I hope this day finds you and your family well. I invite you to take a few moments with me to read and reflect upon today’s scripture selection — and to carry these thoughts with you into your day.
Today’s Scripture: Psalm 1
1 The truly happy person
doesn’t follow wicked advice,
doesn’t stand on the road of sinners,
and doesn’t sit with the disrespectful.
2 Instead of doing those things,
these persons love the Lord’s Instruction,
and they recite God’s Instruction day and night!
3 They are like a tree replanted by streams of water,
which bears fruit at just the right time
and whose leaves don’t fade.
Whatever they do succeeds.
4 That’s not true for the wicked!
They are like dust that the wind blows away.
5 And that’s why the wicked will have no standing in the court of justice—
neither will sinners
in the assembly of the righteous.
6 The Lord is intimately acquainted
with the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked is destroyed.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Today’s scripture reading is the same one we had only three weeks ago. In my writing on that day, I talked about how people can have deep roots like “trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither.” I also referred to Ephesians 3:17 about how we can be “rooted and grounded in love.” In that devotional, I invited you to think about what it means to be deeply rooted in God, the source of our life and strength.
Today I invite you to consider the two paths we can follow. On one path, we “follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers.”
Can you think about what that path looks like today? What are the cultural influences that lead people down that path? Rather than deep roots that draw from the best of who God created us to be, that path follows a shallowness of life that really leads to a dead end: “They are like chaff that the wind drives away.” When I think about this path, I think of a tumbleweed, which has a shallow root; it dries up, breaks loose, and is blown wherever the wind takes it.
Then, there is the other path.
It is the path of those whose “delight is in the law of the Lord.” We can think of that as striving to follow God’s will and way for their lives. This is the path of being rooted and grounded in love— rooted and grounded in God.
When the difficulties come, this path — and this deep root structure — provides a source of strength. And rather than being blown around by cultural whirlwinds, this path offers a steady groundedness in who Christ calls us to be and how Christ calls us to live.
Jesus taught what he called “the narrow way” (Matthew 7:13-14), and he summarized this path succinctly: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-30)
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and reflections I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster