A Life of Marriage Prep

The best time to prepare for marriage is before you get married. It is a God given desire for a young lady to want to get married. However, the more you are prepared for marriage the easier it will be for you. The seeds that you sow before you get married determines the fruit that you reap after you are married. You will reap either good fruit or bad fruit.

Galatians 6:7-10 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

Do not use the flesh to attract a man because then you will seek to use your flesh to keep him. This will bring great insecurity to you because a man’s eyes are never satisfied.

Proverbs 27:20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.

However, it is important to do your best to look your best because man does look on the outward appearance.

I Samuel 16:7 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 God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

However, you want the inner beauty of the Lord to be greater than any outward appearance. Your outward appearance is decaying but the inner man is being renewed day by day.

II Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

The Lord will strengthen you through His Spirit in the inner man to become a godly woman who fears the Lord. You must learn to walk in the Spirit on a daily moment by moment basis. This is the greatest preparation for marriage.

Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

A man will never fulfill you or make you happy. The sooner you learn this lesson the happier you will be. Young ladies have a tendency to live in the “if” or “when ” world. “If I were …” or “if I had …” or “when I …” and the truth of the matter is that the “if” and “when” does not change the contentment of your soul. You must learn to be content in Jesus Christ. He must be your desire. The more you learn to be content in Him then the more content you will be in whatever state He has you, whether married or single.

Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.

Contentment, gratefulness and joy all go together. The greatest gift that you can give to yourself and to others and especially to the man you marry is an attitude of gratitude. No one likes to be around a complainer or someone who is never happy. Someone once said that an unhappy wife is a public rebuke to her husband. Cultivate a grateful spirit and begin now by expressing thanks to your parents and those who have helped you in life. Not only do you quench the Spirit when you do not give thanks but you will quench your husband’s spirit and what he once wanted to do for you he will no longer do because it isn’t “exactly the way you like it”.

Ephesians 5:16-19 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit;

Learn to compliment a man. A man longs for praise. The Lord made him this way and most men are starved for praise and they will gravitate to the people who praise them. This is crucial because the Lord made a man to conquer and he needs the praise of his wife to go out and conquer the world in his job. Also, if you do not praise him then other women will. Even if you do praise him other women will still do it. This is one of the ways that an immoral woman gets a man to commit adultery. She flatters him with her tongue. He does not know that it is flattery and the aim of flattery is to manipulate so you want to make sure that he is filled with your praises if you are his wife. Learn now to praise. You can begin by learning to praise your brothers and your brothers in Christ. Look for Christlikeness and then point it out to him how you see the Lord in him.

Proverbs 2:16 To deliver you from the strange woman, From the adulteress who flatters with her words;

Learn to dress in a modest manner so that a godly man will be attracted to you. If you dress in such a way that stimulates a man by stirring up desires that can not be fulfilled righteously then you are a stumbling block. Why should the Lord give you to a godly man who is seeking Him. No, rather, if you dress in a provocative manner then a man who is “all about himself” will be drawn to you and since you dressed in a deceptive manner you will be the one who will end up being deceived. He will deceive you into you believing that he actually cares for you when he does not care for you but loves himself.

Proverbs 23:6,7 Do not eat the bread of a selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;
For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.

Finally, do dress in a modest manner, as is fitting for one who seeks to please the Lord. Learn to fear the Lord and obey Him. Honor you parents, as the Lord has commanded. If you do not honor your parents then you will struggle with honoring and respecting your husband. The Lord gives the woman to the man, not the man to the woman. You need to ask yourself if you want to serve, desire, submit to and respect a man and consider him more important than yourself. If you are not ready for that then ask the Lord to help you and go to older women who have a good marriage and ask them to teach you. Marriage can be a sweet fellowship and relationship between a man and a woman if it is done God’s way. It is supposed to be a picture of Christ and the church. Just as Christ died for the church, the husband is the love His wife in a sacrificial way and be willing to die for her. In the same way, a wife is to live for her husband (as the church is to live for Christ) and the way that she learns to serve and love Him in this Christlike manner is to die to herself. Marriage is a dying of two selves so that the Lord can raise up one (in body, soul and spirit) to glorify Him.

