“…Seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalm 34:14b)
The Bible has much to say on the subject of pursuing peace:
So, how do we seek and pursue peace. The words seek and pursue are action verbs that imply a diligent and concentrated effort towards obtaining a specific goal. If we are seeking after peace, that means that we are seeking to live in peace with all men, as much as we possibly can. The Bible makes it clear that the responsibility to pursue peace lays upon the believer. If you can make peace, then you must do it.
Many of us fail to realize that the way that conduct ourselves with and towards others is either a good or bad reflection upon God and the Body of Christ. We should not allow the world to determine our willingness to pursue peace with others. If we are at odds with someone, we need to make every effort possible to “get it right” as soon as possible. If we are not at odds with anyone, then we need to “keep the peace” and practice attitudes and behaviors that promote peace. We are to labor hard to obtain and maintain peace.
We live in a world that lacks the peace of God and, more often than not, values strife and confusion instead of peace. Therefore, in whatever place and position we find ourselves in, we must seek and pursue peace: in our schools, places of employment, government, within our neighborhoods, within our church community, etc. We must make any and all attempts to obtain peace… and thus, we will show ourselves to indeed be children of the Most High God.
- The Peace of God (alexsinio.wordpress.com)
- Are you at Peace? (areyouchanging.wordpress.com)
- Abundance of Peace (aninspiredapproach.com)
Depart from evil, and do good… (Psa 34:14a)
As we look at today’s segment of scripture, we can see that we are instructed to do good. However, in order to do good, we must depart from evil. Because we live in a fallen world, evil lurks behind every corner, tempting us to turn from the path of righteousness. However, if we have a heart that is determined to please God, evil will find it difficult to win us over or cause us to go astray.
What is evil? According to Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, “…[E]vil is any deviation of a moral agent from the rules of conduct prescribed to him by God.” So in essence, anything that is contrary to the Word of God and the laws and statues that are outlined in His Word can be considered to be evil.
How do we avoid evil? If we want to avoid evil, then we need to be identify good. If we know what is good, then we will not be deceived by the enticement of sin. Not only must we make a habit of identifying good, but we must also make a habit of pursuing good. According to the United States Secret Service Website (http://www.secretservice.gov/money_detect.shtml), the Secret Service instructs the public to become more familiar with US currency in order to determine real money from fake money. We are instructed to study the real dollar bill — not the fake one. In the same manner, we should not study evil or what makes a particular thought or action evil. Instead, we must study good and develop an understand of what is good in God’s sight. This can only be accomplished by studying the Word of God.
We’re in the middle of a Bible study. We’ll conclude on Monday. But for now, I would like to offer a word of encouragement….
It’s late and I’m watching another Disney movie… I love Walt Disney movies! My favorite is “Beauty & the Beast.” Just the other night, we were watching a Disney movie and my 3-year-old was afraid of a certain part in the movie. I told her, “There’s a happy ending – you just need to see it though to the end.”
This is life. We go through various trials and circumstances. In the darkest parts of our lives, we wish that we could “fast-forward” though it. It may be scary or confusing, but it’s a part of the story.
In Disney movies, there’s a hero and a villain. Close to the end, the villain seems to come to a point of triumph. However, if we bear the scary part, we will be able to see the downfall of the villain. We will see how they came close to victory. But the Hero will always win!
No matter what you’re going though… You have a Victor who will conquer in the end. He has conquered illness and disease, sin and death. His name is Jesus. He is our Prince. He will deliver the kiss that brings life. He is our champion. No matter the situation and no matter the end result – we can be encouraged.
So if you are in the dark and scary part of your life story: suffer through it. When you know how the story ends, you don’t have to be worried or afraid. You can go through the valley of the shadow of death, knowing that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). Sorrow is only for a season. There is a happy ending – but we must see it thought to the end.
See you soon!