A Life that Calls

One of the definitions of a wicked person is that they do not call upon the Lord.

Psalm 53:4 Have the workers of wickedness no knowledge,
Who eat up My people as though they ate bread
And have not called upon God?

A life that lives as the Lord calls us to live is one who calls upon the Lord. He says over and over again in His Word, “call on Me”. It is the wise young lady who gives heed to this admonition. Are you ever in trouble? Call on Him. He has promised that He will rescue you but you need to be careful to give Him the honor.

Psalm 50:15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.

Do you need boldness? Call on Him.

Psalm 138:3 On the day I called, You answered me;
You made me bold with strength in my soul.

Do you need to know what to do? Call on Him.

Jeremiah 33:3 Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

An expression of true repentance is when people call on the Lord. Is there something in your life that you know that you should not be doing? Call on the Lord and turn from your wicked ways. The Lord meets the one who delights in doing righteousness.

Jonah 3:8 But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands.

The greatest invitation that has ever been given has been given to all of us.  Whoever will call upon the Lord will be saved!

Romans 10:8-13 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Let it not be said of you that you did not call on the Lord or that you became weary of Him. Call on Him today, while you have the opportunity.

Isaiah 43:22 Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob;
But you have become weary of Me, O Israel.

If you do not call upon Him while you can then the day will come when you will wish that you had done so when you had the opportunity. He is calling to you. Do not refuse Him.

Proverbs 1:28,29 Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord.

 

 

 

A Life Fulfilling the Great Commission

When the Lord takes you home to be with Him then what will you leave behind? The Lord wants us to fill the earth with disciples. He wants us to go to the ends of the earth if necessary to make disciples. His command is to make disciples as we are going through life. Who are you teaching the ways of the Lord and pouring into them what the Lord has taught you?

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

The Lord says that He has gone before you and all He has called you to do is follow Him. He will show you as you step out in faith, in obedience to Him, how to make disciples. It is His will and He wants you to follow Him.

John 12:26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

He created you for a purpose and as you seek to follow and obey Him then you will find your purpose in life. You are His workmanship for good works which He has prepared beforehand for you.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

What are you to teach and who are you to disciple? You are to teach the things that the Lord has taught you to those who are teachable and faithful and who will be able to teach others also.

II Timothy 2:2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

The Lord has been given the nations as His inheritance and the very ends of the earth as His possession. On His authority we go and do what He has commanded us.

Psalm 2:7,8 “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.

Jesus Christ has been given the nations and the ends of the earth as His possession and He wants us to ask Him and He will give them to you to make disciples. Who are you asking Him for, that they might know Him and be His disciple? What doors are you knocking on that the Gospel might be heard by others? And are you seeking His kingdom as He commanded you?

Matthew 7:7,8 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

 

 

 

A Life that Comes

Grace is God’s invitation to come to Him. This is the kindest and most loving aspect of the Lord. He has invited us to come to Him. He will not turn away anyone who comes to Him.

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

Are you tired? Are you weary? Are you carrying burdens that are too big for you? Come to Him. You will find rest for your soul. He will yoke you to Himself and your burdens will become much lighter because He will carry your burdens and give you His burden which is light. Whenever two animals were yoked together the farmer would always put a stronger one with a weaker one so that the stronger one would carry the load or burden of the work. Take His yoke and learn from the Lord. He is gentle and humble of heart.

Psalm 40:6-8 Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired;
My ears You have opened;
Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.
Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is prescribed of me.
I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law is within my heart.”

Has He opened your ears yet? He is not interested in your religion. He wants a relationship with you. He is not interested in your sacrifices and that is not what He desires. He wants you and wants a relationship with you. Come to Him today. This is His prescription for a weary soul. He will give you rest.

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.

There is no one who has gotten too far from the Lord or done too much for Jesus not to love them. Jesus will receive them when they come to Him. He has offered you this invitation, “Come to Me…”. He wants you and loves you. You don’t need to bring anything other than yourself and He wants you to come as you are. Don’t try to clean up your life or feel the need to change yourself before you can come to Him. Come just as you are to Him.

 

A Life of Persecution

When you live according to God’s Word and seek to do what is pleasing in His sight and turn away from evil sometimes you will become a prey for others to laugh at or mock.

Isaiah 59:15 Yes, truth is lacking; And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey.

If you are not being persecuted for the way that you live you need to ask yourself if you are truly living a godly life. The Bible says that you will be persecuted.

II Timothy 3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

However, the Lord tells us that we are blessed if we are persecuted for being a Christian and for righteousness sake, which means, for living by God’s Word. Great is our reward in heaven.

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The Lord’s presence will come to you and rest on you. The sweetest time in your Christian life will be when you sense His presence. You will know then that it is all worth it if you know Him more and are drawn closer to Him through the fellowship of His sufferings, not to mention what He has in store in heaven for you.

I Peter 4:14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

He Himself will come to you and perfect you in your faith and confirm your relationship with Him. He will strengthen you and establish you when you may feel the weakest. After it is over then you will be more like Him and more holy in your behavior.

