Sermon – The prosperous life (Psalms 1:1 – 1:6) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
Plan your visit



The prosperous life series thumbnail
Sermons in series

Show all Down arrow 75 sermons

Spotify logo Apple logo Google logo

Sermon 37 of 75

The prosperous life

Gavin Kinnaird, Psalms 1:1 - 1:6, 22 August 2021

In this one-off special, Gavin preaches to us from Psalm 1. In this passage, the psalmist sings about the benefits of knowing God’s words and what a prosperous life really looks like.

Psalms 1:1 - 1:6

1:1   Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
  nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
  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
  that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
  In all that he does, he prospers.
  The wicked are not so,
    but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
  for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked will perish.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

And if you'd like to take your bibles and turn to Psalm Psalm 1, this is the passage that Gavin's gonna come and preach from in a minute. Let's let's bow and ask God to bless this reading and Gavin's preaching as well. Father, we we thank you so much for your word. We thank you and we adore you, Lord. Thank you for the words of that song.

You are the 1 who deserves all worship. And adoration. And Lord, help us to come to your word now with humble hearts, ready to listen. Please open our ears, Lord. Please would there not be anything stopping you from speaking to us tonight?

We pray for Gavin as he comes that you would enable him lord by your spirit to speak your words. And lord, please help us not just to to hear these words, but to put them into practice. And we ask all these things in Jesus' name, amen. Psalm 1. Blessid is the 1 who does not walk in the step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers.

But whose delight is in the law of the lord? And who meditates on his lord day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water. Which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever they do, prospers, not so the wicked.

They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment. Norse sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the lord watches over the way of the righteous. But the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Gavin, thanks. Yep. It's that bird? Alright. Well, there we go.

Nice 1. Well, like, let me start again. Yeah, my name is Gavin, and now I'm getting myself entangled by this nonsense. The worst art to a sermon you've ever seen. My name is Gavin at Pastiture for Thank you.

Thank you. Yeah. Just in case, you know? 1 of the pastors of a church meets in London, 2 ting, Onesworth area called Trinity Road Chapel, I'm also a can add. Many of you might have heard me preach here before and it's often said, 1 of the 4, and I'm not going to say, which which have kind of the best I come in, but you can maybe determine on the on the what's that?

Last. Okay? But maybe what people wanna decide on the, you know, whether this sermon's any good or not. I don't know. But Anyway, Psalm chapter 1, All I'm gonna do this evening is basically tell everyone, just read the bibles.

That's basically gonna be my main message, take home. If you're those that are really tired this evening and you fall asleep, at least get the kind of take home now, go away. I want you to read your bible I want you to delight in the law of the Lord, to use the language of Psalm chapter 1. Because Psalm chapter 1, yes, it's a fantastic poem, and a very well known 1. It's about the way of the righteous compared to the way of the wicked, and the Psalm compares those 2 ways of life, 2 ways to live, really, 2 85, that was a pamphlet, wasn't it?

We should redo it and just write song 1 because it's probably better. And because it's that good. And to take us through this evening, it's gonna be 3 3 simple points, really, what do the righteous do, what are the righteous like, and who the righteous know, what the righteous do, what they're like, and who they know. And so What did the righteous person what the righteous person does? Let me read verses 1 and 2 for us.

Blast is the 1. Who does not walk in step with a wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers. But whose delight is in the law of the lord, and who meditates on his law, day, and night. You know, the world that we live in, brothers and sisters is rammed full of counsel and it's rammed full of advice. I say advice.

That's a bit of a polite way of put it. The world actually demands how we should live or how we should think what is right and what is wrong. And it's everywhere. It doesn't matter what you're doing, there will be counsel, what activity it might be, for example, You turn on the Olympics, then if you watched the Olympics a couple of weeks ago, I watched the Olympics. A fairly innocent endeavor.

Right? Watching the Olympics put your feet up. For some athletic recreational activity and excitement. It's a fantastic thing to do. It's an innocent thing, isn't it?

