Psalm 4:3 Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself; the Lord will hear when I call to Him.
Psalm 4:5 Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord. Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
Psalm 4:6 Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?” Let the light of Your face shine upon us, O LORD.
Psalm 34:11-15 “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and keep your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry.
If we love life and wish to see many good days, not just long life, but a long life full of many good days, we need to watch what we say, carefully. Out of the abundance of the heart is what the mouth speaks, and we are to keep our tongues from evil. The best way to be sure that we are speaking good and pleasing words that honor God is to abide in Jesus and to allow the Holy Spirit to re-new us, the power of the blood to cleanse us and the resurrection power to transform us.
We do not have to keep our tongue from evil on our own. God doesn’t expect us to do anything that He doesn’t equip us to do. God has sent His Son to pay the price for our sins, to cleanse us, and to allow us to have direct fellowship and access to Him. He has given us the Holy Spirit to comfort us, encourage us, quicken us, convict us, and to give us the power and boldness to live for Him. If we just accept all of the good things the Lord has done for us and accept all of the good gifts He has given to us, we can live a long life filled with many good days.
We are not only to keep our tongues from evil, but we are also to keep our lips from speaking lies. Two of the things we need to do, here, are regarding what we say, how we use our words. There are many verses regarding how we are to watch what we say. Our mouths are very powerful tools and James talks about how difficult it is to tame our tongues. James 3:8 “but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” Notice that James says, “no man can tame the tongue.” If we wish to have conversations that honor God and please Him, if we wish to speak truthfully and have no deceit coming from our lips, then we must allow God to be at work in our hearts and lives.
If we want to live many good days, we also need to turn from evil and do good. Verse 14 says we should not only totally turn away from evil, but we should also replace evil in our lives with doing good. When we run away from bad influences and temptations, we should run to all that is good. Replacing sin with good deeds and good attitudes will definitely have an impact for good days. We reap what we sow. We enjoy the consequences of our attitudes and actions when they are good, when they fit with God’s will, and when we allow Him to work in our hearts and lives. We do not enjoy the consequences of our actions when we are sinning, doing evil things, and are thinking and dwelling on evil.
Whether we do good or evil there are consequences and this verse tells us that if we love life and wish to have many good days, we should turn from evil, flee from evil, and do good. We are not expected to just sit around and keep ourselves from evil. We do not need to lock ourselves away and just try to stay out of trouble. We don’t have to live a boring or unsatisfying life just trying not to do too many bad things. We are shown here to turn to good and to do good. Doing good can mean many things and depending on your spiritual gifts you may find more satisfaction in one way of doing good than another. The Body of Christ has many functions and we all fulfill a part of God’s wonderful plan.
Some ideas for doing good:
Helping widows… there are widows who are young and old, some have children, and others don’t. Helping can be anywhere from just spending some time with them, listening to them, or to taking out their trash and raking leaves. You could take them to dinner or provide some groceries. You could reach out to the homeless people, visit prisoners, minister to military families, sing, teach, or just be grateful. More ideas for doing good are reading your Bible, being a friend to someone, and loving your children.
There are so many ways to do good, some are simple and some are more involved. But they all lead to satisfying experiences that make up many good days. A long life filled with many good days is accomplished when we allow God to work in us to help us keep our tongues from evil, our lips from deceit, and when we both turn from evil and replace it with doing good.
Also, verse 14 says we must seek peace and pursue it. We should actively look for and search out peaceful solutions to our problems. When we are having an issue with someone, we should look for a way to relate to them and resolve the situation with a peaceable solution. Our homes should have an atmosphere of peace. Our spirit, our hearts and minds should be at peace. We should pursue, chase after, and work towards peace. One of the best ways I have found to gain peace in my life is to remember Philippians 4:6-7. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
When God tells us to seek peace and to pursue it, He doesn’t leave it all up to us to do on our own. He has spelled it out for us right here in Philippians. If we will just come to Him with everything that is bothering us, with prayerful hears, requesting His attention, favor, intervention, for His good plan for us to take place, and if we come to Him with our anxieties, with thankful hearts, with gratitude because we know He loves us and cares for us, then He will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus with His peace.
A long life with many good days filled with the peace of God, and God’s goodness, free from evil, filled with kind and true words spoken in love, sounds wonderful to me. Lord, please help me remember what You have taught me in these verses from Your Word, from Your heart. Thank You, Lord, for Your love and care and faithfulness and for revealing Yourself, Your plan, Your will and Your love to me, to us, every day.
Robin came over and we began talking about everything going on in our lives. We talked about how God is at work in our lives and where He has brought us from and where He is taking us. We spoke of His sacrifice for us and how He gave His life for us on the cross. Robin shared with me something that God revealed to her the other day. There is a song in Spanish, “Solo Cristo,” Only Jesus – that she was singing. They had been talking in Spanish class about the difference between por and para. Por, in Spanish, means for, or in place of, or by. In the song it says, “Solo Cristo moriste por mi en la cruz.” Robin said she just always thought about it meaning “only Christ died for me on the cross.” But in Spanish, por, means more than just that Christ died for me, for my benefit. It means that He died because of me and in my place. What an awesome way to really let the depth of His sacrifice and His love sink in.
We talked about so much, shared so many insights and lessons learned and memories, good and bad. We took turns reading the Bible together, what I wrote about Psalm 34:11-15 and Robin mostly read all of Colossians. Very deep and powerful scriptures, words from our Lord. We talked about how the Bible is not just a book. It isn’t even just a love letter from our Creator, or just an instruction manual for life from our Maker. The Bible is THE WORD OF GOD – John 1 says, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus is the Word. If we want to spend time with God, know Jesus, hear from Him and experience transformation, we need to read our Bible. We need to hunger and thirst for as much time as we can get hearing God’s Word, soaking in the Holy scriptures, meditating and dwelling on His Words, the Bible, the Word, is God. There is supernatural power in the Words written in the Bible. It is definitely not just a book.
Thank You, Lord, for the precious moments we are able to spend together, for Your restoration, for You working all things together for good for those who love You. Please cause our hearts to desire all that You desire. Help us to honor and glorify You, Lord. We praise You and only You!