God's Word
|BORN TO REPRODUCE:
A short biography on the abundant life of Dawson Trotman founder of The Navigators. If you are not familiar with how God supernaturally used this man, you NEED TO READ his encouraging, motivating biography (click), because every saint is exhorted to
But we cannot imitate one whom we do not know.
|MEDITATE ON THE WORD DAY & NIGHT: PSALM1 (Ps 1) by John Piper who explains that meditation on the Word is difficult if one does not first memorize it and that
|John Piper on meditation - Here I speak not of sermon preparation but of what I call "going out to pasture"—resting and ruminating on the word of God. It is savoring for the sake of life, not seeking for tomorrow's text. (Avoiding Sexual Sin - Desiring God)
Our lives are unbelievably distracted. We are experts at multi-tasking, surfing, and skimming, but it is harder than ever to meditate. Therefore, it is imperative to intentionally cultivate meditation on God’s Word. But how? If possible, find a consistent time, place, and plan. Then read slowly and carefully. Reread and reread. Read out loud (which is implied in the Hebrew word for meditation in Psalm 1:2). Read prayerfully. Read with a pen in hand. Memorize texts that you read. Read with other people and talk about what you see. Study a book of the Bible with a good commentary. Pray about a plan for Bible meditation this year, and talk about your plan with a Christian friend.
|MEDITATION - A Thermostat And A Thermometer!
What do you think about in the still of the night? Ps 63:6, 7 give the setting for David’s satisfaction in Ps 63:3, 4, 5: David’s thoughts were consumed with God, even in the still of the night, and what we think often about is closest to our hearts. A mind full of God is a good indicator of a “fit” spirituality. Like the blessed man of Psalm 1 (Ps 1:1, 2, 3 - see notes Ps 1:1; 1:2; 1:3), our delight should be the law of the Lord, and on His law we should meditate day and night. Meditation could be compared to both a thermostat and a thermometer. While a thermostat controls the temperature in a room, a thermometer measures the temperature. Meditation on Scripture does both—it measures our spiritual temperature, and it controls and changes it. To discover how strong you are spiritually, take an inventory of your thought life. Are your thoughts centered on God, His glories, His grace, His Son, and His Word? If so, you will be transformed. (From Brian Hedges: A Picture of Spiritual Health - Life Action Revival Ministries) (See also Brian Hedges' article - Our Greatest Treasure)
We all know that we should be growing in Christ, but sometimes we forget that God holds us responsible to use the tools He has provided for our growth. Christians of another generation described these tools as “means of grace.” They include reading and meditating on Scripture, praying, fasting, attending corporate worship, and celebrating the Lord’s Table. (Brian Hedges - Habits of Holiness)
Someone once said that 1 in 100 Christians read Scripture regularly; 1 in 1000 memorize Scripture; but only 1 in 10,000 meditate! Leonard Ravenhill was once asked for advice by an aspiring young preacher. His answer? “Meditate. Meditate. Meditate.” (Brian Hedges - Staying in the Battle)
Henry Blackaby writes that "Scripture is wonderful, if you meditate on it. Our problem is we read without meditation. Your life will never be anchored like a tree without meditation (cp Ps 1:2-3). Some say, "I’ve read through the Bible at least once every year." Well, that’s wonderful, but your life will not be anchored by a river of living water until you stop and meditate on God’s Word. It’s the one who meditates on God’s Word day and night who becomes like a tree planted by the rivers of water. So, you really need to know what meditating is. Now, in our generation, we talk about transcendental meditation. On television we can see the stereotypical meditator, eyes closed, mumbling the same phrase over and over. That’s not biblical meditation at all. Let me tell you my own definition of meditation. Meditation is that moment when God confronts you with the truth about Himself. It is that moment when you go into the presence of God and let God discuss it with you until you know exactly how to respond to Him, however long it takes." (Meditation, Henry Blackaby)
NAVE'S TOPIC: Meditation
General scriptures concerning
See also R A Torrey's Character of a Renewed Heart
Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them,
The chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation has often stressed the importance of family Bible reading. Some years ago in a letter to the American Bible Society he said, "Inspiration has been the keynote of America's phenomenal growth … and the backbone of its greatness… This inspiration has been from faith in God … and in the belief that the Holy Bible is His inspired Word. Reading the Scriptures within the family circle is more important today than ever before. As a small boy I sat at my mother's knee while she read the Word to me and explained its meanings with stories as we went along. It served to make the bond of faith between us much stronger. Then there were those wonderful nights when my father would gather all the children around him and read aloud verses from the Bible. This led to family discussions which were interesting, lively, and informative. Those wonderful sessions left me with an imprint of the power of faith and … prayer which has sustained me in trying moments throughout my life."
Regrettably, family altars are fast disappearing from the American scene. People are too busy. The family is seldom together long enough to enjoy such sweet moments of fellowship — and the world is much the poorer for it! The Word of God constantly admonishes us to meditate upon its contents, for only as we absorb its teachings, believe its promises, and hide its precepts in our hearts can we prosper spiritually and live the "more abundant life."
Take a cue from the letter of J. Edgar Hoover; and if you have not yet established a definite time for Bible study in your home, start now — even if you can devote only five minutes a day to this necessary task. Man cannot live by bread alone. He must find sustenance for his spirit by appropriating the truths of God through the avenue of prayer and careful meditation.
How precious is the Book divine,
No Fast Food In The Bible
I will meditate on Your precepts,
I love the sight of cows lying in the field, chewing their cud. But what is cud? And why do they spend so much time chewing it?
Cows first fill their stomachs with grass and other food. Then they settle down for a good, long chew. They bring the food back up from their stomachs and rework what they've already eaten, assimilating its goodness and transforming it into rich milk. Time-consuming? Yes. A waste of time? Not if they want to give good milk.
The phrase "chewing the cud" is used to describe the process of meditation. The writer of Psalm 119 obviously did a lot of mental chewing as he read God's Word. No fast food for him! If we follow his example of careful and prayerful Scripture reading, we will:
Meditation is more than reading the Bible and believing it. It's applying Scripture to everyday life.
God's Word is not meant to be fast food. Take time for a good long chew. --J E Yoder (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Break Thou the bread of life, dear Lord to me,
There When You Need It
One thing about students: They know how to memorize! Let's face it-you have to if you want to survive. Whether it's the symbols of all the elements in chemistry, the names of all the bones in the human body, or the chronological sequence of Shakespeare's 23 plays, you can learn huge amounts of information to pass your exams.
