A Word for this Week - Pastor Bill Mugnolo

Week of February 18-24, 2019: “The Real Divide” … Psalm 1

It has been said the United States of America is, these days, a divided nation. We are said to be divide based on race, gender, politics, and even income levels. Amidst these divides we hear of terms like “privileged vs. victims”, “haves vs. have nots”, and “makers vs. takers”. But none of these are the basis of the real divide between people—both here and throughout the world.

The First Psalm, which sets the tone for the entire Book of Psalms, speaks of the real divide between the righteous and the unrighteous. The first three verses speak of the blessed one who “walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the ways of sinners, nor sits in the seats of scoffers”. Such a righteous person delights in God’s Law and continually applies it to their daily life. Their lives are always fruitful in the things of God as they are “well-watered” by His living Word (Jeremiah 17:7-8, John 4:14).

By contrast, verses 4-5 of this First Psalm speak of the other side of the divide. Here, the wicked are described as being “like chaff that the wind drives away”. In the end, they will not be able to stand before the judgment seat of God (Matthew 25:41-45).

Then, in verse 6—the final verse in this opening Psalm, we read, as a summary statement, “For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” According to Matthew 7:13-14, far more will have gone through the “wide gate” of destruction versus those who will have entered through the “narrow gate” that leads to life (John 10:7-10).

But, truth be told, we are all, by nature, on the wrong side of this divide (Jeremiah 17:9). Someone must take us out of the wilderness of sin and death and plant us by the streams of living water (Psalm 1:3). Thankfully, Our Lord Jesus Christ has bridged that greatest divide of all between God and Man as He took all our sins upon Himself at the cross. Here, the privileged one became the victim (Philippians 2:5-8) so that we, who were all, spiritually speaking, the “have nots”, might become the “haves”. He is the sole maker of our salvation while we gladly are its takers.

Having taken us to be His own, Our Lord has now made us a part of His people—a people who transcend the divide of race, gender, politics, or income level. Yes, in Jesus Christ, division is overcome as we have unity with God and with one another.

PASTOR JIM UPDATE

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