Eat the Word!
In his book Eat This Word, Eugene Peterson says that the word “meditates” reminds him of something he saw his dog do in the Northwest woods where they were living. One day his dog dragged a huge bone up to the house. He said it came from the carcass of an elk or moose, and that little dog had certainly not brought the animal down. But that pup sure did enjoy that bone.
What the dog did was to gnaw on it day after day, eating it away little by little. Sometimes, the canine would bury the bone under leaves, dig it out, and resume its worrisome process of ingesting that huge bone. Eventually, he consumed the entire thing.
That is what the believer is to do with the word, Dr. Peterson said. Think about it, consider it from every angle, take in all he can today, then lay it aside for the moment, only to bring it out later and gnaw on it again until it has become his.
Two groups can be found in every church: those who enjoy being prodded into thinking and those who insist that their spiritual food be predigested, so it goes smoothly.
My observation is that only the first group will grow spiritually. The unthinking group is content to remain spiritual infants.
The unthinking member demands simple sermons, easy lessons, no gray areas, all Scripture interpretation to be neat and orderly with no room for differences of interpretation, and no challenges to his beliefs, his position, and his world.
The unthinking have a difficult time with Jesus. Our Lord refuses to abide by their demands, just as He did with every group He ministered to in the First Century.
My challenge as a pastor is to move members of the second group into the first category–to show them the delights of reflecting on God’s Word, thinking about His message, studying their Bibles, and incorporating God’s truths into their lives. May God bless you towards that end!
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