You may have noticed that each Sunday our Scripture Reading is coming from Psalm 119, and for good reason. With our theme for this year focusing on the idea of mediation; more specifically, mediating on God’s Word, this chapter in Psalms is rich with insight. Seven times, depending on your translation, you will find the word meditation or meditate in this chapter. I found these words to be powerful, “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation” (Psalm 11:97-99). This caused me to ask myself, “Just how important is this whole idea of meditation?” I then came across the following verse.
Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them,
that your progress may be evident to all.
1st Timothy 4:15
The evangelist Timothy had a challenging work as he ministers to the church in Ephesus. From the onset, we know he is battling against false teaching (1:3). He also is given the task of organizing the leadership, establishing elders and deacons (3). Paul exhorts him saying, “If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ…” (4:6). His effectiveness in accomplishing these and many other objectives which were intended to mature and help grow the Lord’s church, is linked in part to his ability to remain focused. Isaiah writes, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3). As one person writes, “The battle of the mind is for focus.” Now your translation may read like this, “Be diligent (NKJV, meditate) in these matters…” The Greek word here means to care for, attend carefully, practice, to meditate i. q. devise, contrive. FOCUS!!! The very idea of focusing demands that there be something to focus on, and in Timothy’s case, it was the work before him. He was given a task not to do anything he wanted, but rather a particular thing which was to “give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1st Timothy 4:14). And this focus was not just about him. Listen to what Paul says, “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1st Timothy 4:16).
One final thought about this whole idea of mediation; that is, being focused. How was Timothy going to give himself “entirely to them” (his ministry) without being focused? I have, and a number of occasions, attempted to complete an important project only to become distracted by other things around me. I can show you many of those very projects. This brings me to these words from v15, “…that your progress may be evident to all.” It is true to say, “We are works in progress as long as we progress in the work.” What could help us in this journey? Focus (i.e., meditation)! Not on anything, but on God and His word. May He bless you this day.