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May 22, 2005

“Where do I go from here?”  Psalm 1

May 22, 2005.  Pastor Matt

Today’s message is for…

-         those who have been baptized today

-         those who are graduating from high school or college

-         those who have been wandering the streets of life with no direction and stability

-         those of us who find ourselves in spiritually dry times

o       all the above people are on a journey

o       we are all on a journey called life

        with all its ups and downs

        with the craziness life is about to throw at you or currently is throwing at you, we need a place of stability, a solid place to stand where we know we can always stand, where we can always run to and know this will be the same

-         Sometimes life can be a raging storm all around us but we can be at peace within.

-         Sometimes our spiritual walk can be up and down, alive then dead

-         Sometimes we make a mess of our own lives (we don’t need help from the world around us) and we wish we new of a better way to keep ourselves out of the messes we make.

 

Let’s see what the Bible has to say about all this:

Turn to Psalm 1

According to this Psalm, we have two options of who is going to guide our lives:

Option #1.  We can follow the world

or

Option #2.  We can follow the Word

Let us examine what happens when we follow option #1.

 "Counsel of the wicked”

          Taking advice from the ungodly

Did you know Christian people can give some very ungodly advice when they speak from their flesh, out of anger, or selfishness?     

We are not to seek advice from the world and yet we listen to the news, the local shrink, Rush Limbaugh, horoscopes, or we just follow the advice that is suggested to us through advertisements, TV, radio etc.

          (What happens in Vegas, separation of church and state)

                   We should not even listen to the advice of ungodly people. 

                             If we fill our mind with it enough times, we will begin to believe it

                   We must filter everything we hear through the Word of God…even if you hear it in a church

“stand in the way of sinners”

-         At this point you are no longer speaking with or listening to the ungodly

-         Now you are walking in their life, doing the sinful things they encouraged you to do

o       (even if they think what they are doing is not a sin)

I am not saying to remove yourself from the world. 

Matthew 5:14.  "You are the light of the world…”

We must be in this world (we cant live in a bubble) if we are going to share Jesus with the world

                             But that also does not mean we are to point out the sins of the lost

The lost are just lost.  They don’t need morality, they need Jesus

God gives us the ability to see the sins of others and the strength to stay out of it and away from it

 “sit in the seat of mockers”

-         at this point, you are opposed to God

o       you have a hatred towards the things of God

        the Bible, Christians, even driving past a church

-         when people find themselves buried in their own sin, they often curse at God

Psalm 1:4-5

Where does following the world take us?

-         we become like chaff that the wind blows away

o       In winnowing, grain is threshed in order to separate the kernel of grain from the husk and straw . The mixture is thrown into the air with a winnowing fork or shovel. The wind blows the light husks away, the heavier straw falls near the edge of the threshing floor, and the grain falls back to the floor to be collected.

o       The chaff that blows away is useless

o       What happens to the useless chaff?

        It is trampled on and eventually burned

Matthew 3:11-12

John the Baptist…

“I baptize with  water those who turn from their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is far greater than I am—so much greater that I am not even worthy to be his slave.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.  He is ready to separate the chaff from the grain with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, storing the grain in his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.”

 

We can see that following the when we follow the world, it is a path that leads to destruction

Matthew 7:13-14.  "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

The Message of Jesus is pretty simple

but there are a lot of messages that the world will send you that are wrong

          Nothing we do on this earth that is done from a worldly perspective, will have any value

          In eternity, the worthless things we do will be burned in the fire

In eternity, those who follow the world and reject Christ will be separated from those of us who do know Him and they will be thrown into the lake of fire

 Now let’s turn our focus to option #2

(1) Blessed is the man who does not…

It is not just about what we do, but what we don’t do

(2) But his delight is in the law of the Lord

          True enjoyment is found in submersing ourselves in the things of the Word      

(we pretend on the outside that the things of the world make us happy but on the inside…)

(2) on His Law he meditates day and night

          A person who can’t get enough of the Word (as a young Christian)

          Also a person who does not feel like it but continues to study the Word of God

Deuteronomy 6:6-9.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

What happens when we meditate on His Word day and night?

What happens when we follow the Word?

(3) We become like a tree planted by streams of water

          It is important to notice the streams of water

                   This is symbolic of a continual time in the Word

                             When we consistently spend time in the Word…

        We are provided with a never ending supply of spiritual nourishment

        Some of you have taken your little piece of the living water, a cup of it and held it to yourself.  Your private little pond has grown stagnate or dry or both.  You have tried to hold on to what you knew as a kid and slowly, one day at a time it evaporates until there is almost nothing left and what is left is too nasty to drink from it. 

        And yet we lead people to our stale waters and say “drink up!”  Or we lead them their and tell them our words are words of life when in reality they are words of death. 

        Dryness in the desert results in death.  People in the desert will find whatever water they can get their hands on, they are seeking for the water.  Give them good healthy, life giving water

(3) which yields its fruit

God produces good fruit through us

-         the only way to yield fruit in your life is to spend time in the Word and apply it to your life

o       the work happens from the inside out

o       just reading the Word will bring about change

        it is impossible to read It without It effecting you

- it is important to yield fruit because people “beneath you” will eat your fruit

 

 

(3) Whose leaf does not wither

-         regardless of the changes all around you, regardless of the seasons in your life, you can still produce fruit

-         this is the stability

We are given inner stability

-         A life separated from the scriptures is a life that can not flourish, grow, produce fruit, or be a channel of life to others

-         Brown tree leaves fall of you and onto people when you live in dryness.  Who wants to spend all day raking up your dry leaves?  What a waste.  What are dry leaves good for?  Burning, starting fires

One more thing…

Some of you may be going through spiritually dry times

Following the Word will revive a dry and dying faith

Isaiah 43:18-19.  "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

 

Psalm 92:12-15

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.  They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, "The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him."

 

Matthew 7:24-27.  "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

Whether you are doing great or really far from where you need to be spiritually, find yourself in the Word

 

It is the best recipe for stability in your life