A Life that Is Happy

We all want to be happy and when we become parents then we want our children to be happy. The Bible says that Jesus was the happiest person around. If we want to be happy then we need to look at the reason why the Bible says that Jesus was so happy.

Hebrews 1:9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.

This verse was written of Jesus and describes His life on earth. He had the oil of gladness more than those around Him, or in other words, He was happier than all of His friends or companions. The beginning of the verse gives the reason for His incredible happiness. He was happy even though He knew that He would be going to the cross. He was happy because He loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. Do you want to be happy? Then love doing what is right and hate doing what is wrong.

Deuteronomy 6:25 Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us.’

Doing righteousness is keeping God’s Word. The Lord is good and loving and there is no unrighteousness in Him. All His ways are just. All of us recognize the need for righteousness and there will be no justice in the world unless there is righteousness.

Leviticus 19:15 You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.

When there is righteousness then there will be peace and those who love righteousness will be instruments of peace.

Isaiah 32:17 The work of righteousness will be peace,
And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.

When we are stubborn in our hearts then we are far from righteousness and start to practice lawlessness.

Isaiah 46:12 Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, Who are far from righteousness

What is lawlessness? The Lord tells us that if we want to be happy then we must love righteousness, which is doing right, and to hate lawlessness.

I John 3:4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

Sin is falling short of God’s Law and so sin is called lawlessness. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment.

John 16:8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

If you want to be happy then ask the Lord to pour out His Holy Spirit on your life. He will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him and He will help you learn to love righteousness and to hate lawlessness.

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!”

May you experience true happiness as you learn to love righteousness and to hate lawlessness. May the Lord anoint you with the oil of gladness.

Note to parents: If you are a parent and you want your children to be happy then you must love righteousness and hate lawlessness and then your children will also love righteousness and hate lawlessness. Values are caught and not just taught.

 

A Life with Love Needs to Give

Just as love needs to be received love also needs to be given away. When love is given away then the receiver reaps more love and has more love to give away. Love is like a cycle that never ends. It is in the giving and receiving of love that we thrive and find our meaning and purpose in life.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. Galatians 6:7

Love is like a seed that is sown. The more love that one sows then the more love will that one reap. Love is also the water that nourishes the seed of love that is sown. When a person seeks to water the lives of others then their life will be watered.

The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:25

Love is meeting the needs of someone else. God gave His only begotten Son so that we might have eternal life.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

We needed to be forgiven of our sins so that we would not perish but have eternal life. God gave and met this need in our life.

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13,14

God gave so that we might be redeemed and forgiven. When we are redeemed and forgiven we are also rescued from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of God’s beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. John 1:9

In the kingdom of darkness there is no light. Those who are still in that kingdom live in a world of despair, darkness, depression and without hope. The Lord wants to deliver them and transfer them to His kingdom, where love is. God gave to us so that we might be able to give to others. When we give to others and meet their needs then we are showing the love of Christ. Love removes the obstacles so that those who have not yet come to know Him might see His love for them, in order that they might come to Him, hear His Word and be forgiven.

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. I John 3:16-18

Jesus Christ laid down His life for us so that we could come to know Him. He wants us to lay down our lives for others so that others may come to know Him.

This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. John 15:12-14

A Life with Great Confidence

People try to live life without the Lord and the Bible describes such a person as a fool.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
There is no one who does good.

Living life without God is like having a painting without acknowledging the artist or enjoying a meal with no thought of the cook. It can’t be done although it is often tried. A life without God is a life that tries to feel it’s way through life just as a blind person has to feel their way around. It will often lead to pain and sometimes much pain because it is a guessing game. There are no absolutes apart from God. The laws in science are the ones He designed and set up. He is the Creator and author of life.

Genesis 2:4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven.

All the Lord had to do was to speak and He created. He spoke and the worlds were created out of nothing. All matter has to be created out of matter except when it comes to the Lord. All He has to do is speak it into existence.

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

God is the only truth that there is and apart from Him there is no truth. When someone tries to deny the existence of God then they have started to believe a lie and will be deceived from then on. Often people don’t want to believe in God because there is something in their life that they don’t want to give up and if they were to acknowledge God then they would have to acknowledge their conscience. If they can get rid of the thought of God then maybe they can get rid of their conscience and enjoy the very thing that they want to. However, when they shut off their conscience then they also shut off their ability to fully enjoy their sinful ways. It is your conscience that allows you to fully enjoy the gifts that the Lord has given to mankind.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

The person who puts their trust in the Lord will walk with confidence because He knows the One whom He has trusted.

