So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. NKJV
I have lived long enough to know there is a reason why Christian leaders encourage you to do your devotions in the morning. However, because of circumstances, for the past few weeks I have been doing them before I go to bed at night. Do I even need to tell you how that has been working out for me? Until…
One night, I was doing my Bible reading and began to doze off as I had the previous nights. Determined to finish it through, I slowly stroked my chin and asked myself, “Hmmm, what would St. Francis of Assisi do in a conundrum such as this?”–What?–I really respect the guy! He wrote a killer prayer! Besides, Jesus was never in this type of scrape–although his disciples were. (Matthew 26:40-45) Not coming up with anything from St. Francis, Kramer from Seinfeld popped into my mind. (I have a very entertaining thought life.) Call it delusional if you will but the Good Lord works in mysterious ways. I kept hearing, “These pretzels are making me thirsty.” So I began to read the verses out loud emphasizing different words as I read through scripture. (Note: in a Seinfeld episode, Kramer gets a part in a Woody Allen movie and his sole line is, “These Pretzels are making me thirsty.” Throughout the episode the whole cast tries to tell him how to say the lines. By emphasizing different words they come up with many different meanings. CLICK HERE for video clip.)
Now might be a good time for the disclaimer:
This Bible blog sometimes gets inspiration from Seinfeld. Read at your own risk. Void where prohibited. Use only as directed. No other warranty expressed or implied. Not responsible for direct, indirect, incidental or consequential damages resulting from any error, defect or failure to perform. OH and Do not read while operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery.
(I know there are some who would say, “Can anything good come out of Seinfeld?” I would have to say yes. See REGIFTERS.)
Holy linguistics, Batman! I was on to something. By emphasizing a different word in a sentence the implication changes. For example look at the sentence, I don’t love you.
- I don’t love YOU. (implies I love someone else)
- I don’t LOVE you. (implies I only like you)
That night I was reading in Isaiah 41. I read out loud and emphasized the word, YOU. I was extremely moved by this exercise and The Word came alive to me! (Colossians 3:16 GW)
I went from just reading a bunch of words, to hearing the God of all creation speaking to me. I began to have insight into how He cares about little insignificant me!
After I dried my tears of joy, (Note: these also could have been menopausal tears. Just keeping it real.) I read the verses again, this time emphasizing the word, I. This reading increased my faith and prompted my heart to praise the all-powerful God who takes care of me so that I do not have to worry or fret about taking care of myself.
The words of the Bible are living words. (Hebrew 4:12) They contain treasures of personal application and understanding. Martin Luther, a man who was personally transformed and who transformed the church because of reading God’s Word, once gave detailed instructions on how to gain spiritual insight through meditation. He said, “You should meditate not only in your heart, but also externally, by actually repeating and comparing oral speech and literal words of the book, reading and rereading them with diligent attention and reflection, so you may see what the Holy Spirit means by them.” Many Christian strategies for Biblical meditation include simply reading the Bible passage out loud and emphasizing the various words. There is something very powerful in just saying God’s Word out loud. Just sayin’. LH
For a Bible Study on how to meditate on God’s Word CLICK HERE.