Sermon: Warm Yourself by the Fires of Meditation


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Purpose: To help people see the joys of meditation

Warm Yourself by the Fires of Meditation

“You Were Made to Meditate” by David Mathis, started me on this sermon

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • March 6, In the year of our Lord, 2016

Scripture Reader and Reading: Mike Crisp – Psalm 1.1–3

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Phil Joseph – Songs on the Bible


  1. I have been diagnosed with CFW: Camp Fire Withdrawal!
    1. Why do we like camp fires so much?
    2. What is so appealing about sitting around a fire at night while it is cold?
      1. How can you have a good time when you do not have
      2. your TV, electronic devices, your warm bed, a warm bathroom, et al?
  2. What do you do at a camp fire?
    1. You sit around and talk.
    2. You slow down.
    3. You enjoy the moment.
    4. You kick around ideas.
    5. You poke the fire.
    6. You move the wood in the fire.
    7. You stare at the fire.
    8. You move around the fire, because of the smoke.
    9. You look at the glowing faces of others at the fire.
    10. Your home does not distract you. Homes are like infants. Just when you think you have everything caught and there is peace, it demands attention.
  3. Do the same things at the camp fire of meditation.


  1. God Created You to Meditate
    1. What is this marvelous thing we do as humans?
    2. Yes, He wants us to hear what He says, but then
      1. He wants us to ponder it.
      2. Meditation is the power of the…pause.
        1. That makes campfires so enjoyable.
        2. You pause from the rush and demands of life.
      3. Power resides in a pause.
        1. I teach the LTC Bible readers to pause at punctuation.
        2. Comedians know the power of the pause.
          1. When you meditate,
          2. you use the power of the pause.
            1. You heard or read something, in this case, the word of God.
            2. Then you stopped reading and reflected what you read.
    3. No other creature on Earth contemplates truth the way we do.
      1. We take a thought and let it go down into our innermost parts.
      2. We consider different ways of viewing it.
        1. Not only does reading the Bible accomplish this, but
        2. hearing the Bible preached or taught helps, or our songs.
    4. Here is the thing:
      1. Everyone meditates.
      2. However, not everyone meditates on the word of the Spirit.
        1. When you stop doing something and take a break,
        2. what enters your mind?
          1. Whatever it is, you are meditating on it.
          2. Where do your thoughts go the most?
          3. What is your default setting?
          4. What are you living toward?
    5. Second Corinthians 10 shows what Christians do with their thoughts,

      4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2Co 10.4–5).
  2. Fill Your Mind
    1. Several world religions use meditation for their own purposes.
      1. They use it to live longer.
      2. They use it to lower blood pressure.
      3. They use it to escape.
        1. They perform these things by emptying their minds,
        2. putting their minds into a dream-like state.
    2. James 1 shows
      1. that we want to empty our minds, then
      2. we also want to fill our minds,

        21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls (Jam 1.21).

        1. We do not fill ourselves with our own ideas, but
        2. we get truth from outside ourselves and ponder it.
    3. Colossians 3 pictures meditation as the word living in us,

      16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly… (Col 3.16).

      1. You live in your house.
      2. What do you do there?
        1. You make it your own.
        2. You remove things.
        3. You move things.
        4. You bring in things.
          1. The word of Christ wants to dwell in us in the same way.
          2. When we meditate on His word,
            1. we let it arrange things to its liking.
            2. We stand aside and watch it work.
    4. Have you thought on why we suffer?
      1. Deuteronomy 8 reveals that one reason for suffering
      2. is that the Lord wants us to see something about life,

        3 “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD” (Deu 8.3).

        1. How do you go about eating your food?
        2. You take one bite at a time and enjoy its taste.
          1. Take bites of the word and
          2. digest what it says.
  3. Meditate Without Ceasing
    1. Joshua 1 shows the Lord instructing or training Joshua
      1. to take over for Moses,
      2. leading a few million people from the wilderness into the Land of Canaan,

        7 “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Jos 1.7–8).

