Summary: A sermon on the importance of growing in Christ
Are You Growin’ or Blowin’?
The old phrase goes like this, “A picture is worth a thousand words!” Some may pass this statement off as fluff, but I believe there is something valid about this statement. A picture can tell many different stories to as many different people who may look at it.
If I was to bring our Wedding Album down here for example, perhaps the story you may see would be something different from what Liss and I might have. There’s one picture in there for sure that I remember what I was thinking when the photographer was taking the picture. The expression was written all over my face. It is one of those “Oh my land, I can’t believe he taking ANOTHER picture of us!” It’s funny, but in many wedding albums, which is supposed to be a record of the happiest day in a couples life, you find more fake smile and half hearted emotions. Ironic, isn’t it?
A picture is a lasting image of a special time, place or person. How many times have you found yourself somewhere, and there was some person staring at you? And what’s one of the expressions that may, or may not, come to your mind? “Take a picture, it’ll last longer!”
The one thing I love about pictures are the people’s different views on what the photographer, or artist, must have been trying to express. I get a kick out of art reviewers who can look at a picture, and tell you exactly what the artist must have been going through at this particular junction in his or her own life. The use of light and dark colors may represent pain and torment. The brush strokes may show the tale of lost love. When I look at that same picture, the only thing I can see is a bunch of squiggles and slash marks. The only image I get is the artist locked in a room with no ventilation, and the oil in the paint has begun to affect his brain skills!
But one thing that we cannot deny is that a picture will leave an impression on us. The Word of God is filled with pictures. The way in which God inspired the writers leaves within our minds lasting images of days gone by. Descriptive poetry will leave feeling like we were actually there. The Psalms are notorious for this type of “verbal imagery!” And that’s where we find ourselves today.
Blessed is the man
1 Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
It is within this words of this Psalm, a picture of contrast has been painted for us. We see a metaphor for the man or woman who is living a Spirit-filled life, and in contrast, the life of one who does not know Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. It is from this Psalm the following questioned can be asked; are you growing or blowing? Are you like the tree, or the chaff.
As we look as this picture, we see two lives. Which life are you living today? Are you a tree, or are you chaff?
The Life of a Righteous Man - Growing (vs. 1-4)
A righteous person is like a tree planted by the water. It was said that back in the time of the Loyalist (Canada’s first English settlers) that the trees were so huge and strong, that often the ones closest to the water were cut down, limbed, and used as the masts of the tall ships of the day.
We can see three interesting things about trees in this passage, more over we can see three principles of a person who lives in accordance to the Word of the Lord. The first thing that we can see that a tree that has been planted is being fed on a continual basis. It’s source of food is right there beside it.
People, a person who is like a tree planted by the water is a person who has received the Word of God as the truth, and has the Living water of life flowing within them. Christ Himself said in John 4:14 “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”