A Life with Love Brings Comfort

Everyone needs comfort. A baby seeks comfort from the time that the baby leaves the womb. Children need comfort and will only thrive with it. The word “fatherless” or “orphan” means without comfort. God’s design is that mankind would never be without comfort. Comfort is an expression of love that gives the “feeling” of being loved. The word comfort means “to come alongside”. In other words, the idea of comfort is that you will not be alone. The Lord said that it is not good for man to be alone.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; Genesis 2:18a

It is not good for anyone to be alone. The Lord made us to be in relationships. We were made to be in relationship with God, to receive of His love and to love Him back. Jesus came to bring us back into relationship with God. When Jesus left this earth He promised that the Comforter would come to those who trusted Him. This Comforter would be the Spirit of God Himself and would never leave them.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; John 14:16 (KJV)

They would not ever be alone again because Jesus would come to them and comfort them through His Holy Spirit.

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14:18

God never sent His Holy Spirit to convict Christians. God sent His Holy Spirit to comfort Christians. When we draw near to God then we feel His comfort. The Lord wants us to see Him and know His love. He does not want us to feel alone. He came so that we would never be alone again. Sin isolates but love comforts.

After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” John 14:19-21

If we believe in Jesus then we will see Him. We come into Christ and Christ comes into us when we become a Christian. Because Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and lives we live also. When we keep His commandments then we will live in His love and know His comfort and His love.

I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. John 10:11

When a person believes in Jesus Christ and receives Him as their Savoir and Lord then He also becomes their Shepherd. He is a good Shepherd and He laid down His life for His sheep.

I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. John 10:14-16

The true sheep will hear the Shepherd’s voice. Not only will true believers see the Lord but they will also hear His voice. The Lord calls for His sheep in every generation. It is our belief in Him and our love for Him that unites us into one flock with one Shepherd for all eternity. Just as sheep have differences in outward appearances, they will all have a sheep’s heart and they will all have the one Good Shepherd.

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. John 10:2-4

Jesus Christ is the true Shepherd and the true sheep hear His voice and they follow Him. He knows them by name and He goes before them. The true sheep will follow the true Shepherd because they know His voice.

I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. John 10:9

Jesus is the door. We must enter into His flock through Him. If we do then we will be saved and we will find comfort and rest for our souls. He cares for His sheep for He is the Good Shepherd.

A Life with Love Gives Worth

Love gives worth to the one being loved. It is sin that makes us feel worthless. The more we sin then the less worth that we will feel about ourselves. We are made in the image of God and each time that we sin then that image becomes hidden more and more and our worth diminishes in our own sight until we feel totally worthless.

A worthless person, a wicked man, Is the one who walks with a perverse mouth, Proverbs 6:12

A wicked person begins to be wicked in their heart. The heart of the wicked is worth little.

The heart of the wicked is worth little. Proverbs 10:20

A wicked person is one who believes in God but only enough to make himself feel good. Their belief in God does not change their behavior or life. The wicked are ungodly and live as if there will be no judgment day before God. They are pretentious enough to seek to be accepted by others. They want God and the world.

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

The wicked person will say that he hates what he does that violates his conscience…uses bad language, drinks too much, looks at things they should not look at, gossips, etc. but they do not hate it enough to stop. They are not willing to get help or to do whatever they need to do to be set free from the snare of sin. The wicked person has ceased to be wise and to do good. At one time he wanted to do right and to do good but he no longer despises sin. Either we will love sin and hate God or we will love God and hate sin. We can not do both.

Your lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
Your judgments are like a great deep.
O Lord, You preserve man and beast. Psalm 36:5,6

It is only God’s love that can preserve us. Only the Lord can restore the worth that God gave to man before the fall. Something is worth only what someone is willing to pay for it. God was willing and wanted to redeem us from the power, penalty and presence of sin and He did so by sending His only begotten Son to pay the price for our salvation. Jesus Christ paid the ransom for our life. Jesus Christ took our place on the cross and took death for us so that we could have life.

