Biblical meditation: what and why? (Part 1)


What is biblical meditation: 1. It’s not mindfulness, transcendental meditation or self-enlightenment. 2. It’s not emptying our minds. (visit YouTube for more)


What is biblical meditation and why should we do it? That’s what we’re going to talk about. We’re going to look at seven things that explain what biblical meditation is and then seven reasons why we should do it. Because seven’s a cool number, isn’t it?

So what is biblical meditation? Well, partly we can define it by saying what it is not. So some of these are negative definitions.

Biblical meditation isn’t transcendental meditation. It’s not self enlightenment. It’s not mindfulness. It’s not any of these things that are popular and may even be helpful to some people, but that’s not what biblical meditation is.

Two, it’s not about emptying our minds. In fact, quite the reverse. We fill our minds during Christian or biblical meditation.

Three. It’s not about focusing on ourselves. The object of our meditation, when we are meditating in a godly way, is going to be God, His Word, not us. You might see some so-called Christian meditation encouraging us to meditate on ourselves and our needs, but that’s not really what Christian or biblical meditation is all about.

Four. This is a clarifying point. You don’t need relaxation or breathing techniques in order to do biblical meditation. They’re not part of it. It might be helpful, but they’re not really part of the meditation.

So those are the first four kind of negative definitions, and now three remaining positive definitions. What is biblical meditation?

So number five, it’s spiritual reflection on the verses in the Bible. We are thinking them over, we are pondering, we are asking what do the words mean, both in that context when it was written and now, and we want to know what it means broadly, what it means for us. So we ponder, we think on the words of scripture. This is biblical meditation.

So six, biblical meditation is a process that’s often accompanied by prayer. And I would say they kind of go hand in hand because when we meditate, we are opening ourselves up to the revelation that scripture brings when we meditate on the Bible, when we meditate on God. So that requires a conversation with God.

It requires us saying to him, come and speak to us, please. We want to hear from you. And that is prayer.

And then seven: what is biblical meditation? Well, it’s, it’s an incredible way of spending time with God. And we’re going to talk a bit more about why we should do it, but this is the big one, isn’t it? As Christians, we have a relationship with God.

I mean, that’s one of the things that’s distinctive about our faith. That we, through Jesus, have this relationship with Almighty God, the Creator. And biblical meditation is just an excellent way of spending time with God. And if you want to have a relationship with anyone, what do you have to do? You have to spend time with them.

So that’s what biblical meditation is, and I hope that by just looking at those seven points you can see that it is really important. But that leads into why we should do it.

So seven points on why we should meditate on the Bible. And first, and we have to start with this, really, that the Bible is our source of truth and the Bible recommends biblical meditation. Let’s just quickly look at a few scriptures. There are lots, but let’s just look at a few.

So Joshua 1 verse 8 says this book of the law shall not depart from your mouth. Now that would have been the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it. You shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

So, a lot of reasons wrapped up in that one verse. But the Bible, the point we’re focusing on here is that the Bible recommends meditating. Joshua is saying to the people, this is what we must do. And here are the reasons why.

So it shan’t depart from our mouth. We’ll always be talking about the Bible. We’ll always be talking about the words of God.

And meditating on it day and night, I mean, that doesn’t mean that the only thing in our heads are the words of God from the moment we get up to the moment we go to bed, because that’s impossible. I mean, maybe you could achieve that, but I don’t think you’d get anything else done. It’s okay to have other things in our heads besides the Bible. But meditating on it day and night, that means that we are doing it regularly, all throughout the day. Because the Bible applies to every situation in our lives, you know, so it’s always a good reference point for us.

And then, another recommendation in the Bible. Psalm chapter 1, verse 2. Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of mockers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

So, Psalm 1 is giving us this ideal character who is meditating on the law of the Lord, who’s meditating on the Bible, who’s meditating on scripture, day and night, and he’s blessed.

And then Isaiah 26 verse 3, You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. And so Isaiah here is talking about a kind of meditation when we’re making sure that our focus, our attention, remains on God. And that’s a form of meditation. And the result of that, Isaiah says,is perfect peace.

And I’m just going to put a few more scriptures up here. If you want, you can pause this video and look at them, but there are loads more scriptures that talk about meditation. A lot of them are in the Psalms, of course, which is a very, very contemplative collection of songs and writings. So that’s the first reason why we meditate on the Bible.

The second reason is that it helps us to understand what God wants for us. It helps us to understand how God wants us to behave. And if we consider the Bible to be a kind of manual for life, then it’s no surprise that that’s where we have to go if we want to understand this life, and if we want to understand how we interact with this life.

