Is there any way in which we can be secured in this ever-changing world? Is our “impossible” dream of stability possible? Is revival and renewal even possible within our hearts and within our souls today? The lessons in Psalms One serves as great encouragement for those who dare to walk upright in a fallen world.
Psalm 1 The Message
1 How well God must like you— [when]
you don’t walk in the ruts of those blind-as-bats,
you don’t stand with the good-for-nothings,
you don’t take your seat among the know-it-alls.
2-3 Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
always in blossom.
4-5 You’re not at all like the wicked,
who are mere windblown dust—
Without defense in court,
unfit company for innocent people.
6 God charts the road you take.
The road they take leads to nowhere.
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
Is there any way that we can be secured in this ever-changing world? Is our “impossible” dream of stability possible? Do we all still accept that the word “impossible” ought to be spoken? Is revival and renewal even possible today! Is it possible that our hearts and our souls and our hands and our feet and our lives can once again reach our atrophying spirits? Are we so weighed down by the whole host of worldly concerns that our heavenly focus is been distorted, pressed down to the thinness of a penny or a dime through an arcade machine?
There is only one important difference between saints and sinners, and that is the life blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus. There is nothing else that separates us. We are Godly for one reason and one reason only, because we have accepted the full sovereignty of God, the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in our lives and been born from above and have taken on the nature of Christ by believing in the full life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus through faith.
The lessons in Psalms one serves as great encouragement for those who dare to walk upright in a fallen world. Are these verses then instructing us not to ever or even associate with sinners? Not really. Jesus hung out with the sinners of His day – the tax collectors and even the “questionable” women, but he did it to redeem them, not to gain their supposed “wisdom”. There is a difference.
These verses are instructing us to not draw wisdom from the “counsel of the ungodly” or hang out with the “scornful” – those who dare to mock God.
So many times, we try to gain wisdom from universities, scholars, and leaders in our country that don’t know God. They don’t have any understanding of what is right or wrong, or what is truth. Listening to them can give us knowledge, but they don’t hold ultimate wisdom. We have to pray that we are not led down the wrong “rabbit trail,” the wrong path as “knowledge puffs up” (1 Corinthians 8:2).
That is why who we are listening to and whom we are walking with alongside and within our lives is so critically important. Priority 1: We need godly wisdom.
True wisdom is only found in one place as it says in verse 2, the “law of the LORD”. The blessed man finds his delight in the “law of the LORD”.
First the psalmist makes it clear that there are only two roads in life. There are only two paths of life. The godly path or the ungodly path are manifested in the choices we make. Our decisions are important. First, everyone must decide.
God graciously granted us the gift of “self-determination.” Everyone single one of us freely choose the “path of life” as he or she pleases. The decision is yours. The decision is mine as are the consequences. Secondly, not choosing is not an option. Even our indecision is a choice either for God or against God. Finally, no one gets to freely choose the consequences of the choice. Each choice is leading us somewhere. Every decision is drawing us closes to God or a way from God.
We must choose to decide whether or not to allow God access into our lives. In order to experience change, we must desire change. We must desire to embrace either the ways of the acculturated world or God, God’s word. It is a choice. We must be opened to God. If we are going to live stable in an unstable world, then make good choices about where you walk, where you sit and where you stand.
Psalm 63 The Message
63 God—you’re my God!
I can’t get enough of you!
I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God,
traveling across dry and weary deserts.
2-4 So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open,
drinking in your strength and glory.
In your generous love I am really living at last!
My lips brim praises like fountains.
I bless you every time I take a breath;
My arms wave like banners of praise to you.
5-8 I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy;
I smack my lips. It’s time to shout praises!
If I’m sleepless at midnight,
I spend the hours in grateful reflection.
Because you’ve always stood up for me,
I’m free to run and play.
I hold on to you for dear life,
and you hold me steady as a post.
9-11 Those who are out to get me are marked for doom,
marked for death, bound for hell.
They’ll die violent deaths;
jackals will tear them limb from limb.
But the king is glad in God;
his true friends spread the joy,
While small-minded gossips
are gagged for good.
