Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Search My Spirit

I Search My Spirit, Psalm 77:1-20
1 I WILL cry to God with my voice, even to God with my voice, and He will give ear and hearken to me.
2 In the day of my trouble I seek (inquire of and desperately require) the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out [in prayer] without slacking up; I refuse to be comforted.
3 I [earnestly] remember God; I am disquieted and I groan; I muse in prayer, and my spirit faints [overwhelmed]. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
4 You hold my eyes from closing; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5 I consider the days of old, the years of bygone times [of prosperity].
6 I call to remembrance my song in the night; with my heart I meditate and my spirit searches diligently:
7 Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more?
8 Have His mercy and loving-kindness ceased forever? Have His promises ended for all time?
9 Has God [deliberately] abandoned or forgotten His graciousness? Has He in anger shut up His compassion? Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
10 And I say, This [apparent desertion of Israel by God] is my appointed lot and trial, but I will recall the years of the right hand of the Most High [in loving-kindness extended toward us], for this is my grief, that the right hand of the Most High changes.
11 I will [earnestly] recall the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will [earnestly] remember the wonders [You performed for our fathers] of old.
12 I will meditate also upon all Your works and consider all Your [mighty] deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary [in holiness, away from sin and guilt]. Who is a great God like our God?
14 You are the God Who does wonders; You have demonstrated Your power among the peoples.
15 You have with Your [mighty] arm redeemed Your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
16 When the waters [at the Red Sea and the Jordan] saw You, O God, they were afraid; the deep shuddered also, for [all] the waters saw You.
17 The clouds poured down water, the skies sent out a sound [of rumbling thunder]; Your arrows went forth [in forked lightning].
18 The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind, the lightnings illumined the world; the earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way [in delivering Your people] was through the sea, and Your paths through the great waters, yet Your footsteps were not traceable, but were obliterated.
20 You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron (AMP)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Knowledge of God’s Mystery

Knowledge of God’s Mystery, Col 1:26-29, 2:1-3 Day 8 of our study on Meditation.

26 The mystery of which was hidden for ages and generations [from angels and men], but is now revealed to His holy people (the saints),
27 To whom God was pleased to make known how great for the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ within and among you, the Hope of [realizing the] glory.
28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).
29 For this I labor [unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.

1 FOR I want you to know how great is my solicitude for you [how severe an inward struggle I am engaged in for you] and for those [believers] at Laodicea, and for all who [like yourselves] have never seen my face and known me personally.
2 [For my concern is] that their hearts may be braced (comforted, cheered, and encouraged) as they are knit together in love, that they may come to have all the abounding wealth and blessings of assured conviction of understanding, and that they may become progressively more intimately acquainted with and may know more definitely and accurately and thoroughly that mystic secret of God, [which is] Christ (the Anointed One).
3 In Him all the treasures of [divine] wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God) and [all the riches of spiritual] knowledge and enlightenment are stored up and lie hidden. AMP

Meditate on these verses and rejoice that God has chosen to reveal this mystery to us. Focus on verse 27 and then reread this passage.


Knowing Jesus’ Voice

Knowing Jesus’ Voice, John 10:1-18 Day 7 of our study on Meditation

2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers." 6 Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

7 So again Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away — and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18 No one takesg it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father." NRSV

Meditate on one of these "I Am" statements by Jesus.
The ‘I am’ statements of Jesus
John 6:35,48: I am the bread of life.
John 8:12; 9:5: I am The light of the world
John 10:7, 9: I am The gate
John 10:11, 14: I am The good shepherd
John 11:25: I am The resurrection and the life
John 14:6: I am The way, the truth, and the life
John 15:1, 5: I am The vine

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Give Me Understanding

 Give Me Understanding, Psalm 119:33-40

Day 6 of our study on meditation.
33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I will keep it to the end [steadfastly].
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep Your law; yes, I will observe it with my whole heart. [Prov 2:6; James 1:5.]
35 Make me go in the path of Your commandments, for in them do I delight.
36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to covetousness (robbery, sensuality, unworthy riches). [Ezek 33:31; Mark 7:21,22; 1 Tim 6:10; Heb 13:5.]
37 Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity (idols and idolatry); and restore me to vigorous life and health in Your ways.
38 Establish Your word and confirm Your promise to Your servant, which is for those who reverently fear and devotedly worship You. [Deut 10:12; Ps 96:9.]
39 Turn away my reproach which I fear and dread, for Your ordinances are good.
40 Behold, I long for Your precepts; in Your righteousness give me renewed life. AMP

