Blessed in the Word – Week of February 8, 2021

Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

Psalm 1:1-3

You’ve seen it happen. One toddler starts loudly banging her spoon and pretty soon, there’s a whole chorus of spoon-banging going on. Kids love to imitate each other’s behavior!

Adults do this, too, sometimes without even realizing it. That’s why God is clear in our verses today about where he does and does not want his children to be on their walk toward heaven. First, God addresses where he does not want us to be. He says, “[do] not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers.” What does that really look like?

Think back to those toddlers at the beginning. None of those 14-month-olds went into the day with a spoon-banging plan, but when they were surrounded by others doing just that, it had an impact on their behavior, too. That can so easily happen to us as well. Maybe it’s that we continue to spend time with friends who encourage us to misuse alcohol, and it’s just too hard to say no. Maybe it’s that one show, that “guilty pleasure,” and before we know it, our thoughts and attitudes are beginning to reflect ideas that don’t align with God’s will. Maybe it’s those posts that we continue to click on that disrespect officials in our government (on either side of the aisle) and soon, our mouths are spouting that same rhetoric.

God has a better way for his children. Instead of immersing ourselves in the sinful surroundings of this world, he tells us to delight in his law, to be in his Word. God wants us to hear about our sin and how it separates us from him so that we don’t make light of it, and so we know that we could never possibly get to heaven on our own. He also wants us to hear again and again the gospel, which tells us Jesus lived for us perfectly and died for us willingly, giving his spotless life in exchange for ours. God wants us to hear how we can live each day in thankfulness for all he has done for us, and he wants us to hear his forgiveness when we fail. There are so many things with which we can fill our hearts and minds as we walk the road toward heaven. But our Savior longs for us to be in his Word. He promises that when we are, we will be blessed!

Jesus, you know just how often we surround ourselves with everything but your Word. Forgive us for so often having misplaced priorities and for even choosing sinful things over time with you. As we continue in this new year, give us hearts that want to study your Word regularly, knowing each time we do, you will bring blessings. In your name we pray, amen.

A Question to Consider: At the end of the psalm verses above, God compares the believer to a tree planted by streams of water. The tree is connected to a steady supply of exactly what it needs to grow. Think through your week. In addition to church, how can you connect to what your heart needs, time with Jesus in his Word?

Early Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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