Do You Want To Be Blessed?

Bible Book: Psalms  1 : 1-6
Subject: Blessed; Life, Meaningful; Purpose; Fruitfulness
Introduction

Everyone desires to be blessed and to have a life with meaning and significance. The value of existence is important to all human beings, but few people really know where to find worth and consequence in life. Look at the drug problem in America right now, with record overdose deaths and an incredible rise in suicides due to opiod use and addiction. Why is this happening? It is occurring because people lack substance and meaning in their daily lives. Drugs and alcohol can temporarily dull the emptiness of life and lift the spirit, but then the fall back to reality leaves the person feeling even worse than before. Life becomes meaningless. Actually, some use entertainment, sex, money, power, or any number of things to reach for a life that matters. Our scripture today tells us how to live a blessed and meaningful life.

To know the Lord, through His Son, is the path to a life of significance and purpose, but even the Christian may not fully grasp or comprehend the blessings that belong to him in Christ, and if he lacks the appreciation for his fortunate position he may end up seeking wordly ways to sate the desire of his heart. One reason that even the Christian does not experience all the blessings that God has available is because he or she doesn’t remain in the path where the blessings are found; or, we might say that the Christian fails to remain in the will of God which leads to blessing upon blessing.

The Psalmist wrote concerning the bountiful life that is available to all who trust Him. We find this in Psalm 1 and I want you to turn there with me tonight so we can be reminded of God's place of blessing. I want us to look at this so that we might appropriate all that God has for us in our lives.

Let’s note three important elements of being blessed, and how we can fully have them poured out upon us.

I. We are Blessed by being Directed in His Way

Note Psalm 1:1-2

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.

There are three negatives used to describe the problem in finding one's way to the complete blessings available from God.

A. Our Hearing

We must be careful of the counsel or advice that we receive in life. Listening to the wrong people will lead one into a path that brings disaster. The Lord is saying to us in His Word that we are not to listen to the world when making decisions. If you want to lose your joy, just let the world be your advisor when decisions have to be made.

There are more voices speaking to people today than any time in history. Long ago people heard from family, neighbors, and leaders. Then the printed page appeared and the human family could receive information from many sources. Later, people had radio, telephones and television. More and more voices were added to influence us. Then came the computer, with all the apps and social media sites that bombard us day after day. Technology has now led to handheld devices that can reach us almost anywhere on earth, and most of that which comes through these devices is not helpful to Christian living. The problem of smart phones, for example, is so bad that teenagers are now referred to by many people as "screenagers," since they have the screen of a device open in front of them almost every waking hour of the day. Many teens are committing suicide because of the terrible things said about them on the social media sites. Needless to say, our modern world has many more voices to lead us down errant paths than at any other time in the past.

We are warned in the scripture again and again to be careful concerning the voices we hear and the advice we listen to. The Christian needs to remember this, for Satan is always seeking a way to direct us in his own dark and forbidden paths.

So, just how does the world, the flesh and the devil work to lead us astray...

B. Our Habits

"...nor stands in the way of sinners..."

To be blessed, don't "stand" in the way of sinners. What does this mean? To "stand" means to firmly fix yourself in a particular place. It is tantamount to developing habits that defy God's Word and His way of life for us. Satan works to creat habits in our lives that will lead to disaster.

The believer is to take his stand with and for the Lord, and that means turning away from habits and actions that hurt us and, through us, harm others. Small acts create habits, and habits become life. If you develop a habit of criticism, you are a critical person. If you develop a habit of cursing, you are a profane person. Bad habits create bad people! We are never to stand in the way of sinners. We all fail. We all sin. But, we must ever remain in the place of sin!

To avoid this problem, we must choose our friends carefully. One of the major concerns of parents is the friends of their children. It is a known fact that we become like the people we hang around with, and this can be seen in every life on earth. For example, I was born and reared in North Carolina, and when I speak you can tell I'm from the south. You can take me out of North Carolina, but you can't take North Carolina out of me. In the same way, when we spend time with people we tend to act like they act, think like they think and become what they are - at least to a certain extent. Jesus told His disciples to go out in groups of at least two people. We must interact with the world in order to present Christ, but we must have very close Christian friends who help us remain faithful to Jesus. This is just another reason why we are never to forsake meeting with God's people in worship, prayer, service and evangelism.

We've considered our hearing and our habits, now look at...

C. Our Home

To sit is to be at home, and that means to dwell. We are never to sit in the seat of the scornful. This speaks of mocking God and God's ways in our homes. The result of listening to the world is to form habits that are against God; the result of evil habits is to finally be at home with the habits that mock God and turn people from Him.

The point here is that true meaning in life is found in rejecting the thoughts, habits and lifestyles of the world. Blessedness is never found in the ways of the world. Oh, to be sure, there are some moments of joy in sin, yet sin leads to sorrow. As one preacher was fond of saying, "Sorrow follows sin as night follows day." How true that is!

Sadly, many Christians have just enough religion to make them miserable. They are not sold out to Christ, so they wonder if what they believe about God and His Word is true. They lack joy. They cannot witness because they are not happy in the Lord. They lack power because they are not filled with His Spirit.

Listen, dear friend, you must be sold out to Christ or you will never be in the path of the full blessing that God has for you.

Let’s look at the second issue related to being blessed…

II. We are Blessed by being Delighted in His Word

Psalm 1:3-4

"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."

In verse three we discover that being blessed is more than the things we DON’T DO. Blessedness is not found in negatives, but in the full implementation of the positives that are available to the saints of God. The writer speaks of the blessing of the Word of God in the life of the believer and reminds us that great things grow from little seeds. There are three things here.

