A Life that Is Loved

The Lord wants to bless us. He longs to be gracious to us and to show us His great love.

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord longs 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.

He is a God of love and if we will only allow Him to love us with His perfect love then we will truly ride on the heights of the earth. That is, we will live above circumstances and soar in life because we will be secure in the arms of the only One who can love with a perfect love.

Deuteronomy 33:12 May the beloved of the Lord dwell in security by Him,
Who shields him all the day,
And he dwells between His shoulders.

Underneath you will be the everlasting arms and He will hold you up. He will drive out your enemies before you.

Deuteronomy 33:26,27 There is none like the God of Jeshurun,
Who rides the heavens to your help,
And through the skies in His majesty.
The eternal God is a dwelling place,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;
And He drove out the enemy from before you,
And said, ‘Destroy!’

He has enclosed you behind and before and laid His hand on you.

Psalm 139:5 You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.

There is nothing too difficult for Him. There is nothing that you have done that makes it too difficult for Him to love you. He loves you and wants you to belong to Him.

Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,

As high as the heavens are above the earth so great will His love be for those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:11-14 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.

Does He love those who do not fear Him? Yes, but they will not experience His love until they come to know Him. When you know Him then you fear Him, which means you stand in awe of Him and want to fall at His feet and worship Him, because you see that He is God. He invites all to come into a relationship with Him.

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

Put your name in the place of the word world. For God so loved you that He gave His only begotten Son so that you might be called by His name and belong to Him for all eternity. He invites you into His family, to become His child.

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,

If you have not yet received Him then do so today so that you might begin the incredible journey of experiencing His love and walking with Him. You will realize that there is none to compare with it.

 

 

 

A Life with Gladness

Gladness is different than joy. Gladness is that great feeling in your heart that makes you happy. Joy comes from the presence of God but gladness comes from loving what God loves. Gladness is the secret of the happy Christian. Jesus had more gladness than all of His companions. What was His secret?

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

Jesus loved righteousness, in other words, He loved doing what was right in God’s eyes. He did not do what was right in His own sight. He always submitted Himself to the will of the Father.

Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Everyone has a different standard of what is right and when people live by their own standards of right and wrong then there is a lack of gladness among the people because there is a lack of God’s righteousness. There is a lack of righteousness because there is a lack of Christ being King in our hearts. Jesus came to restore us to God and His Lordship and to the only true standard, which is what He said in His Word. When the Lord is our King the He helps us do what is right in his sight. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Psalm 30:10-12 “Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me;
O Lord, be my helper.”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

The Lord replaces our sadness with gladness and He makes us want to sing. Singing is an expression of what is in your heart. Often the songs of the world are sad songs because they have sad and broken hearts even though they may put on a happy face. Christians have joy and gladness and want to sing praises to our God.

Proverbs 10:28 The hope of the righteous is gladness,
But the expectation of the wicked perishes.

We can hope for gladness and expect it when we love righteousness because we have done what we needed to do. The expectation of the wicked perishes because it is a “false” hope, such as, “I hope that I do well on my test” or “I hope that I will go to heaven”. The right thing is to study for your tests or the right thing is to repent and receive Christ as your Lord and Savior and then you know that you are going to heaven.

Ecclesiastes 5:20 For he will not often consider the years of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart.

The Christian’s life is full and the years fly by because the Lord keeps the Christian occupied with gladness of heart. His life is full of joy and gladness because he has followed the Lord with all of his heart and sought to do what is right in God’s eyes.

Acts 2:46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,

The early Christians were filled with gladness because they were sharing with one another and fellowshipping together in the Lord. Jesus Christ was their Lord and they were doing what He wanted them to do.

Psalm 45:7 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness: Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee With the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Jesus had more gladness than all of His companions. He had the “oil of gladness”. The Lord wants to anoint us also with the oil of gladness so that people might be drawn to Christ in us. We need to love righteousness and hate wickedness.

 

 

 

 

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 of Marriage Prep

The best time to prepare for marriage is before you get married. It is a God given desire for a young lady to want to get married. However, the more you are prepared for marriage the easier it will be for you. The seeds that you sow before you get married determines the fruit that you reap after you are married. You will reap either good fruit or bad fruit.