Ephesians 5:31-33 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

It is a mystery but it is a beautiful mystery and the most intimate relationship on earth when done God’s way. To love and be loved is what we all long for but it is only when we are surrendered to the Lord and learn His ways will we ever know what it means to live in intimate fellowship in marriage.

 

 

A Life with Love Asks Where

When Adam and Eve sinned the Lord did not express any anger with them. He did not take it personally. He did not do anything wrong but it was Adam and Eve that had done wrong. The Lord asked questions. This is a great example of how a parent should be.

But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2

A king is a picture of one who is in authority and responsible for those under him. If you are in a leadership position over someone then you need to ask questions and seek out the matter when someone has done wrong. Don’t ignore it, hoping that it will go away. It will only get worse.

Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:9

The Lord has called parents to teach their children the ways of the Lord. Parents need to know where their child is spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. If they don’t know then they need to ask questions. “Where are you?” is a great beginning. When the child knows the parent cares where they are then the child will care where they go.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; Psalm 127:4

It is the responsibility of the parent to send their child out. How an arrow flies is determined by the archer and the character of the arrow. A wise parent knows how far their child is ready to go and a good parent also knows the character of their child. Every child has their own unique strengths and weaknesses and so that particular child may not be ready for a certain challenging situation whereas another child would not be tempted and fail. If you know where your child is then you know where your child can go. A wise parent sets their child up for success.

Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance. So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house. The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, “I am pregnant.” II Samuel 11:1-5

Loyalty and faithfulness are some of the most important character qualities and they are more easily developed in a child when he is young. King David got into trouble and sinned because he was not where he was supposed to be at the appointed time. It was time for the kings to be out to battle. David did not go. The spring was the rainy season and it would have been more comfortable to stay at home where it was warm and dry. A parent must model and teach loyalty and faithfulness through their own actions.

He who pursues righteousness and loyalty finds life, righteousness and honor. Proverbs 21:21

When you teach your child to do what is right, to be faithful to where they should be and to be loyal to those whom the Lord has put them under then you are setting them up to be successful, to live life to the fullest and to receive honor.

Loyalty and truth preserve the king, And he upholds his throne by righteousness. Proverbs 20:28

A parent is equipping their child to be a leader when that parent teaches the child truth and loyalty to living out the truth.

For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice,
And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant;
There they have dealt treacherously against Me. Hosea 6:6,7

The Lord delights in the loyalty of His people rather than in their religious traditions and rituals. Adam was not loyal to the Lord when he sinned and did not obey the command of the Lord. Disloyalty will bring more heartache, sorrow and regret than one can imagine. Many a son or daughter has gotten in trouble just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. A parent needs to know where their child is all of the time. If a child can not be trusted and “might” do something that would bring greater destruction then a wise parent will create boundaries for their child’s good until their character is formed and they can be trusted. It is the responsibility of the parent to bring the arrow back and work on the character of the arrow so that the arrow will fly straight.

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, Genesis 3:22,23a

The Lord God could no longer trust Adam and Eve since they had disobeyed. He knew that since they ate of the one tree then they “might” eat of the tree of life and if they did eat of the tree of life then they would live forever in their sinful state and forever be separated from God. It was God’s love for them that created this new boundary to protect them from further grief.

A Life that Is Nourished and Fed

Jesus Himself said that “man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”. Man does need far more than physical food. We need spiritual food to nourish our soul and spirit.

Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”

Jesus was validating the Bible as the Word of God when He quoted this Scripture. All Scripture is inspired by God. This means that it is God breathed and that the Lord breathed His Words into the men that He called to record what they had seen and heard.

II Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

God’s Word is profitable. If we do not know His Word then we will be mistaken about certain things.

Matthew 22:29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.

If you are a Christian then you need to know God’s Word. It is your life because Jesus and the Word of God are equal because the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The Lord will open your mind to understand the Word. If you are seeking Him you will find Him through His Word.

