Be Blessed

Posted under The Rectory Bulletin | Psalms

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalm 1:1–6)

I thought we might spend three or four days in the first Psalm, which might be seen as serving as an introduction to the whole Psalter. It’s not long, but the themes it deals with are worked out as you go on through the rest of the Psalms.

Before we go through the psalm in the days to come, it’s just worth pausing on that first word: blessed. Like the Sermon on the Mount, being blessed lies at the beginning of this great book of praise. To be blessed is the fulfilment of the Christians faith, and is the great desire God has for his people. Some caricature Christianity as a great list of rules, as an oppressive, joy-killing religion.

Not so! Yes, there are commands of God but their aim is bring blessing and a deepness of joy. They are there to enable the individual to grow in an ever-deepening relationship with God. They are the signposts on the road to glory, guides to lead us safely home. The aim is blessedness, not joyless obedience. In the end true, enduring joy and fulfilment is only to be found in the one who created you in the first place.

So as we go on to continue through this psalm during the remainder of this week keep that word in mind: blessed. That is the goal of all this, that is what God desires to give you. Blessed - what a happy word that is!

The God who Smiles

And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:10–11) - If you have not yet taken that step, that first step of following Jesus, then resolve to do it now and feel the radiant smile of God. If you are living as a Christian in a sort of twilight. If you have a life of compromises and just not really going for it. Well, recommit yourself and bask in God's smile. If you are doggedly going on with Jesus, and it is causing you trouble at work, at home, well look up! See the smile of your God as you seek to follow him. My friend, you need to experience the smile of God.

George Müller

If you were to drive through Bristol you might notice some large buildings at the top of a hill in Ashley Down. The buildings provided accommodation for just over two thousand orphans, which was forty per cent of the entire orphanage capacity in the country. All he did was pray for the money he needed. He never made requests for any financial support, and he never went into debt. When he died, he had received £1.5m (£150m today) and had provided for over 10,000 children. Such is the God who answers prayer.

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