One of the apostle Paul's exhortations to Timothy was that he meditate upon certain vital things. (See 1 Tim. 4:12-16.) This earnest appeal is just as much needed today as it was in Timothy's time. In these days of hurry and bustle there is altogether too little time devoted to real meditation. As workers in the cause of God, we should find time and opportunity for deep and serious thinking. These meditative periods should be fruitful in strengthening and developing our own characters, and in increasing our usefulness as workers.
Even our meditations should be controlled and directed along certain lines. Uncontrolled thinking leads to uncontrolled living and acting. "We must turn away from a thousand topics that invite attention. There are matters that consume time and arouse inquiry, but end in nothing. The highest interests demand the close attention and energy that are too often given to comparatively insignificant things."—"Testimonies," Vol. VIII, p. 316. This statement is just as true in the field of meditation and helpful thinking as in any other. We take this opportunity of suggesting to Ministry readers a number of specific themes or topics for meditative study and self-examination. Many others will suggest themselves.
How much time do I spend in contemplating the life of Jesus? Which incidents in His life make the greatest impression on me?
Am I truly a worker for Jesus Christ, and does He witness to the fact that I am called to be an ambassador for Him?
Do I cherish a great desire to have Jesus clearly revealed in my personal life, and in my teachings? Do I have conscious communion and fellowship with Him daily? Do my life and example lead others to Him? Is there any pretense in my life and service for Him, or am I thoroughly sincere?
Do I clearly understand the great truths of the atonement, and do I succeed in making these truths clear and plain to others?
Am I interested in attaining true spirituality? Do I love to converse about the things that are deeply spiritual, or am I more interested in commonplace talk?
Do I talk too much and say too little?
Am I as much interested in the salvation of my hearers as I am in the phrasing of my sermons? Do I attempt to substitute eloquence for the power of the Holy Spirit? Do I preach to please my hearers, or to bear a straight testimony for God?
Does my work bring in a spirit of peace and unity, or am I a troublemaker?
Am I more interested in receiving the praise of men than in receiving the approval of God? ti Are my preaching and ministry building up the church and preparing the members for the coming of Christ?
How often do I preach on the second and soon coming of Christ, and our need of being ready to meet our Saviour?
Am I doing any kind of personal work in my ministry, or do I depend entirely on my pulpit efforts?
Am I seriously endeavoring to improve my manner and methods of labor?
Do the young people have confidence in me, and in the sincerity of my life?
Do I conduct myself, especially in gatherings for young people, in a manner that holds their respect for me as a gospel worker? q Is my influence positive, or neutral, or negative, in upholding the standards of the church?
Do I by precept and example teach the sacredness of the Sabbath?
Do I set a right example to young and old in the matter of worldly amusements?
Am I loyal to all the teachings of the Word of God?
Do I give proper emphasis to the distinctive truths of this movement?
Am I truly a defender of the faith, or am I a subverter of the truth?
Am I more concerned about being popular than I am about really being a man of God?
Am I numbered among those who are expert in criticizing their brethren?
Am I listless and indifferent in this hour of supreme need of zeal?
Do I practice temperance in all things? Am I setting a right example to the church in the way I eat, drink, dress, and live?
Is my social and moral conduct above reproach?
Do I keep clear away from the border line of questionable things? Do I avoid even the appearance of evil?
Do I feel personal responsibility for resisting every encroachment of the world upon the church? Am I passive or positive in my opposition to every sinful practice that seeks to enter the church?
Am I personally concerned about praying for God to send the promised revival and reformation to His people? Do I feel the need for a great revival and reformation in my own heart and life?
Am I praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain?
Am I giving full proof of my call to the ministry?
Dear fellow workers, every one of these suggestions, with many others, deserves more than a casual reading and just a passing thought. Would it not be worthwhile for every worker to take these suggestions one by one and give them thorough consideration? Deep meditation on these things and a serious study of them would bring untold blessings to many. The workers in this cause today have a great and solemn responsibility resting upon them. We need to rise to new heights of spiritual power and efficiency if we are to accomplish the task laid upon us.
"Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear in all things." 1 Tim. 4:15, margin.