I recently did a series on Scripture Memory and Meditation in my Sunday morning Pastor’s class. We had a great time digging into the Scripture together. I was impressed of the Lord that I needed to slow down a little bit and reflect on what I was reading.
At the beginning of each year, I try to adopt a ‘through the Bible in a year’ reading plan. I do that in addition to my regular devotional reading. I really mean devotional. I don’t use my personal quiet time to look for sermons. However, I do see things that sometimes become messages.
Memorizing Scripture Without Trying
So devotional reading of the Scripture has helped me to memorize large portions of the Bible without really trying. What do I mean? I read five Psalms and one Proverb each day. I’ve been doing that for about 30 years. If you do the math I read the Psalms and Proverbs every month. That means (I did the math for this BLOG) I have read those books 360 times since I became a believer in Jesus.
Without intending to, I have memorized a lot of those verses. Memorization happens with repetition. It’s kind of like a commercial. You don’t try to remember the ‘Geico’ commercial but you see it and after so many times it gets in your head. Hey, my spell checker said that it should be Gecko. So there you go.
She Pondered These Things in Her Heart
Let’s get back to slowing down and reflecting on what we read. Take a Scripture verse and let it run through your mind. One of my favorite sections of the Christmas story is when the shepherds leave Mary after seeing the baby Jesus and Mary does some serious thinking. The Bible says it this way:
“And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:18–19 (NKJV)
The word ponder means to converse or consider something mentally. We would say, ‘talking to yourself.’ Mary was overwhelmed to say the least. She kept thinking about it over and over. That’s what meditation can be for you. You run the verse of Scripture through your mind and think about it from every angle. Writing the verse down helps. Saying it out loud firmly fixes it in your mind.
A Heart of Joy, Praise, and Prayer
As you get passages of Scripture in your head you can think about the whole event or text without your Bible. Meditation will cause joy to well up in your heart and often produces praise and prompts prayer. It can also lead to confession of sin.
The Holy Spirit personalizes the verse to you. It becomes an answer to prayer or an encouragement in the future. When you don’t expect it, the verse you learned by memory and meditated on comes to your mind in a time of crisis or temptation. Psalm 119:9-11 is coming to my mind right now.
“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:9–11 (NKJV)
I memorized those three verses over 30 years ago (I did intentionally try to learn them). But I’ve read them over 360 times! They are easy to meditate on and convicting in times of temptation.
Treasure of Your Heart
So, slow down a little. Ponder what you read. If a verse jumps out at you underline it in your Bible, write the date beside it, and read it over and over until you know it. Come back to it before you go to bed. Put it on a post-it note on the mirror in your bathroom. Say it to yourself.
I want to encourage you on your journey of making God’s Word a treasure in your heart. Fall in love with the Word of God AND the God of the Word! He communicates with us by His Spirit through His Word. Put yourself in a position to hear Him and love Him each day!
Slow down, ponder, digest, think about, the greatest thoughts ever put on paper: God’s Word!!! Start today, you will be forever glad you did!
Robert J. Morgan
Hey, there is someone you need to read on this subject of Meditation. His book is Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation. I am reading and re-reading his book. It’s full of Scripture, stories, ideas, and helps for meditating on the Word of God. https://www.robertjmorgan.com/biblical-meditation/
Top Tips for Effective Meditation from Robert J. Morgan
1. Read the Bible every day.
While devotional booklets are helpful, nothing compares to opening your own BibleandreadingaportionofScripturedaily. Startwhereyouleftoff yesterday.Useapenciltounderlinekeywords.Readuntilyoufindaversethat speaks to you in a special way. It’s hard to meditate on Scripture if you don’t read it daily.
2. When you find a verse you especially like, adopt it as your own.
Write it down in various places. Quote it to yourself several times a day. Say it aloud over and over. Soon you’ll find you’ll have memorized it almost without effort.
3. Keep a notebook of these special verses and review them.
Everyone should have their own collection of Bible Memory Verses. Sometimes it’s good to memorize two or more verses together, which means you’re starting to memorize a passage of Scripture.
4. Harness your current routine.
You don’t necessarily have to build more time into your schedule for biblical meditation. If you walk a few blocks to the bus stop or train station, use those minutes to ponder a Bible verse. If you commute, use the trip to quote Scripture to yourself and to think about it. Think through a sentence of the Bible while soaping up in the shower. At night, fall asleep meditating on your favorite verses.
5. Post Bible verses everywhere.
Use sticky notes, 3×5 cards, wall hangings, computer screens, calendar pages, and pictures on your smartphone. Tack notes to your makeup or shaving mirror, refrigerator, dashboard, and desk.
6. Breathe deeply and quote Scripture.
When you feel yourself tensing up, learn to pause, take a deep breath, and mentally rehearse a biblical phrase like, “Love is patient, love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4) or “Be careful, keep calm, and don’t be afraid” (Isaiah 7:4) or “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7).
7. Figure out ways to engage in deeper Bible study.
The better you know God’s Word, the more you’ll meditate on it. Invest in a good study Bible: enroll in a Bible correspondence course: attend a Bible-teaching church; join a local Bible study. Use everything you learn as fodder for daily meditation.
8. When you meditate on a verse, use your imagination.
As you read of Jesus walking on the water and stilling the storm, imagine you were there. Visualize Him looking at you and saying, “Peace, be still.” Put your own name in Bible verses and imagine God speaking them directly to you-because He is.
9. Try emphasizing each word of a verse in turn.
For example, John 10:14: I am the good shepherd. I am the good shepherd. I am the good shepherd. I am the good shepherd. I am the good shepherd.
10. Turn your favorite verses into prayers offered in Jesus’ Name.
Using Ephesians 6:10, for example, you can pray, “Lord, help me to be strong in You and in Your mighty power.” You can also convert Bible verses to prayers for your loved ones, which is much better than worrying about them.
11. Take breaks to close your eyes and quote Scripture to yourself-
in your recliner or rocker, in the bathtub, in a hammock, or while floating in the pool or soaking up the sun on the beach. Let your mind rest in God’s Word as you quote familiar passages to yourself.
12. Share your best verses with others.
Try working Bible verses into your daily conversation and into letters, emails, and social media posts. As you practice this, you’ll find ways of weaving Scripture into your communication patterns in natural and uplifting ways. Remember Colossians 3:16: “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.”
LEARN MORE AT http://RobertJMorgan.com/meditation