Monday Encouragement

My Beloved Brothers and Sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ,

A good number of years ago now, I was attending a conference led by a noted Reformed theologian on the topic of spiritual disciplines. He suggested that as a part of a believer’s daily routine, one should read and meditate upon “a Psalm a day.” He explained that along with whatever other portions of Scripture one might read each day in their time of devotion, there should be included at least one chapter from Psalms.

Since that day I have endeavored to heed this excellent advice. Along the way the Lord has been so kind and faithful to bless His Word, and to show me more of the beauty, depth, and life-changing power of Israel’s inspired ‘worship book.’

This brings me to a modest challenge I’d like to set out before you as we begin another year together in the service of our Great King and Redeemer.

As you might already know, the 150 Psalms are divided into Five Books. This division was established centuries ago by the ancient Jews. Most modern translations of the Bible indicate the boundaries of the Five Books of the Psalms, either in the text itself or in the marginal notes.

Set forth together, they look like this:

Book One–Psalms 1-41

Book Two–Psalms 42-72

Book Three–Psalms 73-89

Book Four–Psalms 90-106

Book Five­–Psalms 107-150

If you have a Study Bible (such as the ESV Study Bible) you will find an explanation of this structure, and how and why it came to be.

My challenge for us is to walk together through small portions of these Five Books over the next twenty Mondays (from January 10-May 23). This will take us all the way up to our summer break.

Each month we will consider four chapters from the five sections. Some will be very recognizable as we go along. Others might be less familiar and understood.

I would propose that we follow the schedule below:


Ps.1, 1/10

Ps. 8, 1/17

Ps. 19, 1/24

Ps. 24, 1/31


Ps. 42, 2/7

Ps. 51, 2/14

Ps. 69, 2/21

Ps. 71, 2/28


Ps. 73, 3/7

Ps. 84, 3/14

Ps. 86, 3/21

Ps. 89, 3/28


Ps. 90, 4/4

Ps. 95, 4/11

Ps. 96, 4/18

Ps. 100, 4/25


Ps. 111, 5/2

Ps. 115, 5/9

Ps. 121, 5/16

Ps. 130, 5/23

To get things started, this means that from today until next Monday you will read and meditate upon Psalm 1. And then, on January 10 my Monday note of encouragement will be a reflection upon some aspect or emphasis found in that chapter. Then for the remainder of the plan we will follow this pattern.

As you can see, we will go deep and not so wide. Rather than ‘a Psalm a day,’ it will be ‘a Psalm per week.’ And even though we are deliberately taking a slower pace, I believe we will all gain a better understanding of this amazing book of worship. And, more than that, we will be renewed and encouraged in our faith as we encounter our Living Lord on these pages of Holy Scripture!

So, for all who would join me on this journey, your assignment for this week is Psalm 1. Read it, over and again. Meditate upon it. Memorize it. Study it. Pray over it. And then, next Monday I’ll share a few thoughts about Psalm 1 that I hope will lift your hearts, fill you with hope and joy, and encourage you in your walk with our beloved Savior.

I love you all so very much! You are my joy and delight! And I pray for each of you, always!

In His grace,