Summary: We all have to decide at some point what path we are going to take, the Psalmist gives us a great suggestion!
• SLIDE #1
• When you live life there comes a point in which you realize you must make a decision as to how you are going to live that life.
• As you walk the path of life you inevitably reach that proverbial fork in the road, a fork that can take you down the path of righteousness or a path of that we really unknowingly walk; the path of wickedness.
• I reached a point in which I came face to face with this fork in the road, I had to decide which path my life was going to take, the path with God leading me or the path in which I was taking the lead.
• In Psalm 1, we are given the contrast between the path of righteousness and the path of wickedness.
• WE need to be a little cautious as we look at this because many people have a misconception of what the word righteous means.
• The word does not speak of one who is “holier than thou”, or that the one in pursuit of righteousness thinks that are “better” than other people, but rather it means to be pure in heart, to be upright, which means to do the right thing.
• There is more to the meaning than just doing good deeds. In the biblical sense it deals with maintaining a standard of behavior which is in keeping with the two-way relationship between God and man.
• A righteous person is one who in thought and conduct reflects their relationship with God through Jesus Christ! God desires us to be righteous.
• Being a righteous person is a good thing in the eyes of God. Noah was called a righteous man (Genesis 6:9).
• In Genesis 18, God said He would spare the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah if just 10 righteous people existed. God desires righteousness!
• Righteousness is much more than what we do it is more of who we are deep inside, what drives us, what motivates us.
• The Pharisee’s were people who looked good on the outside but were a mess on the inside.
• By contrast when the Psalmist speaks of the path of the wicked, it is a path that simply goes in the opposite direction of God. The word in the original text denotes one who lacks morals, is condemned, guilty, and ungodly.
• It is a term at its’ worst points toward a bad person.
• The book of Psalms is a book that we should all spend time in because we get insights to the heart and character of God, we get to read about the real life struggles of those who wrote them and how God answers them.
• Psalm 1 is the preface to the rest of the book.
• Today let us examine the fork in the road together, I pray we all chose the correct path in life.
• Let’s start with verses 1-2.
• SLIDE #2
• Psalm 1:1–2 (HCSB) 1 How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers! 2 Instead, his delight is in the LORD’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night.
• SLIDE #3
I. How to build character for following the righteous path.
• Your character is what makes you what you are, the distinctive qualities that make you, you. What is it that makes your character?
• Psalm 1 gives us some counsel and insight into the question.
• Our character is developed in part by the counsel we seek!
• The righteous person does not seek the advice of the wicked. Who are wicked people? The bible tells us that a person who does not walk with God is wicked.
• Sounds harsh, but when you realize that there are only two sides, God or Satan, and then you can see why this is true.
• By man’s standard not you have to be pretty rotten to be wicked, but in God’s sight all it takes is a person who does not walk with Him to be considered wicked.
• SLIDE #4
• Malachi 3:18 (HCSB) So you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.
• The word WICKED is used over 250 times in the Bible.
• When you belong to Jesus, you should seek the counsel of other Christians. I believe that mean’s in all matters possible, whether they are legal or martial.
• SLIDE #5
• 2 Corinthians 6:14 (HCSB) Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness?