Theme of the Week: Four Essential Loves
Bible Verse: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2
Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:9-16
Other than God’s self-revelation in the person of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no greater revelation of who God is, who we are as a human race, and what he has done and is doing on our behalf, than what we find in Scripture, the word of God.
I personally have engaged in countless hours of studying God’s word. I have also guided hundreds of students in exercises designed to take them deeper in their knowledge of and appreciation for Scripture. The challenge for student and teacher alike is not to approach Scripture primarily as an object of academic pursuit, that is, something only to be studied and mastered.
Over the past several years I have begun my preaching class by asking students, “Do you consider Scripture primarily to be an authority or a gift?” Every year, without exception, there is a division of the house. The discussion gets even more interesting when I drop a second question into the mix, namely, “What difference does it make?”
So, what does a person who loves the word of God, or for whom the word of God is his/her chief desire, do in ministry? How will this love for or delight in the word of God play out in our lives?
The Person Who Loves the Word Is One Who Will Meditate on that Word
In both Psalm 1 and 119 there seems to be a clear link between the practice of meditation and the love for or delight in the word and law of God. Unfortunately, we in the West or Global North have a relatively weak grasp of what meditation really is or entails.
Meditation speaks of unhurried lingering. Squeezing God into a fifteen or twenty minute window at the beginning or end of our day is hardly what the Lord has in mind when he insists that we meditate on the law day and night.
The Person Who Loves the Word Is One Who Will Memorize that Word
In Psalm 119:11 David gives this testimony: “I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” In other words, David has so completely embraced the law that he cannot live beyond its bounds. Memorizing Scripture enhances our knowledge of God, our worship of him, and our service to him.
The Person Who Loves the Word Is One Who Is Attentive to the Word
Ultimately, our love for the word begins with and is maintained by our choice to be attentive to God’s revelation and Scripture. The choice to be attentive to Scripture is based upon the conviction that it is here where we find truth about who we are and how we fit into this magnificent universe.
Personal Reflection: Identify one activity that, though perhaps not sinful, is robbing you of potential time to be attentive to God through Scripture.
Taken from Four Essential Loves: Heart Readiness for Leadership and Ministryby William R. McAlpine Copyright © 2013 by William R. McAlpine. Used by permission of Wipf and Stock Publishers, 199 W. 8th Ave., Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401
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