A Life with Victory

Victory is sweet to those who experience it and when we have victory we want to keep it. How do we live a victorious life? There are three things that we must have victory over or we will end up being defeated no matter what we achieve or accomplish in this life. We must have victory over sin, self and Satan. These three things will pull us down and keep us down.

Proverbs 5:22 His own iniquities will capture the wicked,
And he will be held with the cords of his sin.

Sin ensnares and holds us captive through its cords. Sin controls and defeats us. The wicked person, who does not seek the Lord and fear Him, will be his biggest enemy and he will be held with the cords of his own sin.

Psalm 36:1-4 Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.
For it flatters him in his own eyes
Concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it.
The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;
He has ceased to be wise and to do good.
He plans wickedness upon his bed;
He sets himself on a path that is not good;
He does not despise evil.

The wicked person is one who believes in God but does not despise sin. He even flatters himself in his own eyes concerning the discovery of his sin and the “hatred” of it. However, he does not hate it enough to turn to the Lord and repent. He does not really want to quit. The wicked is often someone who used to have a “sensitivity to God”.

Romans 8:2,3 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

Jesus Christ is the only One who can give us victory over sin. He condemned sin in His flesh by going to the cross for those who had sinned and are worthy of death. This includes all of mankind. We have all sinned and need a Savior to save us from our sin.

I John 2:15-17 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

Our fleshly self will defeat us. This is also a constant battle but brings freedom to the one who has victory. Jesus Christ is the only One who can give us victory in this area. If you have received Christ then your “self” has been crucified with Him.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

You will find that as you feed your spirit and starve your flesh then the spirit will have the victory and you will do the things that are pleasing to God.

Romans 8:5-8 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 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.

Finally, Satan has been defeated through Jesus Christ and what He accomplished on the cross.

Colossians 2:13b-15 He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

Now live in the victory that Jesus Christ has accomplished for you. He came to set you free and to give you life.

I John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

He made you to be an overcomer through Him. Sin, self and Satan are in the world but Jesus Christ came so that we could experience victory through faith in Him.

 

 

A Life with Blessing

The word “blessed” means happy so the life that is filled with blessing is a life that is happy. Since most want to be happy then most of us want to be blessed. Life was meant to be blessed. In the beginning God blessed mankind when He created them.

Genesis 5:2 He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.

The Lord intended for all the families of the earth to be blessed.

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

The Lord instructs us on how to live a blessed life. You will be blessed if you observe His testimonies. You will be blessed if you seek Him with all of your heart.

Psalm 119:2 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart.

You will be blessed if you fear the Lord and walk in His ways.

Psalm 128:1 How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, Who walks in His ways.

How blessed are the people who have chosen the Lord to be their God.

Psalm 144:15 How blessed are the people who are so situated;
How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!

Blessed are the ones who hope in the Lord and look to Him to be their help.

Psalm 146:5 How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the Lord his God,

Blessed is the person who finds wisdom and gains understanding.

Proverbs 3:13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding.

Blessed is the person who trusts in the Lord.

Proverbs 16:20 He who gives attention to the word will find good, And blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

The generous person will be blessed.

Proverbs 22:9 He who is generous will be blessed, For he gives some of his food to the poor.

Jesus taught the people who would be blessed.

Matthew 5:3-12

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Jesus summed up the blessed person in one of His teachings.

Luke 11:28 But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

Do you struggle with being happy. Start with one of these disciplines and ask the Lord for wisdom what He would have you to do. The Lord wants to bless you and He wants you to be a blessing to others. It all begins with Him. The Lord is the One who blesses and He can make you to be a blessing to others. You will know when you have been blessed with the true blessings because your response will be of one who wants to bless the Lord.

Psalm 103:1-5 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

 

 

 

A Life with Faith

A life with faith is one of pleasing the Lord through believing Him and trusting Him.  If you desire to please the One who loves you so much then you must live by faith. Faith is coming to Him and believing His Word. We think that we would be blessed if we could actually see the Lord but the Lord says, “blessed are they who did not see and yet believe”. Faith is believing in His promises by actually taking Him at His Word and acting as if they will come to pass. The outcome will be that you will see His faithfulness to fulfill His promises and you will grow to love Him more and more. When you grow to love Him more then you will want to please Him more and your faith will grow.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

The opposite of faith is despair. Despair leads downward into darkness of the soul. Faith leads upward into the light of the Lord.

Psalm 27:13-14 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

When you believe and have faith then it fosters courage which brings about hope.

Romans 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Are you struggling in your faith? The Lord’s provision for you is His Word. Spend time in His Word until your faith is increased. Keep reading until a verse speaks to you. It is the Lord calling you to Himself. He wants to speak to you through His Spirit and bless you.

