Posts Tagged ‘meditation’

Blessings and Trials

April 11, 2016

In my devotions recently I was reading in Joshua and I was impressed with a particular passage that I felt gave excellent advice for the Christian life.

Joshua 1:8-9

 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe 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. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

I.  An Emphasis on the Word:

As a teenager I memorized Psalms chapter one.  A portion of that Psalm supports what we have just read in Joshua.

Psalms 1:1-3

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
    Nor stands in the path of sinners,
    Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
    Planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season,
    Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

Many Christians today are frightened by the idea of meditation.  They view it as a part of an Eastern religion, and not a part of Christianity.  They are not aware of the role that meditation has played in the Christian tradition.  As can be seen in both Bible readings listed above, the practice of meditation is encouraged.  The major difference between Christian meditation and Eastern meditation is the focus.  In Eastern meditation a person seeks to empty, or quiet their mind.  In Christian meditation, the mind is focused either on the Word of God, or on God Himself.  Instead of seeking to be empty, a Christian seeks to be full of the Word, or of the Spirit of God.

Of course, simply knowing the Word is not enough.  We need to be living in accordance to the Word.  Knowing and doing are two different things.  As Christians we should seek both to know the Word of God and to be obedient to the Word of God.  (See James)

As we live lives of obedience, we will prosper.  That prosperity may differ in manifestation from person to person.  It is not necessarily a means of financial gain.  There is far more to life than money.  A prosperous life may not have a large bank account.

II.  Endure Hardship:  II Timothy 2:3

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

A.  Be strong.  We recognize that the Christian life is not always easy.  There are many blessings, but there are also tests and trials.  We must not quit or give up just because life becomes challenging.

B.  Be courageous.   II Timothy 1:7*

   For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

We should face the challenges of this life bravely.  God will give us the wisdom to know what to do and the strength to do it.

C.  God is with you.  Joshua assures Israel that God is with them.  Jesus told His disciples that He would be with them always. (Matthew 28)  As Christians we can face whatever comes our way because of the knowledge that God is with us.

This life can be both rewarding and difficult.  As we serve the Lord we can expect to see His blessings in our lives, and to receive help in times of trouble.

These are the sermon notes from 3/5/16.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

*This is the memory verse for this week. 

 

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Meditation and Christians

October 1, 2009

 Over the past twenty years there has been an increased interest in the benefits of meditation for physical, psychological and spiritual health.  Some Christians have been suspicious of meditative practices because of the influence of Eastern religions.  They recognize the major role that meditation has in Eastern religions.  What many Christians do not realize is that meditation has long had a place in Christian practice as well.  The major difference is that in Eastern practice the primary goal is to empty the mind, and oneself.  In Christianity the goal is to fill the mind, and oneself, with the Word, and the Spirit.

Psalms 1:2  But his delight is in the law of the Lord,  and in His law he meditates day and night. (NKJ)

Indeed as we meditate on the Word of God, the Spirit of God works within us a transformational work.  It is an ongoing process that continues throughout our lives.  Meditation on the Word of God can be very beneficial to Christian growth.

Be Still

January 6, 2009

“Can’t you just sit still??”

I remember hearing that occasionally as a child.  I also remember saying it a time or two as a parent.  Children are full of energy and often have a hard time sitting still for any length of time without moving or having something to distract or entertain them.

Are we children?

It seems that for some, we have to always have something going on to entertain or distract us.  Television, music, activity of all sorts chugs along throughout our days. 

Can’t we just sit still?

I think that it is good for us to take a little time each day when we do not have something going on around us.  That we take some time each day, to pray, to think, to reflect; even just a little bit, about life, God etc.

A number of years ago, transcendental meditation was introduced to western society and became quite popular for a while.   I believe that is because our society tends to have a hard time finding the  “pause” or “mute” buttons in our lives that it caught on as well as it did.  I do not think that we have to adopt eastern style meditation practices, but I do think that  a little quiet time each day would be good for us all.