IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO READ YOUR BIBLE – YOU MUST MEDITATE ON EVERY WORD YOU READ

IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO READ YOUR BIBLE – YOU MUST MEDITATE ON EVERY WORD YOU READ

Michael Jeshurun

Saturation with the Scriptures is the Secret to Satisfaction of our Souls

The Puritan writer Thomas Brooks offers an excellent description of Biblical meditation…

Remember that it is not hasty reading—but serious meditation on holy and heavenly truths, which makes them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the mere touching of the flower by the bee which gathers honey (cp Ps 19:10-note; Ps 119:103-note)—but her abiding for a time on the flower which draws out the sweet. It is not he who reads most, but he who meditates most—who will prove to be the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.”

Meditation is CHEWING. Meditation is aptly depicted by the cow’s process of mastication (chewing). God has so constructed bovines to bring up previously digested food for additional grinding to enable optimal assimilation of the “cud.” Meditation is pondering and reviewing various thoughts (especially the thoughts/words of God) by mulling them over in one’s mind and heart (our “control center” so to speak – see Pr 4:23-note).

Meditation is the processing of God’s food for our soul (real “soul food!) One might call it “divine thought digestion.” “Chewing” upon a divine thought, deliberately and diligently, a process which (enabled by the Spirit our “Sanctifier”) provides the vital link between theory and action, between God’s Word on paper and God’s Word in our life. What mastication is to the physical life of the cow, meditation is to the spiritual life of those created in the image of God.

C H Spurgeon asks a good question…

“Have you a spiritual taste, dear Hearer? It is one thing to hear the Word. It is another thing to taste it. Hearing the Word is often blessed, but tasting it is a more inward and spiritual thing—it is the enjoyment of the Truth in the innermost parts of our being! Oh, that we were all as fond of the Word as were the old mystics who chewed the cud of meditation till they were fattened upon the Word of the Lord and their souls grew strong in the Divine Love! I am sure of this—the more you know of God’s Word, the more you will love it!”—The True Sayings of God – #3144

Meditation is ANALYZING. Literally analyzing describes the art of taking an intentional, lengthy look at a given object as the jeweler does when he puts his eyepiece on to examine the character and qualities of a flawless diamond. Indeed, “The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.” (Ps 12:6-note) Meditation on the living and active (energetic) Word (Heb 4:12-note) is like gazing at a prism, which breaks a single beam of sunlight into many component colors. As we take time to steadily focus on the “diamond” of God’s Word, the Spirit illumines the Son’s light in His many and variegated “colors and hues.”

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law (Psalm 119:18).

Meditation is ACTION. Someone has described it: “Making words into thoughts and thoughts into actions.” It is mental planning ahead with definite action in mind for accomplishing a job. Andrew Murray describes it: “Holding the Word of God in your heart until it has affected every phase of your life… this is meditation.”

Now tie these three thoughts together: chewing, analyzing and action. Reflect on each of them now before reading any further. Give God time for divine polishing in His secret place in order to more effectually reproduce His glory and beauty in public.

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou SHALT MEDITATE therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for THEN thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” [Joshua 1:8]

[Quoted from Precept Austin.org]

LOVING THE WORD OF GOD

LOVING THE WORD OF GOD – [Psalm 119:97]

C.H. Spurgeon

“O how love I Thy Law!” It is a note of exclamation. He loves so much that he must express his love, and express it to God in rapturous devotion. In making the attempt he perceives that his emotion is inexpressible, and therefore he cries, “O how I love!” We not only reverence but love the law, we obey it out of love, and even when it chides us for disobedience we love it none the less. The law is God’s law, and therefore it is our love. We love it for its holiness, and pine to be holly; we love it for its wisdom, and study to be wise; we love it for its perfection, and long to be perfect. Those who know the power of the gospel perceive an infinite loveliness in the law as they see it fulfilled and embodied in Christ Jesus.

“It is my meditation all the day” This was both the effect of his love to the law and the cause of that love. He meditated in God’s word because he loved it, and loved it the more because he meditated in it. He could not have enough of it, so ardently did he love it; all the day was not too long for his converse with it. His morning prayer, his noonday thought, his evensong were all out of Holy Writ; yea, in his worldly business he still kept his mind saturated with the law of the Lord. It is said of some men that the more you know them the less you admire them; but the reverse is true of God’s word. Familiarity with the word of God breeds affection, and affection seeks yet greater familiarity.

When “Thy law” and “my meditation” are together all the day, the day grows holy, devout, and happy, and the heart lives with God in love to His Word, and delight therein. David turned away from all else but the Word and will of the Lord, for in the preceding verse he tells us that he had seen an end of all perfection; but he turned in unto the law and tarried there the whole day of his life on earth, growing henceforth wiser and holier.

May the Lord help us all to spend more time in His Word!

“But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” [Psalm 1:2,3]

THE HUNGER TO READ HIS WORD – COMES FROM GOD

THE HUNGER TO READ HIS WORD – COMES FROM GOD

Michael Jeshurun

“Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God!” [Ecc 5:19]

That’s right! Whether it be your physical food or your spiritual food, unless the Lord gives you ‘the power to eat thereof’ you just will not have the hunger for it! How many rich people there are who have fully loaded pantries and jumbo refrigerators packed with all kinds of delicacies but have not the power or hunger to eat it for one reason or another; and how many Christians there are in our day who have access to the best theology and sound doctrinal books and have a Bible in almost every room and even on their smart-phones but alas there is no hunger for the Word of God! Or as the wise man said, “GOD GIVETH THEM NOT POWER TO EAT THEREOF, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease!” [Ecc 6:2]

If the above is a description of YOUR spiritual state then please read on . . . for it is a solemn truth that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God!” [Matt 4:4]

Let us first prayerfully read and consider the following Psalm –

“Teach me, O LORD, the way of Thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.

Give me understanding, and I shall keep Thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

Make me to go in the path of Thy commandments; for therein do I delight.

Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in Thy way.

Stablish t\Thy word unto Thy servant, who is devoted to Thy fear.

Turn away my reproach which I fear: for Thy judgments are good.

