Summary: This sermon uses God’s Word to show that we are blessed, but only blessed through Christ. It is an uplifting sermon showing that God really does love us.
A young man was learning to be a paratrooper. Before his first jump, he was given these four instructions:
1. Jump when you are told.
2. Count to ten and pull the ripcord.
3. If it does not work, pull the emergency ripcord.
4. When you land, a truck will take you back to the base.
The young soldier memorized these instructions and climbed aboard the plane. The plane climbed to ten thousand feet and the paratroopers began to jump.
When the young soldier was told to jump, he jumped. He then counted to ten and pulled the ripcord. Nothing happened! His chute didn’t open! So he pulled the emergency ripcord! It did not open either! In near panic, he thought to himself, “Oh great, the truck probably won’t be there either!”
Have you ever felt like that? Have you so many hurts and disappointments you just didn’t expect anything else to go right for you? Sometimes the whole world seems to be against us. It’s like that old saying; "If I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck at all."
But there are some people who seem to just sail right through life. They always land on their feet. And success always seems to come their way - almost to the point of being unfair.
My daughter, Kim, has always been the one who is best described by having many things going wrong in her life. For instance, she was selected to be a cheerleader for the Cardinals football team, all to injure her neck during the last practice before her first game. And this happened to her two years in a row!
My son, Shawn, on the other hand, has always ended up the winner. No matter what happened to him, he has always seemed to be ’super-blessed’ and tragedy has visited him but rarely.
Turn with me to PSALM 1:1-6.
"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, But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law He meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. No so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish."
What does it take to be a person who always lands on their feet? Unlike the young soldier in our story, it takes a genuine hope; and the only genuine hope we have is found in Christ.
We all want the "good life" don’t we? This passage offers us an understanding of what that "good life" is. We are given a hope through Jesus Christ that sets us apart and gives us a life that is very different than what society sees as its "good life".
1. WHY ARE WE BLESSED BY GOD?
In the passage I just read, we are told that God will bless those who do not walk in the counsel of the wicked, which is the world. These people truly love God and pursue a relationship with His Son. They strive to live under God’s laws and directions. In short, they make their lives God-centered.
Of course, that is contrary to the way humans normally think. We try to find our fulfillment in those things of the world, or our own ability to make things happen. In our society, to "have a good time" means to go out and enjoy yourself. Not enjoy God, but enjoy yourself. Do you see where the focus is? The focus is away from God and turned upon you.
We go over to somebody’s home, and when we leave we tell them we enjoyed ourselves, and all the while, we think that is being polite and kind. Again, that is self-centered; it’s all about how we feel. It would be kinder to tell them that you enjoyed their company. That way, the focus is taken from you and put on somebody else.
In the passage I read, it clearly shows that the goal of a real Christian is not to enjoy oneself, but to enjoy God. And this kind of joy is far more permanent that any self-fulfilled happiness we could ever obtain. Let me rephrase that. The goal of a real Christian is only found in praising our God.
For the person of the world; a person who has never acknowledged Christ in their life; a feeling of ’well-being’ comes from within. And that changes like the wind, unstable and unreliable, for it has no base or anchor. It is only the ’well-being’ that is found in God that gives us true blessings.