A Life with Love Needs to Give

Just as love needs to be received love also needs to be given away. When love is given away then the receiver reaps more love and has more love to give away. Love is like a cycle that never ends. It is in the giving and receiving of love that we thrive and find our meaning and purpose in life.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. Galatians 6:7

Love is like a seed that is sown. The more love that one sows then the more love will that one reap. Love is also the water that nourishes the seed of love that is sown. When a person seeks to water the lives of others then their life will be watered.

The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:25

Love is meeting the needs of someone else. God gave His only begotten Son so that we might have eternal life.

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. John 3:16

We needed to be forgiven of our sins so that we would not perish but have eternal life. God gave and met this need in our life.

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13,14

God gave so that we might be redeemed and forgiven. When we are redeemed and forgiven we are also rescued from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of God’s beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. John 1:9

In the kingdom of darkness there is no light. Those who are still in that kingdom live in a world of despair, darkness, depression and without hope. The Lord wants to deliver them and transfer them to His kingdom, where love is. God gave to us so that we might be able to give to others. When we give to others and meet their needs then we are showing the love of Christ. Love removes the obstacles so that those who have not yet come to know Him might see His love for them, in order that they might come to Him, hear His Word and be forgiven.

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? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. I John 3:16-18

Jesus Christ laid down His life for us so that we could come to know Him. He wants us to lay down our lives for others so that others may come to know Him.

This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. John 15:12-14

A Life with Great Confidence

People try to live life without the Lord and the Bible describes such a person as a fool.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
There is no one who does good.

Living life without God is like having a painting without acknowledging the artist or enjoying a meal with no thought of the cook. It can’t be done although it is often tried. A life without God is a life that tries to feel it’s way through life just as a blind person has to feel their way around. It will often lead to pain and sometimes much pain because it is a guessing game. There are no absolutes apart from God. The laws in science are the ones He designed and set up. He is the Creator and author of life.

Genesis 2:4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven.

All the Lord had to do was to speak and He created. He spoke and the worlds were created out of nothing. All matter has to be created out of matter except when it comes to the Lord. All He has to do is speak it into existence.

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

God is the only truth that there is and apart from Him there is no truth. When someone tries to deny the existence of God then they have started to believe a lie and will be deceived from then on. Often people don’t want to believe in God because there is something in their life that they don’t want to give up and if they were to acknowledge God then they would have to acknowledge their conscience. If they can get rid of the thought of God then maybe they can get rid of their conscience and enjoy the very thing that they want to. However, when they shut off their conscience then they also shut off their ability to fully enjoy their sinful ways. It is your conscience that allows you to fully enjoy the gifts that the Lord has given to mankind.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

The person who puts their trust in the Lord will walk with confidence because He knows the One whom He has trusted.

Psalm 27:3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.

A fool puts his confidence in himself and leans on his own understanding. He learns the hard way through pain and regret, that is, if he learns at all. Some people will do the same wrong thing over and over again and yet expect different results.

Proverbs 14:16 A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident.

If you will learn to trust in the Lord with all of your heart and not lean on your own understanding then you will find that He will lead you in the way you should go and that His ways are good. Whatever He tells you to do, do it. Don’t try to understand first and then follow His instructions but rather follow first and then you will receive understanding.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Does the Necessary

Most lives get messed up when their priorities are out of line. The only way our priorities will be what they ought to be is if Jesus Christ is our Lord. We can not run our own lives without problems. If you want to be happy then you must have Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and do what He says. He is good and He loves you. He will remove your guilt and fears and will give you the stability, purpose and meaning in life that you desire. He created you and knows all about you even more than you know about yourself.

Psalm 139:1-3 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

If you will let Him be Lord in your life and allow Him to direct your steps then He will take you where you want to go. Deep within us there is a longing to belong and to be in our niche and yet most people do not know what they want or where they belong until they get there and then there is a sweet contentment that comes from being where He designed for us to fit. However, the contentment comes from Him being first in our lives and then our place in life being second. He chose His disciples first to be with Him and then to preach. He has chosen you first to be with Him in a relationship.