Galatians 6:7-10 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. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

Do not use the flesh to attract a man because then you will seek to use your flesh to keep him. This will bring great insecurity to you because a man’s eyes are never satisfied.

Proverbs 27:20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.

However, it is important to do your best to look your best because man does look on the outward appearance.

I Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

However, you want the inner beauty of the Lord to be greater than any outward appearance. Your outward appearance is decaying but the inner man is being renewed day by day.

II Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

The Lord will strengthen you through His Spirit in the inner man to become a godly woman who fears the Lord. You must learn to walk in the Spirit on a daily moment by moment basis. This is the greatest preparation for marriage.

Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

A man will never fulfill you or make you happy. The sooner you learn this lesson the happier you will be. Young ladies have a tendency to live in the “if” or “when ” world. “If I were …” or “if I had …” or “when I …” and the truth of the matter is that the “if” and “when” does not change the contentment of your soul. You must learn to be content in Jesus Christ. He must be your desire. The more you learn to be content in Him then the more content you will be in whatever state He has you, whether married or single.

Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.

Contentment, gratefulness and joy all go together. The greatest gift that you can give to yourself and to others and especially to the man you marry is an attitude of gratitude. No one likes to be around a complainer or someone who is never happy. Someone once said that an unhappy wife is a public rebuke to her husband. Cultivate a grateful spirit and begin now by expressing thanks to your parents and those who have helped you in life. Not only do you quench the Spirit when you do not give thanks but you will quench your husband’s spirit and what he once wanted to do for you he will no longer do because it isn’t “exactly the way you like it”.

Ephesians 5:16-19 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit;

Learn to compliment a man. A man longs for praise. The Lord made him this way and most men are starved for praise and they will gravitate to the people who praise them. This is crucial because the Lord made a man to conquer and he needs the praise of his wife to go out and conquer the world in his job. Also, if you do not praise him then other women will. Even if you do praise him other women will still do it. This is one of the ways that an immoral woman gets a man to commit adultery. She flatters him with her tongue. He does not know that it is flattery and the aim of flattery is to manipulate so you want to make sure that he is filled with your praises if you are his wife. Learn now to praise. You can begin by learning to praise your brothers and your brothers in Christ. Look for Christlikeness and then point it out to him how you see the Lord in him.

Proverbs 2:16 To deliver you from the strange woman, From the adulteress who flatters with her words;

Learn to dress in a modest manner so that a godly man will be attracted to you. If you dress in such a way that stimulates a man by stirring up desires that can not be fulfilled righteously then you are a stumbling block. Why should the Lord give you to a godly man who is seeking Him. No, rather, if you dress in a provocative manner then a man who is “all about himself” will be drawn to you and since you dressed in a deceptive manner you will be the one who will end up being deceived. He will deceive you into you believing that he actually cares for you when he does not care for you but loves himself.

Proverbs 23:6,7 Do not eat the bread of a selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;
For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.

Finally, do dress in a modest manner, as is fitting for one who seeks to please the Lord. Learn to fear the Lord and obey Him. Honor you parents, as the Lord has commanded. If you do not honor your parents then you will struggle with honoring and respecting your husband. The Lord gives the woman to the man, not the man to the woman. You need to ask yourself if you want to serve, desire, submit to and respect a man and consider him more important than yourself. If you are not ready for that then ask the Lord to help you and go to older women who have a good marriage and ask them to teach you. Marriage can be a sweet fellowship and relationship between a man and a woman if it is done God’s way. It is supposed to be a picture of Christ and the church. Just as Christ died for the church, the husband is the love His wife in a sacrificial way and be willing to die for her. In the same way, a wife is to live for her husband (as the church is to live for Christ) and the way that she learns to serve and love Him in this Christlike manner is to die to herself. Marriage is a dying of two selves so that the Lord can raise up one (in body, soul and spirit) to glorify Him.

Ephesians 5:31-33 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

It is a mystery but it is a beautiful mystery and the most intimate relationship on earth when done God’s way. To love and be loved is what we all long for but it is only when we are surrendered to the Lord and learn His ways will we ever know what it means to live in intimate fellowship in marriage.

 

 

A Life with Evidence

If you were to go to court for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you? What are the evidences that would convict you of being a Christian? Often people want to know how to know for sure that they are a Christian, in other words, what are the evidences or how can you know for sure. Great question and the Lord says that we can know without a doubt.