Today I would challenge you to ask yourself if you have lost or never had the passion, discipline and focus of reading, meditating, memorizing and then examining your life to see how you should apply and put God’s Word to work in your life today.
    If needed ask God to make you willing and able to do this.
Phil 2:13 For it is God which works in you both to make you willing and to do of His good pleasure.
    Ask him to help you set aside the time, to find the place so that you might do this. Cry out to him, humble yourself and ask for His mercy to make the way straight for you into His heart through His Word, for as you long for His precepts, read, meditate upon, memorize and apply His Word He will renew your life in Him in deeper levels of transforming power.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Beginning of Knowledge

The Beginning of Knowledge, Proverbs 1:1-7

1 THE PROVERBS (truths obscurely expressed, maxims, and parables) of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 That people may know skillful and godly Wisdom and instruction, discern and comprehend the words of understanding and insight,
3 Receive instruction in wise dealing and the discipline of wise thoughtfulness, righteousness, justice, and integrity,
4 That prudence may be given to the simple, and knowledge, discretion, and discernment to the youth —
5 The wise also will hear and increase in learning, and the person of understanding will acquire skill and attain to sound counsel [so that he may be able to steer his course rightly] — [Prov 9:9.]
6 That people may understand a proverb and a figure of speech or an enigma with its interpretation, and the words of the wise and their dark sayings or riddles.
7 The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; but fools despise skillful and godly Wisdom, instruction, and discipline. [Ps 111:10.] (AMP)
As you approach this study ask God to help you slow down and allow the Word to take deep root in your life this week.
Bible Study on Verse 7 from UBS Old Testament Handbook Series. Copyright © 1978-2004 by United Bible Societies

    "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: Fear in relation to God expresses a range of meanings in Old Testament contexts. For example, in Job 37:23-24 mortals are in terror and dread of God's punishment. In Ex 9:30 Moses tells the king of Egypt that he will stop the thunder and hail, even though the king and his people are not yet afraid of the Lord God. In Jer 26:19 fear has the sense of obedience. In the case of Abraham, after he had showed his willingness to obey God and sacrifice Isaac, the angel of the Lord said to him "I know that you fear God," which indicates Abraham's trust in God (Gen 22:12). Here in this verse and throughout Proverbs the fear of the Lord means to respect and believe the Lord.
     Lord is the common English translation of the Hebrew name of God, which is written as ‎yhwh ‎and pronounced something like ‎yahweh‎. It is the most frequently used term for God in the Old Testament. Because the name was sacred, it was not pronounced, but instead the term ‎'adonai ‎("my lord") was pronounced in its place. To translate the name of Israel's God there are several options open to the translator:
(1) Transliterate the form ‎yahweh‎.
(2) Translate by a term such as "Owner," "Master," "Ruler," "One who Commands," "the Ever-
      Present One," or "the Eternal One."
(3) Use the name of a local god is considered inappropriate.
(4) Translate Lord (‎yhwh‎) and the general word for God (‎'elohim ‎in Hebrew) by the same term.

     In many languages a literal rendering of fear of the Lord will mean nothing more than terror or dread, that is, being scared of what the Lord may do. If the language has an expression equivalent to "be in awe of," this will be more satisfactory. In some languages such a thought is expressed idiomatically; for example, "to stand with your heart in your hand before the Lord" or "You must respect the Lord with a quivering liver."

Beginning of knowledge: Beginning renders the word used in Gen 1:1, "in the beginning," which refers to the first in an ordered series of events. In this verse it is the starting point without which nothing else can follow. It may be taken as the root, fundamental, or basic element upon which all wisdom is built. The TEV footnote expresses this thought as "The most important part of knowledge is..."; the CEV footnote says "What knowledge is all about is...." In some languages "stump" or "root" is used figuratively for the source or basic element from which everything else comes, so these languages have a translation like "If a person wants to gain wisdom, the root of it is honoring the Lord."
    In some languages it is not possible to use a noun phrase such as the fear of the Lord as the subject of a clause. Accordingly it is sometimes necessary to restructure fear as an "if" clause; for example, "If you hold the Lord in awe, you will have the beginning of knowledge." We may also translate, for example, "Whoever respects and obeys the Lord is beginning to be wise," "The first thing about knowledge is to respect and obey the Lord," or "The most important part of knowledge is having reverence for the Lord" (TEV footnote). The FRCL rendering may serve as a model translation for some: "To recognize the authority of the Lord is the A-B-C of wisdom."