There's no harm. But you know, when you start listening to maybe the commentators, or the presenters or the athletes when they're interviewed. You start hearing them, just start throwing out bits of advice and bits of counsel, I didn't come here for that. You can achieve greatness, they say. This is what glory looks like.

My favorite might be, be the best. You can be the best if you just try hard. I can be the next Adam Peety. I can do it. I might not look like it right now, with the right protein shakes, the right steroids.

I can do it. I can be the best. I can be it. But it's counsel, isn't it? Just start dishing out a bit of advice.

I didn't come here for that, but you can't get away from it. You pick up your newspaper. Just give me the facts and the figures. Tell me tell me the recent facts, whatever it might be. That's all I need.

But then you look at you look at it again, another Glen and you start reading, and then there's suddenly subtleties. And it's telling me what I'm meant to believe, or you should be conservative, You should be progressive. You should be a liberal. There's suddenly an agenda. I didn't come here for that.

I just wanted the facts and the figures. Oh, but it's counsel. Right? It's advice. Or let's spend a few hours on Netflix.

You know, we all like a bit of bit of like hearted entertainment or drama or whatever it might be. No harm done there. But then it starts telling us how to live. It's throwing out counsel, it's throwing out advice, or what to believe. I I remember reading this woman, she would write in an article about TV show that she really admired back in the nineties.

I'm not gonna name it because it's terrible. But I will tell you, what she said about this TV show that she would like to put her feet up to. Let me quote her. She says, this taught me how to react when you're in a taxi and your friend tells you she has cancer. What to say when you're in a waiting room with your friend before she has an abortion.

How to find friends who won't judge you for having an affair. What it looks like to have a baby when you're not a baby person. How to deal with your friend having a baby when you keep having miscarriages. Every single 1 of these lessons came in handy over the next decade. What amazing thing to say?

She loved this TV show. You might think it's just a bit of lighthearted entertainment to make you laugh or whatever. But it's giving you counsel. It's throwing out advice, life advice, moral advice, ethic advice. And terrible advice, in this case, because it doesn't matter where you look, what you read, what you listen to.

What's on TV? There's just so much counsel, so much advice that we're just meant to take on board and agree to. Because there are so many voices in our world, wanting and demanding that we listen and be submerged by its opinions, and it's meant to take us away from the lord. Here's a Psalm 1. Psalm 1 reminding you and me that the way to blessing and flourishing.

Is to reject to the council, right, or the advice of the wicked. It's not so clear, I think, in the NIV, but most translations speak of verse 4. 1 of the 1 that is blessed or happy or flourish He does not or she does not walk in the council of the wicked. The righteous person does not walk, does not Stan does not even sit in the company, right, of the evil of the evil of the evil person. And he he's probably thinking as 1 from an eastern ancient culture, Those that you spend time with is the person that you affirm.

Those that you eat with is the person that you might align yourself with and agree with. But here we have it's clear, really. The righteous 1 will know he or she will flourish, but not in the messages or the counsel of the wicked or of their culture. Then the the the flourish, but not through the count false counsel of the world. Well, then how does the righteous flourish?

It's 1 thing to reject it all. Right? It's 1 thing to do that, but then how do you flourish? How does the righteous 1 flourish? Well, it's right there at the start of verse 2.

Their delight is in the law of the lord. Their delight is in the instruction of god's word. Their delight is in the truth. Truth always ought to make the heart flourish. And The psalmist loves, doesn't he?

The company of the scriptures. He delights. The word delights you know, it's to be happy, isn't it? It's to no enjoyment. The Psalm is delights in the company of God's Word.

The truth, yeah, dispensed by the Holy Spirit. Do we, I suppose, good question, Do do we enjoy the company of the Scriptures? It's a good question, that isn't it? Do we enjoy being with the word of God. Think about think about your Sundays, brothers and sisters.

How precious? Or your or sundays to you? Because this is where as a church, we gather, don't we to enjoy the company of God's word, and the law of the Lord that it might counsel us, and it might advise us in the ways of Jesus. That it might draw us away from all of those false advisors in the world around us. I think about the church that I help pastor.

