A Life 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.

A Life with Right Choices

Your life is made up of the choices you make. If you make good choices then you will have a good life. If you make bad choices then you will have a difficult life. You make the choices and the choices make you. We all can look back and see very clearly the good and bad choices that we have made. However, your life is only lived once and many choices can not be undone. Only one life and if it is lived right then you will be blessed. How do we make good choices?

Matthew 19:16,17 And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

We can not make good decisions because we are not good. There is only One who is good and that is God Himself. Jesus Christ is the One and Only Son of God. He is fully God and fully man. He is the only One who can make good decisions for us because He is the Only One who is good.

Matthew 13:37 And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,

The Lord is the only One who can sow good seed and make good decisions. He pursues man and calls man to Himself. The only good decision that we can make is to respond to Him and His love in calling us to follow Him. When we follow Him then He will lead us on the good path of life and and we will live forever in His goodness and His love. Choose Jesus Christ and you choose life. If you do not choose Jesus Christ then you are choosing to go your own way and to make your own decisions. The outcome of not choosing Jesus Christ is death, death to the soul and death to the body. You will make bad decisions because we all come into the world with a foolish heart. The definition of a fool is one who lives apart from God. If your decisions are not what He says in His Word then they will be foolish decisions and the result is much sorrow and anguish of soul.

John 3:3-7 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

If you are still making your own decisions then you must ask yourself if you have been born again into God’s kingdom. Christianity is not a religion but it is a relationship with Jesus Christ Himself and we come into that relationship when we are born again. He becomes our Lord and our Savior. He becomes our Lord, which means that He is now the Ruler of our life and all decisions belong to Him. He becomes our Savior, which means that He saves us from ourselves and the many foolish decisions that we have already made, which is called sins. Sin means missing the mark and we have all missed the mark. There are many religious people who have not been born again. They know about God but they do not know Him personally.

Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

If you hear the Lord calling you then respond and believe in your heart. Confess to someone with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. You will be saved. Jesus Christ is alive today in the hearts of all who have believed in Him and trusted Him with their hearts and lives.

John 10:4 When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.

When you belong to Him then He will lead you because He will go ahead of you and you will follow because you know His voice. He becomes not only your Lord and Savoir but your Good Shepherd.

John 19:7-15 So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

Jesus Christ laid down His life for the sheep. Come to Him and choose Him. It is the only right choice that we can make. He calls us and when we respond to Him then He leads us. He will only lead you where He has gone and where it is good for you. You can trust Him completely. The life that He gives is good and abundant and will never end for just as He is eternal the life that He offers is eternal. Come to Him and live forever.

 

 

A Life that Has Understanding

When you have understanding then you will enjoy life so much more and will be much less frustrated than others without understanding. Understanding will give you insight in decisions and make you more successful because of your right choices in life.

I Chronicles 22:12,13 Only the Lord give you discretion and understanding, and give you charge over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will prosper, if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which the Lord commanded Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be dismayed.

The more understanding that you have the more wise counsel that you will have to guide your life and to help others.

Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,

When you have understanding then it will watch over you.

Proverbs 2:11 Discretion will guard you,
Understanding will watch over you,

When you have God’s understanding then you will learn more and more to trust Him and to not trust your own understanding. Your own understanding is limited to what you see or feel about a situation. God’s understanding is impartial and is based on His knowledge of life.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.

Understanding calls to us to live according to her ways. The word “folly” means stupidity. When we lack God’s understanding about life we have a tendency to do stupid things. Stupid decisions and stupid activities rob us of life.

Proverbs 9:6 “Forsake your folly and live,
And proceed in the way of understanding.”

When one has understanding then they will recognize those that do not and will not fall into the snares of people who will get them into trouble and bring grief to their lives. Many a man’s life was made very sorrowful because of the woman he married. Understanding will keep a man from the woman of folly. A person lacking in understanding is naive.

