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Showing posts from February, 2017

How are we to Meditate?

Remember back at the beginning of this series, we talked about Mary and how she shows us what meditation is, biblically speaking. Well, now as we approach the end, let’s think about Mary again. And in fact, we’ll think about another Mary as well. For Luke, you see, presents us with two Marys who show us how to meditate. The first Mary we’ve already met, Blessed Mary the Mother of our Lord (NB Luke 1:48!). And how did she meditate? She ‘kept all these things and pondered them in her heart’ (Luke 2:19, cf. v.51). So what did she do? So what’s Mary’s way of meditating? Hear the Word Keep the Word in your heart Ponder the Word in your heart Mary’s “method” isn’t complicated! So let’s be like Mary! Now, as I’ve said, Luke also introduces to another meditating Mary. You might know her – she’s got a sister named Martha and a brother who came back from the dead, called Lazarus. So what does this second Mary have to teach us about how to meditate? Well, we find the answer in the tenth ch

On What Are We to Meditate?

Biblical meditation is about filling the heart, not emptying the mind. And so Christian meditation is always meditation on something. But on what? Philippians 4:8 seems like a good place to start, as it gives us a list of things on which we’re to meditate: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Phil. 4:8) So what meets the criteria Paul lays out for the Philippians of things on which to meditate? It’s important for us to see that he isn’t just saying think about good stuff instead of bad stuff. For there’s only one thing that meets all the criteria listed here. Only one thing is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of virtue, and praiseworthy – and that’s the Lord Himself! So Paul isn’t telling us to think about good stuff; he’s telling

One Final Reason, and also the only thing that makes true meditation possible: Jesus

The first Psalm tells us that the man who meditates in the Word of the Lord day and night is blessed. But who is this man? You might have noticed that the Psalm contrasts the one righteous man (singular!) with the many wicked (plural!). Who is this one righteous man? Well, if we read the first two Psalms together (the Psalms aren’t in some sort of haphazard order, after all; and anyway, Psalms 1 and 2 originated as one psalm), the answer is very clear: we start off with ‘Blessed is the man’ (Ps 1:1) and end with ‘Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him’ (Ps 2:12). The one righteous, blessed man of Psalm 1, who meditates day and night in the Word of the Lord, is the LORD’s Son (Ps 2:7, 12) in whom we are blessed when we trust in Him. In other words, it’s Jesus! Jesus is the true meditator. But if that’s the case why don’t the Gospels tell us about Jesus meditating? Well, they do – they just don’t use the word ‘meditate’! Usually what we see is the outflowing of His meditatio

Why Meditate? (Reasons 2 & 3)

So far, we’ve looked at what Biblical meditation is , and we’ve had a look at one reason why Christians meditate on the Word . And today we’re going to look at a few more reasons why. Reason 2: Meditation is a Command of God In both the Old and New Testaments, the Lord God tells His people to meditate on His Word. It’s not just a bit of good advice; it’s a command of the Living God. Back in the book of Deuteronomy there’s a particularly well-known Scripture in which the Lord gives this command to His people. And it’s particularly well-known, because the children of Israel would recite this particular Scripture morning and evening, every day (as many Jews still do today): the Shema (Deut. 6:4-9). Here, the people of God are told that His Word is to be in their heart (v.6), constantly on their lips (v.7), and put in places that will constantly bring it to mind (vv.8-9). This love for, and attention to, God’s Word is part of loving ‘the Lord your God with all your heart, with all

Why Meditate? (Reason 1)

Last time we had a look at what biblical mediation is . So today let’s think about why Christians are to meditate. And there are a few good reasons. Here’s the first: Reason 1: Meditation is a Characteristic of Believers We’ve learnt about what meditation is from looking at Mary in Luke’s Gospel . And that’s not all Luke’s Gospel has to tell us about meditation. Jesus’ explanation of the Parable of the Sower in Luke 8:11-15 tells us something significant about the Word, the saved, and meditation. Jesus says that, in the parable, ‘the seed is the Word of God’ (Lk 8:11). And He explains that various types of soil where the seed doesn’t grow up into a thriving harvest represent various types of people who hear the Word, but who don’t keep the Word in their hearts (Lk 8:12-14). But, the good soil – the soil that brings forth abundant fruit, represents ‘those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience’ (Lk 11:15). So, Jesus is sayin

Meditation (the Biblical Sort): What is it?

Meditation is all the rage these days. Mindfulness classes and apps are bringing pop-Buddhism to the masses. But it’s not only unwitting Buddhists who meditate. Christians meditate too (just not in the same way!). The blessed life of the righteous is, Psalm 1 tells us, a life of delighting in the Word of the LORD and meditating upon it day and night (Ps 1:2). As the Psalm tells us, meditation and delight go together! Meditation isn’t some burdensome duty imposed on the few, but rather a response of love and delight in the LORD and in His Word, which He gives as a gracious gift to all His people. As the early Christians recognised, ‘meditation is a labour of joy’ (Barnabas 10:11). The longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119, is an extended meditation on the Word of the Lord. In the second section of the Psalm, ‘beth’ (Ps 119:9-16), the Psalmist reflects on the joy and benefit of meditation. As we hide God’s Word in our hearts, His Word keeps us from sin (Ps 119:11). And as we re

A Pentecostal Article on the Breaking of Bread as Sacrifice

Today I just want to point you in the direction of something good that someone else has written (which I really want to recommend you read). Matthew Winbow, a British Pentecostal pastor, has written an article on the Breaking of Bread as a Sacrifice . He looks at what the Bible has to say about it, and clears up a few questions that you might have when you hear the word 'sacrifice' in the context of the Lord's Supper as well. Anyway, pop over to Matthew's site  ( The Orange Dove ) and have a read.

An Aid to Biblical Meditation (I can't make apps, but I have made you a little something)

Okay, so I should really post this later, after I've had time to post a few things about meditation (which I fully intend to do over the next few weeks), but, for purely pragmatic reasons, I'm posting this first. (So if you're completely confused by the concept of meditation, then come back soon and I shall explain!) We live in a world where everyone does everything on their phones and our phones are very often the only thing we take everywhere with us. And while phones and meditation generally don’t go very well together, at least with the invention of aeroplane mode and ‘do not disturb’ we can manage to limit some of the distractions and enable a smartphone to be a bit of help. This PDF contains 8 sets of subjects for meditation , as a help either for people who’d like to meditate on God’s Word, but aren’t really sure where to start, or for people who want to redeem the time a bit in some of those spare moments sitting around waiting that would just end up getting