Growth group week seventeen:
Growing through Biblical meditation

Week 17
Day 1: Ephesians 5-6
Day 2: Philippians 1-2
Day 3: Philippians 3-4
Day 4: Colossians 1-2
Day 5: Colossians 3-4

Memory verse:
Psalm 1:1–3

1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;  2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.  3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

Focal passages: Psalm 1:1-3; Joshua 1:7-8

This week our focus is on meditating on God's word. Meditating on God's word is a lost art in the church today. We live in such a busy society and therefore it is very hard for us to stop and to meditate. Our minds are busy every waking moment of our lives. In this modern society, we find ourselves unable often to be still and be quiet (Psalm 46:10). It is our habit to always be busy with something, especially since the invention of the smart phone. This affects our ability to meditate on God's word. If we're going to grow through the word of God, we must learn how to return to biblical meditation. Many people have different ideas today on what meditation is. When we speak about meditation, we need to think of it in a biblical context. Let's turn our attention to a couple passages of scripture to learn how we are to practice biblical meditation. There are many passages in the Bible that refer to meditation, but we will just look at a couple. For further study I would refer you to Psalm 119, which is all about the word of God. There are several passages in that incredible Psalm that talks about the importance of meditation (Psalm 119:15, 23, 27, 48, 78, 97, 99, 148).

Psalm 1:1-3; is probably one of the most well-known verses in the Bible that speak about meditating on God's word. Let's take a look at this amazing passage of scripture. I want to encourage you to read the whole Psalm. It’s very short and the context is very important.  The Psalmist compares listening to and following the council of the world to following the council of God. You and I hear the clamor of the world all day long and we must combat the philosophies and ideas of men with the truth of God’s word. As we have already seen, God's word is that which changes our lives through changing our minds so we make the right decisions. To effectively do this, we need to meditate on the word of God. The word meditate literally means to “say under your breath, something over and over”. It refers to “pondering, considering, mulling over and carefully considering a matter”. If you're like me, it's easy to quickly read through the Scriptures without really thinking about what we are reading. This is why memorizing the word is so important. As we memorize scripture it enables us to ponder it and consider it in order that we might obey it. Psalm 1 tells us that the man that delights himself in the word of God and meditates on it will be strong. When the worldly man is withering away the man that is meditating on God's word will be flourishing. He will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bears fruit even in times of drought. 

I have found that a good practice in my morning devotions is spending some time is meditation on the word of God. If there is a verse or a passage that really peaks my interest, I mark it down and make it my meditation throughout the day. Or maybe before I go to sleep I will spend time pondering and thinking through the passage. I will often write down these verses on a card or copy and paste them into an electronic form and think through them throughout my day. There is so much time during our day where we could meditate on God's word if we had a verse or two to think about. For instance, when you're stuck in traffic you can use that time to meditate and pray through the verse. Instead of being frustrated and stressed out in traffic, set your mind on the Lord through meditating on His word and praying it into your life. Simple practices like this will radically change you. 

As Joshua begins to take the leadership of the children of Israel from Moses, and as he begins to lead them into the promised land, God gives this command in Joshua 1:7-8, “7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”  If we want our lives to be blessed we must be those who are mastering the art of biblical meditation through the word of God. This is a very practical way for us to apply God's word into our lives through thinking through God's word and praying it in. I pray that you live in constant conversation with God throughout the day guided by His word. Like Joshua, let us follow the Lord, not turning to the right or to the left (Joshua 1:7). As Psalm 1 declares, our lives will be blessed when we do this.

  1. In your own life, have you made it a practice to meditate on God’s word or is this a new concept for you? If you have, share with the group some ways you have practiced meditating on God’s word. 
  2. Our lives are generally very busy and we are constantly bombarded by distractions. The convenience of the cell phone has become a large barrier to us for using down time to meditate because we usually go to our phones during those times. What are some ways you can limit distractions in your life so you can have more time to meditate on God’s word?
  3. As we meditate on God's word, it is a great opportunity for us to pray the word into our lives practically. Is it a practice in your life to think through the word of God and to be in conversation with God about what you're thinking about? If not, what are some ways you can begin to apply this habit? This is our first step to applying the word in our lives so that we might obey it.

Action steps:
Make an effort this next week to actively meditate on God’s word. Carry around either an index card with verses on it or a compact Bible and pull it out and read it when waiting. Or listen to the word of God while driving or doing the dishes or watering your garden. Sit quietly in the morning and think about a verse that ministered to you in your morning devotion. Do your best to get rid of distractions as you seek to make meditating on God’s word a practice in your everyday life.