Mark 3:13,14 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him.And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach

The Lord has called us to first be with Him and then to serve Him. Our service for Him should be an overflow of our fellowship with Him. No matter what He has called you to do it is service to Him. He wants us to do our work as unto Him. Service to Him is not just for those who are in a Christian ministry. Many of the godly men and women that God used in the Bible did other vocations that were not necessarily spiritual, but He used them because their heart was right with Him and their priorities were in order.

Luke 10:38-42 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

If we don’t have our priorities in order, in spending time with the Lord, sitting at His feet and listening to His Word then we can easily start becoming anxious and bothered about unnecessary things. The Lord said that only one thing is necessary and that is spending time with Him and listening to His Word. This may sound simple but if you have not tried it then why don’t you try it? Try spending more time with the Lord than what you thought you could. You will find great joy if you soak up His Words into your heart. Your heart will become His more than ever before and you will see Him act on your behalf.

II Chronicles 16:9a For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.

He will accomplish what concerns you and He will use you to accomplish what concerns Him.

Psalm 138:8 The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

 

A Life with Love Needs to Be Steadfast

True love is steadfast and does not change. It is not dependent on the actions of others nor is it moody or fickle. The more steadfast a love is in a relationship then the more secure the relationship is. Relationships were designed by God to reflect Him. God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

God is love and He is the One who pursues us with His love. Our love for Him is a response to His love for us.

We love, because He first loved us. I John 4:19

God’s love never changes. He loved us from the beginning and wanted us to love Him from the beginning. It is man that chose not to love God. Even when man rejected God’s love, God did not stop pursuing man. In fact, He wanted a relationship with man so much so that He sacrificed His only begotten Son so that man could come back into that love relationship with Him. God broke down the barriers that separated man from God’s love.

And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, Colossians 1:21,22a

God pursued man because God loved man. God has pursued each one of us through Jesus Christ. He still pursues a relationship with us. His love does not change. His love is steadfast. It is His unchanging love that makes us feel secure so that we can respond to Him. When we respond to His love and our mind is steadfast in Him, trusting in Him always, then we will live in His love and peace.

The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

When we respond to His love and our heart is steadfast in Him, trusting in Him, then we will not fear hearing bad news. We will not be anxious.

He will not fear evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7

In every love relationship there is a pursuer and a responder. In the love relationship between a man and a woman the man is the pursuer and the woman is the responder. The more the man’s love is pure and steadfast then the more the woman is free to respond. She will feel secure and will learn to trust the man. A man’s love for a woman can only be steadfast if he is secure in his relationship with the Lord and his heart is steadfast towards God. Just as we have to learn to trust the Lord and respond to Him so a woman needs to learn to trust a man and respond to the man that she will one day marry. For this reason, it is important that the female not initiate towards the young man who is pursuing her. When she does not hear from him then she is to learn to wait and trust. If he loves her then he will continue to pursue her. If his love is not a steadfast love then she needs to wait on the Lord for the Lord to work in the young man’s heart or to wait on the Lord for the man of God’s own choosing if he is not the one for her. She needs to learn to wait and respond and not to take matters into her own hands and initiate towards him or do anything else to try to get him to give her the attention she desires. The only way that she can do this is if her heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:17,18

When the relationship between a man and a woman is done right then there is love and the relationship stays pure. The relationship is also filled with mercy and good fruits. It does not waver but is steadfast and it is filled with peace.

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

The Lord loves us and love gives us a choice. We can choose Jesus Christ and choose to live according to His wisdom and understanding or we can scoff, which means we do not act on what God says. When we choose to follow Jesus Christ the outcome will be good and the gentleness of wisdom will be seen.

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. James 3:13

When we scoff then we choose to pursue our own ambitions rather than pursue the Lord and His ways. The outcome of scoffers will be seen in the brokenness and pain in their relationships. When relationships are not done right then there is jealousy, disorder and every evil thing. There will come much grief to both the young man and the young woman. It destroys not only their lives but brings grief and destruction to those who are affected by their own selfish ambitions.

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. James 3:14-16

A Life that Is Fulfilling

The Lord created you to have a fulfilling life. There is no life apart from Jesus Christ. He made the claim that He is the way, the truth and the life. Fulfillment in life can only come though Jesus Christ and there no other way.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

When you come into a relationship with Jesus Christ and discover what He created you for, then your life will have direction and you will find much fulfillment and joy. A life without Jesus Christ is like a ship without a captain and like a boat without a rudder. It will float along aimlessly or will be tossed about by the waves of life. When we come into a relationship with Him then He gives us His Spirit as the pledge of our belonging to Him and He becomes the Captain of our life. He gives us  His Spirit and His Word to direct our life.