Proverbs 9:13-18 The woman of folly is boisterous,
She is naive and knows nothing.
She sits at the doorway of her house,
On a seat by the high places of the city,
Calling to those who pass by,
Who are making their paths straight:
“Whoever is naive, let him turn in here,”
And to him who lacks understanding she says,
“Stolen water is sweet;
And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
But he does not know that the dead are there,
That her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

A godly mother will teach her sons to avoid the woman of folly. A wise son will listen to his mother. A man can not see through women and in the same way a female can not see through males. A young lady needs her father’s counsel and a young man needs his mother’s counsel when it comes to choosing a life partner. If you do not have a mother or father in your life then go to an older godly person who has understanding so that they can give you wise counsel. Other than choosing who will be your Master in life the next most important decision that you will make will be who your mate will be. Choose wisely and you will be blessed. Choose foolishly and that choice will become a curse to you.

 

A Life with No Excuses

Since the Lord created the earth and made it evident to man that there is a Creator then man is without excuse for not acknowledging the Creator. All atheism and agnosticism is a result of not coming to the light that God has given to man. The light of God begins through creation and when man comes to God then the Lord gives him more light.

Romans 1:19,20 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

Man is without excuse because the Lord created man to know Him and made it evident within Him. However, if man does not turn to His Creator then his foolish heart becomes darkened.

Romans 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

God made man to know Him but when we do not honor Him or thank Him then we start speculating about God. Often it will begin with “My God would not…”. Any speculation about God will only bring greater darkness to the foolish heart that does not turn to God. Finally, the one who does not acknowledge God, honor Him or thank Him will cease to even believe that He exists.

Romans 1:22,23 Professing to be wise, they became fools,and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

The person who turns from God will think that he himself is wise. Once he thinks of himself as wise then he has even less hope than when he was only a fool and turned from God. Now, the wise in his own eyes person will exchange the glory of being made in God’s image and think that he is made in the image of creation, which is a summation of evolution.

Proverbs 26:12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

 

A Life that Receives Instruction

Part of the definition of a fool is that they hate instruction and the consequence of a lack of instruction is destruction and death.

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

We would not think of getting an expensive piece of equipment and not read the instructions and yet how much more valuable is our body and soul. It is foolish not to read and study the instruction manual given by the One who made us and has given us clear instructions on how to live. God made us and what He made was good and if we do not know His instructions on how to live then we will bring destruction to ourselves.

Proverbs 5:23 He will die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.

We will go astray in whatever area that we do not know the Lord’s instruction on how to live. He has freely given us everything we need to know to live life right and to thrive but there is something within us that resents anyone telling us what to do. That which is within us that wants to do it ourselves is our sinful nature. How foolish we are to not listen to our Creator and even more foolish to deny that we have a Creator and that He cares about us.

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 speaks to His people and tells them to listen to Him. He has chosen not to MAKE anyone do His instruction or MAKE anyone listen to Him. That is our responsibility. It is wisdom to listen to the Lord and follow His instructions so that we will not die.

Psalm 78:1 Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

We receive instruction by first listening to Him and then we receive His words into our mind and heart and follow His instruction.

Jeremiah 32:33 They have turned their back to Me and not their face; though I taught them, teaching again and again, they would not listen and receive instruction.

It is rebellion against the lord when we refuse to listen to His instruction.

Isaiah 30:9 For this is a rebellious people, false sons, Sons who refuse to listen To the instruction of the Lord;

If you are a true child of the Lord then you will want to listen to His instruction and you will want to live by what He instructs and teaches. Your life will be different and you will be free of many of the struggles of the world, which are sins that ensnare them and destroy them. You will have God’s wisdom and will be a guide to many.

Job 22:22 Please receive instruction from His mouth And establish His words in your heart.

Not only will you receive instruction but you will want others to know God’s instruction and to live according to it as it is in His Word, the Holy Scriptures.

Proverbs 1:2,3 To know wisdom and instruction,
To discern the sayings of understanding,
To receive instruction in wise behavior,
Righteousness, justice and equity;

When you know God’s wisdom, which is in His Word, then you will have instruction in every good course and instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice and equity. You will know what you need to do in every situation so that you will not end up being destroyed.

Proverbs 10:17 He is on the path of life who heeds instruction, But he who ignores reproof goes astray.

Do you want to live, and have an abundant life? Then don’t have it your way but live according to His way. Your life will be sweet and you will be on the path of life rather than the path that leads to death and ultimately eternal death.

Proverbs 5:11-13 And you groan at your final end,
When your flesh and your body are consumed;
And you say, “How I have hated instruction!
And my heart spurned reproof!
“I have not listened to the voice of my teachers,
Nor inclined my ear to my instructors!”

