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BIBLE STUDY > Bible Study: “The Seven Habits of a godly life.” Week # 3

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Evangelist Jordan (chosenwithcare) | 2150 comments Mod
By Dr. Charles Stanley)

Prayer:

Lord, above all other names, we worship Yours. We meditate on Your holiness, your perfection, and it brings us to our knees. We love You, God, for Who You are and we thank You for who You are helping us to become. As we study this lesson help us to come into You presence so we can meditate on Your Word, and walk upright for Your glory. We desire to live a godly life before You and others. Let the words of our mouth, and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight always, in Jesus’ name. Thank You that You make Your Word a lamp to our feet, and light unto our path, so we can see You always. Teach us Holy Spirit what we need today to be like Jesus. AMEN.

Subject Lesson: Meditation on the Word of God.

Let’s recap and then study more on meditation on the Word of God.

The psalmist said, “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches” (Ps. 63:6). Meditation includes reading Scripture, thinking about it, seeking to apply what God says, asking Him questions, and surrendering any issues He brings to mind. It’s like looking in the mirror of God’s Word to see what He says, but then looking beyond the mirror to see Him. As we focus on the Lord, worries and concerns drift away, and our minds are freed from the contamination of the things that do us no good. Psalm 119:133 should be our prayer: “Establish my footsteps in Your word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.” Meditation keeps us alert and sensitive to whatever God wants to do in our lives. That’s why it’s so important to set aside a time to be alone with Him in His Word. As we read and think about what the Lord says, He speaks to our hearts. If we want God to fill our minds with His Word, we must guard against letting the world dominate our thoughts. It’s easy to be occupied from morning until evening with the things of this world without giving much thought to God. However, taking time to be alone with the Lord to meditate on His Word is essential if we want to live a godly life. Each day we must choose whether to carry the Lord or the world with us.

Six Steps to Meditating on the Bible:

1. Meditate to Focus
I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. (Psalm 119:15) Whether we read the Bible in the morning, over our lunch break, or before bed at night, our schedules and responsibilities tend to assail us with distractions. In fact, distractions are a tool the enemy of our souls uses to take our eyes off Christ and to keep us from hearing God clearly in his Word. Aleph says in Psalm 119 that he fixes his eyes on God’s ways. As wayward humans with many pursuits, temptations, and people vying for our attention, we are greatly helped by meditation, which leads us to fix our eyes on the Lord and tune out distractions…even if only for five or ten minutes. Focusing on what we are reading in the Bible provides us clarity when we enter into prayer.
Meditate to focus on how God is speaking to you through his living and active Word.
2. Meditate to Understand
Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works. (Psalm 119:27)
When we meditate on the Word of God, we seek to understand how the God of the universe is speaking: about himself, about our world, and about our own hearts. We can begin our Bible reading by praying along with the Psalmist, “Make me understand your way!” God delights to answer this prayer.
Some questions to ask during meditation include: Why is this passage important? What do I need to know? What does it say about God? What does it say about me? How does this reading point to Jesus?
Meditate to understand what God is communicating to you through his Word.
3. Meditate to Remember
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. (Psalm 143:5)
The whole Bible is one grand story that all the way through points to Jesus Christ. When we meditate on Scripture, we do so to remember all that God has done in his great redemption story and how he sent Christ to save a people from their sin. We ponder the work of God’s hands.
Remembering in meditation may also bring us to ponder all that God has done in our own lives: how he saved us in Christ, what opportunities he is giving us to share the Good News with others, and what we have learned about who God is throughout our days.
Meditate to remember all that God has done through the gospel of grace.
4. Meditate to Worship
…but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:2)
Once we have meditated to focus, understand, and remember, we will find our hearts inclined to worship! So we pause in meditation to lift our gaze to the excellencies of Jesus Christ, to take our eyes off the world, and to express to him thanksgiving and adoration when we pray. Meditation leads to delight when the Holy Spirit inclines our hearts to understand how glorious our God is.
Because of sin and its effects, there will be times when our hearts do not feel like delighting in the reading of the Bible. During these moments, the temptation is to stop reading, lose focus, and move on to other activities. So meditation is also keys to exhorting our hearts to delight in God’s Word, which is necessary for our spiritual strength and joy!
Meditate to worship the God who deserves all our thanks and praise for who he is and what he has done in Christ.
5. Meditate to Apply
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. (Joshua 1:8)
Finally, we are better able to understand how to apply God’s Word to our lives when we slow down to meditate on it. In meditating to understand we ask, What do I need to know? Here, in applying what we read, we ask, What do I need to do?
Here’s a brief example. Let’s say you are reading Titus 3:3-4:
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray…But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy…
From this passage, you might be led to confess specific ways you have gone astray or been disobedient; you might praise God for providing his undeserved loving kindness in Christ for you; and you might ask for his help in loving someone who has hurt you with the mercy you’ve received in Christ Jesus.
Our desire in meditation is to “be careful to do according to all that is written” in the Bible. Then, we bring these points of application to God in prayer, asking for spiritual strength to obey, forsake sin, humble ourselves, and walk worthy of our calling in Christ.
Meditate to apply what you have read in the Bible to your daily life and to ask for help in prayer.
6. Meditate by the Spirit
It is no accident that the Bible often speaks about the value of meditation and its purposeful placement before the act of prayer. Consider that our time in the Word is like running a race: Meditation is the warm-up, and prayer is our sprint to the finish line. We cannot be effectual in our praying apart from engaging in the warm-up of meditation.
So what do we do when meditation seems impossible, when our focus is affected by outside circumstances and our hearts feel dulled to God’s Word?
We ask for and cling to God’s gracious help, poured out through the Holy Spirit, and if we’ve not meditated before today, we realize it is never too late to begin! For it is the Spirit who helps us in our weakness, fixing our eyes on Christ, giving us understanding, bringing to mind God’s wonderful works, filling us with joy, and leading us to walk in the truth. He is our great help and hope that we are never alone when we seek God through meditation, and he effectively prompts us to pray in response.