II Corinthians 5:5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.

The Lord has given you two things that will help you in your relationship with Him and help you fulfill your purpose in life. Those two things are the Bible and His Holy Spirit. The more you fill your life with the Word of God and are filled with His Spirit then the more you will grow in the Lord and fulfill your purpose in life. The outcome of a dynamic relationship with Him is great joy and great peace.

Hebrews 12:2 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.

Life is a race to the finish line to run well with all of our heart, to not grow weary and quit and to have a clear conscience. We must fix our eyes on Jesus so that we will be able to run well and allow Him to control our life. He keeps us in the race. If we are to run with endurance the race that is set before us, then we must have the resources to do so. You must feed your spirit and starve your flesh. The Lord gives you the energy through His Spirit and your flesh must free from the baggage that results from being a slave to sin. It is hard to run with baggage.

Romans 8:5-8 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

The Word of God is what feeds our spirit so that we will have the desire to please the Lord and the joy of doing so. Your flesh does not want to do the will of God so you must starve the flesh.  Whichever you feed the most is going to win, either your flesh, with the result of death or the spirit, with the result of life. You must spend time with the Lord everyday so that your spirit is fed and you can hear His direction. Talk to Him through prayer and let Him talk to you through His Word. You must starve the flesh. This means that you can not look at trashy things or hear trashy talk. The flesh will keep you out of God’s Word. The flesh does not want you to come to God but wants only to indulge itself in what pleases the flesh. You can not serve two masters. You must choose if you want a fulfilling life through feeding the spirit or death through feeding your flesh. You can not have both.

John 6:35-37 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

Are you in a dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ? Is your life fulfilling? Come to Him and begin that relationship for the first time or if your heart has gotten away from Him then come back to Him that you might experience His life in you. In Him alone do we find complete satisfaction and fulfillment.

 

 

A Life with a Purpose

When a young person loses hope they quit dreaming and when they quit dreaming then they quit living and are only existing. The Lord has so much in store for each person and He gives a life purpose and direction. How do we know His purpose for our life and how do we accomplish our potential. Living life to the fullest is becoming all that you can be and reaching your full potential in life. How do we know our purpose in life and fulfill it? The word purpose means: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. Not all accept the purpose for which they were created.

Luke 7:30a But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves,

Jesus knew His purpose in the details for which He was sent.

Luke 4:43 But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”

Jesus knew His overall purpose for which He came.

John 12:27 Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.

It is only in Christ that you can discover your purpose. Life is far more than eating and sleeping and work. Apart from the Lord you will just “go through life” without real meaning. If you want to know God’s purpose for your life, in the details and particular purpose just for you, then you must follow God’s purpose for you in the His general purposes for you and everyone else. Humans are the only aspect of creation who have not followed God’s purpose for which they were created. What are the basic purposes?

I Peter 2:20b,21 But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,

The first step in discovering God’s purpose for your life is to do what is right in what He has already revealed to you to be His will. Is there anything that has been left undone that He has told you to do? Why should the Lord make known anything else to you if you are not doing what He has already shown you?

I Timothy 4:7 On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;

God’s purpose for you is to be godly and to discipline yourself for this purpose. How are you doing in your own personal discipline? If you are lazy and indulging yourself for your own comfort then why should He make known to you His purpose for you? It is easier to direct a moving vehicle than one which is sitting by the road. Are you going about and leading a disciplined life by doing what you already know what you should be doing or are you waiting until He shows you what He wants you to do? Get moving doing what you already know to do.

I Thessalonians 4:7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.

The Lord has called us to be pure. Are you reading and listening to things that you should not be paying attention to? What is your music like? Music is often a general expression of the heart. Does it feed your fleshly desires? Why should the Lord show you His will if you are allowing garbage to go into your mind?