Yes, the end for those who do not heed instruction will be groaning and much regret. Their flesh and body will be consumed. In the greatness of their folly they went astray never to return again. They chose their own destiny and will end up in hell for all eternity. It is all because they wanted to go their own way and did not listen to the Words of the Lord. They will themselves realize that they alone are responsible and will have much regret. It is not too late to seek Him and turn to Him for instruction. He will hear your prayer if you are sincerely wrong for neglecting Him and turning away from Him. He will save you and get you back on the path of life. He is abounding in riches for all who call on Him.

Romans 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

The most simple but beautiful prayer is, “Lord Jesus, I have sinned against you. Please forgive me and save me. Please come into my life and make me the person you want me to be. Help me to receive your Words, for You will instruct me and teach me in the way I should go.”

 

 

How to Avoid The Life of a Fool

Sometimes it is easier to understand a truth when we see the opposite. The opposite of wisdom is foolishness and so the opposite of being a wise person is being a fool. What is the life of a fool like and what is its end? The Bible says that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child. In other words, we come into life with foolishness being a part of our heart.

Proverbs 22:15a Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;

The foolish person engages in folly. The word folly literally means stupidity. We clearly see it in others but it is not so clear in ourselves, that is, until it is too late.

Proverbs 14:24 The crown of the wise is their riches, But the folly of fools is foolishness.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes. The Bible also says that the fool is deceived. When we refuse to listen to the truth then we become deceived and deception only leads to more deception.

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

A fool begins being a fool by setting themselves up as their own authority and letting themselves be the judge of what is right and what is wrong. Everyone has a standard of right and wrong even if the standard is not correct. The fool usually will keep changing the standard so that they will not have to deal with guilt. However, a fool becomes this way, by living 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 fool does his best to live as if there is no God. However, this “philosophy” only brings more pain and the fool will ultimately be mad at God. Typical of a fool are the words, “If there is a God, then why would He…”. The fool is completely without understanding and will never understand the ways of God. God will seem unfair to him, that is, when he is finally honest enough to admit there is a God.

Proverbs 19:3 The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the Lord.

The fool destroys his own life and then he gets mad at God.

Proverbs 10:14 Wise men store up knowledge, But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand.

The fool messes his life up by his own mouth. Also, the Bible says that the fool multiplies words and is quick to show their anger. The fool will also display dishonor. Not only does the fool hurt themselves but they also hurt the people around them.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

If you choose to be with a fool then plan to be hurt and dishonored.

Proverbs 3:35 The wise will inherit honor, But fools display dishonor.

An entire book could be written on the fool. However, we can sum up the life of a fool by saying that it will be a life of pain, regret, shame, anger, rage, ignorance, destruction to themselves and others, despising knowledge and lacking in understanding. Unfortunately, the foolishness of man began in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve decided to live without the Lord by going their own way and doing their own thing. They did not submit to the Lord but chose to “make their own decisions”, in other words, “to be their own lord”. That tendency is within all of us.

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

If you will learn to seek out the Lord Jesus Christ, rather than many other ways to God, and to allow Him to be your Lord then you can be saved from being a fool. He will give you wisdom and understanding. The Bible says that the meaning of understanding is to know the Lord.

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

Wisdom is everything that is the opposite being a fool. A wise person is slow to anger and considers their words. Rather than destroy they build their life, marriage and family. They are a joy to be around because they are a blessing to their friends and not only that, but just by being with a wise person you will see and hear wisdom. The wise person’s life will be filled with peace, love and great joy as they seek to follow the One who gave His life for a world of fools, who wanted nothing to do with Him. All we have to do is come to Him and surrender our life and will to Him and He truly takes the foolish things of the world and does something great and glorious. Jesus Christ is amazing Savior and Lord who came to redeem man from all of the destruction that he brought on himself. It is no wonder that those who know Him will spend all eternity praising Him. Will you choose to be wise and come to Him or will you continue on in your foolish ways?

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 is a beautiful picture of Jesus Christ because in Him does all the fullness of wisdom dwell.

Colossians 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

This is God’s will for you…that your heart may be encouraged, having been knit together in love and filled with the wealth that comes from knowing Jesus Christ, who is the true knowledge of God and in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.