In an orphanage in Mexico our group ministered to an assembly of 2000 boys. Our leader asked the boys if any of them knew the biblical secret to success. At first no one volunteered. Then he offered $20.00 for the right answer. A buzz of excitement went up from the boys. Many gave answers and were rewarded a few dollars but no one gave the right answer.
Our leader raised the prize for the right answer to $100.00. Now the young men lined up with attempts to win the generous prize. Sill no one knew the scriptural secret to real success. Finally our leader gave the money to the head of the school with instructions to give it to the first of the boys to memorize Matthew chapter 6.
Last week we stopped in Nashville on the way home from our month-long mission trip in Mexico. While preparing for the opening of the conference Russ Bennett called me aside to read what he had written for the opening ceremony of the conference. Russ works at IBLP (Institute in Basic Life Principles) Headquarters in the Student Resource Department. While we were discussing the text I referred to a passage of Scripture.
“Can you get me a Bible?” I asked, “I will show it to you.”
He stepped away and brought back his own Bible. I took it in my hands to look up the passage. It fell open easily. It was well-cared-for but worn. On every page were pencil markings and notations. I’ve always admired Russ. He is a fine young man, and example of the believers, but seeing his Bible gave me a deeper insight the source of his character. He is a young man familiar with the Word and with the God of the word. Judging from his character I think he has moved beyond an academic, mental understanding of the Bible to the kind of communion with God through his word that has resulted in the blessing of God on his life. Russ has been trained by his parents and others to understand that the scriptural secret to success is fellowship with God through moment-by-moment meditation on his word, the Bible.
The Biblical Promises to those who commune with God by meditating on the Word of God, delighting in it, and obeying it are profound. This kind of communion with Christ, this kind of meditation, has a promise attached to it in Scripture repeatedly.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psa 1:1-6)
Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 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. (Jos 1:7-8)
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1Ti 4:13-16)
The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip. (Psa 37:31)
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. (Psa 19:7-14)
Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts. (Psa 119:97-100)
Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold. (Psa 119:127)
I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food. (Job 23:12)
Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments! (Psa 112:1)
In quiet reflection upon a month in Mexico, the Training Conferences in Texas and Tennessee, Mr. Gothard’s teaching, and the promises of the Bible I have renewed my commitment to having communion with God every moment of every day beginning with the first waking moments of the day by delighting in God through meditation on his word.
Riverfront Character Inn
June 9, 2006