Today’s Psalm 112 comes to me personally as both a thankful reflection upon the past and a life challenge for the purpose driving the remaining days of my life. It is the difference between living to gain, versus living to give. It is the difference between an absorbed focus upon self, or a determination to look to the needs of others.
My several readings of this Psalm brought back to my mind a flood of varied songs and biblical life maxims I heard from the earliest days of my childhood. The old hymn “Trust and Obey” went through the jukebox of my mind.
“But we never can prove the delights of His love until all on the altar we lay; for the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows, are for them who will trust and obey.”
And going back farther than that, to the earliest of childhood songs called “Jesus and Others and You – Joy” … where the words included: “J” is for Jesus for He has first place, “O” is for others you meet face to face, “Y” is for you, in whatever you do, Put yourself third and spell JOY.”
Trite, yes. But true? Yes, indeed.
Do you want to have success in life? Put God first by knowing, honoring and obeying his Word. Then make your life focus away from merely yourself and upon impacting the rising generations of your family and others – promoting the stuff of eternal value, and you cannot lose.
When I think back to the Christian people that I have known in family and churches over the years, the finest folks who come to mind have the common denominator of seeing their resources as God’s possession to be used in a wise stewardship as a blessing to others and the building of His kingdom, not their own. Often however, these folk’s own kingdoms were built along the way, and their families prospered also in generations of faith, service, and dependence upon God.
Tri-State is my second church as a Lead Pastor. Though very, very different in style of ministry, and people composition and history, both have adopted the same basic purpose statement: to love God, serve one another, and reach the world. TSF has added the valuable component of talking about generations … handing down the blessing of God’s truth to those coming along.
The reason this formula works is because of this timeless truth: Trust. When we really trust God, we are obeying; we are seeing all we have as from him; we are not fearing anything because we know it has all gone past God before whatever it is has gotten to us. Even the bad stuff of life we look to see how God will prosper for good in the lives of others, and likely by consequence in our own life as well.
It is timeless truth: we gain by giving, our “self” finds joy in focus upon others, and peace comes from every circumstance seen as in the hands of a faithful God and Father. That is a life of a legacy that can be passed along.
1 Praise the Lord. Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands.
2 Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.
4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.
6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever.
7 They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8 Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
9 They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever; their horn will be lifted high in honor.
10 The wicked will see and be vexed, they will gnash their teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.