CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SUCCESSFUL BELIEVER
Psalm 1:1-6 (NKJV)
The Way of the Righteous and the End of the Ungodly
1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous
There are many yardsticks by which men measure success. Among them are: wealth, power, position, prestige, etc. These are all indicators of worldly success. However, measuring your spiritual success and your success as a Christian is a little more difficult. Often, there is little tangible, visible evidence, which you can put your hands on to prove you are living a successful Christian life.
Generally, success for the believer is more internal that external. What I mean by that is this, the small amount of external evidence we produce is the result of much internal activity in our hearts and lives. That is why it is difficult for God’s children, who live in a materialistic world, to gauge their success in their walk with God.
Thankfully Psalm 1 exists. In this worthy doorkeeper to the psalms, we find insight into what makes a believer successful. Today, as the plumb-line of God’s Word moves alongside your life, see for yourself just how you measure up to God’s standard for a successful Christian living. As we move through this Psalm 1, allow me to share with you The Characteristics Of The Successful Believer.
I. v. 1 THE PATH OF THE SUCCESSFUL BELIEVER
A. The Successful believer is separated in his walk of life.
1. He doesn’t Believe like the wicked – (Ill. He doesn’t listen to their counsel and invitations to evil) His hearing is turned a little higher!
2. He doesn’t Behave like the wicked – 2 Cor. 5:17 – (Ill. The old man has been put forever away!)
3. He doesn’t Belong with the wicked – 2 Cor. 6:17 0 (Ill. He feels out of place when surrounded by the devil’s crowd.
B. Ill. The downward progress – Walk, Stand, Sit. (Ill. This is the path Lot took – Gen. 19. It eventually led to his total downfall!)
C. The successful believer realizes that there is a vast difference between himself and the world he was saved out of, and he lives accordingly!
II. v. 2 THE PLEASURE OF THE SUCCESSFUL BELIEVER
(Ill. The successful believer is genuinely and completely in love with the Word of God.)
A. The Word Has Captured His Full Affection – Delight = Pleasure! The Word of God isn’t a Book of history, fables, myths and legends. To the child of God it is the very Word of Truth. it is God-breathed and infallible, inerrant and absolutely perfect. He loves it and he lives it, finding in its pages all he needs to grow and prosper for Jesus.
(Ill. The value of the Word (The BIBLE) :
1. It is Food – Job 23:12; Matt. 4:4
a. Milk for the baby – 1 Pet. 2:2 (Ill. It gives the baby Christian everything he needs to grow up strong and healthy!) (Ill. It needs to be prepared and served right however!)
b. Meat for the growing – Heb. 5:12-14 (Ill. It provides all we need to make us strong in the Lord!)
c. Bread for everyone – John 6:51 (Ill. Bread is the staple food of the world! No matter where you go, people need the Bread of life!)
d. Honey for those in need – Psa. 19:10 (Ill. nothing has the power to encourage as does a Word from God!)
2. It is Light – Psa. 119:105
3. It is Truth – John 17:17
4. It is a Mirror – James 1:23-25
5. It is Water – Eph. 5:25-27
a. It Cleanses – Eph. 5:26
b. It Quenches – John 4:13-14
c. It Refreshes – Psa. 119:150
6. It is a Seed – 1 Pet. 1:23
7. It is a Sword – Heb. 4:12; Eph. 6:17
8. It is a Hammer – Jer. 23:29
a. It can Build Up – Pro. 16:24
b. It can Tear Down – Rev. 2:16; 19:15, 21
9. It is a Fire – Jer. 20:9; Luke 24:32
(Ill. The successful believer is in love with the Bible. He knows that in its pages, he can find all that his soul requires. It embodies the complete revelation of God to men. It meets the need of the Christian life.)
Do you love it as you should?