John 15:8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

There are three characteristics that the Lord said would prove to the world that He is Lord, that Jesus is God and that we are His disciples. It is through our holiness that the world is convinced that He is Lord, it is love for one another that we are His disciples and unity with other believers that Jesus Christ was sent from God.

John 17:23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me.

What do you do if you are persecuted? You pray for your persecutors. This is what our Lord commanded us to do.

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Who is one of the most famous people that was a great persecutor but became a great Christian? Was it because the Christians prayed for him? Paul, the Apostle was zealous in His persecution of Christians and yet he became even more zealous for the Lord after his conversion.

Galatians 1:13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it;

God was glorified through the conversion of one who was once a destroyer of the church. Is there anyone who is persecuting you for being a Christian? Pray for them.

Galatians 1:23,24 but only, they kept hearing, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.” And they were glorifying God because of me.

 

 

A Life Not Forsaken, Judged or Condemned

The Lord came so that we might have life and it is an incredible life that He has given to us. We will spend eternity thanking Him. We are not forsaken…

Hebrews 13:5b for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”

…because He was forsaken for our sakes.

Matthew 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

We are not judged, if we believe in Him…

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.

…because He was judged. He took the judgment for our sins.

John 3:18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

We are not condemned…

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

… because He took our condemnation that we deserve.

Romans 8:3,4 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,

We are not dead, because He made us alive together with Christ, if we have put our trust in Him.

Ephesians 2:1-6 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

We live because He lives and we will spend all of eternity thanking Him.

A Life that Calls

From the very beginning the great men and women of God, who lived by faith, called on the Lord. The wicked do not call on the Most High but look elsewhere for help.

Genesis 13:4 to the place of the altar which he had made there formerly; and there Abram called on the name of the Lord.

The incredible privilege of being able to call on the Creator of the universe is what makes Christians so unique. The Lord has made us a people for Himself.

Deuteronomy 4:7 For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the Lord our God whenever we call on Him?

The Christian life begins with calling on the Lord and the Christian life is a relationship where we continually call on Him. He says that whoever, which includes everyone, calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Romans 10:12,13 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

He tells us to call on Him when we are in trouble and He will rescue us. Has He ever rescued you? Did you honor Him by telling others what great thing He has done for you?

Psalm 50:15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”

Full repentance involves turning from your sin and turning to the Lord and calling on Him, that He might have mercy on you and save you from your iniquity.  Iniquity is  what your sin is called of wanting to be your own lord, by going your own way and making your own decisions. Once you repent from your iniquity then He will save you from your sins, which are all of the foolish acts, words, thoughts and offenses against Him.

Jonah 3:8 But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands.

The Lord wants you to call on Him so that He can show you great and mighty things.

Jeremiah 33:3 ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

Where are you in your calling upon the Lord? Do you call on Him every morning before you start your day or have you become weary in your walk and no longer call on Him as you did earlier when you first came into your love relationship with the Lord?

Isaiah 43:22 Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob;
But you have become weary of Me, O Israel.

The Lord longs to hear from you and waits for your call. Just as a parent, who loves their child waits for their calls when they are away, so your heavenly Father is waiting to hear from you.

Psalm 4:1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.

He will answer you and He will hear your call. He loves you and longs to hear from you. You will find strength that you did not have and boldness in your soul.

Psalm 138:3 On the day I called, You answered me;
You made me bold with strength in my soul.

A Life that is Holy

The Lord has made clear to us His command in that He wants us to be holy.

I Peter 1:14-16 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

As noted this command is only for His children for those who do not belong to Him can not be holy. You can only be holy if you have the Holy One dwelling within you. However, if you are His child, then He expects you to be holy. It is a testimony of your obedience to Him. Is there anything in your life that would be considered unholy? If Jesus returned at any moment would He find you doing something that you would be ashamed of or wearing clothes that were shameful, in other words, clothes that could cause a man to desire you physically? Is your speech holy? What about what you laugh at or the movies you watch or the music you listen to…would Jesus engage in these activities? The Lord is holy and wants His children to be holy. He told His people in the Old and the New testaments that they were to be holy.

Exodus 22:31a You shall be holy men to Me,

The only way that you can be holy is if you regard the Lord as holy. He is to be your fear and He is to be your dread. If He is these things to you then He will become your sanctuary. He will be a refuge for those who regard Him as holy. If you do not regard Him as holy then His Words will become a stumbling block to you.

Isaiah 8:13-15 “It is the Lord of hosts whom you should regard as holy.
And He shall be your fear,
And He shall be your dread.
“Then He shall become a sanctuary;
But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over,
And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
“Many will stumble over them,
Then they will fall and be broken;
They will even be snared and caught.”

God the Father is holy, Jesus is holy and the Spirit is called the Holy Spirit. Everything about God is holy. He wants you to be holy.

Luke 1:35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.

