A Life that Is Not Ashamed

We often are very concerned and conscious of what others think of us and we want to be accepted and respected by others. As we grow older we become aware of what we need to do to be “socially acceptable”. Only a very secure person can go through life willing and able to stand alone.  It is a natural desire to want the respect of others, however, it can become a snare for us and hypocritical if we change our behavior or put on a certain front in order to receive the acceptance and respect of people.

Matthew 6:2 So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

The religious leaders in Jesus’ day loved the praise and honor of men but the Lord called them hypocrites because it was not who they really were when they gave for appearance sake. They only gave so that others might see and honor them.

Matthew 6:5 When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Again, they prayed so that others might respect them for their “spiritual” prayers. Again, the Lord called them hypocrites. To receive the praise of others was their reward in full.

Matthew 6:16 Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Again, their life was all about putting on an appearance in order to be accepted and praised by others.

Mark 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be  ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of someone who was secure in who He is and who was willing to be rejected by others in order to accomplish something greater. Jesus Christ knew that He was accepted by His Father and He lived to please the One who had sent Him. Jesus Christ promises us that if we will not be ashamed of Him and His words then He will not be ashamed of us when He returns. An indication of a true Christian is that they will be ashamed of the things they did before they were a Christian and they will not be ashamed of Jesus Christ and following after Him after they have become a Christian.

Romans 6:21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.

Sometimes a conflict is created between a Christian and unbelievers who are in a close relationship with the new Christian. They may be a family member or a friend who has not yet come to Christ. New Christians want to please the One who died for them and the nonChristian does not understand that kind of commitment because they have yet to experience His amazing love.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

We are secure in the Lord once we come to know Him and we understand that His words are power and that He will never leave us or forsake us. We have a sure foundation in Him which can not be shaken and He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him.

II Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

What great joy it will be for those Christians who did not shrink back and who were not ashamed to suffer for being a Christian. Sometimes it might seem lonely but He promised us that He would never forsake us. Even though we can not see Him, we believe in Him and know that He is faithful and will fulfill all of His promises that He has given to us. He is not ashamed to call us brethren.

Hebrews 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Neither is God ashamed to be called our God, for He has prepared a place for us.

Hebrews 11:6 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

When the Lord comes again it will only be those who were not ashamed of Jesus Christ during the time of their stay on earth who will not shrink back in shame. Those who refused to call upon Him will wish they had and will shrink away in shame for their many sins and for not calling upon Jesus Christ, the Lord of lords and King of kings.

I Peter 4:16,17 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if itbegins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

It is not too late to call upon Him. It is not too late to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and call upon His name. He desires that all come to know Him.

Isaiah 55:6,7 Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

 

A Life that Does Not Fear

Over three hundred times it says in the Bible “do not fear”. The Lord knows how fearful we tend to be and He does not want us to be afraid of anything. If we will learn to fear Him, which means to have an awesome respect for and obedience to, since all power belongs to Him and He is worthy to be feared by all of creation then we will not fear anything else. If you do not have that healthy fear of God then you need to for He is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Matthew 10:28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

If you do fear Him then you have no need to fear anyone or anything for He is with you.

Isaiah 41:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

How do you know if you fear Him or fear man? If you confess Jesus Christ as Lord before others then you fear the Lord but if you are ashamed of Him and His name then you fear man. If you obey Him and take a stand for what is in the Bible then you fear Him. If you lead a double life then you do not fear God, rather you fear man.

Matthew 10:32,33 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

If you fear man then not only will the Lord deny ever knowing you but you will have a snare in your life and will have allowed man to control you. Man will control your thoughts, for you will be anxious as to what man thinks of you and/or whether you have their approval, or man will control your actions and you will compromise what you know is the right thing to do for the approval of man. What a horrible life!

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.

Do not ever fear what people say about you or be discouraged if you are doing what the Lord wants you to do.

Isaiah 51:7,8 “Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
A people in whose heart is My law;
Do not fear the reproach of man,
Nor be dismayed at their revilings.
“For the moth will eat them like a garment,
And the grub will eat them like wool.
But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation to all generations.”

In fact, it may be a confirmation that you are doing and saying the right thing. You are in good company if you are insulted, reviled or persecuted for righteousness for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:11,12 “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.