Behold, I have longed after Thy precepts: quicken me in Thy righteousness.” – [Psalm 119:33-40]

As you know, this is a psalm all about God’s Word, with each verse referring to the Bible by one of many synonyms or titles (commandments, statutes, precepts, ways, ordinances, law, etc.). In verse 40, the “behold” draws attention to the statement “I LONG for Thy precepts.” THIS IS A PSALM OF LOVING AND LONGING FOR SCRIPTURE!

Maybe you’ve heard it said that God doesn’t make us do things, won’t cause us to love Him or follow Him or walk after Him, but He wants us to do that of our own volition and will, so that our love will be spontaneous and self-caused and therefore genuine. But the writer of this psalm trusted in God, not his own heart. If God didn’t cause these, they wouldn’t happen. The problem with “free will” of humans is that men freely and willfully choose sin by nature and are not inclined to good unless God’s will and God’s free grace first rescues us from ourselves.

Fallen humans are not as naturally free as they think they are, according to Jesus in John 8; all who sin are slaves to sin, and they’re not truly free, they need the truth to SET THEM FREE, i.e. the Son to set them free to be truly free.

This writer wasn’t concerned with his free will being off limits to God’s intervention — He knew divine intervention was his only hope. If God didn’t make him walk in the right way (v. 35) his tendency would be to go his own way. Does God’s causative grace mean we’re robots? No, it recognizes we’re  REBELLIOUS at heart in need of changed hearts to be made willing to believe and read the Word. If God didn’t cause his heart to be inclined, it never would be (v. 36). If God didn’t open his eyes, they would still be closed (v. 18).

Even as believers we need to pray like this psalm if want to be like this psalmist and be growing in our desires for God’s Word.

I think it’s appropriate to quote the words of Martin Luther the Reformer, as his theology and attitude was very similar to this psalm: ‘your first duty is to begin to pray, and to pray to this effect that if it please God to accomplish something for His glory—not for yours or any other person’s—He may very graciously grant you a true understanding of His words. For no master of the divine words exists except the Author of these words, as He says: “They shall be all taught of God” (John 6:45). You must, therefore, completely despair of your own industry and ability and rely solely on the [illuminating Holy] Spirit.’[3] And he pointed to Psalm 119:34-37

  1. Give me understanding, that I may observe Thy law …
  2. Make me walk in the path of Thy commandments …
  3. Incline my heart to Thy testimonies …
  4. Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me …

Luther: ‘completely despair of your own [faculties], for by these you will not attain the goal … Rather kneel down in your private little room and with sincere humility and earnestness pray God, through His dear Son, graciously to grant you His Holy Spirit to enlighten and guide you and give you understanding.’

As one biographer summarized Luther’s view: ‘All our study is futile without the work of God overcoming our blindness and hard-heartedness. Luther and Augustine were one on this central issue of the Reformation. At the heart of Luther’s theology was a total dependence on the freedom of God’s [all-powerful] grace rescuing powerless man from the bondage of the will. Concerning free will Luther said, “Man has in his own power a freedom of the will to do or not to do external works, regulated by law and punishment [genuine choices made within his nature, but he cannot just change his nature by mere willpower] … On the other hand, man cannot by his own power purify his heart and bring forth godly gifts, such as true repentance of sins, a true, as over against an artificial, fear of God, true faith, sincere love, chastity.…”

In other words, the will is “free” to move our action, but beneath the will there is a bondage that can only be overcome by the free grace of God. Luther saw this bondage of the will as the root issue in the fight with Rome and regarded this one book of his—The Bondage of the Will— as his “best theological book, and the only one in that class worthy of publication.” … the powerlessness of man before God, not the indulgence controversy or purgatory, was the central question of the Christian faith. Man is powerless to justify himself, powerless to sanctify himself, powerless to study as he ought …

“My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto Thy judgments (Thy Word) at all times!” [Psalm 119:20]

“I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for Thy commandments (Thy Word)!” [Psalm 119:131]

“I have longed for Thy salvation (Thy Word), O LORD; and Thy Law is my delight!” [Psalm 119:174]

Praying in utter dependence is not trusting by being passive and inactive; true faith and prayer mobilizes action. We trust and obey. It’s not enough to be readers of the Word, or as James says, hearers of the Word only, we must be doers of the Word. Praying is essential and recognizes God’s sovereignty, but our responsibility is equally balanced in this passage.

It’s like Philippians 2:12-13 which commands our responsibility to “Work … For it is God which worketh in you BOTH TO WILL AND TO DO of His good pleasure.

In Galatians 2:20 Paul says “The life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God” but in the same verse he says “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” Which is it? The answer is yes/both

His philosophy wasn’t “let go and let God” – a better slogan is “get going and trust God”

If you do already love the Lord and His Word, but need revival and rekindled longings for Him and His Word, plead with God for it. It’s only natural for a baby to cry out for the only thing that will satisfy them. Peter says in the same way babies desire milk, you must desire the Word.” Right while I was writing this part of my notes this week Jaime handed me a visual illustration of this as I got to feed our newborn son. We’re supposed to continually long for the Word with the same intensity that a baby longs for his milk.

 You’re supposed to go to the Bible like a baby goes to the bottle.  The verb “long for” is a powerful desire, the strongest possible craving.  In the Greek OT that Peter and his readers would have used, this is the same word translated in Ps 42:1 “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God!”  This is a breathless, panting, a passionate earnest hunger and desire. We need to read, heed (obey), and plead for more longing for God and His Word.

“My dear Lord, I can but tell Thee that Thou knowest I long for nothing but Thyself, nothing but holiness, nothing but union with Thy will. Thou hast given me these desires, and thou alone canst give me the thing desired. My soul longs for communion with Thee, for mortification of indwelling corruption, especially spiritual pride. How precious it is to have a tender sense and clear apprehension of the mystery of godliness, of true holiness! What a blessedness to be like Thee as much as it is possible for a creature to be like its creator! Lord, give me more of Thy likeness; enlarge my soul to contain fullness of holiness; engage me to live more for Thee. Help me to be less pleased with my spiritual experiences, and when I feel at ease after sweet communings, teach me it is far too little I know and do. Blessed Lord, let me climb up near to Thee, and love, and long, and plead, and wrestle with Thee, and pant for deliverance from the body of sin, for my heart is wandering and lifeless, and my soul mourns to think it should ever lose sight of its beloved. Wrap my life in divine love, and keep me ever desiring Thee, always humble and resigned to Thy will, more fixed on Thyself, that I may be more fitted for doing and-suffering. In Jesus’ name Amen!”

