Blessed Is the Man
By Greg Quinn
January 21st, 2008
Itís a new year. 2008. It seems as if 2007 just flew by. A lot of great things happened in 2007. And, the year was mixed with sadness as well. I am sure the same is true for you. Each of us, each year, experience times of both gladness and sadness. Happiness and hardships. Success and failure. Grief and joy. That is normal, a part of living as humans on this good earth. Each of us, however, at the culmination of one year and the beginning of another, ponder upon a plan for the new year that will yield much greater happiness and success, and much less grief and hardships. We want the new year to be better than the old year. Simply put, we want to be blessed.
Before we can truly grasp the blessings we want, we need to reflect upon the blessings we already have. Perhaps 2007 brought the death of a loved one. As sad as this was, and as real as the pain that remains, you still can be thankful that you have others that remain with you. Perhaps 2007 brought personal sickness. While difficult, the fact that you are alive and able to read this message is a testament to Godís mercy, as you are still here and well enough to read. 2007 may have dealt financial hardships, but Iíd bet you would not have to look very far to find others in much worse shape than you. This past year may have delivered times of despair, feelings of being alone, heartbreak, and sadness that at times seemed unbearable. But, it is now a new year. 2007 is gone. And you have another 12 minutes or 12 months to live your life, and with Godís help, to replace the despair with hope, the loneliness with friendship, the heartbreak with comfort, and the sadness with joy. As sad as some times were this past year, looking back, each of us can most likely realize that, in many areas, we are truly blessed.
Being a new year, and wanting things better in 2008 than in 2007, how do we achieve the new level of success for the new year? How can we be guaranteed more blessings in 2008 than in 2007? I have a very simple answer. One that will work better than any fad diet. One that will yield more success than any self-help book plan, exercise regimen, new friendship, more money, or major life change on your own. A plan straight from God himself. A plan to be blessed.
Psalms 1:1-3 says this: ďBlessed 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.Ē
Allow me to expound on this a bit.
First, this is a promise from God. God himself (the Creator of the Universe, the God that put you here and gave you the ability to read this note) said these words, and God cannot lie. His truth that is recorded in the Holy Bible is the only truth that we can truly count on. So, when God says something, you can take it to the bank.
Now understanding that this is true, and therefore the promises are solid and will be kept by the only one that can truly keep promises, God himself, what does this mean? What is the promise that God is giving us in this Scripture? God very clearly tells us that, if we do a few things, that He will bless us. How will he bless us? We shall be secure and safe. We will be fruitful and successful. And whatever we do will prosper. God himself guarantees our success!
Before you run off and think that Iím a televangelist delivering a message of guaranteed new relationships, guaranteed financial success, more money, better jobs, less weight, guaranteed happiness, nicer home, better friends, and greater health, just stop a minute. That is not what God is saying. That is not what I am saying. God says he will keep you secure. He will make you successful and prosperous in whatever you do. This is true. But, we first need to make sure that (a) we connect our meaning of success with Godís meaning of success, and (b) we do what God says we must do in order to receive these blessings.
If our understanding of success, prosperity, and blessings become in tune with Godís definition of the same, then we can understand how He will bless us. How can we do that? By doing what He says we must do to receive these blessings.
What is God therefore telling us we must do? First, we are going to be blessed if we donít hang around with bad people. ďBlessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodlyÖĒ. While this may sound like a message you received growing up from your grandmother, you now understand where it comes from. You cannot hang out with ungodly people and live a godly life. Who you hang around defines much of what you will become. As IT people put it, ďgarbage in-garbage outĒ. You live your life hanging around with bad people, and you will most likely become as they are. If you hang out with unsuccessful people, you are more likely to become unsuccessful. If you spend most of your time with people that drink, you will drink. If you hang with those that do drugs, you will most likely do drugs. If you are around cussing all the time, you will probably cuss yourself. If you are around continually people that live unfruitful, unblessed lives, your life will reflect much of the same. Why is this? Because more often than not we take advice from those around us the most. And, if the advice is coming from ungodly people (people that are not at least attempting to live in accordance to Godís standards), how can you expect this advice to be blessed by God? So, for 2008, one of the first things you can do to live a more blessed life is to look at whom you hang around, and perhaps make some changes. If your friends are not living the kind of life you want to live, if those you spend most of your time with are not blessed by God, if the counsel you receive is not from people striving to live a life as God would suggest, then you certainly want to begin to add different influences into your life. Iím not telling you that, if you are married to a bad person or have bad friends or have bad children, to turn and run away from them. Iím suggesting that you add in more positive influences than negative ones, you watch where your advice comes from, and you begin to hang around with people that live a life of faith in God. In other words, walk in the counsel of the godly instead of the ungodly.