I get 1 hour a week, maybe at most with most of them. On a Sunday, I get 1 hour to try to advise them in Christ, where the rest of the week, 6 days a week, they are submerged by nonsense and deceiptful lies. Am I get 1 hour a week? I mean, how precious is this time for the people of God? We get to enjoy.

Right? We get to enjoy the the company of the Scriptures and counseling us in the truth. This is what the righteous person does, isn't it? He or she delights in the law of the lord. And notice at the end of verse 2, it's not just reading it.

It's not just having it open and looking at the words. It's it's meditation, isn't it? The righteous 1 finds delight in the law of the lord, and who meditates on his law, day and night. So So, to blessing comes with meditation on God's promises, now meditating. Well, that's really hard.

Meditating is to slow down. Meditation is to listen with much intentionality because there are just distractions absolutely everywhere. They've got pictures of Adam Peety, swimming through my mind, because I want to be like him. It's a distraction. It's taking me away from Jesus.

Right? Eating it. Stop. It's to listen. It's to repeat.

All of those worries, the worldly matters. Seeking to drown out the voice of Christ. Such just mere reading of God's word, it's meditating upon it. And that's a secret to flourishing under the Lord. It's a secret to blessing.

It's a secret to our Lord's own fulfillment in his human life. You look at the gospels. You you read about Jesus and how much he just delighted in the company of his father. It filled him with joy. He learned, didn't he how to dwell richly upon the truth?

And that's why he is the righteous man of Psalm 1. He is the 1 that delights perfectly in the company of his God. And he is the 1 that actually says, I know this is too hard for you, but I can make it possible by my strength, by the spirit I promise. To give you. What does the righteous person do this evening?

He delights she delights in the law of the lord. And perhaps notice this before we move on to our second point, righteousness doesn't begin with behavior, does it? It doesn't begin with my god or my evil or that kind of thing we so easily easily think. Righteousness begins with the truth. Listening to it in our hearts, as we meditate upon the Lord Jesus, as we share company with him.

It's what we do this evening. It's what we do as we gather under his word. What does righteous person do? Read the scriptures, delights in the lord, law of the lord, and meditates. Upon it.

So what is the righteous person like? That's my second point. What is the righteous person like? We'll look at verses 3 to 5. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and whose leaf does not wither.

Whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked. They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore, The wicked will not stand in the judgment nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. Again, we have that comparison between the righteous on the 1 hand, the wicked, on the other.

Let's begin with the wicked. What are the wicked like? What are they like? Well, they are like chaff that the wind blows away. It's to say, isn't it that by their wickedness, They are unstable.

There's no depth to their lives. A stiff breeze will blow them away like a carrier bag in the wind. There's no root. He's there with Chaff. There's no root or foundation to hold them up whenever the winds come through.

There's no stability with the wicked, they're like Chaffs, to carry on with the kind of athletic theme that's going on this evening. I was listening to an interview with Mark Cavendich, famous cyclist, really successful 1. And the interviewer wrapped up this interview with Mark with some concluding thoughts or some concluding lessons, really. And he says this, how many people have we spoken to, where they say I got there, and I just I just didn't feel fulfilled. Shouldn't we learn from that?

What are we searching for? Where does the happiness come from? I understand the for victory. But if when you get to the top of that iceberg, when you reach that moment, If it doesn't give you what you hoped it would give you, why are we doing it in the first place? I think it is a question I can't really answer.

And I don't know how many episodes of this podcast I have to do. My friend, that is a perfect and great illustration of how the advisors or the counselors of this world, leads where, to instability, like chaff blown away by the wind. He goes on to say, If anything, I think this teaches us the best you can do is to enjoy it. Just enjoy the journey, and enjoy the ride. Really?

With such deep, profound questions, the best thing you can tell me is just to enjoy the ride. But that's what the wicked are like. That is the best they can do. And instead of turning to God amidst massive, profound questions about what on earth we're doing in this world and our purpose for it, and where to find fulfillment, they ignore the God that gives them the answer, and so they're like chaff blown by the wind. They don't have an answer.

