Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
In his Daily Hope blog yesterday, Rick Warren suggested nine questions to help in our meditations while reading God’s Word. Here are those questions, along with an example of a Bible verse that would apply to each one. You may want to print these questions and put them with your Bible to use in your daily reading, and/or, to use with the verses in each day’s Emailmeditation.
- Is there a SIN to confess? Does God’s Word make you aware of something you need to make right with God?
Proverbs 28:13 — Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
- Is there a PROMISE to claim? There are more than 7,000 promises in God’s Word. Ask yourself if the passage you’ve read contains any promises.
John 14:1-3 — (Jesus said), “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
- Is there an ATTITUDE to change? Is there something about which you need to think differently? Do you need to work on a negative attitude, worry, guilt, fear, loneliness, bitterness, pride, apathy, or ego?
Philippians 24-5 — Don’t be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others. Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
- Is there a COMMAND to obey? Is there a command you need to obey, no matter how you feel?
Matthew 22:37-39 — (Jesus said), “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
- Is there an EXAMPLE to follow? Are there positive examples to follow or negative examples to avoid?
James 5:10-11 — Brothers and sisters, follow the example of the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. They were patient when they suffered unjustly. We consider those who endure to be blessed. You have heard about Job’s endurance. You saw that the Lord ended Job’s suffering because the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
- Is there a PRAYER to pray? Paul, David, Solomon, Elijah, and Isaiah, among others, pray in the Bible. You can use their prayers and know that they’ll be answered because they’re in the Bible and in God’s will.
Luke 18:38 — He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
- Is there an ERROR to avoid? It’s wise to learn from experience, and it’s even wiser to learn from the experience of others. We don’t have time to make all the mistakes ourselves. So what can you learn from the mistakes of those in Scripture?
Ephesians 4:29 — Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
- Is there a TRUTH to believe? Often, we’ll read something in Scripture that we can’t do anything about. We simply have to believe what it says.
John 3:16 — For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
- Is there SOMETHING for which to praise God? You can always find something in a passage you can be grateful to God for, like something God has protected you from or something God has done.
Psalm 103:1-4 — Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits; who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.
Almighty, everlasting God, heavenly Father, whose Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our way: Open and enlighten my mind that I may understand your Word purely, clearly, devoutly, and then, having understood it aright, fashion my life in accord with it, in order that I may never displease you; through Jesus Christ, thy Son, our dear Lord. Amen.
–Johannes Bugenhagen (1485-1558)