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The Discipline Of Meditation Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
May 21, 2021 1:00 am

The Discipline Of Meditation Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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May 21, 2021 1:00 am

A believer’s effectiveness is determined by the disciplines of the Christian life, practiced every day, and every year. Have you recently evaluated your spiritual life? In this message, we learn about disciplines which are crucial to your spiritual maturity.

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

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The reason for us.

Jesus phone number for Weaver's effectiveness is determined by the disciplines of the Christian life every day every week every month every year we begin a series outlining four disciplines social your spiritual maturity from the Moody Church in Chicago this is Sir helps us make it cross the finish line give us a preview of the journey begins today on the disciplines of the soul.

You know Dave, I believe that this series of messages can be absolutely transforming long term in the lives of all who listen when I was in Bible College. I remember we would have a speaker who would say what you need to do is to study more, you need to get up early. You need to be disciplined and then the next week we'd have a man, and say you know I learned I just had to rest in the Lord and his Bible college students. We asked which is it, and then I remember the verse from the book of Hebrews that says the labor to enter into rest.

Both speakers were correct. We labor. We are disciplined and that's what this series of messages is all about. But at the same time we must recognize that it is through these disciplines that we do get to rest. I think that there'll be many lives transformed. As we listen to these messages and apply them to our personal lives with a wonderful ball that we had to do was to have good intentions to be like Jesus, along with those good intentions attend church once a week and then God do all the work that needs to be done in our lives. While we are asleep and when we wake up in the morning we wake up hot for God not be wonderful.

That might be wonderful but that's not the way it is. Salvation is a free gift, no question about that salvation is free, but when it comes to real discipleship and transformation of life, which is always what were after it needs discipline. Discipline know there are more people who give concern about their houses. They give it more concern to their house than they do to their soul.

So if the roof leaks. They fix it if the sink is stopped up. They unplugged it and if a wall is beginning to crumble. They rebuild it. But as far as their souls are concerned and I'm using the word soul almost synonymous with the word mind as far as their souls are concerned, anything can come in. Good thoughts. Bad thoughts. Anything can find a home and that they do not care for their souls. Yet the Bible says. Guard your heart above all things. Guard your heart out in it is the wellspring of life. The most important part of you is the part that nobody can see it is your mind or your soul and were going to be speaking in the messages that lie ahead on soul care or the disciplines of the soul.

And remember, where after transformation of life and heart. Today were going to speak about meditation, and then after that prayer how you can pray every single day without monotony, without wondering whether or not God is listening and then we will speak about the discipline of worship and also most important, the discipline of silence and solitude that can change our lives. The disciplines of the soul. Jesus told a very interesting story. He said that there was a man who had a demon and then the demon left the man and the man's heart or soul was swept and empty as of the demon as he traveled about, seeking rest and finding none found this seven on other demons who were worse than he was. I guess even among the demons there some who are more evil than others, and all of them came and inhabited the man and Jesus said the state of that man the end of him was worse than the beginning. Wow what Jesus is talking about is the danger of an empty, swept soul with nothing else to replace it.

But evil that comes in evil always gravitates toward the vacuum and as a result of that.

If we do not fill our souls with what is good. If we do not protect what comes in and expelled what should be expelled. Our souls will just be a resting place for all kinds of evil, and defeat and discouragement and faithfulness to us.

You see, Paul says he renewed, he says, by being transformed by the renewing of your mind. Today were going to to speak about that transformation today were going to speak about how to focus on that which will squeeze out all of the unwanted bots and make us different people because we cannot live differently until we think differently and we can't think differently unless we learn to meditate and the good news is this that all of us here can do it. I'm going to be giving you instruction that is so clear, that is so explicit that no matter who you are, no matter how old you might be or how young you might be you're going to be able to do what I am suggesting from God's holy word that all of us to do together transformation. Finally, for some of you is just around the corner. Aren't you glad you're here in the Bible does talk about the mind and were speaking about that today.

Why is this so important to think right will first of all, because everybody thinks everybody thinks I can imagine there's some woman here uses what you know my husband doesn't actually he does, he does, he may not be thinking the right thoughts, but he thinks in fact, there was a philosopher by the name of Descartes who said that he believes that the mind is thinking all the time and even while we are asleep. He says we go on thinking and sometimes we become conscious of it and we call it a dream.

Descartes believed that we are thinking all the time. By the way, did you happen to hear about the preacher who dreamt he was preaching and then he woke up and found out he was.

Everybody thinks even preachers think.

