7 Keys To The Good Life

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A few days ago I read an interesting quote by someone who said:

“I’m gonna make the rest of my life, the best of my life.”

I really like that quote, however, I would make a small, but significant change.

I’m gonna make the rest of my life, the best of my life because the Word of God says I can.

There’s no question God wants us to have the best life we can.  In fact, in this teaching you’ll hear over 20 scriptures where we’re told to experience the good life.

So what does it really mean to live the good life?

Does the good life consist of having the latest electronic toys and gadgets. . .traveling to exotic locations for lengthy vacations. . .living in the biggest house in the nicest neighborhood. . .being successful in business and in your investments?

For those who’re sick. . .battling over a disease or condition. . .the good life is health.

For those who’re having trouble with their children.  . .the good life is everybody knowing Jesus as Lord.

Living the good life. . .is a journey. . .a progressive revelation and realization of the possibilities God has placed before you.

Let’s look at God’s definition of the good life and how He says we can manifest it.  Here are seven things we need to know about the good life.

1.       It’s God’s plan for us.

Ephesians 2:10 in the Amplified Bible says:

“For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].”

If for no other reason. . .we should experience the good life. . .because God planned for us to do so.

Take a moment and really get that thought to go deep. It is a life-changing revelation if you really get it.  God already ordained a good life for you.

Jeremiah 29:11 in the New International Version says:

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, `plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”

Here are 7 things God wants that are good for you in this one verse:

First, He already had plans for you from the very beginning.

Second, God’s plan was always to bring prosperity to you.

Third, God never included plans harmful to you in any way.

Fourth, God plans always included hope in your life. You might add: in spite of what it looks like at the moment.

Fifth, God plans always included a future.

Sixth, God knows what He’s doing when it comes to you.

Seventh, God will not only give you a future He will give you the one you hoped for.

Yes, like Jeremiah 29:11 says. . .God has it all planned out for us but we have a part to play in whether or not the good life manifests for us.

Proverbs 10:16 in the Contemporary English Version says:

“If you live right, the reward is a good life; if you are evil, all you have is sin.”

Let’s see. . .live right. . .our reward is the good life. . .that’s a no-brainer, win-win decision.

Deuteronomy 4:39 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Know, recognize, and understand therefore this day and turn your [mind and] heart to it that the Lord is God in the heavens above and upon the earth beneath; there is no other.”

According to Strong’s Concordance the Hebrew word for know is (ya dae) (H3045) and it means:

“learn to know, perceive, acknowledge, confess, to know carnally”

To know . . . means you have an intimate knowledge not a passing interest.

I was blessed by the clarity that the Message Bible brought to Deuteronomy 4:39 which says:

“Know this well, then. Take it to heart right now: God is in Heaven above; God is on Earth below. He's the only God there is. Obediently live by his rules and commands which I'm giving you today so that you'll live well and your children after you—oh, you'll live a long time in the land that God, your God, is giving you.”

Without question God wants us to know Him well . . . to take seriously what He says . . .  to live by His rules and commands on a daily basis.  When we obey His instructions, then we are promised a long life.

2.       Praying for others leads to the good life.

1 Samuel 12:23 in the Easy To Read Version says:

“And as for me, I would never stop praying for you. If I stopped praying for you, I would be sinning against the Lord. I will continue to teach you the right way to live a good life.”

I’d say that’s pretty clear. . .if we don’t pray for others. . .then we’re sinning.  However, when we do pray for others. . .there is a great reward.

Job 42:10 in the Amplified Bible says:

“And the Lord turned the captivity of Job and restored his fortunes, when he prayed for his friends; also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”

The Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.  Job was a multi-millionaire before. . .just think of how wealthy he became afterwards.

It’s interesting to note that Job 42:11 begins with the word “then” which means that after God gave Job twice as much as he had before. . .God caused still other blessings to come his way.

Job 42:11 in the Amplified Bible says:

Then there came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they sympathized with him and comforted him over all the [distressing] calamities that the Lord had brought upon him. Every man also gave him a piece of money, and every man an earring of gold.”

Next, Job’s latter life was also blessed.  In fact, Job 42:12 in the English Standard Version says:

“And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys.”

According to today’s market prices. . .these animals mentioned in this verse would have a market value of between $30 and $40 million dollars.

