23 Sep 2010

Psalms Project

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The youth group is undergoing the Psalms Project. The goal is simple. It is to read and mediate on one Psalm a day for three months and see what happens. Every Friday, we will break up into small groups to discuss one Psalm in particular and to share how the scriptures spoke to us that week.

Last week, we discussed 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.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.

This particular Psalm speaks of how not be to blessed and conversely, how to be blessed. It all has to do with where you find your source of identity. In vv.1, the Psalmist warns us of the slippery slope of seeking acceptance from the wicked. The more you associate with the wicked, the more you become like them. As G.K. Beale reminds us,

“Whatever you revere, you resemble either for your ruin or restoration”

For those who seek blessedness, vv.2-3 shows us that we need to delight in his word and meditate on it day and night. When we let the Word shape us and inform us of who we are, it breathes life. It’s like a tree beside a stream constantly being refreshed and renewed. That’s the picture I am praying for during this school year. Rather being ruined by the world, let’s be renewed by the Word. So the challenge to consistently sink our roots into the living water is extended to all of you, not just the youth group.

You might be thinking, “how can I possibly add this on to my already packed schedule? Who can possibly meditate on the Word day and night when there’s a Calculus test the next morning?” Additionally, as you think about your circles of influence, it seems impossible to avoid the bad influences all around you. The cynical side of you says, “this is impossible.”

You are right actually. But there is one who can and does. I remember our retreat speaker a few years ago reminded us that the calling in this Psalm is fulfilled by Jesus. It is He who lives in perfect communion with the Father. It is only Jesus who delights in the law and prospers in all his ways. It is only in and through Christ that we can become the person in Psalm 1. A commentator noted:

“He is the God-man who fulfills the divine demand and incorporates us into the divine life (1 John 1:3). It is He who gives us His own righteousness. As we live in communion with Him, we will be that tree planted and our way will be known to the Lord. As we live in communion with Him, His psalms become our psalms and the road to happiness, to blessing is ours” – Donald Williams

In light of what Christ has done, the call to soak in the scripture no longer becomes an burden, but a joy because Jesus has done it and we get to be a part of it. In him and through him, we get to enjoy him.

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