Posts Tagged ‘1 Peter 3:12’

The eyes of the Lord

August 3, 2017

1 Samuel 16--7

The Verse of the Day for August 3, 2017 is found in 1 Samuel 16:7 in the Amplified Bible:

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

The section from which this verse is taken speaks of Samuel following God’s directive to select the next king of Israel from among the sons of Jesse and to anoint that individual. A suitable candidate passes before the Man of God, but this particular son is not the chosen one. God shares with Samuel how the Lord views and assesses, as opposed to how man views individuals.

This verse causes us to recognize that all of life when viewed from “the eyes of the Lord” is vastly different when viewed from the eyes of man. II Chronicles 16:9 and Psalm 37:37 are the basis for the following lyrics:

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,

Throughout the whole earth

To show Himself strong, to show Himself strong,

To show Himself strong in behalf of them

Whose heart is perfect toward Him.

 

The man with a perfect heart is whole and complete:

Mark the perfect man and behold the upright,

For the end of that man is peace.

 

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,

Throughout the whole earth

Psalm 34:15 (AMP) also reiterates where the Lord directs His attention:

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous [those with moral courage and spiritual integrity] and His ears are open to their cry.

1 Peter 3:12(AMP) speaks of the individuals toward whom the Lord directs His attention and those toward whom He does not direct His attention.

 “For the eyes of the Lord are [looking favorably] upon the righteous (the upright), and His ears are attentive to their prayer (eager to answer), But the face of the Lord is against those who practice evil.”

The expression “the eyes of the Lord” brings to mind an individual who was looked upon with favor, as Genesis 6:8 (AMP) reveals:

But Noah found favor and grace in the eyes of the Lord.

In a similar way, believers find themselves entrenched in an environment of rampant unrighteousness, described this way in Genesis 6:5 (AMP):

The Lord saw that the wickedness (depravity) of man was great on the earth, and that every imagination or intent of the thoughts of his heart were only evil continually.

These lyrics draw a parallel between the period of time leading up the Flood and the present age in which we live:

The Days of Noah and Now

When God searched the earth during the days of Noah,

What did He see?

His creation lay in violence: Every thought of the heart of man

was only evil continually.

But there was a just man, perfect in his generations,

A man who walked with God, and God was pleased with him.

Violent men lived in sin and defied the Word of God,

But Noah found grace,

But Noah found grace,

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

 

The eyes of the Lord still search the earth;

God seeks that He might find.

He looks for those willing to pray the price,

Those who put off the works of the flesh

And who are renewed in the spirit of their mind.

As in the days of Noah God is still seeking.

As He was seeking then, we are seeking now that we might also find.

 

May we find grace in Your eyes, O Lord.

May we find grace in Your eyes, O Lord.

May we find favor according to Your Word.

In all we say, in all we do, may we learn to be meek.

In Your eyes may we find all that we seek.

Kevin Knotts offers this musical reminder of the place where we desire to find grace and favor: in “The Eyes of the Lord.”

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If my people will. . . then will I

May 4, 2016

2 Chronicles 7--14

The Verse of the Day for May 4, 2016, the day before the National Day of Prayer, comes from 2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

This verse has been invoked countless times in conjunction with corporate prayer gatherings, and, indeed, has been the theme verse of the National Day of Prayer and other similar occasions.

While this verse often brings to mind people within a particular geographic location, the actual emphasis is on “my people” who could be the people of God in any place across the globe, wherever two or three or more are gathered. Certainly, this is the will of God for the people of God from around the world.

IF

2 Chronicles 7:14 is in reality an “if . . . then” conditional sentence which opens with a conditional clause, followed by a main clause that expresses the results from meeting the conditions set forth. God specifically sets the conditions for “His” people, those who call upon His name and those whom He designates as belonging to Him, those called by His name. If these individuals will perform certain actions, then God will respond accordingly. He sets the conditions with a series of verbs, each of which is connected to the others by “and.” All of these actions must be performed as part of the conditions:

. . . humble themselves

Followers of God should first of all “humble themselves.” This condition is reinforced with these exhortations

James 4:10 (NLT)

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

1 Peter 5:6 (NLT)

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.

and pray

In addition, believers should also “pray.”

Again, throughout the scriptures God’s people are exhorted to pray:

As the Lord Jesus Christ told his followers, “Men ought always to pray and not to faint,” even as Paul encouraged believers to “Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks. For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” We are also reminded in Philippians 4:6 (NLT):

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

and seek my face

To the three previous conditions, His people are to “seek His face.” Like David, we are to yearn to be in God’s presence:

Psalm 27:8 (AMP):

When You said, “Seek My face [in prayer, require My presence as your greatest need],” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I will seek [on the authority of Your word].”

and turn from their wicked ways

The final condition that must be met is to “turn from your wicked ways.” God expresses His desire for His people:

Ezekiel 18:23 (NLT):

“Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live.

