Loving Well….Put Off

loving as a way of life

 

Are we loving others well? In my own life I’ve experienced a wide range of Christians that love well and others that don’t. Sometimes unbelievers can love others better than the Christians around us. Its sad. 1 Corinthians 13 provides an outline of how to love. However I wanted to start out with situations I’ve encountered in my own life because it’s what we should put off. We put off the unloving actions,  thoughts, attitudes, renew our mind, conform more to the love that only God can give us. Once we know what to put off, we can renew our minds and put on the love of Christ.

Put Off unloving actions.

Cliques

-People have cliques. They want to stick to their group and talk to no one else. Relationships are good. Best friends are great. But we need to be talking to people who come across our path. The homeless person. The person with no friends. The socially awkward person. The person that doesn’t have anything to offer us. People are relational beings. They need our friendship and sometimes just someone to talk to. Love is sacrificial and we won’t always want to talk to these people. What kind of love do we have if we only love those that we get a benefit from? It’s healthy to reach out to those who are outside our age range as we do life together. I’m not saying be good friends with them, but we can get to know those around us who don’t exactly fit the mold. We choose our friends and who to do life with but we also choose who to love as we cross paths with the people around us. And that’s all I’m saying. Love those who you cross paths with. Love them well and learn from them.

Assuming People’s heart motivations, intentions

-Most people are guilty of this. I’ve been guilty of this. It’s funny that the people who know you the least end up assuming the worst of you. Assuming the worst is a catalyst for gossip and brings about a tense environment. We need to be encouraging people toward love and good deeds, assuming the best of them. Ultimately, its the Word that judges the thoughts and intents of the heart. We need to get back to a unity that is centered on the Gospel, encouraging each other toward our calling of love and good deeds as a witness to the world. Most of the time we don’t know people’s hearts. And we may never know. But we will all give an account one day and in the mean time we are called to love well.

Wanting to control people’s lives

-I’ve seen friendships torn over this. People disagree with someone’s actions and the friendship becomes torn. The actions aren’t even sin. People don’t want to hang out with certain people because of x, y, and z. There is a lack of forgiveness in the heart. Because of the above, they don’t want them at church or will avoid them. It seems immature. And it is. But I’ve seen it happen so I’m bringing it up. We can’t control what people do. But we can encourage them toward love and good deeds and be happy that they are at church. Everyone needs to be at church. Unbelievers need to be at church so they can hear the only message that gives them hope. Believers need to be at church for edification and learning how to live their life by the Word of God. The list goes on. There are many more situations. But its helpful to think of things not to do so we can more fully embrace what we should do.

Loving as a way of life.

God is love. Christians are called to love. Loving God is a mark of a true believer. Sometimes I don’t do it well. But we strive to drink from the pure milk of the word and become mature in our faith and love others well. Time is of the essence. We don’t become mature over night. It’s a process of continual examination, and being directed by the Word of God. And it’s practice as a way of life. It’s like anything else. As we continually practice loving others well, we become someone who loves as a way of life. It’s becomes what we are known for. It becomes who we are. It’s what Christians do. It’s the love of Christ emulated.

 

 

The Foundation of Love

Sources: Ligonier.org, desiringgod.org, logos bible Software

love-one-another

Why blog about love?

Love. The Epitome of the Christian life and the first fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5.

It the greatest commandment stated in the New Testament to Love God and to Love

your neighbor. (Mark 12:30-31) It is the Shema quoted in Deuteronomy 6. Love is

important. God is love (1 John 4:8) And we are to emulate God and his attributes out

of the desire of our new hearts. I want to love God and love others well. I want to

spur others toward love and good deeds.

Christ loved us First..and we should want to emulate it

1 John 4:10 New International Version (NIV)

10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Because Christ loved us first, we can be thankful and live out the love he showed us to begin with.

Romans 5:8 New International Version (NIV)

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Love as a Mark of a Christian

“the one who loves has been born of God and knows God”

(1 John 4:7)

“We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brethren” (1 John 3:14)

Faith

Piper said it well….

