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Thursday, March 25, 2010

2 Timothy 2:7 - Study and God's Word Will Speak To You!

The Apostle Paul knew a lot of Scripture. He quoted it, wrote it, and lived by it through his ministry account in Acts 9-28, and his epistles.

2 Timothy 2:7 says, "Think over what I say, for God will give you understanding in everything." 

This verse was mentioned in a book I read by John Piper. Piper expresses, "The Bible has so many appeals to us that we should both meditate on the written Word of God with our minds and pray that God do His revelatory work in our hearts [to teach us what the Scriptures mean]." The key to understanding Scripture is not praying and praying and praying over the text, it is re-reading  and re-reading and studying it rigorously! Observation, interpretation, application, implementation, examination, and meditation are the keys to understanding the depth of Scripture and to understand the reality of the text. By "thinking over them [the Scriptures]," God will "give you understanding in everything."

If the Scriptures are truly inspiration of God and truthfully revealed in text, translation, and totality, then why not meditate on the eternal, truthful, living Word of God everyday?

Jesus said, "Man cannot live on bread alone, but on every word of God." (Matthew 4:4).

"Mark up" the word in order to soak up the word. Study it, embrace it, highlight it, underline and circle it to emphasize the text. Look words up in Bible dictionaries and lexicons to see what it means in the original languages. If we do this, there is a precious gift awaiting us. The gift of God is what theologians call "the doctrine of illumination," or the "gift of illumination." Illumination is only functional by the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the believe that explains truth to our hearts. Go figure, the Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible, so no wonder He teaches us through illumination the centrality of Scripture truth! So when we read, and think over that passage, the more we do that the more God explains it to us over time. Do not think that you can read Ezekiel or Nahum once and think you "get it." The more you study and meditate on those Scriptures in that book the more God will reveal to you through the gift of illumination for "understanding in everything." Below are some verses that demonstrate how to embrace the Word of God and meditate on it wholeheartedly. Remember, meditating on God's Word is not a church thing, it is an everyday thing!

Meditation verses:
1. We are to encompass all of God's Word:
Joshua 1:8 says, "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it."

2. We are to delight in God's Word:
Psalm 1:2 says, "But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night."

3. We are to meditate on God's Word:
Psalm 119:15, "I will meditate on your precepts and focus on your behavior."

Psalm 119:23, "Though rulers plot and slander me, your servant meditates on your statutes."

Psalm 119:27, "Help me to understand what your precepts mean! Then I can meditate on your marvelous teachings.

Psalm 119:48, "I will lift my hands to your commands, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes."

Psalm 119:97, "O how I love your law! All day long I meditate on it."

Psalm 119:99, "I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your rules."

Psalm 119:117, "Support me, so that I will be delivered. Then I will focus on your statutes continually."

Psalm 119:148, "My eyes anticipate the nighttime hours, so that I can meditate on your word."

Psalm 143:5, "I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done."

4. We are to focus on things in God's Word:
Romans 8:5 says, "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but thosewho live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit."

Colossians 3:1-4 says, "Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth, for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him."

Lastly, giving attention to Scripture reading is the priority for all Ministers of God:
1 Timothy 4:13 says, "Until I come, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhortation, to teaching."

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