For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. I Corinthians 6:20

We could not redeem ourselves or restore our worth.

knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. I Peter 1:18,19

We were helpless. Christ died for us while we were sinners. We have been justified and saved from the wrath of God which is coming upon those who have not believed in Jesus Christ. We have been restored in our relationship with God. It is God’s love that saves, justifies and reconciles us.

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:6-11

It is only in Christ’s love that our worth is restored. It is only in God’s love that we can give worth to another. For this reason, it is important that we are filled with God’s love. When we are filled with God’s love then we give worth to each other. If a husband and wife fuss and fight with each other then they destroy each other’s self worth. When a wife does not feel loved then her worth in her own eyes is diminished. When a husband is shamed or not respected then the temptation is to become bitter toward his wife because she is destroying his self worth. When two people marry then they give each other the power over their lives to build up or destroy. People will go where they are praised and built up. Children will go where they are loved and praised. Let your marriage and home be filled with the love of God so that it will be a refuge and shelter from the storms of life and where all who enter will feel loved and of great worth.

A Life with Love Does Not Shame

The Lord does not shame His children and neither are we to shame one another. There is probably nothing greater that can quench love than to shame another whom God has called us to love. When a person has done wrong then they feel their own shame and it is not the responsibility of anyone else to add to it.

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones. Proverbs 12:4

When a wife shames her husband then it goes to the very core of his being and she becomes like one who drains the life out of him. Rather than being a blessing or a gift to him as the Lord intended she has become like the rottenness of death to his very bones.

But when David returned to bless his household, Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel distinguished himself today! He uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants’ maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!” So David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel; therefore I will celebrate before the Lord. I will be more lightly esteemed than this and will be humble in my own eyes, but with the maids of whom you have spoken, with them I will be distinguished.” Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death. II Samuel 5:20-23

When Michal, King David’s wife shamed him then he no longer desired to be with her. She had no child to the day of her death. Sometimes a wife will want to put her standards on her husband but she is not to be his conscience and her standards may not be the standards that the Lord has called him to.

In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. I Peter 3:1,2

A wife is not responsible for her husband’s actions but she is responsible for her behavior before the Lord. If her husband is not doing what is right in the sight of the Lord then the Lord will deal with him.

For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest upon the land of the righteous, So that the righteous will not put forth their hands to do wrong. Psalm 125:3

If a person is a Christian and is in authority then the Lord will not allow that Christian to continue to do wrong. The Lord will deal with him. If a husband continues to do wrong and the wife has been submissive to her husband and not been his conscience then she needs to trust in the Lord. He is faithful and will not allow the righteous to continue to do wrong.

The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. John 8:3-6

When the leaders brought to Jesus a woman who had been caught in adultery, He did not shame her but rather took the focus off of her by writing on the ground. When Jesus wrote on the ground then everyone was no longer looking at the woman but looking at what He was writing. Since she had been caught in adultery, in all likelihood she was not fully clothed. Rather than allowing her to receive further shame from others He wrote on the ground, He used the time needed for someone to bring her something to wrap herself in.

But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. John 8:7-9

Jesus is so amazing that He did not even shame those who brought her to Him. He again stooped down to give them a gracious opportunity to realize that they were not any different than the woman who had been caught in her sin.

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

We are all sinners. Grace is the opposite of shame. Jesus did not come to shame us but He came to show us God’s grace so that we might acknowledge our own sin and come to Him in faith. Salvation is a gift that we receive by His grace when we come to Him in faith.

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

When the woman called Jesus Lord then she was acknowledging that Jesus Christ is the Savior who came into the world. He did not come to condemn but He came to forgive.

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

She left her encounter with Jesus having been forgiven. His command to her was to “go and sin no more”. If we have had an encounter with Jesus and we have been forgiven then we will want to “go and sin no more”. A changed life is a testimony of a person who has come into a relationship with Jesus Christ. We will no longer want to do the things we did before.

