Sermon Illustrations

The Way of the Righteous

What They Are Like?

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” (Ps. 1:1-3)

The psalmist refers here to the Middle Eastern method of cultivation by which streams of water were directed to flow between rows of trees and thus, by artificial means, the trees received a constant supply of moisture. These trees always had beautiful leaves and were abundant in their fruit bearing.

The application is that no man can produce godly fruit on his own. In order to produce fruit that is pleasing to God, there must be an outside resource. That Resource is the Holy Spirit watering the Word of God that has been planted into a person’s mind and heart through prayerful reading, studying and diligently meditating upon what is written in the Bible. The blessed man is like a tree planted in a place where it will receive constant and plentiful nourishment.

This Holy Spirit-inspired writer tells us, just as this tree yields its fruit in season, the blessed man yields righteous fruit at the proper time. When joy is needed, it will burst forth. When the storms of life come, peace will prevail. Patience will abound in the life of the blessed man who delights in doing God’s will and meditates upon the cause of Christ. Kindness and goodness will thrive in the life of this blessed man. Faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are borne out in the lives of those who feed from the fruit of the Vine of Christ.

The man who reads, prays and meditates on God’s Word will have a heart that seeks the Lord. His eyes will be opened to the work the Lord has for him to do and will enable him to enjoy Holy Spirit anointing to achieve his God-given task.

The “leaf” in today’s text is the outward testimony of the Christian man who walks in step with the Holy Spirit. This man is like the evergreen tree. No frosty spells of winter or hot, dry, droughts can destroy his beauty. His “leaf” does not wither because the water of eternal life has sprung up within him.

How is your “leaf”? How much of Jesus do you display?

The Bible says, “Whatever [this blessed man] does prospers.” God is not referring to the world’s prosperity. “Prospers” (Hebrew salah) here is a verb meaning “to succeed or to be victorious.” It is used when something turns out to be successful. The times, places and opportunities given by God to this blessed man will be used for the Lord’s glory, for the edification of both the faithful servant and those to whom he is called to minister--Christians and non-Christians alike. The application here is that whatever the righteous man does will eventually prosper for the Lord. This child of God is victorious over the flesh--the sinful nature that is in all of mankind. He overcomes the lures of this world--that system that has set itself up against God and Christ. He also is very much aware of the schemes and deceptions of Satan.

The blessed man has a firm confirmation in his heart that what the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy is true, “Godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Tim. 4:8).

What does your life say about your relationship with Christ? Choose a life of blessedness, receive Christ today!

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