Faithlife Sermons

The Blessed Life

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Well Happy New Year everyone! I am sure that you all enjoyed celebrating New Years in your own special way. Whether you went to a friend’s house or a family member’s. Maybe you decided to sleep into the new year. It’s always funny to me that every one does something different though. Maybe you do new year resolutions and the same one is there every year that you want to lose weight. You want to eat healthier. You want to start your beach body look.
Or instead of new year resolutions you decide to do rules of life. I commit to work out 3 times a week. I commit to read the whole Bible this year. I commit to loving those around me better. We do all of these things and some we can keep but most we struggle and do not keep them.
If you have your Bibles, and I hope you do let me invite you to turn with me to want to look at what the Bible says about the blessed life. Something that I would say we all want in our life. We all want a blessed life. And today I want to show from God’s Word what God has to say about it.
Psalm 1:1–6 ESV
1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
So the psalms. A collection of different songs and writings which are some of the most unique Scriptures. I love the illustration of how these letters are inspired by God. Words that God has for us to pray back to him. To sing back to him. To talk back to him.
Its that husband that tells his wife, Hey honey I wrote you letters and I think they will be good for you. In fact, its so good I want you to read them back to me. I want you to sing them back to me.
You’re looking at me and thinking, you’re crazy. My wife would never do that. And you’re probably right but these Psalms is what we should exactly be doing with them.
You hear that the Bible talks about having the blessed life. And if there is a blessed life, there is a not blessed life. This Psalm contrasts the two so the question is
How does the Bible say to have a blessed life?

The Blessed Man lives a clean life

Psalm 1:1 ESV
1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
Blessed or happy. He lives a clean life. The writer gives three different things about what the blessed man is not.
There is a progression in the verbs. The blessed man does not walk, he does not stand, and does not sit. Sin can be that same perspective. I will try it.
Who walks not in the counsel of the wicked.
It is like those with an addiction. At first they just try it. But then they get hooked. And once they are hooked it is easier for them to get unhooked.
I will try this and you start to fall deeper and deeper into sin.
The first one that is mentioned walks in the counsel of the wicked. He is influenced by sinners. He is the guy where his primary inner circle of people are people of this world. People who influence him to do things against God’s Word. People who do not care or think about what God cares and thinks about. People who are of this world. We do not want our counsel to be from those who are worldly. We want our counsel to be from men and women of God.
Spurgeon says, “The godly man, however, does not consider first how the world regards a thing but how God looks at it.”
Make this year the year you don’t look to the world first but to God first. What God has to say about the matter.
First he is influenced by sinners, second he identified with them.
nor stands in the way of sinners
This man is identified with sinners. These people are ungodly. They are worldly and they are ungodly. These people have no room for God in their life. They are all about themselves and about no one else. They live for themselves. They do not think about others, and if they do its for their glory. They identify with sinners.
nor sits in the seat of scoffers
You will laugh about your sin. Scoffers will make you laugh and turn away from God. They will make you feel stupid for trying to follow God.
But here verse one is the blessed man who does do these things. He does not identify with sin. Yes we are all sinners before a righteous and holy God, but we who are believers do not identify with sin but with Christ.
But if we are honest, we all have done these things. We have chosen sin’s way rather than God’s way. Only one man in all of history has lived up to and that is Jesus Christ.
points to Jesus Christ. Jews reading this passage would understand that David and every other king of Israel did not live up to this text. Only one man did and that was Jesus.
So verse one is a passage we will never achieve in this life. We can rest knowing Jesus did do this perfectly, but we also must strive to not identify with the wicked. To not stand with sinners. To not follow the counsel of the world but to get our counsel from God.
The Blessed Man lives a clean life

The Blessed Man Loves God’s Word

Psalm 1:2 ESV
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
We love God’s Word! We delight in God’s Word. We pointed to how verse one speaks of Christ. And even in this verse we know that to be true. When Jesus was tempted in , he must have recently done a Bible Study in Deuteronomy because every time Satan tempted him, he quoted Scripture to fight temptation. We know that Jesus had gathered in the synagogue to hear teaching of the Law. He went to hear instruction.
The Blessed Man is someone who is a believer. He lives a clean life that does not identify with sin. Another sign is his hunger for God’s Word. Psalms is a great book to read about hungering for God’s Word.
Psalm 119:97 ESV
97 Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.
Psalm 119:103 ESV
103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:
Psalm 119:127 ESV
127 Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold.
Psalm 119:11 ESV
11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:
All of these Psalms speaking to how great God’s Word is.
All of these Psalms speaking to how great God’s Word is.
For us, it should be a delight to study in God’s Word. To mediate on it day and night meaning that we mediate on it day and night.
We memorize God’s Word to help us meditate on it. We hide God’s Word in our heart so we can meditate on it.
To mediate on God’s Word we must also be properly understanding it. We must be doing our proper Bible interpretation and trying to understand the passage the way it was intending it to be.
Charles Spurgeon says, “The ‘happy’ person spends his time meditation on God’s Word. Reading reaps the wheat; mediation threshes it, grinds it, and makes it into bread. Reading is like the ox feeding; meditation is digesting when chewing the cud. It is not only reading that does us good but the soul inwardly feeding on it and digesting it.
We need to meditate. It is not good enough to just read the Bible. We must delight in it, and we must meditate on it.
As Men wanting to preach God’s Word, we should understand this better than most, but how guilty we can be to not interpret something property which then can affect the way we view God. We have to understand this for our sake, but also for our families, and also for the Lord’s sheep we may lead one day.
The Blessed Man Loves God’s Word