“Thus, we conclude that faith, when understood as deep contentment in the promises of God, always works through love. Therefore, the way to become a loving person s to set our hope more fully on God and delight more fully in the confidence that whatever is encountered  the path of obedience is for our good.”

Love starts with being a new creation in Christ. It is emulated because Christ first loved us. And love is a mark of a true Christian, made possible by the fruit of the Spirit. These are the foundations of true love. What makes love possible. Why we should love. And is the essence of the Christian walk. Loving God, Loving People. Loving the Word. Loving the hope set before us and living in light of that reality. Love. God is love. Christians love. Sometimes the final apologetic to a world that needs the only message that saves. Love well.

Summary Measure of a Man

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Sources: The Measure of a Man by Gene Getz

I need this book

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. And that’s ok. We all go through seasons of life and adjust our time schedules toward goals and productivity. One question I’ve been thinking through is how do you measure the character of a person? How can someone that seems so nice commit violent acts like Chris Watts? How do two beautiful teenage girls murder there best friend Skylar Neese? Sometimes our personalities and outward actions can cover up what’s really going on inside the heart. Righteousness and evil can be present in anyone regardless of attractiveness, occupations, wealth, friends, works, etc. What is it about? The heart. Physically, it’s what keeps us alive. Spiritually, our heart informs our beliefs, desires, actions, habits, and sows a character that makes up a person. I’m by no means a person that has this all figured out. I’m just trying to learn and blog so I can continually remind myself of the truths contained in scripture.

How do you go about making a decision?

We make decisions every day. We have choices to serve ourselves or serve others. The thinking process behind how we go about our day relating to others, giving to others, and serving others is a reflection of our heart, beliefs, and convictions. Here is a brief list of choices we could make:

Time issues

Playing video games/ helping around the house                (Pleasure vs thinking of others)

Watching TV for hours/achieving goals                            (Spending time vs investing time)

Spending- wasting time away/ Investing- going toward a goal

Relating to others                                      (Valuing your phone vs Initiative to talk to others)

Dating an unbeliever vs Waiting for God’s timing (Own desires vs trusting God)

Thankfulness vs bitterness                          (Thankful Patterns regardless of circumstances)

Spending money vs saving money             (Being a good steward of God’s resources)

Praying                                                             (Conviction that we need to pray daily)

In the word                 (Desire to be in the Word so we know God’s plan for our life and conform to his image through sanctification)

So what are all of these? Choices. This is by no means a checklist but good choices one can make based on the Word of God. It’s a desire of the new heart and what God has planned for us. It’s the Holy Spirit in us that directs us and illuminates the Word of God for direction in our lives. Below are some quotes from the book on how we are to walk.

“The degree to which we live holy lives depends upon the extent to which we keep In step with the Holy Spirit and His plan for our lives. Writing to the Galatians, Paul made this point very specific: ‘But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. (5:16)’ ”

“When we choose to yield to God, we choose to walk by the Spirit and draw upon His strength and power in order to live holy and righteous lives. ”

“When we walk by the spirit, we will reflect the fruit of the Spirit outlined in Galatians 5:22 or choose our own desires and do the deeds of the flesh outlined in Galatians 5:19)”

How do we walk in the Spirit?

The Spirit works through the Word of God and illuminates it to us. The Bible is God’s plan for our lives. He enables us to live out the truths contained in the Bible. Paul encourages believers to renew their minds in Romans 12 and not to be conformed to the world.

Maturity Profiles

1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 outlines the maturity profiles of a Godly man. Specifically, these are for deacons and leaders in the church I believe. However, anyone aspiring to be a Godly man can implement these characteristics into his life. So what are these 19 spiritual qualifications outlined in the book?