How can I meditate on Scripture?

How to Meditate on Scripture:

Letting the Word of God dwell in our lives is a good way to meditate.
The words of Scripture are living words. (See Hebrews 4:12.) They contain eternal wisdom held in the shell of human words. God wants us to “break open” these human words and begin to discover the rich wealth of personal application and understanding that they hold. This goal can be accomplished as you memorize and meditate on Scripture.
The Apostle Paul said, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you [live in you] richly in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16). Meditation on Scripture will cause Scripture to “dwell in you” and become a source of wisdom in your mind, will, and emotions.
Remember, meditation cannot be done in a hurry. It takes time. Doing studies on the meaning of a passage and committing it to memory prepare you to meditate on it. As you meditate, the Holy Spirit will teach you the ways of God through His Word. (See John 16:13.) Use the following keys to meditation:
Worship God in Your Spirit
Your times of meditation should be times of worship and fellowship with God. Worship God in your spirit as you quote God’s Word back to Him. Reverence God’s Word and purpose to “do according to all that is written therein” (Joshua 1:8).
Personalize the Passage
Turn the Scripture into a first-person prayer back to God. Personalize it by putting it in the first person, using I, me, and my. For example, Colossians 3:16 (quoted above) could be personalized by saying, “Let the word of Christ dwell in ME richly in all wisdom.” When you put Scripture in the first person, it becomes a living expression within your heart, which is one aspect of meditation.
Give Attention to Each Word of Each Verse
Focusing on one verse at a time, quote it to the Lord, pondering each word. With each recitation of a verse, emphasize a different word. For example, if you are meditating on John 3:16, you would emphasize a different word each time you repeated the passage:
“For God so loved the world … .”
“For God so loved the world … .”
“For God so loved the world … .”
“For God so loved the world … .”
“For God so loved the world … .”
“For God so loved the world … .”

We will continue on next post...........................


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Evangelist Jordan (chosenwithcare) | 2150 comments Mod
Let's continue.......................

Be attentive. This simple method of meditation will reveal new insights and give you greater understanding of phrases and sentences. As you hear the words of the passage, you will discern nuances and associations that are often overlooked when the passage is read silently.

