Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Delighting in the God of the Word

The end of May is an exciting time in life. The weather’s warm, the days are long and there are so many great outdoor activities to enjoy. The school year is ending, the kids are all abuzz about summer, and vacations plans are being drawn up. Man, sometimes it just feels good to be alive!

I’m getting excited about our church’s block party coming up on Friday night, June 1, from 5-8. That’s next Friday! This will be my first taste of what I’m told is quite a community event. Let me just say, you’re invited to come and enjoy the fun. We’ll have free food, live music, children’s games and activities, the big inflatable bounce house and games, a cake walk and much more. Bring the whole family and let’s have a party!

And speaking of end of school stuff, let me again say congratulations to the Class of 2012! I had the honor of speaking at this year’s Baccalaureate service at PORTA High School last Sunday night. What an outstanding group of young men and women representing the school and the community. It was humbling to be able to address them and pray for them, and I’m grateful for the experience.

The message the Lord gave me for the students came from Psalm 1. This psalm highlights the blessings God pours out upon the one who follows His ways, while warning the wicked of the disastrous outcome of their way. And when it comes down to it, there’s really only two ways to live: the way of the righteous or the way of the wicked.

Verse 6 of Psalm 1 says this: “For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” Friend, let me assure you that the Lord indeed watches over the way of the righteous. He’s got His eyes on them, guarding their way and guiding their steps. He never leaves them nor forsakes them. He provides for their needs, comforts them, cares for them, protects them and satisfies the longings of their souls.

God is not stingy in His blessings toward His people, but generously showers them with mercy and grace all the days of their lives, while assuring them of His promise that they will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. 

And let me add that these “righteous” are only made righteous through Jesus. The Bible clearly says that there is no one righteous, not even one (apart from Christ). You can’t be nice enough to be righteous. You can’t give enough money to the church or charity. You can’t volunteer at the food pantry or teach Sunday School or do anything else to become righteous. That’s why we need a Savior!

Jesus did what we are incapable of doing – living a perfect life. That’s why His atoning death on the cross and His triumphant resurrection from the grave provide the only means of our salvation. “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18).

The question is this: Whom will you follow?

The one the Lord blesses is the one who does not follow the ways of the ungodly world. He does not follow the foolish advice of godless people. He does not follow the rebellious road of those who reject God’s commands. Why would he? The way of the wicked will perish. It is a useless path that leads only to destruction and death.

Rather, the one who receives the blessings of the Lord finds his delight in the Word of God! He can’t get enough of it! To him the words of Scripture are treasures far more valuable than silver or gold. Because that’s where we encounter the Holy One of God, whose word brings abundant, victorious and eternal life.

God’s richest blessings await those who delight themselves in the Word of God and in the God of the Word. May those blessings be yours as you follow Christ Jesus!

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