A Life that Does not Stumble

No one wants to stumble through life. It brings pain and frustration. Is it possible to go through life without stumbling? Yes, or at least minimal stumbling and the opportunity to learn to walk without stumbling. How do we do it?

Proverbs 4:10-12 Hear, my son, and accept my sayings and the years of your life will be many. I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. When you walk your steps will not be impeded; and if you run, you will not stumble.

Life is a real joy when you can walk and run through life without stumbling and falling. The way to walk and run without stumbling is to walk in wisdom on upright paths. The Lord is the One who gives us wisdom and He leads us on upright paths. He promises to teach us the way we should go and will give wisdom to anyone who asks Him.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you the way in which you should go, I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

Ask Him for His wisdom. He wants to give it to you.

James 1: But if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach.

When we humble ourselves before Him and ask for His help then He delights in helping us.

Psalm 25:9 He leads the humble in justice and He teaches the humble His way.

He will teach you through His Word. Open your Bible and start reading and praying. Ask Him to teach you His ways and to give you His wisdom. You will find that His Word will become the delight of your heart and that you will love it.

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 of hosts.

When you love something then you want to do it. When you love God’s Word then you want to live by them and find great joy and peace in doing exactly what He says. The outcome is that you will learn to walk in His ways and according to His wisdom. He will also lead you on His upright paths. When you walk His way then you will not stumble for He Himself will be your light and your Shepherd.

Psalm 119:165 Those who love Your Low have great peace and nothing causes them to stumble.

Come to Him all who are weary and He will give you rest. If you are weary of trying to make it on your own then come to Him for you will find that His ways are easy and His burden is light. He will be your Shepherd and lead you in the good and pleasant way so that you will not stumble.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My load is light.

 

 

 

A Life that Overcomes Bitterness

Bitterness is one of the most damaging emotions. Bitterness can be an unresolved hurt in our hearts. Someone hurt us and we can still feel it as if it just happened yesterday. Bitterness can be a wound that has never been healed. It will cause you trouble and poison many.

Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

When sin abounds then God’s grace abounds also but unless we receive His grace and are healed from the hurt and pain of wounds from others we will become bitter.

Romans 5:20,21 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Grace reigns through righteousness to eternal life which is through Jesus Christ our Lord. When you do what is right after someone has done you wrong, and you can only do this through God’s grace, then you will be set free from the bitterness which would result from not experiencing His grace. If you will turn to Him in your pain then He will heal you and restore you.

Exodus 15:26 And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.”

The opposite of bitterness is thankfulness. He will remove the bitterness and fill your heart with gratitude and joy. Only the Lord can do this but He can and He wants to.

I Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Bitterness also comes from forsaking the Lord.

Jeremiah 2:19 Your own wickedness will correct you,
And your apostasies will reprove you;
Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter
For you to forsake the Lord your God,
And the dread of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord God of hosts.

Bitterness can come from the misfortune of bereavement.

Ruth 1:20 She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.

The Lord healed Naomi and she became the great great grandmother of King David. The Lord restored her joy. She trusted the Lord and He was faithful to her.

Ruth 4:16,17 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Bitterness can come from unfulfilled desires and longings. Hannah was greatly sorrowful that she could not have any children.

I Samuel 1:10 She, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.

Hannah turned to the Lord and the Lord heard her prayer and gave her a son, who became the last judge and first prophet in Israel. Her prayer that is recorded became Mary’s prayer when she found out that she was going to bear a Son and His name would be Jesus, the Son of God.

I Samuel 2:1,2 Then Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord;
My horn is exalted in the Lord,
My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
There is no one holy like the Lord,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.

When you experience great loss then you might feel bitter. Job lost everything but his wife and then she also tried to get him to forsake the Lord.

Job 3:20 Why is light given to him who suffers,
And life to the bitter of soul,

Job was faithful to the Lord and the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him even more.

Job 42:10 The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold.

Great sorrow and pain comes to all of us at some time in our life. How we respond to it will determine whether our life becomes bitter or sweet. If we turn to Him, He is faithful and will not disappoint you, for that is the promise He has made to us.

Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

If you don’t turn to Him then your bitterness will eat you up and destroy you from the inside and will make it’s way out through your countenance and your tongue. Not only will it destroy you but it will defile those around you, as mentioned earlier. Don’t substitute what the Lord wants to give to you. His plan for you is sweet. It is the devil who wants to rob you through bitterness.