There is a list of many things the Lord says not to fear but to sum it up, some of His last words to His disciples and these words are to us as well, are not to be fearful. Fear and peace can not be in someone at the same time. You will either have His peace or you will fear.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

He gave us His peace and He wants His peace to rule in our hearts.

Colossians 3:15a Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,

The Lord wants us to be faithful to the end. We do not have to fear suffering for He came and suffered for us leaving us an example to follow in His footsteps.

I Peter 2:21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,

We do not have to fear death for He conquered death through the cross.

Revelation 2:10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Don’t shrink away in shame or fear. Those who are faithful to the end will have a great reward and He will give them the crown of life. Those who shrink away in shame will have more shame when He comes and He will have no delight in them. Be faithful until death!

Hebrews 10:35-39 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 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.

The only way that we can be faithful until death is if we abide in Him.

I John 2:28 Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.

A Life with A Hope

Christians are the only ones who have a hope in this life and a promise for the life to come. The Lord has caused us to born again to a living hope.

I Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Since you have a hope, the Lord tells us to fix our hope completely on the grace to be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

I Peter 1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The Lord wants us to be ready always to give an account of the hope that is within us, which is Jesus Christ. Do you know how to share the Gospel with someone who does not have that hope? The word Gospel means good news. You have good news that you can share because you have hope. The world is hopelessly lost and many do not even realize it. They will spend eternity in hell because Jesus Christ is the only hope for eternal life.

I Peter 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

Hold fast to the Lord so that you also will be faithful to the end. He is our confidence and hope, but we must cling to Him.

Hebrews 3:6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.

The hope that we have is sure and steadfast. Jesus is the anchor of your soul.

Hebrews 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,

If you find yourself filled with doubts and fears then go to Him. He will calm your soul and hold you up. He never changes and is faithful to the end.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;

The Lord wants us to look to Him and to be looking for Him, who is coming again.

Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,

Are you ready for His return? Will He find you being faithful to Him and doing the work that He has called you to do? If He came at any moment in your life would you be ashamed in anyway? Just as the bride lives for the moment that she will be with the bridegroom so we too are to live for the moment that we see Him face to face.

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.

This will help you live a pure and holy life…if you are living for when you will see Him face to face. If your heart is pure then you will be ready when He comes for you and not only that, but you will see Him before He comes for the Lord Himself said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”.

Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

 

 

A Life with a Surety

A surety is a guarantee of something. For this reason the Lord says to never become surety for someone else’s debts. However, the Lord has given us a surety for our salvation, that He will come back for us. We can know for sure that we have an eternal home with Him.

I John 5:6-12This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son.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.

The water means that He was born into this world as a human being.For this reason the Lord says that someone must be born of water to become a Christian. This is the actual physical birth. Someone must be born physically to be able to be born again spiritually.

John 3:8 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

The blood is the testimony of the cross that He died and rose again.

I Corinthians 15:3-6 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;

The testimony of God is when He spoke from heaven that Jesus was His beloved Son. These are all in agreement that Jesus is the Son of God.

Matthew 3:17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

However, for those who believe in Him, He has also given another testimony and that is His Holy Spirit. His Spirit bears witness with our Spirit that we are His child.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

He is coming again and will come for those who believe in Him.

I Thessalonians 4:14-17 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

We have the testimony and we have the surety of our salvation. When He comes again for those who belong to Him we have the promise that He will take us with Him. The guarantee of our salvation is the Holy Spirit that He gives to us when we become a Christian.

Ephesians 1:13,14 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

You belong to Him if His Spirit lives within you. If you do not know if the Holy Spirit is within you then there is a possibility that He has not come to live within you. Give your life to Him and ask Him to come in and take possession of your life. You can trust Him completely. He loves you perfectly. You can know for sure that you are His if you have Jesus living in you through the Holy Spirit.

I John 5:13 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.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Stands Alone

One of the hardest things to do is to stand alone in the world. We long for affirmation from other humans and confirmation that we are doing what is right. However, the Lord has spoken to us about what is right and He has also given us a conscience to know what is right and wrong.

Romans 1:18,19 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

The Lord describes two types of people in the world and everyone falls into one of these groups. He says there are the righteous and the wicked.Over and over again in Scripture the Lord makes a contrast between the righteous and the wicked.

Proverbs 10:7 The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot.

