The Passion of Christ in the Gospel of Luke
A Guide to Meditation and Prayer
Week 1 - Day 2
The Two Ways
Meditation on Scripture- Read Psalm 1 (a second time) and write your reflections in the workbook. Use the summary below for further reflection on the passage. Prayer- Use the Guide for Prayer.
Psalm 1 talks about two ways. One is the way of the sinner. Those who would be blessed must not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the place that sinners do, or sit together with scoffers. There is a progression in this first verse of Psalm 1. A person begins to walk with sinners in that he starts to keep company with them. That influences him to start to agree with them, or “stand” with them. Finally, the person joins with them and “sits” among them, as one of them. This leads to no good result. As the last half of the psalm says, the wicked will not be able to stand before God in the day of judgment; they will be condemned. In addition, they will not prosper in this life either. The psalm compares them to chaff that the wind blows away. They will be forgotten like something blown in the wind. Nor will they be allowed to enter into the congregation of the righteous and their end is to perish.
Those who are blessed by God stand in great contrast to the wicked. This person is like a tree planted by rich streams of water. They yield fruit in season. Their leaves do not wither. Everything they do prospers. This is because the Lord watches over the way of the righteous and they will be able to stand before him in the day of judgment.
What then does one do to be among these whom God blesses? The answer is that this person delights in God’s laws. He delights in them so much that he makes them his constant companion and source of joy. He comes back to the scriptures again and again for strength, wisdom, and instruction because he knows he will find God’s way by learning from his words. This is what God instructed Joshua to do as he began to lead the people to the Promised Land. God said to Joshua, “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. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
The question for us is, how does one actually meditate on God’s words? How can we actually do this? The good news is that this is exactly what you will be doing in this set of spiritual exercises. These exercises encourage you to slow down and take time with the Bible. In the process of doing these, you will be doing as Psalm 1 instructs and as God commanded Joshua. You will be doing what God has told serious disciples to do.
For this reason, I hope you will take courage and be optimistic. This set of exercises is going to help you grow in grace if you will come to them with an open and believing heart. The Bible says that God rewards those who seek him (Hebrews 11:6). If you will be faithful to God in this journey, God will extend to you his grace, help, guidance, and strength.
Things to Consider –
· Who are people who are scoffers today? Why do you think people follow in these ways?
· In your experience, have you seen a progression in the ways of sin in people’s lives?
· Do you think it is possible for sin to take root in our lives? In what ways?
· In what areas would you like God to uproot sin in your life and bring you healing?
· What would it look like in your life if you delighted in God’s words?
· How can someone meditate on God’s words day and night?
· Reflect on this verse from Psalm 119:97. “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” What would it take for you to get to the place where you loved God’s words and delighted in them? Would you like this to be the case?
Guide for Prayer –
· As in the previous time of prayer, close your eyes and take one full minute to calm your mind and gather your spirit.
· Thank God for three things for which you are thankful in your life at the moment.
· Thank God for helping your find the path of life. Think of one good decision God helped you make in your life; thank God for it.
· Think of one mistake in life that you avoided or wrong decision you did not make. Thank God for helping you avoid the mistake or wrong decision.
· Think of one sin that has taken root in your life. Ask God to root it out and give you healing in its place.
· Ask God to teach you to delight in scripture. Pray with the psalmist, “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” Imagine yourself delighting in scripture.
· Thank God for hearing your prayers. Tell God that you know he is listening when you pray because he has promised to do so.
· Take some moments to offer your own prayers to God and feel God’s presence. Offer whatever other prayers and praises seem appropriate.