Luke 24:45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

The Word testifies to who Jesus is…the only begotten Son of God who came forth from God and dwelt among man. He always has been and always will be. He is God Himself. He died and rose again and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus is all through the Bible, from the beginning to the end.

Luke 24:27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

However, you must have a hunger for the Word of God. You can not make someone eat if they are not hungry. Just as physically there are things that increase our appetite and there are things that decrease our appetite. If you obey the Word that the Lord has given you then you will want more. If you have not obeyed the Lord in what He has spoken to you about then you will not want more. If there is known sin in your life it will diminish your hunger for His Word.

I Peter 2:1-3 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

His Word is sweet and it is good for you. Living by faith according to His Word is living in the promised land. It is a life of milk and honey. You will thrive spiritually if you consistently feed on His Word. You will be a defeated Christian if you do not stay in His Word.

James 1:21.22 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

Put aside all that is impure and displeasing to the Lord. It is filthiness and wickedness. Don’t minimize what you see or hear. Put it aside so that you may long for His sweet Words. They will save your soul and you will find great delight and comfort in your life. He will come to you as He said that if you draw near to Him that He will draw near to you.

Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.

If you have never known the sweetness of abiding in His presence and His presence abiding in you then now is a great time to start. The Lord is good and His Words are good. You will be glad if you feast on His Words and you will be satisfied.

 

A Life with Love Restores

Love seeks restoration of the relationship and reconciliation between those in the relationship. When Adam and Eve sinned and the fellowship with God was broken the Lord immediately began seeking restoration by promising a provision to allow them to be reconciled to Him. The seed which would come through the woman would be the Messiah who would bring restoration. This is the first promise concerning Jesus Christ.

The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
Cursed are you more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you will go,
And dust you will eat
All the days of your life;
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.” Genesis 3:14,15

Love continues to love even when the one who loves has been wronged. God’s love did not change for Adam and Eve. Love is creative and seeks another solution to the brokenness so that the relationship may be restored. God would one day send His only begotten Son so that man could be reconciled to God.

And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:11

Jesus Christ came to reconcile us to God and to restore the broken relationship caused by sin. Love seeks reconciliation not justice. When someone wants justice then they want someone to pay for their wrongdoings. If there is love in a relationship then the one who has been wronged will want reconciliation and restoration. The Lord does not reward us according to our sins.

He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. Psalm 103:10

When Adam and Eve sinned they had to die because the Lord said that would be the consequence of their disobedience. He had to be faithful to His Word just as a parent needs to be faithful when they are disciplining a child to enforce the consequences, otherwise, the child will not respect the parent.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16,17

However, He showed them mercy in clothing them and providing for them. Love continues to love even if there are consequences. Love does not give up. The Lord did not give up on Adam and Eve. He loved them and love does not deal with us according to our sins or reward us according to our iniquities.

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21

In all relationships there comes a time when someone is hurt, either intentionally or unintentionally. We are all sinners and eventually we will hurt the ones we love. To hurt someone is to cause grief to another. One of the meanings of the word “evil” is to cause grief. The only time in the Bible when the Lord says to “never” do something in the command form is when He says to “never return evil for evil” or He says the same thing in another way, “never take your own revenge”.

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, Romans 12:17-19a

If you want to have a great marriage and a great life then apply this truth to your life. It takes two people for a marriage to fail. Both people are always at fault when a marriage fails. There is no innocent person. If you never return grief when you are hurt then you will receive a blessing. It is not a blessing if your marriage fails for it will only bring more sorrow and shame. It is not God’s design for any marriage to end in divorce.

To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. I Peter 3:8,9

The Lord will bless you and He will hear your prayers. The Lord will fight for you to keep your marriage together and He will deal with the one who is causing the grief.