And so they can't stand in the assembly of the righteous. When the judgment does come, at the end, they cannot stand. They don't have the foundation to do so. That's what the wicked are like. What about the righteous?

Well, the righteous flourish. Well, what are the righteous like? What do they look like? Those the psalmist has a tree. I'm looking at the wildens of trees this evening.

You're old trees. You're a tree. I say this to myself every morning when I get up, Gav? You are a tree. A tree says the psalmist, but not any ordinary tree.

This is where it gets interesting. It's not an ordinary tree. It's a miraculous trick, or you need to notice this first 3. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither. Where's the miracle here?

Well, here it is. It doesn't matter the season. It doesn't matter what the season. This tree continues to yield fruit and leaf. Now I'm not gonna pretend I'm some expert on trees.

I'm not a degree surgeon or a botanist. Does botanist need people look at trees? I don't know. But I'm not an expert, but I think I've observed this rightly. Most trees, when you get to autumn, the leaves begin to fall.

And when you get to winter, they ain't there at all. It's a profound observation. I think it's true. I think it holds true for the most part. But when you look at this tree, it doesn't.

The streams of water, that is the instruction of the Lord, as we were just thinking about, the person of Christ, and And and and the voice of his truth means that this tree keeps bearing fruit, flourishing in the grace of God, and it doesn't matter what the season. That's a miraculous tree. So you're meditating on the word of God. You're allowing it to ruminate. What a word ruminate.

You're allowing it to ruminate in your heart and your mind. It's counseling you. It's counseling your life and heart. Well, what's gonna happen? What's gonna happen to you?

There's gonna be stability. There's gonna be a root that's gonna hold you up. It's gonna stabilize you. The winds that blow the chaff away will come upon the righteous as well. But the righteous won't be blown away.

There will be a route. There will be a stabilizing. There will even be a flourishing. Where you bear fruit, even in seasons of dryness, even in seasons of suffering, even in seasons of pressure. It's miraculous.

It's immense. That's why the word of God is so delightful, my friends. That is why it's so powerful. You might not feel like it. But you'll be bearing fruit even in the most frustrating discouraging, of seasons, whatever they might be, whatever they might look like.

Perhaps we can have a word of correction here a little bit this evening. You cannot base your growth on your feelings. Yeah? Don't do that. You will you will go to you will go into a place of despair.

If you base your growth or your prosperity as a Christian, on your feelings. Don't do it. Our culture loves banging on about our feelings. Yeah, they're important. But I hardly ever feel good about myself.

I feel terrible about myself. I'm always asking where's the fruit? I can't see it. I know you can, but I can't. Sometimes it just feels like that, doesn't it?

The scriptures just are a headache to read. To love, to understand. When it comes to the prosperous life under Jesus, cannot begin with our feelings. It begins with the word. What does the word say?

What does the what does the word say? What does the truth say. It begins with the truth from God. It begins with the promises. He has made about himself in Jesus.

That's why the righteous person prospots. No matter what this season. Not because of the feelings, but because of the work of God. And is never changing words. Yes.

We do have a prosperity gospel here. Not the heretical kind. But the prospering of a righteous life, a godly character. You look at Jesus. There's no prospering of wealth in him.

But he is the righteous man of Psalm 1. He is the man that prospered immensely and yielded fruit in every season. Everything he doors in this world, men, he prospered. And because of our connection to him, because he is our foundation, the root we can acted to. It means we also prosper.

The prosperity gospel is the bible teaches me, is the receiving of the fulness of Christ. And all of his saving benefits, the justification, the glorification, the calling, the sanctification, so much good stuff in Christ. That's where the prosperity is. That's the righteous man to someone. That's what happens.

As the law of the lord bears fruit in our lives and as we stabilize ourselves in the truth. The righteous person puts both flourish and everything they put their hands to. That's according to Psalm 1. There is a world of differences when you think about it between the righteous and the wicked. There is a world of difference between the flourishing of the church.

And the instability of a wicked culture rejecting the Lord. 1 flourishes in and out of season. The author is just blown away by the wind. That's what the righteous person is like, isn't it? We don't just have what the righteous person does.

