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Living and Loving the Good Life - The Conclusion

Good Morning Beloved,

Its so good to have all of you with us today

Heavenly Father,

We pray that You would just to refresh our hearts,
Remind us, Lord, in the Word You have for us today, that we might be faithful and that we might be known as Your children because we act like You.   
You have forgiven so much of us. We insulted You. We gave You evil.   
We've brought countless tears to Your eyes. We break Your heart. And yet, You gave us grace in return. Help us to do the same to others.  We couldn't have earned it but we inherited a blessing of Your grace.

 Lord, help us to know that the good life is not in the things the world would have us believe, but in You. And that it comes through Your Spirit's work in us and we will be able thank You for the promise that if we pursue these things, that we will love life and see good days

In Jesus' name

"Now finally, all of you should be like-minded and sympathetic, should love believers, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you can inherit a blessing. For the one who wants to love life and to see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit, and he must turn away from evil and do what is good. He must seek peace and pursue it, because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their request. But the face of the Lord is against those who do what is evil."

Today's Message: Living and Loving the Good Life - The Conclusion

I invite you to open your Bibles, if you would, and turn them to I Peter chapter 3. Today, our text is found in the verses 8 through 12. Allow me, if you would to just read over these verses again, to sort of get them settled in your mind. "Now finally, all of you should be like-minded and sympathetic, should love believers, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you can inherit a blessing. For the one who wants to love life and to see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit, and he must turn away from evil and do what is good. He must seek peace and pursue it, because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their request. But the face of the Lord is against those who do what is evil."

Now, I'm sure you will remember that the primary thought that we're addressing here is found in verse 10, "Let him who means to love life and see good days." So we have been trying to get some sort of grip on the concept of living and loving the good life. As well as learn how to love life and see good days. We've been mentioning that the ever elusive good life, is the rather disappointing pursuit of an entire generation and modern culture.  Everyone always seems to be pursuing the good life. Yet, so few it seems find it.

The social value system in our culture, seems to be geared toward the good life. And by the good life, I mean to say, one that is synonymous with a life in sin. And so, the world would have us all believe, that sin, is indeed, the good life. With an over-indulgence in everything.

Sometime time ago, I had been watching a television interview week with a, rather famous celebrity, who I'll not name here, however, she is quite well known in our culture. She has what I believe is a "larger than life" persona. This is a woman, who, for whatever reason, seems to thoroughly enjoy prostituting herself and her perverted way of life in some kind of twisted, distorted ideology of the good life. It was quite evident, she lives for money, sex, the physical body. She is, the epitome of the modern symbolization of what the world calls, the good life. 

And, for all intents and purposes, it would appear as though she has it all. She has fame. She has men, quite a few of them, I might add. Which she over zealously pointed out. She has, at least by today's standards, I suppose, at least some level of sexual appeal. She certainly has the media outlets, eating out of her hand.

In fact, they help to perpetuate her sordid lifestyle and her questionable notoriety. She has, however, maintained a physical appearance, that is the idolatry of our culture. She is, "loving and living the good life." However, in her lavish, perverse lifestyle, she has abandoned herself to a lewd and tawdry kind of sexual exhibitionism, which is her trademark.

And as she was being interviewed, the interviewer was curiously asking her about her critics. Those who were criticizing her. And, I might also add, there did seem to be quite a rather impressive list, of those who would, question her. They seem to be criticizing everything from her performances she gives and the sordid things that she engages in. To which she replied, "Those people who criticize me have no moral standards. I really wish that they were moral."

Needless to say, I immediately thought to myself, I cannot be hearing this correctly, I'm obviously missing valid point here. Something has to be wrong, I obviously need an interpreter for what she talking about. She further emphasized her plea for morality with a slew of four-letter words. But it seems to me that she is sort of the model of twisted self indulgence that screams, "I live with my own lusts being physically expressed and publicly exposed on every media outlet that will air it. And whatever  perversions delight me, I have every right to do them and they do not violate any code of moral ethics or moral standard. This is the good life. Virtue has been isolated to be whatever I want it to be. Besides, anybody who dares to criticizes that is immoral."