The righteous lives by faith and obedience to the Lord and the Lord says that it will go well with them.

Isaiah 3:10 Say to the righteous that it will go well with them,
For they will eat the fruit of their actions.

The wicked lives according to what they think is right and wrong and they will receive what they deserve. It will go badly with the wicked.

Isaiah 3:11 Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with him,
For what he deserves will be done to him.

However, there is one characteristic of the righteous that is so special that the Lord takes note of these particular righteous individuals. They stood alone in a wicked world.

Ezekiel 14:20 even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

Noah found favor in God’s eyes. He walked with God even though no one else did other than his family. He was called a preacher of righteousness and he never saw one convert. He stayed faithful to the Lord and did what the Lord commanded him to do.

Genesis 6:9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.

Genesis 6:22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.

Job also was called blameless and righteous before the Lord. Job lived in a time of great evil and there is not evidence that even his children sought the Lord. While they were celebrating at a party he was praying for them. He stood alone even when his wife suggested that he blame God for his troubles. Job was faithful to the Lord in the midst of great suffering and pain. The Lord called him righteous.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.

Daniel also stood alone in the midst of a very wicked society and even when his life was in danger he would not compromise. He remained faithful to the Lord.

Daniel 1:8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself…

Even though these three men did not see much fruit in their lifetime all three of them still speak through their lives and faithfulness to the Lord. All three stood alone and were surrounded by many wicked people and yet they remained faithful. They remained faithful to the Lord and grew strong in their faith. Were they perfect? Not at all and yet the Lord called them righteous. The righteous man shall live by faith and the faithful shall be called righteous by the Lord.

Romans 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

 

 

 

A Life of Freedom from the Fear of Man

The Bible says that the fear of man brings a snare. It is an oppressive feeling to live in the fear of someone else. Only the Lord can set us free from the fear of man.

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.

As you learn to trust Him then you will see that you do not have to be afraid of man.

Psalm 56:10,11 In God, whose word I praise,
In the Lord, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?

Only the fear of the Lord can set you free from the fear of man. If you fear Him then you need not have to fear anyone else.

Psalm 112:1 Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who greatly delights in His commandments.

The Lord wants to teach you to fear Him through His Word.

Psalm 119:38 Establish Your word to Your servant, As that which produces reverence for You.

You are blessed if people revile you because you are a Christian. Do not be intimidated. Remember who you are, a child of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

I Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled,

The Lord does not want you to fear anyone but if you live according to His ways then people will fear the Lord by not wanting you around when they do evil.

Deuteronomy 11:25 No man will be able to stand before you; the Lord your God will lay the dread of you and the fear of you on all the land on which you set foot, as He has spoken to you.

However, you must look to the Lord and not to others. He will protect you and be your defense. He will never forsake you but will help you when you need Him.

Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?

If you do not fear the Lord then often times you will be tempted to have irrational fears.

Psalm 53:4,5 Have the workers of wickedness no knowledge,
Who eat up My people as though they ate bread
And have not called upon God?
There they were in great fear where no fear had been;

Finally, the Lord Himself is for you.

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

You are the apple of His eye.

Zechariah 2:8 …for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.

 

 

A Life Free of Fear

Life is much sweeter when we are free of fear. Fear can control and fear can destroy. Fear can cause a person to make unwise decisions and cause one to be controlled by others. The Lord did not come for us to live a fearful life. He came to set us free from fears.

I John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

When you live in the love of Jesus Christ then you will not live in fear. His love casts out all fear. He forgives your sins so that you do not need to fear punishment for your mistakes, sins, ignorance and guilt. He gives forgiveness to those who come to Him and receive His gift of eternal life.

I John 5:18-20 We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

When you come into a relationship with Jesus Christ then the evil one, or Satan, can not touch you. Jesus Christ keeps you safe from the power of the evil one. You do not have to sin or believe his lies. The evil one wants to bring you pain and grief and he will do it through lies which lead to fears.

Psalm 121:7 The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.

The Lord will also protect you from all the evil that others would like to do to you. You do not need to fear other people. In fact, when you fear people then it brings a snare but if you will trust in the Lord then you will be lifted up.

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.

You do not need to fear evil tidings. The world is not coming to an end through climate change or anything else that others may say. The world is not coming to an end until Jesus Christ returns for those who have put their trust in Him.

