ML-1 - The Blessed Life

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Transcript

MOTIVATIONAL LESSONS

Is your life really as happy and joyful as you'd like for it to be? Do you
really have the blessed life that we find described in the Bible? If not, we
encourage you to study with us as we think about the blessed life from
Psalm 1.
The psalmist said, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel
of the ungodly, nor stands in the paths of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the
scornful,” Psalm 1:1.

There are a host of people who are searching for happiness and joy.
This is what most of us are really looking for in this life, and yet so many
people struggle to find real happiness and satisfaction. Where does it come
from? How do I really get the blessed life that we find in Scripture?
It's not found in the many avenues that people look for it in today.
You can't find real joy and lasting satisfaction in pleasure, wealth, lust,
human pride or power, or authority. Those things won't achieve what we
really sometimes think they will. True happiness can be found in God's
pattern for true happiness, found in Psalm 1. I want you notice for just a
second with me the words of Psalm 1. We're going to look at God's pattern
for really happy and blessed lives.

Notice Psalm 1 beginning in verse number 1 the Scripture says,
“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.” Here's a plan given
by God in the very first Psalm of how to have a blessed or happy life on this
earth.
What do you have to do to have a blessed life? First you have to
learn to avoid certain things. If I'm really going to be happy and if you really
going to be happy, I've got a make up my mind to avoid certain things to
really be happy in this life. For example, the Bible teaches in this Psalm to
avoid ungodly advice or ungodly ways of life. Notice again Psalm 1:1,
“Blessed is the man,” notice this, “who walks not in the counsel of the
ungodly.” That idea of walking in Scripture always represents a practice of
life, a way in which one lives. When the psalmist says, ‘happy or blessed is
the man, who walks not,’ he's talking about living, living practicing, making
that my lifestyle. ‘In the counsel of the ungodly,’ counsel represents
guidance or advice or up maybe the way of life that they espouse and want
to propagate to other people.
If you really going to have the blessed life, friend you've got to learn
to avoid ungodly advice or ungodly philosophies of life. I've got to learn to
avoid ungodly advice as it relates to a Christian living. Real Christian living
is about really dedicating myself to Christ. Luke 9:23 Jesus said, “If any
man desires come after me let him deny himself, take up his cross daily,
and follow me.” Too many times I think people, even people who are
Christians or claim to be Christians, are not really as happy as they want to
be; because they have adopted a philosophy that says if I go to church on
Sunday, if I do certain things throughout the rest of the week, if I espouse
the Christian ideas most of the time, I'm going to be happy. Friend, that's
really not what the Scripture teaches.

Jesus said, “If any man desires to come after me let him take up his
cross daily.” Christianity is an everyday lifestyle. It's something that I strive
to do every waking moment. There are a host of people who claim
affiliation with Christianity who are miserable, because they want
Christianity and the world. They want to have the best of both. Friend,
that's an ungodly lifestyle that will not lead to the blessed life.
Then you've got to learn to avoid, if you're really going to have the
best life, you've got to learn to avoid ungodly moral practices. 1 Corinthians
10:31 the apostle Paul said, “Whether we eat or whether we drink or
whatever we do, do all to the glory of God.” In my life and in my moral
practices, and by moral we mean that which is right or wrong that which is
approved by God or not approved by God, I've got a learn to avoid ungodly
moral practices in this life. I want to let the Bible be my guide in determining
what is right and what is not right. You see the Bible is the perfect law of
liberty, James 1:22-25. The Bible of itself, by itself, has the power to teach
man how to live the best life you can ever imagine.
And so as it relates to our speech, we want to let the Bible tell us to
how to speak. “Speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine,” Titus
2:1. As it relates to moral practices, whether it is working hard, honesty,
truth, goodness, all those things that we find in Scripture, let's let the Bible
be our moral guide. Too many times we let the world shape us into its
mold, when Scripture teaches really we ought to be shaped into the mold of
God. Paul said in Romans 12:1, “I beg you by the mercies of God that you
present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is
your reasonable service.” And listen to verse 2, “And do not be conformed
to this world.”
The idea there is do not let the world squeeze you into its mold. ‘Do
not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your
mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will
of God.’ I want to avoid ungodly practices related to pseudo-Christian living.
I want to avoid ungodly principles as it relates to morality.
And then friend if I'm to be happy, I've got to avoid ungodly advice as
it relates to God. My whole system of happiness is directly related to my
relationship to God. If I've got a skewed view of God, for example some
people believe that that God is everything. That everything is God: the

