1 Blessed 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.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.
3 He 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.
4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
The Blessed Life
During Chinese New Year we like to speak words of blessing over one another. The Lord our God is the source of all blessings. The Word of God is full of blessings for His people. Not only for Chinese New Year, but throughout the entire year.
On this second day of Chinese New Year, I bless you with Psalm 1:3, “You are like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever you do prospers.”
What is involved in this blessing? Three aspects to this blessing:
I. It’s a Promising Life
“A tree planted by streams of water” is stable and secure, it is at the right place for growth, with ample supply of water. Notice it says “streams” in the plural, if one stream dries up there is another. It has no fear of drought. From such place of nourishment, it is free to grow and bear fruit. Truly, it is a promising life.
May you discover the secret to endless and total supply to all of life’s needs, and the secret is found in the Lord your God!
Gen 22:14 So Abraham called that place “Jehovah Jirah,” or “The LORD Will Provide.” And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
Phil 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
In this New Year you will face difficult and challenging situations. Dry seasons will come. There will be down time. Don’t panic, don’t be afraid, be strong, be steady. You are planted in the rivers of life. All the promises of God are Yes and Amen towards you. You have the most promising future ahead of you!
II. It’s a Productive Life
“which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither”
7 But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him.
8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
Its leaves are always green and it never fails to bear fruit. Don’t you want that? A life that is healthy, vibrant and productive. Notice that leaves provide shade for weary travellers, while fruits provide satisfaction for hungry and thirsty souls.
Your life is blessed to be a blessing to others. You will provide rest and shelter, answer and solution, wisdom and understanding.
III. It’s a Prosperous Life
“Whatever you do prospers.”
Whatever you do – in all things, in all areas.
Today there is a lot of talks about work-life balance. Even the world is recognizing that success at work but failure at home is tragic. It’s not worthwhile to gain the whole world and lose your health, lose your family, and lose your soul.
Look around you, too many broken lives, broken hearts, broken homes. The world needs true prosperity from the Lord our God. Whatever you do, in all things, spirit, soul and body; health, wealth and happiness. This is true prosperity. This is abundant life, true life.
Let me bless you once again with Psalm 1:3, “You are like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever you do prospers.”
I bless you with a promising life, a productive life, and a prosperous life!
The best part of this blessing is that it is not just one of the well-wishes that we say and that’s it. The Word of God gives us the key to unlocking this blessing. If you want to enjoy such a blessed life, just do these two things:
1. Detest the Way of the World
Psalm 1:1 Blessed 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.
Beware of the downward spiral:
WALK in the counsel of the wicked or
STAND in the way of sinners or
SIT in the seat of mockers.
To walk is to follow, being led.
To stand is to choose side, standing with the wicked, which means opposition to the righteous.
To sit is to settle in, becoming one of the wicked.
Don’t even let it get started! Don’t go the way of the wicked, you must reject it, hate it and flee from it!
10 My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.
11 If they say, "Come along with us; let's lie in wait for someone's blood, let's waylay some harmless soul;
12 let's swallow them alive, like the grave, and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13 we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder;
14 throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse" –
15 my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths;
Remember who you are and whose you are. You are a child of God, you are a Christian, you belong to Jesus, you belong to His church. You are seated with Christ in the heavenly places. You stand strong with the armour of God, fighting the enemy. You walk in a manner that is worthy of your heavenly calling.
Detest the way of the wicked. Not only that, detest the way of the world. The way of the wicked is quite obvious, we know it is wrong, it breaks civil laws, moral laws, spiritual law. But the way of the world may not be so obvious. It is no less wicked, but more subtle, cunning, and dangerous. It comes as seemingly harmless suggestion, portrayed in the media, as though everyone is doing it, as though it is okay.
How can you detect and filter out the error of worldly values? You need the Word of the Lord!
2. Delight in the Word of the Lord
Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.
It is not enough to hate the way of the wicked, you must love the Word of the Lord.
Delight and meditate go hand in hand. What you love, you will think often.
Be honest with yourself. Do you love the Word of God? If you don’t, repent! If you do, read it, study it, meditate it, apply it!
You have to start with discipline, make it a godly habit, make sure you read daily, and read it through this year. Soon, it will become a delight. You will enjoy reading it so much, that you want more of it.
The amazing result is this, you will start living the blessed life that God wants you to live: Promising, productive, and prosperous.
That’s all? Really that simple? Yes, it is that simple! What’s true and what works often are very simple, especially when given by God.
I can understand why some of you find it hard to believe. It sounds like too simplistic a solution to life. After all, we need different expertise for different aspects of life. Can the Bible solve my financial needs? Does the Bible have the answer to my health issues? How can the Bible help me with my career path? And so, Christians run around getting helps, pursuing the latest gurus, when all the long the answer is right here!
Now, there are all sorts of knowledge in the world that are useful to learn: science, maths, computer, health, management, etc. God is not saying that we can’t learn them. But there is one big problem with all these knowledge and learning: they can’t deal with the heart of the problem.
What is the heart of the problem? It is the problem of the heart.
Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.
Only the Word of God can change your heart. Once your heart is changed, your life changes.
Your life is like a tree, the question is where is it planted. Make sure it is planted by the streams of water. In the Bible, water for drinking is a picture of the Spirit of God. Water for washing is a picture of the Word of God. To be planted by streams of water, is to be planted in the Spirit and the Word of God.
Trust me, if you will dig deeper in your spiritual life, practise the spiritual discipline of daily devotion, weekly worship, and generous giving, something miraculous will happen to your heart. You will start bearing the fruit of the spirit, you will start producing good fruits for Jesus Christ. You will really live out the Christian life.
Two ways: the way of the wicked vs the Word of the Lord
Two destinies: the prosperous life of the righteous vs the peril of the wicked.
In Psalm 1:4-6 the wicked is described as chaff, which is useless, cheap, ended up in the burning heap.
Live the blessed life in the Lord!