Colossians 1:28,29 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

Are you involved with a church or the body of Christ is some way that is helping you fulfill the Great Commission of making disciples? We all can’t do everything but we all can do something to proclaim Christ to the world. When you are doing His will then His power will mightily work in you. You will find that as your are united with other Christians for the purpose of fulfilling God’s will in the world that you will bring joy to others and you will find your purpose in life.

Philippians 2:2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

The Lord will make known to those who follow Him, the mystery of His will for their lives, which is in accordance with the kind intention which He purposed in Christ. The Lord is kind and His will for you is good.

Ephesians 1:8b,9 In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him

So, having done all of these things, how do you know God’s will for your life? The Lord says that the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that shines brighter and brighter until the full day. As you go in the direction of God’s will for you then it will become clearer and clearer.

Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.

His peace will rule in your heart as you follow His direction. If you find yourself being confused then you must stop and not go any further in that direction but you need to wait again on Him. The Lord is not a God of confusion.

I Corinthians 14:33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace

Don’t try to make something fit. If it is God’s will then it will be a good fit for you. He made you for a purpose and as you fulfill the purpose for which you are created then you will be secure and have joy and meaning in life. You will not need to compete with others or feel that you need to impress others but you will be secure in where He has you.

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Don’t forget to give Him thanks for the purpose for which you are created. Giving thanks to the Lord keeps your focus on Him rather than on the purpose. The devil will do anything to get our focus off of the Lord and onto something else, even if it is something good like His purpose for our lives.

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Is Not Ashamed

We often are very concerned and conscious of what others think of us and we want to be accepted and respected by others. As we grow older we become aware of what we need to do to be “socially acceptable”. Only a very secure person can go through life willing and able to stand alone.  It is a natural desire to want the respect of others, however, it can become a snare for us and hypocritical if we change our behavior or put on a certain front in order to receive the acceptance and respect of people.

Matthew 6:2 So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

The religious leaders in Jesus’ day loved the praise and honor of men but the Lord called them hypocrites because it was not who they really were when they gave for appearance sake. They only gave so that others might see and honor them.

Matthew 6:5 When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Again, they prayed so that others might respect them for their “spiritual” prayers. Again, the Lord called them hypocrites. To receive the praise of others was their reward in full.

Matthew 6:16 Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Again, their life was all about putting on an appearance in order to be accepted and praised by others.

Mark 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be  ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of someone who was secure in who He is and who was willing to be rejected by others in order to accomplish something greater. Jesus Christ knew that He was accepted by His Father and He lived to please the One who had sent Him. Jesus Christ promises us that if we will not be ashamed of Him and His words then He will not be ashamed of us when He returns. An indication of a true Christian is that they will be ashamed of the things they did before they were a Christian and they will not be ashamed of Jesus Christ and following after Him after they have become a Christian.

Romans 6:21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.

Sometimes a conflict is created between a Christian and unbelievers who are in a close relationship with the new Christian. They may be a family member or a friend who has not yet come to Christ. New Christians want to please the One who died for them and the nonChristian does not understand that kind of commitment because they have yet to experience His amazing love.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

We are secure in the Lord once we come to know Him and we understand that His words are power and that He will never leave us or forsake us. We have a sure foundation in Him which can not be shaken and He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him.

II Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

What great joy it will be for those Christians who did not shrink back and who were not ashamed to suffer for being a Christian. Sometimes it might seem lonely but He promised us that He would never forsake us. Even though we can not see Him, we believe in Him and know that He is faithful and will fulfill all of His promises that He has given to us. He is not ashamed to call us brethren.

Hebrews 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Neither is God ashamed to be called our God, for He has prepared a place for us.

Hebrews 11:6 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

When the Lord comes again it will only be those who were not ashamed of Jesus Christ during the time of their stay on earth who will not shrink back in shame. Those who refused to call upon Him will wish they had and will shrink away in shame for their many sins and for not calling upon Jesus Christ, the Lord of lords and King of kings.

I Peter 4:16,17 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if itbegins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

It is not too late to call upon Him. It is not too late to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and call upon His name. He desires that all come to know Him.

Isaiah 55:6,7 Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

 

A Life that is Mighty in Strength

If you want to be strong in life then there is something that you must do. If you will do this one thing then you will be mighty in strength. You may be weak physically but you will be strong within. Others may be fearful but you will be strong in courage. You will not shrink away in times of trouble nor will your heart faint. You will be strong.