Isaiah 55:7 also makes known this:

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

If these four conditions are fulfilled on our part, God will do His part, expressed with three distinct actions:

THEN

I will hear from heaven

God will hear from heaven, the place where the ears of God are open. The Verse of the Day is part of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple, where he goes on to say:

2 Chronicles 6:21

21 May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.

We are also reminded that

1 Peter 3:12

“The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”

and forgive their sins

In 1 John 1:9 we find another conditional sentence that relates to the results received: that God forgives our sins if we confess them:

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Psalm 103:3 reiterates this message, in that God “forgives all your iniquities and heals all your diseases.”

Ezekiel 6:33 also proclaims God’s ultimate desire to forgive Israel’s iniquities and restore their land

‘Thus says the Lord God: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.

and heal their land

This expression of God’s will is revealed in this portion of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple in 2 Chronicles 6:24-25

If Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy,
because they have sinned against You,
and they return to You and praise Your name,
and they pray and plead for mercy
before You in this temple,
25 may You hear in heaven
and forgive the sin of Your people Israel.:
May You restore them to the land
You gave them and their ancestors.

Isaiah 49:8 (AMP) reveals also God’s desire to bless the land of Israel:
Amplified Bible

This is what the Lord says, “In a favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will keep watch over You and give You for a covenant of the people, To restore the land [from its present state of ruin] and to apportion and give as inheritances the deserted hereditary lands,

The celebrated verse associated with corporate prayer reminds us once more that God is not a respecter of persons, but He is a respecter of conditions which must be met before God fulfills His terms of the agreement. God, however, is a respecter of conditions. Many times the terms of condition are expressed by the use of “if.” Throughout the Bible we find that God has set up “If . . . then” statements” that reveal promises that He will fulfill if we do our part.

We now close with a musical rendering of this familiar verse:

To do evil or to do good

February 23, 2016

Proverbs 14--22

The Verse of the Day for February 23, 2016 sets forth two options as to how believers should conduct their lives:

Proverbs 14:22

Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good.

The New Living Translation puts it this way:

Proverbs 14:22

If you plan to do evil, you will be lost; if you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness.

Throughout the Psalms we find numerous indications as to the path we should take. When it comes to doing evil or doing good, here are some verses that encourage us to

To do good

Psalm 34:14 (AMP)

Turn away from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 37:3 in the Amplified Bible reveals what occurs when we do good:

Trust [rely on and have confidence] in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and feed [securely] on His faithfulness.

Not only are we to do good, but God will do good to those who do good:

Psalm 125:4 (AMP)

Do good, O Lord, to those who are good And to those who are upright in their hearts.

In the New Testament as well we find words that encourage believers “to do good.” Jesus Christ exhorts his followers with these words:

Luke 6:27 (AMP):

“But I say to you who hear [Me and pay attention to My words]: Love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, [make it a practice to] do good to those who hate you,

Galatians 6:10 (AMP) expands the number of recipients to whom we should “do good.”

So then, while we [as individual believers] have the opportunity, let us do good to all people [not only being helpful, but also doing that which promotes their spiritual well-being], and especially [be a blessing] to those of the household of faith (born-again believers).

To do evil

In contrast, in the Book of Psalms and elsewhere in Scripture we find sobering words regarding those who “do evil.”

Psalm 5:5 (AMP):

The boastful and the arrogant will not stand in Your sight; You hate all who do evil.

Psalm 34:16 states God’s position this way:

The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, To cut off the memory of them from the earth.

Psalm 36:12 also speaks of those who do evil in this way:

11 Do not let the foot of the proud [person] overtake me,
and do not let the hand of the wicked drive me away.

12 There those who [are perverse and] do evil have fallen;
They have been thrust down and cannot rise.

Psalm 37:9

For those who do evil will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.

Seemingly the choice to refrain from doing evil and to practice doing good continually would be simple one. Note what God says about those who practice or who do evil:

Jeremiah 13:23 (NKJV)

Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.

Jeremiah 18:10 (AMP) indicates that there are severe consequences to those who “do evil”:

and if they do evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will reverse My decision concerning the good with which I had promised to bless them.

1 Peter 3:12

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Clearly, those who conduct their lives with evil intentions are not looked upon favorably with God. As the Verse of the Day reminds us: those who choose to do good will be rewarded.

This final exhortation regarding good and evil comes from Romans 12:21 (AMP):

Do not be overcome and conquered by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Steve Green offers this musical rendition of Romans 12:21 “Overcome Evil with Good” directed to children of God of all ages: