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 Loves the Light

We will either love the light or we will love the darkness. Our hearts are deceitful and if we don’t come to the light then we will love the darkness so that our heart will not be exposed.

John 3:19-21 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.

The Lord has given us this opportunity to come to Him so that the light might expose our evil hearts so that He might clean them so that we might have a clear conscience.

Hebrews 10:22a let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience

Draw near to the Lord and He will draw near to you and clean your conscience so that you might be able to live before Him with a clear conscience. All of us sin and need to be cleansed. It is the person who does not come to Him for cleansing but continues on in their evil ways that will suffer shipwreck in regard to their faith.

I Timothy 1:19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.

If you will come to Him and have your conscience cleaned then you need not fear the judgment day when your own actions and conscience will testify against you when the light is shown on you because you refused to come to the light earlier and be cleansed.

Luke 8:17 For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.

If you have come to the Light then continue to follow the Light that you might stay in the light.

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

He who walks in the light will not stumble but will have the light of life.

John 12:35,36 So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.”

When we walk in the light then we will have fellowship with one another and His blood will cleanse us from our sin.

I John 1:5-7 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Those who love the light will come to the light that their deeds will be made known as having been wrought in God.

 

A Life that Respects

All of the ten commandments can be summed up in one word and that is respect. We are to respect God and we are to respect one another.

Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before Me.

The Lord God is our Creator and he deserves our respect. We should have no other gods before Him.

Exodus 20:4-6 You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

The Lord has made us for Himself and is a jealous God and does not want us to worship that which is false. There is no comparison to Him. He is the only true God. The Lord does not want us to make any likeness of Him for then we would consider that likeness to be holy and would be honoring it as if it were God. This quickly can lead us astray.

Exodus 20:7 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

Do you say “OMG” then you are taking God’s name in vain. Or saying something like “Oh my _ _ _”. These sayings are not wise nor are they pleasing to the Lord. Who knows how many people are experiencing God’s punishment for taking His name in vain. Don’t take any chances. The Lord takes this very serious. No other commandment does He say that He will punish the evildoers but this one particular commandment. His name is holy and He wants us to respect His name.

Exodus 20:8-10 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.

The Lord gave you a day of rest each week. If you are stressed out and exhausted then ask yourself, “Am I honoring the Lord on His holy day?”. The early church set aside Sunday as the sabbath to worship Christ and to rest. This means that it is not “Family Day” or “Sunday Funday”. We are to show respect to the Lord on His day…this means no work nor do you pay others to work for you such as waitresses, grocery store workers, etc. The Lord said no one is to serve you on His day.

Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

This is the first commandment with a promise. Show respect to your parents. Even if you don’t want to respect a person you should always respect their position. Your parents are sinners and you may not always feel that they are worthy of your respect. Respect them anyway out of respect for the Lord. If you have parents that are worthy of respect then you need to thank the Lord every day for them.

Exodus 20:13 You shall not murder.

The Lord has called us to respect human life. Abortion is murdering babies. The Lord also said that if we have hatred in our heart then that is the same as murdering someone in our heart. We are all guilty of all of the commandments but there is forgiveness with the Lord if we confess our sin to Him then He will forgive us.

Exodus 20:14 You shall not commit adultery.

Have you ever lusted in your heart for someone? The word “lust” means in the original language “desire”. Have you desired in an inappropriate manner anyone other than your husband? If so, then you have committed adultery in your heart. Keeping this commandment is respecting other people and their relationships.

Exodus 20:15 You shall not steal.

Have you ever cheated? Then you have stolen what is not yours. Do you always pay what you owe even when the person would not be aware of it? Do you ever use something and then return it to a store as if it had not been used? Do you pilfer from your employer? What you do in secret is who you are. If you steal then you are a thief and are not respecting what belongs to others.

Exodus 20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Do you ever lie to someone because you are afraid to tell the truth or do you tell a lie to make yourself look good? If so, then you are not respecting your neighbor.

