Friday, June 29, 2012

Choose Joy, Prayer, and Thanksgiving!

Be full of joy in the Lord always. I will say again, be full of joy (rejoice). Let everyone see that you are gentle and kind (gentle spirit, gracious). The Lord is coming soon (is near). Do not worry (be anxious, fret) about anything, but pray and ask (definite requests, petition) God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep (guard) your hearts and minds (as you live) in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 (NCV).

When the Apostle Paul wrote the Book of Philippians, he was in prison. The Book of Philippians is classified as the fourth of Paul’s Prison Letters. Yet, Paul wrote to the Philippian church members to tell them to always rejoice in the Lord. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and is the result of peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1–2; see also Psalm 37).

Paul knew our inner attitudes do not have to reflect our unpleasant outward conditions. He knew that no matter what happened in life; Jesus Christ’s Spirit is always living with and within believers to help and comfort (John 14). Jesus Christ’s Spirit brings lasting joy and peace within us. He is always near to those who faithfully and wholeheartedly love Him as their Lord and Savior. 

Even more, Paul teaches believers to be gentle, unselfish and kind to everyone, even people that hurt us deeply. This mean we are not to seek revenge nor retaliate against those who mistreat and hurt us.  Paul's counsel is to turn our worries, anxiety and mistreatment into prayers to God. God is in control and He will judge all wrongs, abuse, and injustice (Romans 8:28; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)!  Our God loves His people and cares about their needs. Therefore, God instructs His people to pray continually about everything and have faith in Him always (see Matthew 6:25-34; Matthew 7:9-11; Romans 12:12; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Peter 5:7). Tell God your needs, and do not forget to thank Him for His answers. God will never fail you (see also Isaiah 26:3; John 14:27; Colossians 3:15). So, give God ALL your worries!

Give (cast) all your worries (anxiety) and cares to God, for He cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) (see also Psalm 55:22).

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Our Weapons of Godly Warfare

Be strong (strengthened by your union) in the Lord and in His mighty (great, vast) power. Put on all of God’s (full) armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies (schemes, strategies, tactics, tricks) of the devil. For we are not fighting (struggling, wrestle) against flesh-and-blood enemies (people on earth), but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places (realms). Therefore, put on every piece of God’s (full) armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle (you have finished the whole fight) you will still be standing firm (stand your ground). Stand (strong) your ground (firm), putting on the belt of truth (buckled or tied around your waist) and the body armor (breastplate) of God’s righteousness (right living, integrity and morality on your chest). For shoes (your feet), put on (wear) the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared (stand strong). In addition to all of these (in every situation), hold (take) up the shield of faith to stop (extinguish, quench) the fiery (flaming, burning) arrows of the devil. Put on (accept God’s) salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (God’s Word). Pray in the Spirit at all times (always) and on every occasion (with all kinds of prayers, supplications, petitions and requests asking for everything you need). Stay alert and (always) be persistent (with all perseverance, intercession and never give up) in your prayers for all believers (God’s people, saints) everywhere. Ephesians 6:10-18 (NLT).

In our daily lives, we all face struggles and attacks from evil (see 1 Peter 5:8). God tells us the only way to fight back against evil is through faithfully depending on His strength, weapons, and power as our Commander in Chief. The Apostle Paul assures us that God's mighty weapons — constant prayer, faith (trust), truth, hope, love, God's Word, the Holy Spirit — are powerful and effective to defeat evil (see 2 Corinthians 10:1-6; Ephesians 6:13-18)! 

Our God is strong and mighty. Our strength comes from wholehearted union with God (Father, Son – Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit) (read John 14, 15 and 16). God is the source of spiritual power. So use every piece of God’s weapons to resist and fight evil. God's Word is an essential weapon and the only offensive weapon. God blesses His Word found in the Holy Bible (Isaiah 55:8–11). Jesus Christ used this God’s Word in the wilderness to defeat evil attacks (see Matthew 4:4–10, Luke 4:1-13). God’s Word is living, powerful, effective, and instructive (Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

In the same way, constant and daily prayer is necessary in this ongoing warfare (see 1 Thessalonians 5:17). Without prayer, God’s armor cannot achieve victory. Prayer keeps the lines of communication open with God, our Commander in Chief (see Joshua 5:13–15; Hebrews 2:10). As believers, we must keep in constant communication with God for directions and encouragement. Believers are to make prayer a way of life for themselves and for all believers everywhere. The Apostle Paul teaches that we are not to pray not just for ourselves but also for all saints (believers of Jesus Christ) because spiritual combat with evil is both an individual and corporate matter (James 5:16).