We don't just have what the righteous person is like, we also have a third point who the righteous person knows. That's conclude with the final verse, verse 6, for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous. But the way of the wicked leads to destruction. Again, the way of the righteous and the way of the wicked are compared. We have the 2 ways to live.

And the way the wicked, where does it lead, it leads to destruction, doesn't it? It leads to ruin. And that ruin is finally the destruction of hell. Jesus himself reminds us of that in the sermon on the Mount. Is he thinking about the 2 ways in that sermon, I don't know.

I wonder if he is, but he says he compares the the wide road and the narrow road. Doesn't he? Few find a narrow road that leads to life, but many find the wide road, and it leads where It leads to destruction. It leads to ruin, as someone tells us, the fearful ruin of eternity. I hope you want to avoid the way of the wicked this evening.

Now this last difference is a bit strange. It's not really a contrast. We're not given a description of what will happen to the righteous. So this is what the verse doesn't read. The verse doesn't read the way of the righteous leads to heaven, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

It doesn't read that, does it? Rather, what do we read? We read that the Lord watches over the way of the righteous. We are giving a who instead of aware. That took us off God, didn't it love the way that the Bible side steps of sometimes?

This is what happens when you breathe thoughtfully. It surprises you. We're given a who we're not aware. Surely, the Tsamis would want to describe getting to heaven, the celestial city. Right?

Surely, that's where we're going, and that's true. But I think we easily think of the kingdom of heaven simply as a place of eternal happiness. Can we easily think of the heaven, the destination, and forget, actually, it's glorious because of the presence of the Lord Jesus, who is there. The scriptures never envision the aim of eternal happiness as separate, right, from who God is. And his character and his presence.

Remember what Jesus prays in John 17 for the church? Final thing he prays for, his followers before he dies. He describes to you and me what eternal life is. And it's a surprising answer. He says, eternal life is to know God.

It's the knowledge of the father. The righteous way, right? Doesn't lead to destruction, because the presence of the Lord watches over his or her way. It's about the presence of our savior. Surely, the lord's presence with us is the best thing about this life, and it will be the lord's presence in the next life that will be the most fulfilling reality.

We will see Jesus. We will behold him face to face. We will see his glory. And as we meditate on scripture now, we are anticipating by by getting just deeper glimpses of who Christ is. Wow.

He watches over us. He watches over the way of his people in this world. He guides us, doesn't he? He guides you as a believer. It's why we've given the Holy Spirit.

It's why the whole it's why the promise of the Holy Spirit is so precious. You read You read the epistle to the Romans, and the Apostle Paul is saying, it's the Holy Spirit that guides you, that leads you into obedience and faithfulness, Yes, not perfectly. We're not saying we perfectly flourish in this life. We have our ups and downs, our reps, and our floats. But the spirit leads us, and he points us by its presence to the way of Christ, the way of righteousness, and he guides us with his faithful presence.

Here's what this Army says to us this evening. Delight in the company of the Scriptures. Delight in the law of the Lord. The presence of Jesus. It's so life giving.

It's where the presence of our lord is most. Manifest. It's the who we know on the journey, in some ways more than where it leads. Some 1 for us. What does the righteous do?

He delights she delights in the law of the lord. What does it mean we become like trees that flourish in every season. And as we do so we know, the presence of our eternal God, our triune God with us. As we run our Christian races before the Lord. Let me pray.

As we close. Our heavenly father, we thank you so much that by your generosity, to us, you have gifted us the truth. You have granted us the knowledge of yourself in the scriptures. Help us read them, father. Give us the strength of the spirit to meditate and understand and therefore, to prosper in Jesus, our Savior, and His righteousness, thereby stabilizing us in a world that is deeply uncertain and deeply unstable.

We thank you for these promises, oh, God. Thank you that every promise in Jesus says, yes, and amen. And so we trust you, and watch out for you to remain faithful to them for our good, and for our growth. As the people of our lord, Jesus Christ. We pray these things in his name.

Ah, ma'am.

Previous sermon Next sermon

Listen to our Podcasts to help you learn and grow Podcasts