Tuesday, 11 December 2018

The Eyes of the Lord

Scripture: 1 Peter 3 v 8 - 12: "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 
 9  Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
 10  For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
 11  Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
 12  For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil."

Our God knows the number of hairs on our heads, and every intimate detail about us.  The eyes of the Lord are always upon us as long as we are living a righteous life.  Then our prayers will be answered.

So here is a checklist to ensure we end this year on a righteous note.  We still have over two weeks to sort out and rearrange our attitudes, if necessary.

Our first item is our love for other Christians, are we in unity of mind with them.  As it says in 1 John 1 v 7:
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."

The benchmark test is having fellowship with one another.  When Christians are together in one place, any place, Jesus is in their midst.  He says where two or three of us are gathered together, He is there with us.  Do we acknowledge His Presence?  Is He in our conversations?

When we exalt Him He draws us to Himself.  He dwells in the praises of His people.  Then we are of one mind, showing love, compassion, mercy and courtesy that brings approval from on high.

If there is an absence of this kind of joyful experience then one or another in the group is not walking in the light.  Jesus wants to restore such a one to full blessing and we must discern and be obedient to reach out and encourage, or take that person aside to see what may be a problem in need of prayer.

In the world its easy to get into arguments, fights and slanging matches, but Peter says we must not respond to taunts in an aggressive way, rather stay calm and bring a peaceful solution to the situation.  The peace of Jesus within us can transmit to people and places around us, unless we lose our temper and escalate the problem.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace, the highest authority of peace in the universe.  He gives us this peace in John 14 v 27: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

He tells us to send forth His peace into a house and if Christians are living there this peace shall remain, if not it will be withdrawn with us as we leave.  So we can use this supernatural peace of Jesus to control unrest and instability.  A useful knowledge in these turbulent times.

In order to enjoy the abundant life of Jesus we must control our tongues.  No gossiping or demeaning others, or remarks that provoke and cause harm should cross our lips.   Rather speak the truth in love.

In James 3 v 2 - 5: "For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
 3  Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
 4  Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
 5  Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!"

The eyes of the Lord are on those who persist in doing evil.  They will not enjoy His blessings nor see their prayers answered.  We have to work with Jesus on our souls to change in line with His blueprint for our lives.  Let us be guided by His words to us today to conform to His standards of goodness and holy living.

Ephesians 4 v 22 - 24: "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
 23  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
 24  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."

Prayer: Heavenly Father, being born again means conversion from the sinful world to Your righteous and holy kingdom.  You have forgiven us but now we must work out our own salvation by conscious effort to be like Jesus.  Help us to overcome areas where we lapse into old habits that cause problems.  Lead us in the paths of righteousness.  In Jesus' name. Amen.