Pastor pens meditations from Sermon on the Mount

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 7, 2002

Features Editor

Any minister would be taking a chance to let his congregation know that he could reduce a sermon to one or two pages.

Dr. Edwin Walter, pastor of First Baptist Church of Troy, laughingly said, some members of his congregation have made mention of that fact.

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However, he thought reducing his sermons from the Sermon on the Mount to daily meditations was worth the risk.

"There have been numerous books written on the Sermon on the Mount and several of them are outstanding," Walter said. "It was not my desire to add to this collection. Instead, my purpose was to prepare a devotional book on these great words of Jesus."

Walter’s recently published book Living a Christ-Centered Life: Meditations from the Sermon on the Mount

is the first book he has written. However, he has written several pamphlets on subjects of special interest to his congregation.

"My desire in writing the book was to help believers in their daily Christian walk," he said. "There are Christians who believe the Sermon on the Mount is not relevant in today’s world. The Sermon on the Mount is too often overlooked as idealist teachings that are not for us. But, I believe Jesus’ words are meant for every generation of His followers. The Sermon on the Mount is meant for today and these scriptures have been prepared for devotional purposes and for a daily walk with God."

Walter said it is very important in the life of each Christian to have a daily walk with God.

"We should each set aside a time of the day for meditation," he said. "By meditation, I mean taking the word of God and making that scripture personal. By taking a verse and mulling over the word of God, one will be led to God."

Meditation leads to prayer and people pray for different reasons – for their church, community, nation and for themselves.

This prayer time – this quiet time – with God is important in the life of Christians, especially in this fast-paced world.

In quiet times, God’s word can be a great source of strength, comfort and influence in one’s life, Walter said.

"When one goes to God in prayer, it is good to first give praise to God, then thanksgiving," Walter said. "A time of confession, a time of intercession and a time to petition what one needs in life – doing those five things, means spending at least five minutes with God."

Guidance in prayer and guidance in meditation are often needed to open a dialogue with God.

"We can talk to God just like we talk to each other," Walter said. "He will listen. But, Christians sometimes think they can’t talk to God in that way. This book, Meditations from the Sermon on the Mount, helps to open a dialogue with God and helps one to get started on a walk with God. It is my hope that those who use this devotional book will be drawn closer to their Lord and be strengthened in their faith.

Meditations from the Sermon on the Mount is available at the office of First Baptist Church or by calling 566-3600.