Summary: This sermon shows how, according to Psalm 1:1, any believer can choose to be "the man" who walks in God’s blessing and favor from this moment on.
We’ve been talking in this series of messages about the fact that God wants His people to prosper in life. Our foundational verse for this series is Psalms 35:27b, which tells us that God “has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”
The word translated “prosperity” in this verse is the Hebrew word shalom, which speaks of wellbeing in every area of life. As we have seen in this series, the prosperity God desires for His people is not about us all having mansions and private planes. It is about us living the abundant life Jesus said He came to bring. Today we want to begin to understand how to see God’s promise of prosperity take root in our lives. Please go with me to our text:
Psa 1:1-3 Blessed is the man 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.
Let me tell you right off the bat what I see as the fundamental message of this passage: in order to prosper in life as God has designed you to prosper, you’ve got to become THE MAN! Not “the man” they used to talk about in the 1960s – “Going to work for ‘the man’.” No, we’re talking about a very different man – THE MAN who is described in this passage.
When I started studying for this message I was surprised at how powerful just the 1st five words of this passage are: “blessed is the man who.” So lets start today by focusing on those first five words.
The 1st word is BLESSED: Gk: “the state of prosperity or happiness that comes when a superior bestows his favor on someone” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary). Of course, God is that “superior” who bestows His favor. So, this passage is speaking of having the favor of God. It is teaching us is how to enter into a state of blessing and prosperity where we are experiencing God’s favor in every area of our lives.
ILLUS: The “state” that a person is in refers to who they are at that point in their life. If I am in an angry state that says that right now I am an angry person. If I am in a joyful state then right now I am a joyful person. In the same way, if I am in that state of prospering that comes from being blessed by God guess what I am: I AM A PROSPEROUS PERSON – “blessed” and “prosperous” describe who I am right now in my life. Whatever my circumstances may look like at the moment, the reality is I am a blessed and prospering person.
ILLUS: Suppose I tell you I am a professional football player. You look at me and say, “You don’t look like a pro football player. Where is your helmet? Where are your shoulder pads?” Wouldn’t that be a pretty stupid way to evaluate whether a person is a pro football player or not? Pads and helmets and uniforms are just outward manifestations that a player will display at some seasons and not at others, but they do not define him as a pro. You can go down to the sporting goods store and buy all that gear but that doesn’t make you a pro. There is only one thing that could define me to be a pro player – if I have a signed contract with a pro team. As long as that contract is in force it defines me as a pro football player, whether you can see shoulder pads and helmets or not. The shoulder pads and helmets will show themselves in their proper season – come September you will see those things on me every Sunday. But what defines me as a pro player is my contract that spells out my relationship with my team.
In the same way, if I tell you on the basis of Psalm 1:1 that I am a blessed and prospering person, you may look at the outward appearance of my circumstances right this moment and say, “you don’t look blessed and prosperous to me.” I may be going through a season of difficult and painful challenges in my life. Or I may be in a season when somebody looking at my bank statement would see nothing that looks like prosperity there. But the outward manifestations of prosperity are just the shoulder pads and helmets of my life. They may not be apparent in my life right now, but they will show themselves in due season.