Psalm 27:3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.

A fool puts his confidence in himself and leans on his own understanding. He learns the hard way through pain and regret, that is, if he learns at all. Some people will do the same wrong thing over and over again and yet expect different results.

Proverbs 14:16 A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident.

If you will learn to trust in the Lord with all of your heart and not lean on your own understanding then you will find that He will lead you in the way you should go and that His ways are good. Whatever He tells you to do, do it. Don’t try to understand first and then follow His instructions but rather follow first and then you will receive understanding.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Does the Necessary

Most lives get messed up when their priorities are out of line. The only way our priorities will be what they ought to be is if Jesus Christ is our Lord. We can not run our own lives without problems. If you want to be happy then you must have Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and do what He says. He is good and He loves you. He will remove your guilt and fears and will give you the stability, purpose and meaning in life that you desire. He created you and knows all about you even more than you know about yourself.

Psalm 139:1-3 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

If you will let Him be Lord in your life and allow Him to direct your steps then He will take you where you want to go. Deep within us there is a longing to belong and to be in our niche and yet most people do not know what they want or where they belong until they get there and then there is a sweet contentment that comes from being where He designed for us to fit. However, the contentment comes from Him being first in our lives and then our place in life being second. He chose His disciples first to be with Him and then to preach. He has chosen you first to be with Him in a relationship.

Mark 3:13,14 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him.And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach

The Lord has called us to first be with Him and then to serve Him. Our service for Him should be an overflow of our fellowship with Him. No matter what He has called you to do it is service to Him. He wants us to do our work as unto Him. Service to Him is not just for those who are in a Christian ministry. Many of the godly men and women that God used in the Bible did other vocations that were not necessarily spiritual, but He used them because their heart was right with Him and their priorities were in order.

Luke 10:38-42 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

If we don’t have our priorities in order, in spending time with the Lord, sitting at His feet and listening to His Word then we can easily start becoming anxious and bothered about unnecessary things. The Lord said that only one thing is necessary and that is spending time with Him and listening to His Word. This may sound simple but if you have not tried it then why don’t you try it? Try spending more time with the Lord than what you thought you could. You will find great joy if you soak up His Words into your heart. Your heart will become His more than ever before and you will see Him act on your behalf.

II Chronicles 16:9a For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.

He will accomplish what concerns you and He will use you to accomplish what concerns Him.

Psalm 138:8 The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

 

A Life that Loves God’s Word

The Word of God is like honey to the soul of the one who loves the Lord. It satisfies, it renews and refreshes, it rejoices the heart, it restores and gives wisdom. More than anything it allows one to fall more deeply in love with the Lord.

Psalm 19:7-10 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 fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.

There is nothing to compare to the joy of spending time in God’s Word and sitting at His feet. It is His love letter to Christians and once you realize this you will not be able to stay out of His Word if you belong to Him.

Luke 10:38-42 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with [q]all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

When we love the Lord then everything that we do is an overflow of our love relationship with Him. We can not be in His presence enough and realize that it is only a taste of heaven.

Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

The Lord makes our troubles seem much less and our joy is much greater when we delight ourselves in Him.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

His Word is His revelation of who He is and He has given it to us that we may observe all that He says.

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

Jesus Christ is God and was in the beginning before the worlds were made.

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

Jesus Christ came and lived among men so that we could know Him and have a relationship with Him.

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 is full of grace and truth. He revealed Himself to those who knew Him when He walked on earth. They were blessed because they saw and heard the very Son of God, of whom all the prophets and Moses spoke about in the Old Testament.

Luke 10:23,24 Turning to the disciples, He said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see,for I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see the things which you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and did not hear them.”

However, even more blessed are we when we believe in Him whom we have not seen and hear Him who stills speaks to the hearts of men and women who come to Him.

John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

The Lord has had His words and miracles recorded so that we might believe in Him.

John 20:30,31 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

There is no privilege greater nor is there anything sweeter than to know the Lord and find your delight in Him. When He is our desire and the longing of our heart then He becomes our very life and the One for whom we live and will die for that He might be exalted. He lived and died for us and we live for Him and if we should die for Him it would be an honor and privilege to be more like Him.

Philippians 1:20b,21 Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

 

 

A Life that Is Fulfilling

The Lord created you to have a fulfilling life. There is no life apart from Jesus Christ. He made the claim that He is the way, the truth and the life. Fulfillment in life can only come though Jesus Christ and there no other way.

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.

