September 25

Psalms 1:1-3 (NIV) 1Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

The book of Psalms is a collection of songs of praise. Originally, they came in five different books. Many of them were penned by David. In them, we find expressed the heart cry of man in nearly every situation. No matter what you are going through you can find a psalm that relates to your situation. I turn to them when I am discouraged, for they often begin with complaint and end in praise.

The first psalm warns us not to keep company with evil people. We are told not to listen to their counsel, stand in their way or sit in their seats. The word 'blessed' is translated 'happy' in some newer renderings. Blessing implies the goodness of God will be with such a person. Look for these beatitudes throughout Scripture. If the Word gives us instruction as to what to do to find God pouring out His goodness on us, we should give careful attention to that instruction. You will be blessed if you avoid bad company. Man has a natural tendency to gravitate toward mocking and complaint. Don't!

Instead, delight in God's word. Think on it day and night. If you will take some time each day to be in the company of the Word, and let Him speak to you, you will have a thought to dwell on that will build you up instead of tearing you down. Avoiding the mocking sinner and filling your mind with God's instruction will cause you to be blessed.

In typical Hebrew style, the psalmist expands on what it means to be blessed in a simile. You will be like a tree that bears fruit planted by a stream. You wont dry out. You will prosper in everything you do. What a picture! What a promise! If you believe it, then you should act on it. Take time each day to delight in the Word of God. Take a thought with you through the day.

Consider: "If I meditate on God's Word and don't walk in the counsel of the wicked, whatever I do will prosper."

September 25

Ephesians 1:13-14 (NIV) 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession–to the praise of his glory.

Every spiritual blessing is ours in Christ Jesus! (Ephesians 1:3) Being in Christ, having hidden our life in His, and being clothed with Him, means that God sees Jesus when He looks at you. We get included in on all the good things that Christ deserves. Salvation is being included in Christ, being a part of His body. That affects us in so many ways. When we accepted the word of truth, we became included in Him. Are you continuing to remain in Him? (John 15:4-6)

When you believed and were included in Christ, you were marked with a seal. Just like a wax seal stamped with a signet shows that what is inside is from the bearer of the signet, so the outer you should reflect Christ to the extent that others know that what is on the inside is from the Lord. Only the Holy Spirit can produce those fruits in you. When you sense those fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, and self-control, you can know that you belong to Jesus. You are assured that you are truly saved. Perhaps someone is yelling at you, and you are able to stay in control and even find compassion for him or her. Or maybe circumstances all seem to be against you and yet you are experiencing peace and joy. You are experiencing the deposit.

The word that is used here is very similar to how we would use the term "down payment". It means we have a portion of what we will one day receive. Every believer has a deposit. It is our guarantee. It tells us one day our bodies will by redeemed, changed, transformed, and we will be able to receive the full amount. As much as you have experienced the Spirit of God, you haven't tasted but a small portion. We are God's possession. His plan is that we be to the praise of His glory.

Consider: He takes the lowliest thing and transforms it into a thing that displays the wonder of His ability. Are you ready?