A Life with Love Needs Grace

We need God’s grace to love and to be faithful to what He has called us to do. He has called us to be His children and love is to characterize our lives. We are to represent Him to others in our lives and our marriages are to show the world His plan of love for mankind. His grace and peace is multiplied to us through the knowledge of God.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; II Peter 1:2

We are powerless to love with a Godlike love apart from the Lord but can be recipients of His grace and power. We need His grace and His power to live the life He intended for us and to have the love in our marriages that He meant for us to have.

seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. II Peter 1:3

His divine power has granted us everything that we need pertaining to all of life and to live a godly life and to have a godly marriage in an ungodly world.

For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. II Peter 1:4

It is His precious and magnificent promises that allow us to become like Him and to escape the corruption that is in the world. It is His promises that give us hope that our life and marriage will not be destroyed or corrupted but will grow stronger and stronger as we grow in the love and knowledge of Jesus Christ. We no longer have to live according to our lusts but we can live according to His will which will allow us to experience His love and will bring us great joy and peace. The word “lusts” in the original language means “desires”. It is our “lusts” that destroys love in our relationships and brings death to our marriage. It is His will that nourishes love in our marriage.

But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. James 1:14,15

The Lord tells us not to let our “lusts” deceive us. He will give us His desires for our life, which are good and perfect gifts. If we had all of the knowledge to choose what is best for us then they are the good and perfect gifts that He would choose for our lives. He is the only One who is all knowing and knows what we need and what is best for us.

Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:17,18

The lusts of the world bring corruption and destruction to our life and marriage. Love in marriage is a good and perfect gift that He wants to give to us. He will give you the grace and power to live according to His ways and to not give in to temptation. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11

The Lord is the One who gives grace and glory. If you humble yourself before Him then He will give you His grace so that you might have the power to walk uprightly, obey Him and live according to his promises. You will escape the corruption that is in the world that comes to those who seek their own will and live according to their own desires.

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

A Life Whose Sin is Taken Away

We all know that we are not perfect and that we have messed up sometime during our lifetime. The longer we live the more sins we accumulate to our record. If we were honest then we would agree that yes, we want our sins taken away. There is only One who can take our sin away. Someone has to take the punishment for our sin. That someone who can, who lived the perfect life and never sinned, not even once, is Jesus Christ. He is the Lamb of God.

John 1:29,30 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’

John the Baptist was the first to recognize that Jesus was the perfect Lamb of God. Jesus came to take away the sin of the world. The word is sin and not sins because our original sin was that we wanted to be our own God and run our own lives. We wanted to make the decisions rather than be under the Lordship of God and allow Him to be our Master. From the original “sin” all other sins came. For this reason we can not be saved from our many sins that ensnare us until our “sin” is taken away. When we repent of our “sin” and allow Him to take it away then He becomes our rightful Lord and Master and we become His child.

Matthew 1:21-23 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God becomes our Savior and it is He who saves us from our sins. He sets us free when He forgives us and cleanses us. His blood covers our sins and they are not remembered again by Him. Our sin is taken away and our sins are forgiven.

Hebrews 9:22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Jesus shed His blood for the world that He might take away the sin of the world. Jesus Christ went to the cross once for all. He does not need to die again nor do any more lambs need to be sacrificed. Before Jesus Christ came then an offering had to be made over and over again for the sins of the people.

Hebrews 10:11-18 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, This is the covenant that I will make with them
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws upon their heart, And on their mind I will write them,” He then says, And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

When Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world and was the perfect Lamb of God and took our sin upon Himself then He nailed to the cross all of the accusations against us. He paid our debt so that we might be set free from the penalty, power and one day the presence of sin.

Colossians 2:13,14 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Jesus Christ did it all and He did it once for all so that the gift of salvation might be available to all. However, it is a gift and we can never do anything to deserve it but we must receive it. When we receive the gift of salvation then we receive all that Christ did for us. He took the punishment that we all deserve.

