Summer brings longer days and warmer temperatures that inspire us to laze and lounge. Why not invest some of that “down” time to reading the Bible?
This summer, St. Helens Baptist Church encourages everyone to commit to reading through the Psalms during the summer months.
Sure, it’s the longest book in the Bible. But it contains the shortest chapter. (And the longest, but that won’t sell the program.)
During our Summer of Psalms, we’ve divided the book into day-sized readings. Some days it means reading a single song. Other days you might read two or three.
150 psalms in 92 days. (Well, 86 now because I didn’t post this on the first day of June.)
This is a manageable feat.
Along with suggesting a passage to read, we’ll post a verse from the daily scripture. If you’d like to keep up with these, click on over to our Facebook page and follow us. A new meme will post every day before noon.
Reading scripture is a good place to start, but to really get the benefit of this living Word, a person needs to meditate on God’s Word.
Each day, choose a single verse from the reading and meditate on it.
What does that mean? Meditation is deep thinking or pondering. If you meditate on a scripture, it means you read it then read it again slowly. Maybe only a few words before you stop and consider what they mean.
I’ll take you through my meditative thoughts on the first verse highlighted in the Summer of Psalms.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, not sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” Psalm 1:1
Blessed means happy or to be envied. The man who chooses to ignore the counsel of the world should be envied. Better still if he supplants the bad advice with godly counsel from the Bible.
Happy is the person who doesn’t hang out where sinners do, doing what they do. This doesn’t mean avoiding anyone who doesn’t know Christ. It does mean avoiding the company of people who are blatantly disobeying God’s commands.
A happy person doesn’t sit and mock others. Their attention isn’t on negative thoughts or actions. They understand that if they sit down and talk to Negative Nelly, her attitude will rub off on them.
Meditation should happen in chunks to be effective.
Here’s a sample process:
- Read the verse. Copy it down somewhere visible (I use index cards, but the note pad on your smart phone works).
- Think about the overall meaning of the verse.
- Pray, seeking God’s discernment
- Read it again later.
- Think about the first word or phrase. What does it mean? How does it make you feel? What does God want you to do about it?
- Read it again later.
- Think about the next phrase asking yourself the questions again.
- Continue in this way until you’ve dissected the entire verse.
- Write out the verse in your own words, translating the meaning God showed you for the verse as you meditated on it.
- Read it again…slowly. Letting the depth of meaning of each word resonate in your heart and mind. Then thank God for showing you something important today.
What’s your idea of meditation? Do you have a simpler process.