When you come into a relationship with Jesus Christ and discover what He created you for, then your life will have direction and you will find much fulfillment and joy. A life without Jesus Christ is like a ship without a captain and like a boat without a rudder. It will float along aimlessly or will be tossed about by the waves of life. When we come into a relationship with Him then He gives us His Spirit as the pledge of our belonging to Him and He becomes the Captain of our life. He gives us  His Spirit and His Word to direct our life.

II Corinthians 5:5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.

The Lord has given you two things that will help you in your relationship with Him and help you fulfill your purpose in life. Those two things are the Bible and His Holy Spirit. The more you fill your life with the Word of God and are filled with His Spirit then the more you will grow in the Lord and fulfill your purpose in life. The outcome of a dynamic relationship with Him is great joy and great peace.

Hebrews 12:2 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.

Life is a race to the finish line to run well with all of our heart, to not grow weary and quit and to have a clear conscience. We must fix our eyes on Jesus so that we will be able to run well and allow Him to control our life. He keeps us in the race. If we are to run with endurance the race that is set before us, then we must have the resources to do so. You must feed your spirit and starve your flesh. The Lord gives you the energy through His Spirit and your flesh must free from the baggage that results from being a slave to sin. It is hard to run with baggage.

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.

The Word of God is what feeds our spirit so that we will have the desire to please the Lord and the joy of doing so. Your flesh does not want to do the will of God so you must starve the flesh.  Whichever you feed the most is going to win, either your flesh, with the result of death or the spirit, with the result of life. You must spend time with the Lord everyday so that your spirit is fed and you can hear His direction. Talk to Him through prayer and let Him talk to you through His Word. You must starve the flesh. This means that you can not look at trashy things or hear trashy talk. The flesh will keep you out of God’s Word. The flesh does not want you to come to God but wants only to indulge itself in what pleases the flesh. You can not serve two masters. You must choose if you want a fulfilling life through feeding the spirit or death through feeding your flesh. You can not have both.

John 6:35-37 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

Are you in a dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ? Is your life fulfilling? Come to Him and begin that relationship for the first time or if your heart has gotten away from Him then come back to Him that you might experience His life in you. In Him alone do we find complete satisfaction and fulfillment.

 

 

A Life with Answered Prayers

Many people in the world pray but not many people have the assurance that their prayers are being heard and answered. There is an incredible peace when one has the assurance that their prayers are being heard by the Lord and He is answering one’s prayers. Sadly, many people only pray to themselves, like the religious man in the story that Jesus told.

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

He wasn’t even praying to the Lord but rather musing to himself and only thinking that he was praying. Often our prayers are more of us thinking to ourselves about a situation rather than truly laying the situation at the feet of Jesus and allowing Him to take care of the matter. We may even be in church and during the prayers our mind is wondering to what we will be doing later on. Neither of these scenarios is true prayer. Prayer is talking to the Lord and He delights in the prayers of His people.

Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.

The Lord finds no pleasure in the sacrifices and prayers of the wicked. They are an abomination to Him but the prayer of the upright is His delight. Even more than His hatred of the prayers of the wicked is His hatred of the sacrifices of the wicked when they have evil intentions. Some of the evil intentions may be that we want to look good in the eyes of others or even that we may go to church for the purpose of making business contacts or any other pretentious reason that we may have.

Proverbs 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination,
How much more when he brings it with evil intent!

No, rather the Lord wants us to humble ourselves before Him that He might have mercy on us, for we are all great sinners and in need of a great Savior. The other man that went to pray at the same time as the religious man was heard for his true piety.

Luke 18:10-14 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Yes, the one who admitted that he was a sinner and asked for God’s mercy was heard and received the mercy he asked for from the Lord. In the same way, the Lord will hear His people when we turn from our wicked ways and we humble ourselves before Him.

II Chronicles 7:14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

An excellent example of someone whom the Lord heard was Ezra.

Ezra 10:1 Now while Ezra was praying and making confession, weeping and prostrating himself before the house of God, a very large assembly, men, women and children, gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept bitterly.

The Lord will gather His people together when they seek His face and pray to Him. He will draw near to them as they draw near to the Lord. He will hear their prayers and answer them when they truly humble themselves before Him.

James 4:8-10 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Listens and Hears

There is a difference between listening and hearing. A child can listen to what you are saying but they don’t hear what you are saying. If you are a mother or a teacher then you fully understand this concept. The Lord said over and over again, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”.

Matthew 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

The Lord makes it very clear what is going to happen. He also is telling us to not only listen but to hear what He is saying. How blessed will be those who heard Him.

