How to live a life that is long and prosperous… (Part 1)

 

Next to the economy, health care is one of the biggest problems we face today – what else is new?  It’s alarming how this world is in danger of sinking itself into deeper debts, and people are becoming more dependent to medications that do not cure any way – we have become a nation of drug addicts. 

 Donors pour billions and billions of dollars to medical research to find “even the not so perfect cure” for killer diseases, but science has yet to catch up.  We have witnessed how governments were terrified with their dubious attempts to bail out their financial system, and it seems that bankruptcy is the only way out.  How in the world this could be possibly happening? What caused these mess? Did humans reach their limits? Are there things that men cannot overcome?

 And talking about earthquakes, terrorism, and wars around the world, is there a room for living a longer life with prosperity? Somebody has to step up to the plate and do something good.  Where is the smartest person in the planet?  Please step forward and give us your solution to this mess.  

 “As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”  So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters?  God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.” (1 Corinthians 1:20 NLT)

 In spite of all the negative circumstances that surround us, the Bible promises that you can you live longer and live prosperous if you do the following: 

 “Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.  Turn away from evil and do good.  Search for peace, and work to maintain it.  The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries.” (Psalm 34:12-15 NLT)

First, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. 

Subsequent to their release from slavery in Egypt, the Israelites failed to enter the promise land because someone had spoken an evil report and had lied, and they believed it.  As a result, not a single member of that generation, except for Joshua and Caleb, entered the land that flows with milk and honey.  They wandered around the wilderness for forty years, and they all died outside of the promise land.  

 As soon as they crossed the red sea, the people of Israel received instructions from God to go ahead and possess the promise land.  However, instead of obeying God, they sent spies deep into the land to make sure it was safe to possess it, and to see if the land was really good.  In short, they didn’t believe what God had said – the Israelite wanted to play safe.  A grave mistake a child of God can do.

 You don’t test if the word of God is true or not, and you don’t put a fleece on His promises.  If God said you are blessed then you are blessed.  If God said you were healed then you are healed.  If God said your help comes from Him then He will help you out, no matter how impossible your situation is.  He will never leave you nor forsake you, because God said so. 

 The Bible says that without faith, it is impossible to please God.   Faith is obeying what the word of God is telling you to do.  The Bible is also telling us that obedience is better than sacrifice.  Again, when the word of God tells you to do it, just do it – and that is faith.  People have a hard time understanding on how to live by faith, and they have a misconception of what faith is.     

 When Mary received the word that she would conceive and bear the Son of God, Mary said, “Be it unto me according to thy word.”  And Jesus was born.  A Roman Officer, whose servant was sick, told Jesus that he didn’t have to come to his house, but say the word and his servant will be healed.  At the same hour, his servant was healed. 

Evil speaking is lying against the word of God, denying the integrity of His word, and limiting the ability of His power.  The apostle James warned the believers to control their tongue from speaking evil.   

 “In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.  But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.  And the tongue is a flame of fire.  It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body.  It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. … It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 1:5-8 NLT)      

 No wonder almost nobody wants to be around with a pessimist.   A pessimist’s tongue is full of evil.  He constantly believes that his word of doom and gloom is the final outcome of his circumstances, and surely it is.  His mind is in constant fear of negative things that might happen around him, always thinking the worst case scenarios.   For him, he will always fail, because he was blinded and unable to see the goodness of God.  The Bible speaks of him, “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.”   Show me a pessimist and I’ll show you a loser.  

 Second, turn away from evil and do good.

 Stay away from all presence of evil.  That’s what the apostle Paul had told Timothy.   You might have said that you don’t hang around with murderers, rapists, child molesters, terrorists, thieves and so on and so forth.  The scripture, however, is telling us that turning away from evil is not enough; you have a responsibility to do something good that will put an end to the evil ways in this world.  A believer cannot afford to just sit around and do nothing when evil is taking place right before his eyes. 

 The Bible is advising the believers to overcome evil with good, always resisting the devil, and redeeming the time for the days are evil.  Overcoming evil begins with you.  Every believer has to confront the attacks of evil in his/her daily life.  It’s lies, jealousy, dishonesty, favoritisms, gossips, pornography, infidelity, manipulations, etc. One way to overcome evil is to renew our minds with the word of God, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us every moment of our life.  Renewing of the mind is saturating our thoughts and our hearts (conscience) with the word of the Lord, and a continuous confession of His word to control our tongue from speaking evil.  The word of God will wash away evil thoughts, and builds up strong convictions in our hearts to obey His word.  Another way is to call upon the name of the Lord, for He will save you from all evil.

 Third, search for peace, and work to maintain it.    

 Hebrews 12:14 (NKJV) says, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”  Believers are not war freaks.  Believers rather pursue peace with all people.  We extend our hands to others and declare peace with them.  We take the initiative to declare peace, because we are to pursue it.  And that is what the Bible has told us to follow.  And then, we have to work out and maintain this peace.   Peace must start in our home, between husband and wife, parents and children, sons and daughters, in-laws, and relatives who live amongst us.  Then we spread peace out in our neighborhood and then in our community.  If there’s no peace, no one will be able to see the Lord.  If we have no peace in our lives, what then is our difference with the non-believers?      

 The church, the body of Christ has the responsibility to be at peace with one another.  Otherwise, we are worst than the infidels.  The hippies of the sixties might turn around and blast us with these words, “Peace men!”

  Lastly, the Lord shall give us long life and enjoy it prosperously.

 The Lord of Host has told the people of Israel many times that if they are willing and obedient, they shall be blessed.

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