Fools despise wisdom and instruction: The second line contrasts the fool with the person who respects the Lord. Fools renders a word used in Isa 35:8 to indicate uninstructed people who mislead others. In 10:8; 20:3; and 29:9 fools are contrasted with sensible and intelligent people. Despise is not to be taken in the sense of "hate" or "loathe." The Hebrew, like the English term, properly means to look down upon with contempt, to disdain as unworthy. It is in this sense that Esau despised his birthright in Gen 25:34. Wisdom and instruction are the same words as used in verse 2. This line may be rendered "Fools turn their noses up at wisdom and good advice" or "People who look down on wisdom and instruction are fools."
     In translation it may be necessary to make the contrast between the two lines clear by saying, for example, "but fools despise..." or "Foolish people, on the other hand, think wisdom and instruction are worthless.""

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pondering Supernatural Encounters

Pondering Supernatural Encounters
There is no greater need for pondering the things of God, than comes when we receive a supernatural revelation, dream, and vision or experience an angelic encounter. God breaks through our natural realm in these ways when there is a significant need or event that He is preparing us for. He does not guide or intervene in these ways every day as our relationship with Him and our walk is one of faith based on His Word.
When we have such encounters it is important to ponder them, prayerfully consider them and seek God concerning how we should live in relationship to them. If the event is of God He will see that it comes to pass, but we must have faith in Him to do what He has revealed and be willing to do our part.

Day 4 of our study on Meditating in Scripture.

Mary Pondered the Words in Her Heart, Luke 2:8-19

8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see, I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger." 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,14 "Glory to God in the highest heaven,and on earth peace among those whom he favors!" 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us." 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. NRSV

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Day 168, 06/25/2010, Meditate on It Day and Night, Joshua 1:7-8

“Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful.” —Joshua 1:7-8

The material below is from “A Year With God”, by Dr Richard J. Foster

‘G O D ’ S W O R D S T O Joshua at the beginning of Joshua’s story suggest that effective leadership calls for concentrated meditation and musing on the law of God. This word was not to “depart” from his “mouth,” for mortals do not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Deut 8:3). Like Joshua, we are to talk about the Word, think about the Word, and obey the Word (Ps 1:2-3). In a sense, every word from the Lord is also a call from the Lord. We read every verse of Scripture lovingly and attentively, because every verse is a potential summons from God. Perhaps when we read, we ought not to ask ourselves, “What do these words mean?” but “What is God summoning me to do through these words?”

Be guided by these words as you return to your meditation today:

“You must look up with the vision of the heart to the Person of Christ, and listen for the impress of His will on your will through His words, that is, through the Book of the Gospel that was written to be the means of communication with the souls of His people. As you become familiar with them He will by His Spirit bring them to your memory as you need them, to be your defense in the dangers of the way, even as David said in the Psalms: ‘Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee’ (Ps 119:11, KJV).”

—Lilias Trotter, The Way of the Sevenfold Secret’

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Holy Reading, Psalm 119:97-99

Day Two, 06/24/2010, Holy Reading, Psalm 119:97-99

97 Oh, how love I Your law! It is my meditation all the day. [Ps 1:2.]
98 You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies, for [Your words] are ever before me.
99 I have better understanding and deeper insight than all my teachers, because Your testimonies are my meditation. [2 Tim 3:15.] AMP

How do you approach your time of reading God’s Word? There are a few simple steps that will cause you to get much more from God’s Word. If we will come with a humble heart, eager to learn, realizing that it is the Holy Spirit that causes us to gain life, truth and understanding from God’s Word.
When we read are we looking for quick fixes for the circumstances in our lives or are we seeking to be transformed by the renewing our minds that comes from God’s Word working in us.
Are we seeking to know the author and finisher of our faith? Are we seeking to know God and please God by conforming our lives, thought, hopes and emotions to align to His?
Do we seek to please Him in all of our ways or are we simply hoping to gain His power, wisdom, knowledge and miracles for our own purposes and ego?

Reading the Bible:
Pray first before opening God's word.
Ask for guidance and to be able to accept what is written and to be able to apply His will to your life.
Do not read the Bible trying to prove your belief on any subject. It is only human nature to take ideas out of context. When you are reading and come across something that does not make sense, reread the paragraph or chapter again. If you still do not understand, write down the problem area and continue onward. You can look up words and research these areas latter.

