The route to blessing part one (Psalm 1)Sunday, February 5, 2012
The first psalm tackles the fundamental question: How can I be happy?
Read Psalms 1:1
• Focus on verse 1. What is the first step towards being blessed by God?
• Why is this negative message so unpopular with our world today?
The message is “repent”. Being blessed by God involves turning away from practices, activities, ways of thinking that may be normal, comfortable, enjoyable, and even seem “sensible” to us.
Beware “wicked” counsel
• What do you think it means to “walk in the counsel of the wicked”?
Surely it is a mistake to think that “wicked counsel” is limited to those who might encourage us to lie, steal or harm others. In the Bible, wickedness refers to any way of living that leaves God out of the picture. Wicked counsel covers both the encouragement of friends to waste money on frivolities, and the “sensible” advice of a kindly grandma who tells you to “look after number one”.
• With this definition of “wicked”, can you think of some subtle (and so more dangerous) ways people might live by wicked counsel?
Take care in sinners’ company
• Why is the company we keep so important?
As any parent knows, the company we keep, the friends we choose to spend time with, is one of the most significant factors on how our character develops. Their attitudes and values can rub off on us without us noticing. And so all too easily we can find ourselves adopting the life, or “way”, of “sinners”—those who deny and defy God’s rule in life.
Steer clear of mockery
• Why can mocking others be so tempting to do or to watch?
Mockery puts us in the position of feeling we are superior to others. That makes it soul acid that eats away at us, leaving us
with a distorted view of ourselves and a sneering cynicism about others.
Think about your values—what you want in life, how you think it should be lived. Think about the friends you spend time with… the comedy shows you watch… the books you read. What effect do they have on you? Could they be leading you
away from enjoying life under God’s rule?
• Any practical steps you need to take?
• Anything you’re trying to avoid confronting? Remember—without repentance, there is no blessed life!
This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.
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