[The above is a condensation from a sermon by brother Philip G. Layton titled – “Increasing Your Hunger and Longing for God’s Word”]  

THE LORD HAS TO GIVE YOU A HUNGER TO READ HIS WORD

THE LORD HAS TO GIVE YOU A HUNGER TO READ HIS WORD

Michael Jeshurun

“History has repeated itself. Of old, God complained of Ephraim, “I have written to him the great things of My Law, but they were counted as a strange thing” (Hosea 8:12). Observe how God speaks of His Law: “The great things of My Law”! They are not precepts of little moment, but to be lightly esteemed, and slighted; but are of great authority, importance, and value. But, as then, so during the last few years, they have been “counted as a strange thing”. – A.W. Pink

“Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God!” [Ecc 5:19]

That’s right! Whether it be your physical food or your spiritual food, unless the Lord gives you ‘the power to eat thereof’ you just will not have the hunger for it! How many rich people there are who have fully loaded pantries and jumbo refrigerators packed with all kinds of delicacies but have not the power or hunger to eat it for one reason or another; and how many Christians there are in our day who have access to the best theology and sound doctrinal books and have a Bible in almost every room and even on their smart-phones but alas there is no hunger for the Word of God! Or as the wise man said, “GOD GIVETH THEM NOT POWER TO EAT THEREOF, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease!” [Ecc 6:2]

If the above is a description of YOUR spiritual state then please read on . . . for it is a solemn truth that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God!” [Matt 4:4]

Let us first prayerfully read and consider the following Psalm –

“Teach me, O LORD, the way of Thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.

Give me understanding, and I shall keep Thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

Make me to go in the path of Thy commandments; for therein do I delight.

Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in Thy way.

Stablish t\Thy word unto Thy servant, who is devoted to Thy fear.

Turn away my reproach which I fear: for Thy judgments are good.

Behold, I have longed after Thy precepts: quicken me in Thy righteousness.” – [Psalm 119:33-40]

As you know, this is a psalm all about God’s Word, with each verse referring to the Bible by one of many synonyms or titles (commandments, statutes, precepts, ways, ordinances, law, etc.). In verse 40, the “behold” draws attention to the statement “I LONG for Thy precepts.” THIS IS A PSALM OF LOVING AND LONGING FOR SCRIPTURE!

Maybe you’ve heard it said that God doesn’t make us do things, won’t cause us to love Him or follow Him or walk after Him, but He wants us to do that of our own volition and will, so that our love will be spontaneous and self-caused and therefore genuine. But the writer of this psalm trusted in God, not his own heart. If God didn’t cause these, they wouldn’t happen. The problem with “free will” of humans is that men freely and willfully choose sin by nature and are not inclined to good unless God’s will and God’s free grace first rescues us from ourselves.

Fallen humans are not as naturally free as they think they are, according to Jesus in John 8; all who sin are slaves to sin, and they’re not truly free, they need the truth to SET THEM FREE, i.e. the Son to set them free to be truly free.

This writer wasn’t concerned with his free will being off limits to God’s intervention — He knew divine intervention was his only hope. If God didn’t make him walk in the right way (v. 35) his tendency would be to go his own way. Does God’s causative grace mean we’re robots? No, it recognizes we’re REBELLIOUS at heart in need of changed hearts to be made willing to believe and read the Word. If God didn’t cause his heart to be inclined, it never would be (v. 36). If God didn’t open his eyes, they would still be closed (v. 18).

Even as believers we need to pray like this psalm if want to be like this psalmist and be growing in our desires for God’s Word.

I think it’s appropriate to quote the words of Martin Luther the Reformer, as his theology and attitude was very similar to this psalm: ‘your first duty is to begin to pray, and to pray to this effect that if it please God to accomplish something for His glory—not for yours or any other person’s—He may very graciously grant you a true understanding of His words. For no master of the divine words exists except the Author of these words, as He says: “They shall be all taught of God” (John 6:45). You must, therefore, completely despair of your own industry and ability and rely solely on the [illuminating Holy] Spirit.’[3] And he pointed to Psalm 119:34-37

Give me understanding, that I may observe Thy law …
Make me walk in the path of Thy commandments …
Incline my heart to Thy testimonies …
Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me …
Luther: ‘completely despair of your own [faculties], for by these you will not attain the goal … Rather kneel down in your private little room and with sincere humility and earnestness pray God, through His dear Son, graciously to grant you His Holy Spirit to enlighten and guide you and give you understanding.’

As one biographer summarized Luther’s view: ‘All our study is futile without the work of God overcoming our blindness and hard-heartedness. Luther and Augustine were one on this central issue of the Reformation. At the heart of Luther’s theology was a total dependence on the freedom of God’s [all-powerful] grace rescuing powerless man from the bondage of the will. Concerning free will Luther said, “Man has in his own power a freedom of the will to do or not to do external works, regulated by law and punishment [genuine choices made within his nature, but he cannot just change his nature by mere willpower] … On the other hand, man cannot by his own power purify his heart and bring forth godly gifts, such as true repentance of sins, a true, as over against an artificial, fear of God, true faith, sincere love, chastity.…”

In other words, the will is “free” to move our action, but beneath the will there is a bondage that can only be overcome by the free grace of God. Luther saw this bondage of the will as the root issue in the fight with Rome and regarded this one book of his—The Bondage of the Will— as his “best theological book, and the only one in that class worthy of publication.” … the powerlessness of man before God, not the indulgence controversy or purgatory, was the central question of the Christian faith. Man is powerless to justify himself, powerless to sanctify himself, powerless to study as he ought …

“My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto Thy judgments (Thy Word) at all times!” [Psalm 119:20]

“I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for Thy commandments (Thy Word)!” [Psalm 119:131]

“I have longed for Thy salvation (Thy Word), O LORD; and Thy Law is my delight!” [Psalm 119:174]

Praying in utter dependence is not trusting by being passive and inactive; true faith and prayer mobilizes action. We trust and obey. It’s not enough to be readers of the Word, or as James says, hearers of the Word only, we must be doers of the Word. Praying is essential and recognizes God’s sovereignty, but our responsibility is equally balanced in this passage.

