Writings and Ramblings, Thoughts and Theology | Musings and Meanderings with Words
Refresh & Restore — November 18, 2021
1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
I hope that our first look at the idea of Biblical meditation has been helpful. This week, I want to take it a bit deeper by looking at it in a historical sense to help us see that this is not a new idea but an idea that has been hijacked by the world and falsely-religious customs.
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church describes meditation as “associated with prayer, because some of the favourite biblical texts are themselves prayers, and thinking about Christian truth sharpens a desire for God’s gifts, and thinking about life reveals man’s need of God”. I think this is a particularly good description first because it helps us know what to do with what we are meditating on (pray), and, second, because it helps us gauge the appropriate end result (namely, a right view of God and a desire to worship/follow Him).
In that same article, there are four lenses through which meditation has been viewed throughout church history: 1) the memorization of Scripture to be used or recited, 2) holding onto verses/passages for reminders of truth and inspiration when needed, 3) thinking on the things of God to increase understanding and devotion to God, and 4) applying the truths found in Scripture to our various responses in our lives. I definitely think this is the scope of why various Sunday school teachers, pastors, and disciple-makers encourage the memorization of Scripture.
Those ideas fit so well with Psalm 119, the magnificent center chapter of the Bible that centers around the magnificence of the Bible. Psalm 119:9 asks and answers how a young man can “keep his way pure” by showing that it is in guarding that way – his life – “according to [God’s] Word”. Psalm 119:11 speaks of storing up God’s Word in one’s heart to keep from sinning against Him, which sounds a lot like meditation and memorization. Psalm 119:15 shows an effort to “meditate” on God’s precepts and “fix…eyes” on His ways. There are many more verses, just in that single chapter of the Bible that emphasize the same truth over and over, that we need God’s Word at the forefront of our minds if it will ever impact our lives (vv. 27, 30, 37, 43, 48, 52, 54, 59, 74, 78, 92-93, 97, 99, 105, 114, 116, 123, 133, 140, 143, 153, 164, 166, 174-176).
And that is our goal: to elevate God’s Word to its proper place by spending time in it and thereby elevate Him to where He should be if He is our Lord and Savior to stir our hearts up in worship and obedience to His Word as we forget this world and our desire to sin.
It is my prayer that, through our verses today, you will be able to “set your minds on things that are above” (Colossians 3:2), that you will be able to think and meditate on things that are “true”, “honorable”, “just”, “pure”, “lovely”, “commendable”, excellent, and “worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8) – His name is Jesus! Our verses for meditation today are on the hope that comes from “the blessed hope…our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:13-14).
Matthew 11:25-30 –
Isaiah 53:4-6 –
John 3:16-21 –
Philippians 2:5-11 –
Ephesians 2:1-7 –
Titus 3:4-7 –
Colossians 2:13-15 –
Ephesians 2:8-10 –
Romans 5:1-5 –
John 16:33 –
33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”