Secondly, God tells us not to be a stumbling block to sinners. ďÖnor standeth in the way of sinnersÖĒ. In other words, donít be a reason that another person would do wrong. Just as you are warned to not take counsel from an ungodly person, God is telling you to not be that ungodly person to another. Donít prevent Godís blessing to fall on another person by being someone whom Godís blessings run from. Going along with the first illustration, you cannot be a stumbling block to other people that are living ungodly lives if you donít hang around with these kind of people. And, if you do (and we all must live around people that live lives that are defined as ungodly), then do not be the person that causes another person to sin. Donít be the guy that causes someone else to do wrong. Donít be the bad example. Instead, be the good example. Live a life that would be pleasing to God. How do we do this? First, we must be saved and accept Jesus as our personal savior. I suggest you find a Holy Bible and turn to the Book of Romans and read the first 3 chapters. This should help you understand. And/or go to a Bible-believing church in your community and talk to the Pastor and tell him you want to develop a relationship with God. And/or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Iíll do what I can to help you understand this critical element of success as well. Once that part of your life is defined, then you will better understand how to live a godly life. A godly life is a life of good example.
Thirdly, God is explaining how we should not be scornful or unthankful. ďÖnor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.Ē We can only sit in one seat, and thatís the one we carry around with us daily. To not sit in the seat of the scornful is to not be scornful yourself. To not be scornful yourself is to instead be thankful. Live a life of thankfulness. When things are good, be thankful to God for the blessings. When things are not so good, be thankful for the blessings you have and realize things could be much worse. Donít be full of scorn or resentment. Be full of thanks and praise to God for all the great things He has done for you. Look around you. Look at others much worse off than you, be they next door or in another country. You have much to be thankful for. So, reflect on how good you have it, instead of how bad things are. Giving undue attention to how bad you think you have it will make you scornful. Donít become that person. Be thankful. You are blessed more than you may think.
Fourth, find delight in Godís Word. ďBut his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.Ē And, study Godís Word. Godís Word is the Holy Bible. The only book ever written that will tell you how you can live forever. Not the Talmud. Not the Book of Mormon. Not the writings of the Muslim faith. The Holy Bible. Read it. You might not find delight at first, but the more you read it and the more you begin to understand, the more you will find happiness through its pages. Because through the Bible God the Creator can speak to you if you let him do so. And, you will receive instruction as to how to be guaranteed a better life. In 2008, and beyond.
In summary, we want to live a great life in 2008. We desire greater success in all areas of our life. Can this greater success be attained? Absolutely! How? First, donít hang around with ungodly people. Donít be an ungodly person yourself, and instead live a life that is pleasing to God. Be thankful to God for all your blessings. And, read and study Godís Word, the Holy Bible, do what it says, and begin to find delight within its instruction.
Do these things, and you will be blessed. You will find security and provision as that tree planted by the river, that even in dry times doesnít have to worry about water. This tree will live through the worst drought, because it gets its life from the water it is near. You can live through the worst times in your life by being near to God. Your life, as the tree that is fruitful, will be fruitful and blessed. Your leaf will not wither. And, get this last promise, ďwhatsoever he doeth shall prosper.Ē
I hope this helps you have a great life in 2008. My prayer is that each reader will find the peace, security, and happiness that will only come through a relationship with God. And, this close relationship with the Creator will deliver to you a greater life in this new year.