It’s like Philippians 2:12-13 which commands our responsibility to “Work … For it is God which worketh in you BOTH TO WILL AND TO DO of His good pleasure.”

In Galatians 2:20 Paul says “The life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God” but in the same verse he says “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” Which is it? The answer is yes/both

His philosophy wasn’t “let go and let God” – a better slogan is “get going and trust God”

If you do already love the Lord and His Word, but need revival and rekindled longings for Him and His Word, plead with God for it. It’s only natural for a baby to cry out for the only thing that will satisfy them. Peter says in the same way babies desire milk, you must desire the Word.” Right while I was writing this part of my notes this week Jaime handed me a visual illustration of this as I got to feed our newborn son. We’re supposed to continually long for the Word with the same intensity that a baby longs for his milk.

You’re supposed to go to the Bible like a baby goes to the bottle. The verb “long for” is a powerful desire, the strongest possible craving. In the Greek OT that Peter and his readers would have used, this is the same word translated in Ps 42:1 “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God!” This is a breathless, panting, a passionate earnest hunger and desire. We need to read, heed (obey), and plead for more longing for God and His Word.

“My dear Lord, I can but tell Thee that Thou knowest I long for nothing but Thyself, nothing but holiness, nothing but union with Thy will. Thou hast given me these desires, and thou alone canst give me the thing desired. My soul longs for communion with Thee, for mortification of indwelling corruption, especially spiritual pride. How precious it is to have a tender sense and clear apprehension of the mystery of godliness, of true holiness! What a blessedness to be like Thee as much as it is possible for a creature to be like its creator! Lord, give me more of Thy likeness; enlarge my soul to contain fullness of holiness; engage me to live more for Thee. Help me to be less pleased with my spiritual experiences, and when I feel at ease after sweet communings, teach me it is far too little I know and do. Blessed Lord, let me climb up near to Thee, and love, and long, and plead, and wrestle with Thee, and pant for deliverance from the body of sin, for my heart is wandering and lifeless, and my soul mourns to think it should ever lose sight of its beloved. Wrap my life in divine love, and keep me ever desiring Thee, always humble and resigned to Thy will, more fixed on Thyself, that I may be more fitted for doing and-suffering. In Jesus’ name Amen!”

[The above is a condensation from a sermon by brother Philip G. Layton titled – “Increasing Your Hunger and Longing for God’s Word”]

40 YEARS AGO SONY’S WALKMAN CHANGED THE WAY GOD’S ELECT LISTENED TO HIS WORD

40 YEARS AGO SONY’S WALKMAN CHANGED THE WAY GOD’S ELECT LISTENED TO HIS WORD

Michael Jeshurun

The Sony Walkman is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month. The once famous now little known gadget was introduced with little fanfare in the summer of 1979, but it didn’t take long before the whole world fell in love with the diminutive device. The Sony Walkman TPS-L2, a 14-ounce (397 gram), blue-and-silver portable cassette player, had an impact that was monumental.

While this meant adding sin to sin [Isaiah 30:1] to the reprobate of the world, it meant an untold blessing to many of God’s children the world over. NOW they were no longer dependent on their little radios to hear God’s Word, but could listen to it AT WILL and carry their audio Bible and sermon cassettes wherever they went.

When I first laid my hands on this little marvel – The Sony Walkman, I was still lost in the Occult and so used my device to listen to Heavy Metal and Rock music for the most part. But Regeneration changed all that! The wretch who was once tripping on ‘Deep Purple’ and ‘Black Sabbath’ now started using the very same device to relish the ‘Best of Romans’ – I mean Paul’s epistle to the Romans, the Ephesians and the Galatians etc.

Coming out of the darkness of the Occult for me was like literally coming out of the darkness and filth of the sewer onto the pleasant meadows and lush green pastures by the still waters – I mean the grass actually looked greener and the sky bluer! And most of all . . . the Bible – i.e. the Word of God was better unto me than thousands of gold and silver! [Psalm 119:72] I rejoiced at His Word “as one that had found great spoil.” [Psalm 119:162] They were to me as the Psalmist put it “More to be desired than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” [Psalm 19:10]

When I was young in the Lord, if there was portion of scripture I liked I would immediately work on committing it to memory. I would sit down and write out possible questions people may ask concerning my faith and write out the scriptures that answered them and memorize them . . . with the reference! “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer.” [Prov 15:28] And again – “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and BE READY always to GIVE AN ANSWER TO EVERY MAN that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with MEEKNESS AND FEAR.” [1Pet 3:15]

And in hearing the Word of God audibly my Sony Walkman played a big role. I had the complete Bible on cassette tape read by the renowned Alexander Scourby. For those who may not know, “Alexander Scourby was an accomplished Broadway actor, radio personality, narrator of many television documentaries, and a highly paid voice over talent for some of the largest United States corporations. His expressive way of narrating the Bible is more than just a narration, it was a performance of a lifetime. His narration of the Bible has been the most widely listened to narration of the Bible in the world and is still the most sought after narration on the market today.” – Ryan Mcguire. As far as diction, fluency, enunciation and feeling goes there is no comparison to Scourby’s reading of the KJV. It is the best there is!

Now with the coming of the Internet and the ‘Information Technology’ you don’t need a Sony Walkman or an audio cassette anymore. You can download the complete Audio Bible App right on your smartphone and listen to it anytime you please. I personally would recommend the ‘Tecarta KJV Audio Bible’ which is available both on the Apple and the Android Play store and it is FREE! You can either listen to it directly online or just download the Bible books you need onto your smartphone and listen to it even when you’re not connected to the Internet.

Back in those days and even to this day every time I am either in the kitchen cooking or doing some clean-up inside the house, there is always an Alexander Scourby’s Audio Bible playing, either on my Bluetooth player or I’m listening to it on my earpods. And though I may be physically involved in the cooking, my mind and spirit are tuned in to the reading of the Scriptures.

