Summary: How to Improve Your Scriptural Meditation
How to Improve Your Scriptural Meditation
1. COMMIT yourself to the goals of scripture. Stick with certain key verses that will guide, assure, convict, and provide insights into important decisions that you will need to make. When I learned how to commit my way to the Lord, my thoughts starting becoming agreeable with the Lord’s thoughts. (Psa. 37:4,5)
2. TRADE your own perceptions, thoughts, doubts, and fears for the promises of scripture. Rom. 8:6-8 says, ``The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.’’ Nine years ago I had to make a choice between marrying and Pastoring in Los Angeles or coming to Nigeria as a seminary lecturer. That trade off, at the time seemed hard, but from an early age I learned the secret of trading something good for the best.
3. LOOK for practical ways that you can apply the holiness, righteousness, love, power, and purposes of Christ in your life. When a certain man started to look for the positive contributions he could make rather than the adversities that plagued him, he became a successful man. Although he drifted back into old habits often, he gradually established patterns of thinking, feeling, and doing that brought great joy to him and his family. His life is now a model to us all!
4. EVALUATE your life according to the beatitudes given by Jesus in Matt. 5:3-12: ``Blessed are the humble, pure in heart, hungry for righteousness, merciful, peacemakers, those persecuted for righteousness, those who mourn over the sins of the world, the gentle, and those who know their spiritual poverty without Christ.’’ Ask yourself where you need to conform more to these ideals. When I contrast these with their opposites: pride, deceitfulness, apathy, cruelty, anger, fearfulness, and self-righteousness, I realize where I have fallen short of God’s standards!
5. SHARE the insights given by God from His word to others, both Christians and non-Christians. By giving others the benefits of God’s illumination, inspirations, and instructions to my own perceptions are broadened and deepened. Paul advised Timothy in 2 Tim. 4:1,2, ``Preach the word; when it is convenient and when not convenient; correct, exhort, rebuke with complete patience and teaching.’’ Sharing the scripture always gives you greater hunger to find more insights the next time you open the Bible.
6. WRITE down your observations, interpretations, meditations, correlations, and applications of the scripture. When you record your insights it clarifies, enriches, and deepens your appreciations. Every morning I record these aspects of my Bible reading in a notebook. It allows me to keep a journal of the ways in which God speaks to me every day from His word. By crystallizing my thoughts through writing, I can teach, communicate, and clarify to others the benefits of scripture.
7. EXPOSE the deeds of darkness with the scripture. The light of scripture can correct, discern, examine, and point out the harmful ways of thinking, acting, and reacting to people and circumstances. One man began quoting scripture before he went to bed. Soon, he noticed that his fearful visions, dreams, and nightmares were replaced with thoughts of peace, joy, and fulfillment. This changed his entire outlook on life. He was able to rest comfortably and soon enjoyed many promotions and new responsibilities in his civil service job.
8. POSE QUESTIONS of scripture. When you go to the Bible with sincere questions you will be rewarded with rich answers. For example, I try to ask the scripture for any 1). Guidepoints for my teaching? 2). Errors to avoid in my conversations? 3). Sins to forsake in my thinking? 4). Commands to obey? 5). Attitudes to eliminate? 6). Attitudes to develop? 7). Examples to follow? 8). Things to be thankful for? 10). Promises to assure for success? 11). Implications or inferences for writing? 12). Definitions of key words? 13). Motives for certain actions? 14). Attributes of God seen?
9. DISCUSS with others the meanings, implications, and the applications of scripture. Its amazing how much I learn from my students about the scripture when they share their experiential points of view of the Bible. The diversity of others perceptions will enrich your own. Ask others what they think of certain verses and you will be amazed at all the new insights that you gain.
10. LET GOD TALK to you personally through the scriptures. Read certain passages aloud emphasizing different words. This will bring to life the ministry of the Holy Spirit who speaks to you through scripture. For example, from I Cor. 13:4-7 you might read while emphasizing certain words, ``Love is PATIENT and is KIND, love is not JEALOUS, it is not out for its own DISPLAY, it is not CONCEITED OR UNMANNERLY, it is not SELF-SEEKING nor IRRITABLE, nor does it take into account of a wrong suffered, it takes no pleasure in injustice, but sides happily with the TRUTH.’’