Saturday, June 23, 2012

ASK (Ask, Seek, Knock) God First!

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking (searching), and you will find. Keep on knocking (reverently), and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks (searches), finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not!  So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your (perfect) heavenly Father (certainly) give good gifts to those who ask Him. (So in everything) do to others (treat others) whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all (sums up, meaning, teaching) that is taught in the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:7-12 (NLT) see parallel reference at Luke 11:9-13.

Prayer is essential for a healthy and successful life, like the air we breathe. By its nature, prayer is talking with God.  God promises to answer all our genuine prayer needs (Matthew 7:8); including everything we need for spiritual success for His glory. But prayer is more than just asking; prayer also includes confession, love, thanksgiving, and fellowship with God.

With prayer, do not bargain with God but be direct and ask Him for what you need. Jesus Christ emphasized the importance of persistent prayer to God (see also Luke 18:1). The three words “ask,” “seek,” and “knock” suggest persistent, continually and frequent prayer. People often give up after a few halfhearted prayers and conclude that God cannot be found. But knowing God and His perfect will takes faith and persistence.  The term faith reflects at least two ideas: trust (reliance upon God) and belief (confirmation of God’s truths).

Do not give up on God or your prayers.  Continue to seek and ask God for your needs and His perfect will.  As this Scripture passage teaches, God gives His people good things that they need. God is not selfish or tightfisted, but loving, caring and understanding.  God is full of goodness, mercy and love every day (2 Chronicles 20:20-21).

ASK (Ask, Seek, Knock) God First!

Friday, June 22, 2012

What Does Amen Mean?

Amen is a translation of a Hebrew word meaning reliable, sure, valid, true and faithful. Also, Amen is sometimes translated “so be it” or “may it be so.” The word Amen may confirm what already is, or it may indicate a hope for something desired. Amen is similarly used at the end of biblical songs, hymns, and prayers. In Jewish prayer, “Amen” comes at the end as an affirmative (or “yes”) response to a statement.

Used as an oath, “Amen” is a promise of truth (see Isaiah 65:16). The Prophet Isaiah speaks of God as the God of Amen (Truth), meaning that He speaks the truth, carries out His word, and remains eternally true. In the New Testament, Jesus is given the title “the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness” (Revelation 3:14).  Jesus is eternally true and reliable. Jesus is the Truth (John 8:32; John 14:6). The Apostle Paul ended some of his letters with “Amen” (see 1 Thessalonians 5:28; 2 Thessalonians 3:18).


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Trust God’s Will and Care 

Yet how quickly they (people of Israel) forgot what He (God) had done (God’s works and mercy)! They wouldn’t wait for His counsel (advice, plans)! In the wilderness their desires (cravings, greed, or lusts) ran wild, testing (tempting) God’s patience in that dry wasteland. So He (God) gave them what they (people of Israel) asked for, but He sent a plague (wasting disease, leanness into their souls, or empty heart) along with it. Psalm 106:13-15 (NLT).

In the desert, Israel became discontented and inpatient with God’s provisions (e.g., see Exodus 15:24; Exodus 16:2-3; Exodus 17:1-3; Numbers 14:26-45; Numbers 21:4-9).  God delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage and pain, but they soon forgot His mercy and ignored His advice.  The psalm writer recalls numerous times when Israel disobeyed the Lord after He delivered them from Egypt (Psalm 106:7–46). God gave the people manna (heavenly bread), and they lusted for meat. Even more, the people of Israel criticized their leaders and worshiped a golden idol.  The people of Israel did not trust God nor wait for God to work according to His will and plan.  Instead, the people only cared about pleasing themselves (self-gratification) and angered God with their insistent demands. The people did not want God’s best for them, and they refused to trust God's care and provision. Even though God had been faithful to Israel (Psalm 105), Israel was often unfaithful and disobedient toward God. So, God gave the people exactly what they asked for, but along with their request came leanness into their soul, i.e., dissatisfaction, bitterness and an empty heart (see Exodus 32:35; Numbers 11). After eating of the quails (meat) for a full month, the food became “loathsome” to them (Numbers 11:20). 