Every moment we are alive and upright and breathing we are constantly and continuously at a crossroads we cannot always see or even be aware of in life. We will constantly and continuously encounter a series of choices and then more choices after that with each breath we take and with every step we take. Some are so easy we do not even think about them overmuch – its automatic. Then we inevitably run into to those moral and ethical crossroads where the decision of what path to take becomes muddled by “what everyone else does.”
Every crossroads has an end point where we must stop what we are doing in that exact and exacting moment and ponder, decide to go to the left or to the right of to go straight or to stay put. Now, what is it which dictated direction?
There are thousands upon thousands of books which offer a whole host of ideas, guidance, recommendations and suggestions. Many are quite worthy to giving serious consideration to. Very intelligent and well-meaning people write them. Their hearts are in a good place. Their experiences are completely legitimate. Their honesty and integrity in communicating their care of others is crystal. I consider quite a few of these writings in my researching for each devotional.
Yet, to get the maximum balance of “do I or do I not” apply their principles, I weigh them heavily with and against the Word of God revealed in Scriptures. God has got a far better grip on my and everyone else’s reality than I ever do. I accept that God’s wisdom has some very significant lessons for me to ponder over through a disciplined course of study and prayer and waiting on my God. God has all of the answers I will ever need in my life – His methods are better!
What does that mean?
The law of the Lord is the instructions, teachings, and words of God that are superior to the words of man. That is where the “blessed man” finds his hope, and what we need to cleave to. The blessed man (or woman) knows that above all his earthly wisdom and thoughts, he can run to the words of God and find truth and life. He (or she) knows above everything that his bread and his food, his nourishment for life are found exclusively in one place – the Word of God.
So, what does he and she do?
The blessed man meditates on the “law” and the teachings of God “day and night”. He or she cannot ever get enough. He and she always put the words of God always before them and chews on them over and over and over again. He does not stop regardless of how difficult the words are [to hear and obey].
The blessed man who is constantly meditating on the Word of God is BLESSED. He is like a deeply rooted tree that grows fruit and is nourished by the waters of God. He doesn’t get weak or get sickly; the blessed man, woman is producing life and has vibrancy. This verse says that “whatever he does shall prosper.”
Why is he prospering? Why is he or she blessed?
Because they have found THE source of life – the Word of God, the teachings of the law, the teachings of Jesus. They have found stability and freedom and will produce good fruit that is eternal because they are focused on eternal things.
Colossians 3:1-4 The Message
He Is Your Life
3 1-2 So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.
3-4 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.
I sometimes wish prosperity in our souls and in our families happened by osmosis. I wish a fairy godmother just waves a wand and we would prosper.
I wish that prosperity where our businesses or jobs just flourished was the result of just a snap of our fingers, but it was never meant to work that way.
It takes hard work and being connected to a Source. It takes running to God and staying tied to the Source of Life especially on these days when the adversary is fighting tooth and nail to keep us from the presence of God. If we are planted by the deeply refreshing rivers of the presence of God, we know what we will reap eventually. We will reap prosperity in our souls, our families, our finances, and our lives. We will find the ultimate HOPE and PROSPERITY which is JESUS.
That is God’s desire for us that we would be fully fed and watered, so that we will produce fruit. Isn’t that your desire as well?
Proverbs 5:15 says “Drink water from your own cistern and running water from your own well.”
It is time for the 21st century manifestation of the Body of Christ to grow up and just learn how to water and feed themselves. That is why the Psalms are such a crucial starting place, because they are easy to digest. We cannot continue to depend on others to feed us – we must learn to feed ourselves the Word of God.
1. Make good decisions about where you walk, where you sit and where you stand.
Psalm 1:1-3 AKJV “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. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditates day and night. 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.”
a. Refuse to walk in the counsel of the ungodly (listen, follow the advice, be influenced by their actions and opinions)
b. Refuse to stand in the way of sinners (live by their choices, practice their lifestyle, nor adopted their attitude)
c. Refuse to sit in their company and partake in their sin (they take comfort in opposition against God)
There are ways that we can be secured in this ever-changing world.