Below is an addition article on the Word meditate and concept of meditation in scripture.
MEDITATE [Hebr. ‎´î(a)µ‎, ‎´û(a)µ‎] (Gen 24:63; Ps 77:3,6 [MT :4 :7 ]; 119:15,23,27,48,78,148; 145:5); AV also COMPLAIN , "commune with mine own heart" (Ps 77:6), TALK OF, SPEAK OF; NEB also "hoping to meet" (Gen 24:63), "lay thinking" (Ps 77:3,6), STUDY , "my theme shall be" (Ps 145:5); [‎h¹gâ‎] (Josh 1:8; Ps 1:2; 38:12 (MT :13 ); 63:6 [MT :7 ]; 77:12 [MT :13 ]; 143:5); AV also IMAGINE ; NEB also "keep in mind" (Josh 1:8), MUTTER , "think on," MEMORY; [Gk. ‎promeletáœ‎] (Luke 21:14); NEB "prepare beforehand";

MEDITATION [Hebr. ‎´î(a)µ‎] (Ps 104:34); [‎´îµâ‎] (Job 15:4; Ps 119:97,99); AV also PRAYER ; NEB SPEAK, STUDY ; [‎higg¹yôn‎] (Ps 19:14 [MT :15 ]); NEB "all that I ... think"; [‎h¹gû¾‎] (Ps 49:3 [MT :4 ]); NEB "thoughtful."

In the biblical world meditation was not a silent practice. ‎H¹gâ ‎means "growl," "utter," or "moan" (cf. BDB p. 211 ) as well as "meditate" or "muse." No doubt meditation involved a muttering sound from reading half aloud or conversing with oneself (cf. Ps 77:6). Consequently, translations can vary: e.g., in Job 15:4 "meditation" (RSV) is rendered "prayer" by the AV and "to speak" by the NEB; in the AV Ps 5:1 (MT :2 ) has, "O Lord, consider my meditation", but the RSV has "give heed to my groaning" and the NEB "consider my inmost thought."

Meditation takes place any time of the day or night (Josh 1:8; Ps 1:2). It produces inward strength and joy (Ps 63:5). The object of meditation is particularly the law with its precepts (119:15), statutes (v. 48), testimonies (v. 99), and promises (v. 148). The glorious splendor of God's majesty, along with His wondrous works or miracles, is also the content of meditation (143:5; 145:5). Meditation takes place in the heart, the seat of the emotional and rational life. Therefore, the psalmist prays that the meditation of his heart will be acceptable in God's sight (19:14; 104:34), i.e., he wants his inner thoughts to approach the standard God approves. Thus the righteous, when they encounter the plots of the wicked, maintain a pure mind by meditating on God's law (119:23).

Jesus instructed His followers not to waste their time meditating their anticipated defense before their persecutors. Such confrontations are so versatile and unpredictable that undue preoccupation with them only increases one's anxiety and reduces one's effectiveness in the task at hand. To meet such a crisis Jesus promised special wisdom in speech from the Holy Spirit (Luke 21:14).

Conversely, as Paul taught Timothy, the mind is to be occupied with spiritual matters to increase spiritual growth (1 Tim 4:15, using Gk. ‎meletáœ‎, RSV "practice," AV "mediate").
(from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, revised edition, Copyright © 1979 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. All rights reserved.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Meditating on Scripture

Day One, Meditating on Scripture, 2 Timothy 2:7

2 Tim 2:1-7
1 SO YOU, my son, be strong (strengthened inwardly) in the grace (spiritual blessing) that is [to be found only] in Christ Jesus. 2 And the [instructions] which you have heard from me along with many witnesses, transmit and entrust [as a deposit] to reliable and faithful men who will be competent and qualified to teach others also. 3 Take [with me] your share of the hardships and suffering [which you are called to endure] as a good (first-class) soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier when in service gets entangled in the enterprises of [civilian] life; his aim is to satisfy and please the one who enlisted him. 5 And if anyone enters competitive games, he is not crowned unless he competes lawfully (fairly, according to the rules laid down). 6 [It is] the hard-working farmer [who labors to produce] who must be the first partaker of the fruits. 7 Think over these things I am saying [understand them and grasp their application], for the Lord will grant you full insight and understanding in everything. amp

Paul is instructing Timothy about be a good servant of God. He tells him to consider these things in verse 7, which refers to verses 1-6 as applied to serving God as a pastor. Paul is telling Timothy that God will give him understanding as he considers, thinks on or meditates on what Paul by the Holy Spirit is telling him.

When we seek to understand a verse or truth in scripture (those things God has had written in the Bible) we must be careful to seek to understand them first within the passage and book they are in and then in the fuller context of the Bible as a whole. When we do this we will gain the understanding God intends. If we do not learn to do this we open ourselves to false teachings.