For, “The one who desires life, to love and see good days,
Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.
“He must turn away from evil and do good;
He must seek peace and pursue it.
“For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous,
And His ears attend to their prayer,
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” I Peter 3:10-12

Do you want to truly live? Do you want to find love and keep love in your life? Do you want to see good days that are filled with much joy, great peace, harmony and much love? Then keep your tongue from evil and your lips from being deceitful. Turn away from evil. Do not hurt those who hurt you but seek to be a blessing to them. Do good when it is in your power to do it. Seek peace and pursue it.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

When you live according to God’s ways then you will be like God and you will be called a child of God for He Himself is kind to evil and ungrateful people.

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Luke 6:35

A Life that is Single but…

Nearly every young lady wants to get married. That is the way that the Lord designed for His creation to function. The Bible says that woman was made for man. This actually is an incredible privilege and very fulfilling when it is done God’s way.

I Corinthians 11:8,9 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.

This is not the way of the world but it is God’s way. God’s way is wisdom but man’s way is foolishness. God’s way will seem like foolishness to the world but we see the fruit of man’s way with many failed marriages. A wife is also man’s reward.

Ecclesiastes 9:9 Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.

When it is done God’s way then the husband will be intoxicated with the love of his wife. He will cherish her and love her because she is his, not as property, but as his fellow heir in Christ, as his beloved.

Proverbs 5:18,19 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.
As a loving hind and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be exhilarated always with her love.

A wife belongs to her husband and longs for him even as we are to long for Jesus since we are His bride. We are Christ’s beloved bride who is loved by Him. A marriage is the most beautiful picture of Jesus Christ and the church, which is His bride.

I Peter 3:7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

However, before a young lady gets married she needs to understand the right way to relate to a young man. There are four things she should not do. She should not initiate, manipulate, speculate nor expect. The man is to pursue the lady and she needs to wait on the Lord. She certainly needs to make herself as attractive as possible, not only physically but spiritually. The Lord brought Eve to Adam and the Lord can still bring you to the one that He has planned for you. He does not need your help in initiating and manipulating. If you do these actions then you will never know if your husband was a gift from the Lord. You will wonder if you did not bring it about and you might doubt during the hard times in marriage. You need to have the assurance that your husband was God’s idea and not yours. If you manipulate then you are just plainly not trusting the Lord but taking matters into your own hands. You will regret this also, just as Sarah regretted manipulating Abraham to have a child by Hagar. An immoral woman initiates. Not that everyone who initiates is immoral but it is not God’s way.

Proverbs 7:10-15 And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.
She is boisterous and rebellious,
Her feet do not remain at home;
She is now in the streets, now in the squares,
And lurks by every corner.
So she seizes him and kisses him
And with a brazen face she says to him:
“I was due to offer peace offerings;
Today I have paid my vows.
“Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.

A young lady should not speculate about young men whether he is the one or not and her decision to spend time with him should not be based on her speculations whether he is someone who she would be “interested in”. She should spend time with him if he loves Jesus and has a heart for the Lord. A young lady is known by the types of young men that she spends time with and so it is a message to other young men what kind of men you are attracted to and who you spend time with fellowshiping.

II Corinthians 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

The relationship should be one of brother and sister. The Bible never talks about “dating” relationships. If he wants to pursue her and she knows that she does not want any more than to be friends then she needs to be sure that she is not leading him on to believe that there is more there than there is. A man takes his cue from her response. The best way to know if a guy has a heart for the Lord is to see how he is in a group of strong Christian young men. A man can see through a man just as often a woman can see through a woman. Also, it is good for the young man to meet your father once he starts talking about being interested in you or is very obvious in calling you, etc. (You should not call him. Again, that is initiating.)

II Corinthians 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

Also, she should not allow any young man to touch her, even holding hands. Touch is special to a young lady and it changes the relationship. Only do with a young man what you would do with your brother because that is who this young man is…your brother in Christ.

I Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman.

The word “good” in the verse means in the original, the highest form of love. It is the highest expression of love that a young man would have for a lady, that is, to wait to touch her until he has committed his life to her in marriage. A man appreciates what he waits for and you can almost guarantee that he will treat her always like a lady, even after they have been married for fifty years. This kind of relationship is the type that will endure for fifty years. So, if you want a true and enduring love in your marriage then wait for the affection.

