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 Chooses the Light

Life can be narrowed down to two basic choices and these choices determine the quality of our lives, the direction of our lives and the end of our lives. The two choices are that we can either go towards the light or we can go towards the darkness. If we go towards the light then we will receive more light and will eventually reflect the light to others.

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

In Christ alone is life and His life is the Light of men.

John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

When we receive Christ then we receive the life and we receive the light.

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,

Jesus Christ is the light that gives light to everyone who receives Him and He enlightens every man.

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

You can come to the light through believing in Jesus Christ or you can remain in darkness. The choice is yours.

John 12:46 I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.

If you choose to remain in darkness then your “world” will become darker and darker and you will not be able to see life clearly. You will live in a state of confusion and will stumble through life without peace.

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

The reason why people do not come to the Light is because they want to go their own way and do what they want to do. The end is frustration, defeat and death.

John 3:19,20 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

After death, those who chose darkness with receive judgment for the choices of sin they made. They could have chosen light and life but they chose darkness, judgment and eternal torment and death.

Hebrews 9:27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,

Those who chose the light and the life of Jesus Christ will see Jesus when He appears a second time for salvation without a reference to sin to those who eagerly await Him. They chose to turn from darkness to the light and received light, life and eternal salvation and life.

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

A Life Blessed by Love and Truth

It was God’s love and His truth that was His gift to us in Jesus Christ. He took the initiative and loved us and made known the truth to us and made it available to us to become right with God.

Proverbs 16:6a By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for,

Our sin was atoned for through the death of Jesus Christ. He took the punishment and penalty for sin that we deserved. We are forgiven through Him and it was His love and His righteousness that we received. Atonement was made for us that we might have the gift of forgiveness and our guilt removed.

Leviticus 14:31 He shall offer what he can afford, the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, together with the grain offering. So the priest shall make atonement before the Lord on behalf of the one to be cleansed.

Jesus was the lamb of God that took our guilt away and cleansed us from our sin.

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,

As many as will receive the gift of Jesus Christ, the lamb of God, who died for the world shall receive the gift of salvation, the removal of their guilt and the cleansing from their sin and they will become “at one” with God and become His child and a part of His family. God, the Father, receives those who receive Jesus Christ because of what Jesus did.

John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

 

A Life that Knows the Truth of God

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

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

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

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

God and His Word are equal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

A Life with Love Listens and Hears

Love hears because love is listening for the voice or cry of the one whom they love. Every mother understands this fact. Even in her sleep she is always listening for the cries of her children. She knows their cries and their voices and each one is unique. She knows their sounds because she loves her children. Her heart is attentive to them.

But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. I Thessalonians 2:7

So also the Lord hears our cries and He delivers His children from all of their troubles. He is attentive to each one of us.

The righteous cry, and the Lord hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. Psalm 34:17

The Lord loves us and wants us to cry out to Him. He does hear our voice and the sound of our prayers. He hears our cries of distress.

I love the Lord, because He hears
My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live. Psalm 116:1,2

Just as the Lord hears us He also wants us to listen to Him and hear Him. He said over and over again when He was on earth, “He who has ears to hear let him hear”.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. John 5:24

It is through hearing His Word that we believe in Jesus Christ and receive eternal life.

He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” John 8:47

An unbeliever can read the Bible but the unbeliever will not be changed because they are only reading words with their mind. When a person becomes a Christian then they will read God’s Word with their mind and heart and it will no longer be just reading words but they will hear God speak to them through His Words.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

It is through hearing God’s Word that we receive faith. Is your faith little? If you struggle in your faith then read God’s Words over and over again. Ask the Lord to increase your faith. Faith and fear can not reside in the same vessel. Are you fearful? Get into God’s Word and stay in God’s Word until you know His peace.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27

The Lord hears your cries and He listens to your prayers. He loves you. If you will come to Him then you will know His comfort and His peace. He will be with you in trouble.