I John 5:10-13 The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for their sins and rose again that they might have eternal life in born again and comes into the life of Christ and the life of Christ comes into Him through the Holy Spirit. If you have received the Holy Spirit through believing in the Lord Jesus Christ then you can know that you have eternal life. He who has the Son has the life and he who does not have Jesus Christ does not have the life.

Romans 8:The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

The Holy Spirit whom you receive when you become a Christian dwells in you and He will give life to your mortal body. Just as the Spirit raised Jesus from the dead, He also will raise you from the dead.

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

If you are a Christian then you will want to do what is right. You may not always know what is right but you want to please the One who died and lives again for you, Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior. Also, you will want to be with Christians and you will want to love them. If you still want to be with your nonChristian friends more than your new Christian friends then you need to question whether you are a Christian.

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.

When you do what is wrong you not only grieve the Holy Spirit but you also are grieved because you love Him. If it does not bother you to sin, then again, you need to ask yourself if you really have been born again.

Ephesians 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

You will have a hunger for the Word of God. Just as a baby that is born into this world will cry for food and will continue to cry until the baby is fed, so you too, if you have become a Christian then you will long for the Word of God. Hunger is a sign of life. If there is not a hunger for the Word of God then you need to ask yourself if you have really tasted the kindness of the Lord and that the life of Christ in you.

I Peter 2:2,3 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

You will want to become like Jesus Christ. You will be willing to suffer for His name sake as well as desiring to experience all the fullness of His blessings and the riches that are ours in Christ. Your hope will be fixed on Him and on Him alone.

I John 3:2,3 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Let us therefore, if we belong to Him, “run with endurance the race that is set before us fixing our eyes on Jesus”. Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame for the joy set before Him.

Hebrews 12:1,2 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We too will be filled with great joy if we endure to the end. The Lord says that those who endure to the end will be saved.

Hebrews 10:36-39 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while,
He who is coming will come, and will not delay. But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

If you belong to Him then you are blessed. May you also bless the Lord by bringing Him great pleasure. Don’t shrink back. Even when it gets hard look to Him and He will strengthen you. Stay in His Word. Nourish your spirit. Ask Christians to pray for you. The Lord never said that it would be easy but He did say that it will be worth it. Keep praying that you may not enter into temptation but that you may be faithful to the end. He is coming and He will not delay.

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 that is Gentle

One of the most beautiful and powerful verses in the Bible is in the book of Psalms. It says that God’s gentleness makes us great. The word is literally His condescension but some versions use the word gentleness.

Psalms 18:35 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation,
And Your right hand upholds me;
And Your gentleness makes me great.

If you break down the word condescend then it means that He got down with us. He communicated with us on our level. He did not just speak to us on His level but He humbled Himself to communicate with us. A beautiful picture of gentleness is when someone stoops down to speak with someone who is in a wheelchair so that they can be on their same eye level or when someone lowers himself to talk with a child on their level. It is a powerful picture of love and humility.

Psalm 113:5-8 Who is like the Lord our God,
Who is enthroned on high,
Who humbles Himself to behold
The things that are in heaven and in the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust
And lifts the needy from the ash heap,
To make them sit with princes,
With the princes of His people.

The psalmist had it right when he said that there is none like our God. Although He is enthroned on high, He humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and on the earth. Not only does He behold us but when we realize our great need for the Lord then He lifts us up and He will even make us sit with princes!

Isaiah 66:2 “For My hand made all these things,
Thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord.
“But to this one I will look,
To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

Who is He looking for when He looks down from heaven? Who does He want to behold? He wants to find those who are humble and contrite in spirit and who tremble at His word. He is looking for those who are wanting to be like Him for He is humble.

Philippians 2:3-8 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

What does a humble person look like? They are not selfish or conceited. They regard others as more important than themselves. They don’t just look after their own personal interests but also for the interests of others. They have a servant heart and attitude and actions of a servant. They are completely obedient no matter what the cost to them even if it is their own life.

Matthew 11:29 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.

The humble person looks life Jesus. The only way we can live a life of gentleness is if we allow Him to live through us in the power of the Holy Spirit for gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22,23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Therefore, let people see Christ in you through your gentle spirit.

Philippians 4:5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.

And again, you are His holy and beloved child through whom the world will see Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;