A Life that Knows the Truth of God

Jesus Christ said that He is the truth. There is no truth apart from God. Truth never changes and is the only constant that we can build our lives on and put our hope in. God’s Word will never fail you nor can you change it. There are many theories and speculations in the world but they are constantly changing and are the result of man’s reasonings which will fail.

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.

God’s Word is truth and when we live by it then it will set us apart from the rest of the world and will define our lives.

John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

God and His Word are equal.

Psalm 138:2 I will bow down toward Your holy temple
And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.

You can not truly worship the Lord apart from His truth for those who worship in spirit and truth are the ones whom the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

John 4:23,24 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

If you want to be His disciple then you must know His truth which is found in His word.

John 8:31,32 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

When you know God’s truth then the truth will make you free. Many people are free on the outside but not free on the inside. They have allowed some sin to have dominion over them and to control them. You can not set yourself free from sin but God can and He wants to through His truth. Are you struggling within with some particular sin that you know the Lord is not pleased with and if others knew then you would feel ashamed? Come to the Lord and He will set you free and you will be free indeed. He knows our weaknesses and we all have them so come to Him. He loves you and will not disgrace you but He is full of grace and truth and will show you His tender love. He does not condemn you.

Psalm 119:132,133 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
After Your manner with those who love Your name.
Establish my footsteps in Your word,
And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.

 

A Life that Receives Their Heart’s Desires

The Lord has amazing promises for those who seek Him and delight themselves in Him. There is none to compare with Him for He delights in giving to His children. He knows our needs and that we need to learn to delight ourselves in Him first. If He is not our chief delight then the desires of our heart can easily become an idol in our lives. If our desires become an idol then something that could be good for us becomes a snare.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

The Lord loves to give to us and He does not withhold from us what is good and what we need. As you learn to trust Him and walk with Him you will see that the dis-appointments in life are really His-appointments. He is wise and loving and when there is a disappointment then it means that there is something you don’t know and you need to trust Him. You don’t need to understand Him in everything but you need to trust Him in everything.

Psalm 84:10-12 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
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.
O Lord of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in You!

When the Lord is your delight then you would rather stand at the threshold of the house of the Lord than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. There is no comparison to being with Him and in His presence. It truly is the fullness of 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.

How do you learn to delight yourself in Him? There are a few principles that help you do this. First of all, if you will learn to love God’s Word then He will become your delight. How do you learn to love God’s Word? It is by spending time in it and seeking Him through his Word.

Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found and I ate them,
And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart;
For I have been called by Your name,
O Lord God of hosts.

If you will read and meditate on God’s Word then in time He will speak to you through your spirit. He will be very real to you and you will want to spend more time with Him. There is a wonderful cycle of the more time you spend in God’s Word then the more time you want to spend in His Word. He Himself will teach you and His Word becomes sweeter than honey to you.

Psalm 119:102,103 I have not turned aside from Your ordinances,
For You Yourself have taught me.
How sweet are Your words to my taste!
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

There is another wonderful principle that helps you take delight in the Lord. This principle is a precious truth found in His Word of keeping His day holy to Him. The Lord set aside one day a week as His day and He says that day is holy to Him.

Isaiah 58:13,14 “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And speaking your own word,
Then you will take delight in the Lord,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

In the book of Revelation the Lord’s day is mentioned as Sunday, the day Jesus was resurrected.

Revelation 1:10a I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,

Since Sunday is usually the day that Christians get together to worship the Lord in community with each other then that is usually the day to honor the Lord in keeping His commandment of “keeping the Sabbath day holy”. Back in the days of the early church some people considered every day to be the Lord’s day and therefore holy and some people only considered one day to be the Lord’s day. Either way, if you want to learn to delight in Him, then this promise is for you if you will honor Him on His day.

Romans 14:5,6a One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord,

When the Lord becomes your delight then He also will be the love of your life and you will grow more “in love” with Him as you see and hear His love a thousand times a day. All of life looks different when you are “in love” and you will find that you will want to talk about Him, as well as talk to Him more and more each day. Your life truly becomes an overflow of your love relationship with the Lord. Your longing will be for Him.

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.

If you belong to Him then He wants you to “be longing” for Him. He, on His part, longs to be gracious to you. Long for Him and see what a blessed life it is when you do so.

