An Entrance Richly Provided for You

The way for entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

What do the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart reveal about who you think you are? Are they in agreement with the words of the Lord God and the meditation of his heart?

Meditating and resting.

Do you have a regular and favorite way of meditating on God’s Word and resting in his promises?

Eugene Peterson describes meditation in his book Answering God as:

“Meditate (hagah) is a bodily action; it involves murmuring and mumbling words, taking a kind of physical pleasure in making the sounds of the words, getting the feel of the meaning as the syllables are shaped by larynx and tongue and lips. Isaiah used this word “meditate” for the sounds that a lion makes over its prey (Isa 31:4). They purr and growl in pleasurable anticipation of taking in what will make them more themselves, strong, lithe, swift.”1

A Carthusian monk called Guigo described a form of meditation called Lectio Divina:

“Lectio Divina”, a Latin term, means “divine reading” and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. In the 12th century, a Carthusian monk called Guigo, described the stages which he saw as essential to the practice of Lectio Divina. There are various ways of practicing Lectio Divina either individually or in groups but Guigo’s description remains fundamental.

He said that the first stage is lectio (reading) where we read the Word of God, slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into us. Any passage of Scripture can be used for this way of prayer but the passage should not be too long.

The second stage is meditatio (reflection) where we think about the text we have chosen and ruminate upon it so that we take from it what God wants to give us.

The third stage is oratio (response) where we leave our thinking aside and simply let our hearts speak to God. This response is inspired by our reflection on the Word of God.

The final stage of Lectio Divina is contemplatio (rest) where we let go not only of our own ideas, plans and meditations but also of our holy words and thoughts. We simply rest in the Word of God. We listen at the deepest level of our being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice. As we listen, we are gradually transformed from within. Obviously, this transformation will have a profound effect on the way we actually live, and the way we live is the test of the authenticity of our prayer. We must take what we read in the Word of God into our daily lives.

These stages of Lectio Divina are not fixed rules of procedure but simply guidelines as to how the prayer normally develops. Its natural movement is towards greater simplicity, with less and less talking and more listening. Gradually the words of Scripture begin to dissolve, and the Word is revealed before the eyes of our heart. How much time should be given to each stage depends very much on whether it is used individually or in a group. If Lectio Divina is used for group prayer, obviously more structure is needed than for individual use. In group prayer, much will depend on the type of group. Lectio Divina may involve discussing the implications of the Word of God for daily life but it cannot be reduced to this. The movement of the prayer is towards silence. If the group is comfortable with silence, more time could be spent resting in the Word.

The practice of Lectio Divina as a way of praying the Scriptures has been a fruitful source of growing in relationship with Christ for many centuries and in our own day is being rediscovered by many individuals and groups. The Word of God is alive and active and will transform each of us if we open ourselves to receive what God wants to give us.2

Remember:

2 Pet 1:1-10 – I, Simon Peter, am a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. I write this to you whose experience with God is as life-changing as ours, all due to our God’s straight dealing and the intervention of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 2 Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master.

3 Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! 4 We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you — your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust. 5 So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, 6 alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, 7 warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. 8 With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. 9 Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

10 So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, (MSG)

Lectio.

Reading. Read the Word of God slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into you.

2 Pet 1:10 – Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.

2 Pet 1:11 – For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (ESV)

Meditatio.

Reflection. Think about the text and ruminate upon it so that you take from it what God wants to give you.

2 Pet 1:10 – Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities – faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, love – you will never fall.

2 Pet 1:11 – For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (ESV)

What word or phrase stirs you? Take some time to murmur and mumble the word/s, taking a kind of pleasure in making the sounds and getting the feel of the meaning. Take in what God wants to give you that will make you more yourself, created in his image and likeness.

Be all the more diligent.

Diligent: to use speed, i.e. to make effort, be prompt or earnest; endeavor, labor, study; urge on; to await eagerly; dispatch, to send off, usually on a specific errand or official business.3

Be all the more diligent…for in this way there will be richly provided, ministered unto you, an entrance…

There will be richly provided… There shall be ministered…

Will be richly provided/shall be ministered: to furnish besides, i.e. fully supply, aid or contribute nourishment.4

Entrance: coming, entering into.5

A house not made with hands.

2 Cor 5:1 – For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (ESV)

Eager for his coming.

2 Tim 4:6-8 – You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting — God’s applause! Depend on it, he’s an honest judge. He’ll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming. (MSG)

Be all the more diligent…for in this way there will be richly provided, ministered unto you, an entrance…

Are your ears awake?

Rev 3:21-22 – Conquerors will sit alongside me at the head table, just as I, having conquered, took the place of honor at the side of my Father. That’s my gift to the conquerors! “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.” (MSG)

Therefore!

2 Pet 1:10 – Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities – faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, love – you will never fall.

2 Pet 1:11 – For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (ESV)

Kingdom: royalty, rule, reign.6

Life in its fullest measure.

John 10:10 – The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, life in its fullest measure. (CJB)

According to the power at work within us.