Bless the Lord, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word! Psalm 103:20

The angels are mighty in strength because they do God’s will and perform His Word. They accomplish what the Lord wants them to do. They obey His voice, which is His Word.

“All who know you among the peoples
Are appalled at you;
You have become terrified
And you will cease to be forever.”’” Ezekiel 28:19

Satan was at one time an angel but he fell from heaven because he did not do God’s will but he did his own will. Now, he is fearful and terrified. He is weak and is not mighty in strength like the angels who do God’s will.

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

The true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ will hear His voice, which will come through His Word and they will follow that voice by keeping His Word. They will know the Lord and the Lord will know them.

Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the Lord.           Psalm 31:24

We can be strong and courageous if our hope is in the Lord. He will not forsake those who trust in Him. He will give us strength.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Those who know the Lord can be strong and courageous for the Lord God is with them wherever they go.

Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Joshua 1:7,8

The person who meditates on God’s Word day and night will be strong and courageous as they seek to do according to all that is written in it. Not only will they be strong and courageous but they will have success in whatever they do.

The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. Luke 2:40

As a person grows and becomes strong in the Lord, they will also increase in wisdom, for God is with the person who follows Him and obeys His voice.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Ephesians 6:10

If we are not strong in the Lord then we will put our strength in something else. However, that something else will eventually fail us. Most often it will fail us in our time of need. While there is still opportunity, let us put our strength in the Lord and be strong in His power.

This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
    who draws strength from mere flesh
    and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
    they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
    in a salt land where no one lives.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:5-8

What you put your strength in will be your confidence. Blessed is the person whose strength is in the Lord and who confidence is in Him. He will not fear but he will be mighty in strength. He will not worry no matter the year is like and his life will not cease to be fruitful. You will be blessed if you are the person who will trust in the Lord.

 

A Life that Is Wise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Life that Loves Life

Do you want to love life and see good days? The Lord gives us clear instruction on what we need to do if we want to love life. So many people just “get by” or if they are honest with themselves then they don’t really even enjoy life but just live in survival mode.

Psalm 34:12 Who is the man who desires life
And loves length of days that he may see good?

The Lord says that there are four things that you must do if you want to desire life and want to live many days that you may see good.

Psalm 34:13,14 Keep your tongue from evil
And your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

The first thing that you must do is to keep your tongue from speaking evil. In other words, don’t let your tongue cause anyone grief, since the meaning of the word “evil” is to cause grief. Don’t have an edge about you or feel that you need to get in the last word. Another aspect of this is to keep from arguing. If you want to desire life then you don’t have to always win in your discussions with others. Arguing only leads to grief so stay away from it. Jesus is our example of one who did not return evil for evil but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. Jesus refused to argue.

I Peter 2:23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;

The second requirement is to keep your lips from speaking deceit. There was no deceit in what Jesus said. Deceit was never found in His mouth because His heart was pure. Keep a pure heart and you will keep deceit far from you.

I Peter 2:21,22 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;

The third requirement is to depart from evil and do good. Again, the meaning of evil is to cause grief so the Lord wants you to do good to others rather than to cause others grief. We can only do this in the power of the Holy Spirit because it is not in our flesh. No good thing is in our flesh and the only good that we can do is what the Lord does through us. Stay filled with His Holy Spirit and you will depart from evil and do good. The secret to staying filled with the Holy Spirit is to not quench the Holy Spirit through sinning. Fear the Lord and you will hate sin. Be quick to confess so that you do not grieve the Holy Spirit and you will see Him live through you. Only God is good and the good that we do is the Lord doing the good through us.

Romans 14:19 So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

We must pursue peace with all men so that they may see the Lord in us.

Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.

Finally, to sum up, this is the way the Lord has called us to live. You will be giving a blessing and you will be blessed “the eyes of the Lord will be toward you and His ears will attend to your prayer”. Can it get any better than this? No. However, life can certainly get quite miserable for those who do evil for the face of the Lord will be against them.

I Peter 3:8-12 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For,The one who desires life, to love and see good days,
Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.
He must turn away from evil and do good;
He must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous,
And His ears attend to their prayer,
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Learn to do good and to be kind to even ungrateful and evil men and you be will called sons and daughters of the Most High.

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