Romans 5:6-10 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

When you have received this gift then you will know that Jesus Christ is God and that He loves you. You receive the gift of salvation through faith. Once you receive Him then you will want to spend the rest of your life thanking Him and living for Him. Your life will be a response to Him. The Christian life is a love relationship with Jesus Christ.

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.

 

 

 

A Life Where Thou Art

The first question the Lord asked man was, “Where are thou?”.

Genesis 3:9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

The man and the woman were made to be with the Lord. He made them for them to have fellowship with Him and for them to enter into His joy.

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.

Man disobeyed the Lord and for the first time fear entered into man. Man began his long and lonely journey of hiding from God.

Genesis 3:10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

God came to earth as a man and His name is Jesus Christ, so that He could restore us back into a right relationship with Himself. He took the penalty and the separation from God that we deserved so that we might be restored back into fellowship with Him. Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus was in the beginning with God and all things came into being through Him. Jesus Christ is God and has always been God.

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Jesus, the Word, became flesh and dwelt among men. He is the only begotten Son of God, which means that He is the One and only Son of God. The Father gave His Son to restore us to Himself.

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.

As many as receive Jesus Christ, to them He gives the right to become one of His children, adopted into His family and to live forever with Him. They are born again.

John 1:12,13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Since God’s love is unconditional and perfect, one of the first things He does after restoring us to Himself is that He casts out all fear.

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

What is the evidence of someone who has been restored into a relationship with God. They will love others and especially will love Christians.

I John 4:7-11 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

He is still asking, “Where art Thou?”.

 

A Life that Receives Instruction

The Bible describes a fool as one who will not receive instruction. A wise person receives instruction, benefits from it and is blessed. A wise person seeks out instruction and is grateful for it. A wise person’s life is saved through instruction. The Lord wants to give us instruction on how to live that we may truly experience life and not death.

Psalm 78:1 Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

He will become your gold and your treasure when you learn to receive His instruction. Good will come to you and you will be at peace with God. He will restore you where you are broken. You will find delight in Him and He will hear your prayers. He will become your Savior and your Deliverer. Return to Him if you have strayed from Him and receive His instruction.

Job 22:21-30 “Yield now and be at peace with Him;
Thereby good will come to you.
“Please receive instruction from His mouth
And establish His words in your heart.
“If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored;
If you remove unrighteousness far from your tent,
And place your gold in the dust,
And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks,
Then the Almighty will be your gold
And choice silver to you.
“For then you will delight in the Almighty
And lift up your face to God.
“You will pray to Him, and He will hear you;
And you will pay your vows.
“You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you;
And light will shine on your ways.
“When you are cast down, you will speak with confidence,
And the humble person He will save.
“He will deliver one who is not innocent,
And he will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”

Don’t be a fool but learn to fear the Lord. He is good and He loves you. He will forgive you of any wrong doing and He will instruct you in the way you should go.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

When He gives you instruction then do it, exactly as He says.

Proverbs 4:13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life.

Don’t neglect your time in His Word for it is through His Word that He will give you instruction.

Proverbs 8:33 “Heed instruction and be wise, And do not neglect it.

He came that you might have life and His instruction will keep you on the path of life. Is there something that He has been trying to tell you?

Proverbs 10:17 He is on the path of life who heeds instruction, But he who ignores reproof goes astray.

Don’t ignore what the Old Testament has to say for it was written for our instruction so that through perseverance and the encouragement of His Word we might have hope.

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

The Lord has put people in our lives to give us instruction. Listen to them. For they will give an account to the Lord.

I Thessalonians 5:12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,

Finally, as the Lord has called all of us to instruct others, let it be done according to God’s Word, with great patience.

II Timothy 4:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

Always, let the goal of our instruction be love…that others might love the Lord and excel in loving others. That the world might know that we are Christians by our love for one another.

I Timothy 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

 

 

A Life that Is Satisfied

Satisfaction is something that we all long for and yet it seems often elusive. The Bible says that the eyes of man are never satisfied.

Proverbs 27:20b Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.