“Martin Luther, one of the pivotal figures of church history, gave detailed instructions on how to meditate … . ‘You should meditate not only in your heart, but also externally, by actually repeating and comparing oral speech and literal words of the book, reading and rereading them with diligent attention and reflection, so you may see what the Holy Spirit means by them.’ ” (Doug McIntosh, God Up Close: How to Meditate on His Word, Moody Press, Chicago, Ill., 1998, 65.)

Illustrate the Main Concepts Found Within the Passage
As you memorize and meditate on a passage, look for Biblical concepts and patterns. Sometimes drawing simple illustrations with stick figures and symbols can help you remember the main ideas of the passage. Not only will the actual creation of the illustration help you further meditate on the meaning of the passage, but your illustration can serve as a simple summary of what the Lord taught you through meditation on His Word.
Each illustration should represent your current understanding of the action being described in the verse or phrase. As your understanding of the verse deepens, your illustrations will expand.

Meditate on Scripture as You Go to Sleep at Night
One of the most critical times to meditate on God’s Word is as you go to sleep each night. In Scripture, there are many references to meditating on Scripture at this time. (See Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2, 63:6, and 119:148.)

The quiet moments of preparing for sleep offer an ideal setting for contemplation and fellowship with the Lord. The thoughts that are on your mind as you go to sleep will be in your subconscious mind all through the night. They will strongly influence your attitudes the next day, consciously or subconsciously.

Respond to God as He Teaches You
As you meditate, don’t be discouraged if you have to go over the passage several times before insights begin to come to mind. As God reveals an insight to you, pray it back to Him and ask Him for the grace to apply that truth in your life. If the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin in your life, confess it to the Lord and be forgiven.

Week #3

Questions:
1). What do meditation includes?
2). What drift away when we focus on God’s Word?
3). Name some steps to meditating on the Bible.
4). With a few words explain how to meditate on Scripture.
5). How do we personalize a Scripture?
6). Read Joshua 1:8
7). Give a Scripture you can illustrate personally.
8). How will the Scriptures greatly affect you if you mediate before you go to bed?
9). If the Holy Spirit convict you what should you do?
10). What do we do when meditation seems impossible, when our focus is affected by outside circumstances and our hearts feel dulled to God’s Word?

Weekly Stay Focus:
Weekly Life Principle:
Weekly reading assignments: (Hebrews 5-6)
Weekly Prayer Focus:


message 3: by Evangelist (new)

Evangelist Jordan (chosenwithcare) | 2150 comments Mod
I am still in my study as I celebrate Passion Week too; What a blessing!!


message 4: by Evangelist (new)

Evangelist Jordan (chosenwithcare) | 2150 comments Mod
Questions/Answers:

1). What do meditation includes?

Meditation includes reading Scripture, thinking about it, seeking to apply what God says, asking Him questions, and surrendering any issues He brings to mind.

2). What drift away when we focus on God’s Word?

As we focus on the Lord, worries and concerns drift away, and our minds are freed from the contamination of the things that do us no good.

3). Name some steps to meditating on the Bible.

We meditate to focus, we meditate to understand, we meditate to remember, we meditate to worship God, we meditate to apply what we read in God’s word, and we meditate for the help of the Holy Spirit.

4). With a few words explain how to meditate on Scripture.

I meditate on scripture by reading it slowly, and by taking every word, not hurrying, but take my time on that scripture alone. Let it get in my mind.

5). How do we personalize a Scripture?

We put that particular scripture in the first person, then it becomes a living expression within my heart. I love to do this; “I will hold fast the profession of my faith in Christ without wavering: for He is faithful that promised me.” (Hebrews 10:23).

6). Read Joshua 1:8 (Good Scripture!)

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

7). Give a Scripture you can illustrate personally.

Luke 1:45 is my most personal scripture; “And blessed is Claudia when she believes: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told Claudia from the Lord.”

8). How will the Scriptures greatly affect you if you mediate before you go to bed?

The thoughts that are on your mind as you go to sleep will be in your subconscious mind all through the night. I do this so I want have bad dreams too.

9). If the Holy Spirit convict you what should you do?

If the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin in your life, confess it to the Lord and be forgiven.

