Friday, July 25, 2008

meditating on God's word

Meditating on God's word is something we need to do, day and night. In other words, regularly. It's good to read widely, and I aspire to that. It's important to read good commentaries on Scripture and books with reference to the faith. I believe strongly in that, and I don't think we can read the Bible properly or correctly, just on our own, even with the help of the Spirit. The Spirit can help us, individually, in our reading, don't get me wrong. But the Spirit chooses to work through the Church, Christ's Body, so we'd best do both: being in Scripture ourselves, along with others informally and formally. See here, for an excellent explanation on this.

I've recently been working through an excellent commentary on Philemon, Colossians and Ephesians- while at work in my factory job, slowly going over Ephesians. Saying it over and over in my mind has helped me to appreciate its beauty and power as God's word spoken in Jesus into my life. And having listened to The Bible Experience, I can hear the voices reading it, and I've found this helpful. I am, admittedly, an audio learner; it seems that I learn best by hearing, though a combination in using our senses to learn, is good.

It's good and important to be reading all of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, but it's also good and important to simply dwell in a passage or a book, for awhile. Let the words sink in to our minds and hearts and lives. Ponder over them. And respond to God's grace in Jesus. Even if that means just being silent before God.

What would you like to add to these thoughts on this?

7 comments:

Mike said...

I totally agree with this post Ted. Knowing the context of the Scripture as a whole is extremely important. Once that's established, it becomes time to "mine" deeper for the nuggets. Too often, I think, most Christians believe a short time reading the Scriptures in narrative form will get it done.

I'd be interested in obtaining a list of "good" helps from you if possible. Feel free to email or better yet, post it on the blog for all to see.

Blessings!

NaNcY said...

it would be nice to have a friend or loved one to read it outloud as well. either in person or on a video or audio recording. however i was thinking expecially in person would be a real treat.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Mike,
Okay, from my limited perspective and practice I'll do one of the two. I just picked up three books from Cornerstone University's library, all of which I want to read at least in part- probabably not all three completely due to lack of time, and I don't necessarily think I have to read every chapter of every book I pick up. Sometimes I end up not reading the book at all, of course. But Grand Rapids with Calvin College, Eerdmans bookstore where we can get factory "seconds" 60-70% off, Bake books and their "seconds" and the good public library system in this area and West Michigan from which we order books to our local library from many surrounding libraries- it's a great place to live for readers, particularly who are into commentaries and theological works.

Thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
Yes. Great when parents read to their children. Can put a love for reading into them, even when done just a little, but regularly, I think.

My wife, Deb, doesn't learn this way, and doesn't like to hear me read very long; she wants to read it herself. But she does like "The Bible Experience", but it is dramatized so well, so it kind of brings pictures to your mind of what the words are saying or their setting.

I read slowly, as if listening to it in my mind.

But I'm still trying to get a handle into reading Scripture like listening to the Lord, like hearing a song, which is kind of the way I think the word of God is meant to come across to us, in part at least.

Ted M. Gossard said...

One of my earliest and favorite memories is my mother reading to us, "Living Pictures for Little Eyes", by Kenneth Taylor, who paraphrased the Bible now known as "The Living Bible". Of course the stories were well worded (maybe reflects my love for the NIV and now for the TNIV translation of Scripture) and the pictures stood out in my mind. Very special.

Ike said...

The dust from the Word of God is gold!

I can't do it anymore, but I used to pray through the Word on my knee's.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, Ike. So true, and a good practice.

Thanks for visiting, and for your comment!