Psalm 1:1-6 CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SUCCESSFUL BELIEVER
Intro: 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 Gods 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. Tonight, as the plumbline of
Gods Word moves alongside you life, see for yourself just how you measure up to
Gods standard for successful Christian living. As we move through this Psalm, 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 doesnt Believe like the wicked (Ill. He doesnt
listen to their counsel and invitations to evil) His hearing is turned a little higher!
2. He doesnt Behave like the wicked 2 Cor. 5:17 (Ill.
The old man has been put forever away!)
3. He doesnt Belong with the wicked 2 Cor. 6:17 0 (Ill. He
feels out of place when surrounded by the devils 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
A. The Word Has Captured His Full Affection Delight = Pleasure!
The Word of God isnt a Book of 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:
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
successfulbeliever 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 Gods 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 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 fill 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 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 Gods 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 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 source of life and strength.
B. His Prominence Ill. A tree. The life of the successful
believerstands heads above all those around him. It is easily seen when a man draws from
the Lord. (Ill. Men 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 Gods 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 tree.) (Ill. You may never know just who is feeding
off your life!)
E. His Predictability "In his season" This tree
isnt a freak. Just as there are seasons of fruit bearing, so there are times of rest
and growth. As believers, we arent to worry over the fruit. That is the
Fathers 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 isnt to say that there wont be stormy seas, but the
successful believer will be able to sail them with Jesus until they are calm once again!
Conc: 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 you walk with Jesus tonight. You see it is possible to be successful for Christ and
know it with out 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. Lets take
whatever steps are necessary to make our lives be the successes they can and should be.