Summary: From the pursuit of education, career, spouses, children, possessions, and all, we all aspired to enter a life experience in which we live happily ever after! That is the aspiration upon which this great republic was formed. The Psamist shows the way!
Sermon - Pathway to the Blessed Life
“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. 2 But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. 3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. 4 But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. 5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly. 6 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.” NLT
Introduction: Psalms One has been called the gatekeeper of the book of Psalms. Psalm 1 is the doorway into the entire collection of Psalms, and in it, we have the grand theme of the psalms, and in fact the grand theme of the bible is revealed. I believe we all are looking for the pathway to blessedness. Every childhood fairy tales always ended “and they lived happily ever after.” Why that recurring theme? Why must these fairy tales end this way? Because from our childhood days, that is what we all have wanted. From the pursuit of education, career, spouses, children, possessions, and all, we all aspired to enter a life experience in which we live happily ever after! That is the aspiration upon which this great republic was formed. The opening words of the Declaration of Independence written July 4, 1776 upon the founding of this nation contains these words…"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
The Psalmist chooses to begin this Psalm by revealing the pathway that we all are seeking “to live happy ever after! Because believe it or not, the Holy Bible is a book of blessedness. It shows us that it is God’s will and desire to bless his creation! After our Creator God brought order out of chaos, light out of darkness, and created an environment for mankind to survive and thrive, He gave the dominion to Adam. If that was not enough, God then gave Adam a purpose for living and a partner for companionship. God wanted man to a happy and fulfilled life.
Ge 1:27, 28, 31 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. …31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
Adam and Eve walked the pathway to the blessed life by walking in obedience to God and fulfilling their God-given assignment. Happiness gained through success or materialism is only temporary. Adam and Eve soon discovered that the grass may look greener on the other side, but if it leads you away from God and obedience, it leads to destruction. Many people you think has everything, probably do not feel that way about themselves. Even people who seem like they have it all, often don’t find contentment. Why? They are always driven to want more and are unhappy with themselves. Now, it’s important to clarify that contentment does not preclude ambition. It does not mean that you will not want more. Contentment is simply gratitude, appreciation, and acceptance for the way things are right now. So, take that first step toward happiness is following God’s lead and appreciation for what you have now. Doing so will be a gift that keep giving back to you for the rest of your life.
1. Pathway to the Blessed Life is Maintained by Righteous’ Choices. The choices we make will determine the way we walk, how we stand and with whom we sit. Psalm 1 presents two Pathways to follow, and only two ways to live: the way of the world or the way of the Word, God’s word. Those who “walk in the way of the ungodly, stand in the way of sinners, and sit in the seat of scoffers” are people have chosen to follow the culture and are consumed with the world’s values and ways. That pathway seems wider and easier, yet the gate leads to destruction. Jesus said,
Matthew 7:13 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction,