Steps for Meditating Daily
Morning and Evening

(From Tim Challies’ Interview with Dr. Joel Beeks)

  1. Pray for the power to focus your mind on the Word with faith.
  2. Read the Bible and select a verse or two.
  3. Repeat those verses to yourself in order to memorize them.
  4. Think about what those verses say and imply, probing the book of Scripture (other verses on the same topic), the book of conscience (how you have believed or disbelieved, obeyed or disobeyed), and the book of nature (how this truth appears in experience and the world).
  5. Stir up your affections unto love, desire, grief, hope, zeal, and joy as appropriate. Preach the text to yourself with powerful application.
  6. Arouse your soul to the specific duty which the text requires, making holy resolutions for the glory of God.
  7. Conclude with prayers for divine assistance, thanksgiving for graces given, and singing psalms of praise to God.

In the midst of your efforts to meditate, remember that we do not exercise spiritual disciplines in order to deserve God’s grace, but we do these things because of God’s grace and under God’s grace. We will frequently fail in meditation, and so let us frequently meditate on the blood of Christ which cleanses believers from all sin (1 John 1:9).


I was reading through Genesis 1-3 again this morning and the thought of what I preached on a couple of months ago came to me again – The tree of knowledge of good and evil. Many often view this as the “bad” tree or the tree of temptation. This often Imagemade clear in drawings and in many sermons, but was the tree of knowledge of good and evil actually evil in itself? To find Biblical answers, we need to search Scripture and let it interpret for us. From Scripture we know that God made everything in the Garden and we know on the 6th Day the Lord observed everything he had made, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Gen 1:31) Therefore, we must conclude from Scripture that the tree was also very good.

Why, then, did God tell Adam he would die if he ate of the tree? Does that mean that the tree was deadly? According to God, yes, it was obviously deadly to Adam but for the same reason giving my car keys to my 12 year old daughter would be deadly. There are many things in this world that were created for good, but not meant for everyone to handle. Fire keeps us warm and cooks our food making it safe to eat, but I tell my son not to handle the fire in the fireplace.  The tree was in the garden for a good reason, it just was not meant for Adam or Eve to eat or they would die.

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is an interesting name of a tree. Good and evil are contrasts against each other and like right and wrong. In Genesis 1 and 2, it was God and God alone who guided Adam to what was good and what was not because Good reflected His nature and Evil reflected everything against His nature. It was God who judged what was the right Complement to Adam as a helper. It was God who judged what was good for Adam to eat and what was not. Adam and Eve were made in God’s image – they were not begotten. This means that they were created to represent His image, but they were not in nature (by birth) his image. Therefore, they needed to follow Him and obey Him to remain in His image. They could not judge for themselves what God is or isn’t. As long as they remained solely devout to Him and His will, they would remain in His image – thus live in Him

As I said before, Adam and Eve did not need to Judge. Everything they needed to know as to what was right and wrong, good and evil, the Lord their God would reveal to them. When Satan tempted them, it was a temptation to break away from relying on God alone and make their own judgment as to what is good and evil. He asked Eve, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Gen 3:1) This was not only asked to make her (and Adam who was with her) to question their understanding of what God said, but quietly lead them to question God’s judgment as well. After Eve gave a careless response to the question, took advantage of her lapse and said, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” The whole point of Satan’s deception was to destroy God’s plan of creating a people for his own. Adam and Eve were already “like God” as they were created in His image but they did not possess the perfect righteous judgment of what was good and evil – of that, they needed to completely rely on God’s guidance.

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was not evil in itself but it was not meant for man to take up and judge for themselves. The judgment seat belongs to God alone. The “victory” Satan had in this scene was to convince Eve and eventually Adam to separate themselves from God and judge good and evil by their own eyes. The death God spoke of when telling Adam that he would die the day he ate of the tree was the spiritual death – the loss of the life breathed in him in his creation, not the physical death that Satan deceived them into thinking and Adam seeing no evidence of Eve experiencing. They actually died the minute they judged with their own eyes God was a liar and Satan was truth.