Today we have learned that when we think on, consider or meditate on the Bible we must look for its meaning and understanding from the Bible itself. Pick a verse from either the ‘I am’ sayings of Jesus in John’s Gospel or the ‘In Him’ scriptures in the first three chapters of Ephesians and begin to meditate, think on and consider it.

You may want use cross references if your Bible has them. Use of an exhaustive concordance such as Strong’s is also helpful as it will allow you to see the Hebrew and Greek definitions of the words used.

I am including word definitions from the Old and New Testaments below to help you get started.

Hagah OT:1897, "to meditate, moan, growl, utter, speak." This word is common to both ancient and modern Hebrew. Found only 25 times in the Hebrew Old Testament, it seems to be an onomatopoetic term (the naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it (as buzz, hiss), reflecting the sighing and low sounds one may make while musing, at least as the ancients practiced it. This meaning is seen in its first occurrence in the text: "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night..." Josh 1:8. Perhaps the most famous reference "to meditating" on the law day and night is Ps 1:2.

Hagah also expresses the "growl" of lions Isa 31:4 and the "mourning" of doves Isa 38:14. When the word is used in the sense of "to mourn," it apparently emphasizes the sorrowful sounds of mourning, as seen in this parallelism: "Therefore will I howl for Moab, and I will cry out for all Moab; mine heart shall mourn for the men of Kir-heres" Jer 48:31. The idea that mental exercise, planning, often is accompanied by low talking seems to be reflected by Prov 24:1-2: "Be not thou envious against evil men,... for their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.

meletao (‎meleta/w‎, NT:3191), primarily, "to care for" (akin to melete, "care"; cf. melei, "it is a care"), denotes (a) "to attend to, practice," 1 Tim 4:15, RV, "be diligent in" (KJV, "meditate upon"); to practice is the prevalent sense of the word, and the context is not against this significance in the RV rendering; some mss. have it in Mark 13:11; (b) "to ponder, imagine," Acts 4:25.

This is day one of a 20 day study on meditation on the Facebook Group, The Passionate Participation in God Project @
Join the group today and get these devotional studies by email daily.

Monday, June 21, 2010


On June 23 we will begin a 20 day study of Meditation.
Below you will find an introduction and outline for a study on meditation which begins on Wed the 23 of June.

This study of 20 days can be signed up for by joining the Passionate Participation in God Project group at
If you are not on Facebook and would like to be a part of this study email me before the 23rd so that I can add you to the email list that will get these lessons.

You must join by June 22nd to get all of the lessons and articles, if you join after the 22nd you will have to go to to get back lessons.

This will be supplemented with articles and word studies to help us understand:
1. What Biblical Meditation is and is not.
2. What New age Meditation is and how it differs from Biblical meditation.
3. How Biblical Meditation can help us grow in God and be more effective as children of God.

Prayerful rumination upon God, His Word, and His world.

Many of us worry that “meditation” has a ring of the occult or of Eastern religions. Yet the Bible is filled with references to God’s people meditating on His Word, pondering Jesus or “higher things,” reflecting on the beauty of creation. Unlike Eastern meditation, in which participants seek to empty themselves of attachment, in Christian meditation we seek to fill ourselves with God, to form a more complete attachment to Christ.

“Christian meditation involves, not emptiness, but fullness,” writes author Joyce Huggett. “It means being attentive to God.”1 Meditation is trying to focus on God with the aim of letting God direct our thoughts. Like so many of the disciplines, it is ultimately about seeking God’s voice. And while meditation is closely linked with prayer and study, it focuses more on listening than on talking, is more devotional than analytical. In meditation, our emotions and our imaginations are as equally engaged as our minds.

Just as Enoch, Moses, the prophets, and countless others walked and talked with God, so too we seek to listen for God—whether in the slow savoring of God’s Word, in silent meditation, or in contemplation of creation or events in the world around us. Meditation is countercultural for many of us who tend to want to learn and pray and read as quickly as we can, so we can get to the next item on our to-do list. Reading slowly, pondering a flower, thinking about God with no set agenda—these are often difficult tasks for us, which shows just how essential they are for our formation.

