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 of Generosity and Joy

Generosity and joy go hand and hand. The Lord Himself said that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Giving gets your eyes off of yourself and your interests and needs and causes you to become aware of the needs of others around you. The ore yo give, the more your cup of joy will overflow.

Acts20:35 In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Giving gives you a heart for the Lord, for where your treasure is there will your heat be also. Your heart will follow your treasure. Time and money are two of your treasures that you can give away.

Matthew 6:21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The generous person will be prosperous or successful.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous man will be prosperous,

Give to those who can not pay you back. The Lord says that even sinners give to those from whom they will receive something back. When you give to the needy of His people you are giving to the Lord.

Matthew 25:35-40  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 person who gives to the rich will come to poverty. Give to a person in need and they will give you their heart.  When you meet the need of the needy then you are removing the obstacle in their life so that they can hear the Gospel. You are allowing them to see the love and truth of God so that they can hear the love and truth of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:16 He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

Give to the poor and the Lord says that He Himself will pay you back. It is the only time in Scripture where the Lord says that He will become man’s debtor. His payment is in full and more. He remains no man’s debtor.

Proverbs 19:17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord,  And He will repay him for his good deed.

Give to those who have helped you spiritually.

Galatians 6:6 The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.

Your cup of joy will overflow as you give to the Lord by giving to His people, the needy and to reach others for Christ.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

How to Avoid The Life of a Failure

If you want to be miserable in life then just be a failure. Failure brings with it depression, discouragement, disappointment, defeat and despair. However, the choice is ours, if we want to be a failure or a success in life. No one else is responsible for whether we are a success or a failure. The choice is ours. You may think that circumstances would have something to do with it but not so, it is you who determines your success or failure in life. You have no one to blame but yourself.

Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

It is pride that goes before a fall. Pride is not needing God. Satan had all the best of circumstances. He was beautiful and experienced great wealth. He had many gifts and the highest position of all of the angels. Yet, he was not satisfied. He wanted to be equal to God. He wanted more than what the Lord had given to him. He was not satisfied and became prideful. It was his pride that led to his failure and he lost everything.

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.

Pride is the opposite of humility. When pride comes then comes dishonor. Dishonor goes hand and hand with failure. Those who are successful experience honor. Pride is basically saying, “I can do it on my own and that it is all about me”.

I John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

Humility acknowledges that we can do nothing apart from the Lord. Pride is not from the Lord but is from the devil. We are most like the devil when we are prideful.

John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

Pride says that it does not need the Lord. It is manifested by not turning to Him with all of our heart. It is also made known by us neglecting reading and meditating on His Word. When we don’t spend time in His Word then we are relying on ourselves and not on Him. We forget what He has to say and when we forget then we do not act on His Word.

Hosea 7:10 Though the pride of Israel testifies against him, Yet they have not returned to the Lord their God, Nor have they sought Him, for all this.

It is our pride that brings us low and leads to failure. It is the Lord who wants us to be successful and has shown us the way to succeed. There is no success apart from Him. However, you may say that you know people who are successful and who do not seek the Lord. If you will look closely at their successes you will see that they paid a heavy price and it was too great of a price for their temporary success. They lost something else even more precious than their success, whether it is a marriage, family, integrity or even their fellowship with the Lord. For it is the Lord alone who gives success with no sorrow with it.

Proverbs 10:22 It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich,
And He adds no sorrow to it.

Only the Lord can bless us richly in every area and He adds no sorrow to it. However, we must look to Him and follow His instructions on life. He leads us in the good way.

Jeremiah 6:16a Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls.

The Lord wants us to look to Him and He will be our Shepherd and lead us in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. He will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. There are no regrets in following the Lord and obeying His voice. He will never disappoint you. Have you failed? Then it is to show you how desperately we all need the Lord and how desperately we need to know His Word so that we can do exactly as He says. Turn to Him with all your heart. He does promise success to the one who will trust Him and obey Him completely.

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.

He says it again what you need to do to be successful. You have nothing to lose, but your pride, and you have everything to gain.

Joshua 1:8 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.

A Life of Generosity and Joy

Generosity and joy go hand and hand. The Lord Himself said that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Giving gets your eyes off of yourself and your interests and needs and causes you to become aware of the needs of others around you. The ore yo give, the more your cup of joy will overflow.

Acts20:35 In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Giving gives you a heart for the Lord, for where your treasure is there will your heat be also. Your heart will follow your treasure. Time and money are two of your treasures that you can give away.

Matthew 6:21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The generous person will be prosperous or successful.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous man will be prosperous,

Give to those who can not pay you back. The Lord says that even sinners give to those from whom they will receive something back. When you give to the needy of His people you are giving to the Lord.