And if a person decides to become a full-blown living example of depravity, with a perverse sense of sexual immorality and they commit the very worst behaviors conceivable to the average human mind, and then somehow have the audacity to flaunt it and because you dare condemn it, you don't possess any moral ethics for being critical, unloving, judgmental. Beloved, this culture has most definitely sunk to a new all time low and tragically distorted view of what makes life meaningful. And that is the good life? I mean really? Is that what it means by today's standards?  Is this loving life and seeing good days? I'm appalled.

Beyond the fact, that that particular way of life, is, to say the very least, unethical and immoral. It is also empty, devoid of any feeling or real attachment to others. That life is also, self-destructive. And, if I were to pursue that thought, I must also include the fact, that, that life is against everything the Bible stands for, as in it is damning. It is a lifestyle, that guarantees, eternal condemnation. 

And while, it may have its fleeting moments of fame, fortune and instant gratification, comes with it, an over indulgence, without any sense of true fulfillment. In the truest sense of reality, the so-called good life is not anything that the world can offer us. As we read from Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, it returns empty and void. Solomon had it all. He could have competed with her or with any other celebrity on every conceivable level. He had more money. He had more power. He had more notoriety. And Solomon, certainly had women. And yet Solomon, hated life. 

You may remember, when, we had been study the book of Ecclesiastes, reminding ourselves that the men who had the most, also hated life the most. And finally, toward the end of the book of Ecclesiastes, that marvelous 12th chapter and the 1st verse, Solomon arrives to the conclusion that could have saved himself all the torment and pain, had he only done this.  

And now, as Solomon is approaching the final chapter of his meaningless life, he is reflecting back upon the whole thing, in realizing in mistakes in the pursuit of the good life, he hates it all, because it a life wasted, lived for his own indulgence. And then he gives this very pertinent advice. Ecclesiastes 12:1, "So remember your Creator in the days of your youth: Before the days of adversity come, and the years approach when you will say, “I have no delight in them."" I think we can take away from this, you better get your life set on the right course early on.

The good life, that is the life that is filled with good days, is the life that remembers God, it always, remembers God. The good life  is focused on Him. Solomon finally came to that realization. All of the money, all of the notoriety, all of the accomplishments, all of the fame, all of the women, all of it, the riches, all that he possessed, yet everything, only brought him more emptiness, more vanity, Solomon says, all is vanity. And then he says these profound words of wisdom, "Remember God, Who is the key to the good life."

Here, Peter in writing about the good life, also bring us a key phrase, this one is found in verse 10, and it is really a quote from the Old Testament. Peter here is quoting the Old Testament. In that particular phrase, and the rest of the section from Psalm 34:10-12. Which, we'll be taking a look at that in just a few moments. Again, Peter is really taking a verse out of the Old Testament, letting us know that even those in the Old Testament, wanted to love life and see good days. It would appear, that has always been the desire of man's heart, pursuit of mankind, if you will. But how is it, that we accomplish such an ever elusive task?

Well, beloved, our dear Peter, is giving us the answer. In this wonderfully rich text he opens up to us some windows of understanding a few key elements, about this good life, that we all pursue. Remember, he's writing to some people who were from a very human perspective, living a very bad way, a bad life in the sense that they were being severely persecuted. They were hated. They were resented. They were believers living in an aggressively hostile society.

In fact, chapter 1 verse 1 tells us they were living as aliens. They didn't really belong. In fact, they were living under the purview of those who had no tolerance for Christians, or the Christian faith whatsoever. They were slandered. They falsely accused. They were, being persecuted. Their reality, was, one of great persecution and suffering, life was anything but the good.

