Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever. For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off; the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever. The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just. The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip.
The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, seeking their very lives; but the LORD will not leave them in their power or let them be condemned when brought to trial. Wait for the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it. I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a green tree in its native soil, but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found.
Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace. But all sinners will be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be cut off. The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
There are great rewards in being honest. First, you only have to remember one version of events. Second you save an incredible amount of energy that would otherwise be spent worrying that you’ll be caught. That energy can be put to productive use. And third, even in this age of Grace, the Lord finds extra blessings to shower on those whose ways are pleasing to Him. It’s rarely discussed in the Church today, but God’s laws never expired, nor were they revoked. Our Lord’s death paid the penalty for our violations, but didn’t render the law obsolete. There’s still great blessing to be found in obeying His Laws because now we do it out of gratitude, not in a futile attempt to earn His favor. The Old Testament said, “Obey the Lord or face condemnation.” The New Testament says, “Obey the Lord because you’ve escaped condemnation.” It’s an attitude of gratitude that drives us today, and what better way to demonstrate our gratitude than to behave in a way that pleases our Benefactor?
“When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies live at peace with him,” Prov. 16:7 promises. A reward for righteousness is peace. Peace at home and peace in the workplace. You can experience this peace today. Forgive those who’ve wronged you. Ask forgiveness from those you’ve wronged. Make a valiant effort to live in a way that pleases God, and when you fall short seek forgiveness from Him. He’ll always grant it without delay and without condition. You won’t have to wait till you’re all done and cleaned up to begin feeling this peace. The moment you ask forgiveness, you’ll notice the weight being lifted off your shoulders.
In the Old Testament the traditional Hebrew greeting was, “Shalom,” peace. In the New Testament the Greek word Charis was added. Grace. The greeting became, “Charis Shalom;” Grace and Peace. Because of the grace of God that takes away all our sins, we can have the peace of God in a way never before possible. It’s there for the taking, what are you waiting for?