Matthew 25:35-40  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 person who gives to the rich will come to poverty. Give to a person in need and they will give you their heart.  When you meet the need of the needy then you are removing the obstacle in their life so that they can hear the Gospel. You are allowing them to see the love and truth of God so that they can hear the love and truth of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:16 He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

Give to the poor and the Lord says that He Himself will pay you back. It is the only time in Scripture where the Lord says that He will become man’s debtor. His payment is in full and more. He remains no man’s debtor.

Proverbs 19:17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord,  And He will repay him for his good deed.

Give to those who have helped you spiritually.

Galatians 6:6 The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.

Your cup of joy will overflow as you give to the Lord by giving to His people, the needy and to reach others for Christ.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

A Life of a Beautiful Character

There is no real beauty without a beautiful character. Character is what defines who we are and all that we do is an outward expression of our inward character. When one has a beautiful character, which can only come through the person of Jesus Christ living within them, then their life is a manifestation of God on earth. He walks and He talks through men and women today and makes Himself known on earth. You must first have the Lord Jesus Christ within you to walk and talk with Him and for Christ to make Himself known to others.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

He stands at the door of every person’s heart and asks to come in. Have you heard His voice but not asked Him to come in yet? Do not delay any longer. You do not know if you will have another chance. If you block out His voice then the day will come that you will no longer hear it.

Matthew 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

If you are aware of the Lord and want to know Him then come now while your heart is still tender.

Jeremiah 6:10 To whom shall I speak and give warning
That they may hear?
Behold, their ears are closed
And they cannot listen.
Behold, the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them;
They have no delight in it.

All you need to do to walk with the Lord and let Him talk to you is that you must receive Him into your life. Ask Him to come in. He will come in and make you into the person and character that you long to be.

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,

He will begin a good work in you and He will complete it.

Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

His thoughts toward you are only good and He has your best interests at heart. You can trust Him completely.

Isaiah 55:8,9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Forsake your thoughts and let Him fill your life with His thoughts. As a person thinks in their heart so they will become. Your thoughts originate in your heart.

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

Character is formed first through thoughts and then through actions. Actions form habits and habits become character.

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.

When your character is formed then it will rule over your feelings and you will no longer be tossed here and there through the ups and downs of your emotions. Your emotions will submit to your will which has been surrendered to the One whose will for your life is good. You will experience the freedom of a disciplined life and will know what it means to be truly one of His disciples. Your life will exhibit the Lord in all that you do and you will be beautiful to the world as you will bring hope because the love of God has been poured out within your heart.

Romans 5:3-5 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

A Life Filled with Much Joy

Joy is the expression of the happiness that is within and when one is filled with joy then they are energized and excited about life. Joy is the sweetness that comes from being in the presence of God and knowing that He is real. Joy comes from having prayers answered and seeing the Lord work on one’s behalf. Joy is amazing and when we have it there is nothing that can compare with the true joy that God gives to His children. The world can only offer cheap substitutes that try to mimic the true joy of the Lord but there is no comparison.

Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

The joy of the Lord will strengthen you and will cause you to want to give to others in need. The joy of the Lord allows you to do far more than you would do on your own and in doing so your joy will only be increased. Your joy will become other’s 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.

When you walk and live in His presence then you will know the fullness of joy. Guard your relationship with the Lord and see that nothing quenches the Spirit in your life. Be quick to ask forgiveness so that you will be cleansed from your sin and can continue to walk with Him.

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

He wants unbroken fellowship with you. Draw near to Him and the Lord will draw near to you.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Who is the one who will live in His presence? It is the one who keeps clean hands and a pure heart.

Psalm 24:3-6 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
And who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive a blessing from the Lord
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face—even Jacob.

Seek the Lord and His face continually. You will find that as you do this then your life will overflow with joy. Whatever little sin or pleasure there is that would quench His Spirit in your life is not worth the loss of His presence. Guard your heart with all diligence for from it flows the springs of life and you will find that these springs of life are ones filled with great joy.

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

Then your soul will sing and out of your innermost being will flow the springs of joy because the Lord will be your joy and your joy will be in Him.

Psalm 87:7 Then those who sing as well as those who play the flutes shall say,
“All my springs of joy are in you.”

A Life that Is Filled with Happiness

The Lord designed for man to be happy. A life filled with happiness is one that has much joy and gladness, peace and contentment, prosperity and success, thankfulness and praise, faith and hope, and above all love. This is what the Lord desired for man to experience but man messed up by sinning by wanting to go his own way and do his own thing. As a result happiness left him and sorrow took its place. God came down to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to restore man to God’s design for him. If man will put himself back in God’s hands then not only will he be restored in a relationship with God but happiness will replace sorrow.

