by Dr Gregory Magruder | July 26, 2020
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Gainesville, FL 07/26/20
INTRODUCTION: We cultivate the presence, peace, and power of God through prayer. In Philippians 4:4-7, Paul says everything we do should be done in prayer. Relief from anxiety begins with prayer. We replace anxiety through meditation. Different forms of meditation have become popular. Mindfulness is a buzz word now used in schools, businesses, and self-help books. Eastern meditation has been popularized in the media and biofeedback has been a staple of scientific research into relaxation techniques. Is there such a thing as Christian meditation? Christianity has a long tradition of Christian mystics who practice meditation. Current studies have shown that biblical meditation consisting of prayer and devotional study produces the same benefits and peaceful results as other forms of meditation. Every Christian believer can practice biblical meditation. So, what is Christian meditation? How do we meditate? Paul gives us the answer in Philippians 4:8-9.
WHAT IS CHRISTIAN MEDITATION?
*Christian meditation is focusing on things that are good and godly. It is like the cow’s process of mastication, chewing the cud. The believer mulls over and reflects on God’s Word and truth until it is fully digested. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (4:8).
*Christian meditation has content that becomes the focus of the thoughts. Eastern meditation and other secular forms of meditation aim to empty the mind. Christian meditation replaces the bad with the good, the impure with the pure, the lies with the truth, etc. - if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (4:8).
*The best resource for meditation is the Bible, God’s Word. The Psalms are good content for meditation. For example, Psalm 136 shows us how to dwell or think on good things using biblical content.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever (136:1)
*Any subject matter that builds good character and promotes healthy thinking is good for meditation. Paul uses common moral virtues praised by the pagan philosophers of his day as worthy of meditation and reflection - whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable… think about these things (4:8).
HOW DO WE MEDITATE?
*Focus your mind on these virtues and God’s Word.
- True – true to fact and reality. Thy word is truth (John 17:7).
- Honorable – worthy of respect, has dignity and is seriously noble.
- Just – right, righteous, in perfect harmony with God’s standards.
- Pure – chaste, undefiled by sin, morally clean, stainless, innocent.
- Lovely – winsome, endearing, gracious toward someone like Jesus.
- Commendable – good repute, highly regarded, well thought of.
- Excellence – the best, not the worst; superior quality, purposeful.
- Worthy of praise – admirable, commendable, deserving applause.
*Follow biblical principles and godly examples. Hear, meditate, and put God’s Word and the good virtues into practice. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you (4:9).
*As you meditate and apply the Word of God in your life, the God of Peace will be present and manifest his power - practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you (4:9).
“When you have the secure mind, the peace of God guards you (v.7) and the God of peace guides you (v.9)” – Warren Wiersbe, Be Joyful, p.126.