It's a good thing God gave us such large-capacity brains. We not only store the info we study, but we also keep it all in order and can recall it when we need it. A magazine called THINK reports that our brains can store enough information to fill several million books! Think about that the next time you feel like complaining when your science instructor says to memorize the distance of each of the nine planets from the sun.
Classroom work, though, may not be the best use of memory. As good as that is, a better use is to "hide" God's Word in your heart. Then the Holy Spirit can help you recall it when you need it.
Remember Chet Bitterman, the Wycliffe missionary? He was kidnapped by Colombian terrorists and held captive 7 weeks before being killed. Before his capture, Chet had memorized 1 Peter, a book written to first-century believers who were suffering for their faith in Jesus Christ. During Bitterman's captivity, he wrote his wife a letter in which he quoted 1Peter 3:15, 16-notes. He said he was using those verses to strengthen and guide him in his response to his captors. Months earlier, when he was memorizing 1 Peter, he had no way of knowing how he would be needing it.
So, in addition to memorizing the names of all the parts of speech, why not memorize some of God's Word. Hide it in your heart. No telling when you'll need it. —D Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
The Book With God's Signature
London music student Richard Steel prized the old violin that had once been his grandfather's. One day Richard tried to help a bus driver who couldn't get close to the curb because of a barrier. Putting aside his old violin, he removed the obstacle. But then the driver, unable to see the books and the violin, drove over them.
The crushed books could be replaced. And the old violin, though valued for sentimental reasons, could be replaced too--or could it?
As Richard examined his splintered instrument, inside he found the signature of Stradivarius, the greatest of all violin makers. The old violin was a priceless and irreplaceable masterpiece. The Sotheby auction firm estimated that it had been worth more than $700,000.
Many families pass treasured Bibles from one generation to the next as spiritual heirlooms. But these treasures are often treated as mere antiques while their pages go unread and their promises remain unclaimed. The message of salvation goes unheeded. Its true value is never realized.
The Bible is more than just a record of long-ago events and ancient wisdom. It is the Book that bears God's signature. It is His message of truth and grace to us. Let's not neglect it. Let's read it, believe it, and obey it. --V C Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Thy Word is like a deep, deep mine,
Meditation on God's Word doesn't have to end when your devotional time is over. You can continue the blessing by taking Scripture with you throughout the day.
Some people memorize a passage or write it on a card so they can have it available to read when they get a few moments. An engineer uses his coffee breaks to continue his reflection on God's Word. Homemakers attach verses to the refrigerator or bathroom mirror. Truckers put portions of the Bible on their dashboard.
Leslie B. Flynn tells of a brilliant college student who volunteered to work at a church camp and ended up as the designated potato peeler. A friend who admired her intelligence said,
The psalmist indicated that he didn't read God's Word and then forget it. He meditated on it all day (Psalm 119:97). Likewise, the "blessed man" of Psalm 1 reflected on God's Word "day and night" (Psalm 1:2). And when the Word of God is in our minds from morning to night, we'll be more likely to obey it and far less likely to violate it. That's the value of ongoing meditation. --D C Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
We must read Scripture every day
And meditate on what God said
To fight temptation from the world
And live a life that's Spirit led. --Sper
Reading the Bible without meditating on it
is like eating without chewing.
Continual meditation on the Word is not ineffectual … God, by one and another promise, establishes our faith. --John Calvin
Remember that memorization is a first step to meditation. You cannot chew what you have placed in your mouth!
We should always be chewing and sucking out the sweetness of this cud. -- Thomas Manton
What we take in by the Word we digest by meditation and let out by prayer. - Thomas Manton
Meditate on the Word in the Word. - John Owen
Read it to get the facts, study it to get the meaning, meditate on it to get the benefit. - David Shepherd
F B Meyer rightly said that…
|The first quote --
Quotations are good
John Piper in Desiring God has the following quotation from the Autobiography of George Muller…
George Müller (1805-1898) is famous for establishing orphanages in England and for joyfully depending on God for all his needs. How did he kindle this joy and faith? In 1841 he made a life-changing discovery. The testimony of this from his autobiography has proved to be of tremendous value in my life, and I pray that it will also bear fruit in yours:
Most of the following quotes on Meditation are from a compilation by John Blanchard - it is without doubt the best compilation of quotations available and every Bible teacher and preacher should secure a personal copy of his excellent work, The Complete Gathered Gold
Prayer is the wing wherewith the soul flies to heaven and meditation the eye wherewith we see God. Ambrose
Meditation fits a man for supplication. Anon.
Meditation has a digesting power and turns special truth into nourishment. Anon.
The hearer of God's Word ought to be like those animals that chew the cud; he ought not only to feed upon it, but to ruminate upon it. Augustine
The vessels are fullest of grace which are nearest its spring. The more Christ's glory is beheld, the more men are changed. William Bagshawe
Meditation is the acting of all the powers of the soul. Richard Baxter
“Holding the Word of God in your heart until it has affected every phase of your life… This is meditation.” Andrew Murray
Memorization is the first step to meditation. - Jerry Bridges (see Memorizing His Word)
As meditation on this word, 'eternity', has been so beneficial to my own soul, I would advise others to make the same experiment. - Thomas Jones
It is to our shame that we have imbibed too much of this world’s materialism and unbelief. What do we need more than to meditate on the precious covenant promises of Holy Scripture until our souls have drunk deeply into the spirit of a biblical supernaturalism? What could be more profitable than to eat and drink of heaven’s biblical nourishment till our souls become vibrant with the age-old prayer for revival, and till we find grace to plead our suit acceptably at the throne of grace? -- Maurice Roberts in The Prayer for Revival (Psalm 89)
We ought to apply our minds to meditation upon a future life, so that this world may become cheap to us. - John Calvin (I would add Spurgeon said "A little faith gets our souls into heaven. A great gets heaven [and our great future] into our souls!")
Meditate on our making, that we may fall in love with our Maker. - David Dickson (E.g., Meditate on Ps 8:1-9 THEN read Spurgeon's meditation) (Cp Job 7:17-18, Ps 144:4)
Meditation is the life of most other duties. Richard Baxter
A man may think on God every day and meditate on God no day. William Bridge
Continual meditation on the Word is not ineffectual;… God, by one and another promise, establishes our faith. John Calvin
Nothing leads to self-repudiation so much as spiritual meditation on the corruption and wickedness of your heart. Walter J. Chantry
Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid. (cp Ep 1:18, 19-note) G. K. Chesterton
Meditate on our making, that we may fall in love with our Maker. David Dickson
There is no place like the feet of Jesus for resolving the problems that perplex our hearts. G. B. Duncan (cp Luke 10:38, 39, 40, 41, 42).