Though it’s not said in scripture . . . I’ve always believed Job had a transport business hauling cargo and goods to the various cities and trading postsWhy else would he need 6, 000 camels, 1,000 oxen and 1,000 donkeys?

Just a thought.

Notice verse 12 begins with the phrase “And the Lord blessed. . .”  It doesn’t say Job got these animals because of the gifts of his friends.  It says the Lord blessed Him.

The fourth thing God gave Job was the most valuable gift of all to any person and especially to any healthy and wealthy entrepreneur. . . time.

Job 42:16 says:

“After this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his sons' sons, even to four generations.”

Notice the verse says “after this.”  Meaning after all that Job had gone through including the more than double restoration of all he had. . .Job got to live an extra 140 years to enjoy all he had.

Wow, talk about the good life!

3.       The wisdom to obey His instructions leads to the good life.

James 3:13 in the Good News Translation says:

“[The Wisdom from Above ] Are there any of you who are wise and understanding? You are to prove it by your good life, by your good deeds performed with humility and wisdom.”

How do we prove that we’re wise and have understanding . . . by doing good deeds for others.

Proverbs 3:16-17 in The Living Bible says:

“Wisdom gives: a long, good life, riches, honor, pleasure, peace.”

If we ever needed any motivation to seek wisdom. . .this verse gives it.

Proverbs 19:8 in the Message Bible says:

“Grow a wise heart—you’ll do yourself a favor; keep a clear head—you’ll find a good life.”

I do feel impressed to point out that knowledge leads to wisdom.

Hosea 4:6 says:

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.  Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me…. “

Knowledge is knowing and wisdom is putting the knowledge into practice to help you succeedGod wants His people walking in knowledge and wisdom.

James 1:5 in the Amplified Bible says:

“If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.”

Wisdom leads to obedience to The Word of God.

Proverbs 4:4 in the Easy To Read Version says:

“My father taught me this: “Pay attention to what I say. Obey my commands and you will have a good life.”

Proverbs 7:2 in the Easy To Read Version says:

“Consider my teaching as precious as your own eyes. Obey my commands, and you will have a good life.”

Deuteronomy 11:9 in The Living Bible says:

“If you obey the commandments, you will have a long and good life in the land the Lord promised to your ancestors and to you, their descendants—a wonderful land ‘flowing with milk and honey’!”

Proverbs 4:10 in The Living Bible says:

“My son, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life.”

Living a life of righteousness will lead to the good life.

Deuteronomy 5:32 in the Message Bible says:

“So be very careful to act exactly as God commands you. Don't veer off to the right or the left. Walk straight down the road God commands so that you'll have a good life and live a long time in the land that you're about to possess.”

By obedience we honor the Lord. . .which leads to the good life.

Proverbs 19:23 in the Easy To Read Version says:

“Respect the Lord and you will have a good life, one that is satisfying and free from trouble.”

Proverbs 10:27 in The Living Bible says:

“Reverence for God adds hours to each day; so how can the wicked expect a long, good life?”

Rewards come to those who honor the Lord.

Deuteronomy 6:3 in the Message Bible says:

“Listen obediently, Israel. Do what you’re told so that you’ll have a good life, a life of abundance and bounty, just as God promised, in a land abounding in milk and honey.”

4.       Honor and integrity lead to the good life.

The only one of the Ten Commandments to have a promise attached is the one commanding us to honor our father and mother. 

Exodus 20:12 in The Living Bible says:

“Honor your father and mother, that you may have a long, good life in the land the Lord your God will give you.”

By the way, this scripture doesn’t say. . .honor your father and mother. . .if they’re good people. . .if they live the kind of life you think they should. . .if they buy you a new iPhone or a new car when you turn 16.

The commandment says to honor your Mom and Dad so that you may live a long time on the earth.  The promise is for your benefit not theirs.

It’s also important that you honor your spouse. . .if you’re married.

Proverbs 18:22 in the Message Bible says:

“Find a good spouse, you find a good life— and even more: the favor of God!”

This verse in my personalized Bible reads like this.

“When Harold found Bev he found a good thing and received favor from the Lord.”

Honor is an important character trait but so is integrity.

Integrity in our business dealings also leads to the good life.

Deuteronomy 25:13-15 in The Living Bible says:

“In all your transactions you must use accurate scales and honest measurements, so that you will have a long, good life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

Proverbs 20:23 in the Message Bible translation says:

“God hates cheating in the marketplace; rigged scales are an outrage.”

