New Year 2015 - Going the Right Way in the New Year
As we continue to speak about “A Holy New You” we’re going to learn how to go the right way in the New Year. No matter how hot or cold it is around us we want the fires of our faith to be burning brightly. This won’t happen automatically. We have to be intentional about it. Since our time on earth is limited, let’s make the most of the time we have left.
Here’s the main point of the psalm: Where you end up tomorrow depends on where you’re headed today.
This psalm falls into 2 divisions of 3 verses each. v. 1 - 3 speaks of the righteous who are commended and v. 4 - 6 addresses the unrighteous that are condemned. The whole human race falls into 2 separate groups and is categorized with various biblical words: saints and sinners, saved and lost, godly and ungodly, believers and unbelievers, those who are blessed and those who are busted.
1. The Way of the Righteous
“Blessed is the man…” Unfortunately, the word “bless” is a bit bland in our language and has become a Christian cliché, which means we use the word but don’t really know what it means. We could define it this way: “Oh, the happiness, many times over…” It also carries with it the idea of congratulating someone for doing something positive. Actually, the word “blessed” is in the plural, meaning “the blessednesses,” which can mean a high number of “happinesses” or it may refer to an intensity of God’s blessing.
Blessing is “an inner satisfaction and sufficiency that does not depend on outward circumstances for happiness.” Those who are “blessed” have inner lives that are rightly aligned. The root idea is “approval.” When we bless God, we are approving and praising Him; when He blesses us, He is expressing approval of us. In the sight of heaven, those who do or don’t do certain things are “superlatively blessed” because the Almighty is extending His endorsement.
How much do you crave God clapping for you? Do you want His smile more than your self-centered aspirations? Do you desire the applause of heaven more than the approval of your friends? How badly do you want His blessing? If you want God’s blessing more than anything else, you can have it.
You do not find this happiness by seeking it but by doing certain things and not doing other things. This blessing comes as a side benefit of the choices we make.
This psalm is a bit surprising because it starts not with the positive, but with the negative. If you want to be blessed, then behave like this…
A. Separated From the World v. 1
Blessings begin with what we do not do: “Blessed is the man who walks not…” If you want a holy new you, then start with separation. Blessing comes as a side benefit of the choices we make and the things we choose to not do. If you and I want to be blessed, then there are 3 things that we must not do – there is a way we will not walk, a trail we will not take and a seat we will not sit in.