10). What do we do when meditation seems impossible, when our focus is affected by outside circumstances and our hearts feel dulled to God’s Word?

We must ask God for His gracious help through the Holy Spirit as pray to Him. I have gotten like that from time to time, but I always seek God’s face and He always put that zeal back in me to read and to meditate on His Word.


message 5: by Evangelist (new)

Evangelist Jordan (chosenwithcare) | 2150 comments Mod
Weekly Stay Focus: Private Time with God:

“Surely the righteous will praise Your name, and the upright will live in Your presence.” (Psalm 140:13 NIV)

Have you ever gone camping in a tent? What if you had a special place, a quiet private place like that tent, where you could dwell with God? A private place of worship? Wouldn’t you want to linger inside that holy habitat, separating yourself from the outside world? Pitch your tent today, and spend time with the King of kings and Lord of lords as you meditate on His Word.


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Evangelist Jordan (chosenwithcare) | 2150 comments Mod
Weekly Life Principle: Listening (Principle #13)

Listening to God is essential to walking with God:

A true conversation goes two ways, but all too often we spend our prayer time talking to God without listening to what He’s saying. Scripture assure us that our God is not silent-He’s alive and active, and is speaking to us, seeking to draw us into a deeper relationship with Him.

When you pray or read the Bible, open your heart to listen and be willing to respond. Allow the Holy Spirit to give you deeper understanding. Sometimes He will challenge you to change your thinking or to release certain unhealthy emotions. Other time He’ll encourage you or give you a specific instruction. And often he will show you something new about Himself. You can be certain that every word He speaks will be a blessing to hear-and will enable you to live with greater joy and strength as you mature into the person He’s created you to be.


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Evangelist Jordan (chosenwithcare) | 2150 comments Mod
Weekly Prayer Focus: Speak Lord Jesus

Listening to Him:

In order to hear My voice, you must release all your worries into My care. Entrust to Me everything that concerns you. This clears the way for you to seek My face unhindered. Let Me free you from fear that is hiding deep inside you. Sit quietly in My presence, allowing My light to soak into you and drive out any darkness lodged within you.

Accept each day just as it comes to you, remembering that I am sovereign over your life. Rejoice in this day that I have made, trusting that I am abundantly presence in it. Instead of regretting or resenting the way things are, thank Me in all circumstances. Trust Me and don’t be fearful; thank Me and rest in my sovereignty. This is obedience when we respond!

Read: I Peter5:6, 7; Psalm 118:24; 1 Thessalonians 5:18


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Evangelist Jordan (chosenwithcare) | 2150 comments Mod
Week #3 Sharing Post Devotional:

Meditating on God’s Word

Key Passage: James 1:1-4

Supporting Scriptures: Joshua 1:8-9 | Psalms 63:6 | Psalms 119:148 | Isaiah 9:7

Summary

As Christians many of us read our Bibles and pray, but are we meditating on God’s Word? And do we even know what this means? When the Lord called Joshua to lead Israel after Moses’ death, He told him, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it” (Josh. 1:8). The Lord wanted to fill Joshua’s heart with the Word so he would know precisely what to do and
how to lead the people according to God’s standards and commands. And that’s exactly what He wants to do in our lives as well. If we’ll meditate on Scripture, the Lord will unfold for us His truths and instructions.

Sermon Points

Meditation involves three activities.

Shut out the world. That means no television, phone calls, or other outside distractions.
Shut ourselves up to God. Meditation is not a group activity but a private time alone with the Lord.
Focus our attention on a passage of Scripture. This is not just a casual reading of God’s Word before heading out the door, but a private conversation with the Lord. We
begin by asking Him to reveal what He wants to say to us. Then we listen for His instructions and guidance while reading, thinking, and praying about the passage.
Effective meditation has four requirements.
1). Priority. The devil will try to thwart our efforts to focus on God’s Word because he knows we are absorbing it into our souls. If meditation is not a priority in our lives, we probably won’t do it.
2). Place. We need a private place to meet alone with God.
3). Purpose. The purpose of meditation is to hear from the Lord. When we concentrate on His Word and seek His guidance, He sometimes uses
very specific passages of Scriptures to answer our requests. Once we’ve understood what He’s told us, our trust in Him increases and our worries lessen.
4). Plan. We must set aside a time to meet with the Lord privately to read His Word, ask for direction, and listen for His voice. This opportunity to be alone with Him will soon become the most precious part of each day as we learn to know almighty God more intimately and hear Him speak to us personally through Scripture.

