Our scripture this morning is Psalms 1:1-6.
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. 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. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
This Psalm reminds us that we are responsible for our choices. God gave us free will, the capability to decide our thoughts and actions for ourselves. No one is “accidentally evil”, we make a conscious effort to follow the Lord or not.
While we are responsible for our behavior, God is willing to forgive our sin when we return to Him in repentance. The difference between Peter denying Christ and Judas betraying Him is that Peter repented, accepting forgiveness from Jesus and returning to the path. While Judas apparently regretted his action, he did not repent.
The Psalm teaches us that with the Lord we are blessed but on our own we are easy prey for the enemy. Proverbs 3:5 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” If we give our lives to Him and for Him, our salvation is assured.
Gracious God, we are sorry for our failures but grateful for Your forgiveness. Help us to avoid our own selfish thoughts and actions, living as Jesus showed, in relationship with You. Amen.