Monday, March 16, 2009

Shepherd and Sheep Series-How Memorization Differs From Meditation

Meditation is that sweet fellowship that comes from worshiping God in Spirit and in truth. "My meditation of him shall be sweet" (Psalm 104:34). Once the steps of memorization have taken place, meditation can begin. In memorization we confirm the interpretation of a passage; in meditation we discover its applications to our lives. There is only one interpretation of Scripture (see II Peter 1:20). However, there are an infinite number of applications. The Holy Spirit guides us to the right interpretation of Scripture as we study the context, the original languages, the historical setting, and the sentence structure of the passage. We are led to correct applications as the Holy Spirit takes the Word and directs it to specific needs and situations. Each application must be in full harmony with the interpretation and must not be contrary to any other Scripture. Paul based sound teaching on Christ’s own words and on that which leads to Christ like living (see I Timothy 6:3). Paul’s teaching is also consistent with the emphasis of Joshua 1:8, “that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein.” Jesus confirmed the need to study the whole Bible when He taught, “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Two other factors must be considered if we are to glean accurate application from meditation: the cleansing of guilt and the removal of bitterness. These two poisons of the soul and spirit will corrupt the Word and cause us to misapply it in daily situations. Great damage is done when Scripture is inaccurately applied. For this reason, we must know the Scriptures, memorizing as much as possible so that when we meditate on them day and night, we can compare spiritual concepts with spiritual realities and enjoy the rewards of spiritual discernment. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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