Summary: This is an expository sermon on the two ways of living life as described by the Psalmist in the opening psalm of the Psalter which encourages trust in God and His Word.
Do you want to have a Happy New Year in 2007? Do you want to live a happy life in 2007? Well, the Psalmist tells us how in the opening hymn of his hymnal.
Here the Psalmist presented two ways of living life. In fact, this psalm provides the “door way” as it were to the remainder of the psalter, as well as to life itself. And as an introduction to the Book of Psalms, the psalmist tells his readers that there are two ways of living life. If you want to live a happy life and have a happy New Year, this year, the Psalmist unlocks the door in Psalm 1.
So, from God’s perspective life is a lot more simple than the way we sometimes see it. In fact, I regret simplifying the matter so today, but from God’s viewpoint we are living life one of two ways: A Happy Life or A Hazardous Life. To have a Happy New Year, you must choose The Happy Way Of Living Life described in verses 1-3.
I. THE HAPPY WAY OF LIVING LIFE verses 1-3
What the Psalmists gives us here is “the way of the righteous,” as he characterizes it in verse 6, “For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous.” This is the godly life that comes to us in Jesus Christ. Paul characterizes this life as our reign in life by Christ having received “the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness” in Romans 5:17. We are righteous in our spirit and we have the mind of Christ in our soul (1 Corinthians 2:16). The Psalmist says this way of life is “Blessed.” Living the happy way of life is a happy inner state regardless of the outer circumstances. It is a restful, peaceful place to live. To live this way, there are three aspects to getting there in Christ. There are some:
1. NEGATIVE REFUSALS TO MAKE verse 1
Life is not all positive. We must say NO to some things in life!
a. “Walk not with the wicked” Don’t live your life guided by those going away from God. The “ungodly” are literally the loose ones, those out of touch with God. So don’t follow the advice of evil men. Don’t live out your like under the influence of those who are not walking with God. As Christians, and as a Church all too often we listen to the counsel of those who are out of touch with God. So, don’t do it!
b. “stand not with sinners” Don’t hang around with sinners. Now you can’t avoid them all together because you live in the world with them, but you are not of the world. So, don’t stay around too long with those who are “missing the mark.” Don’t find your fellowship in the company of those habitually falling short! Just don’t do it!
c. “sit not in the seat of scoffers” Don’t settle down, assemble or habitually associate with those who ridicule or make light of God or His people or other peoples religion or relationship with God. I don’t know if you caught it or not, but there is a progressive flow to these three perfect tense verbs indicating never allow this to happen.
I know It’s difficult to say no these days. Why do you think diets are so difficult. We want the taste of banana pudding and not put on pounds. But the truth is, if we are to live a happy life in 2007, there are some negative refusals to make. However, there are also some:
2. POSITIVE PURSUITS TO TAKE verse 2
This is the key to living a happy life, the beginning of so living! In fact, you can have a new beginning if you take a positive pursuit. Every day and every year is an opportunity for a new beginning.
a. “Delight in the law” This means to be preoccupied with, to take joy and pleasure into something. It means to have a desire, interest and concern for something. For the Psalmist this was the Law of God. For him this may have meant the Pentateuch or possibly the whole of the Old Testament. “Torah” was the word for law and it’s meaning is to throw or shoot, to point, to teach or instruct. This refers to the revealed will of God as His guide to His people. For us we are to delight in God’s directions. And His directions come to us by His Holy Spirit through the written Word, the Holy Bible, the whole Word of God as the author reveals, illuminates and interprets it to each of us personally. We will live a happy life if we delight in God’s directions and will for our lives.
b. “Meditate in it day and night” Literally this word means to murmur, mutter, speak with low voice reflecting concentrating. We are to constantly keep the Word on your mind, mulling it over until it becomes the ruling force in your life. You are to think on it, memorize it, engraft it into your mind and heart so that you can live happily and victoriously. In Christ, just remember that you have the mind of Christ dwelling in your soul. And the Holy Spirit sealed inside your spirit to be your guide and to teach you everything you need to know. We must know from the Word and by the Spirit what God says about who we are in Christ and to Him if we’re to be happy! The most positive pursuit to get there is to fix your eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) and set your mind on things above (Colossians 3:1-2). To live a Happy Life, there are some negative refusals to make, some positive pursuits to take and there are some: