Daily Archives: February 17, 2014

Do you want to Receive the Blessings of God?

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Psalm 1:1-6 

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.   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, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers.  4 Not so the wicked!  They are like chaff that the wind blows away.  5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.  6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”

The First step in God’s way of blessing is salvation. This is the message of the entire Bible.

  • There is no formula for blessing that does not begin with faith.
  • Faith is the foundation of Christian character and the security of the soul.
  • Faith in Christ is the basis of all working, all sanctification and all hope.
  • God is the great object of faith
  • Faith gives birth to prayer, to trust, to godly desire, and finally to blessing from God.

Psalm 1 assumes that salvation has already taken place: “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (1-2).

True blessing comes from God

There are dangers for you who seek to walk in godly paths (v.1) “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.”

The Devil is active and will put obstacles in your way.  He will use those who are his to hinder and hurt you.

The threefold danger: Walking, standing, sitting.

Walking in the counsel of the ungodly. The ungodly always are ready to give advice, to give counsel.

This may be in the form of literature.

This may be in the form of entertainment.

Talk shows, with secular opinions, solutions and their focus on self-esteem.

Radio shows that are full of secular psychology and opinions. In all of these, the secular world, mocks the true God.

Standing in the way of sinners – This does not mean standing against them, but with them, agreeing with them.

Sitting in the seat of the mockers – Those who mock, in their ignorance, the ways of God, adopting their attitudes.

The road of the scornful is always downward. Watch out for these dangers.  Notice the progression. Walking in the counsel of the ungodly.  Accepting advice. Standing in the way of sinners: being a party to its ways. Sitting in the seat of the mockers adopting its attitudes.

There is delight for those of you who seek to walk in godly paths (v. 2) “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.”

As a Christian you should have delight in the Word of God. The Christian has learned to make God’s Word his delight.

To some it is boring, but to you it is exciting.

To some it is dull, but to you it is delightful.

To some it is fantasy, but to you it is fact.

To some it is information, but to you it is inspiration.

But not many will make God’s Word their delight.

You must move against the tide to do this.

You must decide to be in the minority.

You must seek to make the Word delightful.

Study it; pray; hear the preaching of the Word; have faith in God’s Word.

David who wrote this Psalm had great delight in God’s Word. “For I delight in your commands because I love them” (Psalm 119:47).

“Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight” (Psalm 119:77).

There is a fruitful destiny for you who seek to walk in godly paths. (v. 3) “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”

You will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. What a beautiful illustration.

The tree reaching down its roots into the stream drawing life from the water.

The river represents the Holy Spirit.

The tree mentioned here bears fruit (Gal. 5:22-23).”But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Gal. 5:22-23).

His leaf shall not wither (his testimony)

In whatsoever he does, he will prosper.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

There is only judgment for the ungodly.

“They will not stand in the day of judgment” v. 5.

Their end is damnation.

They are the chaff that is blown away by the wind, v. 4.

Do you see the difference between the blessed man and the ungodly?

  1. The ungodly are not blessed by God; they do not have delight in God’s Word, and they will not bear fruit by the Holy Spirit.
  2. The chaff which is with the grain until the wind blows, until the day of judgment, then comes the separation.
  3. The ungodly shall not stand in the judgment
  4. But you who are covered by the blood of Christ, to you there is blessing from God
  5. You will stand in the day of judgment.
  6. You will and do bear fruit.
  7. You will and possess blessing from the Holy Spirit.

When You Get a Raw Deal Part 5

Scripture: Psalm 73

Maybe you’re still struggling with the injustice you’ve been dealt and you’ve felt your commitment to God wane because of it. Before you bail out on God, Asaph wants you to sit with him and learn from his experiences. Consider this godly guidance when you get a raw deal.

I. Pour your heart out to God

This psalm is a brutally honest confessional, from the heart of Asaph to the God he felt had given him a rip off. He took his doubts and confusion to God in prayer. He didn’t pretend everything was okay. He did what Job did. Job was a righteous man who lost all his children, his possessions, and his health. In Job 29-31, this broken man struggles with the raw deal he received. He wrestles with the tension of holding onto God’s goodness and sovereignty while dealing the tragedies he was experiencing. And through it all, he stayed real with God. “God I’m so angry! I don’t understand what is happening or why! I want answers, God.” There is no record that God ever rebuffs Job for being honest.

In fact, God offers this invitation in Isaiah 43:26: “Take Me to court; let us argue our case together. State your [case], so that you may be vindicated.” Psalm 145:18 adds that “the Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.”

God is big enough to take your anger, your pain and your questions. So go ahead, tell Him about it. Don’t keep those emotions cooped up inside you, building layers of resentment and hardship between you and God. Stored up anger vents itself in headaches, ulcers, bitterness, resentment, private rehearsals of the injustice you’ve experienced and outbursts of anger that are disconnected from the real problem. Unload that acid. God is waiting to talk with you.

II. Weigh your choices carefully

In v. 12-14, Asaph’s envy had so taken his heart that he was fed up with living a godly life. He was angry and disillusioned. Still, in v. 15, he stops to consider the impact his next steps will have: “If I had said, ‘I will speak thus,’ I would have betrayed your children.” Asaph realized that if he went public with his inner struggles, letting his cynicism and anger out in words, he would become a tool of Satan’s for the ruin of God’s people.

How many rash words and unsifted actions have we wished to take back because of the negative consequences they brought about? We do things that brought regret and heartache because we didn’t stop to consider the consequences of our words and choices. Asaph paused to realize that his decisions will have ripple effects on others. I would urge you to follow his example, tracing the results your words and actions have on your family, friends, lost acquaintances and church.

III. Get the big picture

Here is where Asaph’s perspective is expanded. Listen to his words in v. 16-17: “When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” Asaph went to “church.” He brought his confusion under the truth of God. As long as Asaph tried to reason his way out of his troubled perception apart from God, he would hit his head against the wall. “It was oppressive to me,” he said. The envy he had of the wicked was like blinders to his eyes. All he could only see their immediate pleasure.

But in worship we see from God’s infinite perspective. You can sense this music director’s relief when he comes to worship. Everything changed. In the sanctuary God was his focus, not his problems. There he was reminded of God’s attributes, character and power. He could see both God’s judgment of sin as well as God’s solution offered to sinners. Eternity broke into his temporal perspective.

Verses 17-19 show us that Asaph was now seeing things differently. “Then I understood their final destiny. Surely You place them on slippery ground; You cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! Their prosperity is only temporary. They enjoy their sin for a time, perhaps from a human perspective for a lifetime. But from the perspective of eternity, from the point of view in worship, there is a quick ride to the bottom. Asaph realized that “the world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17) God completely controls their destiny, not them. And their end will be terrible.

IV. Renew your relationship with God

Armed with a new perspective about God and this world, Asaph also sees himself clearly. Envy had poisoned him and had powerful effects on him. Listen to his confession in v. 21 “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.” God, I was like an animal. What does he mean by this? Well have you ever watched your dog? Rover is only concerned with the immediate. He’s not thinking about tomorrow. His big concern is immediate gratification. Asaph confessed his self-pitying, self-centered bent. And then, in worship, he renews his relationship in praise:

Yet I am always with you; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from You will perish; You destroy all who are unfaithful to You. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

Asaph takes his raw deal to the right place and finds out that he didn’t have it bad after all. With an eternal perspective, everything looks different. God wants to do that for you.

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