Chapter OneSession 1
The Road to
THE BIG PICTURE
Every year fortune-tellers and soothsayers try to predict what
will happen in the coming year. Right now the hot term is
"psychic." We don't hear about fortune-telling or palm reading
nearly as much, but psychics are big business. There are many
"dial-a-psychic" commercials on television inviting us to discover
what our future holds-for a fee. People readily shell out
their hard-earned money looking for any way to gain insight
to their future.
Over time, most of us learn that nobody can accurately predict
future events. As much as people might want channelers, gurus,
or psychics to give them a window to the future, it simply
does not happen.
It is this human interest in figuring out the future that causes
us to raise an eyebrow when we read Psalm 1. It seems the
psalmist is telling us he can peek into our future. With authority,
he tells us some interesting things about what is going to
happen up the road. He says he can predict the future blessedness
quotient of what we will experience in our life. He knows
that some people will experience deep satisfaction of the soul
while others will face barrenness in their heart and life.
A WIDE ANGLE VIEW
1 Why is there such a deep desire in the human spirit to
know the future?
Do you have a friend or relative for whom this is a preoccupation?
How does this preoccupation affect their life?
A BIBLICAL PORTRAIT
Read Psalm 1
2 In verses 1-3 the psalmist paints a picture of a person
who will experience "blessedness." What characteristics
mark this person's life?
3 What do we learn about the future of the "wicked"
from this psalm?
What contrast do you see between these two pictures?
SHARPENING THE FOCUS
Read Snapshot "Blessedness"
What is blessedness? As the Bible describes it, blessedness is the heart condition for which the
whole world is looking. It is an indescribable inner sense of well-being and dignity, a calm
assurance of self-worth. It is that vitality of spirit that you feel when you know deep down in the
core of your being that you are rightly related to God. There are no obstacles between you and
Him; you can feel and sense His presence and activity in your life.
Blessedness is knowing that over time you are being conformed to His image. It is knowing that you are
being used regularly for God's purposes, and that your life matters to Him. Blessedness is knowing that God is
pleased, not only with who you are, but with what you are doing with your life. It is knowing that God is providing
individual protection, care, and guidance for you, that He is going to take you home with Him someday and you are
going to spend eternity with Him. Blessedness is that rock-solid confidence that God is in control of your life .
even in the middle of storms and trials.
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.
But 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.
4 What are some sources of advice or counsel you need
5 What do you think is involved in keeping yourself by
God's streams of water?
How can your small group members encourage you and keep
you accountable to spend time in God's Word?
6 What fruit do you see growing in your life at this time?
Read Snapshot "Barrenness"
The psalmist predicts that certain people face a grim, dark future. These "barren" people will be filled
with the gnawing absence of any sense of peace with God. They will be continually confused as to
what the game of life is all about. People who live for the things of this world will not discover the
meaning of life. They will have a growing fear of death and whatever follows it. The psalmist refers to
these people as the "wicked." They are like chaff which the wind drives away. All of their efforts are
futile, their lives meaningless. Even though they hunger for blessing, all they feel is barrenness.
Not so 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.
7 If you have experienced true blessedness from God,
what would you say to a person who is still trapped in
a barren life?
8 Think of a friend or family member who is living a barren
life. How might you bring this person the message that
God wants them to experience His blessedness?
Read Snapshot "The Road to Blessedness . Obedience"
THE ROAD TO BLESSEDNESS . OBEDIENCE
The psalmist says that only the road named "obedience" will lead to true blessedness. God clearly
outlines a map for us to follow. His Word, the Bible, points the direction to faith in Jesus Christ and
right living. God gives us the Holy Spirit to encourage us to walk the road of obedience as well as
brothers and sisters in faith to support us on the way. If we follow this road, we will ultimately be
overwhelmed by how much blessedness He will pour into our life.
9 What is one area in your life in which you have been
wandering off the road of obedience?
What can your group members do to help you stay on
PUTTING YOURSELF IN THE PICTURE
Delighting in God's Word
The psalmist tells us that one of the things that will help us
experience a blessed life is delighting in God's law and meditating
on His Word day and night. Take time in the coming
week to memorize and meditate on the first three verses of
Walking the Road of Blessedness
Identify one specific area in your life where you are not being
obedient to God. Do the following things to help you walk
the road of obedience in this area:
Confess your disobedience and ask for a deep understanding
of God's forgiveness.
Be specific about what it will mean to walk in obedience in
this area of your life. What actions must start or stop?
Pray for the presence and power of the Holy Spirit to fill you
as you seek to follow God in this area of your life.
Ask a close Christian brother or sister to pray for you and
keep you accountable to stay on the road of obedience.