Torchbearers for Christ
Sunday, April 22, 2018
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HAVE A GOOD DAY

 
Here in Australia, and no doubt elsewhere, we hear people greeting each other with the words, “Have a good day”, or better still, “Have a great day”.
 
Unfortunately there is no guarantee that such a greeting achieves very much, but if we turn in our Bible to 1 Peter 3:10-12, God gives us an excellent prescription for “loving life and seeing good days”. He tells us, “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 and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers.”
 
This verse is quoted from the Old Testament in Psalm 34:12-15. Noted Bible commentator Matthew Henry has this to say about these verses, “If you earnestly desire that your life should be long and your days peaceable and prosperous, keep your tongue from reviling, evil speaking, lying and deceit. Avoid doing any damage or hurt to your neighbour, but be ever ready to do good, and to overcome evil with good; seek peace with all men and pursue it. The avoiding of evil and the doing of good is the way to contentment here and happiness both here and hereafter.”
 
These verses do not guarantee that good living Christian people will not have times of difficulty and pain, but the Lord promises His people in Psalm 46:1 with this assurance, “God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble.” He does not ask us to face life’s difficulties and sorrows alone.
 
It is a worthwhile Bible study to learn what God has to say about the words we speak. The book of Proverbs has much to say about the power of speech. Here are some verses dealing with this subject:
 
“The tongue has the power of life and death.” (Proverbs 18:21)
“The tongue of the righteous is choice silver. The lips of the righteous feed many.” (10:20-21)
“There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.” (12:18)
“Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” (21:23)
“A gentle tongue breaks the bone.” (25:15)
“She opens her mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” (31:26)
God hates a “lying tongue and the sowing of discord among the brethren.” (6:16,17,19)
“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones.” (16:24)
 
Much more could be found in Scripture about words that can harm and words that can heal. When we remember the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 12:37, “for by your words thou shalt be justified and by your words you shall be condemned”, we do well to pray, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord my strength and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
 
The Lord gives us several other keys to “loving life and seeing good days”. He tells us in 1 Peter 3:11 that we are to “turn from evil and do good; we must seek peace and pursue it”. In Psalm 97:10 we are told, “You who love the Lord, hate evil”. True repentance towards God involves a turning from everything that is displeasing to God and having a desire to please Him in every area of life; “doing good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10 NIV).
 
And finally God asks us to “seek peace and pursue it” (1 Peter 3:11). Jesus told us, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9), and in Romans 12:18 we read, “As much as lies in you, endeavour to live peaceably with all men”. This is not always easy, particularly if we are associated with people of an aggressive nature, but with God’s help we should make every effort to maintain a calm, peaceful attitude, even in a hostile environment.
 
Do you want to enjoy great peace? Then let us learn to love God’s Word.   Psalm 119:165 promises us, “Great peace have they who love Thy law”. Let us then, with God’s help, read the Word of God regularly, meditate on the Word of God, study the Word of God, and make every effort to do what it says. If you do these things you will enjoy “peace like a river” (Isaiah 66:12).
  
 This article was written by Pastor Geoffrey Davies. He is a frequent contributor to this column. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he pastored a church for over twenty-five years.  Since 1983 he has traveled widely, continuing his ministry of encouragement and Bible teaching.