A Word From Grace: Monday Edition - Meditating on Scripture

Those of you who know me well know that I’m a reader. That being the case, it’s not too hard for me to sit and read through a few chapters or more of Scripture. What can be harder for me is to slow down and dwell on a particular verse or passage. The practice of meditating on Scripture is one that comes less naturally for me, yet has been well worth the effort as I’ve incorporated it more and more into my spiritual rhythms.
Meditating on Scripture is the spiritual discipline of allowing the Holy Spirit to drive a short verse or passage into the depths of your soul. I want to suggest a couple approaches to this discipline, but both begin the same way. Start by quieting your mind. You might even start with a few minutes of centering prayer (see last week’s blog). Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the text and speak to you through the passage or verse. Then simply dwell on the Scripture you’ve chosen to focus on. Read it through multiple times. Ask yourself what it means. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you apply it to your life. Allow it to sink in deeply. I would suggest spending a little more time dwelling than you’re naturally comfortable with. Often the richest truths lie just outside our comfort zones.
How, though, should you choose what Scripture to meditate on? I’ll offer two suggestions. The first is the most straightforward. Pick something you’re familiar with. A favorite psalm or verse is a great place to start. The benefit of this method is you can spend less time figuring out what the text means and more time letting it sink in. The second suggestion is to pick a book of the Bible to start from (John, Ecclesiastes, Ephesians come to mind as good ones, but anything is fine). Start reading from the beginning but ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the text as you go. Then, when a line grabs your attention for whatever reason, stop and dwell there for the rest of your time. The next day you can pick up from that same spot and repeat the process.. Essentially, you’re allowing the Holy Spirit to help you decide what to dwell on. The benefit of this method is that you will find yourself gripped by thoughts and dwelling on things that never would have occurred to you on your own.
If you’re already in a pattern of reading Scripture, you can pretty easily add in this second method. If you’re like me, your natural tendency when reading is to get through what you decided ahead to get through. You say, “I’m going to read three chapters today” and then you don’t stop until you’re done. If something gives you pause, you might brush it off in order to move forward, but miss an opportunity for encounter. I’d encourage you to slow down on occasion and not worry about checking a certain amount off. Allow the Spirit to get your attention and bring transformation through dwelling on the Word.
I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.
I delight in your decrees.
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law
The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders.

-Selections from Psalm 119

In Christ,
Pastor Sean

Sean's Picks

Abraham and the Torch – This is one of my all-time favorite sermons by Tim Keller addressing one of the more curios passages of Scripture.
A Sinner Like Me – “God is perfect. I am a sinner. How could He ever accept me now that I was so filthy and unlovable?” says a noodle shop owner in Thailand. I was deeply moved as I heard this Thai women’s story of finding Jesus. See video below:

Missions Spotlight: Leadership for Development

Please remember in your prayers the effects of the pandemic on LFD’s cross-cultural ministries. Items like visa restrictions, a negative image of the Chinese people, and LFD funding continue to be areas in need of prayer. On the other hand, the coronavirus crisis is also providing opportunities for missions. The Lord is preparing people to be open to the Good News through trials and sufferings. Pray that during this “sabbatical” time, we would assess our work in the past and have the spiritual insight to develop new approaches and strategies.

Additionally, a number of LFD trainees will enter into Phase 3 of their training by the end of this year and need to develop their ministry platform. We thank God that some of them have decided on the ministry they would like to take part in. Pray also for the rest of the trainees who are still looking for their place of service.

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