My thoughts interspersed with the Raw Notes from the sermon on Sunday, 27-November-2016.
The sermon encompassed Psalm 1. Here's the entire passage:
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.
The world can be an ugly place. Wickedness abounds, and we see evil all around us. Just look at the news of the woman kidnapped for three weeks and finally returned to her family, beaten, bruised and with her hair shaved off. As bad as the incident was, the ugly responses of people toward the family also astound me.
God calls us to a higher standard, one I cannot honestly meet all the time.
Yet, it's not what can I get, but what can I give? Sometimes it is because of ignorance. Some have never heard the name of Jesus. I do not expect the brightest of humanity to glow with Christianity, for I know many kind people who are not Christian. Yet, my Christian beliefs call me to give to others, and I do expect that from Christians, and I don't always find it.
If you say, "I know I want the blessed life, but I'm trapped."
Rom 6:11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.This is the Christian message. Surrender your life to Jesus. Jesus needs to be more than a wise teacher that lived 2000 years ago.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rom 8:1-2 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Rom 8:39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Delight is in the law of the Lord.
It's about others. That might be too big for some people. It might be too big for most people. Here's the beauty of it. Choose only one other, and make your life about serving that person. Choose Jesus, live your life to serve Him, and you will find yourself serving a host of others.
Zach (the Pastor) has a theory with hula hoops.
It does not say those who know the law, nor those who talk about the law. It says you will delight in the law of the Lord.
Four possible hoops to be stuck in:
- Some want to argue with God, fight against the law of the Lord. Jonah, at the first.
- Ignore the law of the Lord. Jonah below decks in the boat.
- Accept the law of the Lord. You fought and lost, so you accept it.
- DELIGHT in the law of the Lord.
What does DELIGHT look like?
On His law he meditates day and night. Read your Bible! We are and become what we think. If we meditate - think - about things that are holy, we tend to move toward doing the things that are holy.
You know it's true. You get in the most trouble when you think about doing something bad. You ponder it, roll it around in your mind - and then do it. Here's a hint. Stop the thought before it becomes a deed.
You can become blessed, a tree planted next to a stream of water. Connected to life. Yields its fruit in its season, its leaf does not wither, and all that he does prospers.
John 10:10 I have come to give you life, and to give it abundantly.
Some people don't want to be a blessing - they simply want to be blessed.
The most blessed people I know are the ones who seek to be blessings. Aim for that.