What Makes For A Good Life?

If you ask Google about what makes for a good life, you can choose from 7.6 billion answers to the question.

Young adults answer the “good life” question like this:

— 80% believe that personal wealth is the perfect ingredient of the good life.

— 50% would like to be famous in their quest for the good life.

Harvard researchers locate the source of the good life with meaningful relationships.

Another author adds a valuable opinion to the mix of ideas. He writes: “A life that satisfies and fulfills you, that adds happiness, joy and a sense of purpose to your life.

“But it also means to live a life that is worthwhile – a life that makes a contribution, instead of being solely self-centered.

“The good life is a life that is not primarily wasted with mundane activities. Instead, it adds value and contributes to making this world a better place. Even more so, it also contributes to your own growth.”

What does God think?

As good as Google’s answers are to the question about a good life, God should be consulted.

After all, God has a profound love for humans and it makes sense to trust that he wants us to have the best life possible.

God answers the question about a good life in the first Psalm. It begins with the word “blessed” and means “how rewarding is the life of.”

Blessed (or how rewarding is the life of) are those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked
or take the path that sinners tread
or sit in the seat of scoffers. (Psalm 1.1)

The wicked accumulate wealth and power at the expense of other people.

Scoffers are mockers, whose pride hardens their hearts against God and his guidance.

The “good life” person refuses to pattern their life after the behavior of these people.

Instead, they turn to God for direction in life.

Their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law they meditate day and night. (Psalm 1.2)

The law includes all of God’s directions for living. Passages like the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) and the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) are filled with God’s instructions for the best life possible.

Consider both the command and promise to Joshua.

Joshua 1.8This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night,

So that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful.

Just like the promise to Joshua, Psalm 1 carries a promise for those who meditate on God’s guidance.

They are like trees
planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper. (Psalm 1.3)

If we believe God is the wisest Being of all and if we trust promises that come from his heart of love, how can we adjust our lives and consistently meditate on God’s law?

What’s in it for me?

A very successful advertising executive made this observation. “Whenever you promote a product, you must give the customer the desire to want.”

The “what’s in it for me” question must be answered, or people won’t listen to your sales pitch.

What’s in it for you, if you begin meditating on God’s word on a daily basis?

(1) God promises you that you will prosper in all that you do. Follow his guidance and you will be blessed.

(2) There is nothing greater in life than a personal encounter with God. Meditation on God’s guidance in the Bible will create an atmosphere for such a meeting.

(3) Jesus showed humans how to not be deceived by Satan’s schemes.

After his baptism, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tested. Matthew records the event.

Matthew 4.3-4 – The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

But he answered, “It is written,
‘One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

The temptation was to join the mocking prince of wickedness in his opposition to God’s direction.

Jesus refused to use his power to satisfy his hunger. He emphasized the blessed sufficiency of living by “every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Imitate Jesus

As long as the Hebrew nation permitted God’s direction to guide their path, they prospered.

Jesus never failed to follow the Father’s will and was completely successful in accomplishing his life’s purpose.

We will best imitate Jesus and the faithful by keeping a few thoughts in mind.

(1) Spend time daily in God’s word.

I recommend reading the Gospels every day. They record Jesus’ actions, attitudes, and teaching that we need to know deep in our being.

Branch out and include other portions of the Bible, so you can see how God’s faithful lived according to his direction.

(2) Talk to God about what you have read.

I doubt if Jesus lectured his students. The disciples asked questions and received answers.

Sometimes, they got things wrong and had to be corrected.

We can have the same kind of interaction with the Lord if we just get started.

(3) Follow his direction.

The purpose of meditating on God’s direction is to know it and do it. The blessing comes when we adjust our lives and align our behavior with God’s guidance.

No YouTube Video This Week

I am on vacation and the lack of good WiFi won’t allow me to post videos.

When I return home, Rudy Ross and I will resume our videos and blog articles on 1 Thessalonians. I greatly enjoy talking with Rudy about the Bible and will reserve that study for him.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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