So, in hopes of offering some words of instruction, some words of hope, some words of encouragement, Peter says, "Now if you mean to love life and see good days in spite of this, here's what you need to do. He tells them, that the first they must do, is you must approach life with the right attitude. It is only a question of attitude, not possessions." Then in verse 8: "Your attitude should be one of harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kind-hearted humility." So Peter tells us, that is the right attitude.

Then in verse 9 he says, you should learn to have the right response when you're mistreated, "not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing." So if you want to love life and see good days, then approach life with the right attitude. Number one, you have that harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kind-hearted humility. Secondly, do not retaliate. Regardless of how unjustly you may be treated, do not retaliate. Scriptures says, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord. You leave the equity matters to God. You don't try to get your pound of flesh in your own way. Peter, is again, referencing an Old Testament principle. Then, if you go all the way back to Leviticus, chapter 19, way back in the Pentateuch in verse 18, the Bible says, "You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord." God says don't you hold a grudge, don't you retaliate. Don't you pay back. Don't you avenge.

In Proverbs 20:22, "Do not say I will repay evil. Wait for the Lord."  Don't take His business over. Proverbs 24:29, is essentially the same thought. "Do not say, 'Thus I shall do to him as he has done to me,' I will render to the man according to his work." Peter says, Don't say that. Don't ever say that. Because it's not the right response. You are to be like Jesus Christ. At the end of chapter 2 in I Peter, do you remember that? It says in verse 23, "While being reviled, He didn't revile in return.  While suffering, He uttered no threats but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously."

What is the right attitude? Well, the right attitude is one of peace, harmony, sympathy and kindness.  The right response is a non-retaliatory response.  I know that's not always easy, but, we are not give back what is given to us.

And another thing, the good life is not what you have on the outside, instead how you respond on the inside. It's the right attitude and the right response.  Now with that in the back of your mind, let's discuss another point and we'll finish up tonight.  Two final points, the next one is right standard.

If we are to love life and see good days, then we must build that life on the right standard. Or we could say, on the right authority.  Look at verses 10 and 11. "For let him who means to love life and see good days refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile, and let him turn away from evil and do good.  Let him seek peace and pursue it." Now this is very important you may want to jot it down.

What Peter is doing here to substantiate what he just said is quoting the Old Testament. To reconcile his teaching and to strengthen its authority, Peter goes back to the Old Testament and quotes Psalm 34. Why does he do that? Because Scripture is a substantiating, it's the authoritative Word of God. And he's really alluding to the idea that you must live your life according to the Word of God. That's why he's quoting it, it's kind of as if he's saying, hey look, you're living in a hostile situation, you're living in a grave situation, you're probably wondering how life could be much worse than it is and I'm telling you to live harmoniously, sympathetically, brotherly, with kindness, with humility and to never retaliate or never insult back, don't do any of that. And you're wondering, "How can this be true? You've got to be kidding me, that doesn't sound reasonable. It's only right that we ought to be able to strike back. We ought to be able to get even, that's only fair." And so Peter reinforces what he he said, "Just in case there's any question, this comes right out of  the Word of God." And he quotes them out of Psalm 34.

That little word "for," there at the beginning of verse 10 is quite interesting.  That signals the authority for what he just said in verses 8 and 9. "Do this for, because that's what Scripture says."  That's the idea here. That is what Scripture says. And then he quotes supporting Scripture from Psalm 34 verses 12-16 in this following section. Then verse 10 is from Psalm 34:12-13. But the whole idea is just to support his exhortation. It other words, back it up with Scripture. If you want to love life and see good days, look here, it's in the Old Testament, then he quotes Psalm 34, must refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile. That is exactly what is called for in verse 9. You must refrain, the word means to stop, to cease all together. You must cease your tongue from evil. The idea here is to give back evil. The word "evil" means not just an evil deed, but the underlying immorality of an evil disposition, a morally bad disposition. You are not then to return evil that someone gives you by the evil of a morally bad disposition. You're not to do that. That's why the psalmist in Psalm 141:3 said, "Set a guard, oh Lord, over my mouth, keep watch over the door of my lips." It's a very practical prayer. We are to make sure that our tongues are under control because that's what God says in His Word, and Peter quotes it just to remind us that we have to live by the right authority. We have to live by the right standard. If you want to love life and see good days, then obey God. Have the right attitude, the right response, and the right reaction to God's authority.