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Turn to the Lord in you sorrow, loss, disappointment and unfulfilled desires and longings. He will give to you even more than what you can imagine and He has a plan for your life that is good for you and sweet.

 

A Life that Knows the Creator

When one comes into a relationship with Jesus Christ then they come into a relationship with the Creator of the universe. For the Lord created the earth, the heavens and all that is in them. His creation includes the moon, the stars, the sun and the effects of all of these, including the changes in climate. He is Lord of all and the Creator of everything.

Genesis 1:1-5 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

The Lord also created the heavens and the earth in one day. He does not live in time for He is eternal and a day is the same to Him as a thousand years. If He wants to create something in a day then it is nothing to Him to do this for He is God.

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.

God is the only One who can create something out of nothing. He spoke and it was done. Man can only use what has already been created to create something.

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.

What God created was good and He established the earth so that it will not totter.

Psalm 104:5 He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever.

The earth is the Lord’s and all that it contains.

Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.

He is in control of the climate and even holds the water in the clouds. The clouds are His and He controls them also. He controls the rains, the storms and all the other aspects of the climate. He is God.

Job 26:7-9 He stretches out the north over empty space
And hangs the earth on nothing.
He wraps up the waters in His clouds,
And the cloud does not burst under them.
He obscures the face of the full moon
And spreads His cloud over it.

The Lord is the One who made the seasons and they also belong to Him. All the boundaries of the earth belong to Him.

Psalm 74:17 You have established all the boundaries of the earth; You have made summer and winter.

He made the nations from one man and sets the boundaries of the nations. He also appointed the times for the nations.

Acts 17:26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,

The Lord set the boundaries of the seas. He is the One that says they can go so far and no farther than what He has decreed.

Job 38:10,11 And I placed boundaries on it
And set a bolt and doors,
And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther;
And here shall your proud waves stop’?

The earth is the Lord’s and He does as He pleases.

Exodus 19:5 Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine;

The Lord is coming back one day and will create new heavens and a new earth. He says that the earth will wear out like a garment. Do not fear those who do not fear God and think that they can control the weather or anything else in God’s creation. Rather fear God who is the Creator of all things so that you may be ready when he comes back again.

Isaiah 51:6-8 Lift up your eyes to the sky,
Then look to the earth beneath;
For the sky will vanish like smoke,
And the earth will wear out like a garment
And its inhabitants will die in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not wane.
Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
A people in whose heart is My law;
Do not fear the reproach of man,
Nor be dismayed at their revilings.
For the moth will eat them like a garment,
And the grub will eat them like wool.
But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation to all generations.”

He coming again because His Word says so and even though heaven and earth may pass away His Word never changes.

II Peter 3:10-13 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

Are you ready for His coming? Blessed will be those who are prepared, ready and looking forward to his coming again!

A Life that is Wise and Upright

Do you want to live a life that is pure and peaceable, gentle and reasonable and full of mercy and good fruits? A life that is unwavering and without hypocrisy? Such a life is possible but only to those who have been able to take hold of God’s wisdom and live by it.

James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

This life is a sweet life and attractive not only to the Lord but to everyone who meets this person. This verse describes the life of Christ. He offers it to you. Yet, how do you get it? The Lord is very gracious and says that all you have to do is ask Him and He will give it to you and not only to you but to anyone who will ask Him.

James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

However, how do you ask? You need to ask in faith and it will be given to you and given to you generously, that means He will give you as much as you need and ask for.

James 1:6-8 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Is it hard to ask in faith without any doubting? No, it is only hard if the person is double minded, for that person has doubts and is unstable in their faith. What does it mean to be double minded? It means that you can not make up your mind what you want. For instance, you may think, “maybe I should do this or maybe I should do that”. The problem with this kind of thinking is that it is all about what you want and not what the Lord wants. A person who is double minded is not fully surrendered to the Lord.

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.

A double minded person does not have a pure heart. A pure heart is a fully surrendered heart to the Lord. A single minded person has a pure heart and only one thought and that is “Lord, what do you want?” The cure for being double minded is to fully surrender you life and will to the Lord. It is to say, “not my will, but Thy will be done”. What is the outcome of a pure heart? You will see the Lord. The Lord wants every thing that we do to be a response to Him.

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

If you see the Lord correctly then your response will be correct. This is what it means to be upright in our thoughts, actions and heart.

Psalm 11:7 For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face.