*Above reproach (A man of good reputation)

*The husband of one wife (Morally pure)

*Temperate (Balanced in words and actions)

*Prudent (Wise and humble)

*Respectable (Good role model)

*Hospitable (Unselfish and generous)

*Able to teach (Communicates sensitively in a nonthreatening manner)

*Not addicted to wine (Or other substances)

*Not self willed (Not self-centered and controlling)

*Not quick tempered (Void of anger)

*Nott pugnacious (Not abusive)

*Gentle (Sensitive, loving, kind)

*Peaceable (non argumentative and nondivisive)

*Free from the love of money (Nonmaterialistic)

*Manages his own household well (a good husband and father)

*Loving what is good (Pursues godly activities)

*Just (wise, discerning, nonprejudiced, and fair)

*Devout (holy, devoted to God)

*Self controlled (Disciplined)

Man what a list. It feels overwhelming to measure up to this type of person. I know I’m failing in so many areas. But that’s what discipleship is for. That’s what the word of God is for. The journey is a process of sanctification and growth that never ends. I know a lot of things. But sometimes fail to apply them. I’m glad I have this list and know what an optimal man of God should look like. I don’t just want to finish my own race faithfully as John Piper says. Below is a short post from Piper because frankly, I don’t think I can say it better:

Disciple Faithful Men- Piper

Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:14, “Guard the good deposit entrusted to you.” Then, a few verses later, picking up some of that same language, he tells Timothy, as part of his “guarding,” to “entrust to faithful men” what has been entrusted to him, and part of that “entrusting” is teaching them to pass the same thing on to others (2 Timothy 2:2).

Paul is telling Timothy that an essential part of faithful gospel ministry is this investment in the next generation. It is not some optional add-on. In other words, when Paul tells Timothy to “guard” the gospel, he is not just calling Timothy to protect the integrity of the gospel from the effects of false teaching. He is also calling Timothy to fight to preserve the continuation of the gospel against the effects of erosion over time, even beyond Timothy’s time.

This really should give us a different perspective on learning. It’s not just for ourselves. It’s for the next generation and the generation to come. The challenge is applying these truths to our lives and making wise decisions every day in accordance with our identity. I’m so glad I have some friends that exemplify this type of man more than I think I ever will. They are great guys and I need their example. Hopefully I can become more like them as they emulate Christ and his Character. Running the race to the very end and passing the baton on to the next generation.

 

 

 

 

 

Humility

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Sources:

Wayne Mack humility, Logos Bible Software, Stuart Scott, South East Christian Church

                                      Humility

The virtues of all virtues. The epitome of emulating Christ and mortifying sin. The virtue required to recognize sin, repent, believe, and come to Christ. The virtue that is the crown jewel of all the jewels. The virtue that changes the trajectory of one’s life. Humility. Without it, we stay stagnant in our sin. With it, we become more like Christ and emulate him. It’s a rare quality to find. To find a Christian that exemplifies the humility of Christ well is rare indeed. True humility is a gift. A gift that when opens the door toward Christlike character, an intuitive understanding of His word, and a life well spent.

                                What is Humility?

Humility is a gift. With the Spirit’s help, we can exemplify true humility. It takes humility to have humility. Humility encompasses many things. It’s the mindset of Christ, focusing on God and others, pursuing the recognition and exaltation of God, and desiring to please and glorify him in all things.

It’s a mindset.  (Theocentric mindset centered on God and not self)

Philippians 2:3-8″Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 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 equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men, and being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

Even Christ Had to humble himself to the point of death. When we recognize God’s sovereignty in our lives, we are humbled. Our humble perspective is knowing that he has sovereign rule over our lives and we respond. We respond by obeying his heart for our lives contained in the Bible. Humility, sovereignty, and obedience are interconnected in this way and are truly part of the pathway toward Christ-likeness.

It’s putting other’s first

It’s an attitude of recognizing our unworthiness before God. It’s having a servant’s mindset and putting other’s first.