On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.—Psalm 145:5
Day 166 Spiritual Practice: Meditating on Scripture
Day 167 Holy Reading
Day 168 Meditate on It Day and Night
Day 169 Mary Pondered the Words in Her Heart
Day 170 The Beginning of Knowledge
Day 171 Give Me Understanding
Day 172 Knowing Jesus’ Voice
Day 173 Knowledge of God’s Mystery
Day 174 I Search My Spirit
Day 175 Musing on God’s Mighty Deeds
Day 176 Spiritual Practice: Setting Our Minds on God
Day 177 The Meditation of My Heart
Day 178 Think About These Things
Day 179 Resting and Reflecting
Day 180 Meditating in the Watches of the Night
Day 181 When Life Hinders Meditation
Day 182 A Walking Meditation
Day 183 Meditating on God’s Works
Day 184 Reflecting on Jesus
Day 185 Setting Our Sights on Jesus

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Life with God Bible

Five years in the making, The Life with God Bible (formerly published as the Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible) seeks to recover the dynamics of Scripture for the spiritual transformation of the people of God: past, present, and future.

It provides a view of God’s community through history, the ups-and-downs, ins-and-outs of a with-God life.While other study Bibles serve as resources for sermon exposition, higher criticism, or personal devotion, the The Life with God Bible helps us capture the reality of living with the Trinitarian community in the ever-present kingdom of God. It recasts the Bible as the primary written resource for informing our minds and transforming our spirits in Christlikeness.

As part of making the Bible more accessible for the process of intentional formation in Christlikeness, The Life with God Bible includes:

• major essays and graphic representations highlighting 15 expressions of the With-God Life;
• essays and notes for each book of the Bible;
• 50+ character sketches giving a sense of the ways key Biblical figures lived with-God;
• an index of places various spiritual disciplines appear in the Scripture.

Sample readings from the The Life with God Bible.
The Life with God Bible Preview - Reading 13
The Notes to John
A Selection by Marva J. Dawn

John 1 - Selected Verses
"And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, 'This was he of whom I said, "He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me."') From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (1:14-17)

1:14a The Word became flesh and lived among us. Glorious mystery again: That God should become human! Imagine if a shoemaker would become a shoe! The Greek word translated "lived" more literally says "pitched his tent" or "tabernacled," which invites us to ponder all the biblical passages about God's glory descending upon the Israelites' tabernacle in the wilderness to signify his presence among them. Compare

Rev. 21:3, which extends the hope that someday we will know God again as intimately, face to face, as the disciples did being with Jesus. How can we learn to live that hope more deeply now?

1:14b-17 his glory ... full of grace and truth. Three of the cords from John's webbing (see Introduction) here converge. Though the word grace occurs only in 1:14 and 16-17, this theme underlies the entire Gospel. "Glory" and "truth" both occur in many contexts; each time the words invite us to notice connections, to expand our understanding of how God's glory is revealed and of how his truth undergirds all of life, and to learn skills for recognizing untruthful glories in order to become more devoted to the only glorious truth. Reflect on how the truth of God's Word enables us to sort and judge all the other truths the world offers. How does seeing more of the fullness of God's glory form us for deeper discipleship?

"No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known." (1:18)

1:18 No one has ever seen God. The theme that the Son makes the Father known is fleshed out throughout John. As we constantly ponder each Gospel segment, what do we learn about God from what Jesus does and says, from how he treats people, from his humanity and divinity together? What difference will each insight make in how we respond to our own life situations?

"This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, 'Who are you?'" (1:19)

1:19 This is the testimony. John 1-2 presents a series of short, positive interchanges with various members of Jesus' new "crew." Notice that these first disciples are on a voyage of discovery, as indicated by the escalation in experiences and by the names with which they speak of or to Jesus. John hints at this growing awareness of who Jesus is by his notation of seven days (see 1:19, 29, 35, 43, and 2:1), culminating in the first "sign" and the disciples' full belief. How has our own understanding of Jesus grown since we first met him? The awareness that people are at various stages of comprehension frees us to be agents drawing them ever towards new visions and names that lead to belief.

"He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, 'I am not the Messiah.' And they asked him, 'What then? Are you Elijah?' He said, 'I am not.' 'Are you the prophet?' He answered, 'No.'" (1:20-21)

1:20-21 I am not the Messiah. Perhaps we all sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that we're the Messiah. What can foster the sort of humility we need to let God work through us instead?

"Then they said to him, 'Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?'" (1:22)

1:22 (19, 24) Who are you? These verses give the first hint of opposition to those who testify to Jesus. How does John demonstrate the power of humility and truth-telling to free us from our fear of enemies?

