The Picture-It Method of Bible Meditation
By Rick Warren
— February 3, 2012
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us ...” (John 1:14a NIV)
A few days ago I shared a method of Bible meditation that requires very few tools, the pronounce-it method of Bible meditation. You can do it with just a pencil or pen and a Bible.
Today’s method is equally simple. You only need a Bible, pencil, and some creativity.
The picture-it method of Bible meditation is useful because the Bible is full of stories. In this method, you put yourself into the scene of a biblical story as if you’re an active participant. Then you ask yourself, “How would I feel if I were involved in this situation? What would I say? What would I do?”
When you do this, God’s Word becomes “flesh” in your life, and it’ll change your life.
Let’s try one example: the story in Mark 2 about the four guys who help their paralyzed friend get to Jesus. The man can’t get to Jesus on his own. The four friends put the man on a mat, each of them take a corner, and they carry the man to Jesus. When the men get to the house where Jesus is, it’s too crowded. They can’t get in, but they’re pretty resourceful.
They climb up on the roof of the house, tear the tiles off, and lower their paralyzed friend down through the roof. Then, Jesus heals their friend.
This is a passage you could easily picture in your time of Scripture meditation. Picture yourself as the man on the mat. Imagine yourself looking up at the crowded room after your friends have led you down through the roof. Dust is still coming down. Imagine yourself looking at the four faces of the friends who’ve been helping you. What expressions do you see on their faces? Ponder that a bit.
Then imagine looking into Jesus' eyes as you've just interrupted him. But instead of him being angry, he's looking lovingly at you. He already knew you were going to show up because he's God. What are you thinking as he looks at you? What's the crowd thinking? What are you thinking as Jesus says, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home” (Mark 2:11).
Now apply the Scripture to your life. That’s the whole point of picturing the passage. Are you paralyzed by something — like fear, doubt, or stress — and you can’t get to Jesus on your own? You’ve put yourself in the shoes of the paralyzed man in the story. Maybe you need to realize that Jesus wants to heal you, too. He wants you to get up and walk again. Maybe you, too, need to ask some friends to carry you to Jesus.
That’s a truth you can apply today — all because you stepped into the words of Scripture and let it become “flesh” in your life. You can do this with any character in the story or any story in the Bible.
It’ll change how you read your Bible.
Talk About It
- Do you see Scripture as “stories” or just “text”?
- Consider your favorite childhood Bible stories. Were they more real to you because your imagination created memorable images of the story? How do you apply the truth of those stories to your life today?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.