Bible Verse: “My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.” Psalm 49:3, ESV
Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:4-9
The goal of our reading and meditating is to not just know God’s ways but to do God’s Word, living in obedience to it.
With the advent of the Internet, we consume far more information than we can possibly put into practice. I recently talked to a young man who attends our Sunday evening service. He shared with me how he had been to two other services earlier in the day (he attends three churches).
He also pulled out his mp3 player and showed me the titles of a sermon series by a well-known television preacher he was listening to between the services. Initially, I was impressed by his yearning to learn. But later I wondered, “Is he truly able to ingest and apply all the information he is taking in?” One of the dangers of being contemporary followers of Jesus is the habit of passively storing information without acting on it.
If we gorge on Scripture, filling our minds with information but never living it out, we become spiritually fat and sluggish. In some cases, we may even grow immune to the conviction of the Word, hearing it with our minds but never changing the way we live.
Jean Leclercq observes that in the ancient secular usage, meditari (to meditate) meant to reflect, but also clearly implied “an intent to do it” (emphasis added). Because meditari would invariably lead to action and not merely remain in the realm of thought, medical doctors in the ancient world actually prescribed meditative reading to their patients who were in need of physical exercise.
When we learn something “by heart” by meditating on it, murmuring it with our mouths, fixing it in our memories, and putting it into practice, Scripture becomes more than a bone for us to gnaw on. It becomes food for our souls, food that nourishes our hunger for God.