Proverbs 30:18,19 There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
Four which I do not understand:
The way of an eagle in the sky,
The way of a serpent on a rock,
The way of a ship in the middle of the sea,
And the way of a man with a maid.

A relationship done God’s way is wonderful and beyond our understanding. It is a picture of God’s love when done right for He pursued us. A relationship done right is a shining light to the whole world because all of us long to be loved and especially in an unconditional manner. The husband is the lover and the pursuer. He is the leader and the wife is the responder. He is the strong one and she is the weaker vessel because he is to protect her and provide for her. He is to cherish her and even be willing to die for her. Is this kind of relationship possible? Yes, and it is too wonderful to understand and the Lord wants to give it to every young lady but it is a gift from Him and you must learn His ways, otherwise you will cause damage to one of His precious sons and you will bring destruction to yourself.

 

 

 

A Life with Love Does Not Keep Accounts

Love does not keep an account of the wrong done nor does love reward according to our wrongs. When Adam and Eve sinned the Lord could have turned His back on them. He made it clear to them that they were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and yet, they went against Him and ate. The first consequence of their sin was that they were naked. This nakedness was different than the earlier nakedness of before they sinned. Before they sinned they were clothed with God’s glory and His light. They were not ashamed. After they sinned they were ashamed because of their nakedness. Even in their sinful, vulnerable state the Lord provided for them.

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21

Even then after Adam and Eve sinned the Lord began covering their shame. Love seeks to give grace and does not want to see disgrace or shame happen to another, even when they have done wrong. When Joseph thought Mary had done him wrong by being unfaithful the Bible says that Joseph was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her. Love covers shame rather than make another’s shame known to others.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. Matthew 1:18,19

Love does not repeat sins to either the one who sinned or to others. Love forgives.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. I Corinthians 13:4-7

Especially in relationships, repeating a wrong will destroy the relationship and any intimacy that is there. We have all sinned and no one wants to be reminded of their failures.

He who conceals a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends. Proverbs 17:9

When someone turns to the Lord He says that He separates their sins from them as far as the east is from the west. Since the east and west never meet then we will never have to meet up with our sins if we have trusted in the blood of Jesus Christ to forgive us and cleanse us from our sin.

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12

As the Lord has forgiven us we are to forgive others. Only one who has experienced the love and forgiveness of God can live this way. There is no sweeter life than to be free from remembering the sins of others and having the power to forgive others as we have been forgiven. If He forgives and never brings up our sins again then we also ought to do the same with others. Love forgives and does not keep an account of wrongs suffered.

A Life with Evidence

If you were to go to court for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you? What are the evidences that would convict you of being a Christian? Often people want to know how to know for sure that they are a Christian, in other words, what are the evidences or how can you know for sure. Great question and the Lord says that we can know without a doubt.

I John 5:10-13 The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for their sins and rose again that they might have eternal life in born again and comes into the life of Christ and the life of Christ comes into Him through the Holy Spirit. If you have received the Holy Spirit through believing in the Lord Jesus Christ then you can know that you have eternal life. He who has the Son has the life and he who does not have Jesus Christ does not have the life.

Romans 8:The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

The Holy Spirit whom you receive when you become a Christian dwells in you and He will give life to your mortal body. Just as the Spirit raised Jesus from the dead, He also will raise you from the dead.

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

If you are a Christian then you will want to do what is right. You may not always know what is right but you want to please the One who died and lives again for you, Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior. Also, you will want to be with Christians and you will want to love them. If you still want to be with your nonChristian friends more than your new Christian friends then you need to question whether you are a Christian.

I john 3:10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

When you do what is wrong you not only grieve the Holy Spirit but you also are grieved because you love Him. If it does not bother you to sin, then again, you need to ask yourself if you really have been born again.

