Summary: Psalm one tells us how to be blessed by God.
INTRO.- ILL.- It is said that late in Sir Winston Churchill’s life he took a cruise on an Italian ship. A journalist from a Rome newspaper asked the former prime minister why he chose to travel on an Italian line when the stately Queen’s line under the British flag was available.
Churchill gave the question his consideration and then replied: "There are three things I like about Italian ships. First, their food is unsurpassed. Second, their service is quite superb." And then Sir Winston added, "And then there is none of this nonsense about women and children first."
Apparently, Winston Churchill was somewhat self-centered. And I think if we would be honest, most of us are not too much different.
ILL.- Les and Leslie just got home from shopping. Here is their conversation. Real people. Real story. See if you fit into this picture anywhere. "You’re going to vacuum before they get here, right?" Leslie asked in an anxious tone as they pulled their car into the garage. "I’ve got it under control," Les murmured.
They each grabbed an armful of groceries and hurried into the kitchen. "I’ll put away the groceries so you can get started on the vacuuming," Leslie said. The tension was rising because, in less than an hour, two couples would be at their doorstep expecting a dinner party.
"Don’t forget to light the candles and turn on the music before they get here," Leslie hollered from the kitchen. Les heard what she said but didn’t reply as he walked into his study to look through some "urgent" mail.
Only a couple of minutes had passed, it seemed, when Leslie walked into his study and in exasperation asked: "What are you doing?"
"Reading my mail," Les said, defensively. Leslie didn’t buy his act. "Don’t worry," Les said, "I’ll take care of the other stuff."
Leslie sighed and left the room. Five minutes later Les heard the sound of the vacuum in the living room. "I’m almost done here and then I’ll go in and help," Les said to himself. Ten minutes later the vacuum stopped. Les bolted from his chair and walked to the living room.
"I thought I was going to do this," Les said to Leslie. "So did I," she replied.
Brothers and sisters, this could be called subtle selfishness, but sometimes, it is not so subtle.
I Peter 3:8-9 "Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing."
God wants to bless his people. God is a giver. He wants to give to us good things in life, but there are times when He withholds His blessing because of our bad attitude. When we are selfish, self-centered, arrogant, thinking we are right all the time, proud, etc. God withholds His blessing from us. But when we are unselfish, people-centered, people-lovers, sympathetic, tenderhearted, compassionate, etc. that’s when He will pour His blessings on us!
BLESSED IS THE MAN. God wants to bless us! Believe it, because it’s true!
Psalm 128:1-2 "Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours."
Prov. 10:6 "Blessings crown the head of the righteous..."
Jerm. 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper (bless) you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Don’t these verses speak to your heart? God does want to bless us and in many ways. It may be financial, it may be health, it may be our families, it may be our work, but be assured, God wants to bless His people!
Besides treating people right, what else can we do to inherit God’s blessing?
PROP.- Psalm one tells us what we must do in order to be blessed by God.
1- We must be separated from the world
2- We must be saturated with the word
3- We must be situated by the waters
I. WE MUST BE SEPARATED FROM THE WORLD
Ps. 1:1 "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."
The world is not an especially nice place to live, but we have nowhere else to live. The problem is what we do in this world.
ILL.- Bud Robinson, a Holiness preacher, was taken by friends to New York and shown around the city. That night in his prayers he said, "Lord, I thank You for letting me see all the sights of New York. And I thank You most of all that I didn’t see a thing that I wanted!"