1 Timothy 4:15
NKJV - 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.
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By my understanding, the Greek word translated as "meditate" in the King James Version of the verse cited in the question appears only twice in the New Testament (the other occasion being in Acts 4:25, where the King James Version translates it as "imagine"), and can have a wide variety of meanings, including ones that one would not necessarily associate specifically with meditation as it is commonly thought of or practiced. Among the translations of the verse given on the website biblehub.com, the word is variously rendered as "be diligent in", "give your complete attention to", "practice", "ponder", "take pains with", "remember", "occupy yourself with", and "be careful about", none of which necessarily have to involve meditation in the sense of seeking to achieve any type of elevated or altered state of consciousness or awareness in connection with understanding the objects of one's thoughts, or with visibly implementing them.
Meditation is an important principle in living out an authentic Christian life. The primary purpose of meditation is to draw us into the closest possible relationship with God. Why? So, we will have the wisdom to clearly understand God’s specific will for our lives and have the faith and strength to carry out that will in our daily lives to advance the kingdom of God. The verse referenced (1 Tim 4:15) uses different words in different translations. Let’s look at a few: NKJV – meditate on these things; giver yourself entirely to them ESV - practice these things; immerse yourself in them NIV – be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them AMP – practice and work hard on these things; be absorbed in them [completely occupied in your ministry] MSG – cultivate these things; immerse yourself in them When we look at this verse in context of what Paul is saying to Timothy in this entire chapter, this verse is really a summary and conclusion of what Paul has been exhorting Timothy to do. Let’s have a look at the things Paul is instructing Timothy to do. Vs 1-3 Paul is reminding Timothy that some people will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits, teaching things that try to lead other Christians astray, such as; to forbid people to marry, and to order people to abstain from certain foods. Timothy must point out these lies to the believers in his church. Vs 7 Paul warns Timothy to have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales, but rather he exhorts Timothy to train himself to be godly V10 Paul reminds Timothy that we labour and strive because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all people who believe. V11 Paul exhorts Timothy to command and teach these things V12 Paul tells Timothy not to let anyone look down on him because he is young, but rather he is to set an example for the believers in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. V13 Paul commands Timothy to devote himself [as the Pastor of his church] to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. V14 Paul reminds Timothy to use the spiritual gift of evangelism that was given to him through a word of prophecy and the laying on of hands When we have been trained in the faith, like Paul trained Timothy, that process involves 1) teaching, 2) example, 3) practice. In this chapter Paul is reminding Timothy of the teaching and encouraging, exhorting and admonishing him to put all these things into practice so he will live a godly life. The same principles apply to our lives. We are taught the principles of the Christian faith. We see these principles lived out in the lives of other Christians we associate with. We put these principles into practice to fulfill God’s will for us. Meditation reminds us of our training and past experiences. It inspires us to discover afresh God’s specific will for our lives, so we too, will live godly lives and do our part to build the kingdom of God. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim 3:16). All the bible provides verses to meditate on – to teach us the principles, to provide us the examples, and to inspire us to put into practice.
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