08-01-06 Deeply Rooted
- Life Journals – how to use them.
- I cannot think of anyone who does not want to be happy. As we begin a new year I want to consider what God says will make you happy.
- Windstorms always reveal what is not apparent to the eye. Trees blown down in recent wind storm showed that some, though looking solid on the outside were, in fact, rotted on the inside.
What I want to say: When all around you is falling and shaking, you need to know that life in Jesus is wonderful and secure. This Psalm contrasts two kinds of people, two ways of living and two ends of life.
I. Blessing comes from right choices (:1-3)
A. The blessed one seeks godly wisdom
1. Happiness is a choice (:1-3)
a) Everyone wants to be happy but many who desire to be happy make choices that actually prevent the very thing they want.
b) There is blessing that comes from what you do and blessing that comes from what you do not do.
2. Do not walk in the counsel of the wicked
3. Does not seek advice from those who are still prisoners of sin
4. “Walk” – is the normal process of each day
a) In Scripture, when it speaks of your “walk” it is speaking of the habits of your day.
Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. Romans 13:13 ESV
5. Notice that this is one man among many wicked
a) Lot was such a man. When given the choice as to where he would live, he chose Sodom (Genesis 13:12)
b) Peter wrote about the trouble in Lot’s soul from the company he kept:
(for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 2 Peter 2:8 ESV
c) If you are going to walk in God’s way you cannot also walk in the counsel of the wicked
6. The counsel of the wicked is advice that seems ever so logical and reasonable
a) But it leads to death
There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death. Proverbs 14:12 ESV
b) The counsel of our day says that pornography is just a normal men’s habit. We see billboards advertising strip clubs as “Gentlemen’s Club” – true gentlemen would not be found in such a place that destroys the souls of women and men alike.
c) The counsel of our day says that gambling is just an innocent pass-time but we are kept from seeing the devastation of whole families as children are neglected and men forfeit their homes and pensions.
7. Where are you seeking counsel?
B. The blessed one does not hang out with the enemies of God
1. “Stand in the way of sinners”
2. Notice that there is a slowing of progress here: he that walks in the counsel of the wicked will soon stop walking and stand in the way of sinners.
3. The “way of sinners” is the habitual lifestyle that comes from a worldview that does not take God into account.
4. Paul describes it:
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. Ephesians 2:1-3 ESV
5. Who are your friends? Who influences your thinking most? Which way do you stand in?
C. The blessed one resists stagnation
1. “sit in the seat of scoffers” What is a “scoffer”?
scoff stresses insolence, disrespect, or incredulity as motivating the derision
“Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride. Proverbs 21:24 ESV
2. A scoffer does not respect legitimate authority and will oppose it either openly or covertly.
3. Now, from listening to worldly counsel, from adopting the way of sinners, all forward spiritual progress has stopped. He is sitting. But his sitting is not quiet. It is actively opposing that which is godly.
4. Scoffers are not to be tolerated but removed from places of honor before they corrupt others.
Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,
and quarreling and abuse will cease. Proverbs 22:10 ESV
5. Where you find scoffers you find disrespect and quarreling.
6. If you are hanging out with those who scoff at God you are among those who mocked Jesus
a) Those at the cross of Jesus who mocked Him were scoffers. (Matthew 27:29, 41)
7. Do you find yourself in any of these places? Is your spiritual progress slowing or stopped? Make right choices! Do not assume that choices are neutral.
D. The blessed one delights in God’s word (:2)
1. Christians strive to do that which is right in God’s eyes – it makes you happy
a) How do you discover what is right in God’s eyes? – reading the Word (Psalm 119)
I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word. Psalm 119:16 ESV
Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in it. Psalm 119:35 ESV
2. The word of God is so precious to him that he meditates on it continually
a) “meditates” means that the Word of God so saturates your thinking that you process life through it.
3. Can you honestly say that God’s word is your delight? What is the evidence of that?
4. Do you look forward to time in God’s word?
E. The result of such a habit of life is stability and fruitfulness (:3)
1. A tree by rivers of water has no needs in drought
2. It is beautiful to behold
3. A tree that is fed by God is always fruitful
4. A life yielded to God finds blessing
a) Cp. Joseph – even as a slave he was put in charge of others.
5. A question that is often asked to help people think of possibilities is this: If you knew you could not fail, what would you attempt to do?
II. Those who reject God find life to be pointless (:4-5)
A. God haters are lightweights in this life
1. They blow away like chaff
When comparing believers with those who consider themselves atheists or agnostics, the Barna Group found believers to be more positive, generous, and socially active, as reflected in these behaviors:
Being active in their communities:
Active-faith: 68 percent
No-faith: 41 percent
Yearly donations to charitable causes:
Focus on living a comfortable, balanced life:
Active-faith: 4 percent
No-faith: 12 percent
Focus on accumulating wealth:
Active-faith: 2 percent
No-faith: 10 percent
Feeling of being at peace
Active-faith: 90 percent
No-faith: 67 percent
"Study Sizes Up Gaps Between Christians, Atheists, and Agnostics," www.Christianpost.com (6-12-07); submitted by Van Morris, Mount Washington, Kentucky
B. Those who oppose God will be opposed by Him
1. They will not be victorious in judgment –
2. Ultimately the wicked person will not be counted among God’s people – no matter how many “good things” they present as evidence.
But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Revelation 21:27 ESV
III. Two ways are before each of us (:6)
A. The way of the righteous is guarded by God
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore. Psalm 121:1-8 ESV
1. Does it comfort you to know that God is watching over your way?
B. The way of the wicked passes away (:6)
1. The wicked have no such promise from God. In fact, He opposes them.
2. This life is as short as a blink of an eye when compared with eternity.
3. The wicked person puts all his hopes on this life – all elbows and pushing – only to find out that all he fought for is temporary and passes away leaving no trace.
4. Someone has said that if you are climbing the ladder of success, make sure it is leaning against the right wall.
- At the end of 2008, will you know more happiness than you do today? God wants that to be so.
- The stars shine over the mountains,
the stars shine over the sea,
The stars look up to the mighty God,
the stars look down on me;
The stars shall last for a million years,
a million years and a day,
But God and I will live and love,
when the stars have passed away.
Robert Louis Stevenson, quoted in My Heart Sings (ed. Joan Winmill Brown). Christianity Today, Vol. 34, no. 8.