Biblical Meditation Defined:
Deep thinking on the truth of God’s Word for the purpose of understanding it, believing it, and obeying it. (See Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1; 2Tim 2:7)
Biblical Meditation Practiced:
- Suggestion #1 – READ PURPOSEFULLY
Whatever passages you are sitting down to read today, read it with this purpose in mind: I have come to God’s Word to meet with the Living God and there are things in what I am about to read that He wants me to understand, believe, and obey. Therefore I must engage God’s word and read it with the purpose of understanding, believing, and obeying the things God is saying to me.
- Suggestion #2 – READ CAREFULLY
Pay attention to words, phrases, concepts, ideas, patterns that are repeated. For example, in John 15 Jesus uses the word abide (ESV) ten times in ten verses. If that’s the case, it’s probably worth thinking deeply about what that means for my life today. Don’t read fast. Look for repetition and patterns.
- Suggestion #3 – READ REPEATEDLY
Typically, you don’t get much out of reading something once. In order for God’s Word to make impact with our heart and life the way it was designed to, you have to be willing to read the same thing over and over and over again. Read repeatedly until you understand and believe and know what it is you’re supposed to obey.
- Suggestion #4 – READ INQUISITIVELY
Just ask a lot of questions when you’re reading. What is that God wants me to understand – to believe – to obey? What does this reveal about God? What does it tell me about myself – as a human being, as a sinner, as a saint? Is there an example for me to follow? An example to avoid? A sin to forsake? A command to obey? A promise to believe? An attitude that needs to change? A decision that needs to be made? Something I am to do? Anything I should pray about? Thank God for? How does the gospel speak to this?
- Suggestion #5 – READ CONTEXTUALLY
Understand the context of what you’re reading. How does this fit in with the rest of the chapter – the rest of the book – the rest of the bible? What’s happening before this passage? What’s happening after this passage? Is there anything that’s said before or later that explains the meaning of this? Who’s talking? Who are they talking to?
- Suggestion #6 – READ INTELLIGENTLY
Some things in the bible are hard to understand, but if you can help it don’t stay ignorant or uninformed – educate yourself! Is there a word you don’t understand? Go find the definition. Is there a reference to the OT you don’t understand? Go find out what it means. Invest in a good study bible. Learn to make notes in your bible so you can remember things and read it intelligently the next time you visit that passage.
- Suggestion #7 – READ IMAGINITIVELY
This book was lived out by real people in real history experiencing real things in real time. Try to imagine yourself in the story. The bible is not to be read like a text book – it’s alive, full of emotion, and full of action. Imagine being Daniel… Moses… Peter. Imagine being there when the Red Sea parted or the resurrected Christ showed up in the room where you were having dinner. Reading Scripture like this can sometimes make all the difference in the world.
- Suggestion #8 – READ PRAYERFULLY
All other practical tips aren’t worth much without the empowering, illuminating work of the Holy Spirit. He is the one that opens our hearts, and minds, and eyes. It’s why David prays in Psalm 119:18 – “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” Every minute we read we ought to be praying this same thing.
- Suggestion #9 – READ EXPECTANTLY
The above prayer is one that God desires to answer! The greatest treasures in the world are found in the Bible and God intends for those who dig for them to find them – see Proverbs 2:1-6. Expect God to meet you in His Word!
- Suggestion #10 – HANG ON TO THAT ONE THING!
Don’t get up from your Bible without that one nugget of truth – that one thought – that one thing that you are going to remember and feed on and meditate on throughout the rest of the day. And then hang on to that one thing and seek, to the best of your ability and by the grace of God, to apply that one thing to every situation and test and trial and temptation that you face that day. Before you get up from your Bible, determine what that one truth will be that your mind will be stayed on as your daily bread for the next 24 hours. Think about that one thing all day.
[by Joe Lechner]