Writings and Ramblings, Thoughts and Theology | Musings and Meanderings with Words
Refresh & Restore — November 11, 2021
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
I am especially excited about this brief study because its contents and substance has helped me so much over this past year. At the same time, it has also been my joy during that time to get to share with you about our Savior and King Jesus Christ and how we can be refreshed by time spent in His presence through the study of the Word and restored to the purposes He has for us. Over the next few weeks, it is my hope that what has helped me will help you and that you can find solace in Him through meditating on His Word.
It may seem odd to take part in a Bible study looking at the value of meditation because of the way it is featured in Eastern mysticism. But Biblical meditation is much, much different. Traditional meditation has you look inside yourself, but Biblical meditation looks to God through His Word – and sees Him looking back at us to change us (Hebrews 4:12-13). Traditional meditation seeks to find one’s center inside themselves, but Biblical meditation helps us remember that Christ is at the center of everything (Colossians 1:15-20).
I love the way that Don Whitney describes this in his book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life:
“While some advocate a kind of meditation in which you do your best to empty your mind, Christian meditation involves filling your mind with God and truth. For some, meditation is an attempt to achieve complete mental passivity, but biblical meditation requires constructive mental activity. Worldly meditation employs visualization techniques intended to ‘create your own reality’. And while Christian history has always had a place for the sanctified use of our God-given imagination in meditation, imagination is our servant to help us meditate on things that are true (Philippians 4:8). Furthermore, instead of ‘creating our own reality’ through visualization, we link meditation with prayer to God and responsible, Spirit-filled human action to effect changes.”
We see it in the words of David in Psalm 19, which is an entire psalm written in worship and celebration of God’s Word. Our first verse for today comes from Psalm 19. In it, David looks at the glory of God in creation and extends that glory to the Word, which is described as “perfect, reviving the soul” (v. 7a), “sure, making the wise simple” (v. 7b), “right, rejoicing the heart” (v. 8a), “pure, enlightening the eyes” (v. 8b), “clean, enduring forever” (v. 9a), “true, and righteous altogether” (v. 9b), and more valuable than any amount of gold while being sweeter than the most delicious honey (v. 10). It is only in that Word that those who serve the Lord will find “great reward” (v. 11) – Jesus, God Himself, is the reward! Meditating on this (v. 14) is how our words and hearts can be “acceptable in [God’s] sight”. Meditating on Him as our “rock” and “redeemer” will see that we are not moved.
So, today, I am going to stop talking and share with you some verses that focus us on our “great reward” – that “fix our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV84). They are going to be bite sized chunks, short enough that you can read one several times and keep it in your mind throughout the day. Or, as I find helpful, you can read them or listen to them at various times throughout the day to “turn [your] eyes from looking at worthless things” and find “life in [His] ways” (Psalm 119:37). Either way, here are some precious verses that speak much of Jesus. May you find Him in them.