“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
1) Meditation (Mark Roberts)
2) Add to Your Faith (Gene Taylor)
3) Psalm 19:7-11 (NASB)
4) News & Notes
Do you meditate? Many Christians may instinctively answer “no” since meditation has become associated with the Eastern religions or the New Age movement. Yet the Bible recommends a kind of meditation that is far removed from such practices. David said, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Ps. 119:11). Hiding the word in our hearts, the essence of meditation, is an essential discipline in the life of the serious Christian.
What does it mean to meditate? The Bible uses the term to mean an intense consideration of spiritual matters. When we meditate, we reflect carefully and deeply upon God, His Word, our conduct and our relationship with the Lord. Paul urges us to think about things “noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report” (Phil. 4:8). David says, “I meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search” (Ps. 77:6). The word David uses for “meditate” means to rehearse, to go over in one’s mind. The Scriptures admonish us to deliberately turn our minds toward spiritual things, and to introspectively look at our lives from the spiritual dimension. This is meditation.
The Bible extols the benefits of time spent meditating. Joshua was told success depended upon it (Josh. 1:8), and David defines it as the mark of a godly man (Ps. 1:2). Meditation will humble us as we look into the mirror of God’s word and see needed improvements (Jas. 1:22-25; Ps. 119:59). Solomon tells us that meditation results in better decision-making and gives us direction in life, for commandments “bound to our hearts” guide and watch over us (Prov. 6:20-23). Further, meditation will comfort us in times of distress and trouble (Ps. 119:23). Most importantly, meditation will draw us closer to the Lord because we are thinking His thoughts, not our own.
Please realize the distinction between meditation and Bible study. Studying the Bible gives us a basis for meditation, because it involves the acquiring of knowledge and facts. Meditation is the process by which we examine those facts and see how they affect our lives, and how they fit into the big picture of knowing God better. A failure to meditate can result in our becoming Bible encyclopedias – “know-it-alls” – who have no real relationship with the Lord. God did not give His word that we might become experts in Bible trivia but that it might change us to the core. We activate that change process in meditation.
How do we meditate? Meditation is a simple process, and it is best kept that way. Encumbering it with gimmicks and props only robs it of its power. Meditation only requires a willing mind and a quiet place. Remember how often Jesus sought solitude to pray and be alone with God? We must do the same. Then, select a verse of Scripture. David advises us to meditate on the law of God (Ps. 119:97). Turn the passage over in your mind, repeating it internally again and again. Think of each word and what it means. Then begin to think on how this verse applies to you. What is God saying here? How can you do what this verse instructs? Why did God command this? How does this verse show God’s love for you? What other Bible passages show this verse’s truths in action? Where can you put this verse “in play” in your life? Answering these kinds of questions takes time and energy. The payoff? As we ruminate upon the Word, we are building and strengthening our spiritual character.
As you gain more discipline to control your mind from wandering, and as your will wants to spend more time meditating, broaden your meditations beyond just Scripture. David meditated upon the accomplishments of God: “I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works” (Ps. 145:5). Malachi records people meditating upon God’s name, meaning they reflected upon every facet of God’s character (Mal. 3:16). Here is meditation’s highest goal: thinking more on God.
We ought to realize the value of meditation. Make time to meditate on the Lord and His word. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Ps. 19:14).
— Via Knollwood church of Christ, January 2020
Add To Your Faith
When one becomes a child of God, he is born again spiritually (John 3:1-5) becoming a spiritual babe who is to grow (1 Pet. 2:1-2; 2 Pet. 3:18). One grows spiritually by feeding upon the word of God (Acts 20:32), developing a spiritual appetite in order to hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matt. 5:6).
2 Peter 1:5-11 tells of the necessity and nature of such growth. “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
“Virtue” is the determination to do right. “Knowledge” is knowledge of God’s word because it is the only source which tells what is right. “Self control” is the application of that knowledge in your life using it to govern your thoughts and actions. “Perseverance” is remaining steadfast to the Lord and His cause. “Godliness” is being like God, as He would have you to be. “Brotherly kindness” is tender affection toward brethren in Christ. “Love” is devotion to God, Christ, and your fellowman which is expressed in obedience to God and service to man.
If you are to be fruitful in your service to Christ, these things must abound in your life. If you lack them, you are blind as to what your life in Christ should be.
– Via The Beacon, March 29, 2020
“The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward” (NASB).
News & Notes
Folks to be praying for:
Today [April 12] is now the 28th day since we have last been able to meet as a church. I am really missing that, as I imagine you are, too. It helps us realize how much we really do need each other for that encouragement we receive in worshiping God together and building one another up in the most holy faith. Let us continue to keep each other in prayer. There have been no reports on any additional sicknesses among us. And we are glad that Jonathan is now doing much better. His fever has been gone for a couple weeks; and several days ago, he began getting his strength back and has greatly improved in that area as well.
Last Wednesday, Kim Rowell was transferred to CCU. She began have respiratory issues, which they have put her on a vent for. They also ran tests for internal bleeding. On last report, she had been re-admitted because of mediastinitis, which is a type of infection.
Let us also continue to remember Jonathan’s mother in prayer as she undergoes chemo treatments, due to Amyloidosis.
With the “markers” having already been implanted, Bud will be prepped again April 21 for his upcoming procedure.
Sandra Goodrich will be having her cast on her foot and leg removed this Tuesday and replaced with a splint.
Let us also remember the following in prayer: Andy Berendt, Ann Vandevander, Rick Cuthbertson, Jim, Rex & Frankie Hadley, Kelly Stoneheart, A.J. & Pat, John Bladen, the Downs, Joyce, Shirley, the Medlock family, and Kerry Williams.
And, of course, let us also pray for everyone everywhere, as the Bible exhorts us to do in 1 Timothy 2:1.
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
The following services are all cancelled until further notice:
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)