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Two Kinds of Lives (Psalm 1:1-6)

Sermon on 21 September 2020 by Ps Paul

Introduction


Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish. – Psalm 1:1-2

There are two groups mentioned here – righteous/godly and the wicked/ungodly people. Let us understand what becomes of them.

Message

Psalm 1 started with the word “blessed”. Earth possessions do not equate how blessed we are in the sight of God. The things of God are eternal. We should diligently seek His truth.

Psalm 1 describes who the “blessed” are. They do not follow the advice of the wicked, do not stand around with sinners and do not join in with mockers. Instead, they delight in the law of the Lord and meditate on the law. These are the ones who are righteous in God’s right. They are not influenced by the world and do not participate in sinning. They live in accordance with God’s words.

We interact with people all the time and receive information all the time. But not everything is pleasing to the Lord. We need to be anchored to God’s words so that we will do what God wants us to do. Let us pray daily for Him to direct us to live an upright life. Jesus prayed before dawn every morning.

Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. – Mark 1:35

God’s words have the power to change us. If we do not have God’s words, we cannot discern right from wrong. His law is important. If everyone follows God’s ways, we will live in safety, peace and harmony.

We need to obey God’s words with a right heart. The Pharisees followed the law but God was not pleased with them because their hearts were not set right.

Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes with faith. – Romans 4:13

We need have a right relationship with God by having faith in Jesus (John 3:16) to inherit His blessings and promises. We want to repent (Matt 4:17), and follow Him wholeheartedly (Luke 9:23). Only through Jesus can we obey God’s law with a right heart. Take heed to whatever is written in the bible. Do not persist in doing what you want rather than what God wants. If we able to stay away from wickedness and follow God’s words, we will be blessed.

What is the outcome for the righteous and godly?

Psalm 1:3 and 6 tell us that they will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves will never wither and they prosper in all they do, for the Lord watches over their paths. God’s words are like rivers of living water, guiding us to walk in love and in truth. We will be like a tree anchored to the ground, unshakable, abiding in Jesus.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. – John 15:5, 7

No matter the circumstances we are in, we will always bear the fruit of the spirit. They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22-23). God is the giver of all life, thus our leaves will never wither. God has given us the good gift, the Holy Spirit, to help us understand His truth and walk His ways, empowering us to serve God with joy. Through Christ, we have eternal life. Even though the righteous may trip and fall, the Lord will uphold them with His hand (Psalm 37:23-24).

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand. – Psalm 37:23-24

And what is the outcome for the wicked and ungodly?

Psalm 1:4-6 tells us they are like worthless chaff scattered by the wind and will be condemned at the time of judgment. They have no place among the godly and their paths lead to destruction. Sometimes, we see that the wicked appear to be prospering. But Psalm 73 tells us that their end is destruction. Therefore let us not be envious and instead, let us draw near to God. God is the ultimate judge. He will not spare the wicked unless they repent. Their current success is short-term and they will face judgment.

What kind of life do you want to lead? Just by being called Christians is not enough. We have to search our hearts to see whether our relationship with God is right.

Reflect

1. Do we follow the advice of the world or do we follow God’s word?

2. Do we participate in ganging up with others to oppress the weak, or do we stand up for what is right and true?

3. Do we join in gossip or criticism, or do we speak the truth in love to edify one another?

4. Do we lie to get what we want, or do we speak the truth because we want to please God and honour Him in what we say?

5. Do we read the bible only when we need God, or do we meditate on His words daily because we love Him?

6. Do we delight in following some of God’s words and reject those which we dislike, or do we delight in following all God’s words?

Closing

What is our response to God’s words?

May we live a Christ-centred life, obeying God’s words with a pure and humble heart. We will be like a house built on solid rock, who is Christ Jesus our Lord. Our house will not crumble from wind or water. We will be like a tree planted by the river, bearing fruit in season, our leaves not withering.

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