The moment they died spiritually, they began to make mistake after mistake in judgement -they hid perceiving that God would not see them, that God would not know anything was wrong. They judged the body God created for them was shameful, they judged they could get away from their sin by blaming the other. They made lapse after lapse in judgment and that continues today. The world is constantly judging good and evil and no one can seem to agree with anyone totally. This just proves without doubt that God was right in forbidding Adam from eating from that tree and losing his trust in God’s perfect judgment. Today God’s people struggle daily with Satan’s deception through the media, through other people, and through false teachers sneaking in the church. They all ask the same question Satan did in the garden, “Did God actually say…” This is why God has been ever gracious to present us with His image again through the Holy Bible. Even Satan knows what is in the Bible and he tries to twist it through his children who present themselves as Holy, but we who have Christ in us should always do what Adam and Eve failed to do – seek God’s righteous guidance. If we really want to know what God judges right, we only need to pray and seek his truth. This will not only defend us from Satan’s attacks, but it will also let us drink deep in the fountain of life. Jesus tells us in John 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” We must always return to the God and seek His counsel in all things or we will fall victim to the deception of Satan also.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb 4:12)

I recall a discussion a while back regarding what we will see in heaven. Some asked if their favorite things on earth would be there; their dog, their spouse, or their favorite steak dinner. Someone responded that he believed it would be so. I cannot really say as the Bible is silent on the matter, but I must respectfully disagree because I believe the view is a bit narrow – and here are my reasons:

If we are to think heaven, the place to start is in the original state our God created us; the Garden of Eden. What we see there before the fall is simply perfection in all our needs and joy fulfilled. Adam and eve were “unashamed” in everything they did and everything they did was good. I mean they walked around naked unhidden from each other – no secret was kept between them and absolute trust was given. No fear of betrayal or what would happen to tomorrow because complete trust was given to the Lord. In our world, we can only glimpse a shadow of what that is like and it varies at different levels; ideally the marriage is a shadow of what life was like in paradise because (again, ideally) the husband and wife place their complete trust in each other and nothing is hidden from their sight and they can see each other naked and be unashamed. Ideally, in a marriage there is no secrets kept from each other and the home is a place of true rest. There is a lesser picture of paradise with most trusted friends or family though it can never be equal to that of a godly marriage. Trust and support can be found there as well and true love of a friend is a divine gift. But no matter how we strive to create our marriage or friendship as God intended, there are always  periods of struggle and strife. The greatest marriage counselors will admit to you that making the perfect marriage is impossible.

I read this morning about a man who had a terrible dream that his wife and children were killed. The dream was so vivid that he woke scared to death and when he looked at his wife, he was filled with unprecedented love for her and all the dearest thoughts of he simple poured out of him and he wept in thanks God she was with him. Imagine that moment, where all your most profound love for your most intimate friend was bottled up in one moment. Hold that thought and you will only taste the profound joy you will experience every moment in heaven and it will be multiplied a million times because the joy will be shared with every saint unashamedly together.

But will my favorite steak dinner be in heaven? Who cares.

I confess, I was praying Tiger Wood was sincerely innocent because I hate to see what such things can do to a family and I had hopes he was a little more mature, but the reality of this world falls hard again and again. I was asked why this happened and the answer was pretty simple; idols need to be worshiped and more so when their popularity and success is waning – when humanity begins to replace idolatry. A friend told me that he could not understand why Tiger would have need to look outside of his marriage with such a beautiful wife, but the truth is that his wife – as with any wife – did not see him as a god, but just another human with extraordinary talent. Tiger, like any idol, needed to be worshiped. I do not think this was intentional at all and want to believe Tiger loved his wife and children dearly – I do believe it – but it was his sinful humanity which craved being worshiped. Very few people can handle fame well and very very few people have the level of fame Tiger is trapped in. I pray Tiger will rise again, but the idol will remain fallen – only in Christ is this truly possible.

And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34-35 ESV)