        1. Joshua had to be more than familiar with the word.
        2. Joshua did not merely do this to check off his daily Bible reading.
          1. The Lord wanted Joshua captivated by the Scriptures.
          2. The Lord wanted Joshua to build his life on the word.
            1. You cannot do those two things with a quick reading.
            2. You have to stop,
              1. focus on the text, and
              2. think on what the Lord just told you.
    2. Psalm 1 appropriately kicks off the the Book of Psalms,

      1 Blessed is the man
      Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
      Nor stands in the path of sinners,
      Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
      2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
      And in His law he meditates day and night.
      3 He shall be like a tree
      Planted by the rivers of water,
      That brings forth its fruit in its season,
      Whose leaf also shall not wither;
      And whatever he does shall prosper.
      (Psa 1.1–3)

        1. He does not get counsel on living from men in rebellion against God.
        2. No, the blessed man thinks on the Law of the Lord without ceasing.
          1. He will do some reading, and
          2. he may think on it during and right after the reading, but
            1. he finds himself thinking on it more at other times, or
            2. finding ways to do what the Lord said.
    3. Psalm 119 unsurprisingly has a few thoughts on meditation,

      15 I will meditate on Your precepts,
      And contemplate Your ways.
      (Psa 119.15)

      23 Princes also sit and speak against me,
      But Your servant meditates on Your statutes.
      (Psa 119.23)

      27 Make me understand the way of Your precepts;
      So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works.
      (Psa 119.27)

      48 My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments,
      Which I love,
      And I will meditate on Your statutes.
      (Psa 119.48)

      78 Let the proud be ashamed,
      For they treated me wrongfully with falsehood;
      But I will meditate on Your precepts.
      (Psa 119.78)

      97 Oh, how I love Your law!
      It is my meditation all the day.
      (Psa 119.97)

      99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,
      For Your testimonies are my meditation.
      (Psa 119.99)

    4. How then should you think about meditating on the word of God?
      1. What place should it occupy in your life?
      2. When you do it regularly,
        1. you will see yourself warming yourself by the fires of meditation.
        2. You will feel a void in your life when you miss it.
  4. Meditation Connects Reading and Prayer
    1. What is meditation?
      1. What prompts it?
      2. What does it do?
        1. Meditation comes from reading.
        2. In reading, we hear from God.
          1. Meditation leads to praying.
          2. In praying, we speak to God.
    2. Evidently the Puritans saw this connection,

      “Begin with reading or hearing. Go on with meditation; end in prayer” (William Bridge)

      “The word feedeth meditation, and meditation feedeth prayer…[M]editation must follow hearing and precede prayer…What we take in by the word we digest by meditation and let out by prayer” (Thomas Manton)

      “The reason we come away so cold from reading the word is, because we do not warm ourselves at the fires of meditation” (Thomas Watson)

      “The great reason why our prayers are ineffectual, is because we do not meditate before them” (William Bates)

    3. Therefore, let the Scriptures guide your thought, for then
      1. you will reshape your life, and
      2. you will know what to say in prayer.
        1. Truly, you will witness growth in your prayer.
        2. Your prayers will dig to new depths that you might soar to new heights.
    4. As we meditate,
      1. taking the Lord seriously,
      2. asking questions,
      3. seeking answers,
        1. we thereby warm ourselves at the fires of meditation.
        2. We search deep into the word of God, but
          1. we discover that in doing so,
          2. the word of God goes deep into our souls.
            1. We thought to search it, and
            2. it searched us.
              1. That realization often leads to the richest prayers.
              2. You may suddenly burst out in prayer.
  5. Meditation: The Posture of Our Souls
    1. If I say I am meditating, what do you picture?
      1. Do you see me in the “Lotus” position?
      2. Why have we let that image capture our attention of meditating?
    2. Meditation as revealed by our Creator,
      1. does not involve our bodies, but
      2. what resides inside our bodies,
        1. the soul, the spirit, the heart, the mind.
        2. We align our true inner self with the Lord.
    3. This does not have to last a long time,
      1. even a short reading
      2. can launch into thinking that might last all day long.
        1. If you write down your thoughts,
        2. you will find the experience even more enlightening.
    4. Genesis 24 shows Isaac in a routine of his life,

      63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening… (Gen 24.63).

      1. Moses wrote that as just a matter of fact.
      2. Like Isaac went out to eat in the field at noon.
        1. Isaac meditated. He ate. He slept. He worked.
        2. Meditation made Isaac a man of God.
          1. Should that not also character a typical day for us?
          2. You ate. You worked. You meditated. You cleaned house. You slept.


  1. You hear me speak of meditation often.
    1. I would like to hear what you do.
    2. Tell what little or big things you have learned that made your meditating more enjoyable.
  2. If your meditation has moved you to renew yourself in the Lord,
    1. tell us and
    2. let us pray for you.