Manifestations of Humility:

  1. An attitude of thankfulness
  2. Praying (shows our total dependence on Him.)
  3. Recognize and trust God’s Character
  4. Recognizing his Sovereignty
  5. focus on Christ
  6. Being overwhelmed with God’s undeserved grace- we deserve hell. And we are totally thankful
  7. Gentle and patient- not focused on what I want. Willing to wait.
  8. Seeing yourself and no better than others- Understands own sinfulness
  9. Having an accurate view of gifts and abilities- Not bemoaning that you aren’t as gifted as others or exaggerating your own abilities
  10. Being a good listener- (Valuing what others have to say as more important than what you have to say.)
  11. Talking well of others
  12. Gladly submissive and obedient to those in authority including God himself.
  13. Preferring others over yourself- Willing to put others before self
  14. Thankful for criticism or reproof
  15. Teachable spirit- Realization that I don’t know everything. Willing to consider that I may be wrong
  16. Always seeking to build others up- Encouraging others. Never cut others down or be critical.
  17. Serving-On the lookout for ways to assist others.
  18. Being able to admit you are wrong- No problem admitting wrongdoing for the sake of improving character and conforming to Christ.
  19. Quickness in granting and asking for forgiveness
  20. Repenting of sin as a way of life- Ask God daily for forgiveness and works toward change.
  21. Being genuinely glad for others- Rejoice when good things happen to others. Trust God for what I don’t have.
  22. Minimizing other’s sins in comparison to my own- Thinks about my own sin more than anyone else’s.
  23. Being honest in areas that I need growth- Ask for help and accountability
  24. Possess close relationships- Humble people generally have close relationships because they are always thinking about other people’s needs before their own.

Great Implications of manifesting true Humility

What do you value?

What we value most is affected by our experiences, who we hang out with, what we read, and our beliefs. Everyone makes determinations of what they value most everyday whether they realize it or not. If I spend my time playing video games rather than spending time with my family, I’m saying I value video games more than my family at that moment. If I am on my phone while talking to another person, I’m saying that I value what’s on my phone more than giving you my full undivided attention. Value judgments. Sometimes we aren’t willing to give what we are so dearly holding on to. Maybe we really want to watch that movie instead of spending time with a friend who needs us. Maybe we would rather hold on to our money than give to the church. Maybe we would rather just stick to our friends than reach out to the people in our church that need friends.

Emulating Christ

Jesus associated with the lowly. He was in the world but his citizenship is in heaven. Part of Humility is giving up what we value; being sacrificial for a greater cause that is truly valuable. It’s being a light in a world that is truly dark. What do you value? What are you holding on to? As Christians, each action we take is a demonstration of what we value. It is a life long process of putting off pride and putting on humility. Our money can be gone tomorrow but the eternal things of God and heaven last forever. We are commanded to clothe ourselves with humility; we have the mind of Christ. Christ is in us!

The Challenge

As Christians, we need to know our position in Christ (Saved) and our Union with Christ (he is in us. Galatians 2:20). In light of this and the redemptive framework of salvation, we live out God’s heart for our lives contained in His word. In regards to humility, we can ask ourselves several questions. We will never attain this list. Only Christ was perfectly humble and didn’t sin. However, we can try to live out humility by the power of the Spirit, prayer, being in His word, renewing our mind, putting off pride, and putting on humility.

Are you thankful for what God has provided or do you dwell with envy on what others have that you don’t?
Are you a good listener or are you just taking in what people say not really listening so you can say what you want to say?

Are you constantly thinking of ways to serve others or do you just take what people give you because you think you are entitled to it?

Do you stick to just your friends or do you let people into the circle demonstrating Christian love and Humility (there is wisdom in choosing friends if someone’s trajectory of life is not in accordance with the Word of God)

Are you gentle and patient? Or do you get impatient because people are infringing upon your time and desires?

Do you give sacrificially?

Do you recognize God’s sovereign rule over your life and respond in humble obedience?

This life is a journey. We will never be perfect. As Christians, part of our lives will be in line with what we are called to do. But we still sin. And the ship’s rudder needs to be turned so we start heading in line with who we are in Christ. There are so many ways in which I don’t measure up to these standards. But I think it’s good to think about these things so we can be on the right path. One day we will have to give an account. What a blessing it will be to be able to give an account of a life that demonstrates humility, Christ-likeness, and love for others.

 

How are we to live before a holy God?

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Sources: Table Talk Magazine, Ligonier.org, Grace to you

Today’s devotional focuses on John 15:6.

