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Religion


Psalm 1: Part 3 "Being Fruitful"


By Pastor Philip Howle
web posted February 6, 2013
RELIGION – Last week we focused on the sad results of pursing delight on our own terms.  John Piper writes, concerning the selfishness of sin, “The root of our sinfulness is the desire for our own happiness apart from God and apart from the happiness of others in God. All sin comes from a desire to be happy cut off from the glory of God and cut off from the good of others.” So in light of this, let’s now look at the results of going after joy on God’s terms.
 
To do so, we begin by looking at the last half of Vs.2.  The joy in seeking God is expressed in meditation. You know when you love something or find joy in something you think about. I have mentioned my son has taken up boxing and I really enjoy watching him practice; bobbing and weaving and sticking and moving! Now I don’t enjoy it when he comes to me with an unseen right hook, hard and low and below the belt. But even as I write, I am thinking about Cason pounding the heavy bag and hitting the mitts with his coach in the center of the ring. You see, this is something that I enjoy and look forward to and it is on my mind.
   
Mediating for the Christian is not some hippy-drippy exercise of emptying your mind and chanting “oohhmm.” It is simply thinking about God and His Word. This is surprisingly uncomplicated. Get a Bible, get a devotional book, read for a few minutes. And then take a moment to think what God is trying to teach you today. Write it down and maybe think about it on the way to work. Write it on a sticky note and place it on your desk and think about it a few times more during the day.  All meditation is, is thinking about God’s activity in your life.
   
Now why bother doing all this? Because the benefits of meditating on God’s Word are not simply in your own life, but are blessings to others as well. Let’s look at verse 3.
   
First, in Vs.1:3 the man who seeks joy in God is fruitful. A fruit tree brings blessing to all who eat from it. One of the things I enjoy about being in Edgefield is fresh peaches. A good peach will just about make your day.  A person who seeks joy in Christ will be a blessing to others. Think about it, they will not merely be looking for people to use and consume for their own satisfaction.  They encourage, bless and uplift. 

Secondly, in Vs.13 the person who delights in Christ is shown to be durable. The psalmist writes “its leaf does not wither.”  This aspect is not because the tree has favored status and never endures the summer heat or the freezing temperatures of winter. This person knows their unchanging joy in a changing world is bound up in Jesus. They are not fragile or easily offended, they handle what comes their way with grace and kindness.

Thirdly, they prosper in all they do. Prosperity, however, needs to be defined. Prosperity is not God making you rich and handsome. Meditating on the things of God will help you to grow as a Christian. This means making the most of everything hat happens in your life. Donald Walsch wrote in his book, Conversations with God, "there are no mistakes, only lessons." Every day is a lesson. Every day God teaches us about life. The key is to be open to what God wants to teach us and then apply it to our lives and to choose the path that will lead to prosperity.
 
What are the results of failing to delight in God and mediate in His ways? We will look at the results next week in vs. 4-6.

Pastor Phillip



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