Yet, the Lord makes it very clear how we can be satisfied. If we will listen to Him and take heed to what He says then we will find great satisfaction. He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Lord has to say to you about satisfaction. Don’t keep seeking it yourself. You will never find satisfaction and happiness on your own.

Ezekiel 12:2 Son of man, you live in the midst of the rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, ears to hear but do not hear; for they are a rebellious house.

If we will do what He says then not only will we find satisfaction but we will be happy.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Don’t seek what you think will make you happy. It is an illusion. Once you get it and if you get what you think will bring you happiness then you will only want something more or something else. Seek the Lord and His righteousness and not only your needs will be met but He always gives more to those who seek Him.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

You will find that if you seek the Lord with all of your heart that you will find Him and in finding Him then you will find life.

Amos 5:4 For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel,“Seek Me that you may live.

Don’t wait for the stress which will come upon you for not seeking Him. Learn to come to Him in the good times as well as the stressful times. Learn to listen to His voice now.

Deuteronomy 4:29,30 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice.

He will show you His ways and teach you the way in which you should walk. He will heal your broken heart and He will restore your soul. He loves you. He wants you to be satisfied but knows that only the soul that hungers and thirsts after Him and His righteousness will be satisfied. He wants to give you life but only He knows how you can find life because He is life Himself. When you find Him then you find life and you will discover what righteousness is and why it is so satisfying. The opposite of satisfaction is frustration. You get frustrated in life because you don’t know what to do in different situations. If this describes you then go to Him daily and ask Him to allow you to know Him and know His ways. Ask Him to give you a heart that seeks Him and His righteousness.

Proverbs 8:34-36 Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at my doorposts.
For he who finds me finds life
And obtains favor from the Lord.
But he who sins against me injures himself;
All those who hate me love death.

 

 

 

A Life that Overcomes Bitterness

Bitterness is one of the most damaging emotions. Bitterness can be an unresolved hurt in our hearts. Someone hurt us and we can still feel it as if it just happened yesterday. Bitterness can be a wound that has never been healed. It will cause you trouble and poison many.

Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

When sin abounds then God’s grace abounds also but unless we receive His grace and are healed from the hurt and pain of wounds from others we will become bitter.

Romans 5:20,21 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Grace reigns through righteousness to eternal life which is through Jesus Christ our Lord. When you do what is right after someone has done you wrong, and you can only do this through God’s grace, then you will be set free from the bitterness which would result from not experiencing His grace. If you will turn to Him in your pain then He will heal you and restore you.

Exodus 15:26 And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.”

The opposite of bitterness is thankfulness. He will remove the bitterness and fill your heart with gratitude and joy. Only the Lord can do this but He can and He wants to.

I Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Bitterness also comes from forsaking the Lord.

Jeremiah 2:19 Your own wickedness will correct you,
And your apostasies will reprove you;
Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter
For you to forsake the Lord your God,
And the dread of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord God of hosts.

Bitterness can come from the misfortune of bereavement.

Ruth 1:20 She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.

The Lord healed Naomi and she became the great great grandmother of King David. The Lord restored her joy. She trusted the Lord and He was faithful to her.

Ruth 4:16,17 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Bitterness can come from unfulfilled desires and longings. Hannah was greatly sorrowful that she could not have any children.

I Samuel 1:10 She, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.

Hannah turned to the Lord and the Lord heard her prayer and gave her a son, who became the last judge and first prophet in Israel. Her prayer that is recorded became Mary’s prayer when she found out that she was going to bear a Son and His name would be Jesus, the Son of God.

I Samuel 2:1,2 Then Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord;
My horn is exalted in the Lord,
My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
There is no one holy like the Lord,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.

When you experience great loss then you might feel bitter. Job lost everything but his wife and then she also tried to get him to forsake the Lord.

Job 3:20 Why is light given to him who suffers,
And life to the bitter of soul,

Job was faithful to the Lord and the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him even more.

Job 42:10 The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold.

Great sorrow and pain comes to all of us at some time in our life. How we respond to it will determine whether our life becomes bitter or sweet. If we turn to Him, He is faithful and will not disappoint you, for that is the promise He has made to us.

Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

If you don’t turn to Him then your bitterness will eat you up and destroy you from the inside and will make it’s way out through your countenance and your tongue. Not only will it destroy you but it will defile those around you, as mentioned earlier. Don’t substitute what the Lord wants to give to you. His plan for you is sweet. It is the devil who wants to rob you through bitterness.

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Turn to the Lord in you sorrow, loss, disappointment and unfulfilled desires and longings. He will give to you even more than what you can imagine and He has a plan for your life that is good for you and sweet.

 

A Life that Does What is Right

One aspect of the meaning of righteousness is doing what is right. Jesus walked in perfect righteousness, which means that He did what was right all of the time. Righteousness is the opposite of sin. One of the definitions of the word righteousness in the Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament, is literally “do not destroy”. When we sin and do not do what is right then we are destroying something, whether it is our family, our reputation, our relationships, our marriage or whatever else that is a part of us.

Psalm 58:1,2 Do you indeed speak righteousness, O mighty ones?
Do you judge uprightly, O sons of men?
No, in heart you work unrighteousness;
On earth you weigh out the violence of your hands.

In our hearts all of us are guilty of unrighteousness. We deceive our selves by rationalizing or saying something is not that bad, in other words, we weigh out the degree of our sin to determine if it is that bad. Violence is violating the Word of God and in the end we are the ones who are violated. The word violate means to change. When we sin, then something in us is changed. When we sin we lose our innocence in that area and have come into the knowledge of evil. We are no longer the same and it has taken us away from the image of God. When we sin then a part of us is destroyed.

Deuteronomy 6:25 It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the Lord our God, just as He commanded us.

When we do what is right then it keeps us from being destroyed. It is not the kind of righteousness that saves us but it is the righteousness that preserves us. The righteousness that comes from God that saves us is the righteousness that is based on faith. When we believe God then our faith is reckoned to us as righteousness. However, we can be a Christian and still experience destruction if we do not live according to His Word.

I Samuel 26:23a The Lord will repay each man for his righteousenss and his faithfulness;

The Lord rewards each man according to his righteousness. This is a reference to the blessings that he receives, whether it is rewards on earth or in heaven. When you do what is right in God’s eyes then He rewards you.

I Kings 3:6a Then Solomon said, “You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You;

He gives us the righteousness of Christ when we become a Christian but then He wants us to walk in His righteousness after we have come to know Him. He wants us to put on His righteousness, in other words, He wants us to walk in a manner pleasing Him, that is, doing what is right. You are to put on the new self. When you put on the new self the outcome will be righteousness.

Ephesians 4:22-24 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

You are to wear the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate is what guards your heart. When you do what is right then you will guard yourself from much pain in your heart.

Ephesians 6:14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

This is the righteousness that the Lord spoke of in Ezekiel when He mentioned Noah, Job and Daniel, that they could only save themselves by their own righteousness. He is not talking about eternal salvation, for all have sinned and fall short of God’s standard of righteousness. However, they preserved their own lives from destruction on earth because they sought to live out God’s standard of righteousness and while others were destroyed their lives were not destroyed. Let them be our examples of living a godly life in a godless world. God’s judgments are coming and He will judge the world in righteousness.

Ezekiel 14:12-20 Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,” declares the Lord God. “If I were to cause wild beasts to pass through the land and they depopulated it, and it became desolate so that no one would pass through it because of the beasts, though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the country would be desolate. Or if I should bring a sword on that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass through the country and cut off man and beast from it,’ even though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters, but they alone would be delivered. Or if I should send a plague against that country and pour out My wrath in blood on it to cut off man and beast from it, even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

To sum up, you are not responsible for the wrongs done to you by others but you are responsible for doing the right thing in your relationships with others. The devil is the destroyer and the way he destroys is by deceiving us into believing a lie that it is okay to do certain things. Don’t let him destroy you by doing what is wrong. Learn the right way to do life so that you will experience life as the Lord designed and came to give you.

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