There is a way to fulfil the “impossible” dream God has for us. We can be stable in an unstable environment.
After all the ups and downs experienced in the Joseph’s life, the bible said: Genesis 41:52 Joseph named his second son Ephraim, for he said, “God has made me fruitful in this land of my suffering.” The word “fruitful” means productive, rich, abundant, successful, fertile and rewarding.
In other words, stability in the midst of instability is very much possible even in this chaotic world which is full of uncertainty and sufferings. In Psalm 1, the Lord reveals to us the secret on how we can be stable in this unstable world. If we are going to live stable lives in an unstable world, study God’s Word, make good choices about where you walk, and where you sit and where you stand.
2. Make good decisions about what we delight in and what we meditate on.
Psalm 1:2 “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law, he meditates day and night.” Those who are blessed by God not only must turn and flee from evil, but they must also build their lives up around the Words of the Lord. They must seek to diligently obey God’s will out of hearts that genuinely take great pleasure in knowing God’s way and word. Their heart must be captivated by His Living Word (Hebrews 4:12). Meditating on His word allows God’s word to shape our thinking, guide our actions, control our emotions and transform our lives.
3. Make good decisions about where we are planted because where we are planted determines our productivity.
Psalm 1:3 “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.”
The outcome of those who faithfully seek God and His word is fruitfulness. The word planted talks about stability. It is one of the CONDITIONS which should be met before our lives become spiritually fruitful. The word of God has become the moral FOUNDATION of their life. (Psalm 119:105, 2 Timothy 3:10-17)
This third verse from Psalm One describes the benefits of a stable life as a life full of God’s blessing and favor. I believe these verses contain the secret of a fruitful and stable life in this unstable world. We must choose an upright walk against the evil system of the world. “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.” We must choose a righteous stand with God and His word which is contrary to acculturated ways of the world. We must choose not to stand in the way of sinners or to sit on compromising seat with the scorners.
If we are going to live stable in an unstable world, I must choose to witness to sinners but the fellowship of the saints. I must develop a heart full of passion for the word of God. I choose to delight is in the law of the LORD and to fill my mind with the word of God by meditating in it day and night.
4. Make good decisions about what it means to be a godly and righteous.
The righteous in these verses are those whose lives are marked by consistency and stability between their Christian walk and talk. How consistent are you?
Their lives are certified by effectiveness, productivity. How productive are you?
John 14:11-14 The Message
11-14 “Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see—these works. The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.
The righteous are those lives which are proven by evidence of transformation and productivity and recovery. How much sin do you tolerate in your life?
Finally, their lives are those which are confirmed by God’s favor, success and prosperity. “Whatever he does prospers”
Are you a prosperous person in your walk with God?
The strength of our stability always depends on the foundation where we stand. Christ and his word should always be the foundation of our life. A favorable environment increasing productivity and the blessings of God flow freely!
We must be born again with His life, filled with His Holy Spirit, and then discipled and disciplined into His daily food and water – the Word of God. This is the only sure and genuine path to maturity, substance, and true prosperity.
“For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,Psalm 1:6
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.” (Verse 6)
I love the promise in verse 6 that the “LORD knows the way of the righteous.” The Lord is aware of where we are going. He is intimately involved in our lives, and he has numbered even the hairs on our heads. (Matthew 10:30) It is so comforting to know that God cares about you and me and that if we call on the Name of the Lord that we will be saved (Acts 2:21). We can rest in those truths.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
When I see, O Lord, the power of your Word, I wonder if I can see the power in my own life? I see the mistakes, and all of the times I walked in the way of the wicked. Forgive me. I have sat down at the table of the ungodly. Your law reveals the path away from evil. Your word is my delight, my satisfaction. I can find no other thing to fill me. Sinful habits, selfish ambitions, unbridled pride all try to fill me up with good things. Like the chaff, the wind blows away the pleasures and I’m left empty. And alone. For God, you see my life when I walk in righteousness. Not because I have to be perfect, but because walking with you makes me righteous. Help me to walk. Help me to meditate. Help me to grow in your instruction. My joy, my fruit, my peace will come from the streams of your living waters. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.