Exodus 20:17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

The Lord does not even want you to desire what is not yours. A great test for this is do you rejoice when others have something that you have always wanted? Respect for others is not even wanting what they have but being content with what the Lord has given to you.

Matthew 5:19a Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven;

Do you believe that the ten commandments do not apply to today? Then you need to take seriously what our Lord said and that is, that whoever annuls one of the least of these commandments and so teaches others shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:19b but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

On the other hand, whoever keeps and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of God.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Does Not Give Away Intimacy

There is a saying, “If the milk is free why buy the cow?”. There are certain gifts that have been given to us and that a young lady should not give away except to the right person at the right time. She should not give away her body to men but it is to be saved for her husband alone and only should be given to him after he has taken her in marriage. Marriage is a man’s commitment to a young lady to love her, to cherish her, to protect her, to provide for her and ultimately to lay down his life for her. Many a man will make promises to get what they want and then once they have gotten their desires then they never fulfill their promises. Engagement is not marriage and the same rules for dating apply during the engagement period.

I Corinthians 6:18-20 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Marriage is not a 50/50 proposition but it is a 100/100 relationship. Each one gives all of oneself to the other so that they might become one. However, what is right before marriage is wrong after marriage. It is right to abstain from sexual relations before marriage and wrong to withhold from each other after marriage. There is a saying that girls that do “it” before marriage don’t want to do “it” after marriage so it is foolish for both to compromise God’s standard of morality. God is not mocked. He has His standards for our good and we are foolish not to abide by what He has said.

Galatians 6:7,8 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Moral excellence is the root of true love in a marriage and it is expressed through waiting until after the wedding to have a physical relationship. If two people are morally excellent in their standards then they will trust each other after they are married. If a man and woman compromise before marriage then the trust will not be there as it could have been had they waited.

II Peter 1:5-7 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

If you have compromised God’s moral standard then it is not too late to repent but there needs to be repentance and though that may be hard it is necessary. Repentance means that you are turning your back on your sin and turning to God. However, you must keep turning to the Lord so that you do not fall back into your old ways. You also must flee from temptation. Temptations are often much stronger if you have tasted of the pleasures of that particular sin. You do not miss what you have never known.

II Timothy 2:22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

You can, by God’s grace, keep His standards of righteousness. God is faithful and will provide a way of escape to the one who calls on Him and puts their trust in Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

 

A Life that Believes

Believing in the Lord is what gives us life. If you want to live life to the fullest then you must believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

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.

Jesus Christ performed many signs and miracles attesting to the fact that He was God. He died and rose again and more than five hundred people saw Him after He was raised from the dead.

I Corinthians 15:3-6a 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,

God’s Word and the Gospel is the power of salvation for all who believe.

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.”

Someone who believes will come to the Lord in faith. It is coming to the Lord in faith is what saves a person. Intellectual belief is not enough. We must come to Him and put our trust in Him to forgive us of our sins. One of the aspects of faith is to come to the One whom you believe in.

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.

The Gospel is God’s good news for everyone. Salvation is a gift from God through Jesus Christ and is not a result of any amount of good works that we could do to earn it. It is a gift from God to all who will believe and put their trust in Jesus Christ to forgive them of their sins. 

John 6:37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

All who come to Him will be received by Him and will receive forgiveness. He will not cast anyone out who comes to Him. There is no sin too great and His grace invites all to come.

Luke 7:47-50 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Have you come to Jesus for forgiveness? Coming to Him is the faith that He wants from us. For this reason prayer is an expression of faith. We come to Him in prayer and receive Him and what He has to offer then our response will be one of love for Him. When we realize how great a debt of sin He has forgiven us through His death on the cross then our love for Him will be great. We owe Him everything.

 

 

A Life that Is Wise

Wisdom is applying God’s instructions and commands to your life and living accordingly. Wisdom is living out God’s Word and living by God’s ways in every area of your life. All of our life is connected in one way or another. What we did yesterday affects our life today. What we will do tomorrow will have an impact on us and will bring us life or death to our soul and our body.

