Power of the Word

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Thoughts on Meditation from Spurgeon and the Puritans

From Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotional

“I will meditate in thy precepts.” — Psalms 119:15

There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on his Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them.

Truth is something like the cluster of the vine: if we would have wine from it, we must bruise it; we must press and squeeze it many times. The bruiser’s feet must come down joyfully upon the bunches, or else the juice will not flow; and they must well tread the grapes, […]

Around the Web – Listening as Ministry, Bible Reading, Cutting

Listening as Ministry – Lessons in Good Listening
1. Good listening requires patience.
2. Good listening is an act of love.
3. Good listening asks perceptive questions.
4. Good listening is ministry.
5. Good listening prepares us to speak well
6. Good listening reflects our relationship with God.

John Wesley’s Take on Formative Reading of Scriptures by Children.
(i.) Reading: Constantly, some part of everyday; regularly, all the Bible in order; carefully, with the Notes; seriously, with prayer before and after; fruitfully, immediately practicing what you learn there?
(ii.) Meditating: At set times? by any rule?
(iii.) Hearing: Every morning? carefully; with prayer before, at, after; immediately putting in practice? Have you a New Testament always about you (15)?

Cutting

Help For Family Devotions

I love this article on no-frill family devotions. In it the author proclaims the trouble with “big” family devotions – inconsistency.

Key paragraphs:

“I was grateful for an older friend who came along and encouraged me to scrap the complicated model and simply pick up the Bible and read it to my family. “Just start reading through a book of the Bible, maybe start with the Gospel of John,” he said. “Now that my kids are grown, they tell me that our time together reading the Bible was the most meaningful part of their spiritual formation.”

“When I asked him what kind of discussion they had about the text, he said they would talk about what the passage revealed about God and what it revealed it about us […]

From Desiring God: Six Benefits of Ordinary Devotions

Jon Bloom at Desiring God gives Six Benefits of Ordinary Devotions. Good to pass on to our children.

Soul Exercise (1 Corinthians 9:24, Romans 15:4): Devotions are like exercise for our souls.
Soul Shaping (Romans 12:2): The body will generally take the shape of how we exercise it. Running shapes one way, weight training shapes another way. The same is true for the soul.
Bible Copiousness (Psalm 119:11, Psalm 119:97, Proverbs 23:12): A thorough, repeated, soaking in the Bible over the course of years increases our overall Biblical knowledge, providing fuel for the fire of worship and increasing our ability to draw from all parts of the Bible in applying God’s wisdom to life.
Fight Training (Ephesians 6:10–17): Marines undergo rigorous training in order to so ingrain their weapons […]

The 3Rs for Digging a Little Deeper in Your Devotional Time

Kevin DeYoung gives 3Rs to help dig a little deeper in your devotional time. Find something in each Scripture to

Rejoice
Repent
Request

So for this morning one verse I read was Psalm 25:1-15. For verse 4. Show me the right path, O Lord. Point out the road for me to follow.

1. Lord, I am so thankful that you are a God who guides, who points out the path, who hears prayers for guidance.

2. Please forgive me for the times that I have not requested aid. I have gone headstrong in my own way.

3. Specifically, show me the right path in ______________ . What would you have me to do?

 

Try it. Teach it to your children. Use it for family devotions.

Search the Scriptures

From Charles Spurgeon – Morning and Evening, June 09. To urge on our children who have always had the Word of God.
“Search the Scriptures.”—John 5:39.
HE Greek word here rendered search signifies a strict, close, diligent, curious search, such as men make when they are seeking gold, or hunters when they are in earnest after game. We must not rest content with having given a superficial reading to a chapter or two, but with the candle of the Spirit we must deliberately seek out the hidden meaning of the word.

Holy Scripture requires searching—much of it can only be learned by careful study. There is milk for babes, but also meat for strong men.The rabbis wisely say that a mountain of matter hangs upon every word, yea, upon every title […]

Advice to a 13-Year Old Who Wants to Go Deeper in the Word

John Piper has published a letter he wrote to a 13-year old girl that wanted to go deeper in the Scripture. His suggestions:

1. Read the Bible as a whole. Use a Bible Reading Plan like the Discipleship Journal plan to keep track of where you are reading.

2. Focus on some unit of Scripture to go deeper.

You might want to do this through memorization.

Or write that section out long-hand.

3. Get a good study bible like the ESV Study Bible and use it.

4. Pray as you come to the word: Incline my ear, Open my eyes, Unite my heart.

Share this with your children. Read the whole thing.

Filling a Bucket and Lighting it on Fire

A recent article is entitled Evangelize Don’t Indoctrinate. In it, the author helpfully distinguishes between the need to preach for conversion of the soul and mere indoctrination. However, I think the post goes a little too far on some areas.  I believe the author creates a false dichotomy. My response is an excerpt of my booklet, The Power of the Word.

The Right Goal – Wise Unto Salvation

But exactly why are we to teach our children the Scriptures? Many children have grown up in a graceless home, knowing the Scriptures and chafing under the way their pastors and parents handled them. Lois and Eunice, on the other hand, had taught Timothy their Scriptures, our Old Testament, so well that when presented with the claims of Jesus […]

An Easy Secret to Memorizing Large Portions of Scripture

I have recently come across an article on a great way to memorize large portions of Scripture. I recommend reading the whole article. But the core of the article is this–read the passage aloud 50 times. The benefits? The author of the article writes:

I discovered that I had already memorized most of the passage I was trying to learn before I ever really started to try to memorize it.
I found out that the process of reading a passage over and over again in-and-of-itself became a wonderful means of God working his grace in my life.  I wasn’t just learning words, I was thinking about where the passage was going.  God used it to help me understand the passage better, to think about its implications in my life, […]

4 Questions to Ask When Reading Your Bible

I want to bounce off BTW’s post of questions to ask when reading the Scriptures. These are good for both teens and adults in their devotions. They are from JI Packer and Gerald Bray with my modifications: They include:

1. What does this teach me about God (the Father, Son or Spirit)? What do I learn about what he like, what he cares about? How do I see Jesus Christ and the gospel?

2. What does this teach me about mankind? What are we supposed to be and what has gone wrong? What human tendencies are illustrated here?

3. How do I apply to my situation? What Sin is there to confess? Promise to claim? Attribute to adore? Command to obey? Example to follow or avoid? (SPACE) How would […]