If there is no absolute by which to judge society,Francis Schaeffer – Christian philosopher, evangelical church leader, and author
society is absolute.
The short answer is that yes Christians do meditate. However, what is it composed of? What is biblically accurate Christian meditation?
Various meditation methods around the world will have you spend time using controlled breathing methods, repeated phrases, clearing the mind, particular exercise and so on during meditation. They often fixate on achieving an altered state of mind &/or relaxation.
Christian meditation is a much more flexible action than those.
Christian meditation is a time of reflection.
The book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.Joshua 1:8 (NASB)
Another example . . .
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,Psalm 1:2 (NASB)
And in His law he meditates day and night.
The words used to describe this action aren’t always “meditate.” For example:
The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,Proverbs 15:28 (NASB)
But the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
Christian meditation is a time to reflect on God’s truth. This includes His Law but it also includes any part of His Word, the Scriptures.
As you may already be imagining, this is a highly adaptable activity. You could be meditating on Proverbs 15:1 as you drive your car or perhaps you spend time thinking on a passage you finished in Romans 9 as you sit reclined in a rocking chair.
I find the best times to meditate on the Lord and His precepts is when I can put the most focus on the topic while maintaining as few distractions as possible. This is why favorites of mine are to simply lie down and stare at the ceiling as I think. I find it similarly helpful to do the same outdoors but instead looking up at the sky.
Meditation is not necessarily always and specifically on Scripture as it can include reflecting on a past action but considering it light of God’s direction. I will do this by reflecting on a past conversation that I had with someone as we discussed the Gospel. I will reflect on what was said, what could have been said, and what I should say the next I meet them. Of course, my thoughts are considering all this in light of God’s Word. You could call this a practical application meditation. The thing you have to be careful about here is to keep your mind God-focused as without Him included in the reflecting time, it would likely then devolve into a time of fretting and worry.
The verses I provided above are simply the tip of the iceberg. Here are a more:
Psalm 4:4, 19:14, 39:3, 49:3, 63:5, 73:12-22, 77:10-12, 104:34, 139:5
Psalm 119:11, 16, 23, 48, 55, 59, 78, 97-99, 148
1 Timothy 4:13-15
As you look through the above verses, many use the English word “meditate” but they do not all do so. Nevertheless, they deal with the same topic. Reading each verse in context makes this apparent.
For more formal definitions of meditation, here are the following:
Act of calling to mind some supposition, pondering upon it, and correlating it to one’s own life. A wicked individual meditates upon violence (Prov. 24:2). The meditation of a righteous person contemplates God or His great spiritual truths (Psalm 63:6; 77:12; 119:15, 23, 27, 48, 78, 97, 148; 143:5) He hopes to please God by meditation (Ps. 19:14). Thus meditation by God’s people is a reverent act of worship. Through it they commune with God and are thereby renewed spiritually.Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary p. 1096
Spending time in quietness and usually alone, drawing close to God and listening to Him, pondering on His word, His creation, His mighty works or other aspects of His self-revelation.Dictionary of Bible Themes
For further reading/sources, see the following:
- Brand, Chad, Charles Draper, Archie England, Steve Bond, E. Ray Clendenen, Trent C. Butler, and Bill Latta, ed. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003.
- Carpenter, Eugene E., and Philip W. Comfort. Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew Words Defined and Explained. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000.
- Manser, Martin H. Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser, 2009.
- New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995.
- Swanson, James, and Orville Nave. New Nave’s Topical Bible. Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, 1994.
But redemption is coming!
And hope is here.
Quoted from the ending of Pastor Hause’s blog found at http://www.newcityfellowship.church/ titled “Groaning for Justice”
The following tips were taken from a recent message delivered by one of my elders. I modified the language a little for the purposes of this post.
In it, he pointed out that in order to keep God centered in our lives we have to consistently resist the temptation of loving other things more than we love God.
So let’s look at some practical ways to do this.
- Eliminate things and habits that constantly pull you away from seeing the Lord as your ultimate treasure. This is best done while replacing them with things that reinforce a focus on God. (like the next item)
- Set time for regular, daily prayer.
- Practice regular Worship keeping. Having dedicated worship time with the faithful is very edifying. It is good to have time for spiritual rest and reflection.
- Confess your idols to God and ask Him to reshape your loves toward Him.
If you’d like to hear more of this message and get it in its original context, check out that full recorded message at faithbaptistorlando.com.
This is a post that helps you the reader to become more acquainted with where I – the author of this site – stand on various topics and theological points. Keep reading to see where I stand on today’s topic.
I go by One_Monk on here and I have called it a sort of “pen name” but that is about as far as I have gone in explaining it.
You may be thinking right now, “really? You’re going to write an entire article on this?”
That is exactly what I am going to do!
I could have as easily called this article “On Ascetics” as it is for ascetic reasons I picked the name that I did, but not nearly as many people are familiar with that topic. So, I’m going to fixate on my chosen online pen name and knock on my angle on ascetics as well as describe my name in one go!
Let’s start the explanation.
“One” should be fairly straight-forward here as it is simply counting the individual that is me. I am singular. The name is not shared. I am one lone monk.
