Tag Archives: Meditation

“It is not he that reads most, but he that meditates most” by Thomas Brooks

“Remember, it is not hasty reading, but serious meditating upon holy and heavenly truths, that makes them prove sweet and profitable to the soul.

It is not the bee’s touching of the flower that gathers honey, but her abiding for a time upon the flower that draws out the sweet.

It is not he that reads most, but he that meditates most, that will prove the choicest, sweetest, wisest, and strongest Christian.”

–Thomas Brooks, The Works of Thomas Brooks, Volume 1, Ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1666/2001), 8.

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“Nourish your soul in a continual feast upon the Holy Scriptures” by Joel Beeke

“Feed on the Word (Jer. 15:16). Nourish your soul in a continual feast upon the Holy Scriptures. Classes, conferences, and books like this one aim to supplement a regular diet of God’s Word, not replace it.

Beware of giving more attention to what men say about the Bible than to the Bible itself. When you read a book or sit in a class, do so with an open Bible to look up the Scripture references.

You can be continually in the school of Christ, sitting like Mary at the feet of Jesus.”

–Joel R. Beeke and Paul M. Smalley, Reformed Systematic Theology: Revelation and God, Vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2019), 1: 462-463.

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“Meditating day and night” by William Plumer

“Another positive sign of a renewed man is that he meditates in the law of the LORD day and night. ‘As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.’

Vain thoughts lodge in all ungodly men. But the righteous hate sinful imaginings. What the wicked would be ashamed to act or speak out, the righteous is ashamed to think or desire.

Yet the mind of the righteous is full of activity. He meditates. The power of reflection chiefly distinguishes a man from a brute.

The habit of reflection chiefly distinguishes a wise man from a fool. Pious reflection on God’s word greatly distinguishes a saint from a sinner.

Without meditation grace never thrives, prayer is languid, praise dull, and religious duties unprofitable.

Yet to flesh and blood without divine grace this is an impossible duty.

It is easier to take a journey of a thousand miles than to spend an hour in close, devout, profitable thought on divine things.

Like prayer (Luke 18:7), meditation is to be pursued day and night, not reluctantly, but joyously, not merely in God’s house, or on the Lord’s day, but whenever other duties do not forbid.

Nor does the true child of God slight part of divine truth. He loves it all.

A saint is therefore described by his ‘meditating in the law of God day and night,’ which is the natural and necessary effect of his delight in it.”

–William Plumer, Psalms: A Critical and Expository Commentary with Doctrinal and Practical Remarks (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, originally published in 1867; reprinted 2016), 28.

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“Slow down, query, ponder and chew” by John Piper

“We will never think hard about Biblical truth until we are troubled by our faltering efforts to grasp its complexity.

We must form the habit of being systematically disturbed by things that at first glance don’t make sense. Or to put it a different way, we must relentlessly query the text.

One of the greatest honors I received while teaching Biblical studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, was when the teaching assistants in the Bible department gave me a T-shirt which had the initials of Jonathan Edwards on the front and on the back the words: ‘Asking questions is the key to understanding.’

But several strong forces oppose our relentless and systematic interrogating of Biblical texts. One is that it consumes a great deal of time and energy on one small portion of Scripture.

We have been schooled (quite erroneously) that there is a direct correlation between reading a lot and gaining insight.

But, in fact, there is no positive correlation at all between the quantity of pages read and the quality of insight gained. Just the reverse for most of us. Insight diminishes as we try to read more and more.

Insight or understanding is the product of intensive, headache-producing meditation on two or three propositions and how they fit together. This kind of reflection and rumination is provoked by asking questions of the text.

And you cannot do it if you hurry. Therefore, we must resist the deceptive urge to carve notches in our bibliographic gun.

Take two hours to ask ten questions of Galatians 2:20, and you will gain one hundred times the insight you would have attained by quickly reading thirty pages of the New Testament or any other book.

Slow down. Query. Ponder. Chew.”

–John Piper, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry (Nashville: B&H, 2002), 74-75.

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“The life of a Christian” by Richard Sibbes

“The life of a Christian is wondrously ruled in this world by the consideration and meditation of the life of another world.”

–Richard Sibbes, “A Glance of Heaven” in The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes (ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart; vol. 4; Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; W. Robertson, 1863), 170.

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“Regular and daily study” by J.C. Ryle

“Let us strive, every year we live, to become more deeply acquainted with Scripture. Let us study it, search into it, dig into it, meditate on it, until it dwell in us richly. (Coloss. 2:16.)

In particular, let us labor to make ourselves familiar with those parts of the Bible which, like the book of Psalms, describe the experience of the saints of old. We shall find it most helpful to us in all our approaches to God.

It will supply us with the best and most suitable language both for the expression of our wants and thanksgivings. Such knowledge of the Bible can doubtless never be attained without regular, daily study.

But the time spent on such study is never misspent. It will bear fruit after many days.”

–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Luke, Vol. 1 (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1879), 35. Ryle is commenting on Luke 1:46-56.

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“Our library and our understanding” by Charles Bridges

“It is far more easy to furnish our library than our understanding.”

–Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1830/2005), 46.

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