"They asked him, 'Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?' John answered them, 'I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.'" (1:25-27)

1:25-27 I am not worthy. Still today people wonder what right Christians have to do what we do or say what we say if we're not big shots. What opportunities does God give us simply to point to Jesus? (See also 1:29-34.)The The Life with God Bible includes the efforts of:
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Sunday, June 13, 2010


Finding the Way, Isaiah 30:19-22It is often difficult to hear that voice guiding us to the right path. Many of us think we know God’s direction for a certain part of our lives, but we are not sure. Throughout the next ten days we will be seeking discernment about a major decision. Perhaps there is some leading you think you have felt or some issue about which you remain undecided—such as whether you should stay in or pursue a relationship with a certain person, or whether you should change vocation. Or perhaps you have not felt any real leadings from God about the direction your life should take and your task is not to confirm, but to ask God for a new direction.

19 O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem,
you will weep no more. He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries.
20 Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you.
You will see your teacher with your own eyes. 21 Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say,"This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left. 22 Then you will destroy all your silver idols and your precious gold images. You will throw them out like filthy rags,
saying to them, "Good riddance!" NLT.

The notes below are from 'A Year With God' by Richard Foster and are a part of a daily devotional group called The Passionate Participation in God Project on Facebook at You can sign up and get these eamils each day at the site above. You can also read them at www, Just click on the In God daily tab.

You can go about this task in a variety of ways. You might want to pray about the same thing every day, asking God for confirmation or direction, or, alternately, spend a block of time one day thinking and praying. Another option is to ask several trusted friends to meet with you to talk over and pray about your question. Quakers call such gatherings “meetings for clearness.” Sometimes the Holy Spirit can speak to us more clearly in a group and also reassure us that our inclination is of the Spirit and not of our own ego.

Throughout, as you seek confirmation that you are on the right path, consider that, in his Rules for the Discernment of Spirits, Ignatius of Loyola states that good influences provide courage and strength and produce peace and a greater feeling of love, while choices influenced by evil can be counted on to cause regret, sadness, and disquiet.5 Reflect on these thoughts of Ignatius whenever you feel unsure.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Jesus Manifesto

I just started reading this book but I am drawn to anything that gets us as Christians back to Jesus and away from all of the stuff we seem to follow as Christians.

Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola (Thomas Nelson)

Christians have made the gospel about so many things—things other than Christ. Religious concepts, ideas, doctrines, strategies, methods, techniques, programs, and formulas have all eclipsed the beauty, the glory, and the reality of the Lord Jesus Himself. On the whole, the Christian family today is starved for a real experience of the living Christ. We know a lot about our Lord, but we don't know Him very well. We know a lot about trying to be like Jesus, but very little about living by His indwelling life. "Jesus Manifesto" presents a fresh unveiling of Jesus as not only Savior and Lord, but as so much more. It is a prophetic call to restore the supremacy and sovereignty of Christ in a world—and a church—that has lost sight of Him. Read this book and see your Lord like you've never seen Him before.

Sign The Manifesto at Go Unite The Tribe
By signing this manifesto, we identify ourselves as grateful recipients of the freewheeling generosity and audacious mercy of Jesus. We bear witness to His love as together we follow Him. We affirm the good news that Jesus died, is risen, and will come again. The holy Scriptures are our roadmap as we seek true humanity and community with one another. We acknowledge that Jesus continues to forgive us and, reflecting Him, we forgive others with open hearts. We impart Him to those around us when we clothe ourselves in mercy, humility, and patience.

We call on each other to commit ourselves daily to His love and, in doing so, to live as His representatives, delighting in His imagination as He uses every one of us to bring the good news to our world.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Enoch’s Amazing Walk with God

Enoch’s Amazing Walk with GodHow We Can Have an Amazing Walk With God Beginning Today
Gen 5:24
24 And Enoch walked [in close fellowship] with and pleased God; and he was not, for God took him [home with Him]. [Heb 11:5.]
Heb 11:55 Because of faith Enoch was caught up and transferred to heaven, so that he did not have a glimpse of death; and he was not found, because God had translated him. For even before he was taken to heaven, he received testimony [still on record] that he had pleased and been in close fellowship with God. [Gen 5:21-24.] AMP

IntroductionWhat an amazing thing this is, to be in such a close and pleasing relationship with God that one day you just walk into heaven with Him without dying.

1. In The Beginning: Adam and Eve had such a walk/relationship with God. God came to visit them in the cool of the day. Unhindered by sin, they had amazing fellowship with God daily. Do you remember the joy of your salvation? Remember what it was like when you were first in love with Jesus!

2. Satan’s Scheme: In Genesis 3 we see the unfolding of Satan’s master plan to destroy humanity’s Relationship and Walk with God. ‘You shall be like God he said, when actually they became like him, separated because of their sin from God.

