The Profile of a Blessed Man
The Profile of a Blessed Man
As an accomplished story reader of childrens literature, I have noticed two things about every good story:
1. They all live happily ever after.
2. They don’t live anywhere around here – far, far, away…
If it begins with “Once upon a time” and ends with “happily ever after” you know already that it is a fantasy. To many people, real happiness is a fantasy; it never becomes a reality even though they spend their life looking for it. Our nation was founded with that in mind, The Declaration of Independence states that we “are all equal and have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Our culture tries to convince us that if we have money, power, possessions, or prestige we will be happy. Happiness is not based on what you earn, what you own, or who you are. I’m feeling better already!
Hollywood and every company with an ad budget does their best to create an image of happiness. But Marlboro men still die of lung cancer, and when Bud drinkers get drunk, they crash into your buddies and mine.
I mention this with anger at the father of lies who has painted and portrayed such false hopes, but we have compassion on those who don’t know any other way. The American dream may be just a fantasy, but the Bible is reality!
Psalm 1 shows the true picture of a blessed, or happy person. It is a joyful proclamation and promise of what can be.
Verse 1 – what he doesn’t do.
Sometimes the Bible explains what something is not so we can correctly understand what it is.
How do you explain what a mini-van is to someone who has only driven a horse & buggy and a Volkswagen bug? You don’t have to worry about stepping in the exhaust. The trunk is not under the hood, etc.
Verse 2 – what he does
Verse 3 – results of his action
I. Doesn’t follow the crowd
a. He doesn’t listen to what the crowd says -…walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly. Happy is the man who doesn’t follow the advice of the wicked.
i. If you’re unhappy in marriage, get a divorce
ii. When facing temptation, do what you want, just don’t get caught.
iii. If it feels good, do it.
Get away from anything or anybody that pulls you away from God!
Who is affecting who? What happens when we play catch with a muddy ball? Does the ball get clean? No, the gloves get dirty.
b. He doesn’t go where the crowd goes - …or stand around with sinners. It is easier to do what everybody else is doing, but the truly blessed person will take the right path, not just the easiest.
c. He doesn’t do what the crowd does - … sit with the scornful.
d. Notice the movement – a downward spiral that goes from listening to identifying. Lot first pitched his tent toward Sodom; soon he was in Sodom.
*If you act like a duck, quack like a duck, and walk like a duck, you’re a duck.
Don’t ever think that it is as easy as making a decision. You need the discernment and help of God to keep from doing what you shouldn’t. Take a look at false advertising in our society.
Bait and switch advertising is the offering of certain products or services at bargain prices with no intention of selling them as advertised. The real purpose of the bait and switch scheme is to lure consumers into a business establishment with attractive offers and then sell them other more expensive products.
False Price Comparison -Legitimate advertisers often compare a sale price to a "regular" price. Unscrupulous advertisers use falsely inflated "regular" prices in order to deceive consumers into thinking that they are getting a bargain. There have been cases where a retail sales establishment has raised the regular price of a product and advertised it as on sale at the new higher price.
Going Out of Business Sales -Some retail sales establishments falsely advertise that they are going out of business to deceive consumers into thinking they will be able to buy products at considerable savings. Such false sales are advertised as: "bankruptcy sales," "lost our lease," building coming down," "forced out of business," "final days," "liquidation sales," "fire sales," "quitting business," or similar names..
Buy One Get One Free - In many cases, when this offer is made in an advertisement, the price of the product you pay for is inflated to cover the cost of the "free" product. In other cases, the "free" product is of low quality.
Misrepresentations - Unscrupulous advertisers often intentionally misrepresent the characteristics, origin, uses, benefits, or qualities of products offered for sale. Used cars are advertised as "one owner" cars when they have had several owners; "late model" TV sets turn out to be 10 years old; watches are advertised as "railroad watches" when they are in fact ordinary watches of relatively low quality; "Maine lobsters" may actually have been fished from the waters of the Pacific Ocean; and medicinal preparations which are supposed to cure specific illnesses may have little or no therapeutic effectiveness.
3 Hebrew boys – Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego – Your shack, my shack, and a bungalow
Daniel 1:10 – Didn’t follow ungodly advice – even though it endangered life of overseer
Daniel 2 – They didn’t identify with the king’s wisemen. They were the cause of all of them being spared.
Daniel 3:15,16 – They didn’t bow to the idol, even with a second chance to give in.
What happened to the other children of Judah? They blended in the first time. They were the children of Praise(Judah), but something got their mind off what they were doing there.
Profile – part 2
Joshua 1:8 (KJV)
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
We are looking diligently into how to become the blessed people David describes in Psalm 1.
Ø We looked at the things blessed people don’t do, even though our society and culture makes it very easy to be influenced by ungodly factors. There is a substitute, a counterfeit imitation of godliness that the enemy of our soul is selling. Blessed people don’t follow the crowd.
