Have you ever sat in a Bible class, in awe of the grace and knowledge of your brothers and sisters (2Pe 3:18)? Or heard a prayer in worship that you knew came from the heart of a righteous person (Jam 5:16)? The more you get to know these good people, the more you realize how much of that deep faith, hope, and love were developed alone with Jesus. And when you visit with them in their homes, you’ll find a well-worn Bible and a heart filled with songs and prayers.
In this series, you’ve hopefully seen why it’s so important for every Christian (and every Christian family) to set aside time each day for communing with God. And hopefully you’ve also caught some of the how: “singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col 3:16 NKJV), learning to “pray without ceasing” (1Th 5:17), and meditating on the word “all the day” (Ps 119:97).
So before we go, let’s pause and think more about what meditation looks like. When we hear that word these days, we probably picture someone sitting silently with eyes closed, legs crossed, breathing deeply. And those are all good things. But when the Bible speaks of meditation, the picture is of someone holding an open scroll, whispering the words of God under their breath, and turning them over in their minds.
It reminds me of something C.S. Lewis said about how to enjoy beauty: “Look. Listen. Receive” (An Experiment in Criticism, p. 19). Here’s how that works with the Bible:
So as we read Scripture, we’re not just skimming the words on the page; we’re reading at the pace our own heart can grow. This may be a few chapters a day or just one, a few verses or a single verse. But when we do this well, we find that we’re not just reading Scripture, the Scriptures are reading us. For a great example of these principles in action, check out the Jews coming home from Babylon in Nehemiah 8. For a not-so-great example, compare this to Jesus’ chat with “a certain lawyer” in Luke 10:25-37.
Of course, everyone needs some help sometimes, a “Phillip” to come alongside us as our guide (Acts 8:31). Here are three resources I really enjoy:
However you decide to meditate each day, though, pick up a good Bible collecting dust nearby and put it to good use. Remember, these words are ancient, but ever true. Reflect on what God reveals to you through them. Their good news belongs in your heart. Teach it to others with every song you sing and every prayer you pray. Live out God’s own wisdom and grace. Grow more into him, and you will find your strength for the day.
Meditation isn’t about finding the perfect prayer routine or the perfect reading plan (though both can be helpful), but about drawing closer to the one who is Perfect. And don’t worry about how much progress you are making each day or whether you’re doing it just right. Just remember those words of the Lord:
Stand by the roads, and look,