It is our unbelief that causes us to not treat God as holy. It is our unbelief that prevents us from entering and living in the promised land. However, regardless of how we treat the Lord, He still proves Himself to be holy amongst us.

Numbers 20:12,13 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” Those were the waters of Meribah, because the sons of Israel contended with the Lord, and He proved Himself holy among them.

For what reason does the Lord want us to be holy and why does He prove Himself to be holy amongst us in the sight of others? It is because he wants the world to know that He is the Lord. When you are not holy then the world can say that God must not be real because “they are no different than us who do not claim to follow God”.

Ezekiel 36:23 I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” declares the Lord God, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight.

When we are God’s people and represent Him as a holy people then we will be a soothing aroma to Him.

Ezekiel 20:41 As a soothing aroma I will accept you when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered; and I will prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations.

Therefore, as an obedient child, do not be conformed to this world but present yourself to Him as a living and holy sacrifice, which He has promised to accept.

Romans 12:1,2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Now this is truly grace. For it is by grace that we have been saved through faith and not of ourselves. It is by grace through faith that we offer ourselves to Him. And He accepts us! What an incredible privilege and gift!

Ephesians 2:8  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

A Life that Is Not Judged

No one wants to be judged and yet we all deserve judgment and judgment is going to happen. So how do you avoid being judged by the Lord? You judge yourself. Is it not true that we are all sinners and if we are saved then we are sinners saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ?

I Corinthians 11:31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.

What is our judgment? It is that we are sinners deserving of hell and punishment. However, when we confess our sin to Him then we judge ourselves and He forgives us.

I John 1:8,9 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Allow the truth to penetrate your life and heart so that you can judge yourself rightly so that you will not be judged by the Lord. When the Lord judges us He disciplines us so that we will not be like the rest of the world.

I Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

So, when you pray, pray then in this way, “Lord, forgive me of my sins” and then enumerate how you have sinned against Him if necessary.

Matthew 6:12 and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.

You do not need to confess your sins to anyone else as Jesus is your High Priest if you are a Christian. He is a high priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses. for He too was tempted in all things.

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

Therefore, let us draw near to Him. He is very patient towards us and wants us to come to Him. He understands as a loving Savior and He wants you to be clean and holy as a righteous Judge. He will forgive you. Do you need mercy and grace? He is there for you.

Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

 

 

 

A Life that Prays

Prayer is one the greatest privileges that God has given to man and answered prayer is one of the greatest gifts that God has given to man. However, prayer and answered prayer is one of the most rarely used of all His privileges and gifts. There is so much we do not have because we have not prayed.

James 4:2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.

The word lust in the Greek means “desire”. Envy is also wanting something that you do not have. We sin because we do not pray. We do not pray because we sin. The Lord loves to give to His children and He only gives good gifts.

Matthew 7:7-11 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

Are you struggling with something? Are you tempted to desire something that someone else has and you want it also? Ask and ask again. Pray to your Heavenly Father. He wants to give to you and because He is a good Father, He will only give you what is good for you.

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

The Lord longs to be gracious to you. Call upon Him while He is near. Are you overwhelmed and anxious?

Philippians 4:5b-6 The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Pray to Him. He loves your prayers and they are a delight to Him.

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

Are you in trouble? Pray to Him. Pray to Him now while He may be found. When others see Him answer your prayers then they too will have the courage to pray. The day will come when others will not be able to pray or to reach Him, just as in the days of Noah. They cried out but there was none to deliver and they had no hiding place but you do if you belong to Him. He is your salvation and deliverer and He is your hiding place.

Psalm 32:6,7 Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.
You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.

 

A Life of Open Doors

The Lord is the One who opens doors that no one else can open. He also is the One who shuts doors. Keep His Word, walk in His Spirit and don’t deny His name so that you will see His open doors for you.

Revelation 3:7,8 He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this: ‘I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name.

Learn to hear His voice and follow Him. He will lead you and you will walk in the light of His presence.

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

Learn to knock and trust Him to open the door if it is God’s will for you to go through and also ask Him to shut the door if it is not His will. Keep a surrendered will rather than having a will of your own. Keep praying, “Lord, your will be done” as you are praying and seeking.

Matthew 7:7,8 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Pray also as you are going through life that the Lord will give you open doors to share Him and His Word with others.

Colossians 4:3,4 praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.

Be sure and give Him the credit and glory for the open doors. Again, He is the One who opens doors and shuts doors. If He has given you an open door in your life, then tell others.

II Corinthians 2:12 Now when I came to Troas for the gospel of Christ and when a door was opened for me in the Lord,

You will have adversaries along the way but the Lord will go before you and fight for you. He is your defense. Learn to trust Him. He opened the door and He can keep it open.

I Corinthians 16:9 for a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

Finally, in all He calls you to do know that He will go before you. To Him, the doorkeeper opens.

John 10:2-4 But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.

Can life be any better than knowing that you have a Good Shepherd who goes before you and loves you? He laid down His life for you. He loves you perfectly. You can trust Him completely.