As you begin, read Psalm 1:3.
In ancient Israel, where water was scarce, people knew the difference between a stream that only appeared after the heavy rains, a river that constantly flowed, and a canal that had been carved out of a river to provide a reliable supply of running water.
Knowing these distinctions helps you understand Psalm 1. In this psalm, God makes a promise. Those who meditate on his Word will be like trees planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in due season. The word for streams refers to canals carved out of rivers.
The psalmist chooses his words carefully. He wants you to know something about God’s care and attention. Your life is not a random occurrence, something that just happened. You are not just any tree in any place. You are part of the building project of God. Carefully planted. Connected to a constant supply of water: his Word.
Some days, God’s Word may feel like a random riverbed—you read the Bible and nothing noticeable happens. But who can perceive a tree gaining strength to bear fruit? God’s Word gives deeper, often imperceptible nourishment to sustain your soul. You will bear fruit in season. That’s his promise.
When Christ was crucified, he died alone and abandoned. For three years, he had worked with his disciples. He taught them, served them, prayed for them. Yet no one stayed. There was nothing to show for his labor. A cynic would conclude that God’s Word did not work.
Yet this was Christ’s greatest work: dying and rising for the forgiveness of sins. From him, forgiveness flows in a never-ending stream, producing fruits of new life. Disciples remember his words. Serve the poor. Preach. Gather for prayer. Forgiveness flows to all nations. To you. Today.
In this world, it’s easy to feel forgotten, undervalued, and underpaid. Though it may be overlooked by the world, your life is overseen by God. He has planted you by streams of living water, and you will flourish in him.
Prayer starter: Jesus, nourish my life by your Spirit that in you I bear fruit . . .
Editor’s note: This devotion is taken from CTA’s new book for Father’s Day and men’s ministry, Built to Serve. Father’s Day 2014 is now in the rear-view mirror, but men’s ministry is not over! If you’re looking for ways to encourage the men in your church to continue to grow and serve in grace, take a look at all the value-priced items in this product line. It comes with many free, downloadable resources, too.