And here is a little tip if you want to REALLY get the Word into your system – when you are listening to the Audio Bible whether on your music system or on your mobile device and you are not doing any other work but just sitting on your couch or laying down in bed; open your Bible to that chapter either on your smartphone or a leather-bound printed Bible and FOLLOW ALONG AS IT IS BEING READ. This way both YOUR EYES AND YOUR EARS ARE SIMULTANEOUSLY WORKING to register the Word of God and you will be amazed as to how much more you will remember and retain.

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee!” [Psalm 119:11]

The more you train and task your brain to remember and recollect, the sharper it will get in the course of time. When you lay down in bed at night before you retire, try to recollect some of the verses you read that day and try to quote it as close to the text as possible . . . and if you are not getting it right, don’t just roll over and go to sleep, but switch on your smartphone and open your Bible app and search for that verse using the key words. Almost all KJV Bible apps nowadays come with a decent ‘search engine’ . . . make good use of it and get it right!

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and IN HIS LAW DOTH HE MEDITATE DAY AND NIGHT!

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper!” [Psalm 1:1-3]

Praise the Lord!

WHATEVER ELSE YOU MAY HAVE ‘RESOLVED’ FOR THE COMING YEAR, MAKE IT YOUR PRIMARY AIM TO SPEND MORE TIME IN GOD’S HOLY WORD

WHATEVER ELSE YOU MAY HAVE ‘RESOLVED’ FOR THE COMING YEAR, MAKE IT YOUR PRIMARY AIM TO SPEND MORE TIME IN GOD’S HOLY WORD

compiled by Michael Jeshurun

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby.” [1Peter 2:2]

“The only real food of the soul must be of God’s own appointing, preparing, and communicating.

You can never deceive a hungry child. You may give it a plaything but still it cries. It may serve for a few minutes; but the pains of hunger are not to be removed by a doll. A toy horse will not allay the cravings after the mother’s breast.

So with babes in grace. A hungry soul cannot feed upon playthings. Altars, robes, ceremonies, candlesticks, bowings, mutterings, painted windows, intoning priests, and singing men and women; these dolls and wooden horses; these toys and playthings of the religious baby house, cannot feed the soul that, like David, cries out after the living God (Psalm 42:23).

Christ, the bread of life, the manna that came down from heaven, is the only food of the believing soul (John 6:51).

‘Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart!” [Jer 15:16]”

– by J.C. Philpot 

GREAT QUOTES ON GOD’S WORD – 

A.W. PINK (1886-1952): One of the exhortations which God has addressed to His children runs, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” [1 Pet. 2:2], and it behooves each one of them honestly and diligently to examine himself so as to discover whether or not this be the case with him. Nor are we to be content with an increase of mere head-knowledge of Scripture: what we need to be most concerned about is our practical growth, our experimental conformity to the image of Christ. And one point at which we may test ourselves is, Does my reading and study of God’s Word make me less worldly?

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): Strong desires and affections to the Word of God are a sure evidence of a person’s being born again. If they be such desires as the babe has for the milk, they prove that the person is new-born. They are the lowest evidence, but yet they are certain.

ROBERT MURRAY M’CHEYNE (1813-1843): If ye be led by the Spirit, ye will love the Bible. You will say, “Oh, how I love thy law, it is my meditation all the day,” Psalm 119:97.

GEORGE MÜLLER (1805-1898): Through His Word, our Father speaks to us, encourages us, comforts us, instructs us, humbles us, and reproves us.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): Read it because it is the food that God has provided for your soul, because it is the Word of God, because it is the means whereby you can get to know God. Read it because it is the bread of life, the manna provided for your soul’s nourishment and well-being…The Bible is God’s Book and it is a Book of Life. It is a Book that speaks to us a word from God.

ALEXANDER COMRIE (1706-1774): It is true that God does not address you in His Word by name, but the Word is to each one in particular. “Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of men,” Proverbs 8:4; what Jesus declares unto you, is spoken to you in particular, as though your name and surname stood printed in the Bible.

THOMAS MANTON (1620-1677): What the Scripture speaketh to all, is to be esteemed as spoken to every singular person, for they are included in their universality―So Psalm 27:8, “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face, my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” God’s words invite all, but David maketh the application to himself.

THOMAS ADAM (1701-1784): Everyone should apply Scripture to himself, as if it was written for him only.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): The Bible is a book which calls not so much for the exertion of our intellect as it does for the exercise of our affections, conscience and will. God has given it to us not for our entertainment but for our education, to make known what He requires from us. It is to be the traveller’s guide as he journeys through the maze of this world, the mariner’s chart as he sails the sea of life. Therefore, whenever we open the Bible, the all-important consideration for each of us to keep before him is, What is there here for me today? What bearing does the passage now before me have upon my present case and circumstances—what warning, what encouragement, what information? What instruction is there to direct me in the management of my business, to guide me in the ordering of my domestic and social affairs, to promote a closer walking with God?

WILLIAM JAY (1769-1853): We should read with a view to self-application. Instead of thinking of others—which is too frequently the case—we should think of ourselves, inquiring how it bears upon our own character and condition.

THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): Take every word as spoken to yourselves. When the Word thunders against sin, think thus: “God means MY sins.” When it emphasizes any duty, “God intends ME in this.” Many put off Scripture from themselves, as if it only concerned those who lived in the time when it was written; but if you intend to profit by the Word, bring it home to yourselves: a medicine will do no good, unless it be applied.

THOMAS BRADBURY (1831-1905): You read your Bible every day, you say? Well! that is good so far as it goes. But does the Bible ever read you?

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: When the Spirit is illuminating the page and our minds at the same time, as He does with a child, the first thing you’re conscious of is that the Bible after all is speaking to YOU. When you read about the Pharisees, you’re not reading about people who lived two thousand years ago, you feel you’re reading about yourself. And when you read about some of these characters in the Old Testament, David and so on, you’re not reading a history book, you’re reading about yourself. You say, “That’s me! It’s all very well; it looks terrible in David, but I’ve got that sort of thing IN ME.” When the Bible speaks to you like that, you’re a child of God. He never does that with a hypocrite. He never does that with a man who only has an intellectual interest in it. If you feel therefore that the Bible is speaking to you about yourself, speaking to you directly, that it’s not merely some general truth, or the gathering of doctrines, but is a LIVING word that’s saying something to you, upbraiding you, condemning you, increasing your hunger and thirst, and so on―well then that’s a living spiritual relationship that the Holy Spirit alone can produce.