Proverbs 9:12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

What goes into our mind influences our decisions just as what goes into our body affects the health of our body. If you want to be mentally and emotionally healthy then you must guard what goes into your mind and heart.

Proverbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.

You may not want to apply God’s Words to you life just as when we were younger we did not want to always eat vegetables but if we ate what was right then our body would function right. If you will live by God’s Words, whether you like them or not, then you will function right in your mind and your heart. You will be healthy mentally and emotionally. You will be very pleased with the outcome. You will not be disappointed.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

You will not always understand God’s ways and that is okay. You do not need to understand them to do them just as you may not understand how a computer works to use it. The more you keep God’s commandments then the more you will understand them. However, understanding comes after obedience to them.

Proverbs 4:20-22 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
For they are life to those who find them
And health to all their body.

Wisdom will bring life to your spirit, soul and body.

Proverbs 4:5-9 Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.

If you do not forget her, forsake her nor turn away from the words of her mouth then wisdom will guard you from making wrong decisions. Love her and she will watch over you. Wisdom will help you marry the right person and teach you how to have a great marriage. Wisdom will prevent you from making stupid decisions on your job, in relationships and in every other area. The number of mistakes that you have made in life is an indication of how often you have needed wisdom. How many regrets do you have and how many missed opportunities? Again, wisdom will keep you from these things. Often people will say after great pain that they are a better person for it but if that is so then they would want other people to go through the pain so that they could learn also. You are not a better person for the mistakes that you made but you are a better person for the lesson that you learned. However, how much sweeter life would have been if you had known the right thing to do so that you would not have had to learn the hard way. Who wants to live a life of tears and mistakes? You are not stronger at the broken places but you are more vulnerable where you have fallen so you guard the broken places much more.

Proverbs 4:7-9 The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.

How much sweeter life is with wisdom. When you get wisdom and understanding them you will realize what a precious treasure that you have. You will prize her and embrace wisdom. Wisdom, in turn, will exalt you and honor you. She will place on your head a garland of grace and present you with a crown of beauty. Wisdom will give you that beauty that nothing else can compare to and you will radiate from the inside to the outside. All desirable things can not compare with wisdom.

Proverbs 8:11 For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.

Proverbs 8:17-21 “I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.
“Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness.
“My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield better than choicest silver.
“I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.

Do you love doing life? Are you excited about what each day holds for you? Are you excited about the future? The Lord wants you to live life to the fullest and you can only do this by wisdom. Just as in a sport, the athlete who gets better and better enjoys the sport proportionately. So it is with life, the more wisdom that you have then the more you will look forward to each day and enjoy life.

Proverbs 10:23 Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool,
And so is wisdom to a man of understanding.

A Life with Kindness

Do you want your life to be filled with kindness? This is one of the most simple to understand yet most profound of all the truths in the Bible. It is also brings great blessing to the one who does it.

Luke 18:25a With the kind You show Yourself kind;

The Lord is kind and if you are kind then you will experience His kindness. Not only will you experience His kindness but you will be like Him and your reward will be great.

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

Kindness is not necessarily deserved by the one who receives it but it comes to even ungrateful and evil men because kindness comes from the one who gives it. Kindness is of the Lord and when we are filled with His Holy Spirit then kindness will flow from us towards others.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Kindness will give you favor with men and with God. The only way that we can continually be kind is if we walk with the Lord. He is kind and His kindness fills us when we walk with Him. The more you show kindness then the more you see it and the more you want to be kind to others.

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.

Do you want favor in life with God and with others? Learn to be kind. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to ways that you can be kind. Ask yourself about your actions…are they kind and are they true? If your words and actions are kind but not true then don’t say or do them. If they are true and not kind then don’t say or do them. Your life and example is what you will eventually teach your children in the way that they relate to others.

Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

Do you always want to have friends? The learn to be kind. The Bible says that what is desirable in a person is kindness.

Proverbs 19:22a What is desirable in a man is his kindness,

If you want to have a marriage filled with kindness then marry a kind man. If you do, then your marriage will be sweet to you and your home will be comforting to your children.