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.

Ask the Lord to help you grow in your faith as you seek Him through His Word. He “meets the one who delights in righteousness”.

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

 

A Life with Truth

Truth is often what people do not want to hear but truth is often what people most need to hear. Sometimes we don’t want to face the truth or hear the truth but it is the truth that sets us free. Truth sets us free from fear, anxiety, hopelessness, depression, discouragement, loneliness, hate, panic, destruction and whatever else we struggle with in life. We do not need to be afraid of the truth but welcome truth as a gift from God.

John 8:32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

The truth never changes. Theories and speculations will change but the truth never changes. The more we understand the truth about life the more we will enjoy it. Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. Life is a gift from God.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

When you base your life on truth then you will have far fewer decisions to make and will not be overwhelmed with “should I do this or should I do that” or even worse, “if I do this will this happen or if I don’t do this will that happen”. What a horrible way to live. When we understand truth then we start to understand consequences and we will not do this or that because we will know the consequences of our decisions before they are made.

Colossians 3:25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

For example, the more you understand the truth of the law of gravity then the easier your life will be. You will not step out of a window but will rather go through a door. You will even want to carry things in a way that gravity will help you rather than hinder you. Since you understand the law of gravity you can get securely out of bed in the morning knowing that you will not bump your head against the ceiling by floating up there. The law of gravity never changes. It is not that one day it is not so and another day the law of gravity works, it is true every day of the year, and true year after year. Life is the same and there are truths about every area of life. Sometimes the consequence of a truth does not seem to be related until you understand the truth. The more you understand truth then the more you will understand the consequences of life. Life will not seem so random and your decisions will be based on truth.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Some people will sometimes hear some truth and will live their life accordingly and will be successful in that area of life and they do not have to be a Christian to experience this. However, unless they have the source of all truth, which is God Himself, then they will not have access to all truth and will fail in other areas of their lives where they lack the truth. They may even have a false confidence because of their success in one area and feel that they do not need the Lord. However, if you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior then you will have the truth because He is the Truth. The truth will be in you.

John 16:13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

The Lord will also give you the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of truth. When you receive Him then He will guide you into the truth. God’s truth applies to everything in life. When you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord then you also receive the Holy Spirit.

John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

God’s Word is also truth. The more you know God’s Word then the more you will know the truth. God’s Word is what will set you apart from others, that is, when you live by His Word.

Luke 6:47-49 Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.

When you hear God’s Word and act on it then your life will stand strong even during the storms of life. The storms will come and go but God’s truth never changes and your life will express God’s truth. Are you struggling in any area of your life? Then take God’s Word and study it and find out what it says about the area that you are struggling with and do what it says. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by searching it out.

Isaiah 64:5a You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.

The Lord will meet you where you are and will help you. He is good and He loves you.

 

A Life with Favor

There is such a thing as favor and it is like sunshine on our lives. Favor is when things go well and we are happy. When we experience favor it lifts us from the darkness of discouragement and depression. Favor energizes us and is like gas in our emotional tank and is like oil in the gears to help things go more smoothly. Without favor life can be rough and hard. How do we receive and experience favor in life? Where does favor come from? Favor comes from God and from man.

Psalm 5:12 For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord,
You surround him with favor as with a shield.

The Lord surrounds as with a shield those who receive favor. It is the Lord who blesses the righteous person with favor. Righteousness is walking and living according to God’s ways. The Lord gives His righteousness to those who receive Him and He wants them to display His righteousness to the world so that others might see and learn God’s ways.

Psalm 147:11 The Lord favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness.

The Lord favors those who fear Him. We are stubborn and don’t often want to do life God’s way. We want to go our own way and the result is much pain and grief. The Lord favors those who wait on His lovingkindness. The opposite of waiting on the Lord is taking matters into our own hands and doing it “our way”. We may get what we want but we will receive sorrow with it. Manipulation is also not waiting on the Lord. Pray and wait for His lovingkindness.

Psalm 44:3 For by their own sword they did not possess the land,
And their own arm did not save them,
But Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence,
For You favored them.

It is not by our strength that we gain victory and receive salvation but it is because He favors us and it is by His strength and His presence that sees us through to victory.

Proverbs 3:3,4 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.

The Lord wants us to learn to walk in His ways. His is kind in all His deeds and all His ways are truth. When we learn to live according to His ways then we will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.

Psalm 145:17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds.

