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Pondering the Psalms (Psalm 1, Part 4)

My friend Frank and I have an agreement, a covenant, which we have followed for several years. We read the same chapter in God’s Word each day for a week and then drop each other a short email about what we have learned. We then move to the next chapter the next week. I describe our modest online Bible study here. You might want to try this with a friend or relative.

We’ve now embarked on a journey of reading through the book of Psalms! So this week we’re reading Psalm 1 each day for a week, then on to Psalm 2, etc. Whew! I’ll post a few comments on our Psalm of the week that I pray will be an encouragement to you.

Let’s think about this first verse just one more time this morning.

1. We’ve noticed that there are some negatives in the Christian life. The third negative is that the blessed person does not “sit in the company of mockers . . .” What does that mean? We know that those who mock the things of God, especially if they continue throughout their lives to reject the gospel, will be eternally separated from God and the people of God. Many verses in Scripture testify to the fact that unbelievers will have no part in the Kingdom of God but will be cast out of His presence at the judgment.

2. If that final exclusion is true, then believers should not now join mockers in their rebellious rejection of the truths of God. Allow me to emphasize that this does not mean that we can choose to isolate ourselves from sinners. That is not the Jesus way. He was a friend of sinners (Mt. 11) and we should be as well!

3. So what does this verse mean? “Sitting in the company of mockers” implies agreement with, support of, those who not only turn away from God, but ridicule those who trust in Him. And that the blessed believer is not supposed to do!

Today’s Challenge: Watched any late night comedy TV? Have you noticed how they will often mock the things of God? Don’t laugh with them! Pray for them.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2021 in Psalm 1

 

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Pondering the Psalms (Psalm 1, Part 3)

My friend Frank and I have an agreement, a covenant, which we have followed for several years. We read the same chapter in God’s Word each day for a week and then drop each other a short email about what we have learned. We then move to the next chapter the next week. I describe our modest online Bible study here. You might want to try this with a friend or relative.

We’ve now embarked on a journey of reading through the book of Psalms! So this week we’re reading Psalm 1 each day for a week, then on to Psalm 2, etc. Whew! I’ll post a few comments on our Psalm of the week that I pray will be an encouragement to you.

Let’s think about this first verse just a bit more this morning.

1. In our verse the believer is to choose not to walk in step with the wicked, not to stand in the way that sinners take, and not to sit in the company of those who mock God’s truth. There are negatives associated with the Christian life.

2. “Stand in the way that sinners take” is rendered as “nor standeth in the way of sinners” in the King James Bible. But the meaning is not that we shouldn’t try to impede evil doers when they set out to do evil! The idea is that we don’t identify with or join forces with sinners in their evil course.

You may have heard the story about the man who had just arrived in heaven and he was being interviewed by St. Peter. “What good deed have you done to allow you into heaven?”, asked St. Peter. “Well,” said the man, “I saw a big, scary member of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle club trying to steal a purse from an old lady. And I intervened!” “Wow,” said St. Peter. “You defended her? That’s was quite heroic. When did this happened?” The man said, “Oh, about 5 seconds ago.”

Today’s Challenge: The way that sinners take is away from the Lord and the truth of the gospel. Don’t physically or emotionally or intellectually side with sinners against God. You’ll lose. And you won’t be blessed!

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2021 in Psalm 1

 

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Pondering the Psalms (Psalm 1, Part 2)

My friend Frank and I have an agreement, a covenant, which we have followed for several years. We read the same chapter in God’s Word each day for a week and then drop each other a short email about what we have learned. We then move to the next chapter the next week. I describe our modest online Bible study here. You might want to try this with a friend or relative.

We’ve now embarked on a journey of reading through the book of Psalms! So this week we’re reading Psalm 1 each day for a week, then on to Psalm 2, etc. Whew! I’ll post a few comments on our Psalm of the week that I pray will be an encouragement to you.

Let’s think about this first verse a bit more this morning.

1. Please notice that the blessed life involves some negatives. Now, Christians are known to be negative, but these are godly negatives! In our verse the believer is to choose not to walk in step with the wicked, not to stand in the way that sinners take, and not to sit in the company of those who mock God’s truth.

