Summary: 1st in 5 part series on overcoming the obstacles and difficulties of life using five different Psalms. We used a "journey" or "road" metaphor in terms of the bumps of success, fear, guilt, grief, etc.
STEERING FOR SUCCESS
Navigating the Bumps of Life - Week 1
INTRODUCTION TO THE SERIES:(Special: “Without A Song.”)
It was written in 1929 but it has been sung for over 6 decades by such performers as Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, The Carpenters, The Supremes, Willie Nelson and now, our own Robin Petrovich. The tune is entitled "Without a Song," the chorus goes: "Without a song the day would never end; Without a song the road would never bend; When things go wrong a man ain’t got a friend, without a song." One of the verses said: "I got my trouble and my woe... but, I’ll get along as long.. as a song is strong in my soul." You know, given the daily pressures that all of us are under today we could use a "song, that’s strong in our souls," couldn’t we? I mean, isn’t it always something? The homemaker with ever-present children at her feet faces long days of making decisions, meeting deadlines, competing with strong wills and completing an endless laundry pile. The professional must deal with demanding problems and difficult people every day who can steal their song. The student faces predictable days of preparation, classes, projects. Fact is, all of us face daily challenges. Often it’s "Days that don’t end.. roads that don’t bend.. we need a song.”
But you know, all of us can moan about the fact that “it’s always something,” but what we really need is to find a way to navigate the bumps in the road of life. The question is how? How do we drive around the obstacles of life without totaling our lives? Well, that’s what this new sermon series is all about. Because the answer to "how?" is a song. But not just any song. We won’t be turning to popular tunes, country ballads or rock ’n roll. No, for the next 6 weeks we want to study some ancient songs. Ones that were composed & inspired by our Creator, God - The Psalms. The word “Psalm” means song.. and these are timeless tunes. They’re strong, melodious messages written to help us in our daily lives. These musical masterpieces show us how to "navigate the bumps of life,” what works when life doesn’t. We begin, logically, with Psalm 1 and looking at God’s advice on “steering for success.” But before we dig into this first “song” let’s ask God to bless our time together. PRAY
INTRODUCTION TO THE SERMON: Drama: “Holier Than Thou” - DramaMinistry.com
Is that often the way it is? It seems that we are in a lifelong pursuit of that one missing item that will ensure contentment, happiness, success. Americans have come to see success as those who have the beautiful life. The world measures success by the outer qualities that a person has. Are they rich? Do they have a big house? A thriving business? But the things Americans prize so highly- beauty, wealth, fame, often prove to be hollow and unsatisfying in the end. They end up being “holes” that cannot be filled. So it important that we look past the things of this life that do not bring lasting satisfaction and see what makes a person truly successful. That’s where God & Psalm 1 comes in. God made us, so doesn’t it make sense that the Creator would know what makes the created tick? That the Designer would know what give the designed the best chance for success? Well, God’s road map is the Bible, and there may not be a better “steering mechanism”to get over this bump than Psalm 1.
The opening word in Psalm 1 is "Blessed". That word means more than just “happy”because happiness depends on what happens to you. This word in the original Hebrew literally means "fulfilled" or “content.” The Psalmist is promising a joyful, contented life to anyone who will follow these instructions. You see, God’s standards for happiness have always been different than ours. God is more concerned about our character, the inner qualities of a person than He is the outer trappings of success. Do you want to be "fulfilled”“content?” Do you want to be a true success? Well then, let’s look very carefully at how this Psalm steers us toward true success.
I. A CAREFUL SELECTION OF ASSOCIATES - Vs:1
Vs: 1 says, "Blessed are those who do not listen to evil advice, and won’t follow the path of sinners, or join the company of those that sneer at God." So here is the first secret of true success and that’s a careful selection of associates. Probably one of the most important things to remember in this life is that those you “hang with” can hang you! If you choose friends that are moral they will lift you up, if you choose friends that are immoral they will drag you down.