Monk. These days in the US all sorts of images come to mind. From my experiences, I first came into contact with Roman Catholic monks and therefore these are the first images I think of but they are not the only as I have had many students in my past who would admit that they first thought of Buddhist monks.
However, I would not want to emulate either one. So, why would I chose “monk” as part of my name?
In Christian monasticism, it has not always been the same. The earliest monks or ascetics (as they were also called) would separate themselves from the world in order to dedicate themselves fully to the study of God’s Word and to prayer and to meditation. They often did this alone in the wilderness but in time communities came to be formed and it also became a practice in the early Christian church that Church leaders would come out of these ascetics. In other words, they didn’t stay in isolation forever – unlike many of the later and even modern ones.
I have found the most redeeming value in the practices of these earliest monks/ascetics over any of the others. Even so, that does not mean I am standing here today agreeing with everything any of them ever said or did that we have recorded.
One_Monk was created with these early monks in mind and the ideal I aim to embody is to be separate from the ways of the world but to fully recognize that I am but one individual. I am to be separate from the world but not isolated from it. I am but one individual of an entire humanity. If I lock myself away, how can I be salt and light unto the rest?
I do not think we should be afraid of terms like “monk” or “ascetic” but should reclaim them. In fact, we are all trying to aim for a particular asceticism in our lives as Christians as we aim to simplify our lives from the things that distract us from Him. This means making a conscious effort to abstain from various things of this world and activities.
Now, let’s get a few other things clear.
Many of the ascetics did take their lives to a point of extreme denial as you would typically find in other ascetic life-styles in other religions. This includes abstaining from sex. I can certainly agree with them in doing so (to a point) but the Christian ascetics often took it to their graves – Not something I agree with!
They would take personal vows of chastity to set themselves aside for service to Christ. This was an individual choice and not all of them did this (most did though). In addition, I can remember some that took such a vow for a time but later after coming out of their isolation, renounced it upon marrying. In other words, not all of these early ascetics followed the same pattern.
I may not be married as of this writing but I would like to think that one of these days I will be and start my own family. I certainly do not take things to the extent that some of the earliest Christian ascetics did.
Several ascetics I have read about also took on extreme diets. Also, not something I do as I am currently eating pizza as I write this. Even so, I am conscious about my diet and between my own health concerns and what I have found is best for my overall health, I do abstain from sodas, many other sweets, pastas, citrus, and a few other things. (Note: Please do not take this as any sort of directive from me as to what you should stay away from. For example, I stay away from citrus because of inflammatory responses my body gives me when I consume any citrus)
I do very much think we should live simplified life styles – especially as Christians. Getting swept up in the drivings to accumulate material items and wealth ultimately puts more stresses on you as such things tend to demand more of you.
Of course, I do have a real name. If you do a little bit of digging you are going to find it. I go by the name of Eli but on here and in my role with this only ministry, I go by my pen name One_Monk.
Note: I do these posts not because I think I’m somehow superior in my views or anything absurd like that but out of a desire to be up-front and honest with my readers as to where I stand. Otherwise, you’d be left to figure things out by reading between the lines and/or guessing.
Happy birthday Jesus!
Thank you Lord for sending us your Son!
Merry Christmas everyone!
Enjoy this time with family and friends and remember the reason for this holiday! Jesus Christ is our savior and we remember at this time why it was He came to Earth as a child, to die for our sins that we may live in Him!
The “mas” in Xmas means “mass” as in a Catholic worship mass.
So the X stands for Christ and the mas stands for mass so it means “Christ mass”.
But wait a minute! If mass is associated with Catholicism, why would Protestants have anything to do with such a term?
Well, what exactly is mass? Mass is the celebration of the Eucharist. This is also called Communion. So Protestants practice it too – despite having differing theologies behind it as compared to Catholics.
In other words, we can also translate the term Christmas or Xmas as
Christ mass = Christ Eucharist = Christ Communion
Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth as we remember why he came – for the sacrifice of His body and blood that he’d sacrifice shed for us later.
Haven’t read part 1, read it now.
There are those who have a strong reaction to this term “Xmas”. The feeling is often as if Christ is being crossed out of the holiday. However, that is not what was is intended at all. It is rather a long-time used term too.
The X is actually the closest equivalent to the Greek chi character which, as you might have guessed, looks like an X. This is also the first letter in the Greek work for Christ (Χριστος). As such, a common short-hand for Christ was to simply write the Greek letter chi (Χ or χ).
So, Xmas is Christmas or, more specifically, Christos – mas.
But let us take one more moment to take a look at another component that often goes overlooked, the “mas” part. What does that refer to?
And we will address that in part 2 of Xmas . . .
. . . let me guide you in some ways we can uphold the truth both individually and corporately:
1. Believe it
2. Memorize it.
3. Meditate on it.
4. Study it.
5. Obey it.
6. Defend it.
7. Live it.
8. Proclaim it.
The supreme mission of the church is to uphold the precious legacy of God’s Word. What privilege to support the truth!Pastor Jack Jenkins
This above quote came from the message “Proper Conduct & Confession Within the Church (part 2)“.