So far we’ve seen that spiritual discipline is essential to our spiritual growth and that discipline is not a burdensome alternative to spiritual spontaneity, but is actually a means to it. We’ve also seen why Bible reading should be a priority in our lives. In this post, I want to offer you a few ideas to help you build Scripture reading and meditation into your regular routine. Continue reading “Spiritual Disciplines, Part 3: Bible Reading: Some Practical Suggestions”
A few months ago I wrote an article entitled, Meditate on a single verse for the good of your soul. I would like to add to that subject some helpful quotes from Don Whitney’s book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, to help us see the vital importance of Biblical meditation and the detriment of hurried disciplines.
- “Puritan Pastor Thomas Watson has the answer, ‘The reason we come away so cold from reading the word is because we do not warm ourselves at the fire of meditation'” (49).
- “The result of such meditation is stability, fruitfulness, perseverance, and prosperity. One writer said it crisply: ‘They usually thrive best who meditate most'” (49).
- “It is possible to encounter a torrential amount of God’s truth, but without absorption you will be little better for the experience. Meditation is absorption” (50).
- “Maurice Roberts wrote these words from Scotland in 1990: ‘Our age has been sadly deficient in what may be termed spiritual greatness. At the root of this is the modern disease of shallowness. We are all too impatient to meditate on the faith we profess…It is not the busy skimming over religious books or the careless hastening through religious duties which makes for a strong Christian faith. Rather, it is unhurried mediation on gospel truths and the exposing of our minds to these truths that yields the fruit of sanctified character'” (55).
- “Among the best of the practical Puritan writings came from the pen of William Bridge. On meditation he asserted the following…’Reading without meditation is unfruitful; meditation without reading is hurtful; to meditate and to read without prayer, is without blessing'” (73).
By and large, I think many of us need to slow down. We need to recapture the health giving practice of slow, patient, Biblical meditation so that our roots might grow deep and the trees of our life, strong.
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in his law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not whither, and in whatever he does, he prospers.–Psalm 1:1-3.
Currently I am taking the high school group through the book of Proverbs. It is a wonderful study! We are enjoying the rich practical insight that the Proverbs provides us with so that we can live a “Life of Wisdom to the Glory of God.”
Soon after we started our study into the book of Proverbs, I gave the students an assignment. I told them to find one verse from the Proverbs, write it at the top of a college-ruled sheet of paper, set the paper on their desk or nightstand–somewhere they will daily see it–and begin the practice of meditating on that one piece of Scripture, day and night. Then, as they turn the Scripture over and over in their minds, I told them to write down, on the sheet of paper, their thoughts, observations, questions, cross references, illustrations, and the ways they are applying the verse. At the end of the summer, we will gather and share the fruit of our meditations. Continue reading “Meditate on a Single Verse for the Good of your Soul”