Blessed Are Those
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!  But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.  He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. (NASB)
Happy New Year!!
I was watching the news at the JFK airport in New York on New Year’s Eve. In spite of the cold weather, lots of people gathered, celebrated, and welcomed the new year. They were all happy and excited. I thought they are greatly blessed.
I am going to share with you about a truly blessed life today.
A book with the title, The Powerful Speech, has a short story which was written by a schoolboy in Boston. He submitted the story about Benjamin Franklin as a book report homework. Here is the story. (Whispering Hope, 2009)
“Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston. When he was bored with his life, he moved to Philadelphia. When he arrived there, he became hungry. He bought a loaf of bread. He was walking along the street with the bread in his armpit. He saw a woman. The woman saw him and smiled at him. So he got married to her and discovered electricity.”
The story is short and simple, and even funny to make us smile. It is not a well-structured writing. It seems that buying bread, the marriage, and the electricity discovery are not relevant. But, the boy’s point makes us think about Franklin’s life. Ultimately, it reflects our life because we can see that every movement in Franklin’s life was not planned by him. It happened just as the boy described. What does that mean? That means ‘His life was under God’s provision’.
That’s the whole point. People think they are smart enough so that they can plan their own lives. But, we know that we cannot extend our lives without God’s grace. God wants us to live a blessed life. Psalm 1:1-2 shows the practical way to live a blessed life among many lessons in the Bible. It starts with the definition of a blessed person. “How blessed is the man.”
The blessed person does not do three things but does two things.
- The blessed man doesn’t walk in the counsel of the wicked
We need to focus on two words, wicked and walk:
What is the wicked? In Genesis, God said, “When you eat the fruit, you will surely die.” However, Adam and Eve testing God by taking the forbidden fruit. At the moment, they trust the snake more than God. Unfaithfulness! That is the wickedness.
In fact, when we trust anything more than God, including our own talents and righteousness, that is the wickedness.
‘Walking’ means our ‘behave in everyday life’. Jesus said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you?” (Mat 17:17)
The blessed man should live by the faith in Christ and should not follow the perverted generation in the wicked manner.
- The blessed man doesn’t stand in the path of sinners
The blessed man should not stay in the pattern of the sinners. 1 John 2:15-17 says, “Do not love the world nor follow the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father, but is from the world.”
This world and non-Christians love to entertain themselves in the worldly sinful manner, and don’t believe in Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior. Consequently, a blessed person should not follow their sinful manner nor stay on their wicked path. We should not forget, ‘We are in the world, but not of the world’.
- The blessed man doesn’t sit in the seat of scoffers!
Scoffers don’t respect others. Instead, they judge others out of their own righteousness because their minds are full of pride. 1 Peter 5:5 (NASB) says, “… Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”
The scoffers cannot live a blessed life because God is opposed to their pride.
Now, To be a blessed person, we need to do two things.
- The blessed man delights in the law of the LORD
The law of the Lord is the Word of God. To be a blessed person, we need to know the Word of God because the Word of God is Jesus Christ. In Gospel John 1, “In the beginning, was the Word, the Word was God.”
The Word, Jesus Christ, is the source of blessings. Through the Word, we know we are saved from the eternal condemnation and became the children of God. This amazing Gospel makes us delighted in Christ. That’s the blessing of the Lord.
- Meditates the law day and night
As we know God comes to us through the Word of God. We may experience God’s presence through meditation of the Word. Without reading and meditating the Word of God, we cannot live a powerful Christian life because prayer is our way to tell God, the Word of God is God’s way to tell us His will.
We will not be a blessed person when we don’t know God’s Word because we will walk, stand, and sit in our own way, which is the sinner’s path. I am sure many of you agree with me on this.
That is the life of blessed people. I believe many of you know Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart.” I have kept this word and decided to put it into my heart for over 30 years. The Bible verse has been working in my life in many amazing ways.
When I disregarded this promise, ‘delighting myself in the Lord’, I tumbled into the bottom of everything. Failed my relationship, my business, and everything until I repented and straightened myself in the Lord.
As long as I delighted myself in the Lord and meditate the Word of God by the thanksgiving, ‘All things work for good for those who love the Lord’.(Romans 8:23)
Consequently, to be a blessed person, we should live a faithful Christian life, get out of the wicked way, and faithfully serve others around us with the love of Christ. To live like that, we need to trust and delight the Word of God and live with thanksgiving. That would be the life of a blessed person.
(The following story is summarized from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Muller)
I will conclude with a real blessed man’s story. His name is George Muller. He is the man of faith and the father of orphans in England in the 19th century. He fed over 120,000 orphans through his ministry. He was a well-respected pastor both in Europe and America during the great awakening. He received the supplies through everyday prayer without an organized sponsor.
In his young life, he was not a blessed man at all. He was a thief, a liar, and a gambler. He said, “I had no Bible and did not read any Scripture for years. I seldom went to church. Nobody told me that Jesus meant for Christians. By the grace of God, I could get my life with the Holy Scripture.”
One day, he attended a prayer meeting, the Holy Spirit touched his heart. He prayed to God to help him and bless his life. Since then, he read the Bible regularly and stopped drinking, stealing, lying and gambling.
Muller prayed everything from small detailed things and to any serious things. That means he trusted God in everyday life.
In August 1877, he was on a ship which was crossing the Atlantic ocean to attend a meeting in Quebec. When he talked to the captain, he found out the ship could not make the date due to the thick fog. When Muller prayed, the fog was lifted and the ship could make it on time. Because of this instance, the captain became a Christian shortly afterward.
According to the Wikipedia, God answered his prayers and requests for more than 50 thousand times in his life. If he prayed for 70 years, his prayers were answered 700 times per year, 2 times per day.
God answered his prayer sincerely because he was a man of the Bible. He read the entire Bible 4 times a year. That means he read about 14 – 15 chapters per day. He practiced today’s scripture (Psalm 1:1-3) in his entire Christian life and became a truly blessed man.
When I read his story, I repent my negligence and lack of my faith. My main problems are:
- I don’t trust God as much as Muller did. He totally believed in God. If I don’t believe, how could God answer my requests?
- I don’t read the Bible as much as he did.
So, I pray that all of us in our church including myself, read the Bible and trust God so that we all would have the same blessings as Muller received, not just for the new year but for the rest of our lives. Amen