Psalm 112:1-7 Praise the Lord!
How blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
Who greatly delights in His commandments.
His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.
Light arises in the darkness for the upright;
He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.
It is well with the man who is gracious and lends;
He will maintain his cause in judgment.
For he will never be shaken;
The righteous will be remembered forever.

He will not fear evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

Do you struggle with fears? Are you afraid that something “bad” might happen? Are you afraid of what others might do to you? Are you afraid of the future? Are you afraid of what others think of you?

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

Jesus Christ does not want your heart to be troubled or fearful. He came to bring you peace. The world does not give you His peace and the world can not take it away. If you do not yet know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior then come to Him and keep praying and seeking Him until He has come into your life. Surrender your life and will to Him. If you know Him and are His child then the only thing that can take the peace away that He gives is when you get your eyes off of Him and onto circumstances. Put your eyes back on the One who is all powerful and who loves you. Give Him your struggles and troubles. Ask Him for help and He will help you trust Him again. You will see His peace return.

Philippians 4:6,7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

As you learn to live and walk as Jesus lived then you will see that the God of peace will always be with you and His peace will never leave you.

Philippians 4:8,9 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

A Life of Grace and Truth

Jesus Christ was full of grace and truth. Faith is coming to Jesus and it is God’s grace that allows us to come to Him. Salvation is the gift we receive by grace through faith.

Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

It is Jesus that saves us through His Word and sets us free from our sin. His Words are truth. The gospel (the good news) that Jesus brought to us is the power of God for salvation. Jesus Christ and His Word and truth are equal. The truth became flesh and dwelt among us.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus Christ is God and when He dwelt among men they saw His glory which is who the Father is and that is, Jesus was full of grace and truth. Grace is the opposite of shame. When someone is disgraced then they are shamed. Sin brings shame and disgrace. Jesus came to take away our sin and shame and to give us grace.

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a disgrace to any people.

When we do what is right it will be expressed in grace and truth. When Joseph thought Mary, his betrothed, had been unfaithful to him then he, being a righteous man did not want to shame or disgrace her but sought to do what is right and loving by sending her away secretly.

Matthew 1:19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.

Jesus took the attention off of the woman caught in adultery. She was being disgraced and He, being righteous, stooped even lower than those around and wrote on the ground so that the eyes of her accusers would be taken off of her and on to Him. He took away her disgrace by standing in the gap between the accusers and her.

John 8:3-11 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.

Jesus does this for each one of us. We have all sinned and are worthy of much disgrace but Jesus stood in the gap between us and the devil, who is our accuser. He stooped down to earth and made us great by taking our sin and punishment. He took our condemnation and has stood in the gap and faced our accuser for us so that we might be free from condemnation.

Romans 8:1-3 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 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,

Just as Jesus stood up and asked the woman where her accusers were, for they were gone, so Jesus says the same to all of us, “I do not condemn you, either. Go, from now on sin no more.

John 8:10,11 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”

Are you struggling with something that you know that you should stop? Is the devil secretly accusing you? Satan is a bully and a bully always goes after one who is weak at the moment. Satan won’t go after Jesus because he has already lost to the Lord Jesus Christ but he tries to get to Jesus through us.

I Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

The Bible says to resist the devil and he will flee from you. Resist him through God’s Word and the name of Jesus Christ and he will flee.

James 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Get in God’s Word and keep resisting the devil until you see the victory. Keep firm in your faith in the Lord. After you have struggled and suffered for a little while then Jesus Himself will perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

I Peter 5:9-10 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Is Not Ashamed

We often are very concerned and conscious of what others think of us and we want to be accepted and respected by others. As we grow older we become aware of what we need to do to be “socially acceptable”. Only a very secure person can go through life willing and able to stand alone.  It is a natural desire to want the respect of others, however, it can become a snare for us and hypocritical if we change our behavior or put on a certain front in order to receive the acceptance and respect of people.

Matthew 6:2 So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

The religious leaders in Jesus’ day loved the praise and honor of men but the Lord called them hypocrites because it was not who they really were when they gave for appearance sake. They only gave so that others might see and honor them.

Matthew 6:5 When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Again, they prayed so that others might respect them for their “spiritual” prayers. Again, the Lord called them hypocrites. To receive the praise of others was their reward in full.