Meditation is the soul's chewing. William Grimshaw
Speed-reading may be a good thing, but it was never meant for the Bible. It takes calm, thoughtful, prayerful meditation on the Word to extract its deepest nourishment. Vance Havner
When we are too busy to sharpen the axe, we are too busy. Vance Havner
Meditation is the best help to memory. Matthew Henry
It is easier to go six miles to hear a sermon, than to spend one quarter of an hour in meditating on it when I come home. Philip Henry
Meditation keeps out Satan. It increases knowledge, it inflames love, it works patience, it promotes prayer, it evidences sincerity. Philip Henry
The mind grows by what it feeds on. Josiah Holland (Amen! Or in "computerese" - "G.I.G.O." - Garbage In, Garbage Out!)
Meditation is a serious intention of the mind whereby we come to search out the truth and settle it effectively upon the heart. Thomas Hooker
There is such a thing as sacred idleness. George MacDonald
If it is the will of the Holy Ghost that we attend to the soul, certainly it is not his will that we neglect the mind. Charles Malik
Truths are concocted and ripened by meditation. Thomas Manton
True contemplation is not a psychological trick but a theological grace. Thomas Merton
Meditation is a scriptural duty… as binding as Bible reading and prayer. John J. Murray
If I have observed anything by experience it is this: a man may take the measure of his growth and decay in grace according to his thoughts and meditations upon the person of Christ, and the glory of Christ's kingdom, and of his love. John Owen
Meditate on the Word in the Word. John Owen
In meditation, the whole man is engaged in deep and prayerful thought on the true meaning and bearing of a particular biblical passage. J. I. Packer
Meditation is not giving free rein to your imagination, nor is it reading your Bible for beautiful thoughts. Meditation is a discipline. J. I. Packer
Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God. J. I. Packer
Sustained imaginative reflection is, if I am not mistaken, so rare today that few of us understand its power to motivate, and are not ourselves motivated by it. J. I. Packer
The minister who is to preach biblically can only do so as a result of much meditation. J. I. Packer
Contemplation is a perspective glass to see our Saviour in; but examination is a looking-glass to see ourselves in. William Secker
Meditation is the grand means of our growth in grace; without it, prayer itself is an empty service. Charles Simeon
Our design in meditation must be rather to cleanse our hearts than to clear our minds. George Swinnock (cp Pr 4:23-see notes)
Whatever engages my attention when I should be meditating on God and things external does injury to my soul. A. W. Tozer
Meditation is the bellows of the affections. Thomas Watson
Reading and conversation may furnish us with many ideas of men and things, yet it is our own meditation that must form our judgement. Isaac Watts
The heart is heated by meditation and cold truth is melted into passionate action. Donald S. Whitney
Matthew Henry has many comments regarding meditation including the following…
"To meditate in God’s word is to discourse concerning the great things contained in it, with a close application of mind, a fixedness of thought, till we be suitably affected with those things and experience the savour and power of them in our hearts."…
"meditation is the best preparative for prayer, so prayer is the best issue of meditation"…
"If we willingly banish holy meditations in our solitary hours, Satan will soon occupy our minds with sinful imaginations" …
"Meditation and prayer are blessed means of strengthening faith and hope"…
"Meditation. God’s words must be laid up in our hearts, that our thoughts may be daily employed about them" …
"In retirement and in meditation the Christian character is formed and perfected" …
"To meditate in God’s word, is to discourse with ourselves concerning the great things contained in it, with close application of mind and fixedness of thought. We must have constant regard to the word of God, as the rule of our actions, and the spring of our comforts; and have it in our thoughts night and day. For this purpose no time is amiss."…
"Those who would have clear views of heaven, must get as near to heaven as they can, on the mount of meditation and faith" …
"we do not meditate on God’s precepts to good purpose, unless our good thoughts produce good works" …
Isaac "went out to take the advantage of a silent evening and a solitary place, for meditation and prayer; those divine exercises by which we converse with God and our own hearts" …
|F B Meyer (Our Daily Homily)
Psalm 1:3 (note;) Whose leaf also doth not Wither. (r.v.)
“If a man abide not in Me,” said our Lord, “he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered.” The same thought is here. Thrust down your rootlets to the oozy river bed, and there is no doubt about your continuing earnest, patient, God filled. The sun of temptation may strike you with sword-like beams, but you will have a source of supply which they cannot exhaust. The secret of an unwithering beauty is in the Word of God, delighted in and meditated upon day and night. And what is the Word of God, but the life of God translated into human speech?
Wean yourself from all beside, and learn to feed on God. Withdraw your rootlets from men and things, and let them travel to the river of God, which is full of water. Close other doors, and open those that lead out on to the terrace, whence you may behold the far-spread landscape of what He is, and says, and is willing to be to us all.
Note that word meditate. The root must lie in contact with the stream, and the soul most steep itself in the Word of God. We must give the truth time to enter and pervade our souls. We must have retreats, shut away from the rush of life, up and down the glades of which we may tread. These retreats are oftener found within the soul; than without. Just as the temple of old, there was Solomon’s porch, where Jesus walked, so in the temple within there are closes and cloisters, where we may commune with our heart, and be still.
|F B Meyer (Our Daily Homily)
Leviticus 11:3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof and cheweth the cud. (r.v.)
The animals, in which these two characteristics met, were reckoned clean, and therefore fit for food. It is certain that the minute particularity of these words has some further reference than to the diet of Israel, important though that was, or to accentuate with every meal the necessity of their being a separate people. We, at least, may gather this lesson, that in our daily experience we must combine meditation and separation.
Meditation. — The cattle do not simply browse on the pastures, but they lie down to chew the cud. It is not enough to peruse our allotted Scripture portion; we must ruminate upon it, comparing spiritual things with spiritual, and scripture with scripture. The Holy Ghost will take of the things of Christ and show them unto us, and He will bring all things to our remembrance.
Separation. — “Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God.” “The Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” We have not meditated to good purpose unless we have felt its keen edge. Detachment from the world must follow on true attachment to Christ. Love to Naomi will draw Ruth from Moab across the Jordan.
