Reclaiming The Art Of Biblical Meditation: Find True Peace In Jesus, by Robert J. Morgan
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Thomas Nelson. All thoughts and opinions are my own. A free study guide is available for all readers of this book.]
I have been looking forward to this book for quite a while, or at least a book like this one. As a person with lifelong anxiety difficulties, a subject I write about often , I have often come across recommendations for meditation as a way to reduce the high levels of crippling anxiety under which I labor in this life . There are many books that either assume that the reader knows a great deal about biblical meditation or seek to promote Buddhist or New Age meditation, about which I have a great deal of abhorrence given the way it opens up one’s mind to ungodly spiritual influences. The author here gives a short and straightforward guide to biblical meditation aimed at people like myself who desire more peace and calm in life and have a biblical worldview. One wonders why there are not more books like this one available, but this is the sort of book to appreciate anyway, given the conditions of our world.
In terms of its contents, this book is very straightforward in its approach. This is not a particularly difficult or complicated book. To be sure, application is harder than reading, but the author has an immensely worthwhile approach to his material and this book is a joy to read. Most of this book is made up of ten short chapters that deal with the subject of biblical meditation, discussing its importance, focusing on God and gaining perspective, seeing ourselves as God sees us, calming our spirit and finding peace, helping us to understand God’s word, gaining insight into God’s will, giving techniques for effective meditation, finding godly success, hiding God’s word in our hearts through meditation and memorization, and a conclusion discussing the benefits of biblical meditation. After this comes a ten-day meditation guide that gives practical steps and questions to encourage meditation through looking at each word, reading passages in different translations, and doing word studies. The book closes with a thoughtful set of scriptures to meditate on, acknowledgements, and notes, all of which come in at under 200 short pages. The book is not only beautiful to read, but its graphical design is beautiful, a sign that those involved really paid attention to making this a worthwhile book in many ways.
To be sure, this book is not perfect. There are at least a few occasions where the author gets a bit too mystical about the Trinity, as many professed Christian mystics are wont to do on occasion. That said, for the most part this is a practical guide to how to meditate on scripture based on what the Bible itself says. There is a wide need for this in our contemporary society, as I am sure I am not the only one in life who finds myself far too burdened by anxiety and stress. The book’s approach is made all the more better by the author’s own admission of his own struggles with self-doubt and his own knowledge of his lack of preparation for the godly success he wanted out of life, and his awareness of the difference between how God measures success and how the world does. This is a book that manages, therefore, to answer quite a few concerns in our desire to know God and God’s word better even as we become the way we need to be for God to work out His plans in our lives.
I would like to comment in addition on the free study guide material that is included for download for those who follow the link at the top of this entry and go through the subscription process outlined on the author’s webpage. The introduction to the short guide (28 pages) shows the author is aware of the intense anxiety of our age and the fact that a how-to guide on meditation was needed. The guide then includes five sessions which have a consistent format of conversation, content, and conclusion, each of which has important elements of questions, an intense study of God’s word, and application. The guide as a whole is an effective companion to the book, and one wonders why the author didn’t simply include it in the book, which was fairly short already. At any rate, while one would wish for more meditation on the law of God, this book is fantastic at providing the practical tips needed to meditate on scripture along with plenty of worthwhile passages to reflect on. It would be ungenerous not to appreciate this book for being so practical and helpful, and its guide is the same.
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