trees, the ground, the water. While God created all of that, the Bible doesn't
teach God is those things. They represent His nature and His deity. But
that's not God going out and hugging a tree or of being close to a rock is
not going to give you true happiness and peace and joy in this life. Some
people have a view of God that is really amoral. That God doesn't really
care, that He just kind of wound the world up and let it go, and that
whatever man thinks is good and right, is good and right in His sight,
otherwise known as humanism. A little bit of postmodernism involved in
that. Friend that kind of thinking won't make a person happy.
What do we need to know about God? God is our father, that He is
the creator of all life, that in the beginning God spoke and the world came
into existence, and that the God whom we serve is a God of love mercy
and compassion, 1 John 4:8, so much so that He sent His own Son to die
for our sins.
But you if I'm also going to have the happy, blessed life not only do I
have to avoid ungodly advice, I've got to avoid the influence of ungodly
people.
Listen again to Psalm 1:1 the psalmist said, “Blessed,” which
represents the idea of divine happiness, “Blessed is the man who walks not
in the counsel or advice of the ungodly,” now notice this, “nor stands in the
path of sinners.” To really be happy don't let people of this world, people
who have no desire to serve God and put their trust in Him, don't let them
influence you. We should be influencing the world.
One of the passages that we often mention and especially as we
think about young people, as we try to encourage our children based in 1
Corinthians 15:33 the Bible says, “Evil companions corrupt good morals.”
Let's say that a person wants to really be happy and is trying to live his life
off the Bible. He's trying to walk in the light, 1 John 1:7. He's trying to follow
in the footsteps of Jesus, 1 Peter 2:21. He's doing his best to defend
himself from Satan and his attacks. And then he aligns himself with people
of this world, people who are children of the devil, people who are not trying
to live right, how well is that scene going to unfold for that person with
people of the world constantly pulling at them, with people of the world
constantly striving to do things are not right, and bring them along with
that? Friend such a friendship, such a companionship or an association,

will not help one to really be happy. Because you're going to have that
inward struggle, you know you want to do right. You know you want to talk
right, deep down you want to act right, and then you've got this group of
friends that you're following, who doesn't have any of those morals, and
you do things that they do. Deep down that's going to be an inward struggle
in which you'll never really have true happiness.

Listen carefully; do we want to try to win people of the world? Do we
want to be good to them? Do we want to try to be friendly to them?
Absolutely! But I don't want to make my closest friends children of the devil.
I don't want to make my closest friends people of this world, who have no
desire to follow God and His teaching. That's not going to be. The Bible
speaks of not being unequally yoked together, 2 Corinthians 6:16-18. And
friend, that would indeed be an unequal yoke. I want to be careful that I
don't that I avoid the influence of ungodly people, and that I really have the
influence for Christ that I need to.
Let me illustrate. Do you remember Matthew 5:16? In the Sermon on
the Mount, Jesus says these words, “Let your light so shine before men
that they may see your good works and glorify your father who is in
heaven.” The Christian’s influence ought to be that of good and light. If I'm
being affected by people of darkness and the world, that's going to be very
difficult. Jesus uses the illustration there he says, “No man takes a lamp
and puts it under a bushel, a everyone who lights something sets it as it
were on the hill.” He says where it can be seen by everybody, ‘let your light
so shine that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is
in heaven.’
Now not only do you have to avoid ungodly counsel, not only to be
happy do you have to avoid ungodly associations, but you've got to avoid
the lifestyle of ungodliness. Notice again there's a third thing mentioned in
Psalm 1:1, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the
ungodly, nor stands in the paths of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the
scornful.” This idea of sitting represents a complete adoption of, entrenched
in, part of that life of ungodliness.