The two must be combined. — The swine divideth the hoof, but cheweth not the cud, and was therefore unclean. A man may profess to love his Bible, but the supreme test is his daily separation from evil. On the other hand, our daily life ought to emanate, not from without, which is Pharisaism, but from within, where we chew the cud of holy meditation. (Our Daily Homily)
|F B Meyer writes…
The habit of meditating on God's Word helps to induce the quiet heart and devout spirit which realizes the Lord's presence. The Bible is like the garden in which the Lord God walked in the cool of the day; read it much and prayerfully, and you will meet Him in its glades. ( March 27, Our Daily Walk)
The Blessed, or Happy, man is also described positively (Ps 1:2-notes). This delight comes as naturally as appetite for food, when the soul is in a healthy condition. Under the inspiration of that delight, we shall meditate on God's Word continually, storing it in the heart, and reciting it when travelling, or in darkness. (May 11, Our Daily Walk)
Out of faith comes faithfulness. Faith is your trust in another; faithfulness is your worthiness to be trusted. A faithful soul, one that can be absolutely relied upon, is of great price. Nothing so quickens our faith as to meditate on God's absolute trustworthiness. "Blessed is the man that trusteth in Him." (November 12, Our Daily Walk)
The name of God is good, a wholesome theme for meditation, because it includes his nature. To meditate on it is soul-quieting and elevating. O troubled one, get away to some quiet spot and wait on God! (Our Daily Homily, Psalm 52:8)
Meditate on these three attributes. He is the God of your mercy, the Fountain from which pure mercy flows, and nothing but mercy; He is your High Tower, Whom you may put between yourself and Saul’s hate; He is your Strength, not that you receive strength from Him, but that you appropriate Him as your strength. Stay thus musing and resting, until in that very house, pent in and besieged, you shall break into song, singing of God’s strength, singing aloud of His mercy in the morning. (Our Daily Homily, Psalm 59:9)
|Vance Havner commenting on "And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide" (Ge 24:63) says
Isaac would definitely be out of style today. When have you seen anybody walking alone in quiet meditation? Such a stroller would be viewed with suspicion by his hustling, car‑borne contemporaries.
I have sought to emphasize certain themes‑revival, discipleship, the Lordship of Christ, the filling of the Spirit, the Lord's return. I have endeavored to call preachers to more meditation and reflection and solitude in this harassed and ear‑splitting day.
I have tried to call on Christians, and especially preachers, to fine time for quiet meditation and reflection; to be still and know God. If we spent more time like our Lord, by the sea or on the mountain in meditation and prayer, we would not be so easily addled by every little theological and sociological fad that comes by. I would say to preachers: "Get alone in the woods with your Bible, away from 'the madding crowd's ignoble strife/ telephones, and committee meetings… Read and pray until the fire bums in your bones."
Ps 5:1. Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. -- Sometimes we pray right off, as David did when he cried to the Lord, “Hear me when I call.” At other times, we sit down to meditate, and think over what we want to say to the Lord in prayer, as David did when he said, “ ‘O Lord, consider my meditation.’ What I have considered do thou consider.” A well-considered prayer is very likely to succeed with God.
Ps 18:3. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: -- David first said, “I will love,” now he says, “I will call.” The “I wills” of the Psalms have furnished various writers with an admirable subject; and they may supply you with a profitable line of meditation: “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised.” “I will mix praise with my prayer. There is no praying like that; if you have prayer in one hand, have praise in the other. The mixture of these two perfumes will make an exceedingly sweet incense to present unto the Lord. To praise and pray, to pray and praise, is an admirable way of living. Have I not often told you that it resembles our breathing? By prayer we breathe in, and by praise we breathe out.
Psa 23:2. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: -- Here is blessed rest, and here is also gracious provision for the needs of the sheep. The pasture is sweet and tender, and there is so much of the green grass that it cannot all be eaten, and the superabundance makes a soft bed for the tired sheep: “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.” Repose, O believer, in the abundant provision of God’s grace! A sheep needs sometimes to lie down. It is as necessary for its health that it should have time to digest its food as that it should have proper and sufficient food to eat. May the Lord graciously give to each of you the sweet rest of meditation and contemplation, — that blessed rest, to which faith attains when it grows into firm confidence and full assurance, so that you may be able to say with David, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.”
Ps 63:6. When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. -- When one is living near to God, he is not afraid of sleeplessness. He would be glad of the rest that sleep brings, but if he cannot sleep, he finds a sweeter rest in God. I remarked, one day, to one who lives very near to God, that it was a weary and sad thing to lie sleepless, and he said to me something that stuck by me. “I do not think so,” said he, “for, when I wake in the night, my Heavenly Father talks so sweetly to me that I do not want to go to sleep, and when he does not want to speak to me, I speak to him in prayer, and so the hours glide away most happily.”
Ps 77:12. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. -- Those who talk ought to meditate; otherwise they grind wind. Those who meditate will talk; otherwise the miller grinds only for himself.
Ps 77:11-12. I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, — “I will not have any more of my works; I will meditate on thy work. I will get to thee, my God, and think of what thou hast done; especially of thy works of grace, how brightly they shine! I will meditate also of all thy work,”
Ps 81:7. I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah. -- A very humbling sentence this! God has often proved us, and he has often disproved us. When he has tried us, we have not endured the test as we ought to have done. We have murmured and complained, and the waters, which ought to have been waters of joy and of happy patience, have been waters of strife. “Selah “That is, “Pause,” screw up the harp-strings, lift up the heart. Such a Psalm as this is to be read by installments, with little halts on the road, for us to meditate and think upon the truth brought before us. We may well pause here when we hear the Lord reminding us of our faults and of his great mercy to us: “I delivered thee; I answered thee; I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.”
Ps 119:15. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. -- Blessed meditation! The lack of meditation is one of the faults of the days in which we live, we are so very busy that we have not time to study God’s Word; but the psalmist said, “I will meditate in thy precepts:” that is the secret strength; “and have respect unto thy ways:” that is the public result.
If we meditated more,
Ps 119:147-148. I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word. Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word. - It was not now and then that David was in a devotional frame of mind. He continued so. He began early, but he continued late. The prayer of the down was followed by the watch of the midnight.
