Volume. XXXI, No. 51
Sunday, 18 June 2017

Spiritual Disciplines Part Five

What are the different Spiritual Disciplines?
We will be looking at eight Spiritual Disciplines: Abstinence, Simplicity, Stillness, Meditation, Prayer, Reticence, Stability and Worship.

In defining the discipline of biblical meditation, we must first define what it is not. It is not the type of meditation you find in the secular world where you try to empty your minds of everything, neither is it of the yoga world where you try to achieve a state of expanded awareness (sometimes called transcendental meditation).
In biblical meditation, we seek to have a deeper, clearer, fuller understanding of God, ourselves and our world. In short, we seek wisdom. With that purpose in mind, we set aside time to think carefully about what the Lord may be saying to us through Scripture reading, or the thoughts He brings to our minds as we reflect on Him. We focus our thoughts on God’s word, mulling about it over and over, filling our minds and even our mouths with it.

i)    Why would we want to practice it?
The world that we live in has taught us to compartmentalize our lives. It has taught us to move God into the background or even out of the picture in our daily living. We only think about God when we are in church or when we have our time of devotions. After that, we push God into the background as we go to work, prepare the kids for school, cook, wash or clean the house. This world hurries us along so that we lose our focus on God. This way of thinking distracts us, weakens our will and numbs our conscience. It fills our minds with everything the world can throw at us to distract us from our true calling as God’s children.
Joshua 1:8 is God’s command to Joshua that “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein.”
King David’s Psalms indicated some of the ways he practiced meditation. Ps 63:6 (While resting in bed David meditates on God’s word); 143:5 (He meditates on God’s work, His creation, all the things that He had done previously. Matthew Henry wrote “The more we consider the power of God the less we shall fear the face or force of man“); 119:15 (Meditating on God’s laws, to discern the spirit of the law and not just the letter of the law) and 104:34 (enjoyment of God, thinking about how good God is, just to have adoring thoughts of God).
1 Tim. 4:15 was Paul’s instruction to Timothy to “meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them.” To keep in mind all that had been taught to Timothy, to constantly recall them and to constantly think about them to keep them fresh in mind so that he is committed to the teachings.

ii)    What does it look like in practice?
This discipline requires that we set aside regular time (daily, if possible),
•    To read the Bible, then consider carefully and prayerfully what we’ve read, asking what it means to us and what God might be saying to us.
•    To reflect on our personal experience, on a biblical book, on a sermon we’ve heard, on God’s activity and His handiwork around us, asking what it means to us and what God might be saying to us through these.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Always check against the Bible, Psalm 19:14

iii)    What are some indicators that we might need this discipline?
•    We are confused about God’s will for our life.
•    We hear insightful sermons or read helpful literature but soon forget what we’ve heard or read.
•    Preoccupied with the busyness of life.
•    Particular biblical passages seem important for our life but we find them difficult to understand.

iv)    How might we start?
•    Set aside time for regular meditation.
•    For Scripture meditation, find some reference books or study guides to help us along but do not rely on them too much. Our main focus should still be on the scripture and what it says.
•    Pray as we meditate, asking God for wisdom to be discern what He wants us to know.
•    When we see, hear or read something that merits further study or reflection, note it down and make it a subject of our meditation.

To be continued…
Dn Kevin Low

More Lively Hope



Various video material available at Church website, hopebpc.com “Members Area” with password access. Please see Deacons Wai Kin Wong, Kevin Low or other Session members for login details.
Grand piano is on loan for 2 weeks. Please do not touch it unless you are a church pianist.
Correction: Last week’s Letter from IBPFM, the amount should be US$19,187.
Cry & breast-feeding Room has been set up. The room is adjoining the Sanctuary, next to the pulpit, with a sink & toilet facility.
Candidates for Baptism, Re-Affirmation of Faith & Membership Transfer: Please submit testimonies to Pastor Ki by 2 July.
Kitchen Duty helpers - This week: Team B. Next week: Team C.

Looking ahead
Hymn Hour, Sun, 9 July, 2pm.
Annual Congregation Meeting, Sat, 5 Aug.
Baptism, Re-Affirmation & Membership Transfer, Sun, 6 Aug.
Holiday Bible Club, 9-13 Oct.

Prayer Items
Healing: Rev George van Buuren; Bro Yick Ho Lam’s father (cancer & salvation); Mr Balan Sanders (RAH); Sisters Peng Moi Gan (Sis Peng Ha Yeo’s sister), & Christabelle Selvanayagam.
God’s comfort in their grief: Bro Warren & Sis Amanda Khoo & family.



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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041