B. It Has Captured His Full Attention – Not only does the successful believer love the Book, but he lives out the Book daily. The Bible is internalized and it becomes the singular standard for faith and practice. Every thought, every move, every decision is made against the backdrop of God’s Word, and what it has to say about an issue. However, before life can ever be lived in this fashion, the Bible must be consumed and made a vital part of who you are as a believer in Jesus Christ – 2 Tim. 2:15.
(Ill. The Psalmist declares that the successful believer spends his days and his nights in the pursuit of the Book. Does the Bible filled your thoughts? Do you find yourself consumed with its content and mesmerized in the meditation of it? The Bible is never better than when it is read, meditated and then lived out!)
III. v. 3 THE PROSPERITY OF THE SUCCESSFUL BELIEVER
(Ill. The promises of this verse are conditional. When we live separated lives and feed our souls on God’s Word, then we can expect these things to happen for us.)
A. His Position – By the River! Always close to the life giving resources. (Ill. This was meaningful to Israel with her mostly arid conditions.) The tree planted by the river is never dry and wilted, but is green, lush and lovely.
(Ill. The believer who lives close to God will never be dry and wilted either. He will be vibrant, lively and productive.) (Ill. Many never know the joy of drawing off Jesus Christ daily! As a result, they are spiritually wilted and dead looking.) The droughts of life and the dry seasons never seem to affect the believer who is planted near the river. He is connected to an unfailing and infinite source of life and strength.
B. His Prominence – Ill. A tree. The life of the successful believer stands heads above all those around him. It is easily seen when a man draws from the Lord. (Ill. Men around you will know when you have been with Jesus – Acts. 4:13)
C. His Permanence – Planted – Unlike some plants, which live for a season and die out, this tree, has sunk its root deep and has a hidden source of life. (Ill. The value of private prayer and Bible Study.)
(Ill. Planted – literally “transplanted.” A tree cannot transplant itself, neither can a man transplant himself into the Kingdom of God. It is wholly a work of God’s grace. And, He always plants us in good soil, near the water supply. However, after we are planted, it is our responsibility to draw from the resources, which God has provided.)
D. His Productivity – “Brings forth fruit” – The successful believer is a blessing to all those around him, because his fruit is plentiful. (Ill. John 7:38) (Ill. Old apple tree in the cow pasture. Man, cows, birds and insects all benefited from the fruit off this old apple tree.) (Ill. You may never know just who is feeding off your life!)
E. His Predictability – “In his season” – This tree isn’t a freak. Just as there are seasons of fruit bearing, so there are times of rest and growth. As believers, we aren’t to worry over the fruit. That is the Father’s business! When everything else is as it should be, then the fruit will come in its season – John 15:1-5.
F. His Perpetuity – “leaf shall not fade” – The successful believer is like an evergreen. He is always surrounded by the green of life. (Ill. The trees in the wintertime. The hardwoods and leafy trees are look dead, but the evergreens stand out as islands of life in a sea of deadness. They are unaffected by winter or weather, but they are always the same.)
(Ill. Our lives should be lives of consistency! We are called on to be a stable, faithful and dependable people – 1 Cor. 15:58) The successful believer is consistent. The curve balls of life are unable to knock him off course. (Ill. Thank the Lord for consistent people!) (Ill. Life lived by this river in unchanging.)
G. His Prosperity – “Whatsoever he doeth, it shall prosper” – In other words, God will bless the successful believer. His personal life, his family life, his business life, his church life, his spiritual life will all be blessed of the Lord. That isn’t to say that there won’t be stormy seas, but the successful believer will be able to sail them with Jesus until they are calm once again!
Do you possess the characteristics of the successful believer? If so, the Bible, in verse 1, says you are “Blessed.” This means “Oh how very, very happy.”
I hope you have seen yourself among the happy ones and are encouraged about your walk with Jesus today. You see, it is possible to be successful for Christ and know it without being self-righteous!
However, if you saw yourself lacking in some of these areas, then Jesus stands ready, willing and able to make those things right once again.
Let’s take whatever steps are necessary to make our lives be the successes they can and should be.