In James, you'll remember this particular chapter because we studied it in detail, James chapter 3. It talks about the tongue and how unruly the tongue can be, and how in verse 6 it can be literally a fire that sets a very world of iniquity on fire. It defiles the entire body, sets on fire the course of our life, is set on fire by hell. In verse 8, it says nobody can tame the tongue; it's a restless evil, full of deadly poison. Its the tongue that we've got to learn to control.  No wonder the psalmist pleaded with God to guard over his mouth to prevent him from such sins.

And then Psalm 34 also says, "And let him turn away from evil and do good." But before that, it reminds them to refrain the tongue from retaliation and the lips from lying. The word "deceit" means to lie. We have to avoid lying. We must avoid retaliation. And just for the record, lying is always a cover-up, for some other sin. The bottom line, is we must be committed to truth. Even when it's difficult. We must be committed to turning the cheek, to repaying evil with good.

Now, these are what things we are to eliminate, if you want to love life and see good days. So what's the upside? "Turn away from evil and do good." That's pretty straightforward, there's no moral vacuum here. We must be committed to doing good. We must be. And as I say, Peter's main point here is to back up what he said with Scripture.

Then in verse 11, that scripture I just read to you, to turn from evil and do good, has added to it, "Let him seek peace and pursue it."  Now in that verse, verse 11, taken from, by the way, verse 14 of Psalm 34, you have four imperative commands, four imperative commands. Command number one... Let's just look at them briefly because they're very clear. "Let him turn away from evil." Now the verb here, "to turn away," means to reject. It's a compound verb again which has an intensity about it.  It is a positive rejection of what is sinful in the treatment of others.  We are to turn away from that, even our persecutors. Proverbs 3:7 says, "Fear the Lord and turn away from evil." And then on the positive note, "Let him do good."

I'd like to just add here, the good life is not doing evil. Peter is making that point abundantly clear. The good life is turning from evil and doing good. If you want to love life and see good days, you really have to live and love the good life, then turn away from evil to do good, just do good. Contrary to current cultural beliefs, the good life is not sex, orgies, alcohol, drugs and parties. The good life is not doing your own thing, whatever makes you feel good no matter what God thinks about it.  The good life is doing what is good and the word means excellent in quality.  We must do what expresses a deep-down virtue.  And then he says, "Let him seek peace," that's the third imperative.  And the fourth imperative, "Pursue it." And by the way, the word here for seeking is the strongest verb, the strongest form of seeking, zte.

Let him seek with all his might peace, tranquility, concord, unity, no conflict.  Now this is very important.  And let him pursue peace, another intense verb that means to hunt. Now get the picture.  You're in a hostile world, you're under persecution, persecution that threatens your very life, evil men are trying to take your life from you, trying to discredit you in every way, short of that and that too, trying to make life absolutely miserable for you from a human viewpoint and succeeding at it, causing you great suffering, and you are told by the Word of God to do everything you can to be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kind-hearted, humble in spirit, never give back evil for evil, insult for insult and if you really want to love life and see good days, make sure you hold your tongue from any evil retaliation, your lips from any lie that you might be prone to give in the midst of persecution, turn completely away from all evil, do only what is good, seek peace even with your persecutors, and hunt that peace aggressively, make a persistent, intense effort to be a peacemaker.

This is what we are to do. And this message has been ringing all through this epistle since chapter 2 verse 11. Christians are to live like this. We should be the greatest blessing in any culture. We are those who are the peacemakers.

