Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Proverbs 3:5 & 6
Read the “0617 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” (Psalm 1:1-6)
Who doesn’t want to be happy? Many individuals spend their entire lives seeking happiness. People look to the future and see themselves being happy once they attain certain goals, or acquire certain wealth, or purchase certain things. Many, when these things don’t bring them the happiness they were longing for, then resort to substances or experiences that bring happiness, or at least a temporary escape from their unhappiness. Unfortunately however, none of these things are the key to happiness.
Psalm 1 starts off with “Blessed is the man…”. Translated, we could replace the word blessed with happy or content. In this passage, we learn some simple truths that we can apply to live a happy, content, or blessed life.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” (Psalm 1:1)
This verse is instructing us on what a blessed man does NOT do. There is a way he should not walk, a path he should not stand in, and a seat he should not sit in. Staying away from these three things mentioned here will bring blessings, happiness, and contentment.
The first instruction here is to stay away from the counsel of the ungodly. People like to offer advice and share opinions. Well meaning individuals may have wisdom to share that seems to make sense, but is it really godly? The world tells us what is good and what is right, but would God agree? God’s word is always the best counselor and godly counselors will always use God’s word as the basis for their counsel.
The second thing we see here is that it is important to not stand in the way of sinners. Sinners and the righteous should not be heading in the same direction. Sometimes this means we have to take the road less traveled. Matthew 7:13-14 states:
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
Lastly, in verse 1 we see that a blessed or happy man should not sit in the seat of the scornful. Scornful people are unhappy people. They enjoy criticizing others. Sitting in the company of people that enjoy being critical and finding faults in other people and things will not bring happiness or blessings.
Instead, verse 2 tells us what we should seek after in order to find happiness:
“But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (Psalm 1:2)
True happiness is found in the word of God! A blessed, happy, or righteous man delights in God’s word. The verse goes on to say that one should meditate on it day and night. Listening to a sermon one morning a week is not enough. Skimming through a few verses most mornings is not enough. Meditating on the word day and night will help us to stay in the right frame of mind and find happiness. This first chapter of Psalms compares the righteous man to the ungodly man. Choose to be the righteous man. Choose happiness!
Posted in Devotions by Sara Scates with 3 comments.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – James 4:10
Read the “0312 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Read a previous post from this passage – “Where are the Strong and Courageous Men?”
“Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:1-9)
In these first verses of Joshua, we see Joshua is faced with a very challenging task. After serving as Moses’ assistant throughout his ministry, it is now up to him to finish the job that Moses started now that he has passed. It is now up to Joshua to lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land. This was a daunting task for sure, especially given the fact that the people were known to be rebellious and difficult to lead. However, as we see in these verses, God does not assign this mission to Joshua and “throw him to the wolves,” He gives him a little pep talk and reminds him of His promises. Just as we read here the encouragement and advice God offers to Joshua, we can apply these same truths to our lives and the challenges we face.
First, we see that God was preparing Joshua for this difficult job for years in advance. Joshua faithfully served Moses for the forty years of his ministry, working beside him and learning from one of the greatest leaders there ever was. God gives us experiences and examples to prepare us for what lies ahead. Sometimes these experiences can be uncomfortable and sometimes it may seem that these experiences last forever, but we know, “that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Next, God offers Joshua the encouragement that He will be with him and that men will not be able to stand in the way of what He has for him.
There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Joshua 1:5
Just as God promised Joshua, he has offered us the same promise.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
In verse 6 of Joshua 1, God tells Joshua for the first time to “Be strong and of a good courage…”. In verse 7, he repeats again, “only be thou strong and very courageous”. Again, in verse 9 He expands on this and tells Joshua:
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.“
God was planning to use Joshua for a very special and difficult job, one that would surely be wrought with challenges and obstacles far beyond what he would be capable of conquering in his own strength. Joshua, in his own strength, would surely fail but God reminds him that, “the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest”. He tells us too that we are never alone when doing His work in Matthew 28:20.
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:20)
Lastly, we see in God’s pep talk to Joshua the importance of keeping His word and precepts at the forefront of our hearts, mouths, and lives.
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
God reminds Joshua that only when he keeps the Word central in his life and obeys it, will he be successful in his endeavors. We are not promised that what He calls us to do will be easy, but God does promise that being daily in the Word and obeying His precepts will help us to be successful and even prosperous.
Posted in Devotions by Sara Scates with 5 comments.