Psalm 106 teaches that when people make demands on God that are not in harmony with His will nor plan, He may grant their demands or requests to their sorrow, and send “leanness into their souls or an empty heart.” Let us all trust in God’s care, timing, and provision for our lives.  Even more, let us trust God’s perfect will. God knows what is best for us and in our best interest.  Like Jesus, be patient, trust and do God’s will first (see Matthew 26:36-46).  God always provides our needs if we only trust Him first! 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Seeking God

This is what the Lord says to the house of Israel: "Seek (come to) Me (the LORD God) and live; . . . . Seek (come to) the LORD and live . . . . Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say He is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy (be gracious) . . . . But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! Amos 5:4-24 (NIV). 

In this chapter, the Prophet Amos mourns for Israel because they believed that their wealth and religious ritual made them secure. The Prophet Amos tells Israel the one sure cure for a world that is sick and dying in sin — "Seek (come to) the LORD and live." Sin destroys, but true happiness and security come only in God.  Moreover, this Scripture passages teaches that any society that mistreats the poor, helpless, and needy will be destroyed by God’s judgment. God wants true justice to flow like a vast river (Amos 5:24). Those who oppose justice will be swept away. 

Even more, this Scripture passage teaches that God dislikes false and insincere worship by people who simply go through the motions.  Instead, God wants our sincere and wholehearted love for Him (Deuteronomy 4:29-30; Deuteronomy 6:4-6; Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 22:34-40) that yields obedience (1 Samuel 15:22-23; John 14:15).  True repentance and faith can repair a damaged life and avoid God’s judgment made by sin.  However, God desires our authentic and continual loyalty, devotion, and faithfulness to Him as the One True God (Amos 4:4; Amos 5:25; Habakkuk 2:4).  So, let everyone seek the LORD God with all our hearts and souls and live!

Friday, June 15, 2012

True Happiness

Finally, all of you should be of one mind (in agreement, harmony or agreeable). Sympathize with (understand) each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted (kind, compassionate or kindhearted), and keep a humble attitude (spirit). Don’t repay evil for evil (wrong for wrong). Don’t retaliate (retaliation) with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and He will bless you for it. For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil (say nothing evil nor harmful) and your lips from telling lies (dishonest speech). Turn away from evil and do good. Search for (look or seek) peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right (righteous), and His ears are open (attentive) to their prayers. But the Lord turns His face against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:8-12 (NLT), see parallel reference at Psalm 34:12-16

Here, the Apostle Peter emphasizes the relationship between our good conduct and God’s blessing by quoting from Psalm 34:12-16, see also 1 Peter 2:3; Hebrews 12:14). God expects all people, but especially followers of Jesus Christ, to love and be kind to others (Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-34; John 13:35). Jesus teaches us to love one another and to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39). In God's Kingdom, revenge and insult are NEVER right!  Instead, God instructs His people to love our enemies, purse peace with others and quietly trust in God as the Lord of all (Leviticus 19:18). God always rights all wrongs!  

If you are good to people, God will be good and bless you. In other words, when you bless others, God will bless you! By blessing and loving others, we receive our blessings from God. God sees the good people do and listens to their prayers. But God is against those who do evil. 

A person, who wants a truly happy life filled with all God’s blessings, must first turn away from evil in word, will, and actions. This kind of person can be happy because God’s eyes are on such a person for protection and God’s ear is open to their prayers. Like Psalm 34, this Scripture passage focuses on turning from sin --- sins of speech (James 3:2-18), lies, evil, retaliation (Leviticus 19:18) and temptation --- and doing good to others. We do good to others by pursing peace, harmony, courtesy, love, compassion, mercy, and humility. 

