How to Start Meditating in God’s Word
DATE: 26 Nov, 2006 AM
PLACE: BBC Ballincollig
I. Introduction (Rev 21:5)
A. We have learned there is a right way, and a whole lot of wrong ways to worship God. There is a lot of false worship by religious people, and there is even a lot of wasted worship by carnal believers. Why?
1. Because real worship is not a head thing – not just an act of the mind!
2. Real worship is a work of the heart – write this down!
3. Sounds simple – but it is so rare today!
B. This Morning I want to continue with the truth that there is a Write-Way to worship God that is being missed by so many Christians.
C. Let me say this:
1. Yes, Praying and talking to God is a vital part of true worship
2. Yes, Reading our Bibles and listening to God also is very important
3. But if you take a good look at any of us, we would dare say, that worship is nowhere near vibrant in our lives! It certainly is not showing – not clearly evident!
D. I want to fix that with last week’s and this week’s messages!
II. Background and review (Psalm 19:14)
A. The Core of Who I am is found in My Heart
B. There is a Problem With My Heart
C. All of My Life’s Problems are Heart Problems
D. To Be Changed, a Work Must Begin in My Heart
E. But That is Where Many of Us have Stopped!
1. We still struggle with our past
2. We still wrestle with sinful thoughts, desires, temptations
3. We still fail to live victoriously, even though we are born again, and Christ is living IN us
4. How can it be that Christians do NOT know how to live above sinful desires, nor how to worship passionately
5. It’s all because we only let God work superficially – we let Him work on the outside, but not really much on the INSIDE. Because the CHANGE PROCESS must be done in the heart!
F. The Human Heart is Amazing. But it is only physical – it will perish. It is nothing like the heart that the Bible refers to that Jesus wants to dwell in
G. There is Another Heart in Every Person - The Hidden Heart (Eph 3:17)
1. This thing is that part of us that loves, and hates, and feels, and hurts, and most importantly, that part which meditates
2. According to the Bible, the mind thinks, and stores things that it learns, but doesn’t really meditate. It doesn’t reflect about things that it is thinking about – it is mainly a big computer. It is not as important as the heart!
3. Somehow, we have not let the words of Christ (Col 3:16) sink down deep (richly) into our hearts, into our meditators, and so our hearts never get the refreshing, cleansing powers of this Book in them like we need!
4. The simple truth is:
a. We will never change the way we act, until we change the way we think!
b. We will never change the way we think until we change the thing that we think most with – the heart
c. And we will never change the heart without a “right, Biblical, truthful, careful, passionately-in-love-with-Jesus kind of meditation!”
H. Meditation is a Work of the Heart
1. The thinking in the heart is more powerful than the thinking of your mind (Prov 3:5)
2. To meditate means:
a. To ponder (Luke 2:19)
b. To slowly think something all the way through, testing it by the truths of God’s words, not by how we feel – no knee-jerk reactions
c. To reflect on – get as much light on what you are thinking as possible before making your conclusion
d. To chew-on – like a cow chews on the same bite of grass FOUR different times. That’s meditation. Thinking about something that God says, and then thinking about it again, and then again, and then again!
I. So, How can our Hearts be reclaimed from its Past, its Pains, and Its Power over God’s Work in us? Five Key Things We must Do Daily!
1. Set a Time – force yourself to start this right habit – mornings!
2. Small Bites – just two chapters, one in Proverbs, and another where you are reading currently
3. Scribble Your Thoughts – use a Daily Journal
4. See the Real Conflict – think AGAINST what you normally think
5. Say Some Great Truth All Day Long – repeat what you learned through the day
J. The little effort on our part WILL pay off BIG! Lets expand on those thoughts
III. Message – The Write-Way to Worship God is from the Heart
A. Have a Set Time
1. Force yourself to start this right habit
2. Mornings (Psalm 5:1-3; Mk 1:35) – before or right after breakfast
3. Do it together if you have a family or are married
4. You need 30 days of this and it will be a habit – just like smoking and complaining and over eating, but it will be more powerful than drink, and smoking and complaining! Amen! People do it with newspapers!!!
5. Don’t give up early – stay with this for a month, through Christmas even!
B. Take only Small Bites – just two chapters, one in Proverbs, and another where you are reading currently
1. Why Proverbs? Condensed Wisdom
a. Written by the wisest man who ever lived
b. Proverbs was written for a young man – the son of Solomon
c. It was written to help him keep his heart right – not just his mind
2. Stay reading through your Bible
a. Every Christian has an obligation to read their Bible, or be listening as it is read to them
b. God wrote that Book to YOU to comfort and build you up (Acts 20:32a)
c. Bible believers have to be Bible readers first!
C. Scribble Your Thoughts in a Journal – use a Daily Journal – this is the main message today
1. We need to write-out our worship as we are reading our Bibles and casting all our cares on the Lord
a. Too many people have missed the need to get more than their minds engaged in their walk with God. It is too easy just to have a passing thought about God. It needs to be part of our thoughts all day long – like we are in love!
b. There really are TWO thinking mechanisms in each of us - one in our head and one in our heart. Proverbs 3:5 says ignore the head thinker, and use the heart thinker to trust God with and worship Him with!
