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THE PURSUIT OF HOLINESS

THE PURSUIT OF HOLINESS  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction
Psalm 1:1 ESV
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;
NOT TWO WAYS
Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the man…” The word “blessed” is a plural word. The phrase is literally, “Oh the blessings,” or you could say, “the happiness”.
I suggest to you that the only way you will ever know what true happiness is, and experience real blessings, is to seek to become a “Psalm 1” man. As we examine this passage of Scripture, we find a picture of the kind of men we should be, and by God’s grace, the kind of men we can be. I want to ask three questions with regard to this Psalm 1 man. Notice them with me. First of all, consider:

I. THE PURSUIT IS IN WHAT THIS I RENOUNCE

The description of the Psalm 1 man begins with a negative statement. The Bible tells us what he does not do. Verse 1 says that the blessed, happy man, “…walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”
Dallas Willard says of this verse, “He is first characterized in terms of what he does not do, which is perhaps the most immediately obvious thing about him.”
The first thing we see about a Psalm 1 man is the things he excludes from his life. Notice what these things are. First of all, he lives his life without:
A. The WISDOM of wicked
Verse 1 says that a blessed man, a Psalm 1 man, will not walk through life following the counsel of the ungodly - those who do not know and serve God. A Psalm 1 man does not take his cues from the culture. His path is not determined by what is popular in the world.
ITS MAXIMS
IT’S THINKING
Notice also that he excludes from his life:
B. The ACTIVITY of sinners
The Psalm 1 man excludes from his life the advice of society, the activity of sinners, and also:
C. The ATTITUDE of scoffers
about life
about God
about morality
2 Timothy 3:2 ESV
For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
Notice the second question we should ask about this blessed man’s life. Consider not only what is excluded from this man’s life, but notice also:

II. THE PURSUIT IS IN WHAT EXCITES ME?

Psalm 1:2 ESV
but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Notice some things about His excitement over the Word of God. First of all, look at:
A. His PASSION for the Word
Verse 2 says that this man’s “delight” is in the Word of His God. That word “delight” is translated a number of ways in the Bible. It is translated as “desire”. The Psalm 1 man has a hunger and a desire for the Word of God. The word is also translated as “pleasure”. Think of that! This man actually derives pleasure from reading and studying the Bible.
The man described here is passionate about the Book! He gets excited thinking about and talking about His Bible! I wonder; what are you truly passionate about? What gets you excited? When is the last time you and your buddies talked about Philippians instead of football?
Notice not only this man’s passion for the word, but notice also further:
B. His PARTICIPATION with the Word
Verse 2 says not only that this man delights in the Word of God, but also that on that Word, “…he meditates…” The word “meditate” there literally means “to mutter”, or to repeat something to yourself. The idea is that this man keeps talking over and thinking over the Word of God.
You can’t read your Bible like you read the sports page. You may forget the line on the Braves game, but you can’t afford to forget what God says. Meditation involves the mind, and your practice ought to be keep the Word of God in the forefront of your mind as much as possible.
Note not only his passion for the Word, and his practice with the Word, but note also:
C. His PERSISTENCE in the Word
READ IT
STUDY IT
MEMORIZE IT
Note one more question about this blessed man. Consider not only what is excluded from this man’s life, and what is exciting to this man’s life, but think with me lastly about:

III. THE PURSUIT PRODUCES WHAT IS EXCEPTIONAL ABOUT MY LIFE?

Notice first of all, there is something exceptional about:
A. Its is STABLE
The Psalm says in verse 3, “And he shall be like a tree planted…” Notice that he is planted. Not flopped or dropped, not slipping or sliding, but planted. His life is not marked by flakiness or flightiness. He is not trying to find his place or his way in life. He has been planted. His life has stability because God has placed him where he is, and he is securely planted in the will of God.
Most people live more like logs carried by the river of life, rather than trees planted beside it. The current of life rolls them, turns them, tosses them, and shifts them. They never seem to get still and settled. They are never able to take root, and plant themselves into something steady.
This man in Psalm 1, however, is exceptional because of his stability. Notice also, what makes him unique is:
B. It is FULL
Again, verse 3 says, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water…” He is not just planted, but he is planted in a place where he will never go without the things he needs. Spurgeon points out that he is planted, not just by a river, but by multiple “rivers of water”. That means that if one river fails, he will always have another. He goes on to say, “The rivers of pardon and the rivers of grace, the rivers of promise and the rivers of communion with Christ, are never failing sources of supply.”[v]
What makes the Psalm 1 man such an exceptional is that his life is never empty. He is never dissatisfied. He has a constant supply. The Lord is his Shepherd; he shall not want.
What makes this man so exceptional? It is not only his stability, and his supply, but notice also:
C. It is SUCCESSFUL
Notice verse 3 again. “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Contrary to what some of the religious vultures on TV are teaching, the success of a godly man is not defined by a Rolex and Rolls Royce. The Psalm 1 man succeeds in the things he pursues – the things of God. His success is spiritual success. He will have spiritual fertility. That is, the fruit of the Spirit will grow in his life. He will have spiritual vitality. His “leaf” will not wither in the cold. He will have a healthy Christian life.
He will have spiritual prosperity. His walk with the Lord will not be marked by failures, losses, and setbacks.
Stephen Pile is the founder of a dubious group in England known as the “Not Terribly Good Club”. In 1979, Pile wrote a book on behalf of the club called, “The Book of Heroic Failures.” Unfortunately, too many Christians in our day could belong to the “Not Terribly Good Club”. There lives are average or below, and they never live up to all God has for them.
There is nothing average or common about the man in Psalm His life is an exceptional example of what a godly life can be.
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