WILLIAM TYNDALE (1490-1536): As thou readest, think that every syllable pertaineth to thine own self, and suck out the pith of Scripture.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: When you are reading your Scriptures in this way— it matters not whether you have read little or much—if a verse stands out and hits you and arrests you, do not go on reading. Stop immediately, and listen to it. It is speaking to you, so listen to it and speak to it.

JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): Say, therefore, with David, “Blessed be thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes,” Psalm 119:12. And with Zwingli, “I beseech Thee, Almighty God, to direct our ways.”

ROWLAND HILL (1744-1833): You never read God’s Word to profit but as it teaches you to pray while you read.

A. W. PINK: There should be a definite asking of Him to graciously anoint our eyes, (Revelation 3:18), not only that we may be enabled to behold wondrous things in His law, (Psalm 119:18), but also that He will make us of quick discernment to perceive how the passage before us applies to ourselves—what are the particular lessons we need to learn from it. The more we cultivate this habit, the more likely that God will be pleased to open His Word unto us.

MATTHEW HENRY: The Bible is a letter God has sent to us; prayer is a letter we send to Him.

BROWNLOW NORTH (1810-1875): Never neglect daily private Bible reading. And when you read, remember that God is speaking to you.

 

IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO READ YOUR BIBLE – YOU MUST MEDITATE ON IT

IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO READ YOUR BIBLE – YOU MUST MEDITATE ON IT

Saturation with the Scriptures is the Secret to Satisfaction of our Souls

The Puritan writer Thomas Brooks offers an excellent description of Biblical meditation…

Remember that it is not hasty reading—but serious meditation on holy and heavenly truths, which makes them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the mere touching of the flower by the bee which gathers honey (cp Ps 19:10-note; Ps 119:103-note)—but her abiding for a time on the flower which draws out the sweet. It is not he who reads most, but he who meditates most—who will prove to be the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.”

Meditation is CHEWING. Meditation is aptly depicted by the cow’s process of mastication (chewing). God has so constructed bovines to bring up previously digested food for additional grinding to enable optimal assimilation of the “cud.” Meditation is pondering and reviewing various thoughts (especially the thoughts/words of God) by mulling them over in one’s mind and heart (our “control center” so to speak – see Pr 4:23-note).

Meditation is the processing of God’s food for our soul (real “soul food!) One might call it “divine thought digestion.” “Chewing” upon a divine thought, deliberately and diligently, a process which (enabled by the Spirit our “Sanctifier”) provides the vital link between theory and action, between God’s Word on paper and God’s Word in our life. What mastication is to the physical life of the cow, meditation is to the spiritual life of those created in the image of God.

C H Spurgeon asks a good question…

“Have you a spiritual taste, dear Hearer? It is one thing to hear the Word. It is another thing to taste it. Hearing the Word is often blessed, but tasting it is a more inward and spiritual thing—it is the enjoyment of the Truth in the innermost parts of our being! Oh, that we were all as fond of the Word as were the old mystics who chewed the cud of meditation till they were fattened upon the Word of the Lord and their souls grew strong in the Divine Love! I am sure of this—the more you know of God’s Word, the more you will love it!”—The True Sayings of God – #3144

Meditation is ANALYZING. Literally analyzing describes the art of taking an intentional, lengthy look at a given object as the jeweler does when he puts his eyepiece on to examine the character and qualities of a flawless diamond. Indeed, “The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.” (Ps 12:6-note) Meditation on the living and active (energetic) Word (Heb 4:12-note) is like gazing at a prism, which breaks a single beam of sunlight into many component colors. As we take time to steadily focus on the “diamond” of God’s Word, the Spirit illumines the Son’s light in His many and variegated “colors and hues.”

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law (Psalm 119:18).

Meditation is ACTION. Someone has described it: “Making words into thoughts and thoughts into actions.” It is mental planning ahead with definite action in mind for accomplishing a job. Andrew Murray describes it: “Holding the Word of God in your heart until it has affected every phase of your life… this is meditation.”

Now tie these three thoughts together: chewing, analyzing and action. Reflect on each of them now before reading any further. Give God time for divine polishing in His secret place in order to more effectually reproduce His glory and beauty in public.

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou SHALT MEDITATE therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for THEN thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” [Joshua 1:8]

[Quoted from Precept Austin.org]

GOD HAS TO GIVE YOU A HUNGER TO READ HIS WORD

GOD HAS TO GIVE YOU A HUNGER TO READ HIS WORD

Michael Jeshurun

“Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God!” [Ecc 5:19]

That’s right! Whether it be your physical food or your spiritual food, unless the Lord gives you ‘the power to eat thereof’ you just will not have the hunger for it! How many rich people there are who have fully loaded pantries and jumbo refrigerators packed with all kinds of delicacies but have not the power or hunger to eat it for one reason or another; and how many Christians there are in our day who have access to the best theology and sound doctrinal books and have a Bible in almost every room and even on their smart-phones but alas there is no hunger for the Word of God! Or as the wise man said, “GOD GIVETH THEM NOT POWER TO EAT THEREOF, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease!” [Ecc 6:2]

If the above is a description of YOUR spiritual state then please read on . . . for it is a solemn truth that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God!” [Matt 4:4]

Let us first prayerfully read and consider the following Psalm –

“Teach me, O LORD, the way of Thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.

Give me understanding, and I shall keep Thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

Make me to go in the path of Thy commandments; for therein do I delight.

Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in Thy way.

Stablish t\Thy word unto Thy servant, who is devoted to Thy fear.

Turn away my reproach which I fear: for Thy judgments are good.

Behold, I have longed after Thy precepts: quicken me in Thy righteousness.” – [Psalm 119:33-40]

As you know, this is a psalm all about God’s Word, with each verse referring to the Bible by one of many synonyms or titles (commandments, statutes, precepts, ways, ordinances, law, etc.). In verse 40, the “behold” draws attention to the statement “I LONG for Thy precepts.” THIS IS A PSALM OF LOVING AND LONGING FOR SCRIPTURE!

