It is indisputable that God wants us to think about what we read in His Word. While some find it challenging to regularly read the Bible it is important to remember that God doesn’t simply want us to read, say, three chapters of Scripture and go about our daily business; rather, He wants us to read however-many-verses (or chapters) of Scripture and think about what we read. I know that in our fallen-frames such an exercise can sometimes seem difficult; and I know that sometimes it seems like there’s something wrong with our ability to stay mentally focused on a biblical subject without getting sidetracked; but I also know that the Spirit of God is greater than the weaknesses in our flesh; therefore, this brief exhortation is meant to be an encouragement for you wherever you are in your Gospel-centered walk with Christ to think about what you read.
Maybe one of the most important pieces of instruction is – there are many ways to go about thinking about God’s Word. You are not relegated to simply mentally reciting a passage of Scripture in your mind from morning to evening. For example, during the course of my pastoral ministry there have been numerous occasions where myself and others would read through a book of the Bible together, a chapter-a-day for four or five days a week, and via e-mail either those reading would answer questions I prepared or all of us simply shared thoughts about what we read. There were other components as well, i.e. accompanying devotionals, quizzes, etc., but the point for our current consideration is this – it’s always been a great way to help each of us think about what we read. Especially when considering what to write, in many ways you can feel like the psalmist when he wrote concerning God’s Law, “… It is my meditation all the day (Ps. 119:97b ESV).” So besides thinking about what to write and reading over what another person had written, each of those ‘Bible-reading fellowships’ provided us with so many opportunities to not only enjoy Bible-centered fellowship but to foster the joyful discipline of contemplating God’s Word. There are plenty of ways for the body of Christ or under-shepherds and the flock to spur one another on towards biblical meditation.
Lastly, sometimes being reminded of the Scriptural commands to meditate on God’s Word provides fresh fuel for the fire of reflection. Remember, the blessed man delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on His law day and night (Ps. 1:2). The blessed man thinks because he delights. He meditates on God’s Word morning and evening because He has found its presence to be delightful. Therefore, leaning on the Spirit’s grace, let us join the psalmist in saying, “I will meditate on Your precepts and fix my eyes on Your ways (Ps. 119:15 ESV).” That same psalmist even said, “My eyes awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on Your promise (vs. 48).” Seeing the psalmist’s Spirit-inspired passion for God’s Word is, I think, somewhat contagious for those who love Jesus and desire to have the word of Christ dwell in them richly (Col. 3:16). After all, if the psalmist found such joy in a partially completed Old Testament canon, how much more should Christians rejoice in a completed New Testament canon that discloses the glories of the crucified, resurrected, and ascended Lord of glory, Jesus Christ?
Let us, then, be reminded and exhorted this day to think about and reflect upon the Scripture verses we read.