I Intend to Remind You Always

You are established in the truth that you have.

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 1:1-11 – 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, 11 the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Lectio.

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

2 Pet 1:10-11 – 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. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

2 Pet 1:12 – Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. (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 1:10-11 – 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. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

2 Pet 1:12 – Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. (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.

These qualities:

Faith: persuasion, moral conviction of religious truth or the truthfulness of God, especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; to assent to evidence or authority, to rely by inward certainty, be confident, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.3

Virtue: intrinsic or attributed excellence; to lift up, to take up or away; by Hebraism to expiate sin.4

Knowledge: knowing, the act; allow, be aware of, feel, perceive, be resolved, be sure, understand.5

Self-control: temperance, self-restraint.6

Steadfastness: cheerful or hopeful endurance, constancy, patient continuance (waiting); bear trials, persevere, place under, especially of inferior position or condition.7

Godliness: piety, holiness; well-reverent, devout; to revere, i.e. adore.8

Brotherly kindness: fraternal affection; kindness, love of brothers and sisters, love feasts.9

Love: As used of God, love expresses the deep and constant “love” and interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy objects, producing and fostering a reverential “love” in them towards the Giver, and a practical “love” towards those who are partakers of the same, and a desire to help others to seek the Giver. The Spirit of revelation makes it known, to convey God’s will to his children concerning their attitude on toward another, and toward all men, and to express the essential nature of God. Love had its perfect expression among men in the Lord Jesus Christ. Christian love, whether exercised toward the brethren, or toward men generally, is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered. Love seeks the welfare of all, and works no ill to any. Self-will, that is, self-pleasing, is the negation of love to God.10

Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established…

How confident Peter was that his flock knew intimately these qualities that the Spirit of the Lord Jesus the Messiah instilled and developed in them! How different is the experience when we try by our own knowledge and effort to produce them.

Know: to see; be aware, behold, consider, perceive, be sure, understand.11

You do know the truth.

1 John 2:21-22 – It is not because you don’t know the truth that I have written to you, but because you do know it, and because no lie has its origin in the truth. Who is a liar at all, if not the person who denies that Yeshua is the Messiah? Such a person is an anti-Messiah — he is denying the Father and the Son. (CJB)

Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established…

Established: to set fast, i.e. literally to turn resolutely in a certain direction, or figuratively to confirm; steadfastly set, strengthen; abide, covenant.12

What is good is for the heart to be strengthened by grace.

Heb 13:9 – Do not be carried away by various strange teachings; for what is good is for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods. People who have made these the focus of their lives have not benefited thereby. (CJB)

Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established…

God, who is full of grace, will himself establish you.

1 Peter 5:10-11 – You will have to suffer only a little while; after that, God, who is full of grace, the one who called you to his eternal glory in union with the Messiah, will himself restore, establish and strengthen you and make you firm. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen. (CJB)

Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth…

Truth: verity; true as not concealing.13

Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.

That you have/present: to be near, i.e. at hand; be here, present, I exist.14

Rejoice in union with the Lord.

Phil 3:1 – In conclusion, my brothers: rejoice in union with the Lord. It is no trouble for me to repeat what I have written you before, and for you it will be a safeguard: (CJB)

God gave us a spirit of power and love and self-control.

2 Tim 1:5-7 – I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (ESV)

Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.

I am trying to arouse you to wholesome thinking.

2 Peter 3:1-2 – Dear friends, I am writing you now this second letter; and in both letters I am trying to arouse you to wholesome thinking by means of reminders; so that you will keep in mind the predictions of the holy prophets and the command given by the Lord and Deliverer through your emissaries. (CJB)

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 1:10-11 – 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. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

2 Pet 1:12 – Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. (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.

 

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