Secondly, your mind has to power it is power that the mind has so much power because it can relate to God I never as a boy I used to think to myself will. God doesn't know what I'm thinking if I may preach imprecisely for a moment. He knew my thoughts better than even the movements of my body because God exists in the realm of peerage and your mind exists in the realm of matter and can influence matter, which is a huge philosophical problem that's been debated throughout the centuries. How that can be something immaterial can actually affect something material but your mind can connect with that which is material, but it is also your mind that connects with God your mind is power. Another reason is, of course, as I emphasized your mind shakes your life as a man thinks in his heart so is he someone a look you in the eye today and tell you that you're not what you think you are but what you think you are the real you is your thought life and today talk about transforming Psalm one is the text Psalm 100 like to do is you return to that in your Bibles is to point out first of all the benefits of what were going to speak about meditation the benefits of meditation. You'll notice that for this were going to go actually to verse three were going to do verse three. Before we do versus one and two. It says he that is the person who delights in the law of God and meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers to blessings that come from meditation first stability. He's like a tree that is planted beside the rivers of water, he hasn't seen unseen root system that goes to screen so he will not wither at a time of drought. He can handle adversity. He can handle false accusations he can handle the pushes and the poles of life.

They emotional and the spiritual drain of relationships gone sour.

He can handle. Why, because he has roots that extend to a stream. You've heard me say before, but a tree has as much of a root system beneath the ground as that which the ground and blessed is that tree that is found stream and hidden secret stream that will keep it from withering a sense of stability but also a sense of prosperity is leaf does not wither. The Bible says he brings forth his fruit in his season. Some people interpret that to mean well you know there's a season for grapes and for things and for bananas and for oranges and that in the same way we have the fruit of the spirit and sometimes there's a season for love and a season for joy in a season for base but then there are people who say today does not happen to be the season for love.

That's not the way it works. What he means is this that fruit takes time to develop, takes time to develop and God develops these fruits in us.

But notice that what ever he does prospers. There is such a thing as a doctrine of prosperity or problem is that as it is preached today is often taken out of context wrenched from the full teaching of the Bible and made to say something, but the total Bible teaching would not say listen to the words of Joshua.

Thou shalt meditate God says in the law of God, thou shalt meditate therein day and night, and then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then bow show. Six less. I believe that every time the word success is mentioned in the Bible it is connected to meditation you want to be a success.

Anybody here wants to be a success. You must you must meditate. I have a habit you know as a pastor is always a you know this is the most ever preached. I said that about the last series and it was right back that, but it's also true. Now this is one of the most important, if I say one of the most I can say that every time. This is one of the most important sermons and series of messages I've ever preached and you must hear all of them notice now how do we actually meditate, how do we begin well let me give you this as a preliminary first of all what you do is you pray before you open your Bible and you pray, one of the verses of the Psalms, O Lord, open thou mine eyes, that I might behold wondrous things that I long. The reason that that is so important is because someone is written as long as my mind is arranging with thoughts, ideas, plans, and fears.

I cannot listen significantly to God or any other dimension of reality. That's why were going to preach a message on the gift in the discipline of silence and solitude. I'm in a learning curve on that one, but I'm discovering that that there is such a rich relationship with God that can be developed through silence and solitude and God knows God knows how much we needed now. First of all, a word about discernment before we get to meditation.

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in this markers you see the progression there don't you Blessed is the person who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.

He's walking in the counsel of the wicked. Just out of curiosity. He wants to see with the wicked are you doing he wants to what here's what here's a good one. He wants to understand the wicked a little better so that he can evangelize them. So he's walking in the counsel of the wicked. And then there's something that gets his attention and he stands in the way of sinners is a lingering now in the way of sinners, and then lo and behold, he decides to say when you know actually I'm enjoying this and all of the other say hey why don't you pull up a chair and sit down.

So he ends up sitting in the seat of scoffers and mockers that it doesn't mean that he's mocking like the rest, but he feels at home among the mockers and among the ungodly and he discovers that he not only feels at home but he begins to participate in their attitudes, their beliefs, their worldview know there's a book that's been written that basically says this that Christians think essentially like the world we think about like the world regarding child rearing, but we think felt like the world does regarding money regarding values. We bought into the whole system and we don't even know about it.

First of all, we walk then we stand and then we sipped blessed is the person who does not by the values the attitude the beliefs of this world you want to be like that the text is going to tell us how discernment we could say contemplation at this point where you asked the Lord, Lord, what is there in my life that I picked up from the world. What is there within my life that needs to be changed, could you identify your three main problem. Some people can't. And no wonder they're not working on them.

They don't even know what their problems when to take a sheet of paper and limited to three of your main problems.

