April 30, 2024


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Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM

“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper”.
Psalm 1:3

There have been many versions of the old gospel song, but my favourite is:
Glory hallelujah, I shall not be moved,
Anchored in Jehovah, I shall not be moved.
Just like a tree planted by the water,
I shall not be moved.

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish” (Psalm 1).

In the verses above, we are given specific direction so that we may prosper even when it would seem very difficult. The Lord does not want the circumstances that surround us to affect or hinder our success or our perception of His goodness. He wants us to experience prosperity and fruitfulness in the midst of drought. Prosperity comes in many ways, it’s not always financial. It may come as a God-given insight, a creative idea, or wisdom that will eventually bring great abundance to us personally and corporately. As we remain in Him, according to John 15, we will bear much fruit!

A tree so planted will not fear when heat comes, it will not experience damage from the blazing heats of summer, its leaf remains green, and it will yield fruit in season. We become like Him, continually bearing fruit so that others may find sustenance and refreshment in time of need. Remember, His resources are Eternal and they never run dry

Psalm 1, as the first psalm, serves as a kind of introduction to the entire Book of Psalms, and a fitting introduction it is. The psalm begins, “Blessed is the man.” The Hebrew here can be read as an exclamation: “Oh, the blessedness of” or “Oh, the happiness of the man.” “How fortunate is the person.” Statements like this that begin with the word “blessed” are called “beatitudes.” The beatitude type of saying was common in the ancient world. Think of the Beatitudes our Lord Jesus spoke in the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are those who. . . .”

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 related to New Year’s resolutions. Every January most of us make of 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.

Psalm 1 surprises many people because it begins not with the positive, but with a negative. The blessing begins with what the righteous person does not do.

He does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.

He does not stand in the way of sinners.

He does not sit in the seat of mockers.

Consider the progression involved: Walk … Stand … Sit. First, the man is walking down the road. Then he stops to hang out with the sinners. Eventually they prove to be such good company that he sits down and has intimate fellowship with them. What started as casual contact in the end becomes a declaration of personal allegiance.

The “counsel of the wicked” means the advice of the morally unstable. It’s a general term that describes the worldview of those who do not know the Lord. The “way of sinners” involves a series of lifestyle choices. The “seat of mockers” means to have close, intimate, long-term fellowship with those who openly reject the Lord. The progression goes like this:

Thinking … Behaving … Belonging.

Worldly wisdom leads to

Worldly action, which results in

Worldly fellowship.

Let us be clear on this point. 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.

Sin never stands still. It always moves to control us. What starts as casual contact leads on to increasing closeness and permanence of association. Eventually, there is increasing boldness of evil accompanied by a lowering of our own inhibitions. We laugh at jokes that once would have seemed crude to us. We compromise our values in ways we never would have thought.

The word “righteous” is not a word that had the nicest ring to it. If someone called you a “righteous person,” you might not think it was a compliment. You probably wouldn’t mind being called a kind person or a compassionate person. You wouldn’t even mind being called a good person. But to be called a righteous person somehow doesn’t sound so good. The word “righteous” reminds us of “self-righteous.” A self-righteous person is someone who thinks he has made himself righteous on his own. And often he thinks of himself as better than anyone else.

But in the Bible to be righteous doesn’t mean that. To be righteous is just the opposite of being wicked. And you can be righteous without being self-righteous. In fact, people in the Bible who are truly righteous are people like Abraham and Elijah and Daniel. These people knew that they had not become righteous by their own efforts. They knew that they owed their righteousness entirely to God’s grace.

So in biblical terms it is good to be a righteous person. It is really the same as being a godly person. It is something that all of us should want to be.

Righteous people are in a place of honor.
But think how much greater honor it would be for a tree to be planted in the courts of God’s temple in Jerusalem. Remember what the temple was. It was God’s house on earth. It was the place of his earthly presence among his covenant people. It would be a tremendous honor to be a tree planted there in God’s presence.

And if you’re a godly, righteous person, you have that honor. You have been made one with God through Jesus Christ. You have been adopted into God’s family. You have a place of great honor as a tree planted in the courts of the LORD.

If you trust in Christ and you are living in Him, you have the rock-solid confidence to live without fear or guilt.

My fellow tree people, God has something better for you tomorrow. And He has something incomparably wonderful for you in your destination, heaven. Don’t settle for anything less by falling in love with this world.




EMAIL: revinnopeace@gmail.com

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