When I was a kid in AWANA club, I was taught how to memorize scripture. As an adult, I learned how to study the Bible for myself. But it is only in the last two years that I have focused on meditating on God’s Word.
All three activities are valuable: memorizing, studying and meditating. Because the end of the year can be a depressing or busy season (or both!), keeping God’s Word in our hearts is incredibly important.
I like to think of meditating as treasuring. I read a section of scripture, do a little study (reading the notes in my study Bible or looking up puzzling things in my commentary), and then choose the verse or phrase that I want to treasure–the one that really spoke to me. It might be a verse that expresses the main point of the chapter, or it might be some small detail that I just noticed for the first time.
It is important to read at least a big chunk of a chapter at a time, to be sure we are not pulling verses out of context and putting our own spin on them.
After I choose my treasure, I try to carry it into my day. This is where meditating can really make a difference in my life. It is not an activity I do once a day — it is a conversation with God.
I might write the verse on a sticky note. Or I might use it to pray in color. Some days I pull it up on my phone at Biblegateway.com so it is handy all day (You will want to think about whether this is affecting the data usage on your phone). I use the verse to talk to God. It could be a praise that I express to him or a truth that I ask him to make more real in my life. Selections from psalms of lament give me questions that I bring to God on dark days.
How are you treasuring God’s Word today? What practical steps are you taking to keep scripture in your mind?
Note: in the first two weeks of Light for a Dark Season, we will be more focused on study, and then we will be choosing treasure every day.
Photo Credit: Amy Mayfield