So, meditating on the Bible is great! I mean, do we ever feel confused? Do we ever feel like we’re not sure how to make decisions? The Bible doesn’t necessarily give us explicit answers to every decision, every choice that we have to make, but it does give us the means of making those choices. So, meditating on the Bible helps us to understand what God wants for us. It helps us to understand how he wants us to live, so that we can line up our lives with truth.

The third reason is that it improves our relationship with God. And I was saying this back at the end of “What is Biblical Meditation”, uh, point seven. Improving our relationship with God is a very compelling reason for meditating on the Bible, isn’t it? And I won’t belabour that point. Suffice it to say, it’s, it’s good to have a good relationship with God. And meditation on the Bible helps us get there.

The fourth point. It helps us to learn and reinforce Scripture. And Scripture is the ultimate source of truth. So learning and reinforcing truth is by definition good for us.

And a lot of the time when we meditate on a verse, we will read it over, we will repeat it over. In fact, I’m going to do another part two video in this mini series which tells us how to meditate and one of the things that we’ll be saying is the repetition of scripture both in our heads and also out loud helps us to learn and reinforce this scripture.

So learning, I don’t know if you’ve ever done memory verses, but memory verses are so helpful aren’t they, for us to bring out, in a time of pressure, in a time of crisis, a nugget of truth.

Most Christians know John 3. 16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. And we hold on to that, we meditate on that, because it’s so encouraging to us. So, biblical meditation helps us to learn scripture.

Fifth point. And this is a little bit inward looking, but that’s okay. In biblical meditation, we are inviting God to transform us through his word. You know, I said that we are opening ourselves up to receive from God, and when God works in us we are changed, and that’s one of the things that the Holy Spirit was sent to us to do, to transform us, to transform our minds, to transform our thinking. And so when we meditate on the Bible, we engage with that process.

And God wants to do this. God wants to transform us. He wants that, because it’s for our good. You know, He is perfect, and all the time He transforms us, He brings us closer to perfection. Who wouldn’t want that?

We are being transformed into God’s likeness, into Jesus’s likeness, with ever increasing glory. So engaging with meditation is part of that process. It’s a tool that God’s given us as part of his work.

And then six. In meditation, the Holy Spirit illuminates Scripture. The Holy Spirit brings revelation. And that means that you might read the same passage multiple times over the years throughout your life. But on this one particular occasion, when you’re actively engaged with that verse, when you’re meditating on it, when you’re open to hearing from God, the Holy Spirit – BAM! – whacks you between the eyes with this incredible thing that you’ve never seen before. This is one of the phenomenal things about meditation. We learn things that we don’t learn in any other way.

And then the final reason for meditating on the Bible, seven, is that it helps us to love God’s Word. The more we do it, the more we see its beauty, its richness, its depth. And loving God’s Word feeds into this cycle because the more we love God’s Word, the more we’ll want to meditate on it. And then we get all these other benefits.

I mean, we don’t do it for all these other benefits. We do it because we love God and out of obedience to him. But, wow, look at the benefits. We’re getting to know God better. We’re getting to be transformed towards perfection. We are learning truth. It’s a phenomenal tool for us. It’s a phenomenal spiritual discipline that is really great for us as Christians. So that’s what Biblical meditation is, and that’s why we should do it.

And on this channel, Phroneo, I do daily Biblical meditations. They’re only short, they’re two minutes long, but you can use those as a launch pad to do your own meditation.They’re a really easy place to start.

If you don’t know what verse to meditate on, you’re not sure how to start, watch one of the daily videos, and off you go. You can listen to the two minutes, you can pray along, and then you can carry on doing your own meditation based on what you’ve heard and based on that scripture.

Now I said there’ll be another part of this mini series, and there will be. The next time I look at meditation, it’s going to be how we meditate. What is the process? How we can do it. If you watch that video, you can then get some tips, some advice on how to make your own personal process of meditation richer and more fulfilling.

In the meantime, God bless you. Thank you for watching this video. If you’d like more of this, it sounds like a cheesy thing to say, but if you subscribe to this channel, then you’ll in your YouTube feed, you’ll get the regular videos as I release them. And also, if you hit a like, that’s really good signal to me that you appreciate this kind of content and I’ll make more of it.

And also, if you’ve got any questions about what I’ve said in this video, please just put them in the comments. I will answer, I will check the comments and we can engage.

And by the way, you bring revelation to me. I don’t know everything there is to know. So far from it. So I would love to hear from you what your thoughts are on meditation and how it helps you.

That’s all for me now. I’m Rob Pomeroy. Great to see you here.

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