In last week’s “Facts” I mentioned that I would lay out a simple, but effective way to spend daily time with the Lord Jesus:
Begin your time with the Lord, thanking him for his presence and for his love. Praise him for his faithfulness.
Choose a short passage of Scripture to read and meditate on. Don’t take a whole chapter. As you prayerfully meditate your way through the passage, ask God to speak to your heart and to reveal the Lord Jesus to you. Concentrate at going slowly and deeply with less material. For example, you could meditate your way through Psalm 23.
From verse 1: “The Lord is my shepherd.” Stop to ponder what it means to place yourself under his Lordship. Ask the question as to what Lordship means. Jot down your thoughts and pray them into your life.
I would then ask the question, “What is the correlation between “Lord” and “Shepherd?” When I think of a shepherd, I picture his sovereign love, and self-sacrificing care of me. I derive comfort from being one of his sheep. My mind turns to John 10 and Jesus’ description of the Good Shepherd, who lays down his life for the sheep, etc. I might jot down my observations from John 10 on his shepherding of me; then pause, thanking him for what I have observed about the sheep – shepherd relationship. I might ask myself the question, “Can Jesus be my shepherd if I do not allow him to be my Lord?”
Psalm 23:1 goes on, “I shall not be in want.” As I ponder this statement, I ask myself why I am so often concerned as to whether God will meet my material needs? Could the answer be it is because I am not surrendering to his Lordship as my Shepherd? Thus, I am making it difficult for him to fulfill his promise to meet my needs? I might spend some time recording my fears and disbelief as it relates to his provision and then re-committing that area of my life to him.
I then continue to prayerfully work my way through the rest of the Psalm, one word or phrase at a time, jotting down my observations, and possible applications, and praying over my discoveries.
When I am finished meditating through the Psalm, I might go back over my material and pose questions next to each of my observations. For example, I might ask:
Have I totally surrendered my life to the Lordship of Christ?
Am I willing to choose to trust my Shepherd, to provide for my material needs? Etc., etc.
After each question, I pause and listen for him to speak to me.
This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.
R. Dwight Hill