The Good Life

July 14, 2017

The Good Life

Every one wants to live a good life, but due to ignorance of what constitutes a good life, and what is required of us, many don’t get to enjoy it. The Bible says in Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” God, our Creator, wants us to enjoy the good life. He has made it possible. Jesus said in John 10:10, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

The problem for many people is that they have an erroneous concept of what constitutes a good life. Their expectations are too high. We can’t expect to have a good life if we aren’t willing to make any investments in it.

We must face reality. No one has a right to expect that they will pass through life with no anxieties. Jesus said in John 16:33 “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” It seems that some have more tribulations than others. There are things we can and should do to protect ourselves, but even then we will have some hardships.

God has promised great things to those who are his. Psalm 1:3 says that the blessed man; “shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” The same Psalm tells us the things the blessed man does and doesn’t do. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

If we aren’t willing to obey God we have no right to claim his promises. The concept some have of the good life is that it would leave them free to live their life as they please with no restrictions. The Christian life has no attraction for those who think that way. It would put too many restrictions on them. A life that makes no demands of you would make slaves of those around you. Romans 14:7 says “For none of us liveth to himself.” You are living in a fantasy world if you think everyone is obligated to serve you and that they have no right to demand anything of you. We need one another. We give and get. If we aren’t willing to give, we have no right to expect to get anything. Jesus said in Luke 6:38 “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” He also said “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12). Those who have a realistic concept of the good life will agree with Jesus who said “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). We should find satisfaction in giving. If we do, The good life will be one that enables us to give.

The hope of living a life without pain and grief is getting farther out of reach for us because of the deterioration of the moral standards in our culture. When people depart from God they leave behind the high moral values they once had. The founding fathers of our country were convinced of that.

On June 20, 1785 James Madison declared “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institution upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” Sited from the book “One nation Under God” compiled and written by the staff of the Christian Defense Fund pp. 41-42 On June 17, 1843 Daniel Webster declared, “The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of special revelation from God; but it is also a book which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow man.” op site pp. 76-77

Young people who have surrendered their lives to the Lord don’t bring anguish and shame upon their parents by giving in to the lusts of the flesh. Every day there are parents who are forced to pour out tears of grief beside the casket of a son or daughter that ended their life prematurely by substance abuse. Those who surrender their lives to God and live for him don’t waste their lives in riotous living. They are a blessing and not a burden to society.

It is alarming to take note of the way our moral standards have fallen and continue to fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that “The drug overdose death rate increased significantly in the last few years from 12.3 deaths per 100,000 population in 2010 to 16.3 in 2015.” Think what a dramatic change it would make in our society if everyone stopped taking drugs!

Drugs, of course, aren’t the only moral problem facing us. Many other anti-social behavior patterns are a menace to the good life for most all of us. Like it or not, the truth is that we live better if we live the way God says we should.

Take my word for it. I have lived a little over 80 years. From my own experience, and from my observation of thousands of people I have known, I have come to this conclusion. The good life is one that is lived in a happy, harmonious relationship with God, family, and with others. If you want to have it any other way you will be disappointing.

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