The Right to Pursue

Seek peace and pursue it.- Psalm 34:14 (NKJV)

Someone cursed Benjamin Franklin, charging that the Constitution of the United States was a farce. “Where is all the success that it guarantees us?” he sneered. Franklin, smiling, answered, “My friend, the Constitution guarantees only the right to the pursuit of happiness.”

Psalm 34:14 tells us to not only seek peace but pursue it.

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Before affliction…

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your word.- Psalm 119:67 (NIV)

I went astray. Often, it has a negative connotation. It means that we have chosen the evil paths of this world. We have become adulterers, liars, thieves and murderers, by the standard of this world. But, a Christian life has a higher standard. We may not do any of these things that are considered evil in the eyes of the world; actually we may be living a moral life, yet in the eyes of the Lord, we may have gone astray.

Isaiah 53:6 says, that each of us have gone astray and the prophet goes on to explain that – each of us turned to his own way. Now, nowhere it is said that our own ways are evil and immoral. But just simply that we turned to our own ways. We turned away from the Way, from Jesus Christ and we have gone astray.

Sometimes, we hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and realize that we have left His guidance and turn to His ways. But at times, we become strong headed, as in our eyes, there is nothing wrong in the way we are travelling; actually everyone is telling us how good we are and how we have chosen wisely. And, to abandon all that and to follow the voice of the Lord, actually, looks like foolish and we are worried about what others would say… and then the tender hands of our loving Father afflicts us in a sweet manner… now we obey His Word.

Oh, heavenly Father, thank You for Your infinite love and mercy. We thank You for giving us Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd. We also thank You for Your loving hand that afflicted us, so we realize the folly of choosing our own ways over Your way. Now, we obey Your Word. Thank You. Through Your Son and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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Acc0rding to Your Word

Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live; and do not let me be ashamed of my hope. – Psalm 119:116

According to Your Word, Lord, uphold me. For Your Word alone does not change; Your Word does not perish. Everything in this world will pass away, will change and will wither away. But not Your Word. So, Lord, uphold me, according to Your Word. I shall surely live. For Your Word gives me life. And I will not be ashamed of my hope. For Your Word promises me so. So, I will live and praise You, Lord. I will not be put to shame, and I will exalt You, O my God! For You alone, deserve all the glory, honour and strength. Through Your Son and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

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By His Spirit

‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts. – Zec. 4:6

It is not by our might or power that we can live a true Christian life. It is only when we are filled with the Spirit of the Lord of Hosts, we will be able to live a victorious and true Christian life. Are we dependent on our might, our power, our self-control? Or we truly dependent on the Spirit of God?

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Be ready in the morning!

“Be ready in the morning, and come up… present thyself there to Me in the top of the mount. And no man shall come up with thee” (Exodus 34:2-3).

The morning watch is essential. You must not face the day until you have faced God, nor look into the face of others until you have looked into His.

You cannot expect to be victorious, if the day begins only in your own strength. Face the work of every day with the influence of a few thoughtful, quiet moments with your heart and God. Do not meet other people, even those of your own home, until you have first met the great Guest and honoured Companion of your life– Jesus Christ.

Meet Him alone. Meet Him regularly. Meet Him with His open Book of counsel before you; and face the regular and the irregular duties of each day with the influence of His personality definitely controlling your every act.

Begin the day with God!
He is thy Sun and Day!
His is the radiance of thy dawn;
To Him address thy lay.

Sing a new song at morn!
Join the glad woods and hills;
Join the fresh winds and seas and plains,
Join the bright flowers and rills.

Sing thy first song to God!
Not to thy fellow men;
Not to the creatures of His hand,
But to the glorious One.

Take thy first walk with God!
Let Him go forth with thee;
By stream, or sea, or mountain path,
Seek still His company.

Thy first transaction be
With God Himself above;
So shall thy business prosper well,
And all the day be love.
— Horatius Bonar

The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early upon their knees.

Matthew Henry used to be in his study at four, and remain there till eight; then, after breakfast and family prayer, he used to be there again till noon; after dinner, he resumed his book or pen till four, and spent the rest of the day in visiting his friends.

Doddridge himself alludes to his “Family Expositor” as an example of the difference of rising between five and seven, which, in forty years, is nearly equivalent to ten years more of life.

Dr. Adam Clark’s “Commentary” was chiefly prepared very early in the morning.

Barnes’ popular and useful “Commentary” has been also the fruit of “early morning hours.”

Simeon’s “Sketches” were chiefly worked out between four and eight.

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… will satisfy your soul in drought.

The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. – Isaiah 58:11

The Lord will satisfy your soul in drought. This is a promise that the Lord gives to His children in this year. As I wrote in an earlier blog, this year may be a terrible one for the world, with the end-time calamities turning everything upside down. But, dear child of God, take heart for the Lord our God promises to satisfy your soul, even during the toughest of times. Even in utter darkness, the Lord shall be your Light. HE shall be a shadow unto you when the sun beats on you. When the floods come against you, the Spirit of God will raise a banner over you, the banner that says “YHWH Nissi”. And your soul shall not wither because of the terrible conditions around you.

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Your soul will be satisfied by the Lord. Your soul shall be satisfied with marrow and fatness. (Psalm 63:5). Instead of going dry because of the drought, your mouth will open wide and praise the Lord with joyful lips. Last year, your mouth may have murmured or complained against the Lord; your lips may have said only very sorrowful words. But this year, the Lord promises that the same lips be joyful. Yes, with joyful lips, you shall open your mouth and praise Him.

And above all, may the blessing of the beloved Apostle rest on your head in this new year. As the Lord satisfies your soul, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 2). Amen.