The term for peace here has the idea of a constant condition, a constant condition of tranquility which produces permanent joy, permanent happiness.  This is to be the nature of our living.  We're to be in the world to be the peacemakers. The Beatitudes remind us of that, don't they?  Matthew 5:9, "Blessed are the  peacemakers."  So many Christians are doing the opposite today on so many different fronts.  We are to make peace as much is as possible without compromising truth. Sadly, I'm not seeing that today, even amongst Christians.

Let me just support this... This whole thing, while I've divided it up into some sub-points, is really one single message because it all talks about harmony, sympathy, peace, non-retaliation, holding your tongue.  It all talks about a right reaction, a right response to those who are hostile.  And let me just show you how important that is in New Testament teaching.

In Romans 14, there's that familiar verse the one I often quote, talking about the kingdom, it says in Romans 14, verse 17, "The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."  The kingdom of God should be known by its peace.  And we are the citizens of the kingdom, we must be the peacemakers. That's a non-negotiable.  II Timothy 2:22, "Flee from youthful lusts," Paul tells Timothy, "pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace," peace.  James 3, this wonderful, wonderful portion in James 3:13, "We are to show our good behavior in deeds of gentleness."  We are to make sure, verse 17, that we are peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy, good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.  Why?  Because that's characteristic of spiritual wisdom from above.  We are to be peacemakers.

Back in Romans again in that great 12th chapter and verse 18, the same thing in other words, in different terms; He says, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men." That's the key. As far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Chapter 14 verse 19, "Let us pursue the things that make for peace." This is repeated throughout the Scripture. Second Corinthians, that marvelous closing, that benediction, chapter 13 verse 11, "Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace and the God of love and peace will be with you." On and on it goes. We are to be peacemakers. And I think you understand that point. We are to pursue it, we are to hunt after it. We are to do everything possible to make peace in the congregation of God's redeemed and with the people who are around us.

So, people live the good life are people who have the right attitude, who have the right response, and live by the right authority, and that's the Word of God. And he brings the Word of God in here to bear upon our hearts. One last point, one last point, just a very, very important point: The right incentive, the right incentive.

Verse 12: "For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." That's the incentive. That too is taken from Psalm 34, only it's taken from verses 15 and 16, so he's gone all the way from verse 12 to 16. And by the way, these two verses are almost a direct verbatim quote right out of the Greek version of the Old Testament called the Septuagint. Here we are reminded of what ought to motivate us.

You say, "Well why should I be concerned about this? Why should I be motivated to have the right attitude, right response and submit to the right authority?" And the answer is for the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous.  The incentive is that God is watching. Beloved, He's watching. He is watching.

Now, that has inherent in it accountability and responsibility and a healthy fear. God is watching. But, that's really isn't the primary issue here. I mean, we could preach that, honestly, that preaches pretty well. You better get your act together, because God is watching. I remember as a little kid my grandmother used to tell me, "I may not see everything you do, but God sees it. Your mother and father may not see it, but God sees everything does."  That was indelible. And, ever since I was a  kid and that just stuck with me, with the exception of a few rebellious years, that's always stuck with me. And, even during those few rebellious years, I was very conscious that God was watching. Even then.

But that kind of accountability of knowing there's an authority figure who is there and who sees what you're doing can be an incentive. But that is not really the primary issue here. I want you to note what is the primary issue. It's a very gracious one. "For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, not for judgment and chastening, but so that His ears may attend to their to their prayer."  In this particular case He is watching His people not primarily for punishment, and the key to understanding that is that statement, "For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous." “The eyes of the Lord,” that little phrase, I decided to do a little study on that and find out what that means. So I chased that phrase, “the eyes of the Lord,” around and found it is a very common Old Testament term and it always relates to God's watchfulness over His people as He watches them carefully because they are of special concern to Him.  It is a watchful, caring oversight. Proverbs 15:3, it says, "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good." There it's a very broad usage.  But a more common usage is in Proverbs 5:21, "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord and He ponders all his paths."

