Monday, January 1, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Wishing you all a Blessed New Year 2018
Psalms 1: 1-3
Vs. 1-3 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. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 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” 
2017 has become history. All of us wonder what the new year will bring. What will happen in 2018? Will it be a good year or a bad year for us personally?  Time marches on and the calendar changes. But the Word of God remains the same. Every one of us like to be blessed by God in 2018. All of us feel that way, which is why we wish each other a “blessed” new year. May our God who has led us thus far lead us in the New Year and years to come.
Psalm 1 tells us how we can be continually blessed every day. In just six short verses we learn the secret of the life God blesses. And it’s not just related to New Year’s resolutions. Every January most of us make a list of things we want to change. But the blessing Psalm 1 talks about goes much deeper. “Blessed is the man.” Happy is the man. This is God’s prescription for happiness.
Blessedness relates to the way we live and the choices we make. It depends on the kind of people we are. From God’s point of view, there are two ways and only two ways to live because there are only two kinds of people in the world. There are the righteous and then there are the wicked. Everyone in the world falls into those two categories. There is no “in-between” category. Psalm 1 shows us how the righteous live and why they are blessed. It also shows us the end result of both ways of life. We can summarize the message of these verses as follows: 
V.1 Blessedness comes by following the way of the Righteous.
In biblical terms to be blessed means to be rightly related to God so that your life is fulfilled and you experience deep personal satisfaction. It’s important to know that this sort of happiness is not related to our circumstances. And it doesn’t come simply by seeking for it. You find happiness not by seeking it but by doing certain things. The blessing comes as a result of the choices we make. Blessings come not only from what we do, but also from what we don’t do. Blessed people avoid certain things. And they avoid certain people and certain situations. They don’t hang out just anywhere and they don’t quickly buy into every line of thinking. And they are very careful not to join themselves to the company of those who do not love the Lord.
Psalm 1 assures us that it is possible to live a blessed and happy life, but only on God’s terms. The world offers entertainment, cheap thrills and momentary pleasure, but true happiness, authentic joy and true peace are found only in the Lord.
V.2 Blessedness comes from building your life on the Word of God.
We need to focus on knowing God’s Word. We must replace the negative with something positive. The psalmist tells us that the godly person “delights” in the law of the Lord. That means he loves the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures, the Bible. The word “delight” means to take great pleasure in. It has the idea of a consuming passion that controls your life. Everyone “delights” in something. Some people delight in food. Others delight in a job or a hobby or a career. Some delight in a particular friendship. Many people delight in money or the things money can buy. And many delight in evil pleasures and wrong desires. But remember one thing. Your “delight” determines your direction. Those who are blessed by God love his law and they meditate in it day and night. 
V.3 Blessedness is marked by stability and fruitfulness.
The person who builds his life on the Word of God is like a tree planted by streams of water. His life is marked by the twin virtues of stability and fruitfulness. Their “leaf does not wither.” and they prosper in all that they do. No matter what happens, they find strength for the day and hope in the midst of the hardest difficulties. They bring forth godly fruit in good times and bad times. Because they are planted deep in the good soil and their roots reach out to the water of the Word of God. Finding constant nourishment therein, they can face whatever life throws at them. 
Lord Jesus, help us to be people of the Word, delighting in what you have given us. May we say No to every form of evil, even the casual friendships that pull us in small ways away from you. Grant us the strength to say “Yes” to you and to your Word.
"Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be."
Rev. Manoj Idiculla, Carmel MTC, Boston
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church