CenterScreenLET’S DO THIS

Chuck Allen, Pastor

James 1:1-4

God’s Word? And do we even know what this means? When the Lord called Joshua to lead Israel after Moses’ death, He told him,

“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it”  (Joshua 1:8).

The Lord wanted to fill Joshua’s heart with the Word so he would know precisely what to do and how to lead the people according to God’s

standards and commands. And that’s exactly what He wants to do in our lives as well. If we’ll meditate on Scripture, the Lord will unfold for us His truths and instructions.

Meditation involves Two Points of Focus

  1. Stillness – Find a place of comfort and ease. and return to that place consistently. You’ll discover that it is almost Pavlovian and will trigger your heart and mind to Stop and spend time with the Divine.
  2. Focus – In our safe and still place, we have the ability to focus. but we all have a different degree of focus. —- No Focus, Short Focus, Effecting Focus and Easy Focus. Your degree of focus will determine your time and process of meditation.

Meditation involves three activities.

1. QuietudeShut out the world. That means no television, emails, texts, or other outside distractions. Quietude!

2. SilenceYou cannot listen to God while you are talking Meditation is not a group activity but a private time alone with the Lord.

3. Intentionality – Focus our attention on a passage of Scripture. This is not just a casual reading of God’s Word before heading out the door, but a private conversation with the Lord. We begin by asking Him to reveal what He wants to say to us. Then we listen for His instructions and guidance while reading, thinking, and praying about the passage.

Meaningful meditation has three requirements.

1. Priority –
Satan will try to shift our efforts to meditate on God’s Word because he knows we are absorbing it into our souls. If meditation is not a priority in our lives, we probably won’t do it.

2. Purpose – The purpose of meditation is to hear from the Lord. When we concentrate on His Word and seek His guidance, He sometimes uses very

specific passages of Scriptures to answer our requests. Once we’ve understood what He’s told us, our trust in Him increases and our worries lessen. This is where we either believe God or we do not! If we believe that He loves our time together, and believe e blesses a life lived with and for him…then we will believe that this is the single greatest way to live this life. This one life we have on this planet!

3. Plan – We must set aside a time to meet with the Lord privately to read His Word, ask for direction, and listen for His voice. This opportunity to be alone with Him will soon become the most valuable part of each day as we learn to know The almighty God more intimately and hear Him speak to us personally through Scripture.

Meditation includes three steps.

Using James 1:1-4 as an example, we can learn how to meditate on a passage of Scripture by following three simple steps.

1. Check it Out – Begin by asking these questions: Who is the writer? To whom is he writing? What is the passage saying?

Verse 1 says the letter was written by James, who was probably Jesus’ half brother. He wrote to the twelve tribes who were dispersed abroad. Although these people lived a long time ago, Scripture was written for every generation, including ours. James gave clear instructions regarding what God desires to accomplish through our trials and how we should respond to them.

2. Mine the Gold – What does the passage mean, and what can we learn from it? By focusing on these verses, our entire perspective regarding trials will be changed. Instead of being consumed by the hardships, we will understand what God is trying to achieve in our lives through them.

Verse 2, “ This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing to the “twelve tribes”—Jewish believers scattered abroad. Greetings! 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy..”

In the midst of difficulties or suffering, we want relief from pain and a way out of hardship, but James says the solution is a change of attitude. Instead of becoming bitter or resentful, we are to count it as joy, not because we enjoy the experience but because we know God is sovereign over it and promises to walk through it with us. Our joy is in the Lord and His purpose, not in the situation.

Verse 3, “Knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.”

The reason we can consider trials joy is because of what we know to be true. Whatever God sends or allows in our lives is not a random event but a test of our faith. His purpose for testing is approval not defeat. This is how we become strong and are able to endure. We’ll never develop this quality if life is always easy, and if we lack endurance, we may quickly yield to temptation or give up and walk away from God’s will. This verse teaches us that God is up to something good even when our circumstances look bad.

Verse 4, “And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” If we refuse to endure our trials, we short-circuit God’s purpose for allowing them. He has a perfect result in mind—that we may be perfect and complete. The word perfect does not mean sinless but complete, strong, and mature. The Lord loves us so much He doesn’t want us to lack any of these qualities.

3. Take the Medicine – Based on what we’ve just learned, how should we respond? How does God want us to think about our trials? The following are a few specific practices to help us rejoice even in trouble or suffering:

So, Chuck…how do you do this?

Well let me stop and clarify a few things

  • Length of time shouldn’t be the goal
  • Time of day shouldn’t be rigid
  • The how-to should be your decision
  • The tools you use should be simple

My time of meditation follows a pretty similar pattern Monday-Friday

Place, Tools (He Reads Truth/She Reads Truth), Sugar Hill Church Podcast, Eyes open, Breath settled, 10-15 minutes and occasionally 20-30 minutes.

If you are asking why you should make this a priority…you are asking th right question!

I read a story about an eagle that was born in a chicken coop and raised with a brood of chickens. For years he pecked like a chicken, cackled like a chicken, and ate like a chicken. That’s all he had ever seen.

But one day he looked up and saw an eagle soaring in the sky. Something deep inside said, “That’s what you were created to do.” His DNA was calling out to him. But when he looked around, all of his circumstances said, “You’re just a chicken.”

He got his courage up. He told his chicken buddies that he was going to soar like that eagle. They laughed at him and said, “Are you kidding? You can’t soar. You’re just a chicken.” All he had ever heard was chicken. Chicken had become ingrained in his thinking, but deep down something said, “This is not who I am. I wasn’t made to be average, to live in this limited environment. I may be in a chicken coop, but I don’t feel like a chicken. I don’t think like a chicken. I don’t look like a chicken.

This is not all that God has created me to be. He started noticing that his wings were not like the chickens’. His were bigger, stronger, and wider. He decided to try to fly. Flapping his wings back and forth as fast as he could, the eagle barely lifted off the ground and crashed into the side of the chicken coop. His chicken friends laughed and said, “We told you. You’re no different from us. You’re wasting your time. You’re a chicken.”

He didn’t let that failure, nor what the others said, nor the disappointment talk him out of it. Every day he kept trying, being his best. One day he lifted up out of that chicken coop and began to soar up and up in the sky. With every breath he declared,

“This is what I was created for. This is who I really am. I knew I was an eagle!” With every breath he declared, “This is what I was created for. This is who I really am. I knew I was an eagle!” Perhaps you’ve been in a chicken coop way too long. Let me tell you what you already know. You’re not a chicken. You’re an eagle.

Check your spiritual birth certificate. You’ll find you’ve been made in the image of God. You have royal blood flowing through your veins. You were never created to be average or mediocre. You were created to soar. Now, get rid of a chicken mentality and start having an eagle mentality.

The return on your investment of meditation is so much greater than you can imagine…choose to soar and start small while you dream big.

Set aside 7 minutes to start, listen to the podcast, set a reminder. Determine to meditate for the next 5 days and ask yourself…am I better or worse for spending time focused on God or not?

My friend, God is waiting on you to walk and talk with Him…Make that commitment today.

To help you…we want to serve you with a simple start-up plan for meditating this week.



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