If you have trouble living a life of good for God, ask God’s Holy Spirit to change and mold you into the person God wants you to be. God’s Holy Spirit changes a person from the inside to mold you into a person for God's use.

You did not choose Me, but I (Jesus Christ) chose you and appointed you to go and bear (produce lasting) fruit--fruit that will last (remain). Then (God) the Father will give you whatever you ask (using) in My Name. This is My command: Love each other. John 15:16-17 (NIV), see also Galatians 5:22-23.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Prayer of Jabez

There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez (sorrow maker) because his birth had been so painful. He was the one who prayed (cried out or called) to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand (enlarge) my territory (border)! Please be with me in all that I do (let Your hand be with me), and keep me from all trouble (harm or evil) and pain!” And God granted him his request. 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 (NLT).

1 Chronicles provides a history of Israel to the returning Jews from Babylonian exile.  The first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles gives the genealogy of Israel starting with Adam.  In this genealogy is a short historical note on Jabez. Jabez was a descendent of the tribe of Judah.  He is most remembered for his simple prayer request to God found at 1 Chronicles 4:9-10.

The Chronicler explains the origin of Jabez’s name. Jabez sounds like a Hebrew word meaning “pain” or “distress” and it literally means “he afflicts, gives pain.” Jabez received this name from his mother because she had such a hard and painful time at his birth (Genesis 3:16). However, Jabez was more honorable and distinguished than any of his brothers. Even more, Jabez’s prayer to God changed the outcome of his life. 

The prayer of Jabez acknowledges God as the true center of his life and Lord of his work, possessions, and body. Jabez’s prayer begins with (1) a plea for God’s wonderful blessings, (2) help with all his work ("enlarge my territory''), (3) God’s Presence to be with him in all he did, and (4) God’s personal protection from evil, hurt, tragedy, pain, and harm. He prayed precisely for God’s protection from harm and to keep him safe from all evil that may come his way. Jabez’s last request might also mean to keep him away from evil. God heard Jabez’s prayer and granted Jabez’s request.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Answered Prayer

I (David) will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly (continually) speak His praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless (discouraged and humble) take heart (be glad). Come, (glorify or magnify) let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt His Name together. I prayed to (cried out, inquired and sought) the Lord, and He answered (heard) me. He freed (delivered) me from all my fears. Those who look to Him (God) for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed (cried out to the Lord), and the Lord listened; He saved me from all my troubles. For the Angel of the Lord (God’s Presence) is a guard (encamps around); He surrounds and defends all who fear (worship and reverence) Him (God). Taste and see that the Lord is good (and kind). Oh, the joys of those (blessed) who take refuge in Him (God)!  Fear the Lord, you His godly people (saints), for those who fear (revere and worship) Him (God) will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in (seek and reverence) the Lord will lack no good thing. Come, my children, and listen to me (David), and I will teach you to fear (and trust) the Lord. Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous (a desire to see many good days)? Then keep (or watch) your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! Turn away from evil (and sin) and (spend your time to) do good. Search for (seek) peace, and work to (purse) maintain it. The eyes of the Lord (intently) watch over those who do right (righteous); His ears are open (attentive and gives attention) to their cries for help. But the Lord turns His face against those who do evil; He will erase their memory from the earth. The Lord hears His people when they call to Him for help. He rescues (saves) them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted (broken); He rescues those whose spirits are crushed (humble and thoroughly repentant for their sins). The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue (delivers) each time. For the Lord protects (keeps) the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken! Calamity will surely overtake the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be punished. But the Lord will redeem those who serve Him. No one who takes refuge in Him will be condemned (found guilty). Psalms 34:1-22 (NLT).

Psalms 34 is wisdom psalm filled with praise and thanksgiving (Psalm 34:1-7) that celebrates God’s care and protection of the godly (those who trust God) (Psalms 34:7; see also Exodus 14:19-20).  This psalm encourages everyone to seek God and place themselves under the protection of God’s angel (God’s Presence) (Psalms 34:8-14). God pays attention to those who call on and cry out to Him in prayer. The apostle Peter in the New Testament quotes Psalms 34:12-16 in his instructions for peaceful living (1 Peter 3:10-12).

