Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.
The other day as we were driving to the YMCA, we were listening to a few children’s Bible songs and their simple focus on God really stirred my heart. One of the songs in particular became my mantra for that day and has been stuck on replay in my mind. “This is the day which the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (It is based on Psalm 118:24.)
Sadly, so much of modern Christian music is focused on the believer rather than Who we believe in. It is rare to turn on a Christian radio station and catch a tune that focuses solely on God. I love that I can learn to just simply focus on how good God is right alongside Sister and Brother. Out of the mouth of babes, right? I pray to have eyes that focus upward on Christ, rather than inward on what it means for me.
While studying the Bible last week, Psalm 34:14 struck me as a simple way to redirect my focus every day. I am going to work on writing this Psalm on my heart and meditating on its meaning.
What exactly does “evil” mean? Many times I think we focus on only the most deplorable of actions, and by doing so we allow many evil things to just take up residence in our lives. To me evil simply means an action or a thing that lacks holiness. When I looked up the definition of the word evil, it started to blossom in meaning. Psalm 34 calls us to depart from evil, which means to leave behind things that are morally wrong, including our anger, and any behavior that would cause hurt to someone else. This includes sarcasm, television shows, music, and a host of other things.
Seek peace… Go in search or quest of Shalom
Shalom: Jewish word of greeting, literally “peace”, properly “completeness, soundness, welfare”
As Christians we should be in continual search of Peace. It is not by coincidence that Christ is called the Prince of Peace. We should be continually seeking Him to complete us. He is our peace. This is a daily thing. In fact, we should strive for it to be a moment by moment thing.
pursue: to follow close upon or to proceed in accordance with (a method, plan, etc.)
As Christ gives us the peace we need day by day, moment by moment, we need to pursue it in our lives. We need to proceed in accordance with the plan of peace. This is probably the hardest part for me. I can get after Jesus first thing in the morning, and then by noon my peace is gone. If you are a parent, you know how on certain days children can suck the peace right out of you. The same goes for people sharing the road, coworkers, spouses, and our four legged furry kiddos. That is where the moment by moment pursuit comes in. We need to refuel more than once a day, even if it is only a few seconds here and there spent in quiet prayer or reciting scripture aloud.
Simply put, we all need to reevaluate our lives several times each day and make sure that Christ is always our priority. Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, it is all for the glory of God, and we need to live our lives accordingly. He should be our sole focus.
I pray God gives you grace in your pursuit of Him and His Peace, today and always.
All need grace and all is grace, friends!