John 15:6 “If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

What does this mean? Can one lose their salvation if there is enough sin in their life? How are we to live before a holy God and how can we know that we are surely saved? What are the marks of a Christian? These are all good questions. Questions that I once had when I was beginning my spiritual walk.

Can one lose their salvation?

The short answer is no. If one is a child of God, he will always be saved. John 3:16, and Romans 10:9 emphasize belief and salvation. However, Mark 1:15 and others stress the importance of belief accompanied by repentance.

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 10:9

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Mark 1:15

15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Maybe you believe you are saved but are in a season of sin. If this is you, you need to repent and live out your identity in Christ. Pray, cut off sin, renew your mind, and put on Christ. Our love for God is evidenced by obeying His commands. And it cyclical. Loving God yields obedience which produces fruit and the unique joy of doing what we are called to do from a transformed heart.

Test Yourselves

2 Corinthians 13:5

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

Do you have spiritual fruit? Love, joy, peace, kindness,  gentleness, self control? This doesn’t mean that you need all of these to be saved. However, Christians should be producing fruit and growing in the faith. As we live out the commands of God Coram Deo, the Spirit testifies that we are in the faith.

The Spirit gives us assurance of salvation

1 John 3:23

23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

Romans 8:16

16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

But what does it mean to live Coram Deo? It means that we are living day to day in the face of God. We are always aware of his presence, acting with integrity; consistency in all situations. Whether people are watching us, or not watching us, we are the same person. We have a conviction that God is always watching (Psalm:139). He is omnipresent, being everywhere. We do things unto the Lord, for His glory, with the right heart motivation. With a vantage point toward eternity. It’s a life lived with established conviction, founded and held captive by the Word of God.

What can we gather from all of this? Believers can’t lose their salvation. As we produce fruit enabled by the spirit, the spirit will testify to our assurance of salvation as evidence of our faith. Our love for God propels us toward obedience. We live out this life Coram Deo. Before the face of God, with integrity in all situations. As we live Coram Deo, we will be authenticating the message that saved us in the first place. The Gospel that transforms lives. The Gospel that transformed our heart and enables us to be a salt and light in the world.

 

What does it mean to fear God?

Fear God

Sources: Faith life Study Bible (FSB)/Logos Bible Software

What does it mean to Fear God? When I began  my journey, I was so confused about this term. It seemed like everyone said I fear the Lord. I once met a man who was involved In sexual immorality. And he said he feared the Lord. You’ve probably hear that it means awe or reverence but what exactly does this mean and what’s the implication on our lives of fearing the Lord?

As outlined in the FSB, here is what it means to fear the Lord rearranged in a more understandable way:

What is fearing the Lord a Response to?

  1. It’s a response to his holiness; people fear God because of his mighty deed. Israel responded to God’s saving power with fear (Exodus 14:30-31

What does someone do who fears the Lord?

1)Exhibit trust and obedience by fearing him. (Deut 5:29, 8:6, 10:12-13) Obedience to the Law teach people to fear him. Abraham sacrificed Isaac because he feared Him.

2) Loyalty and Faithfulness to the covenantal God and God alone. No idols, no Baal, no other Gods. (Josh 24:14-15)

3) Trust in God (Pss. 115:11)

Who are the people who fear the Lord?

Community of those faithful to him.

4) IT’s the beginning of Wisdom and Knowledge (Prov 1:7,9:10) (Pss. 111:10)

5) Attitude of Humility resulting in righteous living (Prov. 3:7, 8:13, 14:2, 16:6, 22:4)

6) Worship and praise are equated with fear of the Lord. (Pss. 5:7, 22:23)

Fearing God in Ecclesiastes:

The exhortation to Fear God and Keep His commandments- (Eccl. 12:13)

God acts so that People will fear Him (Eccl 3:14)

Fearing God in relation to Israel:

The Israelites forsook the fear of the Lord; The prophets speak of a restoration of fearing the Lord when they are restored.

Fearing God in the book of Job:

(Job 1:9)

The central question in Job asked by Satan

What are the implications of fearing God?

