Sermon Overview & Prayer: "The Path of Durable Delight"

Psalm 1 – PRAYING THE SERMON

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

  1. The Way of the Righteous – Three things this “model man” doesn’t do:

- He doesn’t “walk in the counsel of the wicked” This deals w/ his “thinking”. He doesn’t accept the world’s advice. He’s not listening to the world’s opinions, or attracted to its values, or influenced by its perspective.

- He doesn’t “stand in the way of sinners”—he doesn’t “linger in their paths”. This deals w/ his actions: this man doesn’t associate himself w/ sinners in their sin.

- Finally, he doesn’t “sit in the seat of scoffers”. The final destination: Identifying with the world, embracing its attitudes. Here it’s the attitudes of “scoffers” and “mockers”. They scorn. They scoff at holiness.
Father, while information can come from anywhere, help me receive instruction only from you and your Word.
Help me to walk in righteousness and not succumb to what is popular, or socially acceptable, or convenient.
And fill me with your Spirit that I may be salt and light in the world, without being of the world.

So that’s what this deeply happy man doesn’t do. But...what most marks the man is what he does.
v 2 “His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
God’s Word has awakened something in him! It has captured his affections and rivets his attention. It has shown him something that surpasses all the other delights in his life...so that the Word penetrates us and becomes a part of us – shaping our minds, governing our thinking, and defining our identity, molding our attitudes, ordering our priorities, and directing our actions.
Heavenly Father, as I begin each day, walk through each day, and conclude each day, prompt me to remember your Word – perhaps a verse, or a word, or a phrase, or a name. Give me practical and creative ways to quickly recall, access, and apply your Word. Amid all you’ve given us to enjoy, may your word be paramount and most precious.

But it’s vital that we grasp one fundamental reality about Scripture: More than any other thing, or place on earth, it is here, through the words of this book, that God reveals – not just information or instruction – but Himself! It brings His presence.  Where God’s Word is, God is. He’s there, disclosing. He’s there, acting. He revealed Himself, to draw us into a relationship with Himself.
Most holy God, thank you that in reading your Word, memorizing your Word, meditating on your Word, and obeying your Word...I’m in personal fellowship and communion with you – my Creator, my Savior, my God!!

And the effects are dramatic – not only rich communion & deep joy – but abundant fruitfulness.

v 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.

In all that he does, he prospers.
Lord, I may not always recognize the fruit, but I deeply trust that you have faithfully planted me; and that you will sustain me, and that you will prosper me...whether in drought, or adversity, or the unknown, you give life!

  1. The Way of the Wicked

v 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous...

The psalmist is presenting us with a choice: the council of the wicked, or the assembly of the righteous.

You cannot have both. You must choose.
And may the sobering reality of God’s just and eternal judgment inspire me to pray for the lost, and to share and appeal to those whose way will perish. 

  1. The Divine Evaluation

v 6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous...

God desires to pour out on our lives—to build into our lives—the deep, enduring joy that comes from knowing Him, and walking with Him, and living FOR Him. Jesus purchased that on the cross; and He gives it to us through His Word.

And so, the offer of Psalm 1 stands: True joy in God, & fruitfulness for God, is indeed found in a life of

glad devotion to the Word of God.
Heavenly Father, may your love for us in the gospel of Jesus Christ, made known to us by your Holy Spirit, and revealed to us through your Word, stir within our hearts a passion for your Word that we might know, love, and fruitfully obey you in all that we think, believe, desire, and do!

As we enter 2021 as a church, we don’t know what this year holds. But we know this: there IS a path to

deep, rich, durable, God-glorifying happiness – despite circumstances, despite hardship, even in the midst of drought or pain or trial.

A life lived delighting in Christ – trusting in His work, resting in His promises – can find, day-by-day, fresh sight, renewed hope, solid wisdom, and fresh joy in God’s life-giving, Christ-revealing Word.

That’s a great year awaiting us.

 

OVERVIEW OF THE SERMON:
As a gateway to the book of Psalms, the author opens up with a celebratory introduction to a man; the righteous man. The psalmist emphasizes that “true joy in God and fruitfulness for God is found in a life of glad devotion to the Word of God.” By contrast, the way of the wicked will perish, and only one man has lived up to the “righteous man” of Psalm 1. Jesus is the truly righteous one who has paid for our salvation. God has given us his Word for us to know Him, especially in the person of his Son. When we meditate on God’s Word, God is present with us and blesses us with a personal and nourishing friendship.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: 

  1. How has Jeff’s sermon transformed your understanding of Psalm 1 from an obligation to read and into an invitation to friendship?
  2. What promises in Psalm 1 encourage you to meditate on God’s Word?
  3. The righteous man’s delight is in God’s law. How has delighting in God’s Word changed how you read the Bible? What differences have you experienced in seasons of cherishing God’s Word versus the times of unenthusiastically reading God’s Word?
  4. Jeff mentioned that God is the “silent gardener” who plants and cares for the tree. God revealed himself through the Word as an expression of personal love and friendship toward you. What Scripture has God used recently to show you his character and his work for you?
  5. There was a stern warning to the way of the wicked. With whom could you share the good news of the Gospel this week? Who do you have in mind and how can your community group specifically pray for your relationship with this person?