Today the Preacher man taught the congregation an excellent lesson about how to LEARN from God’s word instead of just reading it to say that you completed your good deed for the day. Of course a lot of us don’t even make it so far as to even READ the bible on a daily basis, much less meditate on it (Guilty as charged…), but that is a whole ‘nother lesson in itself. So assuming you actually do take the time and read God’s word on a daily basis, what is it that you are getting out of it? A nice history lesson? Entertainment? Or maybe even nothing at all?
Lets take a look at Psalm 1:2-5. Verse 2 is where we are instructed to meditate on God’s word. In fact, it not only says to meditate DAILY, but it says day AND night. Wow, and we thought we were doing good if we read the Bible once a day. Verse 3 tells us what we have to gain by actually meditating on the scripture as opposed to simply reading it, and Verse 4 tells what happens if you DON’T meditate on the scripture. Ok, so I know that I’m supposed to meditate on the scripture, but how do I do that exactly?
If you want this to be an interactive blog post, check out Ephesians 1:3-14 and try to put into practice what we are about to talk about as you read. A good start is to simply read a piece of scripture all the way through to get focused first. If you simply jump into the first verse you are studying and start picking it apart then you probably have not completely focused on the task at hand. Whenever I sit down to have some quite time, I usually have a lot of other things going through my mind. Tests, work, friends, and other distractions. Reading straight through a passage can help to clear your mind of all these things. After you feel spiritually focused and the only thing on your mind is you and the Bible, step back from the details of the scripture and read it while trying to get the big picture. Got the big picture of what the author of the passage is talking about? Good, now take a look at each verse individually and look for the details that God is trying to show you. This is really important. After you have picked out every little detail from each verse that God wants to show you, step back again and read the big picture of the passage. Often times you will miss things after looking at the details that you did not notice before. One last thing… When reading a passage that is more like a story than instructional (for those feeling like being interactive, read Mark 6:45-56), it is best to put what you are reading into context by making sure you know what is going on before the story starts. Read a section or two back to see what lead up to the story you are reading. After you know the context of the story, it is really easy to read through it and let the details pop-out at you. They will start to draw you into the story and you will become more and more interested in what is going on.
I hope these tips/lessons will help you spend time in God’s word more effectively. The purpose of us reading our Bibles is not to get history lessons. The purpose of reading it is to hear God’s voice speak to us, which is exactly what “meditating” is. You don’t have to sit with your legs crossed, fingers in a circle, and making a humming noise to meditate. I loved this sermon because I know most of the time I am way too distracted to actually listen to what God is trying to teach me, and I think most of us are the same way. Thoughts? Comments? Post-em!