An upright person is one who sees the Lord and responds correctly in obedience to Him and the outcome is righteousness, that is doing life right. You won’t have doubts but you will have peace, quietness and confidence.

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

You will find that not only will the Lord give wisdom to the person who is upright with a pure heart but He will also not withhold any good thing from this person.

Psalm 84:11 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.

 

 

 

 

 

A Life with Knowledge

There is only one kind of knowledge that we need and all other knowledge comes from this source of knowledge and that is the knowledge of the Lord.

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

If you were to know the Lord in His fullness then you would have understanding of everything. There is no true knowledge apart from Him. The Lord is a God of knowledge.

I Samuel 2:3 Boast no more so very proudly,
Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth;
For the Lord is a God of knowledge,
And with Him actions are weighed.

There is no comparison to knowing Him and if you had to trade everything in the world for the knowledge of Him then it would be worth it.

Philippians 3:7-11 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

The Lord has not called us to have all knowledge, in fact, we are to be innocent in the knowledge of evil.

Romans 16:19 For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.

You can not have both. You must choose. Do you want to know the Lord or do you want to know evil. You must shut out the knowledge of evil if you want to know the Lord and have understanding. The Lord tells us how to receive the knowledge of God.

Proverbs 2:1-5 My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
And discover the knowledge of God.

Are you receiving His Words and treasuring his commandments within you? Are you making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding? Are you seeking her as you would silver and searching for her as for hidden treasure? If you are, then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. You will then have found the greatest treasure of all and will see that there is none to compare with this treasure of knowing Him.

Proverbs 2:6-11 For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Guarding the paths of justice,
And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
Then you will discern righteousness and justice
And equity and every good course.
For wisdom will enter your heart
And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
Discretion will guard you,
Understanding will watch over you,

If you seek to know the Lord and to fear Him then all these other things will be added to you. You will receive wisdom and understanding will enter your heart. He will be a shield to you as you walk in integrity and He will preserve your way. You will discern righteousness and justice. You will learn equity and recognize the right path to take in life. Wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to you. Discretion will guard you and understanding will watch over you.

Proverbs 8:8-11 All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness;
There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.
They are all straightforward to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.
Take my instruction and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choicest gold.
For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.

There is nothing to compare with knowing the Lord and once you have tasted of the knowledge of Him then you will not desire anything else, unless you are a fool, for fools hate wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

If you don’t yet have the knowledge of the Lord then turn to Him today. He will pour out His Spirit on you and make His words known to you.

Proverbs 1:22,23 How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?
Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

Naive and simple minded means that you just don’t know but you don’t need to stay in that state of mind. Scoffers are those who have turned their back on knowledge. We were all naive, simple minded and scoffers at one time but we don’t have to remain like that for we can come to Him. He is calling to you. He loves you and wants you to know Him.

A Life with Gladness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

A Life of Character

There are five characteristics that should be evidenced in a Christian. These should be spoken of and made manifest in their life.

Psalm 40:10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.

We are not to hide His righteousness within our hearts. We are to live a righteous life which means that we are to do what is right. The opposite of righteousness is wickedness and that is doing what is wrong. It is not our righteousness, which is self righteousness, but it is His righteousness. When we become a Christian we start learning His ways and living by them. Do we fail at times? Yes, but it should grieve us and cause us to want to please Him even more.

Psalm 37:3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

A life of faith will be characterized by His faithfulness. We are to cultivate faithfulness and feed on His faithfulness. Our faithfulness to Him and His faithfulness to us should be one of the hallmarks of a Christian. Do you speak of His faithfulness to others?

I Chronicles 16:23-25 Sing to the Lord, all the earth;
Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.
Tell of His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
He also is to be feared above all gods.

When we become a Christian, He not only saves us for all eternity but He saves us everyday. Are you proclaiming His salvation?

Lamentations 3:22,23 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

His lovingkindnesses indeed never cease! When someone loves someone then it can’t be concealed. They talk about the one they love and that person’s love is their delight. The Lord loves you so much and His love for you never ceases. Do you ever cease talking about His love?

John 14:6,7 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

Jesus is the Truth and when we are filled with Jesus then we will be filled with truth. His truth should characterize all that we do and say. His truth should fill our heart. We should love and long for His truth. Do you conceal His truth from others? Are you afraid at times to speak God’s truth?

Luke 6:45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

A Christian should be characterized by His righteousness, His faithfulness, His salvation, His lovingkindness and His truth because these are the things that fill his heart.