Ephesians 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

You will have a hunger for the Word of God. Just as a baby that is born into this world will cry for food and will continue to cry until the baby is fed, so you too, if you have become a Christian then you will long for the Word of God. Hunger is a sign of life. If there is not a hunger for the Word of God then you need to ask yourself if you have really tasted the kindness of the Lord and that the life of Christ in you.

I Peter 2:2,3 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

You will want to become like Jesus Christ. You will be willing to suffer for His name sake as well as desiring to experience all the fullness of His blessings and the riches that are ours in Christ. Your hope will be fixed on Him and on Him alone.

I John 3:2,3 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Let us therefore, if we belong to Him, “run with endurance the race that is set before us fixing our eyes on Jesus”. Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame for the joy set before Him.

Hebrews 12:1,2 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We too will be filled with great joy if we endure to the end. The Lord says that those who endure to the end will be saved.

Hebrews 10:36-39 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while,
He who is coming will come, and will not delay. But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

If you belong to Him then you are blessed. May you also bless the Lord by bringing Him great pleasure. Don’t shrink back. Even when it gets hard look to Him and He will strengthen you. Stay in His Word. Nourish your spirit. Ask Christians to pray for you. The Lord never said that it would be easy but He did say that it will be worth it. Keep praying that you may not enter into temptation but that you may be faithful to the end. He is coming and He will not delay.

A Life with Love Pays a Price

When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden then they brought a curse on themselves. The curse was the consequence of their disobedience and if they will not fight it but submit to the new boundary, which the curse brought, then it would keep them from sinning some more which would bring even more curses. Sin brings a curse. To be set free from the curse someone else had to take the curse that Adam and Eve brought on themselves by their own sin.

To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”

Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;

Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:16-19

All of us have sinned against God by not obeying His voice and keeping His Law. All of us have received what we deserve and that is the curse of sin and death.

Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him. Daniel 9:11

Jesus Christ paid the price to redeem us from the curse of the Law and of sin and death. He who did no wrong became sin for us that He might set us free from the power of sin and the fear of death.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— Galatians 3:13

Jesus Christ redeemed us with His blood through His death on a cross.

knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

I Peter 1:18,19

We are under the curse that God gave to Adam and Eve until Jesus Christ returns to rule on earth and those who know Him will rule with Him. The Lord gives grace to the wife to allow her husband to rule over her and to bear children in pain. The Lord gives the man grace to work and toil even though there are weeds in every field of work. If man and woman will not complain but thank the Lord for the reminder of the consequences of sin then they will receive a blessing. It is humbling for a wife to allow her husband to rule over her and it is humbling for a man to work with the weeds. This humbling though keeps them looking to the Lord who loves them and is a present help in time of trouble. It is when we rebel against the boundaries that the Lord has put in our life that makes our life difficult. One day we will be set free from these curses. Until then we must learn to trust and obey the Lord.

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:1-5

The Lord invites all to come to Him and to come into a relationship with Him. If any are enslaved to sin or are afraid of death then let him come to Jesus Christ who is life and Jesus Christ will come into their life and fellowship with them. Those who overcome through Christ will reign with Him in the age to come. We come by faith, trusting in His Word and His promises. He said He is coming back. Once He comes back it will be too late to come to Him. We come by faith now.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Revelation 3:20,21

A Life that Forgives

There are certain commands that carry much greater weight than others and the command to forgive seems to be one of the most important. A lack of forgiveness brings about one of the worse consequences that is mentioned in the Bible. The Lord said that if you do not forgive others then your sins will not be forgiven you.

Matthew 5:14,15 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Forgiveness also brings a great blessing from the Lord because He says that if you forgive others then your sins will be forgiven you. We are all sinners who have sinned greatly against the Lord and we desperately need forgiveness from God, the Father. In the same way, we need to desperately forgive others of their sins. You receive what you give away and what you withhold will be withheld from you.

