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worry free

"Cud it out Ron" you might say. "I already read the Bible daily. I'm not a cow". That might be so, but do you know how to meditate on it? Do you know how to prayerfully interact with God in his Word?

Our soul needs to be fed. If you're not intentional about healthy ways to feed your soul with the Word of God, you might find yourself spiritually starving. I've been there. I know I need to feed my soul, but life happens and I allow myself a few days of grace. Those days turn into weeks, and before I know it, I'm spiritually famished. My faith becomes weak and so does my strength against temptation.

Meditation on Scripture is like a cow chewing its cud. It savors the grass in its mouth before filling its stomach.  Then it lays down in the meadow and quietly chews it, re-working it in its mouth before swallowing it. Then it regurgitates it and chews it some more.  Though it may sound gross, the process transforms grass into rich, creamy milk!

How to Meditate on Bible Passages

Years ago when I was in David Hain's Addicts to Disciple group I started a method of meditation on Scripture that I like to use. It's based on Paul's encounter with the risen Christ as it's recorded in the book of Acts (Acts 9:1-31, 22:6-15, and 26:12-18). Saul (he hadn't yet been renamed Paul) was a zealous Pharisee who was walking on the road to Damascus to persecute and kill more Christians when suddenly Jesus appeared to Him in a flashing, blinding light that knocked him off his feet!

As Saul laid wincing and trembling on the ground the Lord spoke to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"

Saul stammered, "Who are you Lord?"

Jesus revealed himself as the Son of God who died and rose again and was alive in the Christians that Saul was imprisoning and killing! Jesus also revealed to Saul that he would become the Apostle Paul, a servant and a witness for Jesus (Acts 26:16-18)."Who am I Lord"

Then Saul asked, "What shall I do Lord?" and the Lord told him to get up and go visit Ananias in Damascus.

In David's class He taught me to interact with the Lord in Scripture by asking Saul's same three questions: "Who are you Lord?" "Who Am I" and "What shall I do?" I added the question of "Who am I?" which is implied in the Acts accounts of Paul's transforming encounter.

Triangles of Meditation and Life Purpose

We can use Paul's three questions as a "Meditation Triangle" to use in our Bible reading:

  • "Who are you Lord?" or "What are you saying to me?"
  • "Who am I?"
  • "What shall I do?"

These three questions are the most important questions that we can ask God in our meditations. They represent the disciplines of theology, psychology, and missions, taking us right into what I call the "Worship-Grow-Serve Triangle of Life Purposes." The purpose of our lives is to…

  • Know and love God
  • Grow into our "new creation" identity, becoming more like Christ
  • Minister to other people the grace and truth that we have learned.

But do not stop there

  • What did it mean, what does it mean now?
  • What does it mean to me, my love ones, my life?
  • How do I feel about this text. Am I upset, agree, what do others say about it?

When we meditate on Scripture, like the cow chews its cud, it is powerful for us. We "taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8). Our mind is renewed and our whole person is transformed, little-by-little into the image of Christ (Romans 12:1-2). And we are empowered to bear fruit, serving God and blessing people (John 15:1-17).

Have you chewed your cud on God's Word yet today?

Jesus Lived The Scriptures

Throughout the gospels we see Jesus bringing out deep and profound insights into Old Testament Scriptures. How did he do this? He didn't come out of the womb reciting Psalms! One of the great mysteries of the incarnation of God in Christ is that he had to learn and grow spiritually (Luke 2:52, Hebrews 5:8) just as we do.

We have no doubt that Jesus not only studied the Scriptures, but that he also engaged personally and deeply with them, memorizing passages, ruminating on them, and praying through them.  And we can imagine that in his times of solitude and perhaps in group settings also that he read the Scriptures in a quiet, contemplative, and personally reflective way.

Out of Jesus' profound way of praying the Scriptures blossomed astounding wisdom, compassion, and power.  And the writings of the Apostles in the New Testament demonstrate that they followed the Master's example by studying and prayerfully absorbing the Old Testament Scriptures. Today we also have the New Testament Scriptures and the Gospels.

Lectio Divina

Based on how Jesus embodied and taught from the Old Testament Scriptures, especially the Psalms, we know that he spent years meditating on them.

"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God "
Matthew 4:4, ESV

Please go the next step in realizing the same power and insight to how Jesus meditated and grew spiritualy. Go to this article and learn "Lectio Divina." .