We are beginning new chapters in our GRC community. It seems more like spring than fall with our growth groups starting this fall, the reality of 21Harristown getting ever closer, and new additions to the staff of GRC. If we peruse the news media though we see a completely different picture, more like the winter in Narnia: hurricanes, war threats, economic confusion, party rhetoric, not to mention NFL season (maybe Aslan territory). How do we live in this world of polarities and remain “blessed”, “happy” or “joyful”?
I am reminded of Psalm 1:
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither- whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.”
This reminds us of how to remain blessed. The chapter elicits three things that we should not be doing. (I’m surprised to see that what “not to do” is ahead of what “to do”).
- Not to walk in step with the wicked – but rather, keeping in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25)
- Not to stand in the way of sinners – but rather standing against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11)
- Not to sit in the company of mockers – but rather to sit at the feet of Jesus, just like Mary (Luke 10:39)
After the three “don’t do’s”, there is the one thing that this blessed person does, he delights in God’s word (Law of the Lord). The latter reminds of a letter that Maya had written to me. I treasure it; reading it many times, experiencing her words of love for me because of our love-relationship.
But God’s love toward us is immeasurable. Believe it or not, all that love is expressed in words and is bound for us in His Word. Our attitude towards His word is a barometer of our love towards Him. Do we delight in Him? Do we delight in his law? Do we like the psalmist yearn and cry out “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” (Psalm 42:1)?
How are we doing on this “one thing”?
Let us start afresh in our love for Him, expressed in the desire to meditate on His word, so that we might draw near to Him. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commands.” If we do not read His word, how will we know His commands? If we do not know His commands how will we keep it? Jesus is our model, while on earth, He used the spoken word, though He was the “Word made flesh”. Here are some examples, read and meditate, that’s homework!
- Luke 4:8 Jesus, while fighting the devil, uses the Word
- Luke 4:17 Jesus uses the Word before he starts His ministry
- Luke 24:27 Jesus points to the Word illustrating He is the Messiah
Let us not be deceived by that voice, sowing doubt, “Did God really say…” even pursuing us to ignore His Word. To dispel darkness and doubt go to scripture, Ephesians 1:3 says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing IN Christ.”