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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 1

Happy are those
   who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
   or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
   and on his law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees
   planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
   and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.

The wicked are not so,
   but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
   nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
   but the way of the wicked will perish. (NRSV)

When I read this and I visualize a firm tree standing next to a stream of water, I cannot help but imagine myself there too, Bible in hand. As a Christian I can sometimes look for words of inspiration not necessarily in the Bible but in the sermons of others, such as Tim Keller or Rick Warren, or in the writings of authors such as C.S. Lewis.

As my faith has grown, I have found that I no longer crave those inspirations as much as I do the Word itself. I want to hear directly what my God is telling me. Meditating on God’s Word helps me stay firm against the strong breezes that can sometimes blow me away like a loose leaf.

To be a good friend requires effort: calling to catch up, visiting, making dinner plans. I often have to stop and think, what time do I give God? How do I carve out a “lunch date with God”? How do I intentionally make that relationship a priority as much as ones with the people in my life?

Starting with the Bible and prayer are the best ways to do that, to “meditate on his law day and night.”

Lord, forgive me for the times I do not meditate on your Word as much as I should, for the times I put the other people in my life ahead of you. You patiently wait for me to come to you, and you nudge at my heart. I pray that you help me put our relationship first when other distractions come my way. Amen. 

Written by Ashley Elskus, Director, Center for Life and Learning

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