2. The problem has been with HOW to get my heart thinker (my meditator) functioning – it’s like having a turbo, and not knowing how to switch it on so we just crawl along on life’s highway!
3. Let’s look at what God says about the Best Method of Meditation for the believer
a. Deut 6:5 is a command. Deut 6:6-12 is the means to accomplish that command
1) To love God first requires His words to get deep into your heart
2) God’s words need to be understood enough to teach to children – no easy matter!
3) God’s words need to be talked about, tested and meditated upon
4) They need to be like furniture in your home
a) Fixed and well used
b) Easily seen by everybody
5) So you have to write out what God is teaching you
6) All so that you don’t forget what God is teaching you!
b. Deut 11:18-21 is a more fuller description of how to enable your heart to meditate on God’s word and be blessed by it
1) Keep God’s word always in view – don’t ignore them until Sunday. Don’t let the TV replace what the Bible is supposed to be
2) Write God’s words onto your walls and doors – plaques
3) Talk about what God says in His word with each other
4) What a home that is!
c. Job yearned that someone would write down all his thoughts and words as he struggled with the Lord’s direction in his life (Job 19:23). The Book of Job is his journal of what God did in his life, what he prayed about, and how God answered him and taught him!
d. King David only understood what God was teaching him when he wrote out his thoughts (1Chron 28:11,12,19 – the book of Psalms)
e. King David loved to write out his worship (Ps 45:1)
f. The goal of our meditation is to write God’s words into our hearts
1) Prov 3:3
2) Prov 7:3
3) Heb 8:10
4) Heb 10:16
g. It is so different than Buddhist meditation, and Taoist meditation – on nothingness! We think, and think, and think on Jesus and His truths!
h. Scientific research Proving We Need to Write-Out Our Worship
1) Listening to someone read the Bible – 5% retained and learned
2) Reading along while someone is teaching – 10% retention
3) Watching Audio Visuals (projectors) – 20% retention
4) Real Life Demonstration – watching an example of what is being taught - 30% retention
5) Discussion Group – ask questions – 50% of the topic is learned and retained
6) Writing out what you hear God is saying in your own words – 75% of the subject matter will be learned
7) Teaching what you just learned – 90% retention
4. Oh but, I can hear the squirming, and cringing in this room – because there is the need to DO something – but this is where we have missed our walk with God – thinking it just takes place naturally as we ignore God throughout our day (Isa 26:3)
5. Let’s vow to MAKE ourselves sit down and write what we are hearing God say, and what we want to say to God as we read our Bible and pray
D. See the Real Conflict (Isa 55:7) – think AGAINST what you normally think
1. How are you going to think right thoughts if you have none to think?
2. We all need some right things to think about all day instead of only past memories, and failures and feelings, and fears
3. It is time to start massing up a huge stock-pile of precious truths and promises and hopes against all the depression and discouragements and frustrations and disappointments
4. This is where the devil will win his victory every time – by convincing you the problem is OTHERS instead in YOUR heart and mind!!!
E. Say Some Great Truth All Day Long – repeat what you learned all through the day (Philp 4:8)
1. Psalm 91:2
2. Psalm 18:1-3
3. Prov 18:10 – just the name is worth repeating (Act 19:17)
4. You are not going to have anything to say to yourself unless you have some great things stored up in your heart and mind
5. You are not going to have anything stored up in your heart and mind unless you have spent some time WRITING out your worship.
A. Do you have a Bible? Do you have a Journal? You need BOTH!
B. Do you want God’s best blessings? Seriously? If you think possessions and materialism, and money and power are great, then you are blind and truly miserable. We were created by God to worship. Don’t waste it all day on your troubles and fears and regrets and frustrations.
C. Our Heart/Our Meditator Can Be Revived – Can Be Reclaimed from its Past, its Pains, and Its Power over God’s Work in us:
1. Have a Set Time – force yourself to start this right habit – mornings!
2. Take Small Bites – just two chapters, one in Proverbs, and another where you are reading currently
3. Scribble Your Thoughts – use a Daily Journal
4. See the Real Conflict – think AGAINST what you normally think
5. Say Some Great Truth All Day Long – repeat what you learned all the day
D. Don’t miss this. To just hobble along in your pitiful walk with God and call it your best effort is a shame! Let’s all start worshipping God the Write Way!
E. For some of you, worship must begin with surrender – you have sinned. You are away from God. Maybe backslid.
1. You can start all over again – that what Jesus said
2. You can find forgiveness on the cross
3. You will find a bunch of sinner saved by grace not good works here
4. Will you agree with four things from God’s word?
a. That you are a sinner – a mess spiritually
b. That sinners don’t go to heaven
c. But that Jesus loves sinners and made a way for them to get to heaven
d. And that way is through Himself taking our place on the cross, and being punished for all our sins – it was enough
e. Will you believe that Jesus died for YOU and ask him to save YOU right now – to wash away all your sins – all of them, and make you His child? Will you?
Bible Baptist Church
Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland