Blessed is the man

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.

Psalms 1:1-2

Only two possible paths lie before us – God’s way of obedience or the way of rebellion and destruction. Choosing God’s path is the way to find spiritual healing, daily guidance, a joyous relationship with him, and eternal life.

The book of Psalms begins with one of the simplest yet most profound truths in all the Bible: Great joy comes from obeying God and refusing to listen to those who discredit or ridicule him. Friends and associates can have a significant influence on us, often in subtle ways.

If we insist on friendships with those who mock what God considers important, we will be tempted to adopt more and more of their thinking, and before we know it, we will find ourselves indifferent to God’s Word and his call upon us.

Those who have this careless attitude toward God are no different from those who outright mock him. Do your friends build up your faith, or do they tear it down? True friends will encourage you to draw closer to God rather than hinder your relationship with him.

The more we delight in God’s presence, the more fruitful we will be. On the other hand, the more we allow those who ridicule God and faith to affect our thoughts and attitudes, the more we will be cut off from our source of nourishment.

We must engage and welcome unbelievers if we are to witness to them, but we must not adopt their sinful behavior and scornful sarcasm. If you want to despair, spend time with cynics and critics; if you want God’s joy, spend time with those who love God, his Word, and his people.

We can learn how to follow God by meditating on his Word. This has become difficult in an age of sound bites and banner headlines.

Meditating means spending time reading, thinking, marking, and reviewing what we have read. It means asking how we must change and grow so we will live as God wants. Meditating on and understanding God’s Word are the first steps toward applying it to your everyday life.

If you want to follow God more closely, you must take time to know what he says.

This “law of the LORD” refers to all of Scripture. In it, God reveals to us his will, his absolute truths, his love for us, and his divine nature. The more we know of the whole scope of God’s Word, the more resources we will have to guide us in our daily decisions.

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