A Life that Has a Family

One of the highest honors given to us when we become a Christian, a born again believer in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, is that we come into the family of God. There is no higher honor that could be given to us than that we have God as our Father.

I John 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

It is a such a great love that He allows us to call Him “Abba” which means Daddy. It is one of the most intimate of relationships and many great privileges and promises come with it.

Romans 8:15-17 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

We are adopted into His family and become his children. If we are His children then we are heirs and fellow heirs with Jesus Christ. He calls us brothers and sisters.

John 20:17 Jesus *said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’”

Who does He call His brothers and sisters?

Luke 8:21 But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”

The evidence that you are really in His family is that you want to do His will and you hear the word of God and do it. If you have no desire to obey His word or you find that, truth be told, you are not doing His will by obeying His word then you need to ask yourself if you are really His brother or sister. He says that those who are in His family will hear His word and do it.

John 1:12 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,

It is not too late to receive Him and surrender your life to His Lordship and call on Him. If you have doubts then maybe that is the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart that now is the time to make sure that you are in His family.

John 3:4-7 Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

Nicodemus was a spiritual leader in his day and yet he did not understand what it meant to become born again. Jesus makes it very clear, “you must be born again”. When you are born again you are born again into His family and it is for all eternity.

John 10:28,29 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

If we are a family then the Lord wants us to accept one another since Christ has accepted us.

Romans 15:7 Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.

As His family we are to love one another. This is the evidence that we are children of God.

I John 3:10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

Do you see your brother in need? Let us love one another as Christ has loved us.

I John 3:16,17 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

Finally, not only will we have the assurance that we are in His family and belong to Him but others will know that we are Christians when they see us love each other.

John 13:34,35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Loving one another is what it means to belong to His family. This is His Word to us that He wants us to hear and do and then all men will know that we are His brothers and sisters.

A Life of No Greater Joy

John the Apostle writes in a letter that no greater joy does he have than to see his children walking in the light. Whether these were his physical biological children, for he was married, or whether they were his “spiritual” children we do not know. Either way, there is no greater joy than to see your children walking in the truth.

III John 1:4 I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.

This incredibly great joy does not begin when you get married or have children or when you begin to share the Gospel and to make disciples. This joy began yesterday by your actions and words and continue on through tomorrow and the next day and the next. You teach by who you are and your words are an expression of who you are. Your words only have as much power as your life.

III John 1:3 For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth.

You must own the truth, it must be your truth, for it to permeate your character and to become who you are. If you are walking in the truth then others will testify to it.

II John 1:4 I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father.

You will bring gladness to others when your children are walking in the truth. We have been commanded by God, the Father, to walk in the truth. Jesus walked in the truth. When we have fellowship with Him and walk with Him then we will also walk in the truth. When you walk in the truth then you will not walk in the lies of the devil or the lies of the world.

I John 2:21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.

Satan only uses one weapon and that is a lie. Every time that you or I have sinned it is because we listened to a lie. Sin brings death. Even a Christian can experience death to their soul. Death to the soul is the guilt, the regret, the sorrow, the sickness in our spirit that we feel when we sin. Jesus came to not only save you for all eternity but to save your soul from death during your time on earth. His words are truth and when you receive them into your very being and they become a part of you then they will save your soul from death.

James 1:21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and allthat remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.

Implanted means that it is planted in your heart to take root and grow and bear fruit. The good soil that bore much fruit heard the Word and held it fast. When you receive it into your heart then the Word will talk to you as you go through the day and speak to you in the night.

Luke 8:15 But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

You don’t just want to get a hold of God’s Words but you want them to get a hold of you.

Proverbs 6:22 When you walk about, they will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you.

So…the outcome of such a life is that those whom you teach will become like you. If you put God’s Word in your heart then they will also. If you keep God’s Word then they will also. If you love God’s Word then they also will learn to love His Word and when they do this then they will learn to also walk in His truth. Your cup will truly overflow with greater joy because your children will be walking in the light.

Luke 6:40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

A godly life is not built overnight nor do you mature in a day. You must learn to be faithful and spend time with Him every day and put into practice what He teaches you. You must discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness and then you will become godly. A message prepared from a life reaches a life. Jesus lived out His message and He wants us to do so also, rather He wants to live His message through you and reach others. You will then be called “the light of the world” and others will come to know Him.

Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

 

 

 

 

 

The Results of a Great Life

Great lives are rare but when you are around a great life you often are aware of it and it has a profound effect on you. If you can’t be around a great life then read books and stories of great lives. You will always learn something and will be blessed, that is, if you want to become great in this life. The Lord tells us not to seek it but He does want us to seek to be more like Him and in doing so, we will live a great life.

Jeremiah 45:5a But you, are you seeking great things for yourself? Do not seek them;

Seek great things for God and for His glory and you will see Him. He does great things and wonders without number. When you see His greatness then you will worship Him.

Job 5:9 Who does great and unsearchable things,
Wonders without number.

Those who do truly great things will acknowledge that it is the Lord that has done these great things and that apart from Him they can do nothing great. The great things that God does are good and they are righteous and true.

Psalm 71:19 For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You?

The Lord’s lovingkindness and His truth go before Him. When we exhibit these qualities of Christ then we will see Him work and do even greater things. There is no revival apart from His Word, which is His truth, and His love. When we walk in the truth of the Lord and we love like He has loved us then we will be the salt and light that He has made us to be. Love without truth will mislead and truth without love will not lead. God’s work done in God’s way will change a life and will change a city and will change a nation. The results of a great life will be change for the good.

Psalm 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;
Lovingkindness and truth go before You.

Often we don’t know and can not verbalize the truth and the same with love but when we see it then we recognize it and will sometimes say, “that is good”. Those who are great will exhibit love and truth and it will have a compounding ripple effect. There is something within us that wants to be good. Many people will say, “I am basically a good person” and when parents are asked about what they want for their children they will say that they want them to be good. Parents will praise their children for being good. We want to be good and we want those around us to be good.

Proverbs 27:19 As in water face reflects face,
So the heart of man reflects man.

When we see someone who is truly good then we want to be like them and we realize that we really are not very good at all. A great person will have a good heart because the Lord has given them a new heart and they have been faithful to nourish what the Lord has done in their heart. A person with a good heart will reflect our heart because their heart is pure. For this reason a person who has a corrupt heart will not reflect our heart but will rather deceive us and make us feel good about ourselves so that we will say, “I am not so bad after all”. The Lord tells us to stay away from people with a bad heart because they will ultimately corrupt us. Bad company corrupts good morals, as the Scripture tells us.

Luke 8:8 Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

A great life will have an honest and good heart. They will hold fast to the Lord through His Word and will do what it says. They will bear much fruit and that fruit in turn will bear more fruit.

Luke 8:15 But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

The effects of a great life are very far reaching through many generations. Usually behind a great man is a great wife. Sometimes a great life is public and sometimes it is more in the background. Often a great mother will have great children and there is not much in life as influential and powerful as a great husband and a great wife who become parents and have children. Great parents will instill greatness in their children through seeing the greatness of God. Great parents will love God and His Word and will be characterized by their love for one another and their love for others.

Psalm 112:1-4 How blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
Who greatly delights in His commandments.
His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.
Light arises in the darkness for the upright;
He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.

How blessed is the person who learns to fear the Lord and who greatly delights in His Word. His children will be become great and will be blessed. True wealth and true riches are in his house and he will do what is right. He will have the light of Christ and will be a light to others. He will show love and truth in all that he does. This is what it means to be truly great.

 

 

A Life that Is Happy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luke 11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

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

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