We need to be able to recognize what ungodly counsel says,
where the sinners stand,
and where the scornful sit.
Ø We examined the pressure and persuasion that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego endured as they were compelled to fit in – and to keep from being killed. The fourth man in the fire was miraculous, but they didn’t see him until they chose to take the hard route and went into the fire.
We’re looking for ways to please the Lord, and we want Him to be able to call us blessed!
What a person doesn’t do isn’t what makes him blessed, it makes it possible to do the right thing. Just because you don’t head east on I90 to Laurel doesn’t mean that you’re headed to Hardin. It just means that you can get there – because you’re not on the wrong road. We don’t want to put too much emphasis on what we don’t do, but they are linked to what we do.
The things we don’t do give us opportunity to do the right thing. Doing the right thing gives insight into what the wrong things are – and so it’s easier to not do them.
*Get kids’ help for – “Read your Bible, pray every day, and you’ll grow, grow, grow”.
Wouldn’t it be great if it was that easy – read, pray – automatically invincible to sin!
Psalm 1 – The Message
How well God must like you— you don't hang out at Sin Saloon, you don't slink along Dead-End Road, you don't go to Smart-Mouth College.
Instead you thrill to God's Word, you chew on Scripture day and night.
3 Hebrew boys didn’t bow – caused problems
3 Hebrew boys did go in the fire – faith to believe that God would provide
3 Hebrew boys – supernaturally protected, saw God in new way never experienced.
Verse 1 – They don’t follow the crowd.
Verse 2 – The blessed person has a one track mind. “…his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” A fanatic –
Winston Churchill –“A fanatic is someone who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” God help us all to be committed to learning, and knowing, and applying the principles of scripture to our lives.
Matt. 6:21 –“where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”. You gravitate and become like what you value. Let it be the Word of God.
Ø Delighting in the Lord – making the Word the thing that most excites and motivates us! We think about what we delight in. A couple who have found romantic delight in each other think about each other all day. When we delight in God’s Word we think about it, that is, we meditate on it, at times all throughout the day and night. “They usually thrive best who meditate most.”
Ø Meditating on the Word. It can be described as simply thinking about what you are reading.
§ Luke 11:28 – Blessed are those who hear and obey.
§ Romans 10:17 – Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the Word.
· Listening in church and through media
§ Matthew 4:4 – not bread alone, but every word
§ II Timothy 3:16 – All scripture is given by inspiration and is profitable..
· Find the time – same time every day is best
o Entire Bible in 71 hours
· Find a Bible reading plan – no matter how much you read
· Find at least one word, phrase, or verse to meditate on
o Without meditation, you may not remember a single thing you read. In this manner, it will become a chore and is unlikely to change you.
o Studying God’s Word
§ If reading is compared to cruising the width of a clear, sparkling lake in a motorboat, studying the Bible is like slowly crossing that same lake in a glass-bottomed boat.
§ The difference between reading and studying is a pencil and paper. Write down observations, and record questions.
§ Spiritual power
· Psalm 119 – thy word have I hid, that I might not sin
· Matthew 4:1-11 – Jesus used the Word to defeat the devil.
§ Strengthens faith
§ Remember that the enemy has a substitute in every area. Sadly, our first thought about meditation is associated with yoga, transcendental meditation, relaxation therapy, or the New Age Movement. Because meditation is so prominent in many spiritually counterfeit groups and movements, some Christians are uncomfortable with the whole subject and are suspicious of those who engage in it.
§ How it differs-
· Some meditations advocate emptying your mind – Christian meditation involves filling your mind with God and truth.
· Meditation is deep thinking on the truths and spiritual realities revealed in Scripture for the purposes of understanding, application, and prayer.
§ The word meditate means to ruminate. Cows ruminate – they chew their cud. They don’t get all the value out of it the first time. Between passing through one of four stomachs, they digest it a little more.
· Phil. 4:8-9 – “…what is true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, if there be anything worthy of praise…”
Verse 3 – The blessed person has purpose and prosperity. “…he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water…”
Ø As long as a tree is alive, it never stops growing. This tree is not here by accident, but was intentionally placed. There is no fear of drought, for its roots can reach the water. Bad weather, storms, and drought may come, but it is protected by its location
Ø No fruit is in season all the time, but this is an all-season church. When one is bearing fruit, they are sharing it with others in need.
There are droughts, trials, and furnaces that you would never have to face if you hadn’t chosen to put God first. Don’t give up now. The answer is on the way. It was no accident that God showed up that day in the furnace. That was his boys down there! They had his name!
You know what happens when the furnace gets turned up on you? When we were buried with him in baptism, we take on His name. His blood’s been applied to my life. Now when He looks at me, He sees His righteousness. When the devil tries to show Him all the filthy black stains on my record, all He sees is the blood.
You can’t find happiness or success. The thousands of people that tried to commit suicide last year can testify that they never did. But if you’ll put God first – it’ll find you. You can’t please the world and God. True happiness and contentment will only come when He is put first.