Maybe you’ve heard it said that God doesn’t make us do things, won’t cause us to love Him or follow Him or walk after Him, but He wants us to do that of our own volition and will, so that our love will be spontaneous and self-caused and therefore genuine. But the writer of this psalm trusted in God, not his own heart. If God didn’t cause these, they wouldn’t happen. The problem with “free will” of humans is that men freely and willfully choose sin by nature and are not inclined to good unless God’s will and God’s free grace first rescues us from ourselves.

Fallen humans are not as naturally free as they think they are, according to Jesus in John 8; all who sin are slaves to sin, and they’re not truly free, they need the truth to SET THEM FREE, i.e. the Son to set them free to be truly free.

This writer wasn’t concerned with his free will being off limits to God’s intervention — He knew divine intervention was his only hope. If God didn’t make him walk in the right way (v. 35) his tendency would be to go his own way. Does God’s causative grace mean we’re robots? No, it recognizes we’re  REBELLIOUS at heart in need of changed hearts to be made willing to believe and read the Word. If God didn’t cause his heart to be inclined, it never would be (v. 36). If God didn’t open his eyes, they would still be closed (v. 18).

Even as believers we need to pray like this psalm if want to be like this psalmist and be growing in our desires for God’s Word.

I think it’s appropriate to quote the words of Martin Luther the Reformer, as his theology and attitude was very similar to this psalm: ‘your first duty is to begin to pray, and to pray to this effect that if it please God to accomplish something for His glory—not for yours or any other person’s—He may very graciously grant you a true understanding of His words. For no master of the divine words exists except the Author of these words, as He says: “They shall be all taught of God” (John 6:45). You must, therefore, completely despair of your own industry and ability and rely solely on the [illuminating Holy] Spirit.’[3] And he pointed to Psalm 119:34-37

  1. Give me understanding, that I may observe Thy law …
  2. Make me walk in the path of Thy commandments …
  3. Incline my heart to Thy testimonies …
  4. Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me …

Luther: ‘completely despair of your own [faculties], for by these you will not attain the goal … Rather kneel down in your private little room and with sincere humility and earnestness pray God, through His dear Son, graciously to grant you His Holy Spirit to enlighten and guide you and give you understanding.’

As one biographer summarized Luther’s view: ‘All our study is futile without the work of God overcoming our blindness and hard-heartedness. Luther and Augustine were one on this central issue of the Reformation. At the heart of Luther’s theology was a total dependence on the freedom of God’s [all-powerful] grace rescuing powerless man from the bondage of the will. Concerning free will Luther said, “Man has in his own power a freedom of the will to do or not to do external works, regulated by law and punishment [genuine choices made within his nature, but he cannot just change his nature by mere willpower] … On the other hand, man cannot by his own power purify his heart and bring forth godly gifts, such as true repentance of sins, a true, as over against an artificial, fear of God, true faith, sincere love, chastity.…”

In other words, the will is “free” to move our action, but beneath the will there is a bondage that can only be overcome by the free grace of God. Luther saw this bondage of the will as the root issue in the fight with Rome and regarded this one book of his—The Bondage of the Will— as his “best theological book, and the only one in that class worthy of publication.” … the powerlessness of man before God, not the indulgence controversy or purgatory, was the central question of the Christian faith. Man is powerless to justify himself, powerless to sanctify himself, powerless to study as he ought …

“My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto Thy judgments (Thy Word) at all times!” [Psalm 119:20]

“I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for Thy commandments (Thy Word)!” [Psalm 119:131]

“I have longed for Thy salvation (Thy Word), O LORD; and Thy Law is my delight!” [Psalm 119:174]

Praying in utter dependence is not trusting by being passive and inactive; true faith and prayer mobilizes action. We trust and obey. It’s not enough to be readers of the Word, or as James says, hearers of the Word only, we must be doers of the Word. Praying is essential and recognizes God’s sovereignty, but our responsibility is equally balanced in this passage.

It’s like Philippians 2:12-13 which commands our responsibility to “Work … For it is God which worketh in you BOTH TO WILL AND TO DO of His good pleasure.

In Galatians 2:20 Paul says “The life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God” but in the same verse he says “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” Which is it? The answer is yes/both

His philosophy wasn’t “let go and let God” – a better slogan is “get going and trust God”

If you do already love the Lord and His Word, but need revival and rekindled longings for Him and His Word, plead with God for it. It’s only natural for a baby to cry out for the only thing that will satisfy them. Peter says in the same way babies desire milk, you must desire the Word.” Right while I was writing this part of my notes this week Jaime handed me a visual illustration of this as I got to feed our newborn son. We’re supposed to continually long for the Word with the same intensity that a baby longs for his milk.

 You’re supposed to go to the Bible like a baby goes to the bottle.  The verb “long for” is a powerful desire, the strongest possible craving.  In the Greek OT that Peter and his readers would have used, this is the same word translated in Ps 42:1 “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God!”  This is a breathless, panting, a passionate earnest hunger and desire. We need to read, heed (obey), and plead for more longing for God and His Word.

“My dear Lord, I can but tell Thee that Thou knowest I long for nothing but Thyself, nothing but holiness, nothing but union with Thy will. Thou hast given me these desires, and thou alone canst give me the thing desired. My soul longs for communion with Thee, for mortification of indwelling corruption, especially spiritual pride. How precious it is to have a tender sense and clear apprehension of the mystery of godliness, of true holiness! What a blessedness to be like Thee as much as it is possible for a creature to be like its creator! Lord, give me more of Thy likeness; enlarge my soul to contain fullness of holiness; engage me to live more for Thee. Help me to be less pleased with my spiritual experiences, and when I feel at ease after sweet communings, teach me it is far too little I know and do. Blessed Lord, let me climb up near to Thee, and love, and long, and plead, and wrestle with Thee, and pant for deliverance from the body of sin, for my heart is wandering and lifeless, and my soul mourns to think it should ever lose sight of its beloved. Wrap my life in divine love, and keep me ever desiring Thee, always humble and resigned to Thy will, more fixed on Thyself, that I may be more fitted for doing and-suffering. In Jesus’ name Amen!”

