Do you wish to be blessed by God?

Psalm 1

Have you noticed the dilemma of figuring out how to have a relationship with God? The Bible has many things to say along these lines. Often times people just get lost in the shuffle. Occasionally in scripture a prophet just stops and gives you a principled summary. Would you like a principled summary about "How to live with God" absent all the technical discussions? Would you like to find a passage of scripture that just unlocks the point in clear terms that anyone can understand?

The first Psalm is one such passage. It is obviously an Old Testament passage rather than a New Testament one but here the two testaments agree. The author is not trying to tell you how to establish a relationship with God, that subject is dealt with elsewhere. (See Jesus comments in Mark 15:15-16 for example) The Psalmist is simply describing how to have an ongoing relationship with our Creator. Today we would say that once you become a Christian (a Jew in OT times) then this is how to live.

Let's allow him to lead us through the principles of a blessed life before our God.

Psalm 1: 1. Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Have you noticed that oftentimes the first step in accomplishing good is to avoid evil? Paul describes how all of us (Paul included) were born "good." We do not always stay that way.

Romans 7: 9. I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died;

How does this happen? Well, we begin walking with worldliness. And mistakenly, we think they, (the worldly), can tell us of righteousness! Have you ever noticed how many marriage counselors are divorced? God ordained marriage and if we don't acknowledge Him first, we just don't have a clue. So it is with all worldly endeavors. I once knew a man that went to a marriage counselor, this marriage counselor told his wife that "for the good of their marriage," she needed to have an affair. Guess who she had an affair with? The marriage counselor!

Pretty soon we slow down and stand with sinners. The term "way" in scripture usually refers to a road or a pathway. Consider a NT instruction "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:13-14 When Jesus said this He was using the imagery of following a particular road to a particular destination.

The bottom line is that we start out walking and listening to sinners, eventually we stop walking and simply stand with them. We are content to have sin all around us. Many have done such today with a TV set. We are content for Hollywood to advise and train the next generation it's values. We have invited these immoral people inside our homes and then allowed them to stand themselves up as our standard.

The final step? We just sit down in sin. We sit in the seat of the scornful. There is real danger here. If you play in the mud long enough you learn to like it. It was very difficult for righteous Lot to leave Sodom.

Lot eventually left Sodom but his family was destroyed by the course of his leadership. The blessed man doesn't begin to journey down this path. He may choose to come back from ungodliness, but he will always have baggage from his time in sin to contend with. often for life. An alcoholic (for example) can reform, but he will never be free of the effects of alcoholism. It is a blessed man that doesn't start down that road to begin with.

Psalm 1: 2. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Note the second step to a life of blessings from God.

So. from where do you draw your joy? The Bible teaches that where you find joy is a matter of choice. Often people choose subconsciously, and do not even realize they have made a decision. Obviously you should purposely and thoughtfully choose where to draw your joy. In connection with this thought is the question, "do you really want to go to heaven?" If you haven't learned to enjoy what will go on there, why do you want to go there?

Who are your best friends? Who do you choose to be around? Who brings you joy?

We are taught to spend time meditating on the word of God so that its deeper sense can be discerned. This is obviously a major step in our journey towards happiness. Consider one simple example. Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35

We learn the obvious through simply reading it. However when we meditate on it, we discover that the most basic tool for gleaning truth from scripture is revealed here.

We are taught to look for commands, examples and draw necessary inferences from them.

Note 1) A new commandment I give to you. Then next and obvious question is how do I follow this command or live up to the directions you have given to me in every walk of life?

2) Jesus gave us His example to follow. "Even as I have loved you, that you also love one another." This isn't unique, Paul said "Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ." I Corinthians 11:1

3) It necessarily follows that if we truly have the right to wear the name Christian (a follower of Christ) we must in fact follow Him. "By this all men will know." They will infer based on the fact Jesus commanded this of them, and what they see in them.

Psalm 1: 3. 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.

Meditating on the Word of God unlocks it for us. Said contemplation leads to stability and satisfaction in life. There is not a lot of room left for comment with this verse is there? For so many this basic truth eludes them. Even with the flowery language of poetry the truth of true success in life leaps from the page. Jesus said, "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not {even} when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions." Luke 12:15

True life is measured in godliness.

By way of Contrast..

Psalm 1:4-5 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

It is said that at the end of his life, Napoleon Bonaparte muttered, "I wonder if anyone in the world loves me?" He had gained the whole world and lost his soul

Let's just take one example of choices and unforeseen consequences.. Many could be chosen. One hundred fifty years ago, the Bible was respected at all levels of our society. In that day and time even with the civil war echoing in their ears. the American family was stable. Do you know what the divorce rate was then? There was one divorce for every thirty four marriages. Even your grandparents cannot remember such a time of family stability. As we have moved God out of our lives. has it been good for us? No one alive today remembers what we once had and gave up in order to eject God from our public meditation! The real problem is that we have never experienced what was lost, so we don't know that such is possible. It is a time just beyond the reach of those now living. We do not know to miss this time and strive to regain what once was.

The world can rage but American families were once a bedrock of stability. They were based on Biblical principles. Today for the first time ever in our country's history a majority of children are born outside of wedlock. In the 1960's when the modern welfare system came into being, it was promised to eliminate child poverty.

Its premise was to give money based on circumstances without a view to work. Rather than reducing childhood poverty, as promised, its very existence has caused the number of children in poverty to explode. The fact that the consequence of sin was subsidized caused sin to abound.

Consider these two Bible principles that were ignored. "For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we {kept} working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; not because we do not have the right {to this,} but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example." II Thessalonians 1:7-9

Psalm 1:6. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Note that there really is not much in the middle. Abraham told Lazarus that there was a great gulf fixed between the followers of God and those that were not saved in Hades. In a practical way it is obvious that said great gulf exists here as well.

Looking for a New Testament summary that unlocks the keys to success in life?

I John 1:4-7

"These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and {yet} walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."

Let's give Jesus the last word on this matter.

John 10:9-10

"I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have {it} abundantly."

Jerry Blount

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