By Pastor Jeremy Bailey
We have a remarkably versatile language. Take the word “reflect”. We immediately think of what we see in a mirror reflected back at us. The word means to throw back an image either to the eye or the mind, to show an image of something. But that is not the only meaning. We are able to reflect on things we have seen, heard or read. It amounts to the same thing really: to throw back an image onto our minds so that we can think about it, ponder it, turn it over until we have exhausted its usefulness to our soul. During these extra three weeks of lockdown, many of us have extra time on our hands. Perhaps it is good to rediscover (or perhaps discover for the first time) the Christian art of meditation. I’ve given over some space this week to encourage us all to do this.
Brief Devotional: Reflect on what I am saying
Come with me, please to 2 Timothy 2 verse 7 The apostle Paul has been telling the young pastor Timothy to be strong in the Lord. He is to be as tough as a soldier, as disciplined as an athlete and as hard working as a farmer. That is the Christian life. Then he tells Timothy Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. He is encouraging Timothy to meditate on these verses. The promise is that, if he does, the Lord will give him insight into the meaning and application of those verses.
Timothy is not the only person in the Bible who we find meditating. Isaac is in the field meditating when his bride Rebekah arrives (Genesis 24 v 63); Joshua is instructed not to allow the Book of the Law to depart from his mouth but to meditate on it day and night (Joshua 1 v 8); and Mary the mother of the Lord Jesus pondered all that happened surrounding the birth of her Son (Luke 2 v 19).
How do you begin to meditate? Here are some suggestions:
- Ask God to help you by His Holy Spirit
- Read the Bible – perhaps just one verse
- Choose something relevant to you that day
- Memorise the verse (or the truth you have selected)
- Bring to mind everything you have ever learnt about that verse
- Ponder these things, think of illustrations that help you to understand the verse. Think of opposites to help you get to the meaning of the verse.
- Pray that God would stir up your feelings as well as your mind. Talk to yourself, and pray short prayers asking for help and freedom, love, joy, hope, gratitude….
- Try to apply the verse to yourself. Ask yourself questions: Where have I been failing in this area? What should I be doing/stop doing? What am I determined to do from now on.
- Finish with a prayer, thanking God, and maybe singing a hymn/song.
What are the benefits of meditation? Here are ten reasons (I’m sure you will think of more)
- You will put yourself in the way of blessing. Psalm 1 v 2 describes the blessed person as one whose delight is in the law of the Lord and on that law meditates day and night.
- It will help you focus on the Triune God
- It will increase your faith
- It will give you a bigger heart
- It will help your memory
- It will help you to pray
- It will help you read God’s word more carefully
- It will help you repent
- It will keep you disciplined
- It will help you through many troubles
1. Our dear brother finally flew home from Nigeria on Friday and was reunited with his family on Saturday. It has been an ordeal for them as a family as he has spent an extra 5 weeks away from home and work. He is thankful to the Lord for his safekeeping and answered prayer.
2. Barnabas Fund reports that President Nana Akufo-Addo of Christian majority Ghana, responding to the coronavirus, called for his country to “seek the face of the Almighty …(and) pray to God to protect our nation and save us from this pandemic”. A national Day of Fasting and Prayer was held on 25 March, which included prayer for “forgiveness of sins on behalf of the nation and the world at large.”
Brief Prayer Requests
1. Pray for Adam and Dagmara Urban in Poland. They are a young couple working with EMF and we have been linked with them for prayer and support. Their church website is now up and running with many links to helpful reformed books and articles. The church plant from Siedlce in a town called Lukow, is ready to be registered as a church in its own right with a confession of faith. All the believers are growing in grace and faith. Praise God for that. Please continue to remember Adam in the sudden tragic loss of his grandmother.
2. Pray for our civic leaders in local, Welsh and Westminster governments. This is a very difficult time for them and they have many difficult decisions to make for the health of the nation and our economic future. We are told to pray for them in 1 Timothy 2 and to submit to them in Romans 13. Let’s obey both scriptures!
3. Thank the Lord for safekeeping as a church, and continue to remember one another in these days of separation. If you haven’t already done so, why not make a list of the people you remember from church and pray for two or three each day…and don’t forget the children and young people.
Finally, for those who are following the daily readings, here are the readings from this Wednesday until Wednesday of next week.
Wed 13th Psalm 62,63 Thursday 14th Psalm 64,65
Friday 15th Psalm 66,67 Saturday 16th Psalm 68
Sunday 17th Psalm 69 Monday 18th Psalm 70,71
Tuesday 19th Psalm 72 Wed 20th Psalm 73
Warmly yours in the Lord Your Pastor Jeremy 11th May 2020