READ: Psalms 1-6
THINK: What difference does trusting God make in your life? If you're going to influence others for Jesus, they must notice a positive difference between your life and theirs. The book of Psalms opens by emphasizing the distinction that should be apparent between those who trust God and follow His ways and those who reject Him and go their own ways. While the main difference is an inward spiritual transformation, there should also be outward evidence. True followers of Christ can be recognized, in part, by what they do and don't do, the places they go and don't go, and the company they do and don't keep. A person cannot experience God's favor without avoiding things that defy Him or are spiritually harmful to others. Even so, sincere followers of God not only avoid evil, but also build their lives around God's Word, actively and positively pursuing His purposes.
RESPOND: According to Psalm 1, what kind of person is blessed, what does this person desire, and what does he or she do? (See 1:1 and 1:2 notes.) What does it mean to meditate on God's law? (See 1:2 second note.) What benefits and assurances can we have by spending time in God's Word and following His instructions? (See 1:3 note.) How does God respond to those who defy Him? (See 2:1-12 note.) Who is the "Anointed One" mentioned in 2:2, what would He do, and what authority does He have? (See 2:2, 2:7 and 2:8 notes.) In what way is God a shield to His people, and why is it important to remember this? (See 3:3 note.) What kind of people does God answer when they are in distress? (See 4:1-8 and 4:3 notes.) Why is it important to "wait in expectation" (5:3) for God's answers to prayer? (See 5:3 note.) What comfort and confidence can you have when experiencing sincere sorrow and godly discipline? (See 6:1-10 notes.) What attitudes must you maintain during such times? (See 6:2 and 6:4 notes.)
PRAY: Pray that God's Word remains on your mind so you're always thinking of ways to put it into practice. Give God thanks for the benefits of living by His Word. Pray for patience regarding God's work in your life.
ACT: Record two favorite Bible verses on a note card or in some form you'll notice throughout the day. Ponder the verses over and over, considering how they apply in various situations. Look for specific ways to put into practice the instructions, principles or promises of these verses. (Review the "meditation" questions in the 1:2 second note.)
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