has been a Christian for thirty years, yet, despite all this time,
little has changed in his life. His career has gone nowhere. He has few friends.
He struggles financially. His
attitude is quite negative. He feels being faithful to God
has not really paid off.
is, however, Matthew has never really let the Word of God be part of his
life. Although he regularly attends church, he has not personally
studied the Bible for himself. Matthew represents a lot of believers.
They go to church, but they have seen little success in their lives. The
reason is quite simple: they have not meditated on the Word of God.
Joshua, "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth;
meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do
everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful"
(Josh 1:8). Prosperity and success is the result of personal meditation
on the Word. People say, "I go to church and hear the Word." Fine, but
do they take time to study the Word for themselves. God did not tell
Joshua to remember the voice of Moses; rather, to meditate on the "book"
of the law.
the Word is like putting bullets into your gospel gun. Many people
claim to have faith, they confess the promises of God, but they are
firing blanks. They make noise, but no impact. The reason is simple:
they try to live from sermon to sermon. They go to church on Sunday and
get encourage. Their faith grows as it should, since "Faith cometh by
hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom 10:17, KJV), yet
Monday through Saturday, they do little to grow their faith.
going to church is vital, and hearing the Word preached produces faith,
there is no substitute for personal meditation and study in the
It is not
enough to hear the Word preached; you must study the Bible for yourself.
I think many Christians struggle in their faith because they are trying
to live on one good meal a week. They attend church on Sunday, get well
fed, and try to live by faith, but without a continual replenishing of
the Word, they get discouraged. They face problems after problems during
the week, and those problems beat them up. They try to maintain a
positive, faith-filled attitude, but without constant meditation on the
Word, they often fall away. By the time next Sunday rolls around, they
come to church whipped, needing desperately spiritual nourishment. God
did not create you to live on one good sermon a week anymore than He
created you to live on one good meal a week.
explains why people's faith is not working. They wonder why the devil
did not flee when they resisted him. They are surprised that their
prayers were not answered. They are confused when God doesn't meet all
their needs. They are discouraged when the symptoms in their bodies
persist. They don't understand why their faith is not working. It is
because they did not meditate on the Scriptures during the week. They
thought the message on Sunday was enough to hold them down until next
Sunday. It is not.
promised Joshua that if he meditated on the book of the law that he
would be prosperous and successful. This is exactly the promised made in
Psalm 1: 2-3:
"But his delight is in the law of the
and on his law he meditates day and
He is like a tree planted by streams of
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers"
will be yours, provided you "meditate day and night on his law."
You might say, "I don't have time to study the Bible all day." The truth
is, you do have time. You just have not made the time. You have time to
read the newspaper, surf the web, text your friends, check your
Facebook, watch TV, go to the movies, and spend time with your friends.
You do have time. God would not demand study of the Word if you did not
have the time. You must make the study and meditation of the Word a
Noble people produce lasting fruit
the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for
they received the message with great eagerness and examined the
Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true" (Acts
two things that made the Bereans nobler than the Thessalonians. First,
they were receptive to the Word preached. You will never grow in faith
constantly criticizing faith-filled, biblically based sermons. Second,
they did not simply receive the message preached, they confirmed it by "examining
the Scriptures every day." This is where many believers falter. They
receive the message preach—"I loved the message from Joel Osteen,
wow, I got so much out of Creflo Dollar today, Joyce Myers really spoke
to me"—yet, after hearing these powerful messages, they neglect "examining
the scriptures everyday."
"examine" means to carefully inspect with detail and to investigate
thoroughly. While the Bereans received the Word preached, they did not
totally take what Paul said as the truth. They wanted Scriptures to
confirm it. And it did. Some people are gullible or simply too trusting
of the ministers or maybe just too lazy. If Max Lucado said it, it must
be true. If the Pope teaches it, it must be true. If Rick Warren
believes it, it must be true. Now, what they teach may be true. The
point is you must still examine the Scriptures for yourself, so your
beliefs will be based totally on the Bible, not what someone told you.
Parable of the Sower of the Word
a parable to illustrate four types of people that hear the Word. One
hears the Word, but does not believe it. Another hears the Word and
receives it with joy, but they don't last because "they have no root"
(Luke 8:13). The third person hears the Word and accepts it, but others
things, more important than the Word, choke it from bearing fruit. It is
the fourth person I want to focus on:
"But the seed on good soil stands for
those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by
persevering produce a crop" (v. 15).
people are called "noble." This is the same word that described
the Bereans. The reason this last group of people were noble is because
they "retained and persevered" in the Word. What made them
different? Unlike the second group, that had no root, this group
developed roots. They grew roots by "examining the scriptures
relate to the second group? They are very happy and joyful when they
hear the Word. But Monday through Saturday they fail to grow roots. They
do not meditate on the Word. Eventually, these people will either drop
out of church altogether, or they will continue going without any real
change taking place in their lives.
sharing the missing link to prosperity and success. Not many ministers
will tell you that you must study the Bible for yourself if you are to
really develop roots and prosper.
