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September 8, 2020 1:00 am
What about the coworker in the lunchroom who repeatedly told you every time modules around how great their life is the number spell find somebody else to eat lunch with a friend that tells you, you know, every time you write what you really want to do was forget the restrictions and engineers away down the responsibilities of marriage and family that is just tying it down as she is holding you back.
You are the most important thing you really all about. You listen, find another friend that one may also have some relationships that down because the advice you receive is always bad or some other reason. Relationships are hard and take hard work to maintain. We have many kinds of relationships in our lives.
Some of them are very close and dear to us in some are simply acquaintances for the Christian. The key to all successful relationships is first and foremost our relationship to Christ. This is wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi today. Stephen has a lesson on relationships from Psalm one. It's called drawing circles for all the right reasons, your Stephen one survey I read recently said that roughly 70% of Americans believe the main purpose of marriage is mutual fulfillment and others I married her because she was supposed to meet my needs and she was fun to be around. I married him because I thought that he would just be there and meet the needs that I had take care of which makes in the main purpose of marriage all about. I me in mind. Right. And if that other person isn't fulfilling what I need, then it's time to move on to the vast majority of Americans and really concerned about those outside the church and really more concerned with us a beloved in here and in the church in general. I fear that the vast majority of American Christians. Marriage has little to do with the concept of servant. It has little to do with the idea of dying to self. As seen in the relationship of Christ and his church.
It has little to do with the desire to bring glory to Christ and to advance his gospel. It has little to do with raising godly heritage. It has little to do with mentoring younger believers along the way. It has little to do with living out the gospel and demonstrating the character of Jesus Christ and his humility and sacrifice to the average individual. I fear in the church marriage is really about getting that person get me what I need when I needed an and much marriage material out there is simply giving people more ammunition to make them even more self-centered and more self focused than ever notes on chapter 1. It might seem an odd chapter to deal with relationships and yet I think it squarely deals with. I want us to come to get out our minors gear and put on that helmet with the strong light looks good be okay just read verses 1 to 3. Just as an overview when I can get the verse three. By the way were not getting a diverse two by the way were going to cover verse I notice how blessed is the man referring to the believer who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers was just read verse two, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law he meditates day and night verse three he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water that were talk about roots, which yields its fruit in its season leave does not, whether it's in Evergreen and whatever he does prospers prospering. Of course, in the context of Scripture is fulfilling the purposes of God for your life. Dishonest is first in verse one is tell us what not to do. We want to protect our lives, relationships certainly are marriages. Notice how blessed is the man work for blessed here means joyous sort happy, but he goes because beneath the surface definition of happiness that depends on happenings. The root meaning of the word blessed actually refers to somebody is moving forward. How how progressing is the person the idea how moving forward is the man or woman in the way God would want them.
It could even relate to someone who is leading the way.
The words painted here with this Hebrew text is the idea of a person who is pressing on who is advancing in the lives, goals with the godly purpose about life by the way, this is the same concept of the apostle Paul who wrote the he was pressing on toward the goal that prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 313 so the blessed person in Psalm one is the person who is advancing toward godliness you want good relationships advanced toward godliness you want to ruin your relationships digressed from godly would you notice the progression of this person's movement here just circle three keywords you might've already done it there in verse one, walk, stand and sit. This is critical to understand what the psalmist is talking about these three words are related to three negative and godly persons life.
In other words, here are three things he won't do to progress in life. Notice again how blessed is the man, it does not walk in the counsel of the wicked walk here suggests that a person is listening to the counsel of the ungodly, is the idea of a casual relationship. You're just sort of casually walking along you might even be minding your own business and the picture here is that someone who is wicked or ungodly sort sort of merges with your path merges into your lane, your paths now merge that person is walking with you and and evidently from the text ready to give you counsel not to be like that. They're just ready to give you advice. They may not know God. They may care less about the couldn't care less about the word of God, but given the minute and and you're going to get an ear full set idea here and so in this first negative. The believer is someone who doesn't listen to the advice of the ungodly factor not even gonna casually walk on the path of it they can find find a way to sort of find something to distract you if you don't, you do not need that tearful you could paraphrase this to read this.
What blessed is the man who doesn't want down the path listening to ungodly advice difficult to do psalmist takes us to the next negative effect he could think of these three negatives as three steps down the first dangerous step downward is to walk next to ungodly counsel.
Step two comes next, notice nor stand in the way of sinners, word stand is another key word the idea of literally taking your stand with an unbeliever. It refers to taking a stand defending what they're doing. Maybe tolerating it, justifying it ever so slightly, but you are taking a stand with with someone who is wicked. So the first step is what you're just listening to an unbeliever.
