Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but who delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. Psalm 1:1-2
In a nation that is founded upon freedom, most people think that they are blessed in being able to do what they want, how they want and when they want. In the process of doing these things, they often choose to do things that are sinful and against God.
Taking the path of sin does provide some satisfaction and enjoyment for a time. However, that enjoyment is very short lived. As it continues, usually there are many different temporary problems with sin. Then there are also many long term negative effects of their actions. And finally there is death and separation from God with no blessing.
The psalmist writes that the one who is blessed does not take the path that the world takes. He chooses to stay away from sin, but focuses his life on God’s word. It is upon God’s Word that he thinks day and night, allowing it to guide his life.
There have been believers who have stated that it is boring to read the Bible and don’t want to do it. Others have read it once, but then never again. Doing these types of actions, does not give him a true understanding of what God wants and desires in his life.
Each time one reads the Bible, he can learn something new about God. He can learn new ways to live his life for God. It will also give him strength to turn away from sin, since he will know what sin is and he will also know God’s great love. As one follows God’s ways, he will know love, joy, and peace that the world cannot know. He will be blessed.
As a believer, focus your life on God’s word and Him. As you focus on His word, you will not be looking at this world and its sinful ways. In this process God will bless you with His presence, love, joy and peace. These are supernatural things that only God can provide.
You will also know that you are in right standing with God as you follow Jesus and live as He lived. God has blessings ready for you. Look to His word to gain them.
I pray today that you will have a hunger to know God’s word; that God’s word will be made alive to you; that you will turn from the ways of this world to God’s ways; and that you will know God’s blessings to you.
But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22
Obedience is something that most people find difficult to do. Wanting to do their own thing, the majority of people choose not to be obedient. They want to twist or bend the rules to their own favor. People want to do their own thing, their own way, in their own time. It is about self, not about God or others.
Saul had been told to completely destroy all of the people and animals of the Amalekites as he and his army went to battle against them. Instead of destroying everyone and everything, the men kept some of the animals for a sacrifice. Saul thought it would be good to keep those animals to be able to offer a great sacrifice to God. However, that was not what God had commanded him to do.
Although most people do not like to sacrifice anything, they will quickly sacrifice something rather than obey. In churches there are people who will donate a lot of money to the church or organizations or they will offer help in some ministry on a regular basis. Yet, at home or work, they do not live for God or obey His commands on purpose. They feel that their large offerings cover up their sins and puts them in right standing with God.
God does not want sacrifice if there is no obedience. In this case, sacrifice is trying to earn one’s way into heaven, rather than trusting Jesus for salvation. Believers are to obey everything God says and trust what He says first. Once the obedience occurs, then sacrifices can be done to worship and honor God.
Take a look at your own life and see how well you are doing at obeying what God has told you to do. God is interested in you obeying His every word, His word in little things as well as in the great things.
If there is no obedience, there is no love. Jesus said that if you love Him, you would obey Him. Love is greater than any sacrifice.
Once you love and obey God, then you may do the sacrifices as God leads you. Not the other way around.
Are you obeying God today?
I pray today that you will know God’s commands for your life; that you will obey what God tells you to do; that you will trust everything God tells you; and that your heart and life will obey God first before any sacrifice.
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him–the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD–and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. Isaiah 11:1-3
God had promised David that he would have a son on the throne of Israel forever. At the time of Isaiah, the nation had been split and was about to be destroyed. It did not look like there would be anyone to sit on that throne.
In this passage, Isaiah gives a prophecy about one, who was from the lineage of David (Jesse was David’s father), who would sit on the throne again. This one would have God’s Spirit resting on him, giving him wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, and knowledge of God. He would delight in fearing God–following and obeying God. The one to come was Jesus.
As Jesus walked on this earth, all of these things described Him very well. The people saw that He was one who delighted in God. Jesus became the root for those who would come after Him.
One of the things that Jesus said was that He was the vine and you are the branches. Jesus is the original branch, and you are to be like Him.
This means that everything that Jesus has, you can also have. You are attached to Him and are nourished by Him. When Jesus left the earth, He sent His Holy Spirit to be upon you, just as He was on Him.
Having God’s Holy Spirit on you gives you wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, and knowledge of God, just as it gave all those things to Jesus.
Do not rest your wisdom, understanding, counsel, power and knowledge on yourself, or in that of other people. Look to God’s Holy Spirit to guide you. God is with you and wants you to be just like Jesus. Jesus was the perfect example of how to live a life for God.
How are you living your life today?
Are you living it in the ways of this world, under your own power?
Or are you living and walking in the Spirit of God?
I pray today that you will know God’s Holy Spirit in your life; that you will trust in God’s counsel; that others will see God’s Spirit in your life; and that you will delight in serving and obeying God.
His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, or his delight in the legs of the warrior; the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:10-11
The world likes to look at what a wealthy or successful person has and admire it. They consider how large the house is, what type of car they drive, how big of a paycheck is made, the position a person has at work or in the community, and many other things. Things like this is what people delight in either seeing or having themselves.
Power is the other thing that people like to look at and admire. Men love to admire a car that has a lot of power. People often crowd around a person who has high authority or influence in a community. Those who have a great ability in some field are often sought out by others trying to learn how to have that same ability.
God does not look at those things and find the same great delight that man does. Seeing someone in high position or very successful does not excite the Lord at all. God already owns everything, so having it means very little to Him. He also has absolute power, so power and position mean nothing.
He finds great delight in those who fear and trust Him. God already has the ability to do anything and everything needed. He gets excited when a person will trust Him to do what is needed for him every time and all the time.
God’s love for you is perfect and unfailing. God will not and cannot do anything that is not for your benefit. The real challenge is do your really believe that?
If you really believe that God does every thing He does for your benefit, then you must stop trusting in this world and the things of this world. Put all of your trust in God and Him alone.
Allow God to lead you in the path you are to take. Trust that His love is so great that you will not be harmed. You may get harmed physically, but your spirit will live for eternity with God.
Where is your hope today?
Is it in the things of this world?
Or in God’s unfailing love?
I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will trust God’s love for you; that you know God delights in you following Him; and that you will not trust the things of this world.