Life is the sum of every decision you make.
The Bible serves as the foundation for every truth in our life and throughout it, God encourages us to make decisions based on its truth. As you begin to read Scripture, you’ll see a description of two types of people: the wicked and the righteous. This dichotomy serves as a reminder of the types of lives we will live and the end result of our life will result in one of these two categories. What determines how our life will categorized? The decisions you make.
That’s right…you decide.
In the first chapter of the book of Psalms, found in the Old Testament of the Bible, God gives us three questions to consider when thinking about a ‘wicked’ life and a ‘righteous’ life. Take a moment and read Psalms chapter 1 here.
Question #1: Who do I walk in step with?
In these verse two verses of Psalms chapter 1 the writer gives us a description of the righteous person. He takes the time to describe this person in some very specific ways. Primarily, however, he describes the righteous person as someone who does not walk in step with the wicked. That’s an interesting word picture, isn’t it? Why does the write use this image to describe the relationship with wicked? Well, imagine taking a walk with someone. You’re going in the same direction. You’re going at the same pace. You’re going ‘in step’ with this person. This first verse of the very first chapter of Psalms begs us to ask the question, ‘who do I walk in step with?’
Question #2: What do I delight in?
I delight in a lot of things: I delight in my wife: I’m in love with her. I delight in my work: It is my privilege to pastor the most wonderful and gracious church family and I get to teach and preach from God’s word. I delight in my hobbies: I love all things basketball and enjoy playing golf when the weather cooperates. I delight in good food: I grew up in a kitchen with my mom cooking nearly every meal of my childhood and that upbringing has led me to an adulthood that loves to cook and loves to eat!
The writer of this Psalm makes a careful distinction of what the righteous delights in. Look at verse 2 again. According to this verse, he delights in the law of the Lord. The law of the Lord, the Bible, God’s Holy Word is what the righteous man delights in. He takes great joy and pleasure in reading God’s Word. Again, ‘what do I delight in?’
Question #3: What do I think about?
Coming up on the heels of the last question is this next question. The writer points to the righteous person meditating on the law of the Lord both day and night. What do you think about both day and night?
- Your family?
- Your work?
- Your finances?
- Your bills?
- Your health?
- Your vacation time?
- Your addiction?
- Your children?
- Your past?
- Your guilt?
- Your secrets?
- Your ________________.
In the New Testament, in the book of Colossians, Paul reminds us to set our minds on thinks above, not on things below (Colossians 3:1). In other words, we are reminded and encouraged to be careful to direct our thoughts. Our thoughts give way to our behaviors. Therefore, be careful and guard your mind to think about things above (Philippians 4:8).
Psalms chapter 1 ends beautifully with five promises for a person who answers these questions well:
- This person will be planted. In other words, they’ll have good roots and won’t be shaken. (Psalms 1:3)
- This person will bear fruit. Their life will have fruit that will outlast the years in which they live. (Psalms 1:3)
- This person will not wither. Their life will have lasting meaning and significance. (Psalms 1:3)
- This person will prosper. Their life will be successful, as God defines success. (Psalms 1:3)
- This person will have God’s protection. God promises to watch over the way of the righteous. There’s a promise for those that choose to answer the above three questions poorly: destruction.
A life that is planted, bearing fruit, not withering, prospering with God’s protection or destruction.
Until next time…