Spiritual Growth series, Part 3. There is an internal conversation going on in our hearts. Often, it’s a repeating chorus. We play it over and over. Too many times, these words, these repeated choruses, damage us. Lies we’ve been told, lies we tell ourselves. Over and over, we play the same songs. Fears about the future, pain from the past, dreaded expectations.
But to meditate on God’s word is to change the tune.This is what we’re talking about in today’s episode.
A Call to Scripture Memory by Susan Heck
- On Amazon, $5: https://www.amazon.com/Call-Scripture-Memory-Susan-Heck/dp/1936141078
- On Christianbook.com, $3.99: https://www.christianbook.com/call-to-scripture-memory-biblical-perspective/9781936141074/pd/141074
Welcome to the simple truth big change podcast. I’m your host, Heather Duff, and this is where we read and explore the simple yet powerful truth of the Bible.
That truth makes a Big Change in our lives.
We’ve been talking about Spiritual Growth, and specifically, ways to get trained up in the word of God. Hebrews 5:12, “Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.”
Spiritual Growth Doesn’t Just Happen
So we see that spiritual maturity, spiritual growth doesn’t just happen. We need to train for it. And if we don’t, we may become like the recipients of this letter to the Hebrews who were believers long enough to be teaching others. Instead, they AGAIN had to be taught the basics. The writer of the letter wanted to share greater insights with them, but they weren’t ready for that. They didn’t have the basic understanding they needed.
I want to grow more and more in the Lord and I’m sure you do too. In Philippians 1:9 & 10, Paul says,
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real KNOWLEDGE and all DISCERNMENT, so that you may approve—or discern or distinguish the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ …”
This is another verse that connects discernment with spiritual growth.
The Church Needs Spiritual Growth
In a day when the world is calling right wrong and wrong right, we certainly need a greater discernment in the body of Christ.
This is the church growth that glorifies God. In love, growing in real knowledge and ALL discernment so we know right from wrong. And when this kind of spiritual growth takes place, this Scripture in Philippians tells us it will result in sincerity and blamelessness.
Where you see a lack of sincerity in the church, it’s because of spiritual immaturity. Silliness, apathy, or a tendency to do things according to the world…these are all signs of spiritual immaturity. The word for sincere here comes from the root word for the sun’s rays. It means pure. Something that, in the light of the sun, will prove to be what it appears. Undefiled, it will hold up under scrutiny.
I want to read this Scripture in Philippians chapter one again, adding with it the last verse of the paragraph. This is Philippians 1:9-11.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may [g]approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless [h]until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
We want this fruit of righteousness that comes only through Jesus. This is the fruit of spiritual growth and maturity.
So let’s look at another way to grow spiritually. In the last episode we talked about reading the Word, and praying the Word. This time we’re talking about the benefits of meditating on Scripture.
Spiritual Growth Through Bible Meditation
To meditate on something in the Biblical sense means to utter, to mutter, to speak, to ponder. One definition in Psalms is “resounding music.” While the meaning of the word isn’t musical in every application, still, I think this gives us some insight. There is an internal conversation going on in our hearts. Often, it is a repeating chorus. We play it over and over. Too many times, these words, these repeated choruses, damage us. Lies we’ve been told, lies we tell ourselves. Over and over, we play the same songs. Fears about the future, pain from the past, dreaded expectations.
But to meditate on God’s word is to change the tune. Instead of repeating death or strife or fearful things, our hearts were made to sing the songs of God’s goodness, of His deliverance. Songs of truth and grace and mercy. Songs that give life and peace instead of songs that crush us make us miserable.
The meditations we repeat in our hearts affect our attitudes, our relationships, and our activities. They affect our spiritual growth. When we rehearse doom, dread, discouragement, or disappointment, it saps our strength. When we meditate on God’s word, we are transformed, strengthened, and secured.
This isn’t merely positive thinking. This is worship. It is to dwell on God, it is to magnify His name and delight in His worth. That’s why it’s worth-ship, or worship. It is taking the focus off ourselves turning our eyes to the Lord. Looking up, looking toward the eternal and resting on His goodness and in His strength.
To meditate on God’s word is to repeat it. Not like a vain or empty repetition. But to repeat it like learning a song. And this song, this meditation, will begin to come out of your heart and out of your mouth, but first, you have to get it IN your heart. And meditation helps us to do that.
You can do this by writing scripture on index cards or jotting them down on the Notes app of your phone. Return to the words frequently and speak them—out loud, and speak them in your heart.
This is one area that can be helped with some planning and discipline. Instead of opening a random page of your Bible, create a thoughtful, intentional plan. I’m going to say it again, but reading a book of the Bible repeatedly or over the course of a period of time will help you to better understand the passage you’re reading, as well as how it fits together with the Bible as a whole. A Bible reading plan like this helps you to dwell IN the scripture, dwell ON the scripture, and it’s a great way for the SCRIPTURE to dwell IN YOU.
Read the word and repeat it. Out loud and in your thoughts. This is meditation.
And if you want to gain exponentially from the practice of meditation, incorporate Scripture memorization.
Memorize Scripture for Spiritual Growth
Now, before you tell me your memory is terrible or you don’t have time or you’ve tried to memorize Scripture before and failed, I want to tell you about a wonderful book that helped me.
The book is titles, A Call to Scripture Memory by Susan Heck. (I’ll put a link in the show notes.) It’s a small 20-page booklet worth every penny you’ll spend on it. Susan shares some real-life examples illustrating the amazing benefits of memorizing Scripture and she also provides incredibly helpful tools on how to do it. She has memorized all but one book of the New Testament (she’s working on the last one now). And you’ll think it’s impossible, but with her encouraging insights and, more importantly, with the supernatural help of the Holy Spirit, you can memorize whole chapters and books of the Bible too. And you’ll do it in a lot less time than you’d expect.
I was going to move on to being “doers of the word” in the next episode, but I think we should come back to this subject next week. I’ll share some insights from Susan’s book, and I’ll tell you what I learned when I took up the challenge to memorize God’s word.
Thank you so much for tuning in!
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