2. “Walking in step with the wicked” is quite different than being a friend of sinners, isn’t it? God has given me a passion to be a friend of sinners like Jesus was. I am not to isolate myself from those who don’t know Him, but to develop genuine relationships with those who need Christ. “Walking in step with” implies agreement and conformity to the values and priorities of this lost world. And that we are not supposed to do!

Today’s Challenge: In what ways — some incredibly subtle — are you and I tempted to conform to the ways of this world? Repent of that conformity and walk in His truth today!

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2021 in Psalm 1

 

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Pondering the Psalms (Psalm 1, Part 1)

My friend Frank and I have an agreement, a covenant, which we have followed for several years. We read the same chapter in God’s Word each day for a week and then drop each other a short email about what we have learned. We then move to the next chapter the next week. I describe our modest online Bible study here. You might want to try this with a friend or relative.

We’ve now embarked on a journey of reading through the book of Psalms! So this week we’re reading Psalm 1 each day for a week, then on to Psalm 2, etc. Whew! I’ll post a few comments on our Psalm of the week that I pray will be an encouragement to you.

Several thoughts jump out at me from this first verse of Psalm 1:

1. God wants us to be “blessed.” “Blessed” does not exactly equal “happy.” Happiness, as someone has said, often depends on happenings. And we seldom have control over the happenings in our lives.

2. Blessedness greatly depends on the choices we make. We choose those who influence us, whose lives we sometimes imitate, whose thoughts and actions we might copy. The blessed life before God involves not walking in step with the wicked, not standing in the way that sinners take, and not sitting in the company of those who mock the ways of God.

Today’s Challenge: As you examine your life — and your level of “blessedness” — would you say that you are seeking by God’s grace to practice those three negatives of verse 1?

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2021 in Psalm 1

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 1)

Ah, he starts with a pun!  “Salter” looks a bit like Psalter (a word used to describe the entire book of the Psalms).  Very clever.

The idea is that God salts us and scatters us over His world to make others thirsty for Him.  I’ve given the following poem in a much earlier post, but it goes something like this:

“I was a nut in a tired, paper bag.

One day, Jesus found me, cracked me, salted me

And threw me into the world to make it thirsty for Him.”

Great poem, don’t you think? (I didn’t write it).  I’ve been asked to teach the book of Psalms in S. Korea next June!  There is a Word of Life Bible Institute there, so I’d like to start getting prepared for that course.

Those of you who follow my blog know that I’ve already gone through all 150 of the Psalms in a series entitled “Psalms of My Life.”  But I need a refresher — how about you?

Let’s take a quick look at Psalm 1.  There we read —

 

Psalm 1

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked!
    They are like chaff
    that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Here’s my one takeaway for today:  If I want to lead a blessed life, I must give my primary attention to God’s Word!

My prayer: “Lord of Joy, forgive me my poor substitutes of happiness.  Give me a burning desire to know and obey Your Word, not primarily so that I may be ‘happy,’ but so that You may be magnified in my life.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2016 in Psalm 1

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm1)

Years ago Joe Bailey wrote a book called Psalms of My LifeScreen Shot 2014-12-08 at 5.06.50 AMI’m going through the book of Psalms with a friend and would like to share some of the encouragement I’m receiving from looking at this portion of God’s Word.

Psalm 1 is one of my favorites.  There we read —

Psalm 1

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wickedScreen Shot 2014-12-07 at 8.02.42 AM
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked!
    They are like chaff
    that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

 

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2014 in Psalm 1

 

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THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS! (a sermon on Psalm 1)

Another sermon I preached at our church, Woodland Hills Community Church.

Always open for your comments.  It seems many people have not found true joy in life, right?  Please click on the link below to listen to this 31- minute sermon.

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Question:

1.  What is the role of the Bible, God’s Word, in our HAPPINESS?

2.  How do you share the gospel with unbelievers who are sure they have already found sufficient happiness?

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2012 in CHRISTIAN LIVING

 

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