We hope you had a great and restful Labor Day this week!
The Sunset pastor continued our series in “First Peter—Trials, Pilgrimage, Courage and Hope” with a message, “The Good Life.” The text was from 1 Peter 3:10, “Whoever would love life and see good days must….”
Did you ever wonder what it means to live “the good life”? People pursue many material things which may be blessings, but they are only things, and all of these things are not the essence of the good life.
Jesus said (Luke 12:15): “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things that he possesses.”
The pastor made four points: To live the good life, we must (1) Love Life; (2) Love Others; (3) Avoid Evil; (4) Do good.
(1) To Live the Good Life, Love Life. V10: “Whoever would love life….” Loving life is a good thing. The Bible says, “Choose life.” As Moses was about to die, he gave this admonition to the children of Israel: “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life….”
Of Jesus it was said (John 1:4): “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.”
We rejoice at the birth of a baby, and we mourn the death of our loved ones.
Christians love life, but we live in a world that promotes and even glorifies a culture of death.
Sadly, hundreds of millions of people have been killed just in the past century in the world’s wars, homicides, genocides, suicide bombings and other suicides, abortions and diseases produced by drug abuse, same-sex relating and other sins. All produce only sorrows, and do not provide a good life.
(2) To Live the Good Life, Love Others. To have the good life God intended for us to have involves loving our neighbor. Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
If you would enjoy the good life God gives, Peter says, v8ff: “Live in harmony with one another [be likeminded, put the other person first]; be sympathetic [entering into another’s feelings, “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep”]; love as brothers [be caring toward those in the family of faith], be compassionate [tender-hearted toward those in trouble] and humble [not promoting oneself].”
This text reminds of Paul’s statement, “A man reaps what he sows.” If we do good, good tends to come back to us, but if we’re rascals, hard times will follow.
(3) To Live the Good Life, Avoid Evil. V10-11: “Whoever would love life and see good days…must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil….”
The good life from God cannot be enjoyed by one who speaks evil and deceitful speech.
Every four years especially, we must be careful, prayerful and discerning about politicians far and wide who may stretch the truth to give a good impression.
Solomon wrote (Proverbs 6:17): the Lord hates “a lying tongue.”
Then Peter said (v9): “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult….” God does not want his people to respond like the world does.
Paul directed (Romans 12:19): “Do not take revenge…but leave room for God’s wrath….”
Jesus did not curse or insult those who crucified him, but said: “Father, forgive them….” Practicing evil will not lead to a good life.
(4) To Live the Good Life, Do Good. V11: “Do good; seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Be a peacemaker, not a troublemaker. God hears the prayers of the righteous, but he opposes those who do evil.
Here’s an early notice: Our Sunset revival is set for October 2-4, with local preachers doing the preaching. We’re looking forward to it, and we invite you to join us!
“Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.” [Titus 3:14]
May the Lord help us to be good workers, productive in our field—our prayer for you from your friends at Sunset Christian Church.