Blessings on this glorious day!!  I hope that you had a wonderful time in the Lord’s house today.  We were blessed to be with our dear friends at my son Jimmy’s church in MS this morning.  Then this evening we had a most lovely time at the Baccalaureate service for our granddaughter, Alison.  It was most refreshing to see young people wiling to stand up and publicly proclaim the name of Jesus, in their songs, prayers and comments.  How refreshing in this time we live in.

We’ve been on the road traveling this week and have seen God’s provision on every hand.   On the way to MS, we got to spend time with our former pastor and his wife, who are now ministering in Gainsville, TX.  The fellowship was sweet, and God used that ‘time’ delay, so to speak, to keep us out of harms way!  We wound up being about 20 minutes behind the big storm front that left hail all over I-49 south of Shreveport for about 10-15 miles.  The ground was covered with white and at first I thought it was cotton, and then realized it was “hail”.  God’s hand was upon us.  I couldn’t help but think of Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”   And I fret?

How good is our God.  Psalm 1 says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”  Do we want to walk in God’s ways or reap the consequences of the “Ungodly”?   We all want to be blessed –but there is a price for being blessed by God!  Look at the progression of the Psalm.

Blessed is the man—that “WALKS” not in the counsel of the “UNgodly”. To walk among is to spend time with, and/or be influenced by those we may encounter on our journey.   Secondly, the Psalmist continues the blessing on the one who “STANDS” not in the way of sinners.  Standing in contrast to walking reveals not only being in the company of “others” but also lingering in their presence with more influence.  To go beyond merely being in the passing presence of ‘them’, and desiring to “stay” with them and thus to be influenced even more than walking by them.  Thirdly, as we see the flow, we “blessed”, are advised not to “sit” among them!!!  Now one has gone beyond just walking, and standing to “sitting” among the “UNgodly”.  As Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 15:33 “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” or as another translation puts it “bad company corrupts good morals.”  We can choose our companions but we must be aware of the often-unrealized consequences of poor choices in ‘friends’.  Choose wisely!!!

The consequence to the righteous is unimaginably marvelous—to be like a tree planted by the rivers of water– bringing forth fruit in season, and having leaves that wither not and bring healing to others.  Oh, to be God’s tree , nurturing and bringing life to others.

As we have talked before, God has said, “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:16,  and we know that the only way that we can be “holy” is to have God’s holiness applied to us!.  1 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”  And Romans 5:1-6 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”  We are made right with God, not by our own righteousness, but by the blood of Jesus, which when applied to us, makes us able to have and exhibit the “holiness” of God.  Paul also refers to this in Philippians 3:7-10 “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”  God’s righteousness applied to us at the expense of Jesus!!!  What next?  Once again the word provides the answer!!

Proverbs 3:5-6 calls us to  “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”   Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”  God’s name is our safety!!!  I can trust Him!! I can follow Him with complete confidence!!!   And as we close, let’s remember Hebrews 13:5-6 “ Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”  Psalm 17:5 “Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.”   And Psalm 119:105 tells us how we can keep our way aright, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”  It is God’s word that keeps us going the right way!!  And that’s why we spend this time together each week, to keep our “eyes on Jesus”—and on His Word.  That we might be challenged to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15.  I hope that this will bless your week and that you will see God at work around you each day as He keeps you safe in the storms of nature and of life.   We’ll meet back here next week—same time, same place (online, that is!!) till HE returns.