Meditation includes three steps.
Using James 1:1-4 as an example, we can learn how to meditate on a passage of Scripture by following three steps.
1). Observation. Begin by asking these questions: Who is the writer? To whom is he writing? What is the passage saying?
Verse 1 says the letter was written by James, who was probably Jesus’ half brother. He wrote to the twelve tribes who were dispersed abroad. Although these people lived a long time ago, Scripture was written for every generation, including ours. James gave clear instructions regarding what God desires to accomplish through our trials and how we should respond to them.
2). Interpretation. What does the passage mean, and what can we learn from it? By focusing on these verses, our entire perspective regarding trials will be changed. Instead of being consumed by the hardships, we will understand what God is trying to achieve in our lives through them.
Verse 2, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.” In the midst of difficulties or suffering, we want relief from pain and a way out of hardship, but James says the solution is a change of attitude. Instead of becoming bitter or resentful, we are to count it as joy, not because we enjoy the experience but because we know
God is sovereign over it and promises to walk through it with us. Our joy is in the Lord and His purpose, not in the situation.
Verse 3, “Knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” The reason we can consider trials joy is because of what we know to be true. Whatever God sends or allows in our lives is not a random event but a test of our faith. His purpose for testing is approval not defeat. This is how we become strong and are able to endure. We’ll never develop this quality if life is always easy, and if we lack endurance, we may quickly yield to temptation or give up and walk away from God’s will. This
verse teaches us that God is up to something good even when our circumstances look bad.
Verse 4, “And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” If we refuse to endure our trials, we short-circuit God’s purpose for allowing them. He has a perfect result in mind—that we may be perfect and complete. The word perfect does not mean sinless but complete, strong, and mature. The Lord loves us so much He doesn’t want us to lack any of these qualities.
3). Application. Based on what we’ve just learned, how should we respond? How does God want us to think about our trials? The following are a few specific practices to help us rejoice even in trouble or suffering:

Continue meditating on this passage until it becomes real in our thinking and belief system. Once we truly believe this, we’ll be able to confidently face whatever we’re going through.
Continually affirm that God loves us unconditionally. Knowing that He always does what is best for us increases our trust in Him.
Ask the Lord to show us what specific areas of our lives He’s targeted for spiritual growth. Each trial is designed to strengthen us in a particular area of weakness.
Agree with God that the end result is worth the pain. Whatever He allows us to go through is for our benefit.
Meditation is a gratifying and rewarding experience that increases our intimacy with the Lord and our fascination with the Bible as we hear Him speak to us personally through His Word. God has also given us His indwelling Holy Spirit who enables us to interpret Scripture rightly and empowers us to apply it to our lives.
Response Personally:
If you consistently meditate on Scripture, how has it affected your relationship with the Lord? Your trust in Him? Your perspective on life?
Your thought patterns?
If meditation on the Word is new to you, what changes do you need to make in your life to make it a reality?
How do you think it will affect your life and your relationship with God?
How has meditation on James 1:1-4 changed your perspective regarding trials?
What have you learned about God and His purposes?
How does He specifically want you to apply this to your life?


message 9: by Evangelist (new)

Evangelist Jordan (chosenwithcare) | 2150 comments Mod
Closing Prayer:

Lord, I want to know You better. Teach me to hear Your voice and take joy in listening to Your heart. I desire to set aside time to spend with You daily. Lord, thank You for the wonderful things You’re doing for me behind the scenes. You are an awesome God, who reign from heaven above with wisdom, power, and love, and I want to experience that as I set in Your presence. Lord God, help us to be willing to heed Your instruction. We have much to give and much to learn from the Holy Spirit. Give us an opportunity each day to come into Your presence. Grant that to us all in Jesus’ name. AMEN.


Weekly reading assignments: (Hebrews 5-6)

I have read my weekly reading assignment!


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