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  • Shawn Thornton

The First Word Matters

Friday - August13th

Scripture to Read Today: Psalm 1:1-6

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.

Psalm 1:1-2


It seems like yesterday that each of our kids (now all young adults in their 20s) learned to talk and walk. Talking and walking are some of the earliest critical milestones of their development to independence one day. Our youngest, Megan, followed her older siblings (Jon and Katie) right through these growth stages. While her brother and sister clearly said either "mom" or "dad" (in one form or another) as their earliest words, Megan's first word stood out. Her first word was "dog." She loved dogs from an early age and still does today.


The first few words our kids say stand out to us as parents for the rest of our lives. When our son or daughter blurts out that first word, we tell everyone we know what that word was (whether they are interested or not). We share it with so much excitement that we act like our child is the only child ever to learn to speak. That first word matters, and it matters deeply to parents.


I recently read a book that emphasized the first word found in the Old Testament Book of Psalms. That word matters. The word is significant because it sets the tone of the whole book and is repeated often in it. The 150 psalms in this longest book of the Bible made up the hymnal for the people of Israel and the early church. It provided Psalms of praise, confession, adoration, and reflection. So, what is the first word of this incredible book of the Bible? "Blessed" is that first word!


The word "blessed" that appears as the first word in Psalms is an English translation of the Hebrew word that means "happy." The first line of the entire book reads: "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" (Psalm 1:1-2). This opening sentence suggests that a person will be happy if two things happen. One is negative. One is positive.


The negative thing that has to happen for someone to be blessed or happy is that they need to avoid any setting that distracts them from God and His ways. But, on the other hand, the positive aspect of being happy involves engaging with God's Word. The happy person meditates on God's Word to the point that they find their delight in it - not the things of this world. Both morning and night, the Scriptures saturate all that they are, think, and do.


The key to a life of faith, obedience, and devotion is letting God's Word saturate everything about who you are and how you live. The first word of worship is "blessed" or "happy." That one word should set the tone of your whole life as you walk with God. But, that happiness rests in seeing and living life from God's perspective as revealed in the Scriptures.


If you want to be happy, let God's Word saturate every aspect of your life.


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