The Blessed Man Has Success

Psalm 1:3 ESV
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
There are five particular blessings pictured here in this text.
First, this tree is not growing; it is planting. Trees grow randomly in the forest, but a landscaper plans where he will plant his trees. God chooses where to place us where me may grow and bring beauty in this world.
Second, streams of water. Not one stream of water, but multiple. This tree is planted where it can flourish.
Third, It yields fruit in its season. This goes with reading and meditating on God’s Word. As you do this, you will yield fruit in every season of life. This new year you want to grow and to yield fruit. Well if you get anything from today, read and meditate on God’s Word. If you do anything everyday that is important it is this. Read and meditate on it. Fall in love with it. Cherish it greater than gold.
Fourth, Its leaf does not wither. Let me try to illustrate with this one. We all have role models in our life. There are people we look up to mentors or someone we think have it all together.
I have told you the story of Jamie Fisher who was a man in high school I looked up to. When he got colon cancer it was devastating. And that last year of his life was hard, but he glorified God. I saw him continue to lead his family in the Word. He continued to be faithful to God, and during that last season of his life, he leaf did not wither. His roots in the Word and in his relationship with the Lord ran deep.
Finally, “In all that he does, he prospers.” We want to prosper. This new year, we want to do things that matter. We want to prosper in this life. Prosperity teachers read this and see money. Material possessions. The verb “prospers” is to accomplish the work you set to do.” Jesus prospered because he accomplished his work of dying on the cross. He succeeded through suffering and death.
You want to prosper in this life, and you may see that as material possession, but I want to say from God’s Word is that he wants you to prosper but it will be through suffering and humiliation. We will suffer as children of God, but the reward is that our suffering is not pointless. The work God gives us he plants us in a place and we will prosper as we turn from sin, delight, and mediate on God’s Word.

The Wicked Will Perish

Psalm 1:4–5 ESV
4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
chaff defined is something comparatively worthless. The wicked in God’s eyes are something worthless. And the wind drives this worthless thing away. There will be a day when the Lord will defeat evil. It will be no more, and the wicked will be locked away in hell from eternity. They will be in eternal suffering state and it will not end.
Nothing could be farther from the blessed man. Instead of a firm tree, it is a empty hollow shell. The wicked does not produce fruit. His leaf does wither. He does not delight in God’s Word.
So there are two different persons before us. One who is blessed firmly rooted in God’s Word, and one who is not and is worthless blown away by the wind.
Which one are you?
Are you rooted in God’s Word? Or do you not find yourself delighting, reading, and meditating in God’s Word?
Psalm 1:6 ESV
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
The reason the righteous flourish is because God is watching over them.
The Lord knows the way of the righteous…Does God know your way? Does God know you ? Does he know me? Are you living a life of intimate relationship with God?
Is my walk with God pleasing him?
Is God over my life? Do i know Jesus Christ to be my personal Lord and Savior and is he Lord over my life? our relationship with God is one where knowledge of a living intimate relationship with him.
Because the next part “but the way of the wicked will perish”, God is not Lord of their lives. They are their own lord going their own direction and they will perish.
We heard of the tragedy of Joplin where the Tornado came through and one minute a neighborhood full of houses are standing, and the next minute they are gone. The wicked have a place in this world, but there will be a day where they are gone. They will perish and be in an eternal state of hell.

Conclusion

So how does the Bible say we have a blessed life?
The Blessed Man Lives a Clean Life
The Blessed Man Loves God’s Word
The Blessed Man Has Success
The Wicked Will Perish
There is hope today. There is hope for this new year that you can be the blessed man. You can make this year the year where you are devoted to God. To turn your life around and live a life that pleases God.
We saw a picture today contrasted of two people. One who is blessed, and one who is not. We saw how the blessed man loves God’s Word. I want to tell you that to start this new year off right, you must fall in love with God’s Word.
You have to be in God’s Word. Start a reading plan. If you are struggling with where to begin, there are a thousand different plans. There are so many that you can choose from. I would suggest you start a proverb a day. At the end of the month start over. And when you finish it again start over. And when you finish that month start it over.
Maybe you want to read the whole Bible this year, but you have struggled with getting out of Leviticus. Well find a plan that has you all over the place. Maybe you are in different spots every day in the Old and New Testament. Spice it up.
But the important thing is that whatever plan you do is that you do not just read it. You have to mediate on it. Meditate on God’s Word all day. It will be refreshing and the best thing for your soul. As you struggle with different trials and temptations in your life to have Scripture you can mediate on it.
This Psalm contrasted the two persons. The blessed and the unblessed. And it comes to this

The righteous who live an untarnished and prosperous life in harmony with Scripture will be saved from the judgment of God on the ungodly.

You may sit there and think you have not made Christ Lord over your life. And I tell you today that there is no greater thing in this life and to start this new year that you can do then to become a follower of Christ. Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and you will be saved.
And for believers in the room, you will live a life in this world where there is a tension between pleasing the world and pleasing God. And I tell you to start this new year off right pleasing God in all you do, find your direction and confidence in his word.
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