A BIG difference between meditation as understood in Eastern religious traditions and meditation as taught in the Bible is in its focus. Eastern religious traditions instruct people to empty their minds. God instructs us to fill our minds with his word, with his wondrous works, with his statutes, with his promises. True meditation, then can focus us on God’s works in nature, his works in history (both of these understood in light of Scriptures), poetry, sermons, etc., that reflects God’s word, and naturally God’s revealed word itself. The following hymn, written by Paul Speratus, is an excellent focus for our meditation.
Salvation unto us has come
By God’s free grace and favor;
Good works cannot avert our doom,
They help and save us never.
Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone,
Who did for all the world atone;
He is our one Redeemer.
What God did in His Law demand
And none to Him could render
Caused wrath and woe on ev’ry hand
For man, the vile offender.
Our flesh has not those pure desires
The spirit of the Law requires,
And lost is our condition.
It was a false, misleading dream
That God His Law had given
That sinners could themselves redeem
And by their works gain heaven.
The Law is but a mirror bright
To bring the inbred sin to light
That lurks within our nature.
From sin our flesh could not abstain,
Sin held its sway unceasing;
The task was useless and in vain,
Our guilt was e’er increasing,
None can remove sin’s poisoned dart
Or purify our guileful heart—
So deep is our corruption.
Yet as the Law must be fulfilled
Or we must die despairing,
Christ came and has God’s anger stilled.
Our human nature sharing.
He has for us the Law obeyed
And thus the Father’s vengeance stayed
Which over us impended.
Since Christ has full atonement made
And brought to us salvation,
Each Christian therefore may be glad
And build on this foundation.
Your grace alone, dear Lord, I plead,
Your death is now my life indeed,
For You have paid my ransom.
Let me not doubt, but truly see
Your Word cannot be broken;
Your call rings out, “Come unto Me!”
No falsehood have You spoken.
Baptized into Your precious name,
My faith cannot be put to shame,
And I shall never perish.
The Law reveals the guilt of sin
And makes us conscience-stricken;
But then the Gospel enters in
The sinful soul to quicken.
Come to the cross, trust Christ, and live;
The Law no peace can ever give,
No comfort and no blessing.
Faith clings to Jesus’ cross alone
And rests in Him unchanging;
And by its fruits true faith is known,
With love and hope increasing.
For faith alone can justify;
Works serve our neighbor and supply
The proof that faith is living.
All blessing, honor, thanks, and praise
To Father, Son and Spirit,
The God who saved us by His grace;
All glory to His merit.
O triune God in heav’n above,
You have revealed You saving love;
Your blessèd name we hallow.