The Lord is good and he wants us to do good. The Lord is truth and He wants us to walk in truth. The Lord is kind and loving and He wants us to be the same. We are secure in life because of His kindness, love and His truth. Truth never changes. Moods, emotions, feelings, likes and dislikes all change but the Lord never changes because He is truth. The more we walk in love and truth the more others will trust us. We will not be in a constant state of change and people will not be anxious when they are around you.

Ecclesiastes 12:13,14 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

When we fear God and keep His commandments then we will walk in His love and truth and we will receive favor from God and man. This is the standard by which the Lord will judge all that we do, whether it is good or evil. The standard of good and evil is not what we think of as good or evil but it is according to God’s standards of good and evil.

Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.

Ezra set his heart to study the word of God and to practice it. The Lord wants us to do the same.

II Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

The outcome will be the favor of God on your life.

Proverbs 11:27 He who diligently seeks good seeks favor,
But he who seeks evil, evil will come to him.

It is when we diligently seek the Lord that we will find Him and in finding Him we will learn what it means to do good, for only God is good. When we find the Lord then we find life and we receive the favor of God.

Proverbs 8:35 For he who finds me finds life And obtains favor from the Lord.

 

 

 

 

A Life with a Thriving Marriage

The Lord wants your marriage to thrive as much as He wants you to thrive in life. Don’t get discouraged if you feel that your marriage is not where it should be or could be. The Lord is a restorer and there is no marriage beyond His restoring love and power. Where the Lord is, there is hope and where there is hope then things will get better.

Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord has given us a blueprint for marriage. Just as a builder must follow the architect’s blueprint for the building to stand strong so you must follow the Lord’s blueprint for marriage. Everyone strays from His blueprint and that is what it means to “miss the mark” at times. If you will turn to Him then He will help you and restore you. His blueprint is in His Word.

Psalm 19:7,8 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

The Lord will restore you through His Spirit and His Word. He will give you wisdom and bring joy once again to your heart and marriage. He will open your eyes and give you enlightenment and insight. He is good and He is loving. He is all powerful but you must follow His instructions and do exactly as He tells you. You are not responsible for your spouse. The Lord is fully capable of changing your spouse. Do not focus on your spouse but ask the Lord what He wants you to do.

Ephesians 5:22-32 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. 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.

Marriage is a mystery and the mystery is great. Marriage is only between a man and a woman. All other unions are a perversion of God’s design and will ultimately bring grief. God’s design is based on the relationship of Christ and the church, which are all Christians. There is an order in marriage and that order is good. Submission of the wife does not minimize or negate her worth but elevates it. Jesus submitted to the Father even though He was equal to the Father. The church is to submit to Christ. The Father took responsibility for Jesus and Jesus takes responsibility for the church. The wife is to submit and the husband is to love and provide. The wife is to respect and the husband is to lead and protect. If one of the spouse fails to fulfill their responsibility it does not nullify the responsibility of the other spouse. In fact, the best thing for a wayward spouse is for the faithful spouse to continue to be responsible and faithful. If a spouse does not keep their marriage vow to the Lord then it does not negate the marriage vow of the other. Marriage vows can not be broken they can only be “not kept” because they are not vows made to each other but they are vows made to God in the presence of others. Other people are witnesses of the marriage vows that the couple makes to God. The Lord says to keep your vows. You will find that as you are faithful to the Lord then you will see His faithfulness to you.

Ecclesiastes 5:4-7 When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God.

Whatever you do, do not say that it was a mistake that you married your spouse. Pay your vows and let the Lord deal with your spouse. The Lord does not in fools. Get to work in your marriage and fear the Lord by doing what He has called you to do. You will find that the Lord will help you, guide you and strengthen you and you will become more like Him. Your life will be a light to others and a testimony of the Lord. There are many people who struggle in difficult marriages and want to quit but the Lord does not bless quitters but He does bless those who are faithful and honor Him.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Is Prepared for Marriage

The best time to prepare for marriage is before you get married. It is a God given desire to want to get married. However, the more you are prepared for marriage the easier it will be for you. The more mature you are as a person the happier you will be in your marriage and the easier your marriage will be. Marriage will never make anyone happy. If you are not happy before you are married then you will not be happy after you are married. No one can meet the needs in your life that God designed for God alone to meet. Marriage does give you meaning or purpose in life. A mate will never make you feel secure of fill any emptiness in your life. The less expectation that you have for your mate then the less disappointment you will feel. Expectations destroy relationships. The more you learn to look to the Lord for strength, security, love, joy, peace, self control, patience. kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness then the happier you will be and the you will also bring great joy to whomever you marry.

