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Summary: The sermon shows how to make your life count for God.

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ARE YOU AN OAK TREE OR GRASS CLIPPINGS?

PSALM 1

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I. DO YOU WANT YOUR LIFE TO BE LIKE A STRONG, VIBRANT OAK TREE OR LIKE GRASS CLIPPINGS BLOWN AWAY BY THE BLOWER?

When all is said and done—your body is in the grave

1. Do you want your life to have been like a strong, healthy oak tree that lives for hundreds of years or like GRASS clippings that are blown away with the blower?

2. Do you want your life to count for something or for it to be just a waste?

3. We have around 80 or so years on this earth—do you want your life to count—to mean something?

B. Our text today will tell you want you need to do for your life to be like a strong oak tree and what you need to do for it to be like GRASS clippings.

1. The choice is yours!

2. Right here, right now, today—

3. You decide—oak tree or GRASS clippings?

C. Today we are starting a study of the songs of Psalms

1. We will spend around 7 weeks looking at the various types of psalms and the gamut of emotions we find in these songs.

2. Psalms was Israel’s prayer book and worship hymnal

3. I discovered Psalms around 20 years ago and they have been a vital part of my daily devotional times EVER SINCE

*for the first 20 years of my Christian life, I did not spend much time in Psalms

*I wanted to read the New Testament

*after all I was a New Testament Christian!

4. Then around 20 years ago I found out Psalms was Israel’s worship book—their prayer book

*so I began to read these prayers during my daily devotions

*I began to pray these prayers back to God

5. I was amazed at how often the psalm I was reading that particular day expressed the exact feelings of my heart or the struggle I was going through at that time

*there were psalms that expressed

—joy—sadness—disappointment—praise—heartache—bewilderment—trust—peace—anger—desire for revenge—grief—

6. These psalms were mine—about me

D. If you have not discovered the psalms for yourself, I want to challenge you to start spending time with God in the psalms

1. I hope this series will show you the immense value of the psalms

2. I hope it will whet your spiritual appetite for this delicacy on God’s menu.

E. Today we are looking at Psalm 1, a wisdom psalm.[1]

1. We normally think of the wisdom literature of the Bible as Proverbs or Ecclesiastes but there are wisdom psalms as well.

2. The wisdom writings of the Bible tell one how to live his life in a way that pleases God and at the same time benefits him.

3. A common theme is the contrast of the righteous with the wicked, which we see in our psalm today.

F. By this psalm being placed 1st in the Book of Psalms, the writer is calling us to wise living which means obeying God’s will and trusting in His providential rule.[2]

1. It is a signpost, standing at the entrance to the Psalms to give clear guidance on how we should live our lives[3]

2. I you will live your life by this psalm, your life will be like a strong, healthy oak tree that will stand against all the winds of adversity that come into your life.

II. THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS YOU MUST DO IF YOU WANT YOUR LIFE TO BE LIKE THE OAK TREE—TO BE BLESSED BY GOD (1-3)

*Warren Wiersbe has captured the meaning of this first section in his exposition of the Old Testament

A. First, you must live a life that is separated from the world.[4](1)

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,

Nor stand in the path of sinners,

Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

1. We are shown what we are not to do.

*we have a progression into wickedness

*each phrase if more intense than the previous one[5]

2. We are not to walk in the counsel of the wicked

*”walk “ is often used in the Bible to speak of the way we live

—Paul told the church at Ephesus

Eph 5:8

for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light

*we are not to live by the advice of the ungodly

Illus. You are struggling in your marriage and you are sharing it with some of your friends at work

—your husband is not attentive to you

—he works all the time

—he is selfish

—you are miserable in the marriage

—the passion has left the marriage

*This person advises you to get a divorce!

—there has been no sexual unfaithfulness

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