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

The thief is the devil and he came to destroy. If we will listen to the Lord and tune out the devil’s lies then we will experience that abundant life that God designed. Our life will be filled with happiness. Our home will be filled with happiness when we live according to His plan. He came to bring love, joy, peace and many other manifestations of who He is.

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.

When we receive Jesus Christ into our life the Spirit comes to live in us and He produces the happiness that becomes a part of of our lives. As we learn to live in the Spirit and walk in the Spirit then we will experience the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

The devil uses our flesh to rob us of the joy, peace and love that God intended and wanted us to know. The fruit of the flesh is what will destroy your happiness, your life, your home and everything else that is precious to you.

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Are there any of these things in your life? Are you immoral and having a physical relationship with someone whom you are not married to? Do you look at impure things on the internet or are your thoughts continually impure from what you have seen or done in the past? Do you dress in such a way that brings attention to your body? What about idolatry? Do you desire anything more than the Lord Jesus Christ? He alone is God and He alone is worthy of our heart, devotion and worship. What about sorcery? Do you read the horoscope or seek guidance where the Lord said not to? What about enemies? Is there strife in your life? Jealousy also is like a poison and will destroy relationships. Do you ever have an outburst of anger? Love and anger can not reside in the same person. Disputes, dissensions and factions are the opposite of unity. Do you envy or can you sincerely rejoice in another person’s success? Drunkenness and carousing is another way of saying that a person is living for the weekend when they can have fun through partying etc. or even drinking and partying at sports events? If these describe you then your life will be filled with much sorrow for it is only a matter of time before you will reap what you sow.

Galatians 6:7,8 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.

God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows then that is what he will reap. If you walk in the flesh and carry out the desire of the flesh then your life will experience corruption and destruction. If you sow to the Spirit then you will from the Spirit experience life. The Lord came to show us the way to life. If you will follow His instructions then your life will overflow with much love, joy, peace, gladness, contentment, prosperity, success, thankfulness, praise, faith and hope.

A Life that is Not Destroyed

Sin destroys. Sin destroys our relationships with God and everyone else. The Lord is the only One who can restore us. He first restores us to a right relationship with Himself and then He starts restoring us and our relationships. He also restores us to a right relationship with His creation.

Psalm 23 1-3 The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

The Lord knows what we need for restoration. Notice that He says here that He makes you lie down in green pastures. Sometimes He will cause circumstances to allow us to be still and lie down in green pastures where it is safe and He will lead us beside quiet waters where we will find refreshment. He is your Shepherd and He says that you will not be in want, that means that He knows your needs and you will not be lacking anything that you need so don’t struggle against the circumstances but learn to accept what you can not change. He will guide you on your journey in paths of righteousness so that you will have peace, quietness and confidence, but first you need restoration. The sheep were never intended to stay in the same place.

Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness will be peace, And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.

As a Christian we can experience death to our soul when we sin and continue in a particular sin. Restoration comes when we confess our sins to Him, turn from our sins and He cleanses us.

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

After confession when we pray to Him we are drawing near to Him and we will experience His restoration. As He says in His Word, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

Psalm 80:3 O God, restore us And cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.

The Lord is the One who restores us in our fellowship with Him.

Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;

The Word of God is what the Lord uses to restore our soul. It is the power of God. It cleanses us.

John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

Prayer and the Word of God brings restoration to our soul. Go to an older woman who you know is in a right relationship with the Lord and ask her to pray for you also if you are still struggling with a particular sin.

James 5:15,16 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.

If you are walking with the Lord and have been doing so on a consistent basis and growing in your relationship with Him then you have a responsibility to restore others in their relationship with the Lord if they are struggling with being enslaved to a sin.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

The Lord has given all of us responsibility to help each other. We need each other to help one another stay close to the Lord. We are not sinless when we become Christians but we do sin less.

James 5:19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

 

A Life that is Free of Guilt

One of the things that man can not live with is guilt. Guilt is a horrible thing that will cause us to do anything to get rid of it. The love of God draws us to Him and it is the guilt of man that drives us to Him. If we refuse to come to Him for forgiveness then we will either try to deny the guilt, bury the guilt, hide the guilt, forget the guilt or try to deny the existence of God in hopes of being free of guilt.

Genesis 3:9-11 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”

The Lord told Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but man ate of it. He knew that he had done wrong and felt guilty.

Ecclesiastes 7:29 Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”

The Lord made man upright and to have fellowship with Him but man chose to go his own way. The word for wanting to go your own way is iniquity. It basically means that you want to run your own life, or in other words, this is what man says in his heart, “nobody is going to tell me what to do”. We see this in toddlers as soon as they can exert their own will. We sometimes will call it the “terrible twos” but really it is our “terrible lives”. A toddler just has not learned to cover it up yet.

