In Psalm 1:3-4 we are reminded of the difference of a life that is well lived for God compared to a life that is lived for self. The godly are like a “tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. All He does prospers.” This is a life that not only endures through turmoil and trouble, but produces fruit and is blessing along the way.
When we choose to seek God first and His kingdom, we not only have a promise that everything we need for life will be added to us, (Matt 6:33) but that a God-driven life will be one that endures and bears fruit for God’s glory. The good news about such a life is that it has eternal value and knows how to invest in things that last forever.
In Psalm 1:5 we have a life in contrast, “the wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.” Here is a picture that the ancient world would have been very familiar with. Chaff is the part of the grain that is discarded. An ox or another animal would “tread out the grain” to separate the chaff from the wholesome kernel that can give nutrition and substance. Afterwards, the farmer would toss up that mixture into the wind. The wind would blow the chaff away, while the heavier kernel of grain remain.
When we choose to follow Jesus, we are invited to put God first and invest our lives into the things that point to Him. That is what it means to live for His glory. When we do that we are pictured as a fruitful well-watered tree that prospers. But “not so” the one who chooses to put self above God. That person’s life has no substance and in the end it will show nothing that is of lasting value.
Let us remember the warning from Jesus Himself that tells us that “if any man would come after Him, he is to deny himself… what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his soul?” (Luke 9:23-25) And of course the answer is nothing. So let us put Jesus first and seek Him daily and let our lives be an offering to Him.