Wisdom contains three main ingredients: “fearing the Lord” (Psalms 34:11), doing good (Psalm 34:14), and rejecting or fleeing evil (Psalm 34:13). God shows His concern for the wise by answering their prayers and rescuing them from their troubles (Psalm 34:15, 17-20), but He destroys the wicked and evil (Psalm 34:16, 21).  The godly might experience suffering and pain.  However, God promises He will deliver and save the godly while ultimately the wicked and evil will perish (Psalm 1:6; Psalm 34:15-16).

“Fear of the Lord” is a phrase frequently found in the Old Testament. However, this phrase does not necessarily mean we should be frightened of the Lord. “Fear of the Lord” gradually became a standard phrase for a good and healthy relationship with God. A good relationship with God begins with a reverent sense that God is all powerful and righteous. “Fear of the Lord” includes reverence, dependence, and respect for God that leads to a life of wisdom (Psalms 34:9-13; Psalm 51:17 see also Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10). Even more, “fear of the Lord” leads to a deep sense of security in an all-powerful, all-wise and all-knowing God. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Blessings From God

 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing: ‘May the Lord bless you and protect (guard, keep and watch) you. May the Lord smile on you (make His face shine on you, show you His kindness) and be gracious to (gift, kind, giving favor, have mercy on) you. May the Lord show you His favor (lift up His approving countenances on you, God look you full in the face, watch over you, look with favor on you, or turn His face toward you) and give you His peace (tranquility of heart and life continually).’ Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in My Name, I Myself will bless them” (put or place My Name on them). Numbers 6:22-27 (NLT).

Another famous prayer from Numbers is the blessings of Numbers 6:24-26. This blessing is still used today in Jewish and Christian services to seek God’s divine blessing. Through the centuries, worshipers have found peace and comfort in this brief, simple yet profound prayer in Numbers 6:24-26.

This famous prayer sought health, wealth, fertility, and protection from God. This prayer is repeated in the language of Psalm 67:1, Psalm 121:3-8; Psalm 140:4; and Psalm 141:9 and similar to Jesus’ High Priestly prayer in John 17. These heartfelt prayers are still good models for prayer and for the blessings that God’s people can seek for themselves and others. The entire prayer emphasizes the Lord God as the true Source of all good things (e.g., food, water, health, children, and protection from enemies).

The prayer calls upon the Lord’s blessing by repeating His Name in each request. The repeating of God’s name reminds God’s people of His interest and involvement in their daily lives as the true Source of their blessings. This prayer was one way of asking for God's divine favor, peace, and wholeness to rest upon others. All God’s people need His grace, mercy, and compassion in this world (see also Psalm 31:16; Psalm 80:3, 7, 19).

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Call On God!

This is what the Lord says, He who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it--the Lord is His Name: Call to Me (the Lord God) and I will answer you and tell (and show) you great and unsearchable things you do not know (and understand). Jeremiah 33:2-3 (NIV).

The Prophet Jeremiah urged the people to call out to God (Father, Son - Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit).  God hears and answers our humble, genuine and wholehearted cries for His help. He will show us great and mighty things. In fact, God promised the Prophet Jeremiah that he only needed to call upon to God for help and God would answer him (see also Psalm 145:18; Isaiah 58:9; Matthew 7:7). 

God can be trusted and He is ready to answer our prayers. However, we must call out to God with all our heart and totally rely on Him for His assistance. God could take care of our needs without our prayers. However, our prayers to God acknowledge that He alone is God and our true Help. Without God’s help, our efforts will fail. 

When we pray, we must repent and humble ourselves before our loving God.  As Creator, God is our real Source of wisdom, power, and strength (James 1:5-8). Rely and depend on the living God. God’s grace is all we need to survive (2 Corinthians 12:9-10; Philippians 4:13).