Matthew 13:41-43 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

The Lord tells us that not only should we be prepared for Him when He comes again but we need to be careful to not compromise His standards during the time of our stay on earth. Again, He says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”.

Luke 14:34,35 Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

God’s Word is given to us to change our lives and not just for us to talk about it. How easy it is to talk about God’s Word but not let it infiltrate every area of our lives. The Lord wants us to obey His Word and not just gain knowledge of His Word with it having no effect on our lives.

Jeremiah 23:29 “Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?

God’s Word is like a hammer and how much we need it to break open our hearts so that we can hear what He has to say, rather than just listen to the words.

John 5:25 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

Before we came to know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we were dead spiritually and it is only when we hear Him and respond to His voice that we come to life spiritually. God’s Word has the power to give life and those who receive His Words by faith receive that life, which is in Jesus Christ.

Romans 1:16,17 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. 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.”

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear”, Jesus says to all and how blessed are all who hear His Word and comes to the Lord in a saving faith. They receive eternal life, they do not come into judgment and they pass out of death into life.

John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

 

 

 

A Life with a Purpose

When a young person loses hope they quit dreaming and when they quit dreaming then they quit living and are only existing. The Lord has so much in store for each person and He gives a life purpose and direction. How do we know His purpose for our life and how do we accomplish our potential. Living life to the fullest is becoming all that you can be and reaching your full potential in life. How do we know our purpose in life and fulfill it? The word purpose means: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. Not all accept the purpose for which they were created.

Luke 7:30a But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves,

Jesus knew His purpose in the details for which He was sent.

Luke 4:43 But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”

Jesus knew His overall purpose for which He came.

John 12:27 Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.

It is only in Christ that you can discover your purpose. Life is far more than eating and sleeping and work. Apart from the Lord you will just “go through life” without real meaning. If you want to know God’s purpose for your life, in the details and particular purpose just for you, then you must follow God’s purpose for you in the His general purposes for you and everyone else. Humans are the only aspect of creation who have not followed God’s purpose for which they were created. What are the basic purposes?

I Peter 2:20b,21 But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 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,

The first step in discovering God’s purpose for your life is to do what is right in what He has already revealed to you to be His will. Is there anything that has been left undone that He has told you to do? Why should the Lord make known anything else to you if you are not doing what He has already shown you?

I Timothy 4:7 On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;

God’s purpose for you is to be godly and to discipline yourself for this purpose. How are you doing in your own personal discipline? If you are lazy and indulging yourself for your own comfort then why should He make known to you His purpose for you? It is easier to direct a moving vehicle than one which is sitting by the road. Are you going about and leading a disciplined life by doing what you already know what you should be doing or are you waiting until He shows you what He wants you to do? Get moving doing what you already know to do.

I Thessalonians 4:7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.

The Lord has called us to be pure. Are you reading and listening to things that you should not be paying attention to? What is your music like? Music is often a general expression of the heart. Does it feed your fleshly desires? Why should the Lord show you His will if you are allowing garbage to go into your mind?

Colossians 1:28,29 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

Are you involved with a church or the body of Christ is some way that is helping you fulfill the Great Commission of making disciples? We all can’t do everything but we all can do something to proclaim Christ to the world. When you are doing His will then His power will mightily work in you. You will find that as your are united with other Christians for the purpose of fulfilling God’s will in the world that you will bring joy to others and you will find your purpose in life.

Philippians 2:2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

The Lord will make known to those who follow Him, the mystery of His will for their lives, which is in accordance with the kind intention which He purposed in Christ. The Lord is kind and His will for you is good.

Ephesians 1:8b,9 In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him

So, having done all of these things, how do you know God’s will for your life? The Lord says that the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that shines brighter and brighter until the full day. As you go in the direction of God’s will for you then it will become clearer and clearer.

Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.

His peace will rule in your heart as you follow His direction. If you find yourself being confused then you must stop and not go any further in that direction but you need to wait again on Him. The Lord is not a God of confusion.

I Corinthians 14:33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace

Don’t try to make something fit. If it is God’s will then it will be a good fit for you. He made you for a purpose and as you fulfill the purpose for which you are created then you will be secure and have joy and meaning in life. You will not need to compete with others or feel that you need to impress others but you will be secure in where He has you.

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Don’t forget to give Him thanks for the purpose for which you are created. Giving thanks to the Lord keeps your focus on Him rather than on the purpose. The devil will do anything to get our focus off of the Lord and onto something else, even if it is something good like His purpose for our lives.

 

 

 

 

 

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.