Mark 11:25,26 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”

The meaning of evil is to cause grief. It is hard to forgive when someone has caused us grief and especially great grief. However, when we see what a great debt that we have toward the Lord and the great grief that we have caused Him then we lean more toward forgiving. However, forgiving is impossible apart from the Lord. He has given you forgiveness and this is the forgiveness that you offer to others. Jesus has forgiven you and Jesus has forgiven them. We can only forgive by the power of the Holy Spirit.

John 20:22,23 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

We forgive by faith, in the power of the Holy Spirit in obedience to Him, not by feeling. Our flesh will never want to forgive and does not have the power to do so.

Romans 8:6-8 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

When you forgive then the Lord releases you from the bitterness and resentment of unforgiveness. You actually are the one who is set free. The person does not have to even be aware of their wrong towards you and they do not have to be sorry for what they did. If they are sorry and repentant then that is wonderful but it is not a prerequisite to you forgiving them. Healing for you comes after forgiveness. There is no pain so great that the Lord can not heal but first you must forgive. He does not hold your sin against you because He has forgiven you. Forgiveness is the promise never to bring it up again. How many times are we to forgive? That is a great question and Jesus answered it for us.

Matthew 18:21,22 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Forgiveness is so important that the Lord told a parable about forgiveness to allow His hearers to understand more clearly what He was saying about forgiveness.

Matthew 18:23-35 For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

He who has ears to hear, let him hear. A day of accounting is coming and it will be too late to settle your accounts with your fellow man. For this reason it is of utmost importance to “keep your accounts up to date”. God declared the man wicked in this story because of his unwillingness to forgive someone else and therefore all of this wicked person’s sins were still on his account and were not wiped out and forgiven. Forgiveness is a matter of the will. It is letting it go and giving it to the Lord. You can’t, He never said you could, He can, He always said He would. Give the matter to the Lord and He will forgive that person through you by the power of His Holy Spirit. As long as you have unforgiveness in your heart then you are in a prison. However, you can settle the account with that person who owes you through your forgiveness by forgiving him. It is after this that you will be released from your prison.

Luke 7:47,48 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”  Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”

Did Jesus offer forgiveness to you? Yes, He did. Go and do likewise that you too may hear the words, “Your sins have been forgiven”.  Forgiveness begins with the prayer, “Lord, I forgive _________. Please forgive me of my unforgiveness and by faith I have forgiven _________. Then you will love much because you too will see how great a debt that you were forgiven by our Lord. Your slate will be wiped clean. You may have to forgive over and over again because the devil might continue to bring it up again but the devil hates to see you forgive and call on the Lord so he will quit bringing it up to you. It is hard to believe when you are in the pain but healing will come and the Lord will truly make something beautiful our of your life.

 

 

A Life with Love Hears Voice of Love

When Adam and Eve lived in the garden before they sinned they heard God’s voice. It was the voice of comfort and the voice of a loving God who cared for them. They exchanged the voice of a loving God to hear the voices of their own accusations. When the love is gone in relationships then blame and accusations come in. Where there is sin there will also be blame and accusations.

And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Genesis 3:11,12

Confession and repentance is taking the blame of one’s own sin. No one can make us sin. Adam sinned on his own. Eve did not make him sin. He knew that what he was doing was wrong.

And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. I Timothy 2:14

When we know the right thing to do and we do not do it then we have sinned. Adam knew the right thing to do but he did not do it.

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17

Sin blocks us from hearing God’s voice. Sin blocks us from knowing God’s presence. Sin blocks us from experiencing God’s love. It was not until our sin was taken away that we could once again hear God’s voice, know His presence and experience His love.

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

Those who receive Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, have their sin taken away and are no longer separated from God. They can hear His voice, know His presence and experience His love. They are born again and become His child. The relationship that was lost in the garden when Adam and Eve sinned is once again restored through Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12,13

They hear His voice because He also becomes their Good Shepherd.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. John 10:27,28

Jesus came so that Satan could never again snatch those who become His children away through deception or sin or any other means. Once someone becomes His child then they will never perish and be lost again. He holds them in His hand and no one can snatch them our of His hand. One way of knowing if you are God’s child is that you will want to follow Jesus and obey Him.