It's not so much to be associated with great judgment, as it is that God is watching over humanity. He's assessing good, He's assessing evil, but the whole idea is omniscience. It is not intended to emphasize the judgmental aspect of God's watchfulness, but just the omniscience. In fact, in Zechariah 4:10 it says, "For who scorns the day of small things? These seven eyes of the LORD, which scan throughout the whole earth, will rejoice when they see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand." God is scanning throughout the whole earth, to and fro and He is seeing everything. He's aware of even the smallest detail of our lives."

So the issue here is not primarily for judgment, but rather He is scanning our lives, He is watching everything in order that He might listen to our prayers. By the way, the word for prayer here, desis, means entreaty, petition, supplication, it's all related to needs. It's our asking, not praise or adoration, thankfulness. This is supplication, entreaty, petition, crying out about our needs. Why is God watching over us carefully? Why are His eyes constantly on us?  In order that He might immediately respond to our prayers.

This really ought to be a great incentive for you to live with the right attitude, the right response and to obey the right standard no matter how great the hostility, no matter how severe the persecution, no matter how unfair the treatment, no matter how difficult or painful the circumstances. This is how to live and love the good life in the confidence that the Lord is watching and waiting to meet your every need, that's the idea. That's the idea.  Peter is simply saying, "Look, you can live like this, you don't have to retaliate, you don't have to get your own pound of flesh, you don't have to take vengeance into your own hands, you don't have to live that way.

You can simply have a right attitude, a gracious and humble and sympathetic, harmonious attitude, you can give back love to your enemies, even though they give you hate, don't retaliate. You can live under the authority of the Word of God with a controlled tongue and controlled lips, turning away from evil, doing good and pursuing peace and hunting after it no matter how intensely you must do that. You can live like that without fear because whatever difficulty you get into, you don't need to be the one who gets you out. All you need to do is let the Lord know and He's ready to hear your prayer." Isn't a tremendous promise? Oh, what a glorious truth.

But on the other hand, look what Peter also says, "But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." "The face of the Lord," that's a different phrase than, "The eyes of the Lord." "The eyes of the Lord" which is in the Old Testament have to do with omniscient watchfulness, not so much judgment. "The face of the Lord" is most often used to refer to judgment. The eyes speak of His omniscience; the face begins to demonstrate the visage of anger.  That's why it is the term used here.

When God becomes angry, the Bible talks about His face, for it begins to appear, as it were, on His face. Genesis 19:13 says regarding Lot and Sodom, "We are about to destroy this place because their outcry has become so great before the face of the Lord," is the idea, "that the Lord has sent us to destroy it." In Lamentations which, of course, was written by Jeremiah, chapter 4:16, I believe you have another usage of that same phrase. "The presence of the Lord," or literally, "The face of the Lord has scattered them." So God sees the wicked, but He sees them with an angry face.

What is our incentive then? Well our incentive is to so live that the eyes of the Lord are on us and as He watches us with omniscience and hears our cry, He meets our needs; rather than to live in wickedness, sin, and evil so that when God sees us His face is moved to an expression of anger. The wrong reaction, the wrong attitude, disobedience to God's commands brings the anger of God against... Are you ready for this? Even His own people. I wish we had time to do a full study of that, but God gets angry even with His own. Leviticus 17:10, "Any man from the house of Israel or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person." Any man in the house of Israel who does that, I will set My face against him. Leviticus chapter 20:3, "I will also set My face against that man and will cut him off from among his people because he has given some of his offspring to Molech, the false god, so as to defile My sanctuary and profane My holy name."

