#blessed

I suppose someone out there may be the exception, but I’ve never met a believer who didn’t want to be blessed by God. No one has ever said to me, “I just love it when God rains down His wrath into the middle of my life.” Instead, correctly, we want to be blessed.

What is a blessed life? Is it one of financial security, marital bliss, or physical health? We might be tempted to say yes. No one wants to struggle with money, marriage, or sickness. The Bible, however, defines a blessed life differently.

According to Psalm One, a person who forsakes sin and delights in God’s Word is blessed.

The Psalmist tells us that a blessed man “does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers (NASB).” Before the remainder of this Psalm, and all one hundred forty nine other Psalms, the writer reminds us that we live in a sinful world.

A blessed life is one that is not dragged down by surrounding sin. It does not sit, walk, or stand with the wicked. Instead, the blessed life forsakes sin. A Christian, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, must choose not to sin. Since salvation brings spiritual life, believers are able, through God’s power, to “just say no.”

Paul put it this way in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it (NASB).”

Clearly, since Christ has not returned and we have not been glorified, we will not always take “the way of escape.” The blessed life consistently, though not permanently (yet), flees sin.

If forsaking sin is a negative command (thou shalt not), then delighting in God’s Word is the positive counterpart. To live a blessed life, a believer must be in God’s Word.

The Psalmist writes that the blessed man’s “delight is in the law of the LORD.” He mediates continuously on God’s Word. This devotion produces continued spiritual fruitfulness. Verse three says, “He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water (NASB).” The Word of God, like a nearby stream, provides constant nourishment.

Reading the Bible does not guarantee spiritual growth. Not reading the Bible, however, does guarantee no spiritual growth. We learn about God’s nature and character through His Word. As we obey it, we learn that His commands aren’t arbitrary. Instead, His commands reflect His nature. By reading and living God’s Word, we grow in intimacy with Him.  We will be firmly rooted and will not wither.

The blessed life of verses 1-3 stands in stark contrast to the life described in verses 4-6. Unlike the blessed, the wicked have no spiritual root. The Psalmist writes, “They are like chaff which the wind drives away (NASB).” Those who sit, walk, or stand with sin cannot stand before God in judgment. Heaven, the assembly of the righteous, is off limits.

To delight in God’s law, His Word, is to delight in Christ, the Word. The blessed forsake sin and intake God’s Word because they’ve been made new in Christ. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:14-15, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one (NASB).”

The wicked, or natural, have not found their delight in Christ. The blessed, the spiritual, have surrendered their lives to Jesus.

Are you blessed?

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