A Life that Is Ready

There is an event that is going to happen and only those who are ready and on the alert will be glad. Everyone else will want to hide but there will be no where to go. Jesus Christ is coming again and it has been foretold and will happen just as it has been declared beforehand.

Matthew 24:42-44 Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

If the world knew when He is coming back then they would all be ready. However, He wants us to live each day as if He were coming today, for in that way we will always be ready for His coming again. The Lord is faithful and He wants those who belong to Him to be faithful. Faithfulness is doing everyday what is pleasing to Him. Hypocrisy is a pretentious lifestyle that is for show and is not the real thing. There is something within us that wants to see the “real thing” in a Christian. Jesus Christ was God and no one could accuse Him of being a hypocrite. He lived out doing what is right and He wants those who go by His name to do the same.

Matthew 24:45-51 Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’ and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Would anyone call you a hypocrite or would there be enough evidence to convict you of being a Christian? Do you do good to all men and especially those who are believers? Who are your closest friends? Are they fellow believers in the Lord?

Galatians 6:10 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.

Jesus Christ is coming again and it will be too late for many. The signs of the times are coming together and He can come anytime now.

Mark 13:28-32 Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

The Lord’s instruction to us is to be on the alert and be ready. Blessed are those who take heed to His words and are ready.

Mark 13:33-37 “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’”

Often when someone does not want to face reality then they will want to sleep. In the same way, the Lord tells us to face reality that He is coming again, to be wide awake and ready.

I Thessalonians 5:1-6 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.

The world longs for peace and safety but it is elusive. We as Christians are to be longing for the One whom we belong to and that is Jesus Christ. He offers lasting and enduring peace and true security that can not be taken away. Learn to live for Him and you will not be afraid of dying or be fearful of His coming again. You will be ready.

Revelation 22:12,13  “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Jesus Christ, Himself, testifies that He is coming again at the very end of the last book of the Bible. He is coming quickly and His reward is with Him, to render to every man according to what he has done. He is the beginning and the end.

Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

It is not too late to come to Him. He offers this invitation to all who want to drink of the water of life. It is the gift of salvation that is offered to all who come to Jesus Christ through faith and receive Him as their Lord and Savior. Call upon Him before it is too late.

A Life that is Not Depressed

Depression and darkness go hand and hand. When we are depressed then everything around us seems dark and everything within us feels dark. If we are not careful then we can descend into that darkness even more and then it brings on even greater darkness, fearfulness and panic that can be very oppressive. Sometimes there seems no way out. How do we get out of the darkness?

Luke 11:35 Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness.

The Lord understands this very well and it was for this reason that He came into the world. He came to bring us out of the darkness. He came into our darkness so that He could transfer us out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. After we come into His kingdom then we can see clearly because the light is within us and we see everything, not through the lens of darkness but through the lens of His light.

Luke 11:33 No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.

The Lord did not speak in secret or through mysteries but openly so that all could understand. Even a child can understand for His message is very simple. He says to come to Him. It is by faith that we come but when we come we receive the light and the darkness goes away. Light is the only thing that can drive the darkness away. Jesus came to bring light into our dark world.

Matthew 4:16 “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, Upon them a Light dawned.”

If you are struggling with depression then you must look unto Jesus for light. He will drive the darkness away and fill you with His light. You must look to Him.

Psalm 18:28 For You light my lamp; The Lord my God illumines my darkness.

Open your Bible and start reading until He gives you light. He will set you free from the darkness that is within you. His light will penetrate the darkest darkness and drive out the dark thoughts within. He breaks the cycle.

Luke 11:34 The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness.

His Word will be light to your path and a lamp for your feet. A lantern only sheds enough light on the next step. Do not worry about what is ahead. He will give you light for each step. The darkness can seem overwhelming to us if we try to see what is further ahead. He wants you to trust Him. He will be your light.

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

And again…

Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.

The promise of light is only for those who have put their trust in the Lord. He is good and although He loves everyone, only those who have come to Him can experience His love to the fullest.

Psalm 112:4 Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.

When you walk in His light then you will know His joy and you will hear the joyful sound of His voice as He will continually whisper in your spiritual ear that He loves you and you are precious in His sight.

Psalm 89:15 How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O Lord, they walk in the light of Your countenance.

The word “blessed” means happy and you will experience happiness, joy and love again. Come to Him, all who are weary of the struggle within themselves. He loves you and longs to be gracious to you.