3. God response: in Genesis 3:15 the beginning of God’s plan of restoration with a demonstration of it in the shedding of the blood of animals to provide clothing, which is a fore shadowing of the shedding of the Messiah’s blood that we might have that close and God pleasing relationship or walk with God once again once again.

Heb 11:55 Because of faith Enoch was caught up and transferred to heaven, so that he did not have a glimpse of death; and he was not found, because God had translated him. For even before he was taken to heaven, he received testimony [still on record] that he had pleased and been in close fellowship with God. [Gen 5:21-24.] AMP

I. Where do we begin?

Salvation, Born again John 3:16 and Col 1:13-14John 3:16-1816 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world bto judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.Col 1:13-1413 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

II. What is next: Laying The foundation
1 Cor 3:10-11According to athe grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1. Preparing the Soil: If you have ever built or watched a foundation being built you know that the land must be prepared and that you must be careful as to what type of soil you build on. When we come to God as new believers we have sin and its results in our lives.
We not only need to repent from sin and renounce ungodly influences in our lives, but we may also need cleansing and healing from sins impact in our lives.

2. Build on Christ alone: We must build from the cornerstone which is Christ a foundation which from Him and Him alone.
3. Building a Relationship: Building that foundation requires a growing relationship. Relationships have several key parts.
a. Motivation, Interest, Interaction, Response, these are part of an ongoing cycle which must be kept fresh and alive.
Illustration in dating and marriage

III. Building on the foundation which is Christ

I Cor 3:12-1512 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, 1precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man's work will become evident; for bthe day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test 1the quality of each man's work. 14 If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet aso as through fire.

The Word of God as illuminated by the Holy Spirit is our primary and most important resource for knowing and developing a walk/relationship with God. Our prayers and our worship must be founded in the Word or we risk being led away from God by our own soulish desires and responses.
1. We need both Knowledge and Experience: Wisdom is gained by experience that comes from applying what we believe in life. The Greek values knowledge, the Hebrew does not separate knowing and doing what you say you believe. As Christians we must value both knowledge and wisdom gained through the experience of acting on what we believe.
2. Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev former Soviet Premier memorized large portions of scripture to get candy as a child but never came to Christ or served Him.
(Knowledge is not enough)

This foundation in Christ through God’s Word will also keep us from being caught up in the latest fads and doctrines.
We must judge our experiences and all we think and do by the Word. There are plenty of false teachings floating around in every generation and we can avoid them if we are in close relationship with God based on His Word.
False doctrines always have some truth. They also can take truth out of its biblical setting when it was not meant to be.

Examples:1. Taking Scripture out of context: Judas went out and hung himself and Jesus said go and do the same thing. These two scriptures do not go together. Christ never told anyone to hang themselves.
2. Talking to Angels instead of God. God assigns His angels to us. We need not seek them out as they are on assignment by God. Why talk to the messenger when you can talk to the Boss? When angels do show up in Scripture it is a big and often tramatic event.

The Enoch Type of Walk with God includes avoiding false doctrines which take us away from God is getting to know Him intimately and saying YES to Him Constantly and building our relationship daily.

IV. Simple Steps to a growing intimate walk with God.James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. NASU

1. Start where you are at and build little by little 5 min prayer, 5 min reading, 5 min worship
2. Find and fellowship with others who love God
3. Begin with a good study Bible and learn how to use it, read, read, read and study,
Then add an exhaustive Concordance
Then a Bible dictionary
These three resources will make you a good student of the Word!4. Learn to pray by using Scriptural prayers, start with the lord’s prayer
5. Listen to worship and praise music as much as possible
6. Spend more time doing these things than listening to others teach and preach or in reading other people’s books
7. Work on making God your best friend and seek Him out every minute you can

V. GET BAPTISED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT AND PRAY IN TONGUES when you do you build yourself up in God! Paul said he prayed tongues more than all the believers he wrote to and that praying in tongues builds you up in your faith.
1 Cor 14:18-19I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; NASU1 Cor 14:4Those who speak in a tongue build up themselves, NRSV
Prayer:Lord God, please forgive us for being so busy living our lives that we have not made you the priority of our lives. Father bring us close to you by your Spirit and through your Word that we might build a relationship that pleases you and that we might have walk with you even as Enoch did!
Father, if we have not built wisely then please show us where we must rebuild our foundation and help us to restore our first love with you.

This message is the property of Wayne Newcomb. Please do not use without permission.