Seek Good Not Evil

Seek Good Not Evil

The Bible exhorts us to seek good and not evil on a daily basis.  We’re encouraged to try to live at peace with others.  Let’s have a look at some of those verses:

Do you want to live and enjoy a long life?  13 Then don’t say cruel things and don’t tell lies.  14 Do good instead of evil and try to live at peace.  15 If you obey the Lord, he will watch over you and answer your prayers.  (Ps 34:12-15 CEV)

Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, 17 learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.  (Isa 1:16-17 ESV) 

Seek good, not evil, that you may live.  Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.  (Amos 5:14 NIV)

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
  (Mic 6:8 NLT)

Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  (Mt 6:33 CEB)

There is a promise to us that if we seek good and not evil, and be at peace with others, we will enjoy a long life.  Not only that, but the Lord says that He will be with us.  Another promise is that the Lord will watch over us and answer our prayers.  Wow!  Those are wonderful promises that God is giving us and notice that these are very desirable blessings.

We are also exhorted to be humble.  In other words, we should treat others with the respect that they deserve since all human beings have been made in the image of God.

Desire to see God’s kingdom and righteousness established, and when we do, every other blessing that we could ever desire will be given to us.  So today’s lesson is:  Live an upright and holy life, and reap the blessings that Jesus Christ purchased for everyone who would believe in Him.  Glory to God!

God Calls Us to Love Our Christian Family, Pt. 1

God Calls Us to Love Our Christian Family, Pt. 1

We have received spiritual assignments due to the fact that all believers comprise the body of Christ on earth.  Because we are children of God, we are His representatives wherever we go and with whoever we meet.  Here are some scriptures concerning some of our instructions/assignments:

Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.  (1 Pet 2:17 NKJV, underscoring added)

In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.  (1 Joh 3:10 NKJV)

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  (1 Joh 4:7-8 NKJV, underscoring added)

1 John 4:7 clearly states that ‘love is of God.’  That means that love is the description of and the province of God.   We are instructed to love the brotherhood (1 Pet 2:17)—which means that we should love all of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  It goes without saying that we are also instructed to love ALL people (1 Joh 4:7).

We are encouraged to honor all people, as well.  (1 Pet 2:17)   Honor means to esteem, respect, or admire someone.  Wow!  Can you think about giving honor to ALL PEOPLE?  That’s a huge responsibility and a tremendous challenge.  The only way that we can fulfill this command is to ask God to give us His grace and His blessing to enable us to obey.

Critical and significant assignments from our Savior require us to walk closely with Him in unity and companionship.  Only by an obedient and humble relationship with the Lord will we be able to receive the grace, insights and the wisdom that we need to enable us to fulfill our assignments.  God is our strength and our song!  (Ex 15:2; Ps 118:14)  All glory to God most High!

Prayer & Faith

Prayer & Faith

Prayer that arises from faith in Jesus in our hearts accomplishes wonderful and mighty blessings.  Another beneficial tool that believers have is anointing people with oil, and laying hands on them in prayer.  In the Scriptures, oil represents the Holy Spirit.  In the New Testament the laying on of hands was associated with Christ healing the sick (Luke 4:40)

Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.  (Jas 5:14-15 NIV)  In this case, we are encouraged to ask the elders of the church to pray for the sick after anointing them with oil.

And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them. (Mk 6:13)  This passage is referring to the apostles’ doing good works, including casting out demons, anointing the sick with oil and healing them.  Praise God!

And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him.  (Ac 28:8)  The Apostle Paul laid hands on Publius after praying for him, and healed Publius.

These are procedures that the apostles used, because they had seen Jesus Christ (our example) using them.  Modern believers should use these same methods and practices in order to see the same results.

Remember, all signs, wonders and miracles are a result of faith in Jesus Christ and in focusing upon Him and His love and mercy.  Faith is a gift from God (Eph 2:8) and we should cherish it, value it, and thank and praise God for it. Hallelujah!

Press On

Press On

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  (Phil 3:14)  Paul is saying here that he pursues the reward of living a life in serving God through Jesus Christ.  He considers it a high [important, exalted] calling.

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  (1 Cor 9:24)  The apostle is encouraging believers to live their lives as winners and as people who will cross the finish line.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.  (2 Tim 4:7-8)

In these various passages of Scripture, we believers are being encouraged, influenced and motivated to:

  • Fight the good fight,
  • Finish the race, and
  • Keep the faith.

Just as in any type of race or physical sport, we need to stay spiritually fit to take part in this spiritual race.  We are encouraged to be persistent and consistent, as well as to be constant and committed to our faith.

This is, indeed, a high calling—an important and exalted mission to which Christ has called us and has enabled us by His grace.  Let us rejoice in Him!       

Wisdom & Understanding

Wisdom & Understanding

In the Bible, we often see that wisdom and understanding are linked together strongly.

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens . . .  (Pro 3:19 NKJV)

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.  (Pro 2:6 NIV)

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.  (Pro 4:7 NIV)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.  (Pro 9:10 NIV)

He has made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom, and stretched out the heaven by His understanding.  (Jer 51:15 NKJV)

The Lord uses wisdom and understanding together in combination to establish and accomplish great and mighty things.  Because we are made in God’s image (Gen 9:6 NKJV) and since Christ is our example (1 Pet 2:21 NKJV), we too are strongly encouraged by the Word to gain wisdom and understanding. 

Wisdom means prudence, insight, perceptiveness, or good judgment. 

Understanding means empathy, kindness, or awareness.  In considering these two attributes, we can see how they would work together quite effectively and supportively.

Daily, we can expand and increase both of these characteristics in our lives by reading the Bible faithfully.  No matter what book of the Bible or what topic we may read, the Word of God is filled with the Spirit and the power of God—as well as God’s wisdom and understanding.  The more we fill our hearts and minds with the Word, the more that we will operate with the wisdom and understanding of God.

Be eager students of the Word and you will reap the blessed and life-changing benefits.