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.[1]

Psalm 19:14

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.[2]

Hebrews 12:2-3

Christmas to Calvary (Advent Readings through Luke's Gospel) — December 4 Refresh & Restore | A JustKeithHarris.com Podcast

Christmas is a time when we are able to remember hope, peace, joy,  and salvation — to focus on the One who is the brings those things to  us. We want to give you the opportunity to look at the whole Story of  Jesus – not just the divine swaddled baby in the manger, but the young  boy who taught the teachers in the temple, the man who served rather  than being served, and the Savior who died and rose again “in accordance  with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 ESV). There are twenty-four  chapters in Luke’s gospel, and, between December 1 and Christmas Eve, we  have time to look at the full account of Jesus’ life – and thereby hope  for ours as well. This reading guide is an opportunity to spend time reading God’s Word, singing His praises, and meditating on the Gift – Jesus Christ. You can access the reading guide here, free of charge: https://justkeithharris.com/2021/11/24/christmas-to-calvary-reading-guide/
  1. Christmas to Calvary (Advent Readings through Luke's Gospel) — December 4
  2. Christmas to Calvary (Advent Readings through Luke's Gospel) — December 3
  3. Christmas to Calvary (Advent Readings through Luke's Gospel) — December 2
  4. Christmas to Calvary (Advent Readings through Luke's Gospel) — December 1
  5. Reclaiming Meditation — Episode 3 (Thanksgiving)

Greetings, Sojourner!

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.”[3]

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.


25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:25-30

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:1-5

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

Hebrews 1:1-4

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Colossians 1:15-20

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Titus 2:11-14

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.[4]

Hebrews 12:1-2

Hallelujah, and amen!


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ps 19:14.

[2] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), Heb 12:2–3.

[3] Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1991), 47.

[4] ESV, Mt 11:25–30, Jn 1:1–5, Heb 1:1–4, Col 1:15–20, Php 2:5–11, Tt 2:11–14, Jn 1:14, Heb 12:1–2.

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