Sit, Stand, Step

Psalm 1

Dr. Albert Mehrabian, a leading researcher in the field of body language, estimates that over half of our social communication is done through nonverbal cues.  Where we place our hands and feet, how or where we choose to stand or sit, the angle at which we hold our head, or even in the position of our eyebrows communicate our desires, our emotions, and our confidence (or lack thereof). Additionally, about one-third of how we send our message is with the tone and inflection in our voice, not the words themselves.  In fact, less than 10% of our social cueing has to do with our spoken word choices. The conclusion of the study is similar to the first verse of Psalm 1: where we choose to sit, where we choose to stand, and where we choose to step communicates our posture to our Heavenly Father and the world around us vastly more than words alone.

“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

There is a good chance that today holds a contrast to where your feet landed yesterday.  Most likely, this Monday represents a return to work, school, or some other social role you will have to step into, stand up in, or sit through. As you enter the threshold, who or what are you walking towards or away from? Where and what are you standing beside or standing in the way of? How and who do you find yourself sitting beside, dwelling with, and meditating upon? Take note not only of the words you say aloud, but the thoughts and signals you send with your body because God doesn’t want a tithe of lip service; He desires the whole of your soul as a living sacrifice.

There is a blessing for living close to the commandments of our Creator.  Those who put their roots down with God are the direct recipients of the Living Water He provides. When we walk in His ways, when we stand on His promises, when we sit and meditate on His statutes, it completely changes our body language. We don’t wither, but we become confident in the hope we have. We are not empty vessels filled with cliche Christianism, but we bear the fruit of the Spirit for others to see.  We can simply sit and delight in the joy of the Lord because we serve a God of promises and follow-through.  Our posture, our actions, and our words stem from the refreshing source from which we draw life more abundantly. Wherever we step, stand, or sit, let the Living Water flow and the Kingdom of God flourish.

– Aaron Winner

Reflection Questions

  1. Compare and contrast the person in Psalm 1:1-3 to the person in verses 4-5? How would you describe each and what makes them different?
  2. Who or what are you walking, standing, sitting amongst? What do you find delight in? What are you meditating on? Are there any changes that ought to be made in order to be where you want to be at the end – of 2023, or of this life?
  3. What do we learn about the LORD God in Psalm 1? Mark it in your margins, journal it, pray to the God of Psalm 1.

AND -in preparation for tomorrow, when we will begin a chapter by chapter New Testament reading – here’s a little…

Introduction to the Book of Matthew

Before we introduce the book of Matthew, let’s quickly contrast it with the book of Genesis and the whole Old Testament.

The book of Genesis begins the Old Testament (and the Bible).  The theme of the Old Testament can be summed up in Genesis 5:1, which says, “This is the book of the generations of Adam…”.  The rest of Genesis 5 has another recurring theme, “… and then he died”.   The Old Testament was the story of Adam, his sin (and the consequences of that sin), and his descendants.  It illustrates the truth that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a).  The Old Testament contains many of God’s promises – waiting for fulfillment.

The book of Matthew begins the New Testament.  Matthew starts with, “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham.”  This begins the story of Jesus, and reveals “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23b)  The New Testament describes the fulfillment of God’s promises made in the Old Testament.

Matthew was one of Jesus’ 12 apostles, whom Jesus called from being a tax collector (read hated outcast) to being in the inner circle of the Savior of the world.  Many years after Jesus’ ascension, Matthew wrote the book of Matthew to convince a Jewish audience that Jesus was (and is) the Messiah – God’s chosen and anointed deliverer for His people – who fulfilled so many of the prophecies in the Old Testament.

Even though the Bible doesn’t contain anything that Matthew himself said, the book of Matthew which he wrote reveals Jesus as the Messiah promised and sent by God.  May the book of Matthew speak to you and reveal God’s great gift, Jesus the Messiah, to you in a whole new way as we seek to grow in Christ together this year.

-Steve Mattison

Download and print the 2023 Reading Plan below. You can choose to follow along in 1,2 or 3 readings a day. If you read all three you will read through the whole Bible in 2023.

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