Psalm 36:9 For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.

When His light comes in you then He changes your direction. No longer do you spiral downward but He brings you up and brings life to your weary soul.

Luke 11:36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.

He is the fountain of life and in Jesus Christ alone is life.

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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Asks

We are needy people and the Lord made us that way so that we will be dependent on Him. The Bible says that only a fool lives as if there is no God.

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.

The Lord delights in our prayers and He delights in giving to His children. He wants us and we need Him.

Psalm 15:8b But the prayer of the upright is His delight.

Not only does He delight in our prayers but He wants us to ask Him in prayer and call on His name.

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

There is a lot that we do not know. He delights in making Himself known to us.

Luke 11:11-13 Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 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?”

The Lord wants to give Himself first to us and then He will not withhold anything else that we need and that is good for us. It is important that we receive Him first and learn to worship the Giver rather than receive His gifts first because then we would be tempted to worship the gifts and miss the greatest Gift of all.

Psalm 34:10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.

If you seek Him with all of your heart and seek to walk in His ways then you will never lack any good thing.

I Chronicles 28:9 As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.

Once you find the Lord then you will know that there is nothing that compares to Him. He is the Bright and Morning Star, the Giver of life, the One and only One who can satisfy the longing of your heart. Until you come to know Him in a personal way this may seem an impossibility to you but once you see Him and know Him then you will see and know that this is true.

Psalm 119:2 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart.

Those who seek Him will find Him if they seek Him with all of their heart. Seek Him through prayer and through His Word. Ask Him to give His Holy spirit to you. Keep seeking Him until He comes to you. Press on to know Him.

Hosea 6:3 “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.”

Once you know Him and find your delight in Him. Then pray to Him about the things that you are struggling with in your life. Cast your cares on Him and ask Him to take your burdens. He loves you and loves to give to His children. He is a gracious Heavenly Father.

Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

Ask Him and He will give you what is good. Do you need a job? Do you want to get married? If you are married and want to have children but have not been able to, then ask Him. Are you hungry and thirsty for you don’t even know what? Ask Him. Ask, and it will be given to you.

Romans 8:31,32 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

He is for you and gave up His own Son for you. Will He not freely give you all things? Yes, and even more than enough will He give to you. One of the meanings of His name is that “He is More than Enough”.

 

 

A Life that Does Not Despair

A very terrifying feeling is a panic attack or an overwhelming feeling of despair. These experiences can be very real and awful to the one experiencing them. They can even be paralyzing to whoever is going through either despair or panic. These feelings and experiences are an evidence of our fragility and nothing to be ashamed of for they are not sin but rather they show us our desperate need for the Lord, our Creator. He made us and is aware of how fragile we are.

Psalm 103:14 For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.

He is mindful of our desperate need for Him and is a present help in time of trouble.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

He is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Jesus came for you and especially for those who are afflicted in the soul and spirit.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;

He will help you and He will come to you. Put your trust in Him and cry out to Him.

Psalm 27:13,14 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

Yes, let your heart take courage. You will see His goodness once again and it will be in the land of the living. Even though at the moment or at any particular time it may seem very dark and despairing it will not always be that way. You will see His goodness if you will trust Him, wait on Him, be strong in Him and let your heart take courage in Him. When you have nothing left then you are in the best position to trust Him for you will then see that you can not trust in yourself. It is when we trust in ourselves that we are tempted to turn away from the Lord.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 Thus says the Lord,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
“For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.

He will come to you like the spring rain and water your life again. You will see life and new growth. Continue to press on to know the Lord and trust Him with all your heart.

Hosea 6:3 “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
And He will come to us like the rain,
Like the spring rain watering the earth.”

 

A Life that Overcomes Depression

Depression is a struggle for many people and if we can not overcome depression then it can easily overcome us. The Lord wants us to have victory in every area of our lives and depression is one area that we can see His power and His love. First of all, He helps us in our depression.

Psalm 143:7,8 Answer me quickly, O Lord, my spirit fails; Do not hide Your face from me, Or I will become like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.