[The above is a condensation from a sermon by brother Philip G. Layton titled – “Increasing Your Hunger and Longing for God’s Word”]  

SATURATING YOURSELF WITH THE SCRIPTURES

SATURATING YOURSELF WITH THE SCRIPTURES

Saturation with the Scriptures is the Secret to Satisfaction of our Souls

The Puritan writer Thomas Brooks offers an excellent description of Biblical meditation…

Remember that it is not hasty reading—but serious meditation on holy and heavenly truths, which makes them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the mere touching of the flower by the bee which gathers honey (cp Ps 19:10-note; Ps 119:103-note)—but her abiding for a time on the flower which draws out the sweet. It is not he who reads most, but he who meditates most—who will prove to be the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.”

Meditation is CHEWING. Meditation is aptly depicted by the cow’s process of mastication (chewing). God has so constructed bovines to bring up previously digested food for additional grinding to enable optimal assimilation of the “cud.” Meditation is pondering and reviewing various thoughts (especially the thoughts/words of God) by mulling them over in one’s mind and heart (our “control center” so to speak – see Pr 4:23-note).

Meditation is the processing of God’s food for our soul (real “soul food!) One might call it “divine thought digestion.” “Chewing” upon a divine thought, deliberately and diligently, a process which (enabled by the Spirit our “Sanctifier”) provides the vital link between theory and action, between God’s Word on paper and God’s Word in our life. What mastication is to the physical life of the cow, meditation is to the spiritual life of those created in the image of God.

C H Spurgeon asks a good question…

“Have you a spiritual taste, dear Hearer? It is one thing to hear the Word. It is another thing to taste it. Hearing the Word is often blessed, but tasting it is a more inward and spiritual thing—it is the enjoyment of the Truth in the innermost parts of our being! Oh, that we were all as fond of the Word as were the old mystics who chewed the cud of meditation till they were fattened upon the Word of the Lord and their souls grew strong in the Divine Love! I am sure of this—the more you know of God’s Word, the more you will love it!”—The True Sayings of God – #3144

Meditation is ANALYZING. Literally analyzing describes the art of taking an intentional, lengthy look at a given object as the jeweler does when he puts his eyepiece on to examine the character and qualities of a flawless diamond. Indeed, “The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.” (Ps 12:6-note) Meditation on the living and active (energetic) Word (Heb 4:12-note) is like gazing at a prism, which breaks a single beam of sunlight into many component colors. As we take time to steadily focus on the “diamond” of God’s Word, the Spirit illumines the Son’s light in His many and variegated “colors and hues.”

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law (Psalm 119:18).

Meditation is ACTION. Someone has described it: “Making words into thoughts and thoughts into actions.” It is mental planning ahead with definite action in mind for accomplishing a job. Andrew Murray describes it: “Holding the Word of God in your heart until it has affected every phase of your life… this is meditation.”

Now tie these three thoughts together: chewing, analyzing and action. Reflect on each of them now before reading any further. Give God time for divine polishing in His secret place in order to more effectually reproduce His glory and beauty in public.

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou SHALT MEDITATE therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for THEN thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” [Joshua 1:8]

[Quoted from Precept Austin.org]

READING GOD’S WORD IS NOT ENOUGH – YOU MUST MEDITATE ON IT

READING GOD’S WORD IS NOT ENOUGH – YOU MUST MEDITATE ON IT

Saturation with the Scriptures is the Secret to Satisfaction of our Souls

The Puritan writer Thomas Brooks offers an excellent description of Biblical meditation…

Remember that it is not hasty reading—but serious meditation on holy and heavenly truths, which makes them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the mere touching of the flower by the bee which gathers honey (cp Ps 19:10-note; Ps 119:103-note)—but her abiding for a time on the flower which draws out the sweet. It is not he who reads most, but he who meditates most—who will prove to be the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.”

Meditation is CHEWING. Meditation is aptly depicted by the cow’s process of mastication (chewing). God has so constructed bovines to bring up previously digested food for additional grinding to enable optimal assimilation of the “cud.” Meditation is pondering and reviewing various thoughts (especially the thoughts/words of God) by mulling them over in one’s mind and heart (our “control center” so to speak – see Pr 4:23-note).

Meditation is the processing of God’s food for our soul (real “soul food!) One might call it “divine thought digestion.” “Chewing” upon a divine thought, deliberately and diligently, a process which (enabled by the Spirit our “Sanctifier”) provides the vital link between theory and action, between God’s Word on paper and God’s Word in our life. What mastication is to the physical life of the cow, meditation is to the spiritual life of those created in the image of God.

C H Spurgeon asks a good question…

“Have you a spiritual taste, dear Hearer? It is one thing to hear the Word. It is another thing to taste it. Hearing the Word is often blessed, but tasting it is a more inward and spiritual thing—it is the enjoyment of the Truth in the innermost parts of our being! Oh, that we were all as fond of the Word as were the old mystics who chewed the cud of meditation till they were fattened upon the Word of the Lord and their souls grew strong in the Divine Love! I am sure of this—the more you know of God’s Word, the more you will love it!”—The True Sayings of God – #3144

Meditation is ANALYZING. Literally analyzing describes the art of taking an intentional, lengthy look at a given object as the jeweler does when he puts his eyepiece on to examine the character and qualities of a flawless diamond. Indeed, “The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.” (Ps 12:6-note) Meditation on the living and active (energetic) Word (Heb 4:12-note) is like gazing at a prism, which breaks a single beam of sunlight into many component colors. As we take time to steadily focus on the “diamond” of God’s Word, the Spirit illumines the Son’s light in His many and variegated “colors and hues.”

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law (Psalm 119:18).

Meditation is ACTION. Someone has described it: “Making words into thoughts and thoughts into actions.” It is mental planning ahead with definite action in mind for accomplishing a job. Andrew Murray describes it: “Holding the Word of God in your heart until it has affected every phase of your life… this is meditation.”

Now tie these three thoughts together: chewing, analyzing and action. Reflect on each of them now before reading any further. Give God time for divine polishing in His secret place in order to more effectually reproduce His glory and beauty in public.

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou SHALT MEDITATE therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for THEN thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” [Joshua 1:8]

[Quoted from Precept Austin.org]