A Life that Knows the Good Life

Everyone wants to live a good life, that is, a life that is pleasant, enjoyable, peaceful, meaningful and fulfilling. The good life is a sweet and satisfying life and it is a life that makes one excited about living. One who has a good life looks forward to each day and when night comes their sleep is sweet. Each day builds on the ones beforehand and when the end comes they have few regrets and much gratitude. Their life was sweet and not bitter and full and not empty or futile. The one who lived a good life has also learned that such a life is not only possible but is available to any who desires it. The good life is not dependent on wealth, beauty or charm but only on the person who seeks it.

Who is the man who desires life
And loves length of days that he may see good? Psalm 34:12

Many years ago there was a rich young ruler who came and asked the question as to how to have life. This man had known wealth and had access to many of the pleasures of life. He probably could have had a beautiful wife and whatever else his heart desired. However, he was most fortunate to have come to the realization that none of those “things” give life. Often, those who have never known wealth or beauty will think that “if only I had these then I would really know what it means to live a good life”. So, this man was blessed to have realized as a young man that these “things” are only temporal and will never satisfy.

And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Then he said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” Matthew 19: 16-20

This young man came to Jesus asking about eternal life but, as is often the case, he was asking one question but wanted another question answered. There was not any “good thing” that the young man could do to obtain eternal life. Eternal life is a gift that God gives to those who believe in Jesus Christ, that is, those who believe in Him not merely as a teacher, but believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

The young man desired a good life in this present life and so that is the question that Jesus answered. Jesus knew what Scripture said about anyone who desired life and so He explained the answer that was given when the question was asked in the Psalms.

Who is the man who desires life
And loves length of days that he may see good? Psalm 34:12

Keep your tongue from evil
And your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34: 13,14

Do you want to live a long good life? The Lord says that if you do, then you must keep your tongue from evil. The Lord gave His commandments to show men and women how to live a good life. Jesus was explaining to the young man what it means to keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. He said, “You shall not bear false witness”. This means that we are not to lie. There is no “good” that can justify “evil” and telling lies is deceitful and evil. If a person can keep their tongue from evil then they will save themselves much grief and pain in life. Often what people regret most are the words that they have spoken. Every wrong that people have ever done is because they have believed a lie. If you respond to a lie then your response will be wrong every time. If you sow lies then you will be deceived and believe lies.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. Galatians 6: 7

Jesus also explains what it means to depart from evil. When the other commandments mentioned are not kept then evil has been done to another and these are “You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal;”. The Bible says that if you hate someone then you have committed murder in your heart. If you lust after a woman then you have committed adultery in your heart. Nearly all of these commands deal with stealing, for if you murder then you have taken someone else’s life. If you have sex outside of marriage then you have committed adultery and stolen something that is not yours. If you have cheated or gotten anything dishonestly then you have stolen. Each of these commands is doing evil towards someone else. However, at the end of the day, you have not only done evil but you have robbed yourself of life. Evil will only destroy a person if they do it.

To do good involves keeping the other two commandments Jesus mentions and that is to “Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The Lord places so much importance on honoring your father and mother that He offers a promise with it and says that if you will keep that commandment then you will live a long life. Many a life has been shortened because a son or daughter did not honor their parents. If you find yourself saying to yourself, “This is not what my mother or father would want me to do” then don’t do it.

Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth. Ephesians 6: 2,3

The last requirement of living a good life is to seek peace and pursue it. The Bible says that when a person’s ways are pleasing to the Lord that He makes even His enemies be at peace with him.

When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7

When a person lives according to God’s ways then they will be doing what is right towards others. Another word for doing what is right is righteousness. Righteousness will work for us and will bring peace with others and it will also give you quietness and confidence.

And the work of righteousness will be peace, And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17

These laws still stand today because they are good and right. However, all of these laws that the Lord has mentioned in this conversation with the rich young man only have to do with his relationship with others. There is no mention of the first commandments that have to do with a person’s relationship with God. It is impossible to know a good life apart from the only One who is good and that is God Himself. Jesus Christ kept all of the commandments. When a person comes into a relationship with God then the Lord comes and lives within that one through His Holy Spirit (the Helper) and will help the one keep His commandments.

Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly. He is the only One who can satisfy the deepest longings of our souls. He invites all who desires life to come to Him. He will only do good towards you and He will do good towards others through you as you learn to live according to His ways. The verses that precede the ones about the person who desires life are an invitation to come to Him and taste of His goodness. When you see that the Lord is good and taste of His goodness then you will be blessed. He will teach you His ways and you will not lack any good thing.

O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
O fear the Lord, you His saints;
For to those who fear Him there is no want.
The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.
Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Psalm 34:8-11

Who is the man who desires life
And loves length of days that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil
And your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:12-14

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When I was younger I read in the Bible that the Lord came to give me an abundant life and also that if I would trust Him then I would never be disappointed. These were incredible promises and so I decided to see if they were true. That was almost fifty years ago. What I have written are the truths that the Lord has taught me through His Word and I found them to be true every time. The Bible is the lecture and life is the lab. If a truth does not hold up in the lab then it can not be counted on. Every one was true and I have sought to build my life on these truths. We have a family business and four adult children. I wish that I could give my life to everyone but since I can't, I can share the truths that kept me from needless stress and pain. My marriage is the closest thing to heaven on earth. We are more "in love" than ever before and our children bring us great joy. I realize that not everyone will agree with everything that is written. I did not always agree either until I put it to the test. The Bible says that "wisdom will be vindicated by her deeds". The fruit from these truths have been sweet for me. May you be richly blessed as I have been. If you are struggling with life or with finding and keeping love in your life then please consider reading these posts. They have been tested and are true. If you are not happy and satisfied with life or what you have been doing has not been "working" then please consider what is written in these blogs. https://www.instructionstoayounglife.com is about how to live a life full of meaning, purpose, happiness with peace, quietness and confidence. https://www.howtofindandkeeplove.com is about the greatest love story in history. If you are looking for love and wanting to keep love in your life then please read this blog. These truths and this same love is offered to any who are willing to listen and learn. https://www.adviceforwomenaboutmen.com or https://www.adviceforgirlsaboutboys.com is practical advice on how a girl is to relate to a young man and how a woman is to relate to a man. It is a blog on how to keep from getting hurt and how to have a great love life. If you have any questions then please email me at fafeja@yahoo.com