A. Meditation

Meditation means to engage in the act of concentrating upon or thinking about a thing or subject. It involves a mental exercise of focusing the mind upon that which is important to you. The Bible reminds us that we are to meditate upon God's Word, which simply put means we are to get the Word of God into us early each day and to keep our thoughts fixed upon it as we move along throughout that day. Meditation does not mean to simply sit still and hum some unwritten tones, but rather means to keep the Bible in your thoughts as you live and work each day.

Listen to what David said,

"Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You."

Your heart speaks of your mind, will and emotions. David was saying that he intended each day to take God's Word with Him, in His thoughts, decision and feelings, wherever he went.

This means that we are have the Word of God in our hearts so that we think upon His Word as we go through our day.

B. Penetration

Like planting a seed, the Word of God does no good unless it penetrates deep down. A seed is useless lying on top of the ground. We must get the Word down into our lives and that requires that we concentrate upon it. God's Word speaks to us even in our conversations, our careers, and our entertainment. When God’s Word goes deep into our lives, we see things we couldn’t see before, know things we didn’t know before, and can do things we could not do before.

C. Vegetation

If the seed of the scripture indwells us, that seed will produce fruit! The truth as to whether we are really allowing God to speak to us is found in the vegetation that grows up through and out of our hearts. God’s Word will produce fruit, and that is where the blessings of God become real in our lives. If we are producing not fruit in our Christian lives, it means that we are not concentrating on the Word of God enough to allow it to grow something useful and beautiful out of our lives.

D. Continuation

The Word never gets old and it continues to bring increasing yields! Let me tell you that the Word of God was a blessing to me when I was but a boy and my mother read me “Bible stories.” It blessed me when I became a man and had to deal with life’s complex issues. It blessed me as husband and father as I raised my children. It blessed in my ministry and work for Christ through the past 50 years! It is now blessing me in my old age.

Many things have changed since I was born – way back in 1944. The cars, clothes, transportation, hair styles, music – well, just about everything has changed. But, one thing remains the same. God still blesses through His Word as His people continue in it. It never, ever, ever gets old!!!

The importance of spending much time with something of great value and beauty is illustrated by a quote from the National Geographic magazine about Carl Sharsmith, an 81 year old guide in Yosemite National Park. It read, "Carl was back at his tent quarters after a long afternoon with tourists. His nose was flaked white and red with sunburn; his eyes were watery, partly from age but also from hearing again an old question after a half century of summers in California's Yosemite National Park. A lady tourist had hit him with a question where it hurt: 'I've only got an hour to spend at Yosemite,' she declared. 'What should I do? Where should I go?' The old naturalist - interpreter- ranger - finally found voice to reply. 'Ah, lady, only an hour.' He repeated it slowly. 'I suppose that if I had only an hour to spend at Yosemite, I'd just walk over there by the river and sit down and cry.'"

When we value the Word of God, we will spend much time in it! When we spend much time in it, God will forth great blessings out of it in our lives and the lives of others. Clearly, God's Word warns us that living on chaff instead of the wheat of God's Word is followed by a wind that blows everything away and leaves nothinhg behind. To have a life that matters, while we are living it and after we are gone, we must meditate upon and live out God's Word in our lives.

III. We are Blessed by being Destined for His Welcome

Psalm 1:5-6

5 "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."

Ah, the sadness of the perishing life! To live for this world is to live for nothing! But, to live for God is to experience God's grace Him and see His face on the other side.

Listen to Matthew 25:34 and note the joy of a life lived for Christ, "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.'"

Some years ago, when my children were small, we visited a museum that held the artifacts from the life of Elvis Presley. We stood looking a a Cadillac that he owned. It reeked of "oldness". It was out of date and actually looked gaudy. I'm sure in his day it was something to see and enjoy, but time a ripped away its significance. The others items we saw were exactly the same. You see, everything in this world is fading, dying and will pass away, but the Word of God lasts forever. God's blessings never end. Heaven will never grow old!

The blessed will be welcome at His side! The implication of the latter part of Psalm 1 is that the wicked will not be welcomed to the mansions of our Lord, but those who are blessed be ushered into them with joy. Who are the "blessed?" Those who have trusted in Jesus are the ones who are truly blessed. But, again, to truly appreciate your blessings you must be conscious of what you have in Christ and committed to Him completely. That is only possible when we turn to Christ for redemption and then meditate upon and live in His Word.

Conclusion

Do you really want to be blessed in life? Sure you do! Then make sure that Jesus is your Lord and Savior. And, then, make the Word of God a daily part of your life. We must walk with the Lord and meditate upon His Word. Fruit will come – fruit that will last. Life will have meaning – and life will last forever in His presence!

A few of years ago, the Associated Press released a study done by an agricultural school in Iowa. It reported that production of 100 bushels of corn from one acre of land, in addition to the many hours of the farmer's labor, required 4,000,000 pounds of water, 6,800 pounds of oxygen, 5,200 pounds of carbon, 160 pounds of nitrogen, 125 pounds of potassium, 75 pounds of yellow sulphur, and other elements too numerous to list. In addition to these things, which no man can produce, rain and sunshine at the right time are critical. It was estimated that only 5% of the produce of a farm can be attributed to the efforts of man.

Now please note this, if we are honest we have to admit that the same is true in producing spiritual fruit. To be fruitful, we must be planted near the source of blessing! Without Him we can do nothing; but, in Him we cannot help but be blessed as He works in and through us!

Come to Him today, those who have never trusted Christ as your Savior!

Come to Him today, those who know Him but realize we need to dwell near enough to Him that He can produce great things in us and through us!