  1. Protection, Wisdom, Blessing

It seems that Fearing God really is the result of being a Christian. True Christians fear the Lord and pursue wisdom and righteous living. It’s a response to his holiness. As Christians, we strive to reflect His attributes and conform more to Christ every day. We respond to His holiness by pursuing holiness. Pursuing holiness is pursuing Christ. Christ lives in us and the Spirit works in us. As we develop a healthy fear of God, we conform more to Christ for His glory. We glorify God by reflecting His attributes. As we reflect His attributes, we authenticate our Christian identity as proof of the Spirit working within us. This isn’t a legalistic authentication but a result of the saving power of the Spirit in us already. We fear the Lord and keep His commandments. It’s out of a love for him and what he did on the cross that’s motivates us to live out the Christian life and stay in constant fellowship with him. It’a all by grace through faith that it’s even possible. Enjoy the blessings that come from fearing the Lord. You will be blessed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 3

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Where do we turn in times of distress? The first of David’s Psalms and the first Lament Psalm is right here is Psalm 3:3. Lament Psalms express deep sorrow and ask for God’s blessing or Intervention. In Psalm 3, David is experiencing trials. A whole nation is turning against him. How does David respond in this trying Psalm

With Confidence

In Psalm 3:5, David lays down and sleeps. His confidence in God is validated by him sleeping in the midst of this dangerous situation.

Doxological petition

David turns to God with a petition and a praise. He pleas for God to save him but also praises Him in Psalm 3:8. Salvation belongs to the Lord. Deliverance belongs to the Lord whether it be from temporal enemies or the Spiritual Salvation of the soul that only the Lord can bring.

Where do you turn in times of distress? Can we have the confidence of David through our trials to turn to God and have confidence in our prayers from an all powerful God? Salvation Belongs to the lord

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Psalm 2

kisstheson

         Credit: Coye Still Southern Seminary; Logos Bible Software

Psalm 2 introduces the Book of Psalms along with Psalm 1. While Psalm 1 is more focused on the individual, Psalm 2 addresses the nations. The scope has broadened. It starts with the rage of the nations and ends with the kingship of Christ. There are 2 options, 2 paths for the nations to take. They can either give allegiance and “Kiss the Son” or perish. The choice is theirs.

God has a plan. And it’s not always your plan. Even now, I’m guilty of trying to plan the course of my life, where I will go, and what I want to do. Planning is good. It demonstrates discipline, goals, and determination. The tenacity to succeed. However, the fruition of those plans is ultimately determined by a providential, sovereign God. What does this have to do with Psalm 2? At the beginning of the Psalm, the Nations start out rebelling; plotting in vain.

Do the nations really rebel? Coye still said that history is a story of humanity warring against God. Humanity wars against God. Humanity killed Christ. But it was necessary for the atonement. Necessary for justification of the elect. Without it, there is no Sacrifice for sins. If Jesus wasn’t God, Christianity itself would cease to exist. A sacrifice was necessary; the one and only sacrifice that didn’t need to be repeated. No more sacrificing animals over and over again in the OT. This sacrifice was special; good enough for all of humanity if they believe in Christ, repent, turn to him and have faith.

When the nations plot in Psalm 2:1, the result is laughter. Psalm 2:4-“He who sits in the heavens shall laugh.” Rebellion is a reality but also vanity. We can plot all we want but ultimately, God is in control. He is sovereign. When we can trust in the promises of God, we are relaxed and have peace because there is a plan. We are submitting to a father, even though our desires may be contrary to his will. And in all of this we can have joy through various trials as it says in James. Trials produce Character and conform us to Christ.

Romans 8:28-29

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For Whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.”

Everything works together and He has a purpose. And we are being conformed to the image of His Son.

Psalm 2 is also about the global kingship of Christ. Quoted 3 times in the NT (Act and twice in Hebrews), Psalm 2:7 says ” ‘I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.” Psalm 2:7 is a reference to the Father/Son relationship of the trinity. The messiah will be established as king despite the Gentile Nation’s resistance. The message is clear. Kiss the Son or perish.