Now your agreeing with you never have to worry about agreeing with them. If you listen to, but you listen to and their influence in your mind and in now you're beginning to think you know what they they may have a point that it appeals to the flesh, so the very very best time to say no to the first invitation ungodly counsel is the first time it comes along. Your marriage affect your life depends on you deciding what you will not do, where you will not walk to him. You will not listen with him.
You will not agree here in Psalm one the godly individuals is not even casual counsel unit I could talk with your humming. Whatever then you refuse to stop and stand by those who were sinners unless you're going to use it as an opportunity to influence them with with the gospel, by the way, the words translated here wicked and sinner. These are references simply to unbelievers the way they are described here doesn't imply that there cursing God.
They are denying God unit again excited to turn off your your testimony when you get around and they're just there just just so evil there presented here is people who actually just live on a horizontal plane. They have no relationship with God things horizontal to them. All that matters is life.
All that matters is making the most out of life.
Getting ahead in life. Getting the best stuff out of life. Talk about some of these people are necessarily cursing God. They just ignore God. You might work around people like you might live in the dorm with people like this you might go to church with people he never really factors decisions are made without life is lived without any connection to him. Except for maybe an hour or two on Sunday, so to listen to the warning in Psalm one.
Their presence in your life is like in undertow.
They can be dangerous, but they are to your relationships, your marriage, your thinking someone is sure to say right around here as it had been say it to me often when you did Jesus make friends with sinners.
Wasn't he condemned for eating and drinking with tax collectors and prostitutes sinners. Yes he did and that's Matthew 1119. If you need a reference were told he did.
But don't miss his purpose. He wasn't eating with tax collectors because he was lonely. He wasn't eating with prostitutes because he wanted to make some new friends was and he wasn't hanging around unbelievers because he didn't want to miss the party for the weekend and want to be alone. He wasn't mingling with them so that they could influence him, but said that he could influence them. They were not peer pressure on him.
He was peer pressure on them, not because he needed them. He knew they needed him and he had come to see and to say the lost Luke 19 verse 10, so let me let me draw site for just a moment to give you a practical thing to consider, okay… Here's how the circles work for the circle out passive acquaintances.
There's no real personal connection. There is no obligation. The next circle in us casual friendships.
These are the people in a similar circle of experience that are oftentimes locked into your world because your world is locked in the Bears you're praying for them. You want to influence them and then you have close companion. These are the ones you given the right to persuade you to change your mind to make you think a certain way how careful we have to be with those whom we choose to have that kind of access into our heart and our mind in marriage. That's one of the most significant reasons we ought to walk with God because were going to be closest to that individual really influence them more than anybody else, and they us again. The greatest issue is that we follow hard after Jesus Christ and his word is were influencing someone's life for the believer. This may surprise you but I'm going to say this for the believer. No one who is without Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior should ever be given access into your inner circle is what Paul warned the believers in Corinth when he reminded them and said what close companionship can light have with darkness segmenting 614 for those of you that are willing to move the wicked in the center to the periphery of life, which is where they belong. He said he who walks with wise men will be wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm the psalmist here someone is effectively saying don't slow down as you walk on. Don't get sidetracked. Don't invite the counsel of the ungodly into the inner circle of your life. Don't don't stop on their path and allow them to gain your ear because here's here's the obvious what you listen to.
You just might buy into and what you buy into you just might act upon and the voices of the wicked are everywhere and I fear we manage too much of ABC News carried the story of a law firm that created a billboard couple years ago in the Chicago area targeting the young wealthy Gold Coast clientele, the billboard read in large letters. I saw a picture of a copy of quote life's short – get a divorce." And on either side of the words were rather sensual photographs of scantily clad man and woman and it just left it up to your imagination within a week the city took down the billboard citing technical problems of the truth is, a lot of people complained about in the legal firm defended the billboard by actually saying. I cooked them we find the advertisement refreshingly honest and insightful people are unhappy and there are plenty of options out there to get on with your life." Now get of the primary purpose of the relationship. Certainly, a marriage and even life itself is self-fulfillment and that ad makes perfect sense because if marriage is ruining your party get past and move on a writer. By the way to the editor of the news program that ran the story on this racy billboard said this, I appreciated your candor and boldness quote for those who think this billboard was clever.