Now this is just a side point, but I want you to notice this. Did you
notice the progression of sin in Psalm 1:1? Standing, walks not, stands not,
and sits not. The opposite of that, is one who walks, stands, and sits in.
Look at the progression. You're walking in it, you're standing in it, and
before you know it you're sitting in it. The progression of sin, although slow
it may seem like at times, has the ability to take one from walking, standing,
until he sitting in entrenched in a lifestyle of sin.
The encouragement is to avoid the lifestyle of ungodliness. What are
some of the things that are kind of characteristic of that lifestyle? It's a
lifestyle of selfishness. Friend this life is not about me and you. We live in
very much a ‘me’ society, a society that focuses on man and what can be
done for the individual. A having his pleasure met almost immediately,
that's not what Christianity is about. “Let this mind be in you, which was
also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God did not consider it
robbery to be made equal with God, but He humbled Himself, became
obedient to death, even the death of the cross,” Philippians chapter 2
verses 5 through 8. Look at the selflessness and humility of Jesus, that's
the lifestyle we need.
When we talk about avoiding a lifestyle of ungodliness and some of
the characteristics of it, worldliness and greed are a big part of that. Can we
really have the world and everything in it and God? Listen to James 4 verse
4, “Adulterers and adulteresses do you not know friendship with the world
is enmity with God? Whoever therefore desires be a friend of the world, has
made himself God's enemy.” We're not talking about enjoying nature,
enjoying the beauty of God's creation. We are speaking of the worldliness
that represents all the, the pleasure, desires, and materialism in and of
selfishness, which the world so many times focuses on.
Do you remember a man who it really cost him a big part, when he
got caught up in the world? Luke 12:15-21. It wasn't that he was a foolish
man necessarily in all ways. He had a great crop year, thinking ahead he
tore down his barns, and built bigger barns. He said to his soul, ‘Soul
you've got many goods laid up for many years take it easy.” In essence eat,
drink, and be merry. God said to that man, “You fool,” here's the point,
“This night will your soul be required of you.” Jesus' point was so is, he who
is rich but not toward Godliness. Here's a man who took advantage of
every opportunity. It looks like was a good businessman so much so that

he's planning for the future. But that man, who was good at business, who
was a great farmer, who is looking forward to the future, left the most
important thing out. His soul was in great desperation, because he didn't
put his trust and his hope in Almighty God.
Moving away from the negative, let's then notice what do I have to do
to have the blessed life? Look at Psalm 1:2 with me. The Bible says, unlike
the man is walking, standing, and sitting in sin, the Bible says, “Blessed,” or
happy, “is the man whose the delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His
law he does meditate day and night.” To live the blessed life, I’ve got to find
true happiness in God's law and God's teaching. If I'm really going to be
happy like God wants me to, I've got to love the word of God and live my
life based off of its teaching. I've got to accept this book. God's word is
truth. Jesus said, “Sanctify them by your truth, your word is truth,” John
17:17. I've got to realize that that the Bible has the power to free my soul
from the snare and entanglement of sin. Jesus said, “You shall know the
truth and the truth will make you free.”
If I'm to really be happy like God wants me to, I've got to meditate in
God's law day and night. Meaning, I've got a study the word of God. “Study
to show yourself approved,” 2 Timothy 2:15. Job said in Job 23:12, “Your
word is more important to me than my necessary food, I treasure the word
of your mouth more than my necessary food.”
To find real happiness, let's look to God's word to find out: How does
God want us to live? What does he want me to do? What is a life that finds
real joy and satisfaction? I assure you that is a life that makes it its aim to
glorify God. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “That's the whole duty of man.” It's a life
that isn't so focused on self, but it's a life that tries to serve others. “The
Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,” Mark 10:45.
Then I want you notice this, if I make it my aim to really follow the law
of God, what's the benefit you're going to reap? Notice Psalm 1:3 the
Scripture records, “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water.”
Who is that? The man “Whose delight is in the law of the Lord that brings
forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatever he
does shall prosper.”