I say limited because you may not have that much paper with you today and so what you do is you try to identify those things in your life that God has to change that you're interested in transformation and now notice if the first is discernment or contemplation. Now we get to discipline meditation but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law he meditates whenever he feels like it is that what your Bible says I must be reading from the reverse division meditates during the day during the night because he goes to bed, meditating, so he does meditate in the law of God. All night Blessed is that person and you and I can be that person, and I'm giving you instruction today on how you and I can be that person.

While so how do we meditate another two ways to read the Bible.

I just like there's two ways to take a trip my wife and I have driven across this country in many different places, sometimes with our children and often times there is only one goal and that is to get there just yet.

There filled the car with gas. If you stop along the way.

It's for a hamburger that you eat in the car while you're driving because remember there's one goal you get there and the trip was fine and sometimes you enjoy the scenery and sometimes you say what you know we saw a beautiful mountain.

We saw the penny and where you drive a beautiful hill or we saw a tree and dad and you say to yourself you know when and we got there the way some people read the Bible and this is the danger for some people who want to read the Bible through in a year there to read and read and read and read. But there like DL Moody was said that when he was going potatoes, used to have to put a little marker in the soil because he could never tell where he had hoed and were he had not yet hold so we've all had the experience of needing to put a marker in our Bible because suddenly were meeting and we get to the end of the chapter was saying I read this chapter yesterday and didn't know I was nothing wrong with that and we encourage you to read through the Bible as a Christian. If you've never done it should. But there's another way to take a trip and really need to take a trip in both ways. The other is to say, you know, if I don't get there. That's not so serious if I don't make it by nightfall as to where I have decided I'm going to be. I'm going to enjoy this trip. You know when you're driving along and it says historical marker 1 mile ahead were actually pull off and see what's there.

And when it says scenic overlook 1 mile ahead were going to stop were going to breathe the air and if you're like my wife were actually going to take some pictures and then when we come home we got all of these pictures that we've taken then and we just really have enjoyed this and we didn't get quite as far as we wanted to. But who cares, it was just great to drive and to enjoy the trip.

Right now I'm talking about.

The second way to read the Bible will my friend, this is Pastor Luther and of course as you know, here at running to win. We are absolutely convinced that salvation is a free gift of God given to those who repent and believe. But we also believe that it is necessary to have the disciplines of the soul so that we learn to walk in faith live by faith and as a result of that, we discover there is a sense of peace and rest. That comes as a result of those disciplines.

That's why this series of messages is so critical.

I also need to tell you that I've done a DVD or CD, depending on which you prefer entitled finding purpose in grief and loneliness in it. I discussed good grief, bad grief, and by the way, is a pastor I've seen both what is the distinction between good grief and bad grief. How do we handle certain situations and did you know that there is grief and loneliness. After the death of a loved one, but loneliness actually has a trap door. What is that trapdoor and why is it so important for people to not stay there in that trapdoor. All of this is discussed and you are given biblical hope in the DVD or the CD finding purpose in grief and loneliness for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 it's time again for another chance for you to ask for extra votes or a question you may have about the Bible or the Christian life now is a famous pastor.

Documents are people see your name on lots of books endorsing the contents or the author.

Today's question comes from a listener who wonders how good of an idea that is wrong rights to us from Illinois. He says you are listed among the ESV Bible endorsers can I get your thoughts regarding Bible translations. Well Ron yes you can and I'm not sure that my view is as important as many other scholars throughout the country.

But here at the Moody church we use I preach from what is known as the ESV that's the English standard version. It's been out for several years and it is more literal but also more readable than say the King James version. King James was a great translation.

But as you know language changes in their many many old constructions and old words in the King James that we don't really use and understand anymore so modern translations are a good thing. Now what you can do. For example, if you find that the ESV is even too literal for you. There's nothing wrong with choosing the NIV, the new international version and it is a more readable translation and then you can even go to paraphrases and there's the living Bible and a new version of that is very good to read.

So let's understand that we do have the original language, but because of the changes in language and because it's possible to say the same thing in different words. That explains why we have different translations today. Bottom line, choose a translation use it, read it, love it and move on from there.

Thank you. Documents are if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our that's RTW and click there on ask Pastor lutes or or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 running to win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life. We can't run life's race. If our minds are not discipline through a June of competing voices we need to hear the voice of God and meditation in the Scriptures is the way we do this. Are you hearing God's voice. Next time I'm running to win will turn again to someone more on the house eyes meditation.

A key to getting close to God for Dr. Erwin Blitzer this is Dave Callister running to win is sponsored by the church

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