First Day of Lent, Ash Wednesday

Psalm 1
Orientation

As we enter the season of Lent, how fitting that we orient our thinking from the offset with the words of Psalm one, “The Blessed Man”.

The blessed man does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers (vs. 1).  Take note of the three postures: walk, stand, and sit.  Our physical orientation must never be directed toward evil.  Instead, we are instructed to “delight in the law of the LORD, and meditate on IT day and night!” (vs. 2).

A similar refrain is heard in Psalm 37:4:  “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Is your orientation at the beginning of this Lenten season directed toward the LORD?  Are you determined to discipline yourself over the next 40 days to delight yourself in Him?

When we truly dedicate ourselves in Christ, the distractions of life—the temptation to sin, the busyness of everyday living, the hindrances to spiritual growth—become secondary and eventually dissipate.  It is then that JESUS takes center stage!  All the things that stunt us from being fruitful and effective in our daily Christian living simply vanish!  We become content in simply knowing that in Christ is our salvation. He is all in all-our sufficiency!

The blessing of this reality is evidenced in our being like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding fruit in season and prospering in whatever we do (vs. 3).

This stands in direct contrast to the wicked, who, “are like chaff that the wind blows away” (vs. 4) and will not experience the blessings known to the righteous (vs. 5) and who will eventually perish (vs. 6b).

Psalm one concludes with the promise that as we orient ourselves to the LORD He watches over us (vs. 6a).  What a precious thought!

He leadeth me, O blessed thought!
O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful foll’wer I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.

May this be the reality evidenced in each of us as we look to Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our salvation and faith.

Mark Mast
Rainy River, ON