7/14/19 - Loving Life

“Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is the man who desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good?  Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.  Depart from evil and do good.  Seek peace and pursue it.  The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.  The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.”      (Psalms 34:11-16)


        Wisdom and understanding begin with the fear of the Lord.  Job 28:28 says, “…Behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.”  We also know that our earthly existence is all about how to “fear God and keep His commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).  Fearing the Lord, or honoring God, is more than just believing in God as the Creator and Savior.  It is more than just coming to church and sitting in a pew.  Having a long happy life comes from the content of our daily lives.


        Too often we find people who hate life, hate other people, and even hate themselves.  They have not learned that submission to God’s will and living in a way that is pleasing to Him brings about a love for life and all our days become days of thanksgiving, regardless of the problems we encounter.


        This certainly relates to our prayer life.  We are to pray in Jesus’ name (John 15:16).  We are not to pray selfishly (James 4:1-3).  We are to pray for the will of God to be done (Matthew 6:10).  We are to pray persistently (Luke 18:1).  All of these things are vital if we want God to hear and answer our prayers.  However, one more thing is necessary for answered prayer: we must live righteously, instead of doing evil.  Sin in our lives will block our prayers from being received and answered by God.  We have no right to expect the holy God of Heaven to honor our prayers with an answer if our lives are not right with Him.


        By the way, this is one reason the so-called “sinner’s prayer” is a bogus religious idea.  Prayer is the privilege of those who are living lives that are right with God, not for those who are outside of the New Covenant.  One must obey the gospel in baptism and have one’s sins washed away to enjoy the privilege of heard and answered prayer.


            We all have our ups and downs, our aches and pains, our problems and tribulations.  This life is a proving ground for us to show our allegiance to (fear of) God and our willingness to do His will.  He has granted us mercy to forgive us of our sins and grace to live in harmony with Jesus.  Therefore, we ought to be thankful every single day.  Every day is a good day when I have a day to walk with the Lord.  Every day is a good day, when righteous living prevails over the evil of this world.  Every day is a good day because the Lord is still on His throne and He will be with us every day.  So, love life and enjoy each day as a blessing from the God who loves us and hears our prayers.