Depression can begin in our spirit and then go to our soul, which is our mind, will and emotions and then finally it can affect our bodies. Depression can begin in our emotions after an emotional high, (having a baby etc.) or physically (after physical exhaustion) and then affect us spiritually. Either way, when we are depressed then we are down and are struggling to get back up again. Just as our blood sugar can fluctuate and give us feelings of lethargy and tiredness so depression can do the same for our spirit. However, just as protein will keep our blood sugar more level if we eat protein in the morning, so the meat of the Word of God will keep our spirit more level and less prone to ups and downs if we spend time in God’s Word each morning. Just as when Elijah was depressed the Lord had the ravens bring him protein to nourish him. The meat of God’s Word will nourish our spirit and strengthen us spiritually.

I Kings 17:6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook.

When we spend time in the Word of God in the morning then we will have a good measure of God’s lovingkindness and truth in our spirit and soul to begin the day so that we will be more ready for the trials throughout the day and the unexpected surprises.

Psalm 59:16 But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength;
Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For You have been my stronghold
And a refuge in the day of my distress.

When you learn the discipline of spending time with the Lord every morning then you will see that He is your strength and will be your stronghold all day long and your refuge in distress. Distress brings depression if there is no place that we can go to with our distresses. We need a refuge that we can run to anytime.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe.

Learn to come to Him in the morning and you will find yourself running to Him throughout the day. He will lift you up and you will know His secure arms around you holding you up.

Psalm 27:5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.

If you are a new Christian then long for the milk of His Word each morning and fill your heart up with His Word.

I Peter 2:2 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.

Then as you grow in Him then start learning to chew on the meat of His Word. He will teach you and lead you in the way you should go.

Hebrews 5:13,14 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

Most people struggle at times with depression. It is not a sin but it is when the body, soul or spirit is depressed or down. However, it is not healthy spiritually to remain for a long period of time in a state of depression. The Lord will lift you up but He has given you His Word and His Spirit to strengthen you in Him.

 

A Life that Forgives

There are certain commands that carry much greater weight than others and the command to forgive seems to be one of the most important. A lack of forgiveness brings about one of the worse consequences that is mentioned in the Bible. The Lord said that if you do not forgive others then your sins will not be forgiven you.

Matthew 5:14,15 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Forgiveness also brings a great blessing from the Lord because He says that if you forgive others then your sins will be forgiven you. We are all sinners who have sinned greatly against the Lord and we desperately need forgiveness from God, the Father. In the same way, we need to desperately forgive others of their sins. You receive what you give away and what you withhold will be withheld from you.

Mark 11:25,26 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”

The meaning of evil is to cause grief. It is hard to forgive when someone has caused us grief and especially great grief. However, when we see what a great debt that we have toward the Lord and the great grief that we have caused Him then we lean more toward forgiving. However, forgiving is impossible apart from the Lord. He has given you forgiveness and this is the forgiveness that you offer to others. Jesus has forgiven you and Jesus has forgiven them. We can only forgive by the power of the Holy Spirit.

John 20:22,23 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

We forgive by faith, in the power of the Holy Spirit in obedience to Him, not by feeling. Our flesh will never want to forgive and does not have the power to do so.

Romans 8:6-8 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.

When you forgive then the Lord releases you from the bitterness and resentment of unforgiveness. You actually are the one who is set free. The person does not have to even be aware of their wrong towards you and they do not have to be sorry for what they did. If they are sorry and repentant then that is wonderful but it is not a prerequisite to you forgiving them. Healing for you comes after forgiveness. There is no pain so great that the Lord can not heal but first you must forgive. He does not hold your sin against you because He has forgiven you. Forgiveness is the promise never to bring it up again. How many times are we to forgive? That is a great question and Jesus answered it for us.

Matthew 18:21,22 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Forgiveness is so important that the Lord told a parable about forgiveness to allow His hearers to understand more clearly what He was saying about forgiveness.

Matthew 18:23-35 For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

He who has ears to hear, let him hear. A day of accounting is coming and it will be too late to settle your accounts with your fellow man. For this reason it is of utmost importance to “keep your accounts up to date”. God declared the man wicked in this story because of his unwillingness to forgive someone else and therefore all of this wicked person’s sins were still on his account and were not wiped out and forgiven. Forgiveness is a matter of the will. It is letting it go and giving it to the Lord. You can’t, He never said you could, He can, He always said He would. Give the matter to the Lord and He will forgive that person through you by the power of His Holy Spirit. As long as you have unforgiveness in your heart then you are in a prison. However, you can settle the account with that person who owes you through your forgiveness by forgiving him. It is after this that you will be released from your prison.