Proverbs 21:8 The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.

It does not say the way of a crooked man is guilty but the way of a guilty man is crooked. We are all crooked in our ways. When we see someone that makes us feel guilty then we will change our path to avoid them. Our path is no longer straight but crooked.

Psalm 18:26 With the pure You show Yourself pure,
And with the crooked You show Yourself twisted.

When we are crooked because of our guilt then we will have a twisted view of God. He will seem harsh or mean or unfair. We will not want to come to Him or obey Him. However, your view of God is not a revelation of who He is but an indication of the state of your heart. If you disagree with the Bible and your view of God is, “My God would not…” then you do not know Him correctly. He is who He is and He is a just and loving God. Sin and guilt has distorted the correct view of God in man’s eyes. How can we see who He is clearly? Everything we do is a response to our view of God. Our biggest need is to have the right view of God.

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

We need a pure heart. The Lord is the only One who can cleanse our hearts.

Psalm 51: 1-4 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

It is against the Lord first of all that we have sinned. He can and wants to cleanse us from our iniquity, that is, wanting to be our own God, and then from our particular sins, that is, the particular sins that we have committed against ourselves or others. Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who took away our sin and His death on the cross paid the price for our sins. It is because of His blood that we can have total forgiveness of our sins but we need to ask Him to forgive us. He wants to forgive us and cleanse us and restore us.

Psalm 51:10-13 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.

Are you struggling with guilt? Go to Him and receive His forgiveness and by faith claim what He has done for you on the cross. If you have given your life to Him then He has forgiven you of all of your sins and longs to have fellowship with you once again. Once we become His child then we are always His child but our fellowship with Him can be broken. Allow Him to restore it. After you have been restored and know the joy of your salvation once again then you will want to share Him with others for you will again see that He is good and loving and kind.

How to Avoid The Life of a Failure

If you want to be miserable in life then just be a failure. Failure brings with it depression, discouragement, disappointment, defeat and despair. However, the choice is ours, if we want to be a failure or a success in life. No one else is responsible for whether we are a success or a failure. The choice is ours. You may think that circumstances would have something to do with it but not so, it is you who determines your success or failure in life. You have no one to blame but yourself.

Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

It is pride that goes before a fall. Pride is not needing God. Satan had all the best of circumstances. He was beautiful and experienced great wealth. He had many gifts and the highest position of all of the angels. Yet, he was not satisfied. He wanted to be equal to God. He wanted more than what the Lord had given to him. He was not satisfied and became prideful. It was his pride that led to his failure and he lost everything.

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.

Pride is the opposite of humility. When pride comes then comes dishonor. Dishonor goes hand and hand with failure. Those who are successful experience honor. Pride is basically saying, “I can do it on my own and that it is all about me”.

I John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

Humility acknowledges that we can do nothing apart from the Lord. Pride is not from the Lord but is from the devil. We are most like the devil when we are prideful.

John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

Pride says that it does not need the Lord. It is manifested by not turning to Him with all of our heart. It is also made known by us neglecting reading and meditating on His Word. When we don’t spend time in His Word then we are relying on ourselves and not on Him. We forget what He has to say and when we forget then we do not act on His Word.

Hosea 7:10 Though the pride of Israel testifies against him, Yet they have not returned to the Lord their God, Nor have they sought Him, for all this.

It is our pride that brings us low and leads to failure. It is the Lord who wants us to be successful and has shown us the way to succeed. There is no success apart from Him. However, you may say that you know people who are successful and who do not seek the Lord. If you will look closely at their successes you will see that they paid a heavy price and it was too great of a price for their temporary success. They lost something else even more precious than their success, whether it is a marriage, family, integrity or even their fellowship with the Lord. For it is the Lord alone who gives success with no sorrow with it.

Proverbs 10:22 It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich,
And He adds no sorrow to it.

Only the Lord can bless us richly in every area and He adds no sorrow to it. However, we must look to Him and follow His instructions on life. He leads us in the good way.

Jeremiah 6:16a Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls.

The Lord wants us to look to Him and He will be our Shepherd and lead us in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. He will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. There are no regrets in following the Lord and obeying His voice. He will never disappoint you. Have you failed? Then it is to show you how desperately we all need the Lord and how desperately we need to know His Word so that we can do exactly as He says. Turn to Him with all your heart. He does promise success to the one who will trust Him and obey Him completely.

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.

He says it again what you need to do to be successful. You have nothing to lose, but your pride, and you have everything to gain.

Joshua 1:8 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.