Wednesday, October 1, 2008

seeing much in very little

John Piper is one of my favorite pastors, and not simply because he is an excellent speaker, but because it is evident from what he teaches that he meditates on the Scriptures.

Here is something of encouragement to those of us who have, in our own minds, a small amount of 'scriptural knowledge'; that is, we feel as though our lack of "memory verses" either disqualifies us from teaching or limits our own understanding of what God says in his book.

Be encouraged as John writes in a sermon:

But there are several strong forces which oppose our relentless and systematic interrogating of biblical texts. One is that it consumes a great deal of time and energy on one small portion of Scripture. We have been schooled [quite erroneously] that there is a direct correlation between reading a lot and gaining insight. But in fact there is no positive correlation at all been quantity of pages read and quality of insight gained. Just the reverse. Except for a few geniuses, insight diminishes as we try to read more and more. Insight or understanding is the product of intensive, headache-producing meditation on two or three verses and how they fit together. This kind of reflection and rumination is provoked by asking questions of the text. And you cannot do it if you hurry. Therefore, we must resist the deceptive urge to carve notches in our bibliographic gun. Take two hours to ask ten questions of Galatians 2:20 and you will gain one hundred times the insight you would have attained by reading 30 pages of the New Testament or any other book. Slow down. Query. Ponder. Chew.

So, instead of worrying that you don't know enough...sit and study a verse or two for awhile and see how much the Spirit can teach you if you simply let Him.


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