A Top 100 Most-Asked Question About the Bible for the New Year

How does a person meditate on God’s Word?

Meditation is a combination of reviewing, repeating, reflecting, thinking, analyzing, feeling, and even enjoying. It is a physical, intellectual, and emotional activity; it involves our whole being.

In some ways, meditation doesn’t easily fit into Western culture. We value action and busyness more than stopping and considering. The author of Psalm 119:15 was from another time and culture, one with a tradition that valued meditation. As a result, meditation came more naturally for him and others with his Near Eastern background. We will have to overcome some cultural obstacles if we want to learn to meditate.

There are many ways to meditate on God’s Word. Some possibilities include: (1) Take time to read a verse or passage over and over. (2) Begin to memorize all or part of it. (3) Listen — quiet your heart to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you through God’s Word. (4) Consider how it fits with the rest of the Bible and life in general. (5) Become emotionally involved. Allow yourself to feel what God feels, his desires expressed through his words. (6) Move from meditation to application. Connect your thoughts to action. Consider how the truth and power of the Word of God should affect your behavior.

Isn’t meditation used by other religions?

Many religions practice meditation. Some Christians may wonder if it is risky to do what they do. Not necessarily. Meditation is merely a tool — neither good nor bad in itself. A tool is a means to an end that becomes bad only when it’s used in the wrong way.

Simply put, meditation is focused, repetitive thinking. When people meditate, they concentrate on a single subject, blocking out distractions. So how can focused thinking be bad or good? In the same way worship can be good (if it’s directed to God) or bad (if it’s directed to idols), meditation can center on the things of God or on evil things.

It’s good to meditate if we do it as the psalmist did. He determined that he would meditate on the works of God; he would focus on God’s miracles and displays of power.

Meditation accomplished something wonderful for him. Though at first he was absorbed by his problems and anxieties, he was able to turn his attitude around. He went from complaining to praising simply by focusing on God’s past mighty works. He gained faith and insight to deal with his troubles because of a proper use of meditation.

###########################################

Content adapted from the NIV Quest Study Bible, which features over 7,000 notes written in an engaging question and answer format that give insight into the common, uncommon, and sometimes perplexing passages from the Bible. Also available in personal size.

Bible Study

More
  • a saving faith

    A Saving Faith

    What does saving faith in Jesus Christ look like? The... Read more
  • What is the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible

    What is the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible?

    Many people have found the Thompson Chain-Reference... Read more
  • Jesus: the Eternal Word

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word... Read more

Comfort

More
  • Contentment

    As humans, we are not often satisfied. That is because... Read more
  • Encounter God Through Journaling His Word

    Journaling your thoughts, insights, and prayers as you... Read more
  • Be Thankful for Jesus, the God-Man

    As we enter the season of Thanksgiving, only one... Read more

Devotional Reading Plans

More
  • a saving faith

    A Saving Faith

    What does saving faith in Jesus Christ look like? The... Read more
  • What is Scripture Engagement?

    Scripture Engagement is more than just a regular Bible... Read more
  • The Legacy of Studying God’s Word | NIV Verse Mapping Bibles

    Verse-mapping is a technique of studying the Bible... Read more

Prayer

More
  • A Top 100 Most-Asked Question About the Bible for the New Year

    Many people who read the Bible don't understand what... Read more
  • teach your children to pray for others

    Teach Your Children to Pray for Others

    This study from the NIV Adventure Bible can help you... Read more
  • Scripture Engagement Practice Picture It

    Scripture Engagement Practice: Picture It

    Picture it, one of the practices found in the abide... Read more

SpeakLight

More
  • Romans 8:28 SpeakLight Danny Gokey

    Romans 8:28 / #SpeakLight / Danny Gokey

    And we know that all things work together for good to... Read more
  • James 5:16 - Steven Malcolm

    James 5:16 / #SpeakLight / Steven Malcolm

    Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for... Read more
  • 2 corinthians 5:17 phil joel

    2 Corinthians 5:17 with Phil Joel

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new... Read more

Spiritual Growth

More
  • a saving faith

    A Saving Faith

    What does saving faith in Jesus Christ look like? The... Read more
  • Jesus: the Eternal Word

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word... Read more
  • who really was jesus

    Who really was Jesus?

    The author of the book of Hebrews explained, using... Read more

Topical Reading Plans

More
  • What is the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible

    What is the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible?

    Many people have found the Thompson Chain-Reference... Read more
  • who really was jesus

    Who really was Jesus?

    The author of the book of Hebrews explained, using... Read more
  • The Legacy of Studying God’s Word | NIV Verse Mapping Bibles

    Verse-mapping is a technique of studying the Bible... Read more