Doer of the Word
merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves" (James 1:22).
becomes a doer of the Word simply by hearing it. You only become a doer
of the Word by meditating on the Word. God tells Joshua the reason for
meditating in the book: "so that you may be careful to do everything
written in it."
exactly what James had in mind. Notice carefully his language: "But
the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and
continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it —
he will be blessed in what he does" (James 1:25). Notice the
difference between the two people: the one who does not do the Word "merely
listens to the word." But the doer of the Word "looks intently
into the perfect law." You do not "look" at a sermon, you "hear"
it. You only "look" into a book. The thing that made the man a doer of
the Word was that he "looked intently" into the book, the Bible.
Yes, he still "heard" the message preached, but he confirmed it
by his personal study of the Bible.
you need to meditate in the Scriptures is to remove any doubt you may
have in the Word you heard preached.
the Bereans received Paul's message, yet, to remove any lingering doubts
they "examined the scriptures everyday to see if what Paul said was
true." As much as we think we believe the Word preached, we really
do not totally believe it, until the Scriptures become part of our
spirits. That only happens when you personally study the Bible yourself.
is like a cook serving a meal at a restaurant. When you receive the
Word, you eat what was part of the diet of the cook. Yet, you should not
live on eating out at restaurants everyday. You have to sit down,
eventually, and eat your own meal. This is meditating the Word. You are
chewing the Word yourself as you study the Bible.
Mediate Your doubts
"meditate" gives us the word "mediate." The purpose of meditation is to
mediate for us. Mediate is to intervene between people in a dispute.
The dispute is between the old man and the new man. The Bible tells us
to put off the "old man" (Eph 4:22, Gal 3:9 and Rom 6:6) and to "put
on the new man" (Col 3:10, KJV). The old man, is our old self that
pulls us into the old way of life: a life of sin, sickness, poverty,
worry, fear and defeat. The new man pulls us into the new life in
Christ: a life filled with holiness, health, victory, success,
prosperity, faith, peace and joy.
through meditation in the Bible that you give the new man the proper
information he needs to pull you in the direction of the new life. God
created meditation to provide mediation for your doubts. Let me give you
an example in my life that shows how meditation in the Bible finally
gave me victory in the area of prosperity.
My doubts with the Prosperity Message
I grew up in a good church,
however, my pastor was getting a bit discouraged. The church had not
grown in years. Matter of fact, it was declining in membership. His
discouragement was seeping through his sermons. I remember some negative
things he taught about divine healing; then him warning us to stay away
from "prosperity teachers."
started to hear a new pastor preaching the uncompromised message of
faith, healing and prosperity. She then started to take us to this
church. The first sermon I heard the pastor preach on was "Jehovah Jireh."
I was so ignorant of the Bible that I got scared. I turned to my mother
and said, "This is a Jehovah witness church. We need to get out." She
assured me that we were not attending a Jehovah witness group.
Then I got
it. The pastor was explaining how God made a covenant with us to provide
all our needs, including material needs. Just then, I remember my former
pastor warned us about prosperity teachers. "This is the one he warned
us of!" I thought to myself.
service my mom asked me what I thought. I said, "I don't like it. He
teaches on prosperity and prosperity is wrong."
"This is our new church." I could either go back to my old church by
myself, or continue with my mom to this new prosperity church. Although
I did not like it, I stayed with her. I have to admit that I did have a
hard time with the message of prosperity.
my arms, curled my eye brow, gave a dirty look, every time the minister
mentioned prosperity. At the same time, I noticed the scriptures
mentioned it, too. What was I to do?
I came across a teaching series by Derek Prince, entitled, "The Three
Keys to Prosperity." For the first time, the biblical message of
prosperity made sense. Prince explained that you must embrace all three
keys: 1. Promises, 2. Conditions and 3. Purpose. When he explained that
the purpose behind God prospering me was so I can have more to bless
others, a light went on. I got it. Before this I thought I was to
prosper so that I could be personally rich. I now understood that I was
to be blessed so I can be a blessing.
moment I began a personal search in the written Word of God on the
subject of prosperity. After going through a thorough examination of the
scriptures, I embraced all of God's promises, including those to
prosper me. No longer was I to doubt God's will to bless me. My faith
for wealth is established with me. I still have to meditate and study
the Word to maintain my faith; however, I would not be fully establish
in the Word if I had not studied the Bible myself.
ordained personal meditation of the Bible to mediate between the old and
new man. Which self will rule your life: the old self or the new self?
Only through meditation and study of the Bible will the new man in
Christ rule. Only through study of the Bible will your doubts be
removed. Then, as God told Joshua will happen to you: "You will be
prosperous and successful."
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