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The Pleasure of Meditation | Lesson 3 

The Holy Spirit Uses the Holy Scriptures to Form Us into Holy Saints

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • June 25, In the year of our Lord, 2017

  1. We cannot merely read the Bible, we have to assimilate it, like eating food. 
    1. It is not just that we are
      1. reading,
      2. learning,
      3. studying, or
      4. using Scripture, but
        1. we are meditating on,
        2. or rather in it,
          1. which leads to
          2. metabolizing it as spiritual food.
    2. By doing this, we truly live beyond what the world does.
      1. Not that we live longer, but
      2. we live a greater quality of life.
        1. In John 10, Jesus spoke of giving us life, but a certain kind,

          10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10.10).

        2. What life does He give us, if we already are living?
        3. What did He mean by abundant life?
  2. To accomplish the assimilation of Scripture, 
    1. we have to understand the way a Bible Book was put together.
    2. Ecclesiastes 12 reveals some of the process,

      9 And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright—words of truth. 11 The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd (Ecc 12.9–11).

      1. See the chart showing the break down of Ecclesiastes 12.
        1. It took wisdom.
        2. Scripture teaches knowledge.
        3. The writers pondered words.
        4. The writers sought out words.
        5. The writers set words in order.
        6. The writers sought acceptable words.
        7. The writing is upright.
        8. The writing is truth or delightful.
      2. The writers arranged the material to create an effect.
  3. When we enter the message of the Bible, it enters us. 
    1. This happens by meditation, but
      1. not by an impersonal reading or
      2. else you will miss something vital.
        1. For example, I read Mark 15.21–25 casually one morning.

          21 Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross. 22 And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. 23 Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it. 24 And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take.

          25 Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him (Mk. 15:21–25).

          1. As I read this somewhat thoughtlessly,
          2. I came to verse 25 and
            1. realized this was the second time
            2. Mark had written that they crucified Jesus.
              1. It was as though
              2. God put that second sentence in the story
                1. that He might knock some
                2. emotion into me,
                  1. making me see what I had just done.
                  2. I did not take the reading personally.
          3. How would we approach the text if we were studying only?
          4. How would we approach it if we took it personally?
        2. God wants us to take all of Scripture personally.
          1. He wants us to take the message to heart.
          2. He wants us to become what we take in.
            1. What is the message of the Scriptures?
            2. That is what He wants us to become.
  4. We assimilate the word of God by personalizing it. 
    1. What does it mean to personalize Scripture?
      1. We personalize it when we take it personally.
        1. Read Romans 6, but replace “sin” with your sin.
        2. Read First Corinthians 13, but replace “love” with your name.
          1. That is, as you read the text in this manner,
          2. you will be able to see
            1. what you are and
            2. you will see what changes need to be made.
        3. Read Isaiah 38 and rewrite it to fit your situation.
        4. Read the Psalms and adjust them to your circumstances.
        5. Read Galatians 5.22–23, but read the Fruit of the Spirit as the Fruit of [your name].
        6. Read Matthew 5.3–12, but do it like this,

          “Blessed am I, for I am poor in spirit…”

        7. When you read a story,
          1. be one of the characters in the story.
          2. Be there and see the action.
    2. Eugene Peterson pointed out,

      The angel does not instruct St. John to pass on information about God; he commands him to assimilate the word of God so that when he does speak it will express itself artlessly in his syntax just as the food we eat, when we are healthy, is unconsciously assimilated into our nerves and muscles and put to work in speech and action (p. 21).