Highlights In Today's Reading:
A songbook of praise to God. Hearts soar, voices lift in prayer, the anguish of sin, the joy of salvation! Two ways to live: righteously or ungodly (chap. 1). Whose Son is King (chap. 2)? The Lord our shield (3:3); our peace (4:8); our defender (5:11). The Lord hears and answers our prayers (6:8-10). The Lord our victory (chap. 9).
The key to the blessings of God begins with three negatives (1:1). The first negative is walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly — meaning does not live by the advice of the unsaved or live by what is considered the acceptable "counsel" of the world. The ungodly who are referred to here are not children of God but may live a moral life and do good things but they are sinful in the eyes of God.
The second negative is nor standeth (place oneself) in the way of sinners. The sinner is an average person of the world who is speaking, acting, thinking, and living for himself. These people refuse to repent of their sins and let Christ be Lord of their lives. They may be proud to say that they are as good as their Christian neighbor.
The third negative is nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. The scorner has taken a firm stand against Christians who believe in Christ, who said: I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me (John 14:6). They believe that any religion is acceptable as long as it doesn't offend others. They consider themselves broad-minded and generous. But, in fact, the scorner also stands firmly against the One True God — who is God the Father, God the Son — the Lord Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19; John 3:34; 15:26; II Cor. 13:14; I Pet. 1:2; I John 5:6-7). He also opposes the Bible as the only revelation of the One True God and the Only True Guide for life.
In striking contrast, the first characteristic of the "blessed" man is that his delight is in the Law of the Lord (Ps. 1:2) — the Word of God. His desire is that his life conform to the revealed will of God — all of it. He knows that God has provided His Word as the One Source of spiritual food as well as daily direction.
Christ has come to deliver us from the penalty of the Law and to deliver us from the power of sin, that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Rom. 8:4).
The "blessed" man daily conforms to the Word of God because God has written His Law upon the table of his heart and he desires to do the will of God. His testimony is: I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, Thy Law is within my heart (Ps. 40:8).
He may not be materially rich in the sense in which the world esteems, but he has treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal (Matt. 6:19-21).
Thought for Today:
Keep thy heart with all diligence (guard your heart more than any treasure); for out of it are the issues (source) of life (Prov. 4:23).
As the Son of God (Ps. 2:7). God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16; Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5).
2:2 Anointed (one) Messiah (Hebrew) and Christ (Greek); 5:6 leasing = lies.
Pray for English International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Iva Jo Swinsburg • Staff: Ken Sharp • Government Official: Rep. Neil Abercrombie (HI) • Country: Sierra Leone (5 million) in western Africa • Major language: English • Increasing restrictions on Christian work in some areas • 50% belief in river spirits, medicine men, and witchcraft; 39% Muslim; 7% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice and consider yourself blessed when you suffer for the Name of Christ (I Pet. 4:14).
Optional Reading: Philippians 3
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 7:14