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Daily Prinicples For Godly Living

"So now, with God as our witness, and in the sight of all Israel—the Lord’s assembly—I (David) give you (Solomon) this charge. Be careful to obey (listen, observe, study, and follow) all the commands of the Lord your God, so that you may continue to possess this good land and leave it to your children as a permanent inheritanceAnd Solomon, my son, learn to know (acknowledge and accept) the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve Him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees (and searches) every heart and knows (understands) every plan and thought. If you seek Him, you will find Him. But if you forsake (reject or turn away from) Him, He will reject you foreverSo take this seriously."
1 Chronicles 28:8-10 (NLT).

Here in 1 Chronicles 28:8-10, David gives Solomon principles for godly living to guide him through life. These same principles equally apply to all followers of Jesus Christ. God’s promises to David, confirmed to Solomon, equally apply to Christians today. David instructed his son Solomon that God’s favor depended on Solomon obeying these principles and his wholehearted devotion to and faith in God. David’s message to Solomon and for all people today emphasized the importance of seeking, worshipping and serving the Lord God. David also appealed to Solomon to “be strong and courageous” in trusting God to provide and not to get discouraged (see 1 Chronicles 28:20-21).

Moreover, David instructed Solomon to be careful to obey study and follow all of God's commands. The teachings of Holy Scriptures are the keys to peace, security, joy, happiness, and justice. If we ignore God's teachings and will from the Holy Scriptures, our efforts and resources will fail. In addition, David encouraged Solomon to acknowledge, serve and know God consistently. David knew the importance of complete trust in God’s power, sovereignty, and justice and David knew that God would be faithful to His promises.

Friday, June 1, 2012

God Wants Obedience

What pleases the Lord more: burnt offerings and sacrifices or obedience (listening) to His voice? It is better to obey (listen) than to sacrifice. It is better to listen (and submit) to God than to offer the fat of sheep. Disobedience (or rebellion) is as bad as the sin of sorcery. Pride (or stubbornness) is as bad as the sin of worshiping idols. 1 Samuel 15:22-23 (NCV).

The Lord God wants total obedience, allegiance and commitment from all people (see e.g., Psalms 40:6-8; Psalm 51:16,17; Proverbs 21:3; Isaiah 1:11-17; Jeremiah 7:21-23; Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:6-8; Matthew 12:7; Mark 12:33; Hebrews 10:8-9). The living God requires His people to obey His Word found in the Holy Bible and to sincerely worship Him as God. 

Besides, God rewards obedience and faithfulness with His blessings (see Deuteronomy 6:1-25; Deuteronomy 11:26-28; Psalm 115:13; Isaiah 30:19-26; 1 Peter 3:9). Obedience and faithfulness to God brings blessings (see Leviticus 26:3-13; Deuteronomy 6:4-11; Deuteronomy 28:1-14), Throughout Old Testament, King David’s faithfulness for God is held up as the model for godly obedience for everyone to follow (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22; see also 1 Kings 14:8). Even more, the Lord Jesus Christ was obedient in all things (Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 5:8; Hebrews 10:5-7).

Nevertheless, disobedience and unfaithfulness to God leads to His punishment, conviction, and judgment (see Leviticus 26:14-39; Numbers 20:12-13; Deuteronomy 28:15-68; 1 Samuel 13:13-14; 1 Samuel 15:13-23). For example, disobedience to God caused the northern kingdom (Israel) to fell, suffer drought (1 Kings 17:1-7), famine (1 Kings 17:12; 18:2), and war (1 Kings 14:30; 1 Kings 15:6-7, 16, 32; 1 Kings 20:1-34; 1 Kings 22:29-36).

God blesses those who have humble, obedient, faithful and repentant hearts (1 Chronicles 29:10-20). The right heart attitude that seeks the Lord God in prayer brings His blessings (1 Corinthians 11:27-32). God is always willing to forgive and heal those who repent. Repentance brings God’s restoration, healing and reconciliation. People who seek and follow Jesus Christ’s obedient example (Philippians 2:12-13) and King David’s obedient example can anticipate God’s fullest and riches blessings (2 Timothy 4:7-8; 1 John 2:24).