Joshua 1:8 is a clinic on how to approach God's Word well.
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; 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.
The take-aways are clear.
God's Word should be on our lips.
We speak it. This doesn’t mean that we follow every sentence with a verse reference; it means we are so full of the truth in this Book that it naturally influences and spills out in what we say!
God's Word should be in our hearts.
We meditate on it. We reflect on it and sit in the truths we encounter in the Bible. The story of the Bible forms us. The best picture I have for biblical meditation is marinading meat - think "chicken" or "steak". When meat soaks in a marinade and that’s done well, that marinade will permeate the meat so that when you take a bite, you can’t taste the meat without getting a hint of the marinade. That’s what mediating on the Bible means: God’s Word has so permeated our hearts - we’ve soaked in it so deeply - that every part of us has the taste of God and His Word.
God's Word transforms our actions.
We apply it. As much of a fan as I am for knowing the Bible, we never want to JUST know the Bible. This Book isn’t just about information; it's about transformation.
When you put all this together, here’s what this means: We need to fight for the priority of God’s Word in our daily lives.
There’s so much pressure to keep up with the latest news cycle and there are so many distractions with media and entertainment and busyness. My concern is we’re getting so consumed by these things that we’re neglecting the priority of God’s Word and the story it invites us into.
Keep spending time in this book! Slowly, repeatedly, day by day over the course of weeks and months and years. This is God’s Word to us - that’s how valuable it is, and how much we need it!
You may also be interested in...
We’re fascinated by thinking about the future, and the end toward which history is moving. Every major worldview I’m aware of has some view about how it’s all going to end and what eternity holds. Or at the more popular level, TV shows and movies depict some view of the future as well: for example, just think "zombie apocalypse," "doomsday preppers," and A.I. that becomes self-aware and takes over the planet.
And the way we think about the future has a whole lot to do with how we live our lives in the present. If you believe life is meaningless beyond the eighty or so years we live on earth, that will influence what you do now. If the future is filled with fear and uncertainty, that also will influence how you live this week. Alternatively, if the future holds hope, and if it's moving toward a glorious purpose, that also will shape how you live.
What you believe about "then" impacts your life "now."
All of this reinforces the value of Christian eschatology. ("Eschatology" is the formal theological word for "the study of the end times." It's all about the end - or the goal - toward which history is moving.)
In Matthew 24-25, Jesus teaches at length about this topic, the end toward which history is moving. This is called the "Olivet Discourse," and it's the longest block of teaching from the lips of Jesus on this subject. Along with everything else this passage teaches, here we learn three "big take-away" truths about Christian eschatology that we can't ignore: (1) Jesus is coming back; (2) the timing of His return will be unexpected; and (3) His return in the future means something for our lives today.
To tease out (3) a bit more, we discover that Jesus' return means we stay faithful through crisis. We aren’t swayed by false teaching. We live obedient and alert lives. We trust in and honor the One we will stand before someday when He returns. All of this gives us purpose and direction.
And all of this means we must "live ready." (Check it out especially in Matthew 25:1-13.) The reality of Jesus return calls us to live lives that are ready for His return - prepared for His arrival and ready to accompany Him into a fully-restored eternity.
But what all does it mean to "live ready?" How can we prepare ourselves now to be prepared for His arrival? What does it mean to be ready for Jesus' return?
Christian. Husband. Father. Pastor. Learner. Contributor. Reader.