As we we go about life, we may not understand God’s purpose. It can be confusing. It may be not what we want. But we can trust the Lord and believe in the promises of our Sovereign God. Psalm 2:12- “Blessed are those who put their trust in Him.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How  can we be happy? Isn’t this the pervading question of the culture. Everyone tries to pursue happiness. I can remember my first Christmas. The beaming sun was just coming up over the horizon. The radiating beams of light penetrated the thick, glassy windows. Ho! ho! ho! He’s here! I jumped out of my bed and ran down stairs; I suspected there was a treasure or something down there. Something good. I remember asking for pokemon cards. To my surprise, there were tons of presents! Rushing in anticipation, I opened every single one of them. Paper scattered everywhere in a hurry. The unveiling of what I had received was finally here. It was……..Monopoly. I had never played monopoly and was frankly pretty bummed out. I mean isn’t monopoly for the older kids? My point is that our happiness can come and fade. Sometimes it’s based on what we receive. Sometimes it’s based on our circumstances. But true happiness is found in the Lord and the word of God.

Psalm 1 is the first book of Psalms; Pslams is divided into 5 “books” although the book of Psalms is considered one book of the Bible. Psalm 1 is important. Chronologically speaking, Psalm 1 was not the first Psalm written; it was intentionally placed there. So we what can we learn about Psalm 1 and the truths presented? It is important! We can learn about happiness, our way of life, and the outcome of our way of life.

True Happiness

Psalm 1 starts with the word blessed. The Hebrew is Ashre meaning joy, contentment, happiness. I believe reading somewhere that the term is doubled. The Psalm starts out Ashre, Ashre. Doubly blessed. So how can we be happy in this life? The Psalm goes on to list three negatives and one verb of commission.

The three negatives

The three negatives outline what the Blessed man should not do. He should not

  1. Walk in the counsel of the Wicked
  2. Stand in the way of Sinners
  3. Sit in the seat of Scoffer

There is a progression of evil here; gradations of evil. Walking is not as bad as standing.  Standing is not as bad as sitting with scoffers.

You are a relationship manager

What are the implications from this passage? I believe our closest friends should be those that can help us conform to Christ’s image in deed and thought. People that spur us on to holiness which is essentially pursuing the Person of Christ. Christ in us. We are all busy. I’m not saying that we should avoid the world. We are called to engage the world with the Gospel. And show love to them. But our fellowship with others that are pursuing Christ is our choice. We can only be super close with a limited number of people. And we have to make decisions on who we want to spend a lot of our time with. As steer our ship in the waves of life, we need to make informed decisions on who our friends are. Our relationships are part of communing with Christ along with the Word and prayer. Pursuing the right friends is a blessing and you will be thankful

What does the Blessed man do?

The blessed man delights in the Law of the Lord. And this makes sense. God has a plan for us. He has a plan for you. He has a plan for me. As we read the Word of God, we are expressing our union with Christ by communing with Christ. Fellowshipping  with him. Getting direction for his heart, his purposes, and how we should live.

How is the Blessed person described?

The blessed man is described like a tree yielding fruit. They are stable, nourished, prosperous, fruitful. They are productive, spiritually maturing and conforming to Christ. He has Union with Christ. He is communing with Christ. And the fruits of the Spirit are evidently displayed in his life by producing the fruit of the Spirit.

2 paths

The wicked are described as the opposite of the blessed man. “The wicked are not so.” They are chaff. We can either follow the way of the wicked or the way of the righteous. Follow Christ or not follow Christ.

2 outcomes

The Lord knows the way of the righteous. He has saved them. They are going to Heaven. The Lord also knows the way of the wicked. They will perish.

Implication

We really can be happy by delighting in the Law of the Lord. The Gospel is the power of salvation to whoever believes accompanied by faith and repentance. It is the happy man that love the Word of God. In fact, it is the mark of a true believer. As we Abide in Christ and follow His Word, we can be happy. Following the way of life God has planned for us, following his purposes for His Glory.