Luke 7:47,48 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”  Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”

Did Jesus offer forgiveness to you? Yes, He did. Go and do likewise that you too may hear the words, “Your sins have been forgiven”.  Forgiveness begins with the prayer, “Lord, I forgive _________. Please forgive me of my unforgiveness and by faith I have forgiven _________. Then you will love much because you too will see how great a debt that you were forgiven by our Lord. Your slate will be wiped clean. You may have to forgive over and over again because the devil might continue to bring it up again but the devil hates to see you forgive and call on the Lord so he will quit bringing it up to you. It is hard to believe when you are in the pain but healing will come and the Lord will truly make something beautiful our of your life.

 

 

A Life that Chooses Life and Peace

There are two people within the Christian. There is the “old person” which is called the flesh and there is the “new person” who is the new spiritual man that came alive when a Christian is born again. He is born spiritually. This truth is a puzzlement to an unbeliever but is a reality to the Christian. A religious man asked Jesus this question 2000 years ago.

John 3:4 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 him because he was truly seeking to know the truth. The Lord knows your heart and if you are sincerely seeking to know the truth then you will hear the truth.

John 3:5-7 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.’

You must be physically born and your must be spiritually born to become a child of God and enter His kingdom. We are born spiritually dead and that is why we do not understand spiritual matters until we are born again. When we become born again then His Spirit enters into us and unites with our spirit and makes us become alive spiritually.  For this reason, no one can give us assurance of our salvation but the Spirit and He does assure our spirit that we have become His child.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

When you become His child, by becoming born again, you have now within you the “old man”, which is your flesh and the “new man” which is your spirit. If you allow the flesh to control you then you will experience death. If by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the flesh then you will live.

Romans 8:12-14 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

If you are a Christian then you will want to be led by His Spirit. If you are a Christian then you will not want to sin. If you will feed your spirit by spending time with the Lord through His Word and prayer and allow His Spirit to control you then you will experience life and peace.

Romans 8:5,6 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,

The Christian life is a process of maturing and becoming more like Christ. It takes time and obedience. We all fall but the Lord picks us up and helps us get back on track.

Proverbs 24:16 For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,

You will find that the more consistent you are in your quiet times with Him the smoother your Christian life will be. It is a “sweet life” to walk with the Lord. Don’t get discouraged. We all have to learn to walk with Him. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ.

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

He loves you and He remembers your sin no more!

Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

 

 

A Life that Finishes Well

When it is all said and done the most important words that you will ever hear is what the Lord will say to you at the end of your life. There is justice for all, the Christian and the nonChristian.

I Corinthians 4:5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.

There will be no hiding. He will bring to light the things we have hidden in darkness and He will judge our motives. This is a heavy truth but it is better to hear it now than to wait until it is too late.

II Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

God is a God of justice. Justice means that there will be just compensation for what we have done. He will compensate the nonChristian with wrath and punishment for their not believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, and their resulting sins and lack of works of obedience.

Romans 2:5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

God’s wrath is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth. How many times have we suppressed the truth, which means, we heard it and did not do it. We justified ourselves, or at least tried to, until our hearts became dull and we no longer heard the truth. Repent, repent, repent and turn to Him with all of your heart. His judgment day is going to be a very frightening day.

Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Let no one deceive you with empty words. Don’t just listen to those who will tell you what you want to hear. His wrath is coming!

II Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

The Lord will reward the Christian for their faith, and their resulting obedience and good works. In fact, He says that judgment will begin with the household of God. If you are a Christian then that means you.

I Peter 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

If John the apostle fell like a dead man when he saw the Lord how do you think we will be when we see Him in His glory? One of the responses when He returns will be of great and terrifying fear. However, for those who know Him, He will remove our fear just as He did when John saw Him.

Revelation 1:17.18 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

Another response will be that those who have done the most will feel as if they have done the least. He says that at the end He will separate the sheep from the goats. He will point out to the faithful the many things that they did and their response will be “Lord, when did we do these things?”

Matthew 25:31-40 But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

The Lord makes it very clear here what separates the sheep from the goats.

Matthew 25:41-46 Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Works are not what saves us but works are what are the outcome of our faith. May you hear the good words that will forever echo in your mind at judgment day.

Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’