Meditations (updated Sept 6, 2016)
This page presents some of my favorite verses from the Bible and a few of my thoughts on them. I trust that they will help you mature in your thinking, perspectives, and behavior as they have helped (and continue to help) me mature so that all of us can become people of greater value to ourselves and to others.
Psalm 119:97-100 (ESV) Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.
Meditation: Love for God's teachings in the Bible not only motivates people to think about them deeply, but also to follow their instructions, the result of which is always greater wisdom and understanding than others who merely rely on human teachings for their intellectual expertise.
Psalm 84:11 (ESV) For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Meditation: When God becomes our Lord (i.e., Master), He helps us see things about ourselves and this world that we cannot see when we walk in the darkness of independence from him. He also protects us from every kind of attack that is intended to harm us, by either deflecting it or by transforming it into something good (See Romans 8:28). When God is our Lord, he blesses us with favor and honor, even though we do not deserve it. And he showers us with everything that is good for us when we walk according to his instructions and allow his forgiveness to cover us every time we fail. What a wonderful life can be had for those who make God their Lord.
John 3:16-18 (ESV) God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son (Jesus, the promised Savior), that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Meditation: God (the invisible) sent Jesus (God in the flesh) into the world to save us from the just condemnation we deserve because of our rebellion against God and all of the pride we possess, which makes us assume that we are free to live life as we choose, no matter how harmful our choices may be to ourselves and to others.
John 17:3 (ESV) ...this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Meditation: Although there are many different religious and secular philosophies, we must select one that we believe to be the absolute truth, and thus completely worthy of our trust, since this most important decision in our life will greatly affect the quality of our existence in the present as well as in the eternal future.
Matthew 11:28-29 (ESV) Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (spoken by Jesus)
Meditation: Jesus offers people a much easier path to personal reform and successful living than religious and secular teachings that require customs, practices, attitudes, and obligations that tire us or inflate our pride rather than recreating us anew from the inside out.
Romans 8:28 (NLT) And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Meditation: This verse has always been the most important verse for me and my wife, for we have continually experienced its truth throughout every circumstance we have ever encountered, since becoming Christian believers at age 14 (for me) and age 20 (for my wife). Great good has come to us in every academic challenge, career challenge, relational challenge, financial challenge, and health challenge -- and we are expecting great good to come to us through my current cancer challenges as well.
John 8:12 (ESV) Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Meditation: Whenever I have sought Jesus' perspective on particular circumstances or difficulties, he has continually proved this verse to be true by giving me greater spiritual insight than I could have ever achieved on my own through other means. When we walk in darkness, we cannot "see" who we are, why we exist, and what kind of life we ought to be pursuing. We cannot "see" our weaknesses, the causes of our problems, and the best solutions to our challenges. Walking in darkness will make us think that everything we cannot "see" does not exist, and so we tragically ignore God because we blindly imagine that he is not there. Walking in darkness will also keep us from "seeing" the eternal consequences of our blindness that awaits us after death. Light that shows us the truth is far more valuable than the “realities” we imagine to exist when we mistakenly walk in darkness.
Philippians 4:13 (ESV) I can do all things through him (i.e., Jesus) who strengthens me.
Meditation: Throughout my life, I have been continually amazed at all of the good things that Jesus has been able to accomplish through me, when so many of the people around me have been much smarter and tried to succeed much harder.
Proverbs 3:13-18 (ESV) Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.
Meditation: Investing time and money to increase our knowledge, skills, and certifications is essential for career success, but deeply understanding what we learn, and acquiring the wisdom to apply it properly, adds far greater value to our professional expertise.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV) Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Meditation: When we make the God of the Bible our Lord, and trust his ways and motives, then we will make faster progress toward the life and mission that God created us for, rather than wasting our time on activities and relationships that lead us in the wrong direction.
Proverbs 3:9-10 (ESV) Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
Meditation: The secret to acquiring all that we need for our life and its work, without the artificial support of loans and other debt, is to be generous in our support of people and causes that God loves so he can reward our faith with provisions that far surpass our needs.
Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV) ...you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ...by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Meditation: Before Jesus pursued me, I was spiritually dead. I followed Satan unknowingly, through my desire to follow the ways of the world rather than the ways of God. I wanted to be smart, rich, and handsome so I could enjoy the envy and sinful favors of people who found me attractive because of my worldly success. But God invaded my life in order to open my eyes, give me healthier perspectives and motivations, and train me for higher ambitions that benefit the world much better. Now that I have been saved from Satan's control, I have become increasingly thankful that God freed me from my former self so that I can invest my life in much more valuable pursuits, which bring greater good to everyone. My passion now for the latter, months, years, or decades of my life is to be used by God to rescue others from harmful worldviews and lifestyles so they can enjoy a better life, too.