While there is a benefit in studying the sciences, studying all things in light of the Lord broadens our understanding of reality. It gives us a lens through which to view the world. Likewise, contemplating God forces us to look beyond the material world to the spiritual forces that are at work around us. Most of us fill our minds with insignificant details: the latest celebrity gossip, our favorite team’s stat sheet, or the plotline of the Netflix show we just binge watched last weekend.
Giving our attention to the contemplation of God can sound boring. In an age when our minds are constantly bombarded with information and our attention spans are growing shorter, slowing down to give deep, intentional thought to theology can seem incomprehensible, impractical even with all of the practical problems that we face each day.
On January 7, 1855, Charles Spurgeon stood behind the pulpit of New Park Street Chapel in London to deliver a sermon from Malachi 3:6. His topic from the passage would be God’s immutability, or his changelessness. With the pressing troubles that so many in attendance were facing—poverty, overwhelming sin, dying family members—why would Spurgeon focus on such an abstract concept?
Before diving into the text, the Prince of Preachers answered that very question. He told the congregation about the effect of contemplating the Divine. Spurgeon knew that the greatest aim of his ministry is to give his people a vision of God that would dwarf whatever issues they may be facing on a daily basis. His exhortation is one that we need to hear, as well. The Baptist preacher explains three effects of giving our minds to contemplating God’s character, nature, and essence.