Encouragement From The Word

Holy reading

Today, I encourage you to spend a few moments meditating on God’s Word.  The word “meditate” has been hijacked in contemporary society, and sometimes, Christians are afraid to use the word for fear that they are practising some sort of eastern religious act.  Not so!  Meditation has been part of church life since the earliest days of the Christian faith.  One of the ways we practise meditation on the Word of God is through holy reading, what the ancients called lectio divina.  In this practice, we read a passage of Scripture to get familiar with it; we pause, and then we read it again to discern a word or phrase from the passage that the Lord may be highlighting for us; again we pause, and read it a third time, taking time to hold that word or phrase before the Lord to know why he has highlighted it for us; and finally, we read it a fourth time and rest in God’s care and provision, thinking prayerfully about how we might respond to what the Lord has said to us through his Word.

Try it with this passage:

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
    O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
    I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
    I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Others were given in exchange for you.
    I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
    You are honored, and I love you.  (Isaiah 43.1-4, NLT)

How did the Lord speak to you through this passage?  How can you respond?