Eph 3:20-21 – Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (ESV)

There will be no limits to the wholeness he brings.

Isa 9:7 – His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings. He’ll rule from the historic David throne over that promised kingdom. He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going With fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always. The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies will do all this. (MSG)

Oratio.

Response. Leave your thinking aside and simply let your heart speak to God. This response is inspired by your reflection on the Word of God.

2 Pet 1:10 – Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities – faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, love – you will never fall.

2 Pet 1:11 – For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (ESV)

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)

 

Contemplatio.

Rest. Let go of your own ideas, plans and meditations, your holy words and thoughts. Simply rest in the Word of God. Listen at the deepest level of your being to God who speaks within you with a still small voice. As you listen, you are gradually transformed from within. Take what you read in the Word of God into your daily life. The way you live is the test of the authenticity of your prayer.

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Peterson, Eugene H. (1991). Answering God: The Psalms As Tools For Prayer (pg 26). New York, NY: HarperCollins.

2https://www.ocarm.org/en/carmelites/what-lectio-divina

3Diligent: NT:NT:4704 <START GREEK>spouda/zw <END GREEK> spoudazo (spoo-dad’-zo); from NT:4710; to use speed, i.e. to make effort, be prompt or earnest: KJV – do (give) diligence, be diligent (forward), endeavour, labour, study.

NT:4710 <START GREEK>spoudh/<END GREEK> spoude (spoo-day’); from NT:4692; “speed”, i.e. (by implication) despatch, eagerness, earnestness: KJV – business, (earnest) care (-fulness), diligence, forwardness, haste.

NT:4692 <START GREEK>speu/dw <END GREEK> speudo (spyoo’-do); probably strengthened from NT:4228; to “speed” (“study”), i.e. urge on (diligently or earnestly); by implication, to await eagerly: KJV – (make, with) haste unto. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

4Will be richly provided/shall be ministered: NT:2023 <START GREEK>e)pixorhge/w <END GREEK> epichoregeo (ep-ee-khor-ayg-eh’-o); from NT:1909 and NT:5524; to furnish besides, i.e. fully supply, (figuratively) aid or contribute: KJV – add, minister (nourishment, unto).

NT:1909 <START GREEK>e)pi/<END GREEK> epi (ep-ee’); a primary preposition; properly, meaning superimposition (of time, place, order, etc.), as a relation of distribution [with the genitive case], i.e. over, upon, etc.; of rest (with the dat.) at, on, etc.; of direction (with the accusative case) towards, upon, etc.: KJV – about (the times), above, after, against, among, as long as (touching), at, beside,  have charge of, (be-, [wherefore-]), in (a place, as much as, the time of, -to), (because) of, (up-) on (behalf of), over, (by, for) the space of, through (-out), (un-) to (-ward), with. In compounds it retains essentially the same import, at, upon, etc. (literally or figuratively).

NT:5524 <START GREEK>xorhge/w<END GREEK> choregeo (khor-ayg-eh’-o); from a compound of NT:5525 and NT:71; to be a dance-leader, i.e. (generally) to furnish: KJV – give, minister.

NT:71 <START GREEK>a&gw <END GREEK> ago (ag’-o); a primary verb; properly, to lead; by implication, to bring, drive, (reflexively) go, (specially) pass (time), or (figuratively) induce: KJV – be, bring (forth), carry, (let) go, keep, lead away, be open. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

5Entrance: NT:1529 <START GREEK>ei&sodo$ <END GREEK> eisodos (ice’-od-os); from NT:1519 and NT:3598; an entrance (literally or figuratively): KJV – coming, enter (-ing) in (to).

NT:1519 <START GREEK>ei)$ <END GREEK> eis (ice); a primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.); also in adverbial phrases: KJV – [abundantly-], against, among, as, at, [back-] ward, before, by, concerning,  continual,  far more exceeding, for [intent, purposefore],,  forth, in (among, at, unto, -so much that, -to), to the intent that,  of one mind,  never, of, (up-) on,  perish,  set at one again, (so) that, therefore (-unto), throughout, til, to (be, the end, -ward), (here-) until (-to), … ward, [wherefore-], with. Often used in composition with the same general import, but only with verbs (etc.) expressing motion (literally or figuratively).

NT:3598 <START GREEK>o(do/$ <END GREEK> hodos (hod-os’); apparently a primary word; a road; by implication a progress (the route, act or distance); figuratively, a mode or means: KJV – journey, (high-) way. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

6Kingdom: NT:932 <START GREEK>basilei/a <END GREEK> basileia (bas-il-i’-ah); from NT:935; properly, royalty, i.e. (abstractly) rule, or (concretely) a realm (literally or figuratively): KJV – kingdom,  reign.

NT:935 <START GREEK>basileu/$<END GREEK> basileus (bas-il-yooce’); probably from NT:939 (through the notion of a foundation of power); a sovereign (abstractly, relatively, or figuratively): KJV – king. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

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