Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 1’

Good Roots, Good Life

Preaching Notes

Psalm 1

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.

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.

Not so are 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.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,

but the way of the wicked will perish.

I. The Tenacity of the Honeysuckle Vine

Honeysuckle invasion in backyard hedge

Volunteered to clean it out

Two days became 6 weeks

The vine was already regrowing at beginning

Provide personal experience to relate to Bible Stories

The vine and the branches – John 15

The parable of the sower – Luke 8

First significant botany lesson

Life of plants is in their roots

II. First Day with my New English Bible

Decided to read through the Psalms

Early 70’s – Hippies still in vogue

Motto – Peace, love, and happiness”

Constitution’s The pursuit of happiness

First line in NEB caught me heart and mind

Happy is the man …

I wanted to be happy

It was American and cool

Second verse

His delight is the word of the Lord

He meditates on it day and night

I can do that as a reader and thinker

Told me I would be happy if I did this

Did not tell me what happiness was

Always a multitude of definitions to happiness

Hippies – drop out, drop acid

Society – conform to the world

Dad – hard work and loyalty

III. Happiness Defined in Psalm 1:3

He is like a tree, planted by streams of water 

yielding his fruit in season

It’s leaf never fades

He prospers in all he does

This image exploded in my mind

Grew up along the banks of the St. John’s River

Massive oak trees lines the river

Gnarly branches swooping to the ground

Reaching to the sky

A Habitat of Life

Provisions and protection

Hundreds of years old

Jacksonville’s The Treaty Oak

These trees were survivors

Floods, drought, hurricanes, tornados, pests

The lived and began more beautiful and productive with age

This was the happiness I wanted

This is the happiness God wants you to have

To have a purposeful, fruitful, sustaining life

Which provides life to you and others

A life which endures

IV. Botany and Bible coming together

Life is hard

Roots are source of renewal and restoration

When difficulties arise

When life is cut-off

Imagery of Book of Isaiah

God’s people displaced by brutal kings and their sins

Imagery of Exile – Isaiah 2

People rejected God

God has a charge against them

==> Cedars of Lebanon and Oaks of Bashan being cut-off

Imagery of Hope – 11

From the stump of Jesse shall come a shoot (vs 1)

The root of Jesse shall be a signal for all the people (vs 11)

The new life to anticipate – Isaiah 55

Trees of the field shall cap their hands

Promise of God – Isaiah 61

You will become oaks of righteousness

V. People ask me why Children’s Ministry is so important

Our ministry to them roots them in God’s love and Word

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world

Romans 1:16 – The gospel is the power of salvation

Romans 10:17 – Faith comes by hearing

Children are tender plants

We either root them well or do not root them at all

Psalm 1:4 provides a contrast to 1:3

They are blown away by the wind

They do not stand in the judgement

We either root them early and provide them a good life

Or we leave them without roots, to blow in the wind

Study on Psychology Today magazine in 1980’s

Children rooted in faith at a young age are healthier and have a better life

As parents we have major responsibility to fulfill

In precious little time, which flies

Infant becomes a toddler

Child becomes a teen

The teen becomes an adult

What seeds are you sowing in their lives

What investments are you making in their future

Only one seed, one investment

Secures their happiness

Secures their living

Secures their endurance

Rooting your children in God’s love and word

Is the best investment you can make in their lives

Yet so many Christian parents invest in other things

Falsely believing there will be time later to invest in God

Event the atheist reject this way of thinking

For the church and Christian parents

Our biggest investment should ALWAYS be in children and youth

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Today’s post are my preaching notes for my sermon at Kishwaukee Community Church.  If you are at Kishwaukee today, you may follow these notes as I preach.  If you are not at Kishwaukee today, click here to go to our  website on Monday and follow the links to hear the sermon. You can then follow these notes as you listen to the sermon.


How We Hear God Speaking to Us, Part 1


I.  Blackaby’s Assertion

When you became a Christian, God gave you spiritual sight and hearing so you could begin experiencing His presence and activity all around you. The Holy Spirit helps you to develop these spiritual senses as you walk with Him. Spiritual sensitivity to God is a gift that must be accepted and exercised.  There is a radical difference between seeing your surroundings from a human perspective and seeing life through spiritual eyes.

@ to Blackaby, Hearing God speak to you,

should be a common experience to all Christians


Most of us would say,


Has never happened

Not sure God has ever spoken to me

Only for super-religious


While Bible is filled with instances

We believe these are special and unique

Isaiah – drama in The Temple

John – vision at the shore


II.  The first time God spoke to me and I heard Him

I was 22

Already had a sense of “call”

But more of a longing, desire

Could not say “God was calling me”

Visiting seminaries

Nice, good, interesting

No sense of “This is the place”

Princeton Visit …

My reoccurring dream from childhood

Ages 8-12

A specific place

Dining space

At Princeton walked into the Dining Hall with friends

Bam that was the room of my reoccurring dream

Scary …

God first spoke when I was 12

I heard at 22

Finally the confirmation of Call

==> keeping me in parish ministry

You are thinking


Good for you

Not a commonplace event

Hearing God speak to me

is now a commonplace

Almost everyday event


III.  Why do so many not hear God speaking

EG Small Group Leaders

Most significant question/issue

God has never spoken to me

I am having a hard time with this concept


This is a tough issue for us because

  1. Unfamiliar territory for most – for me a common experience
  2. Spirit driven – we prefer certainty and precision – never vague
  3. Abuse by others for personal gain

This will be an extended topic for next few sermons

Because it is unfamiliar, spooky, and undefined

I will not give you a formula

=> God speaking to you and you hearing

I wish it was this easy, but it is not


Three Areas which I will cover

  1. How God Speaks
  2. How to Hear God
  3. How to confirm it was God speaking

Begin by briefly addressing the 3rd part first,


IV.  How to confirm God spoke and I heard correctly

This will establish some boundaries and a comfort zone

To our conversation and your grand adventure with God


When God speaks to you, count on 4 things to confirm His Word to you

These 4 things establish boundaries for experience

Consider them four side of a fenced in area

You are free to play and roam within the boundaries


The four boundaries are:

Whenever God speaks to you, what you hear will be:

    1. Consistent with scripture
    2. Confirmed with a specific scripture – Genesis 12:1 “Go to the land I will show you.”
    3. Confirmed through someone else or the body
    4. Requires you to change plans


V.  How God Speaks to You – Through Scripture

Reformed theology – The Bible IS THE WORD OF GOD

If you will simply read scripture regularly

You will hear God speaking to you


A.  Scripture will tell you:

  1. God’s will
  2. God’s general will for you
  3. God’s specific will for you

The Bible is not a history book

It is the revelation of God’s heart

It tells you everything you need to know about God

It tells you all you need to know to be faithful


Psalm 19:7-11

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; 

the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; 

the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; 

the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 

More to be desired are God’s Words than gold; 

sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. 

Moreover, by them is your servant warned; 

in keeping them there is great reward.


B.  How to read scripture?

  • Regularly
  • Deliberately

Choose a book

Read 1 or 2 devotionals guides

=> giving Word and reflection

Why I am writing Daily Devotionals for you

My 1st step is to read, study, reflect

through 11 different devotional guides, daily


C.  God will speak to you

  • Give you a Word
  • Give you a Word for another
  • Confirm Spirit’s Word to you
  • Encourage you
  • Warn you
  • Guide you

If you tell me, “God does not speak to me!”

Then I know that you are not reading the Bible

Regularly, devotionally, reflectively, prayerfully

Yes, dry spots or seasons,

But never for long or forever.


Psalm 1

Blessed is the man 

whose 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.


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