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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, August 21, 2015
Today’s scripture reading:
The writer begins his psalm extolling the joys of obeying God and refusing to listen to those who discredit or ridicule him. Our friends and associates can have a profound influence on us, often in very subtle ways. If we insist on friendships with those who mock what God considers important, we might sin by becoming indifferent to God’s will. This attitude is the same as mocking. Do your friends build up your faith, or do they tear it down? True friends should help you to draw closer to God, not hinder.
God doesn’t judge people on the basis of race, sex, or national origin. He judges them on the basis of their faith in him and their response to his revealed will. Those who diligently try to obey God’s will are blessed. They are like healthy, fruit-bearing tees planted along a riverbank with strong roots, and God promises to watch over them. God’s wisdom guides their lives. In contrast, those who don’t trust and obey God have meaningless lives that blow away like dust.
There are only two paths of life before us–God’s way of obedience or the way of rebellion and destruction. Be sure to choose God’s path, because the path you choose determines how you will spend eternity.
You can learn how to follow God by thinking about his Word. This means spending time reading and thinking about what you have read. It means asking yourself how you should change so you’re living as God wants. Knowing and thinking about God’s Word are the first steps toward applying it to your everyday life. If you want to follow God more closely, you must know what he says.
This “law” means all of Scripture. . . The more we know of the whole scope of God’s Word, the more resources we will have to guide us in our daily decisions.
There is simple wisdom in these two verses: The more we delight in obeying God, the more fruitful we are. On the other hand, the more we allow those who ridicule God to affect our thoughts and attitudes, the more we separate ourselves from our source of nourishment. We must have contact with unbelievers if we are to witness to them, but we must not join in or imitate their sinful behavior. If you want despair, spend time with mocking sinners; but if you want God’s blessing, make friends with those who love God and his Word.
When Scripture says, “In all they do, they prosper,” it does not mean immunity to failure or difficulties. Nor is it a guarantee of health, wealth, and happiness. What the Bible means by prosperity is this: When we apply God’s wisdom, the fruit (results or by-products) we bear will be good and receive God’s approval. Just as a tree soaks up water and bears luscious fruit, we also are to soak up God’s Word, producing actions and attitudes that honor God. To achieve anything worthwhile, we must have God’s Word in our hearts.
Chaff is a very light and is carried away by even the slightest wind, while the good grain falls back to the earth. Chaff is a symbol of a faithless life that drifts along without direction. Good grain is a symbol of a faithful life that can be used by God. Unlike grain, however, we can choose the direction we will take. (NLT)
Psalm 1:1-6 – Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with scoffers. But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants; day and night they think about his law. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail. Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper.
But this is not true of the wicked. They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly.
For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
To read the stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
JUDGING, JUDGE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/judging-judge/
FRIENDS, FRIENDSHIPS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/friends-friendships/
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