Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
For our church:
Please pray that the members of our church, after delighting themselves in and meditating upon the law of the Lord, would see the promised and seasonable yield of fruit—the Spirit-filled life accompanied by works that are good, right and true.
Our teaching moment:
One of the disciples of Jesus approached him and said, “‘Lord, teach us to pray’ as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1) John the Baptist was known for his riverside calls to repentance, rugged appearance and rigorous spirituality. (Matthew 3:1-6) The disciples of John the Baptist were also known for adopting their teacher’s asceticism. Even the Pharisees and scribes recognized this and commented on it to Jesus, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers… but yours eat and drink.” (Luke 5:33-39; compare with Mark 2:18-22; Matthew 9:14-17) Jesus explained the “new wine” nature of his ministry. Jesus still reserves the right to dictate to his church the forms and frequency of their spiritual practices. Surrender today your prayer life to Jesus and let him have ownership over its form, frequency and fervor.
A prayer from the past:
Grant, Almighty God, since the doctrine of your gospel sounds daily in our ears when you invite us so kindly by your amazing clemency and stretch out your hand by your only begotten Son—
Grant, I pray, that we may be of a teachable and flexible disposition, and we may sincerely submit to you.
And since your law contains so many dreadful examples of your wrath, may we be moved by them, and may we walk with fear and trembling in obedience to your Word, that at length we may enjoy that inheritance you have promised for us in your heavenly kingdom, by the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
[John Calvin (1509-1564), cited in Benge, Lifting up Our Hearts, 13.]