Galatians 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Do not use the flesh to attract a mate 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,

Again, a mate 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 person 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 that Is Prepared for Marriage

The best time to prepare for marriage is before you get married. It is a God given desire to want to get married. However, the more you are prepared for marriage the easier it will be for you. The more mature you are as a person the happier you will be in your marriage and the easier your marriage will be. Marriage will never make anyone happy. If you are not happy before you are married then you will not be happy after you are married. No one can meet the needs in your life that God designed for God alone to meet. Marriage does give you meaning or purpose in life. A mate will never make you feel secure of fill any emptiness in your life. The less expectation that you have for your mate then the less disappointment you will feel. Expectations destroy relationships. The more you learn to look to the Lord for strength, security, love, joy, peace, self control, patience. kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness then the happier you will be and the you will also bring great joy to whomever you marry.

Galatians 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Do not use the flesh to attract a mate 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,

Again, a mate 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 person 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 Blessed with Understanding

If you have understanding, which comes from knowing the Lord, then you will be blessed and you will be a blessing to those who you are around.

Proverbs 13:15 Good understanding produces favor,
But the way of the treacherous is hard.

When you have understanding you will receive favor with others. A lack of understanding will make life hard for you. If you are married then a lack of understanding will make life harder for your spouse and your children.

Proverbs 14:6 A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none,
But knowledge is easy to one who has understanding.

Knowledge is power, according to God’s Word, and the more knowledge you have in life the more power you have and it will decrease any feelings of helplessness or hopelessness. Knowledge is easy to one who has understanding. This is one very important reason why children should be taught the knowledge of the Lord so that they might receive understanding so that their schooling in life will be a joy and not a constant hardship.

Proverbs 14:29 He who is slow to anger has great understanding,
But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.

Do you ever struggle with anger issues? It is a symptom of a lack of understanding.

Proverbs 14:33 Wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding,
But in the hearts of fools it is made known.

This verse about wisdom resting in the heart of one who has understanding is interesting. The person with wisdom and understanding will be at peace within their heart. The one who does not have wisdom and understanding will “feel” within their heart the pain and sorrow of their lack of wisdom. Their heart will be broken but it will be because of their poor choices. their poor choices are because they did not know what to do and acted according to their “own” understanding.

Proverbs 10:21 The lips of the righteous feed many,
But fools die for lack of understanding.

Finally, the fool who lacks understanding will bring about his own death. Before he dies physically, his soul will have already died. Often, if he is married, his marriage will die. How many people  get married but the love dies and it is only two people existing together? It is because of a lack of understanding. The fool brings destruction to himself and eventually death, because he chose to not seek God and receive understanding. He chose to go his own way.

Proverbs 19:8 He who gets wisdom loves his own soul;
He who keeps understanding will find good.

Understanding is interesting because you can lose it. If you turn from the Lord then you will wander from the way of understanding and soon even doubt whether there is a God and doubt if He loves you. These doubts come from neglecting your relationship with the Lord and/or backsliding from the what you were taught earlier in life.

Proverbs 21:16 A man who wanders from the way of understanding
Will rest in the assembly of the dead.

Return to the Lord and you will receive understanding live once again. Ask the Lord to pour out His Holy Spirit on your life if you have strayed from Him or to give you His Holy Spirit if you have not yet surrendered to Jesus Christ.

Luke 11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

He is the Spirit of understanding.

Isaiah 11:2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

When you have Jesus Christ then you have wisdom and understanding. You will also have counsel, strength, knowledge and the fear of the Lord. When you have Jesus Christ in your life then you will truly understand and know God for He alone is God and His Holy Spirit will live within your heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Finds Rest for Their Soul

The Lord has made man upright but he has sought out many devices. He made man to know Him and to seek Him. For this reason, the heart of a child wants to pray and learn to talk to the Lord. A child wants to hear the stories of God and wants to know God. A child knows that God is real and when they are told about God then often they will give their hearts immediately to Him.

Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

The Lord is God and He has made us to know Him. There will be no excuses when we see Him. He says that He has spoken to us so that we are without excuse. He speaks to us through creation, He speaks to us through our conscience and He speaks to us through people and circumstances.

John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.

The Lord says that not only has He put within the heart of man to know Him and has made it evident to man that He is the Creator and created all things but He has also done things for man that there is no other explanation for it but God Himself.

John 15:24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin;

Our sin is basically that we do not come to Him. We hide from God and we try to hide our problems from Him. He knows everything and sees everything.

I Samuel 2:3 Boast no more so very proudly,
Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth;
For the Lord is a God of knowledge,
And with Him actions are weighed.

He wants us to come to Him. He loves us and wants us to come to Him so that He can save us from ourselves, our sin and our messes that we have created because we did not come to Him at the first. He wants to take the turmoil in our souls and give us rest. He is gentle and humble of heart.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”