Be careful who you stand next to!

If God tells you to stay away from a certain group or type of people, it is because He has a different plan for them that does not include you.

July 3

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with scoffers.

Psalm 1:1

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Be careful who you stand next to!

Psalm 1 is one of the undated and anonymous psalms.  There is no definitive information as to when it was written or by whom.  It opens the book of Psalms with a contrast between the godly and the ungodly.  Psalm one begins with a warning regarding our relationships.  In the very first verse of the book of Psalms we are told to be very careful about the people that we allow to be close to us.

As Christians we have got to be very careful about who we are taking advice from and who we are joined together with.  This is especially true of those who have been called by God to be involved in a ministry or church.  As Christians and Christian leaders, we must stay away from the advice of those whose worldview is different than ours.  No matter how wise a person might be by the standards of the world, if they are looking at the world differently than God does than their advice is going to be different than God’s desires.

Our text also tells us not to “stand with sinners”.  This means that we are not to have strong ties to unbelievers.  It doesn’t mean that we have to be separated from them.  You would have to leave the earth to accomplish that.  This is referring to deep rooted relationships that we invest into.  We should be investing into our relationship with Jesus and with other believers.  Our relationships with nonbelievers should be deep enough that they can see Jesus in us but not so deep that they can influence us with their beliefs and lifestyles.

Last, we are told not to join in with scoffers.  A scoffer is someone who mocks God and His church.  God wants us to separate ourselves from these people and have nothing to do with them.  Unless you have been specifically called to minister to a group that openly mocks God, then you should avoid them as they will be a continuous source of pain and discouragement to you.

God created you to be filled with His joy.  Then He gives you the choice whether or not to enjoy that joy.  Our text opens up by saying that there is joy in doing what God says.  If God tells you to stay away from a certain group or type of people, it is because He has a different plan for them that does not include you.  Your choice then is to obey God and stay away from those people and experience His joy or disobey Him and experience God’s rebuke and maybe punishment.  The choice is always ours to make.  Personally, I prefer to experience the joy of the LORD.  Jesus, help us to love and pray for those you have told us to stay away from.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:
Daily Bible Reading: 2 Kings 22:3-23:30; Acts 21:37-22:16; Psalm 1:1-6; Proverbs 18:11-12

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