Ps 119:148 - “My eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in Your Word. As he [David] was up before the sun, so he was praying before they set the guards for the night watch. And when they were changing guards and he heard the cry of the hour from the watchman, he was still crying to God! And at the same time he was meditating—‘that I might meditate in Your Word.’ Ah, that is the way to cry! Meditation is very much neglected nowadays. We read, perhaps, too much. We meditate, for certain, too little. And meditation is to reading like digestion after eating. The cows in the pasture eat the grass and then they lie down and chew the cud and get all the good they can out of what they have eaten. Reading snips off the grass, but meditation chews the cud! Therefore, ‘read, mark, learn and inwardly digest.’”—1896, Sermon #2464
Ps 119:148. Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word. -- Before the watchman can cry the hour of night, mine eyes are upon the Word of God, and I am studying that. Oh! it is well when we prove our love to the Word of God by our meditation upon it, our constant, searching into it.
Lam 3:27-28. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him. -- When it makes a man get alone, to contemplate and meditate, affliction is already doing him good.
Lk 23:25. And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will. -- Sad scene. May our hearts be broken, and made tender, end sanctified by meditation upon it.
Jn 17:23. And that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me -- This is a great deep, the words are very simple and clear, but their meaning is unfathomable. Is it really true that the Father has loved his chosen ones as he has loved his only-begotten Son? It is such a wondrous thing that one might be willing to lie awake at night to meditate upon the amazing truth here revealed in our Savior’s words: “Thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”
Jn 20:20. And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. -- These were the marks to help their recognition of him. These were the memorials to excite their gratitude. These, too, were the tokens of his condescension; for a man does not show his wounds to any but to those whom he loves; “He showed unto them his hands and his side.” You cannot see that sight, brethren, but you can meditate upon it. Think how he gave those blessed hands to the nails, and that precious side to the soldier’s spear; and, as you think of them, let your love flow forth unto him who suffered thus for you.
Gal 1:17. Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me, but went into Arabia, —What he did there, we do not know; but probably he had a time of quiet meditation and prayer, all alone:
Heb 3:1. Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus: — Oh, that He had more consideration at our hands! Consider Him; you cannot know all His excellence, all His value to you, except He is the subject of your constant meditation. Consider Him; think of His nature, His offices, His work, His promises, His relation to you: “Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;”
Heb 12:1-3. Look to him, look at him, study him, know all you can about him-, meditate upon him,
“‘My meditation of Him shall be sweet.’ ‘Of Him’—that is, of the Well-Beloved of the Father, of the Well-Beloved of the Church, of the Well-Beloved of my own soul—of Him who loved me, in whose blood I have washed my robes and made them white. It is meditation ‘of Him’ that is sweet—not merely of doctrine about Him, but of Him, of Himself—‘my meditation of Him.’ Not merely of His offices, and His work, and all that concerns Him, but of His own dear Self! There lies the sweetness and the closer we come to His blessed Person, the more truly have we approached the very center of bliss!” From Sermon #2403
“The old fable speaks of the Augean stable, foul enough to have poisoned a nation, which Hercules cleansed, but our sins were fouler than that! Dunghills are sweet compared with these abominations! What a degrading task it seems for Christ to undertake—the purging of our sins! The sweepers of the streets, the dishwashers of the kitchen, the cleansers of the sewers have honorable work compared with this of purging sin! Yet the holy Christ, incapable of sin, stooped to purge our sins! I want you to meditate upon that wondrous work and to remember that He did it before He went back to Heaven. Is it not a wonderful thing that Christ purged our sins even before we had committed them? There they stood, before the sight of God, as already existent in all their hideousness—but Christ came, and purged them. This, surely, ought to make us sing the song of songs! Before I sinned, He purged my sins away—amazing and strange as it is, yet it is so! ”—1899, Sermon #2635
‘Prayer, meditation, and affliction,’ says Melanchthon, ‘are the three things that make the minister of God.’ There must be prayer. There must be meditation and there must be affliction. You cannot pronounce the promise correctly in the ears of the afflicted unless you, yourself, have known its preciousness in your own hour of trial. It is God’s will that the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, should often work by men according to that ancient word of His, ‘Comfort you, comfort you My people, says your God. Speak you comfortably to Jerusalem.’ These comforting men are to be made—they are not born so—and they have to be made by passing through the furnace themselves. They cannot comfort others unless they have had trouble and have been comforted in it.”— 1899, Sermon #2640
“Meditation and prayer are twin sisters and both of them appear to me equally necessary to Christian life. I think meditation must exist where there is prayer, and prayer is sure to exist where there is meditation.”—1900, Sermon #2690
“If you were to get quite alone, as our Savior was in the wilderness, with nothing but the wild beasts round about you, you could not shut out the devil even then! Forty days He had for meditation, prayer and fasting, yet there was the devil waiting to assail Him again and again! So I repeat that not even solitude, if the lonely hours were spent in prayer, fasting and watching, could secure us immunity from temptation—it must and will attack us.”—1900, Sermon #2694
the love of Christ
“If I ever try to secure a quiet half-hour’s meditation upon His love to me, somebody is pretty sure to come and knock at the door. But if I can keep the door-knocker still, and get alone with my Lord and only think about His love to me—not trying to elaborate any theories, or to understand any doctrines, but just sitting down with the view of loving Him who gave Himself for me—I tell you, Sirs, that this thought is positively inebriating to the soul!”—Volume 52, Sermon #2986
“It used to be more common than it is now for godly men and women to spend hour after hour in solemn meditation upon the agonies of Christ upon the Cross. I tried, one day when I was alone, to get a vivid realization of that awful tragedy—and I succeeded to the breaking of my own heart—but I cannot describe the scene to you. That is a matter for private meditation rather than for public speech.”—Volume 57, Sermon #3276
“If I were to say, ‘Hands up, everyone who has a Bible,’ everybody’s hands here would go up. I suppose that nobody here is without a Bible. But if I were to ask, ‘How many here, constantly, as a habit and a delight, meditate upon the Scriptures?’—I wonder what answers I would receive? Well, I will not ask you that question, but let everybody ask it for himself and judge himself concerning it in the sight of God.”—Volume 54, Sermon #3090
“All things considered, I know of no meditation that is likely to be more profitable than a frequent consideration of the rest which remains for the people of God.”—Volume 62, Sermon #3499
MEDITATION—to be Practiced. -- Those who would be in health do not sit still in their houses to breathe such air as may come to them, but they walk abroad and seek out rural and elevated spots that they may inhale the invigorating breezes; and thus those godly souls who would be in a vigorous spiritual state, do not merely think upon such holy doctrines as may come into their minds in the ordinary course of thought, but they give time to meditation, they walk abroad in the fields of truth, and endeavour to climb the heights of gospel promises. It is said that Enoch walked with God: here is not an idle but an active communion. The road to bodily health is said to be a footpath, and the way to spiritual health is to exercise one's self in holy contemplation.
