Everyday Discipleship: Lesson 4 – Meditation and Memorization

Part 1: The Basics

Lesson 4: Meditation and Memorization

Weekly Meeting

Icebreaker:

  1. Any prayer requests or answered prayers?
  2. Did anyone share their faith with another person this week? What was it like? What happened?
  3. Share Bible memory verses with each other.
  4. Share testimonies or get clarification if you are having trouble writing yours.
  5. What is your biggest fear or challenge when reading the Bible or in your new walk with God?

Introduction:

  1. What do you think of when you hear the word “meditate” or “meditation”?
  2. Do you think meditation is beneficial?
  3. Do you know the difference between Hindu meditation and Christian meditation? What is the difference?
  4. Why is this important?
  5. Should a Christian take part in Hindu meditation or practices such as yoga?

Scripture Reading: Joshua 1:6-9; Psalm 119:48; Psalm 19:14

Discussion:

  • Whenever meditation is mentioned in the Bible, there is a focus. What are some of the focus points in these verses? Psalm 48:9, 119:27, 119:48, 145:5.
  • Why do you think God wants us to meditate on these things? How does it help us?
  • We’ve talked some already about memorizing scripture. Why is memorizing scripture a good practice?

10 Steps to Help with Bible Memorization:
 1. Write each verse out by hand
 2. Repeat the verses each day – read them out loud until memorized. Then, repeat them from memory.
 3. Use disappearing word game on a white board. Write it; say it. Erase a word or two and say it again. Repeat process until you can say it from memory.
 4. Talk about what the verse means.
 5. Repeat at bedtime.
 6. Respond to the verses. If God is saying to do something, do it. If He is giving us a promise, pray it.
 7. Memorize it in another language.
 8. Actively memorize: bounce a ball, jump, walk, or use sign language as you say it aloud. Involve your body to help your brain memorize it.
 9. Sing it.
10. Memorize whole sections of Scripture.

More discussion:

  • What is the hardest part of memorizing scripture for you?
  • How many verses have you memorized so far?
  • What do you think? Is it important to memorize every verse completely, word for word, or should we focus on understanding the verse and the gist of what it says and where it’s found in the Bible? Why?

Key Point:

Memorization and Meditation on God’s Word

Create Motivation and Maturation in My Walk with God.

Discipleship in Action: Meditating on scripture and all that God has done helps us learn more about God and to remember all He’s done for us. Memorization equips our hearts and minds to remember scripture in the tough times and in tempting times. Both practices strengthen us in our walks with God. But most importantly, meditation and memorization are the outgrowth of spending time with God, of knowing Him, and falling more and more in love with His heart, His ways, and His word. We must get away from thinking of this as a chore or a duty or an obligation. This is a privilege and a blessing. Hiding God’s word in our hearts is cherishing His word and carrying His word with ourselves daily. It builds Christlikeness into our lives naturally as God’s word works in our lives. We mature. We become motivated to live with a Christlike attitude and to make Christlike choices. What a blessing! These help bring God’s fruit in our lives daily.

Prayer Time: If you have trouble memorizing or focusing, ask God to help you, to enable you, to do these well.

On Your Own

Memory Verses: Psalm 1:1-3

Extra Reading: Read the book of Galatians and then Ephesians. If you’ve finished those, begin reading Philippians, then 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Remember to bring any questions you have about your reading to your discipleship leader, especially to your one-on-one time with them. 

Homework: Write out your testimony (if you haven’t already), and keep it in your Bible (or write it in one of the blank pages at the front or back of your Bible)

  1. My life before Christ
  2. How I knew I needed Christ
  3. How I became a Christian
  4. My life since I’ve known Christ
Five Daily Devotions

Monday: Like a Tree

Scripture: Psalm 1:1-3

These verses describe the life of a disciple so beautifully. The psalmist uses the metaphor of us being like trees planted by the river that are nourished and watered so that they bear fruit, and their leaves don’t wither. This is the result of choosing to reject the words of those who would mislead us, and instead choosing to focus on God’s word day and night.

In our culture we hear many voices sharing various ideas, most of which are contrary to God’s word and ways. Our protection is God’s word. As we know His word more, we will be more able to reject false ideas and bad teaching. Our best defense is hiding God’s word in our hearts, meditating on it, and memorizing it. Even one verse can make a difference in our daily walk.

Verses we memorize today will remain with us for many years, and the Holy Spirit can bring them back to our memory when we need them. It is a wonderful thing. God is so good.

Questions to Ponder:

  1. How do you meditate on God’s word?
  2. Has God ever brought a verse to mind helping you in a situation? How did that make you feel?
  3. Do you look forward to knowing God’s word more, or does it seem like a chore and obligation? How can you find joy in knowing and learning God’s word?

Prayer for Today: If you don’t find joy in God’s word, ask God to help you thirst for His word. If you find joy but have a hard time finding the time for God’s word, ask for God to show you where there is time in your schedule and creative ways you can be in His word each week.

