John Owen on Meditation

The discipline of meditating on Scripture is a critical but commonly neglected means of grace. It is necessary for all Christians, especially for those who find themselves discouraged, frustrated, or fearful. I've been reading John Owen's Spiritual-Mindedness, and have found his words on the subject powerful and instructive.

There is no more certain gospel truth than this, that believers ought to continually meditate on Christ by faith, and as they think of him and grow to love him more, so they are transformed into his image (2 Cor. 3:18). And we ought not to neglect this duty because others have gone about theirs in ignorance, nor part with practical, fundamental principles of religion because superstition has abused them. But we can learn how dangerous it is not to have our thoughts guided and directed by Scripture. Without the light of Scripture, our best and most noble efforts to love Christ and be like him only result in stupidities of the highest order.

God has shown us in Scripture the need to think much of Christ and to submit to the guidance of his revealed word as we do. Therefore, to think of Christ as we should, we must pray that the Holy Spirit may abide with us to remind us of Christ, for this is what he came to do.


When a soul is discouraged and depressed it withdraws itself and hides from Christ. But Christ calls his poor discouraged disciple to himself. He does not despise a poor, weeping face and a broken voice that is no more than sighs and groans. Our thoughts of Christ are the only means by which we can respond to the gracious invitations of his love. By them we hear him knocking. By them we learn to know his voice. By them we open the door of our hearts that he may come in and dine with us and we with him (Rev. 3:20).

John Owen, Spiritual-Mindedness (pp. 75, 76 emphasis mine)

Let me encourage you specifically to get this abridged and updated edition put together by J.K Law. I have read quite a bit of Owen's 16 volume collected works, and this update was refreshing and easy to read.