Meditate on the Word of God – Psalm 119

As I was reading this morning, I came across a chapter in a book I’m working through about how important positive thinking is to our mental, spiritual and in fact physical being.  In that reading, one of the precepts in making sure you have positive thinking throughout the day is to meditate on the Word of God, the Bible.  Not meditation in the sense of some new-age or pagan type of meditation, but to think upon and reflect upon.  I like the first definition of meditate I came across.

meditate – to engage in thought or contemplation; reflect.

God calls us to meditate on his Word, to think about it, to reflect upon it and we should be doing that continuously throughout the day.  Knowing that a key way that God communicates to us is through his Word, I felt it is an important goal to work towards.

I read my Bible and am familiar with most of it, I’m no Bible scholar to be sure, but I felt I could do better.  So what better place to to start is to see what God has to say about the importance of his own Word.

Let’s start at what I think is one of the most telling of the scriptures to remember.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.   John 1:1

Here John is speaking of Jesus and he clearly states that Jesus is the Word and the Word is God.  When we read scripture, we can have faith that we are seeing the mind of God and that he will reveal himself to us through his word.

Let’s turn back a few pages, to the book of Matthew.

Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will remain forever.  -Matthew 24:35

Why is his word so important to us?  The psalmist in psalm 119, repeatedly tells us why.  I’ll share just a few, but the chapter is very long and is filled with thoughts on the importance of God’s Word.  I like the note that is contained in my study Bible on Psalm 119.

It is thought to have been written by Ezra after the Temple was rebuilt as a repetitive meditation on the beauty of God’s Word and how it helps us to stay pure and grow in faith.

Right from the start, we see how God’s Word can help us mentally.

Happy are people of integrity, who follow the law of the Lord.
Happy are those who obey his decrees and search for him with all their hearts.  – Psalm 119:1,2

How can we help our youth through their trials and temptations that all young people face?

How can a young person stay pure?
By obeying your word and following its rules. -Psalm 119:9

Can the Word help us when we are feeling down and depressed?

I lie in the dust, complete discouraged;
revive me by your word.  -Psalm 119:25

I weep with grief;
encourage me by your word. -Psalm 119:28

Can the Word help us with those that are against us?

Lord, give to me your unfailing love,
the salvation that you promised me.
Then I will have an answer for those you taunt me,
for I trust in your Word.  -Psalm 119:41,42

Can the Word build our confidence?

I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.
I will speak to kings about your decrees and I will not be ashamed. -Psalm 119:45,46

Can we have hope in a dark world?

Remember your promise to me, for it is my only hope.
Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles.  -Psalm 119:49,50

Can we learn good judgement and discipline in our lives?

I believe in your commands; now teach me good judgement and knowledge.
I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your Word. -Psalm 119:66,67

I could go on and on, verse after verse that shows how important reading, learning and reflecting on God’s Word is.  While a long chapter, it is definitely worth a read as a good starting point.  If all that wasn’t enough, the psalmist comes right out and tells us what we need to do.

Oh, how I love your law! I think about it all day long.
Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for your commands are my constant guide.  -Psalm 119:97,98

Read God’s Word and think about it all day long.  I am working towards becoming better at that each day as I can see the potential changes it could bring about in my life.  I can’t wait to see what happens!

 

Read the Instructions

This past Christmas morning I joined many fathers around the world as I struggled to remove my son’s toys from it’s wrappings, I glanced at the instructions thought “I can do this”, and then struggled to put it all together, finally resorting to reading the instructions more thoroughly to follow the steps to assemble the toy.

The manufacturer had a plan for putting the toy together, I thought I knew better.  I’m handy enough that usually I can manage to get it put together (sometimes without using all the pieces), but when I falter and struggle, I know I can fall back on the instructions.

I’ve always wished life came with an instruction book.  I wish children came out of the womb with an instruction manual attached.  I wish my body came with a how to guide for when I feel sick.  I wish my career came with a step by step plan I could follow when tough decisions came up.

How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
   By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart;
   do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart
   that I might not sin against you.
Praise be to you, LORD;
   teach me your decrees.
With my lips I recount
   all the laws that come from your mouth.
I rejoice in following your statutes
   as one rejoices in great riches.
I meditate on your precepts
   and consider your ways.
I delight in your decrees;
   I will not neglect your word. 
— Psalm 119:9-16

The Bible is God’s manual to live by that He has provided for us.  Many times I take the same approach to reading the Bible as I did in reading the assembly instructions for my child’s toy.  I only looked at it when I didn’t know what to do next.  At that point in the construction of the toy I’ve already screwed up the assembly that reading the instructions just gets us by instead of giving us the full function and usage of the toy or item.  Had I read the instructions ahead of time, I would have done it correctly the first time.

Reading the Bible teaches us about God, who He is, what He thinks and how He acts.  Knowing the ways of God helps us to make wise decisions.  The only way to know these principles is to ready and study God’s word. 

This is an area I need to improve upon myself.  I know that if I study more, then decisions will come easier and I’ll have the wisdom and tools to live through any situation.