Faithlife Sermons

TheLife-The Way: Meditative reading.

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3 phases of discipleship – Be with, Be Like, Do What Jesus did.

The Biblical education model for Integration, transformation, and Re-formation.
Show image (teaching practice, community)
Every week in this series there will be a teaching
A historical church practice (Discipline)
With the encouragement of Christian community these practices will put you in a postion to experience the Grace of the Holy Spirit transforming you.

The first phase of discipleship is to be with Jesus.

John 15:4 NASB95
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
We must learn to live in two environments at the same time.
To be with Christ at work
To be with Christ at School
To be with Christ at home
To be with Christ with my friends and family
To be with Christ as we engage the world
To be with Christ in the midst of arguing with our spouse.

But here is the question.

How DO We Abide In Christ?
Over the next four weeks we will be introducing you to the ancient disciplines of the church, meant to help put us in a position to Abide or Be with Christ.

Today I want to show you the Discipline or Practice of Meditative Reading of Scripture.

Psalms 1:1-3
Psalm 1:1–3 NASB95
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.
No this is not like eastern mystic meditation.
· They want you to empty your mind and to leave reality for Nirvana (nothingness)
· Biblical meditation is filling your mind with the Word of God
Biblical Meditation is not an emptying of the mind but rather the filling of the mind with God’s Word and then intentionally pondering it, praying through it, letting it stew in your soul until it begins to take root and re-shape our imagination, world view, and how we live towards God, others and ourselves.
What is Meditative reading?
Definition: Bring to the high point of your mind, ponder, mutter, decree, pray, slowly speak.
Meditative reading is a slow and steady turning over a text from every angle until it MASTERS YOU!
Ingest the word, absorb the word, internalize the word, and allow it through the HS to transform you.
God’s word and the Spirit do the work of Transformation but we must be willing to put ourselves in a position to experience this grace.
-------------------------------------------- Examples in Scripture
Joshua 1:8 – After Moses died, God spoke to Joshua – No leadership seminar – Instead to lead you must meditate on the Word.
Joshua 1:8 NASB95
“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; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.
Phil 4:8-9 – Meditative reading puts us in a place to experience the grace of God’s peace. Anxious, worried, Paul told the church exactly what to do.
Philippians 4:8–9 NASB95
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

5 Reasons We All Need To Practice the Discipline of Meditative Reading.

1. Allows God’s Word and Love to sink deep into our minds.

John 15:9-10
John 15:9–10 NASB95
“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

2. Meditative reading Cleanses us.

John 15:3
John 15:3 NASB95
“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
Romans 12:2 NASB95
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
“Natural food when eaten transforms into our bodies. Spiritual Food when eaten transforms us into the image of Christ.”

3. Meditative Reading puts us into a position of dependency on Jesus

John 15:4 NASB95
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
His word is life, not the cultural narrative.
His word is truth, not the cultural narrative.
His word will lead to a life worth living, not the cultural narrative.

4. Meditative Reading Helps us bear fruit.

John 15:5 NASB95
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
As we fall in love with the Gospel of Jesus we will want to share it with others.
As the words of Christ soak in our minds we will begin to produce the character of Jesus in our lives.
Galatians 5:22–26 NASB95
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.

5. Meditative reading leads to answered prayers

John 15:7 NASB95
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
As we pray His will and not our will, we can be assured he will answer.
As the word soaks into our mind and being our will transforms into His will.
This is not a law but a means to experience the Grace of God through His Word.
Apply it this week
John 15:1-11
Slow read –
Pray over sections of it daily, asking the HS to help you abide in Jesus.
Talk about these verses with others in the church
Read it through multiple times slowly in one setting
The desire of God is that you will abide in Jesus and through abiding in Jesus you will be transformed into His image and likeness.
The Holy Spirit transforms us through the word of God.
Our hope is that the practice of meditative reading will help put you in a position to receive this transformative grace of the Holy Spirit through God’s word.
Let’s ABIDE in the presence of our Lord!
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