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Savoring Godís Word

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Savoring God’s Word
Cultivating the Soul-Transforming Practice of Scripture Meditation

God invites us not only to read the Bible, but to immerse ourselves in it.Then as we read, we find ourselves connecting with God so that we are changed into the kind of people we’ve always wanted to become. God does speak to us as we slow down and hear that still small voice.

Scripture meditation is an integral second step to reading the Bible. With a warm, personal style, Jan demystifies the spiritual discipline of meditation; dispels fears and misunderstandings and describes how to form a new, profound way of seeking God in her latest book, "Savoring God's Word."

See what happens when you deliberately set out to ponder and meditate on God’s words in Scripture. With Jan’s helpful exercises to help you ease into your new spiritual discipline, it’s more doable and practical than you think. Experience a new closeness to God by developing a new passion for the Word. Watch God use it to transform your soul.

    “With Savoring God’s Word ,Jan Johnson shows us how meditation works and how it can be a major resource for renewal of the mind and soul. This is a discipline for which there is no substitute, and anyone can learn to do it becoming, as promised, ‘like trees planted by rivers of water.’”
         - Dallas Willard, professor
            Author of Renovation of the Heart

    “Jan explains what it means to be quiet in God’s presence, dwell in His Word, and listen to what He has to say. This book can so transform your relationship with God that you may never be the same again!”
         - Kathleen Hart, chaplain to student wives
            Fuller Theological Seminary


    Q: I’m planning to lead a weekly study using, Savoring God’s Word, but cannot distribute the books until the first meeting. What could we do during that first meeting?

    A: If you’ve read much of the book yourself and done any of the exercises, use an exercise or two that grabs you. Or you might try one of the following:

    Ask each of them to tell their favorite passage of Scripture. As they do so, take notes: who, the passage, the image in the passage. Then I'd go back to the one or two passages that are easiest and help them picture those passages. Ask them to shut their eyes -- real elementary stuff if you've read the book.

    Have group members do what I suggest on p. 141. You say a phrase of Psalm 23 and then add "no matter what." What I don't say in the book is I did that with my mother who was dying of esophageal cancer. Although a long-time strong Christian, she was terrified by the suddenness of it all. So we would go through it phrase by phrase and add "no matter what" on the end. You might do it for them (their eyes closed) and then ask them, "In what situation do you most need one of these phrases?" Let them respond. Then explain that you'll do the exercise again. As you do, would they please close their eyes and imagine themselves in that situation again -- this time consciously praying that phrase. Then go through it again.

    In the earlier chapters of the book, I sneak the readers into an exercise before they know it. For example, on page 25 I talk about my hiking and praying 1 Cor. 13:4-8. You could read that from the book and then get out your Bible and ask them to close their eyes. Start out with, "God, you are so patient. Thank you for that." Pause for some silence. "God, you are so kind. We love that about you." Go through each quality up to "never fails" (v. 8). Then close the prayer. Then ask the group what quality about God do they love and appreciate most.

    As you lead a study on this book, don't just talk about this stuff. Do it -- you'll have a great time! Spend your time together enjoying Jesus.

Click here for the related Chinese version.

Cultivating The Soul-Transforming Practice Of Scripture Meditation

by Jan Johnson

Table of Contents

Introduction:  How to Use this Book

Guidelines for using this book for individual study, book study groups, Bible study groups, a personal retreat, a group retreat without an outside speaker, in personal mentoring or spiritual direction.


Why Meditate?
     A Path to Spiritual Transformation


Why People Don’t Meditate
     Common Reasons for Resistance


What Is Scripture Meditation?
     How Meditation Is Different from Bible Study


Inviting God to Speak to You
     Practical Guidelines for Meditation


Hearing God Well in Meditation
     Overcoming Obstacles to Hearing God’s Voice


Tasting the Words of Scripture
     The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina


The Sanctified Imagination
     Using Ignatian Meditation to Walk Inside Scripture


Other Meditative Approaches
     Enjoying Diverse Paths into Scripture and God’s Presence

APPENDIX A:  Guidelines for Group Meditation

APPENDIX B:  Meditation Exercises


Finding Intimacy With God

     Elijah Runs Away to God   1 Kings 19:3-13, 15-16


Healing Life’s Wounds

     The Satisfied Heart   Luke 12:22-34

     Jesus Heals the Caregiver Too   Mark 9:14-27


Having the Heart of Christ

     Loving Enemies   Matthew 5:43-48;  Luke 6:36


Building Relationships

     Jesus Serves the Disciples   John 13:1-7, 12-15


Making Progress in the Spiritual Life

     Choosing the Narrow Door   Luke 13:22-30

     Jacob Wrestling with an Angel   Genesis 32:9-12, 24-30

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