Matthew 6:16 Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Again, their life was all about putting on an appearance in order to be accepted and praised by others.

Mark 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be  ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of someone who was secure in who He is and who was willing to be rejected by others in order to accomplish something greater. Jesus Christ knew that He was accepted by His Father and He lived to please the One who had sent Him. Jesus Christ promises us that if we will not be ashamed of Him and His words then He will not be ashamed of us when He returns. An indication of a true Christian is that they will be ashamed of the things they did before they were a Christian and they will not be ashamed of Jesus Christ and following after Him after they have become a Christian.

Romans 6:21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.

Sometimes a conflict is created between a Christian and unbelievers who are in a close relationship with the new Christian. They may be a family member or a friend who has not yet come to Christ. New Christians want to please the One who died for them and the nonChristian does not understand that kind of commitment because they have yet to experience His amazing love.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

We are secure in the Lord once we come to know Him and we understand that His words are power and that He will never leave us or forsake us. We have a sure foundation in Him which can not be shaken and He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him.

II Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

What great joy it will be for those Christians who did not shrink back and who were not ashamed to suffer for being a Christian. Sometimes it might seem lonely but He promised us that He would never forsake us. Even though we can not see Him, we believe in Him and know that He is faithful and will fulfill all of His promises that He has given to us. He is not ashamed to call us brethren.

Hebrews 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Neither is God ashamed to be called our God, for He has prepared a place for us.

Hebrews 11:6 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

When the Lord comes again it will only be those who were not ashamed of Jesus Christ during the time of their stay on earth who will not shrink back in shame. Those who refused to call upon Him will wish they had and will shrink away in shame for their many sins and for not calling upon Jesus Christ, the Lord of lords and King of kings.

I Peter 4:16,17 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if itbegins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

It is not too late to call upon Him. It is not too late to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and call upon His name. He desires that all come to know Him.

Isaiah 55:6,7 Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

 

A Life that Does Not Fear

Over three hundred times it says in the Bible “do not fear”. The Lord knows how fearful we tend to be and He does not want us to be afraid of anything. If we will learn to fear Him, which means to have an awesome respect for and obedience to, since all power belongs to Him and He is worthy to be feared by all of creation then we will not fear anything else. If you do not have that healthy fear of God then you need to for He is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Matthew 10:28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

If you do fear Him then you have no need to fear anyone or anything for He is with you.

Isaiah 41:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

How do you know if you fear Him or fear man? If you confess Jesus Christ as Lord before others then you fear the Lord but if you are ashamed of Him and His name then you fear man. If you obey Him and take a stand for what is in the Bible then you fear Him. If you lead a double life then you do not fear God, rather you fear man.

Matthew 10:32,33 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

If you fear man then not only will the Lord deny ever knowing you but you will have a snare in your life and will have allowed man to control you. Man will control your thoughts, for you will be anxious as to what man thinks of you and/or whether you have their approval, or man will control your actions and you will compromise what you know is the right thing to do for the approval of man. What a horrible life!

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.

Do not ever fear what people say about you or be discouraged if you are doing what the Lord wants you to do.

Isaiah 51:7,8 “Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
A people in whose heart is My law;
Do not fear the reproach of man,
Nor be dismayed at their revilings.
“For the moth will eat them like a garment,
And the grub will eat them like wool.
But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation to all generations.”

In fact, it may be a confirmation that you are doing and saying the right thing. You are in good company if you are insulted, reviled or persecuted for righteousness for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:11,12 “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.

There is a list of many things the Lord says not to fear but to sum it up, some of His last words to His disciples and these words are to us as well, are not to be fearful. Fear and peace can not be in someone at the same time. You will either have His peace or you will fear.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

He gave us His peace and He wants His peace to rule in our hearts.

Colossians 3:15a Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,

The Lord wants us to be faithful to the end. We do not have to fear suffering for He came and suffered for us leaving us an example to follow in His footsteps.

I Peter 2:21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,

We do not have to fear death for He conquered death through the cross.

Revelation 2:10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Don’t shrink away in shame or fear. Those who are faithful to the end will have a great reward and He will give them the crown of life. Those who shrink away in shame will have more shame when He comes and He will have no delight in them. Be faithful until death!

Hebrews 10:35-39 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 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.

The only way that we can be faithful until death is if we abide in Him.

I John 2:28 Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.