So when I think about this man, you know when you think about all
the things he's got and how he's going to find that that really happy life, the
psalmist clearly tells us exactly how that is. He's going to be rooted, takes
roots by the river of water. He's going to be fruitful. He's going to have a
solid foundation to build his faith on in the word of God. He, because of
putting his trust in the word of God, is going to be fruitful in what he does.
Do you remember John 15? Jesus said, “If you're connected to the vine,
you will bear fruit.” Being connected to Christ, having a mindset of focusing
on the word of God, indeed does help us to really be what God wants us to
be. Then of course that person is going to be faithful; he's not going
anywhere.
You know when we think about Psalm 1:3, “brings forth fruit in its
season its leaves shall not wither, whatever he does shall prosper,” here's
a man who is not going anywhere. His faith is sure; it's firm. He has
conviction and trust in Almighty God. He can be faithful until death,
Revelation 2:10.
And notice again, “whatever that man does, he will prosper,” that's
not saying that this is a social gospel and that if you become a Christian
today, you're going to have all the material blessings and wealth and the
health in the world. “Prosper” here is not the idea of the necessarily of the
physical sense, although that may come as well, prospering is spiritual
prosperity. The man who makes it his aim to turn away from evil, to seek
God and His word, and to live his life to the best of his ability following the
Bible, that man's going to prosper because ultimately it's his soul that's
going to prosper.
What's the most important thing you possess? Some might say gold,
some might say wealth or money, and some might say jewels or diamonds,
or even family. Friend while those things may have a time and place in our
life, they're not our most important possession. Jesus asked two questions
in Mark 8:36-37. “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and
loses his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Do you recognize that the most important thing that we have is our
soul, that this is what the psalmist is encouraging us about? Do you want to
find real happiness? Then turn away from evil. Turn to God, make it your
aim no matter what comes, no matter what happens; I'm going to put my

trust in the Bible. I'm going to live for Christ. Then you can be like that tree
that's planted by the water that has all the support and sustenance that it
needs based off of the word of God.
Now the psalmist closes again by noting that, ‘the wicked are not so,
but they're like the chaff that is driven away by the wind.’ They don't have
that blessed hope that God's people have. There are only two paths really
in this life. One can choose the path of wickedness, the path of apathy, the
path of not fully committing to God, and that path is not going to be a good
path. That path is not going to lead to true happiness and trust and joy in
God. Or you can choose the path that leads to eternal happiness in Christ
Jesus, a path where if we stay faithful to the Lord, one day we've got this
hope. Jesus will say to those who follow Him, “Well done good and faithful
servant enter into the joys of your Lord.”
We ask you today, what path in life are you really on? What path are
you walking down? Again we ask you, do you really have that that
happiness, that joy, that peace, that lasting satisfaction in life?
Friend if we don't have that, it very well may be the case that our lives
are not being lived by God's plan for happiness in the Scripture. Or maybe
you've never obeyed the gospel. Maybe you don't have that happiness,
because you've never come to know Christ and be a child of His. Friend if
that's the case; you can surely remedy that situation by obeying the gospel.
You might be thinking, ‘Well what do I need to do to become a
Christian?’ Friend the Bible makes it abundantly clear. Do you believe that
Jesus is God's son the Savior of the world, John 8:24? Would you be
willing, based on that commitment, to turn from sin turn from the way of evil
and turn to God, known as repentance, Luke 13:3? Would you confess that
Jesus is the Christ the son of the living God, Romans 10:10? Would you, to
have every sin and evil washed away, would you be immersed in water for
the forgiveness of your sins?
Here's how Jesus said it at the conclusion of the gospel of Mark, in
Mark 16 Jesus tells His disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the
gospel unto every creature, the one who believes and is baptized will be
saved. He who does not believe shall be condemned.”

Have you believed and have you been baptized to be saved?
If maybe at one time your life had that that happiness and that
satisfaction and that joy, because you were walking down that blessed life.
And maybe you've turned back to the world. Maybe you're a lot like the
prodigal son, who'd gone into a far land and spent your time and life on
worldly living, just like in Luke 15. The father stands with open arms ready
to receive you back.
If you need to change your life, you need to obey the gospel, or
you're just looking for a pattern for true happiness, I'll assure you, Psalm 1
has that.
Friend, our hope and prayer is we'll submit our lives to that plan, to
have real happiness.

Study Questions for: “Motivational Lesson 1”

1. How is the blessed man described in Psalm 1:1?

2. According to Psalm 1, what does he delight in?

3. What does he meditate on day and night in Psalm 1?

4. According to Psalm 1, what is the fate of the ungodly?

5. Psalm 1:1 tells us to avoid what kind of advice?

6. What must we do if we desire Jesus according to Luke 9:23?

7. How does 1 Corinthians 10:31 tell us to do all things?

8. According to James 1:22-25, what kind of law is the Bible?

9. How does Titus 2:1 tell us to speak?

10. According to Romans 12:1, how shall we present our bodies?