Tuesday:

Scripture: John 15, especially John 15:7 and 10

John 15 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible for several reasons. It was one of the last teachings from Jesus before His death and resurrection. It is an object lesson. It gives us clear understanding of our relationship with God and our relationship with the world. Jesus is preparing his Disciples to continue without His physical presence with them because He knows what the next week would bring.

When we think of the power of God’s word in the context of this chapter, we can see that God’s word changes us. It changes our hearts, our desires, and our prayers.

Questions to Ponder:

  1. How have your prayers changed since you first began praying?
  2. Do you find yourself longing to hear from God each day through His word?
  3. If you miss a day of reading the Bible, how do you feel? What thoughts run through your mind?
  4. If you beat yourself up for missing a day of reading or feel tremendously guilty about it, or you feel you haven’t prayed enough, do you believe that comes from God, yourself, or Satan? Why?
  5. What does it mean to remain or abide in Christ and to have His word remain in you?

Prayer for Today: Pray for understanding and that your heart and mind will reflect God’s heart and His work and word in your life.

Wednesday:

Scripture: Romans 15:1-13, focusing on verse 4

When this chapter was written and sent to the church in Rome, this was a radical concept. Most of the new believers were Jews, and the Jews believed they were the only ones God wanted. Many thought God had rejected the Gentiles. However, Paul is showing not only that God has always planned for the Gentiles and Jews to follow Him and know Him, but that they needed to love one another. This teaches us as well that God loved everyone; Jesus died for everyone; and salvation is open to everyone who will believe and follow Christ as Lord and Savior.

Verse 4 is especially important for our lesson this week because it reminds us that the Bible was written to teach us, encourage us, and to give us hope. This is why we read it, memorize it, and meditate upon it. Through it we learn about God and His ways as well as His plan for the world and for us as individuals. We also find comfort, hope, strength, and encouragement to continue to follow Christ faithfully even in a world that rejects Christ and therefore rejects us as His followers.

Questions to Ponder:

  1. How do these verses make you feel?
  2. What stood out the most to you as you read this passage?
  3. Is there prejudice in your heart towards a group of people that you need to repent of? We encourage you to begin praying for this group to come to Christ and that you can accept them as brothers and sisters in faith.
  4. How do the scriptures give us hope and encouragement?
  5. In what ways are you learning the scriptures?

Prayer for Today: Pray for any feelings of prejudice you may have toward a group of people and ask God to help you put those feelings away and replace them with love for all people. Pray for the group that God would draw them to Himself and that they would follow Christ. If you need encouragement or hope, pray that God shows you those in His word.

Thursday:

Scripture: Philippians 4:4-8

These verses are some of those that remind us to keep our thoughts in the right place, guard our hearts, and watch our attitudes. They are great verses. Whenever I find myself anxious by what I see on the news or focusing on negative comments of others, I remember these verses.

Romans 12:1-2 reminds us to allow God to renew our minds. The way we think, especially when we believe concepts that are contrary to God’s word, we can easily find ourselves confused or discouraged.

2 Corinthians 10:5 reminds us to take every thought captive and make our thoughts obedient to Christ.

This is why we read, meditate on, and memorize God’s word. Through it, God can renew our minds and help us keep our minds on the right ideas and truths. It can change everything!

Questions to Ponder:

  1. Have you ever struggled with depression or negative thoughts? How do you handle those thoughts?
  2. Why do you think Paul starts with “whatever is true” in this list?
  3. He ends with whatever is “praiseworthy.” What or who is praiseworthy?
  4. Do you feel your faith is stronger when you focus on God’s word?
  5. In what areas do you need to take thoughts captive and focus on truth?

Prayer for Today: If you know areas where you struggle with attitude, negativity, criticism, or the temptation to believe untruths, share those with God and ask for His help in these areas. Ask Him to help you remember these important verses and to continue to hide God’s word in your heart.

Friday:

Scripture: John 14:15, 21

Why do we read God’s word? You know the answer to that question now, but one other reason we want to mention above all others is that it shows we love God. When we love someone, we want to spend time with them and get to know them. When we love God, we want to know more about Him, and we want to obey Him. We show our love to Him by obeying His word. We can’t obey what we don’t know.

These verses are clear: if we spend time learning God’s word and obeying, we show that we love God. The great thing is, we show it to God, and we show it to the world as well. Our obedience is a testimony of God’s greatness and His work in our lives.

Joshua 1:8 is also a great verse that states this same concept. God’s word should be on our lips and in our hearts. We should be meditating on it day and night – not as an obligation or duty, but because we love God and want to learn and understand Him and His ways – to know His will and His work. We will be blessed as we obey His word more and more.

Questions to Ponder:

  1. List some reasons that we read and learn God’s word.
  2. What have you learned about God since you first believed in Him?
  3. Have you come across any verses you don’t understand or that you find hard to embrace and obey? You may want to share those in your group and talk over them.
  4. What joyful verses have you found, and what has brought you peace as you’ve learned God’s word?

Prayer for Today: Thank God for His word. Spend time just praising Him for what He’s taught you so far in your walk with Him.

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