Honesty in the marketplace is also mentioned in Proverbs 11:1 in the Amplified Bible:

“A FALSE balance and unrighteous dealings are extremely offensive and shamefully sinful to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight.”

5.       Watching your words will lead to a good life.

Psalm 34:12-13 in The Living Bible says:

“Do you want a long, good life?  Then watch your tongue!  Keep your lips from lying.”

1 Peter 3:10 in The Living Bible says:

“If you want a happy, good life, keep control of your tongue, and guard your lips from telling lies.”

Now let’s look at Isaiah 55:11 in the Amplified Bible which says:

“So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

The words coming out of your mouth will not be lost, wasted, empty or without success when you are quoting the Word of God.

The spoken Word cannot be stopped, changed, deleted, erased, short-circuited or come back empty handed.  Not only that. . .the Word has the ability to make something out of nothing.

The Message Bible translation of Isaiah 55:11 says:

“So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They'll do the work I sent them to do, they'll complete the assignment I gave them.”

6.       Sacrifice leads to the good life.

1 Peter 2:24 in King James Version says:

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

I have heard some of the greatest preachers to ever draw a breath preach 1 Peter 2:24 with insight, passion and unparalleled anointing.

I feel led to focus briefly on the part of the verse that says “. . . should live unto righteousness.” Truthfully, it ignited in my spirit so I looked up the word righteousness in the Strong’s Concordance and found that it’s the Greek word  dikaiosynÄ“ (day kay ah sue nay) (G1343) which means:

“(1) in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God: integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting.”

That’s when I saw it . . . righteousness is the “state of him who is as he ought to be.”

How “ought” we to be?

We ought to be dead to sin . . . so we can have “correctness of thinking, feeling and acting.”

That’s when we’ll experience the good life.  1 Peter 2:24 in The Living Bible says:    

“He personally carried the load of our sins in his own body when he died on the cross so that we can be finished with sin and live a good life from now on. For his wounds have healed ours!”

When we’re dead to sin. . .we move in an intimacy with God provides the power needed for a good life.

2 Peter 1:3 in The Living Bible says:

“For as you know him better, he will give you, through his great power, everything you need for living a truly good life: he even shares his own glory and his own goodness with us!”

I love my fine wife Bev. . .we’ve been married 44 years 6 months 21 days as of today but if I only spent two hours with her on Sunday mornings and an hour on Wednesday night ,we wouldn’t have much of a relationship. . .there would be no intimacy.

I must be aware of and in her presence to know her better.

Isaiah 26:9 in the New Living Translation says:

“All night long I search for you; in the morning I earnestly seek for God. For only when you come to judge the earth will people learn what is right.”

We’re to begin each new day seeking His Presence. . .determining His will for our lives for that day.

Proverbs 8:32 in the Message Bible says:

“So, my dear friends, listen carefully; those who embrace these my ways are most blessed. Mark a life of discipline and live wisely; don't squander your precious life. Blessed the man, blessed the woman, who listens to me, awake and ready for me each morning, alert and responsive as I start my day's work. When you find me, you find life, real life, to say nothing of God's good pleasure. But if you wrong me, you damage your very soul; when you reject me, you're flirting with death."

7.     The good life is not complete without joy … 

Hebrews 12:2 in the New King James Version says:

“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Joy is the most valuable commodity on planet earth.

God’s reward for Jesus’ enduring the cross was joy. Joy is that valuable!

The good life will be … rich and satisfying … and full of joy.

 John 10:10 in the New Living Translation says:

“… My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life”.

John 15:11 in the New King James Version says:

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

John 16:24 in the New King James Version say:

“Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full”.

No question. . .God wants you experiencing the good life.

Here are three great quotes about the good life.

Zig Ziglar, the author and Southern Baptist lay leader, once said:

“Just saying you are better than good won't make it so. But, when you understand what it takes to live the better-than-good life, and you apply yourself, your life will truly be better than good.”

Barbara Mandrell, the country and western singer, once said:

“I realize we're not promised tomorrow. Believe me, I realize that. But if God blesses me and lets me stay, I love my life so much, it is such a good life. I am eager to throw myself at His feet, but I don't want to get on the first busload that is going.”

Someone once said:

“There are three ingredients in the good life: learning, earning and yearning.”

As Christians, we can interpret that as:

Learning more about Him daily

Earning His respect by how we represent Him

And yearning to always become better at it.