Topics: happiness, trust, focus
I. Stay in the right place
* Avoid the ways of the world!
- How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! (Psalm 1:1).
- The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous (Psalm 1:4, 5).
- Thus says the Lord, "Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the
Lord. For he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when prosperity comes" (Jeremiah 17:5, 6a).
II. Focus on the right things
*Walk in ways of the Word!
- But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night (Psalm 1:2).
- Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success (Joshua 1:7, 8).
III. Trust in the right person
* Bloom where God has planted you!
- He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers (Psalm 1:3).
- Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit (Jeremiah 17:7, 8).
- For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish (Psalm 1:6).
Sermon by Pastor Rod Akins, September 25th, 2020
Life group flow and discussion questions
Man's search for happiness
An important Guideline of Life Groups: Life Groups help you put up guardrails in your life to keep the ways of the world from infecting your character. That allows the blessing and anointing of God to rest on your life.
- What are some ways that people are searching for happiness? What does Psalm 1:1 tell us to avoid and Psalm 1:2 tell us to pursue to be blessed (happy)?
- Have you witnessed small compromises in a person's life that led to their fall? How was their search for happiness on the wrong path? Did you witness the progression from walking to standing to sitting in the "wrong places" with the "wrong people"?
- How can we "delight" (chepes) have pleasure and joy in our meditation and study of Scripture (Psalm 119:103)? Read how Solomon wrote "delightful words" to be applied to our lives (Ecclesiastes 12:10-14); how did he try to find happiness?
- What is the difference between eastern transcendental meditation and Christian biblical meditation (Joshua 1:8)? Why is this distinction so important?
- We know the importance of water for trees to flourish and be fruitful; how does the "washing of water with the word" (Ephesians 5:26) cause dehydrated souls to revive?
- How do you envision God's desire for you to "bloom where you're planted" and bear fruit for Him (John 15:5, 7, 8)?
- What are some lessons from God's Word that have kept you encouraged?
- How is the picture of worthless chaff being blown away by the wind a picture of unrepentant wicked people (Psalm 1:4; Malachi 4:1, 2; Matthew 3:11, 12)?
- Are there any relationships that you need to separate from (1 Corinthians 15:33)?
Now What? Application:
- Discipline yourself to schedule your time to include daily study and meditation of God's Word. Seek accountability with someone to make this a delightful habit!
- Who in your OIKOS can you minister to and "bear fruit" in their life this week?