Greetings all, here is your e-votional for the week…
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.
”-Psalm 1

Each year Tasha and I go to an annual clergy retreat in Texas.  We meet with a group of four other pastors and we spend time reflecting on our ministry and renewing our faith.  It is an important week.  The lodge where we meet is nestled deep in the hill country, on a cliff overlooking the Frio River.  The vegetation in this part of Texas is plentiful but unremarkable EXCEPT for the trees across from the lodge.  Those trees tower upwards, growing over fifty feet.   Why?  Because they drink the plentiful waters of the Frio.

Every time I look at those trees, and I have a picture of them in my office, I think of this Psalm.  I think of the difference between feeding my faith with the abundant waters of God’s Word or trying to sustain it off the irregular rainfall of intermittent spiritual exercises.  The Psalmist knew the difference for sure.  A faith rooted in the generous abundance of God’s Word changes a person’s life.  Do it for long enough, and we stick out in our culture in the same way those trees do in Texas.

As the new year dawns lets pause for a moment and consider this image.  This psalm is one of my favorites, and Tasha used it last night for the devotional at session.  Your faith needs attention. It needs to be watered through worship, service, love, selflessness, prayer and Scripture.  Nurturing it in this way will not only change your life but influence the lives of all those around you.  Happy are those who meditate on God’s law day and night.  They are like trees planted by streams of water!

Prayer:  Holy God, we pray that you would help us to focus our lives on you.  Help us to grow in our faith, to seek your presence, and to follow you with our whole hearts.  We thank you for all you have done for us and we pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.