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The Good Life

(207)

Sermon shared by Wayne Field

February 2002
Summary: Psalm 1 describes how to be truly successful in life.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
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since. In just four weeks it grew three new fronds, and soon after that I cut off the last original frond (Show it). It didn’t need that frond any more - the new growth was providing the life it needed now.

I like ferns, how much more does your heavenly Father love you? Maybe you want another chance at life – then you need to be transplanted into his Son. Maybe you have been transplanted but you your faith is a bit like this burnt frond - only just alive. You need to trim some old ways to make way for new growth and kingdom fruitfulness.

Notice that the blessed person is “like a tree planted by streams.” This is no wild bush - it was planted intentionally and it has an owner who wants to lovingly tend it - and so your heavenly Father wants to lovingly shape you for the best possible life.

3. Blessed with all blessings
“Whatever he does prospers” (v3b)

And what a life it is! Not only is the believer blessed by God, in Christ but also with all blessings. Because, “Whatever he does prospers” What an awesome promise! It’s almost too outrageous to believe it. At least it would be if we were to look for the fulfilment of such a promise with our own eye-sight.

This final line of v3 has often been interpreted to mean that following Jesus is materially rewarded in the here and now. Instead to “prosper in all they do” should be viewed through the eye of faith. It’s not outward prosperity that is most valuable. It’s the prosperity of the soul.

Often it is for the health of the soul that we find our income inadequate; often it is for the health of our soul that we suffer grief; often it’s for the health of the soul that our family life is in upheaval; often it’s for the health of our soul that we are harassed by life and circumstances. The worst things that can happen to us are often the best. There are often blessings wrapped up in the misfortunes of a righteous person.

The prosperity that the Psalmist is speaking about is this: “that people who trust God have discovered the resource for sustaining their lives under any circumstance.” They are experiencing life the way it was meant to be. On the surface it may look like the world is falling down around our ears, on the other hand, the believer is blessed with all blessing.

For a start they are blessed through time and into eternity.

4. Blessed through time and into eternity

Listen to God’s voice once again,

Not so the wicked! They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous
(v4-5).

A godless, self-sufficient life is like chaff, it can be blown away at the slightest breeze. On the other hand a righteous life that relies on God for everything, is like a well placed tree whose stability allows it to live and bear fruit.

Those who honour God and order their lives in all things according to his will are the “assembly of the righteous” which the Psalmist identifies in v5. They have a relationship with God. And they alone experience his presence both now and in the life to come. They alone will be able to stand under the weight of his judgment.

But the self-sufficient life only has itself to rely on - it will have to sustain itself on the Lord’s day - and it won’t be able to.

5. Blessed to the highest degree.
And the Believer receives the highest
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