SERMON SERIES | DISCIPLINES FOR SABBATH-REST (5)
MEDITATION ON SCRIPTURE
13 Jun 2021 | PRAYER & PRAISE SERVICES
Rev Gladwin Lee
Scripture Passage: Psalm 119:97-99 (NIV)
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Developing a discipline of meditating on God’s word can be a life-transforming experience. It may be a physical challenge to find time to read or a mental challenge to understand the complicated passages. As we read Psalm 119:97-104, the Psalmist reveals a person who reads God’s word and loves it! We need to develop this deep intimacy with Him.
What is meditating on God’s word?
Listen to God through the Scriptures. Meditating on God’s word is an encounter with God himself. According to the Puritans, the 3 duties of reading Scripture, meditation and prayer belong together.
3 ways to have a prayerful encounter:
1. God’s Presence – Meditating on God’s word is the opportunity to come before the presence of God, to meet Him directly. This is not an assignment but an appointment. God’s intent is for us to slow down and allow His word to sink in. The Bible is a means for us to pray and be with God. We should not rush through Scripture, but slow down to see God’s agenda. Imagine how different our lives will be if we are constantly open to God!
2. God’s Voice – God desires for His words to break into our hearts. He wants us to know His heart and listen carefully for His voice. Robert Mulholland shared that we need to move deeper into the text for the Word to be a place of encounter with God.
God speaks to us in 2 stages:
a. Making sense of God’s word
b. Context: People, Place, Time
Analysing the text helps with understanding, application and problem solving. If we read Scriptures only for solution to the problems we face in our spiritual life, we risk being information grazers, just briefly scanning reams of information available. We need to move from seeing the Bible as a source of answer to a place of meeting and conversing with God.
II. Relationship (Communion with God)
Communion with God includes the conversation and friendship. The Word of God is alive, and it judges our thoughts and attitudes. We must move from approaching the Bible as a piece of literature to a living conversation with God that focuses on internalising and personalising. William of St Thierry shared that Scriptures need to be read in the same spirit in which they were written. As we move from observation to application, we begin to explore our inner realm and deepen our relationship with God.
3. God’s Invitation – God invites us to conform to His divine image. Instead of trying to master the text, we must allow the Word of God to master us and become a servant of the Word. The more we respond faithfully, the more we hear God’s voice and see His heart; then we can walk deeper in love with our God who is love. Meditating on God’s word is about what God is trying to do in us. Our obedience and surrender are essential to our inner transformation and moving in the same direction as God. When God is silent, we are invited to wait. It is in waiting and trusting that our soul learns to see by faith and not by sight. God often works in ways that we do not expect Him to. Therefore, we must become expectant and learn to be open to God’s mysterious ways and surprises in our lives.
(Sermon Notes by Honey Vreugdewater)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
1. Share the various ways you have taken to make sense of God's Word.
2. The preacher said that we must move from approaching the Bible as literature to a living conversation with God. How have you experienced this personally? Or how have you met God personally through His Word?
3. What does it mean to be mastered by God's Word? What struggles do you face with obeying God's Word?
4. Ask the members of the group if any of them have been consistently reading the Bible using the WMC's Bible Reading Drive. Invite them to share a thanksgiving and a struggle which they have faced from this experience. You might want to consider ending your small group time with prayers for each other.