Beloved Christian reader, in matters of grace you need a daily supply. You have no store of strength. Day by day must you seek help from above. It is a very sweet assurance that a daily portion is provided for you. In the word, through the ministry, by meditation, in prayer, and waiting upon God you shall receive renewed strength. In Jesus all needful things are laid up for you. Then enjoy your continual allowance. Never go hungry while the daily bread of grace is on the table of mercy.
Genesis 24:63 “Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide.” -- Very admirable was his occupation. If those who spend so many hours in idle company, light reading, and useless pastimes, could learn wisdom, they would find more profitable society and more interesting engagements in meditation than in the vanities which now have such charms for them. We should all know more, live nearer to God, and grow in grace, if we were more alone. Meditation chews the cud and extracts the real nutriment from the mental food gathered elsewhere. When Jesus is the theme, meditation is sweet indeed. Isaac found Rebecca while engaged in private musings; many others have found their best beloved there. (Morning and evening: Aug 15)
2 Peter 1:4 -- If you would know experimentally the preciousness of the promises, and enjoy them in your own heart, meditate much upon them. There are promises which are like grapes in the wine-press; if you will tread them the juice will flow. Thinking over the hallowed words will often be the prelude to their fulfilment. While you are musing upon them, the boon which you are seeking will insensibly come to you. Many a Christian who has thirsted for the promise has found the favour which it ensured gently distilling into his soul even while he has been considering the divine record; and he has rejoiced that ever he was led to lay the promise near his heart. But besides meditating upon the promises, seek in thy soul to receive them as being the very words of God. Speak to thy soul thus, “If I were dealing with a man’s promise, I should carefully consider the ability and the character of the man who had covenanted with me. So with the promise of God; my eye must not be so much fixed upon the greatness of the mercy—that may stagger me; as upon the greatness of the promiser—that will cheer me. My soul, it is God, even thy God, God that cannot lie, who speaks to thee. This word of his which thou art now considering is as true as his own existence. He is a God unchangeable. He has not altered the thing which has gone out of his mouth, nor called back one single consolatory sentence. Nor doth he lack any power; it is the God that made the heavens and the earth who has spoken thus. Nor can he fail in wisdom as to the time when he will bestow the favours, for he knoweth when it is best to give and when better to withhold. Therefore, seeing that it is the word of a God so true, so immutable, so powerful, so wise, I will and must believe the promise.” If we thus meditate upon the promises, and consider the Promiser, we shall experience their sweetness, and obtain their fulfilment.
How marvelous has been our experience of God’s gentleness! How gentle have been his corrections! How gentle his forbearance! How gentle his teachings! How gentle his drawings! Meditate upon this theme, O believer. Let gratitude be awakened; let humility be deepened; let love be quickened ere thou fallest asleep to-night.
Ruth 2:17 - Let me learn from Ruth, the gleaner. As she went out to gather the ears of corn, so must I go forth into the fields of prayer, meditation, the ordinances, and hearing the word to gather spiritual food. The gleaner gathers her portion ear by ear; her gains are little by little: so must I be content to search for single truths, if there be no greater plenty of them. Every ear helps to make a bundle, and every gospel lesson assists in making us wise unto salvation. (Morning and Evening - Aug 2)
Morning, October 12 “I will meditate in thy precepts.” — Psalm 119:15 -- There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on his Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them. Truth is something like the cluster of the vine: if we would have wine from it, we must bruise it; we must press and squeeze it many times. The bruiser’s feet must come down joyfully upon the bunches, or else the juice will not flow; and they must well tread the grapes, or else much of the precious liquid will be wasted. So we must, by meditation, tread the clusters of truth, if we would get the wine of consolation therefrom. Our bodies are not supported by merely taking food into the mouth, but the process which really supplies the muscle, and the nerve, and the sinew, and the bone, is the process of digestion. It is by digestion that the outward food becomes assimilated with the inner life. Our souls are not nourished merely by listening awhile to this, and then to that, and then to the other part of divine truth. Hearing, reading, marking, and learning, all require inwardly digesting to complete their usefulness, and the inward digesting of the truth lies for the most part in meditating upon it. Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord, and be this our resolve this morning, “I will meditate in thy precepts.”
Phil 3:8 - Spiritual knowledge of Christ will be a personal knowledge. I cannot know Jesus through another person’s acquaintance with him. No, I must know him myself; I must know him on my own account. It will be an intelligent knowledge—I must know him, not as the visionary dreams of him, but as the Word reveals him. I must know his natures, divine and human. I must know his offices—his attributes—his works—his shame—his glory. I must meditate upon him until I “comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” (Morning and evening: Daily readings- Oct 14)
“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Or this, “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come, and let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will let him take the water of life freely.” Our Master’s field is very rich; behold the handfuls. See, there they lie before thee, poor timid believer! Gather them up, make them thine own, for Jesus bids thee take them. Be not afraid, only believe! Grasp these sweet promises, thresh them out by meditation and feed on them with joy.
From Morning and Evening (Feb 7) - Christian, meditate much on heaven, it will help thee to press on, and to forget the toil of the way. This vale of tears is but the pathway to the better country: this world of woe is but the stepping-stone to a world of bliss.
“Prepare us, Lord, by grace divine,
For thy bright courts on high;
Then bid our spirits rise, and join
The chorus of the sky.”