They really ought to consider taking down the pictures of that scantily clad couple and instead put a picture of an eight-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy in the background clutching daddy or mommy as they leave the house for somebody." And I thought that would be refreshingly honest and insightful psalmist spells out the dangerous progression here in the song you listen to them. You stand with them and eventually join that's the third step down in this digression. Notice the last part of verse one was beginning to begin with covered so much territory. How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners now notice nor sit in the seat of scoffers that Hebrew word is a strong word let theme is the word refers to those who openly unashamedly mock God the beginning.
It is just ungodly counsel. Now it's okay. It's hateful. They despise God they despise God's word and this is the third negative for the godly person.
By the way, don't sit down in the seat of the scoffers know what is. That means that mean they slide over and give you a seat you sit with them really psalmist uses the word seat here like we use the word share the chair of the scornful is a reference to a place of authority or or prestige or teaching.
We think of that often in our academic environment. In fact, in Matthew chapter 23 verse two were told that the scribes sat in Moses is seat. In other words, they were teachers of the law of Moses. This particular seat workshare and someone is occupied by a teacher who is a scoffer, a hater of God. He hates God and in our land is filled with and they use their chair to undermine the authority of God in the box the things of God in the word of God. So what is saying here is avoid the chair don't allow a teacher to come into your life who mocks God, they may put up with a certain portion of it in philosophy when I wanted into state units or whatever he saying don't voluntarily sit at the feet, as it were, at the chair of someone who mocks God, but I want you and those he actually goes for he is actually telling us that the godly man doesn't sit in that chair himself.
Can you imagine this digression is now seated. He's walking by. He stops and stands and defends.
Then he sits down in the chair began with a casual walk become a way of life and you think how the world could that the path of blessedness spiritual progress is abandoned self rules.
Every relationship, every activity every pursuit people, especially spouses only matter for what ever they can give and however they can serve. This is death to the joy of marriage. This is the loss of blessed and you can hardly imagine that someone would go this far down one book that's made headlines are illustrated with this sometime ago, when I looked back up.
It's now in its third printing is just selling like crazy entitled affair subtitle how to manage every aspect of your extramarital relationship with passion discretion and dignity on the back cover and reads this best-selling book these words and I quote in the face of near universal disapproval between one quarter and one half of all married Americans will at some point engage in an extramarital affair, they will have either an enriching experience or the destructive mass for which affairs are far better known in this book.
Many of the major pitfalls are avoidable and an extramarital relationship can bring a person greater happiness and personal growth properly managed at somebody sitting in a chair teaching and they are telling the truth. Nearly 50% of Americans will engage in something inappropriate outside the bounds may be right now you are flirting with fairy step, maybe not.
Will are you giving the counsel of the world. Hearing okay so you don't have the book on your nightstand is a good idea, what about the coworker in the lunchroom who repeatedly tells you every time. Lunch rolls around how great their life is since they dumped their spouse, listen, find somebody else to eat lunch with even if you got a go on the parking lots in your car can what the friend that tells you, you know, every time you're around. What you really want to do is forget the restrictions in an unusual way down the responsibilities of marriage and family that is just tying it down as she is holding you back. You are the most important thing you really all about. You listen, find another friend move that one to the periphery.
The outer circle that movies and television have we given the scoffers of God's word.
A hearing book you're reading about the music you're listening. Steve and I would never buy that book called affair but I'm merging my path with ungodly counsel. Okay, I can manage the average Christian today would say Stephen you know you're starting to sound like a legalist, you need to like the psalmist would say you need to look at.
Not like don't stop to listen change the channel steer clear. Stop watching this. What have you given your ear. Don't let the roots of your life go down into the counsel of the eventually as the psalmist implies it's going to affect the leaves and fruit on the tree of your life it will impact your mind relationships your worship today will impact your life.
So here's what the godly person does not he doesn't slow down. He doesn't stand around and he doesn't sit down with the wicked sinner in the scoffer. He moved them to the outer circle of his life, only to be seen when he ventures out there to attempt to win the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is been a very practical lesson today and I hope it's encouraged you this is wisdom for the heart, and Stephen JD is working through a series from the book of Psalms entitled the song.
The lesson you just heard is called drawing circles for all the right reasons. In addition to being our daily Bible teacher Stephen Devi is also the pastor of colonial Baptist Church in Cary, North Carolina.
You can learn more about Stephen's ministry from our website, which is wisdom online.org and I encourage you to visit there often the complete archive of Stephen's 30+ years of Bible teaching is posted there and you can listen to every lesson that Stevens taught free of charge.
Those lessons are also available as printed manuscript. If you prefer to read them.
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