Read With Me Book Club: Shopping For Time by Carolyn Mahaney
Chapter 3: Check-In
One of my favorite things to study are ways to meditate on God’s Word. I’ve gathered a couple of resources on the topic and wanted to share a few tips I’ve learned. I remember one of my Biblical Counseling professors, Dr. John Street, telling us the Proverbs were like hard candy. You let them roll around in your mouth, slowly letting the flavor and sugar dissolve till it’s gone.
Meditation is akin to that. You let the verse/s ruminate in your mind, or on paper, until you’ve sucked all the juices you can get out them. As much as we love the idea of powering through massive amounts of Scripture, we also need to dig deeper to feed our soul. I struggle to find balance between the two methods, as I typically bounce between one-year reading plans and deeper meditative study. Here are some ways I like to dig deep.
Simple Steps for Scripture Meditation:
1. Read a short passage of Scripture right before you fall asleep, and ask the Lord for a special thought, command, warning, exhortation, or praise. It’s wonderful to have your last waking thought be on God. Often, the last thought you had before you fell asleep can resurface throughout the next day, or be the first thing on your mind when you wake up. Why not make it a God-ward thought?
2. Spend half your Bible reading time in meditation. For example, if you spend 20 minutes reading, then read for 10 and meditate for 10. It’s better to read less and remember more! Remember our goal in reading the Scripture is to meet God and hear from Him.
3. Topics to meditate on: 1. God’s Word 2. God’s creation 3. God’s providence 4. God’s character. Biblical mediation either starts with God’s Word and applies it to life or vice versa, starting with life and then looking at it through the lens of Scripture.
4. Write the verse out in your own words.
5. Read the verse out loud and emphasis a different word each time you say it.
6. Look for key words and write down all the synonyms you can think of for those words.
7. Read the verse and write down all the observations you can think of, then read it in another version and repeat.
8. Write down the verse/s on an index card, keep it with you, and refer to it throughout the day.
9. Set reminders on your phone to read the verse/s every couple of hours, or set aside a special time like driving, or cleaning dishes, to meditate on the verse/s.
10. Use Donald Whitney’s meditation questions from Phil 4:8.
“What is true about this, or what truth does it exemplify?”
“What is honorable about this?”
“What is right about this?”
“What is pure about this, or how does it exemplify purity?”
“What is lovely about this?”
“What is admirable, commendable, or reputation-strengthening about this?”
“What is excellent about this (in other words, excels others of this kind)?”
“What is praiseworthy about this?”
Meditation fuels our zeal for God and our passion to obey Him. Let our hearts feast on Him and His Word as we enter the holiday season. He is worth celebrating!