Commenting on Lk 24:47 - This unrivalled tutor (Jesus) used as his class-book the best of books. Although able to reveal fresh truth, he preferred to expound the old. He knew by his omniscience what was the most instructive way of teaching, and by turning at once to Moses and the prophets, he showed us that the surest road to wisdom is not speculation, reasoning, or reading human books, but meditation upon the Word of God. The readiest way to be spiritually rich in heavenly knowledge is to dig in this mine of diamonds, to gather pearls from this heavenly sea. When Jesus himself sought to enrich others, he wrought in the quarry of Holy Scripture. (From Evening Reading, January 18)
"Do we not miss very much of the sweetness and efficacy of prayer by lack of careful meditation before it and of hopeful expectation after it? We too often rush into the presence of God without forethought or humility. We should be careful to keep the stream of meditation always running, for this is the water to drive the mill of prayer"…
"Words are mockery if the heart does not meditate; but both together are useless unless accepted; and even if accepted by man, it is all vanity if not acceptable in the sight of God" …
Commenting on "Selah" he writes… "Yes, pause, faithful singers. Here is abundant room for holy meditation"…
"We are usually in too much of a hurry: a little more holy meditation would make our words more suitable and our emotions more fervent" … commenting on meditating on God's word "Sweet work to enter into Jehovah’s work of grace, and there to lie down and ruminate, every thought being absorbed in the one precious object…
It is well that the overflow of the mouth should indicate the good matter which fills the heart. Meditation makes rich talking; it is to be lamented that so much of the conversation of believers is utterly barren, because they take no time for contemplation. Meditative people should be talkers, otherwise they are mental misers, mill which grind corn only for the miller. The subject of our meditation should be choice, and then our talk will be edifying; if we meditate on folly and pretend to speak wisdom, our double mindedness will soon be known to everyone. Holy talk following upon meditation has a consoling power in it for ourselves as well as for those who listen"…
"Hurried reading is of little benefit; to sit down awhile and meditate is very profitable" …
"Meditation is the soul of religion. We ought, therefore, both for our own food and for the Lord’s honor to be much occupied with meditation, and that meditation should chiefly dwell upon the Lord himself: it should be meditation of him. For want of it much communion is lost and much happiness is missed" …
"No spiritual exercise is more profitable to the soul than that of devout meditation; why are many of us so exceeding slack in it?" …
"It is instructive to find meditation so constantly connected with fervent prayer: it is the fuel which sustains the flame. How rare an article is it in these days"…
"Our Master’s field is full and rich. The precious promises lie in front of you. Gather them. Make them your own. Grasp these sweet promises. Thresh them by meditation. Feed on them with joy" …
"Look for themes on which to meditate profitably. Get an anchor-hold on some great and clearly ascertained truth, a truth in which you can have no possible doubt. Then you may begin to be comforted"… "These busy days leave little time for meditation, yet there is no exercise more nourishing to faith, love, and grace. A transient thought of God may greatly bless, just as a touch of the Savior’s garment healed a woman (Mt 9:21–22). When we meditate, we lean on His embrace and enjoy the full fellowship of His love. David said, “I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches” (Ps 63:6).
Prayer, meditation, devotion, communion, are like a windlass to wind us up aloft; it is not lost time which we spend in such sacred exercises, for we are thus accumulating force, so that when we come down to our actual labour for God, we shall descend with an energy unknown to those to whom communion is unknown.
Oh for more meditation! It would mean more grace and more joy. May you and I find pleasure in our sleepless hours and enter into close fellowship with Him through heavenly meditation. Private meditation and devotion should be a dialogue between your soul and God. The Lord speaks to us through Scripture, and by prayer we speak to Him. When prayer is not urgent, read your Bible and hear His voice; then you will usually find it in your heart to pray. Speak to Him as you would speak to a friend. When you have expressed all your thoughts, let the Lord speak again, and realize His presence."…
"Ah, there is nothing that can so console your spirits and relieve all your distresses and troubles as the feeling that now you can meditate on the person of Jesus Christ" …
"Meditation and contemplation are often like windows of agate and gates of carbuncle through which we behold the Redeemer. Meditation puts the telescope to the eye and enables us to see Jesus better than we could have seen Him if we had lived in the days of His flesh. Would that we were more taken up with the person, the work, and the beauty of our incarnate Lord" …
"To have sweet sleep we must have sweet lives, sweet tempers, sweet meditations, and sweet love"…
"Meditation chews the cud and extracts the real nutriment from the mental food gathered elsewhere. When Jesus is the theme, meditation is sweet indeed." …
"Meditate upon what you read: stop not at the surface; dive into the depths. Be not as the swallow which toucheth the brook with her wing, but as the fish which penetrates the lowest wave. Abide with your Lord: let him not be to you as a wayfaring man, that tarrieth for a night, but constrain him, saying, “Abide with us, for the day is far spent.” Hold him, and do not let him go." …
"As friend met friend upon the city wall, so meet thou thy God in the way of holy prayer and meditation" …
"Christian, meditate much on heaven, it will help thee to press on, and to forget the toil of the way. This vale of tears is but the pathway to the better country: this world of woe is but the stepping-stone to a world of bliss" …
"Grasp these sweet promises, thresh them out by meditation and feed on them with joy"
"I Will Meditate on Thy Precepts" (from Spurgeon's Morning and Evening) - "There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on his Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them. Truth is something like the cluster of the vine: if we would have wine from it, we must bruise it; we must press and squeeze it many times. The bruiser’s feet must come down joyfully upon the bunches, or else the juice will not flow; and they must well tread the grapes, or else much of the precious liquid will be wasted.
So we must, by meditation, tread the clusters of truth,
if we would get the wine of consolation there from.
Our bodies are not supported by merely taking food into the mouth, but the process which really supplies the muscle, and the nerve, and the sinew, and the bone, is the process of digestion. It is by digestion that the outward food becomes assimilated with the inner life. Our souls are not nourished merely by listening awhile to this, and then to that, and then to the other part of divine truth. Hearing, reading, marking, and learning, all require inwardly digesting to complete their usefulness, and the inward digesting of the truth lies for the most part in meditating upon it. Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord, and be this our resolve this morning, “I will meditate in thy precepts.”
"Prayer, meditation, and temptation
J. Vernon McGee on Meditation
"Meditate is a very figurative word. It pictures a cow chewing her cud. I’m told that the cow has several compartments in her tummy. She can go out in the morning, graze on the grass when the dew is on it in the cool of the day. Then when it gets hot in the middle of the day, she lies down under a tree and begins to chew the cud. She moves the grass she had in the morning back up and now she masticates it, she goes over it again. That is what we do when we meditate. We go over what we have read. Way back in 1688 Bartholomew Ashwood said, “Meditation chews the cud.” My, how that is needed today in the lives of believers. Remember that James spoke of the man who beholds his natural face in a mirror, then “… immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.” (Jas 1:24-note).
We are to meditate on the Word of God (which is God’s mirror that shows us what we really are). We are to allow the Word to shape our lives. My friend, God has no plan or program by which you are to grow and develop as a believer apart from His Word. You can become as busy as a termite in your church (and possibly with the same effect as a termite), but you won’t grow by means of activity. You will grow by meditating upon the Word of God—that is, by going over it again and again in your thinking until it becomes a part of your life. This is the practice of the happy (blessed) man (Psalm 1:1,2- see notes Psalm 1:1; 1:2)." (McGee, J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
Commenting on "wait" in (Isa 40:31) he writes "If we trust ourselves, we will faint and fall; but if we wait on the Lord by faith, we will receive strength for the journey. The word “wait” does not suggest that we sit around and do nothing. It means “to hope,” to look to God for all that we need (Isa. 26:3; 30:15). This involves meditating on His character and His promises, praying, and seeking to glorify Him."
