Tim Keller | April 27, 2008
We’re in a series on what we’re calling Christian practices or spiritual disciplines. You may have beliefs, but those beliefs don’t automatically produce a different character unless your beliefs are turned into actual changed character through spiritual disciplines, or Christian practices.
Today we come to a very important spiritual discipline. It’s the subject of Psalm 1: meditating on the law of the Lord, the Scripture, to the point of delight. Psalm 1 says that meditating on the Scripture is what will bring blessedness—absolute well-being. The magnitude of that claim, and in some ways the simplicity of the claim, is easy to miss. Yet here, smack in the middle of the very introduction to the Psalter, we’re told that not just belief in God but meditating on the law of God, on the Scripture, is the key to blessedness.
This is an extremely important, crucial part of what it means to be a Christian. There are three things I’d like to show you here: what meditation promises, how it’s practiced, and why it works.
In Psalm 1, we learn about the importance of focusing on God’s teachings, not just reading them, but deeply thinking about them. This kind of deep thought, called meditation, can change our lives if we make time for it. It’s a big part of being a Christian.
1. What it promises
Imagine two people: one is like a tree with deep roots, the other like a piece of straw blown around by the wind. The first person, who is like the tree, is the one who thinks deeply about God’s teachings and lets them guide their life. They’re not easily influenced by what’s happening around them. The second person, like the straw, is influenced by everything and doesn’t have a strong foundation in God. Being deeply connected with God brings us hope, purpose, and happiness.
2. How it’s practiced
Meditation is the bridge between reading the Bible and praying. It’s not about just knowing what the Bible says, but also feeling it in your heart and using it in your life. It’s like what Martin Luther did. It needs focus and discipline, but it’s not about emptying your mind like some types of meditation. It’s about thinking deeply about God’s teachings and understanding how they apply to your life.
3. Why it works
When we think deeply about God’s teachings, we realize that we can’t live up to them perfectly. But that’s where Jesus comes in. He followed God’s teachings perfectly and showed us how much God loves us. The deep joy we find in God’s teachings is a way to show our gratitude and love for what Jesus did for us. Just like a tree planted by a stream of water, we can grow and thrive when we find our joy in God’s teachings.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
February Book Offer