In verse 6, "As for the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and cut him off from among his people." And so it goes, and there are many other usages of that. God sets His face in condemning, judgment, in serious, severe chastening against those who disobey His Word. In Revelation 6:16, do you remember this? When at the coming of Christ the people begin to cry for the rocks and the mountains to fall on them and they say, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb." The face of God, the face of the Lamb, associated with wrath, with anger against sinners.

In Closing....

So, for those of us who are righteous, who live with the right attitude and a right response and according to a right authority, we can know the good life.  You say, "Well what about all the problems?"  All we have to remember is that the Lord sees everything and is attendant to our prayers and will meet every need.  On the other hand, to live the good life the way the world advocates it is to turn the face of God into anger.

I can't resist just mentioning verses 13 and 14, even as we close.  This is wonderful.  Peter asks, closing up that section on Psalm 34, "And who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?" In other words, that's the whole point. Who is ever going to harm you and take away the good life? Who is ever going to do that if you're zealous for good when God is watching over you and will always be attendant to your needs when you're living the way He called you to live? And verse 14, "And even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are still blessed."  So don't fear their intimidation and don't be troubled.

That's the narrative here.  That's the point. Because we do live in a hostile world, we must live humbly. We must have a forgiving heart against those who commit evil against us. We mustn't not retaliate. We must obey God's authority and we must be motivated by what is right and zealous for what is good, who is going to harm us when God sees our whole life and hears our every prayer and answers it?  What an incredibly powerful message for us. This is the true happy condition, this is the good life, lived to experience.

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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Brian Monzon Ministries

The Brian Monzon Ministries



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You Can't Quarantine The Word of God

" 35  Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there. 36  Simon and his companions went searching for Him. 37  They found Him and said, “Everyone’s looking for You!” 38  And He said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.” 39  So He went into all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. 40  Then a man with a serious skin disease came to Him and, on his knees, begged Him: “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41  Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched him. “I am willing,” He told him. “Be made clean.” 42  Immediately the disease left him, and he was healed. 43  Then He sternly warned him and sent him away at once, 44  telling him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go and show yourself to the priest, and offer what Moses prescribed for your cleansin

The Things Which Must Soon Take Place

    " The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2  who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3  Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near." Revelation 1:1-3 Good Morning my beloved,   We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord. Thank you for joining us today, we're glad to have you here. We are especially grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness to share God's Word with others continues to bring about tremendous results. We are grateful to each of you. And through your sharing, God has brought a number of people to Christ. Praise God! May He continue to use you and this minist

Nothing Has Changed If You Haven’t Changed

Good Morning beloved family, I'm so glad to have all of you joining us today! Let's give a shout of praise to the Lord! Amen! Heavenly Father, As we gather here today, enlighten our understanding, purify our hearts every desire, quicken our wills, and strengthen every right purpose. Grant us wisdom and discernment, that we may better know Your Word and understand. Direct us, in clarity, during this time of worship, guide us to the magnifying and exalting of Your name, and to the e nduring good of us Your children and servants, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen " To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:   A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A ti

Ministry With A Mission

    " Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, 2  To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." I Timothy 1:1-2     Good Morning my beloved,   We welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all around the world, who have been lead to join us today. We are glad to have you here!   I know that I mentioned this to you in our last message, however, Scripture calls us to pray with and for our brothers and sister in Christ. I again, would like to encourage all of you to visit our Prayer Wall, there are a number of them who are in great need of some faithful prayer warriors. I pray that you will join us in praying for them in their time of need. I would greatly appreciate it, and I know that they would as well!   I Timothy 2:1 tells us " First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and than

The Power Of A Humble Prayer

      " Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; 2  and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. 3  But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one . 4  We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. 5  May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ." II Thessalonians 3:1-5     Good Morning my beloved,   Welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all around the world, who have been prompted to join us today. We are glad to have you here!   I believe that peace, encouragement and good hope are present realities for any true believer. It stands in stark contrast to what the world offers. In the face of life's challenges, discouragements persecution, and shattered dreams, God brings encouragement to th