"As we meditate on the Word of God and apply it to our lives, the Spirit of God uses the Word to cleanse us and make us more like Christ (2 Cor 3:18)." (Be Holy)
"Abraham was a man of faith who believed God’s word and knew how to apply it to specific situations and decisions. He sought to obey God’s word because true faith always results in obedience. The more you meditate on God’s Word, the more truth you will see in it and the more direction you will get from it. This applies to decisions about marriage, vocation, ministry, or any other area in life. Unless we trust God’s Word and obey it, He will not direct us (Pr 3:5–6)." (Be obedient).
"The Word of God is like a deep mine, filled with precious treasures; but the believer must put forth effort to discover its riches. It takes careful reading and study, prayer, meditation, and obedience to mine the treasures of the Word of God; and the Holy Spirit of God is willing to assist us. Why are we so negligent when this great wealth lies so near at hand?" (Be Patient)
"When we cultivate the inner person through prayer, meditation on the Word, and submission to the Lord, then we can experience the joys of a disciplined and diligent life." (from Be Skillful)
"Keep in mind that, apart from kings, prophets, and priests, the average Jewish adult didn’t own copies of their sacred books and had to depend on memory to be able to meditate on God’s truth and discuss it (Dt 6:1–9)." (Be Skillful)
"Victorious Christians are people who know the promises of God, because they spend time meditating on God’s Word (Josh 1:8); they believe the promises of God, because the Word of God generates faith in their hearts (Ro 10:17); and they reckon on these promises and obey what God tells them to do. To “reckon” means to count as true in your life what God says about you in His Word." (Be Strong)
"As we read the Bible and meditate on it, we discover God’s will and God’s strategy for his people in this world." (Be What You Are)
"How does the Spirit teach the believer? He compares “spiritual things with spiritual.” He reminds us of what He has taught us (John 14:26), relates that truth to something new, and then leads us into new truth and new applications of old truth. What a joy it is to sit before the pages of the Bible and let the Spirit reveal God’s truth. The trouble is, many Christians are too busy for this kind of quiet meditation. What enrichment they are missing!" ("Be Series" 1 Cor)
"What digestion is to the body, meditation is to the soul. It is not enough merely to hear the Word or read the Word. We must inwardly “digest it” and make it part of our inner persons (see 1 Thes. 2:13)." ("Be Series" 3 John)
"Right thinking is the result of daily meditation on the Word of God." ("Be Series" Philippians)
"Those who delight in God’s Word, meditate on it, and seek to obey it will experience God’s direction and blessing in their lives (Ps 1:1–3). The Word reveals God’s mind, so we should learn it; God’s heart, so we should love it; God’s will, so we should live it. Our whole being—mind, will, and heart—should be controlled by the Word of God." ("Be Series" 1 Peter)
"Unless a Christian spends time daily in meditating on the Word of God, his inner man will lack power." (Commenting on Mt 4:4 from Be Series)
"Luther said that prayer, meditation, and suffering make a preacher, and he was right. The stars shine the brightest when the night is the darkest, and God is able to give us songs in the night." ("The Elements of Preaching")
"We must meditate on God’s Word. Meditation is to the inner man what digestion is to the outer man. If you did not digest your food, you would sicken and die." ("The Strategy of Satan)
"Meditation is to the soul what “digestion” is to the body. It means understanding the Word, “chewing on it,” and applying it to our lives, making it a part of the inner person. See Jer. 15:16, Ezek. 3:3, and Rev. 10:9." (Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament)
"The next step is to reach for your Bible and present your mind to God for spiritual renewal. It is the Word of God that renews the mind and transforms it. If you do not have a system for reading the Bible, get one. Personally, I like to read straight through the Bible regularly, but I do not give myself a time limit. I start in Genesis 1, Psalm 1, and Matthew 1, and I keep reading. There are some days when I read and meditate on only a few verses; on other days, I may read all three chapters. I am not in a hurry; I am not trying to set any records. My purpose is to meditate on the Word of God so that the Spirit of God will be able to transform my mind and make it more spiritual." ("The Strategy of Satan)
"Meditation on the Word of God will always bring peace (Ps. 119:165 "Those who love Thy law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble.")." (Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament)
(Commenting on Ps 19:14) "The meditation of the heart controls the words of the mouth (Mk 7:14–23). The word “meditation” here has the image of a musician plucking the strings of a harp. Who controls the music of your heart, God or Satan? Meditation is to the heart what digestion is to the body; it is the taking in of the Word of God and making it a part of the inner being. As the heart and mind think on the Word all day long, the Spirit guides the life. This is what it means to walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16) and to have the spiritual mind (Ro 8:1-8)." (Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament)
"When you truly delight in the Word, you will have a desire to meditate on it and make it a part of your life. In Psalm 119, the writer connects “delight” and “meditation” (Ps 119:15–16, 23–24, 47–48, 77–78). Cultivate an appetite for the Word of God." ("With the Word Bible Commentary")
"You “feed” on Jesus Christ when you meditate on His Word and make its truths a part of your inner person." ("With the Word Bible Commentary")
Warren Wiersbe References:
A man was asked one time
That’s what God wants His people to do, talk to the Shepherd—meditate.
Psalm 1:1-2 says
Like the cow chewing its cud, just going over it and over it and over it, so too should we meditate on the Word, going over it and over it and over it." (from How to Study the Bible )
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"As we focus on the Word of God, the power it will have in our lives is incredible. As we meditate on it, it empowers us. It’s like the old computer saying, “G.I.G.O., garbage in—garbage out.” Whatever we pump into our computers is just what’s going to come regurgitating out in our lives. As we feed on the Word of God, it’s going to come right back out in our lives. It’s our source of energy." (from How to Study the Bible )
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"It is not enough just to study the Bible. We must meditate upon it. In a very real sense we are giving our brain a bath; we are washing it in the purifying solution of God’s Word." (MacArthur, J. J. The MacArthur Study Bible. Nashville: Word Pub)
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"Delighting in the Lord and meditating on His Word are a great antidote to anxiety (Ps 1:2)." (MacArthur, J. J. The MacArthur Study Bible. Nashville: Word Pub)