As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; Isaiah 66:13a

Being a Christian is having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. He hears the cries and prayers of His children and He wants us to listen to Him also. He speaks to us and He wants us to talk to Him. Being a Christian is far more than just believing intellectually in God and believing that Jesus Christ is God’s Son. Being a Christian is having a living faith that lives on His promises and follows Him in obedience. When a person is a true Christian then they will no longer “listen” to the world but they will “listen” to the Lord. For this reason, their lifestyle will be different. They will no longer want to do the things they did before. They will choose different friends if their nonChristian friends do not want to listen to the Lord. The Christian’s values will change. The Christian will have become a new person in Christ for they will have heard from God. God is still calling for those who will listen.

Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts Hebrews 3:7,8a

The Lord says that “Today” is the day of salvation. If you hear His voice then come to Him. Do not harden your heart for you do not know what tomorrow holds and you do not know if you will hear His voice again or if you will have another chance.

for He says, “At the acceptable time I listened to you,
And on the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation”— II Corinthians 6:2

He hears you because He loves you. He is listening for your prayer and cry to Him.

A Life of Grace and Truth

Jesus Christ was full of grace and truth. Faith is coming to Jesus and it is God’s grace that allows us to come to Him. Salvation is the gift we receive by grace through faith.

Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

It is Jesus that saves us through His Word and sets us free from our sin. His Words are truth. The gospel (the good news) that Jesus brought to us is the power of God for salvation. Jesus Christ and His Word and truth are equal. The truth became flesh and dwelt among us.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus Christ is God and when He dwelt among men they saw His glory which is who the Father is and that is, Jesus was full of grace and truth. Grace is the opposite of shame. When someone is disgraced then they are shamed. Sin brings shame and disgrace. Jesus came to take away our sin and shame and to give us grace.

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a disgrace to any people.

When we do what is right it will be expressed in grace and truth. When Joseph thought Mary, his betrothed, had been unfaithful to him then he, being a righteous man did not want to shame or disgrace her but sought to do what is right and loving by sending her away secretly.

Matthew 1:19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.

Jesus took the attention off of the woman caught in adultery. She was being disgraced and He, being righteous, stooped even lower than those around and wrote on the ground so that the eyes of her accusers would be taken off of her and on to Him. He took away her disgrace by standing in the gap between the accusers and her.

John 8:3-11 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.

Jesus does this for each one of us. We have all sinned and are worthy of much disgrace but Jesus stood in the gap between us and the devil, who is our accuser. He stooped down to earth and made us great by taking our sin and punishment. He took our condemnation and has stood in the gap and faced our accuser for us so that we might be free from condemnation.

Romans 8:1-3 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

Just as Jesus stood up and asked the woman where her accusers were, for they were gone, so Jesus says the same to all of us, “I do not condemn you, either. Go, from now on sin no more.

John 8:10,11 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”

Are you struggling with something that you know that you should stop? Is the devil secretly accusing you? Satan is a bully and a bully always goes after one who is weak at the moment. Satan won’t go after Jesus because he has already lost to the Lord Jesus Christ but he tries to get to Jesus through us.

I Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

The Bible says to resist the devil and he will flee from you. Resist him through God’s Word and the name of Jesus Christ and he will flee.

James 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Get in God’s Word and keep resisting the devil until you see the victory. Keep firm in your faith in the Lord. After you have struggled and suffered for a little while then Jesus Himself will perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

I Peter 5:9-10 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

 

 

 

 

A Life with Love Lives By Faith

There can not be love without faith. We must love by faith. Faith is doing the right thing without the need to see results. Faith is trusting One greater than ourselves. Faith is not blind faith but living on the promises of One who is faithful. There is only One who had perfect faith and that is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ lived a life of perfect faith when He was on earth. He trusted His Father in heaven completely.

But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. Acts 2:24

Jesus Christ did not raise Himself from the dead. The Father raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Jesus Christ went to the cross trusting the Father completely to raise Him from the dead.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8

Jesus Christ is God and equal to God in every way but He emptied Himself and took the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men. He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross. He could only do this because He trusted in God the Father completely to be faithful to raise Him from the dead.

Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. John 14:10

Jesus did not speak His Words but He spoke only what the Father wanted Him to speak. It was the Father abiding in Jesus that did all the works of God that were done through Jesus Christ on earth. Jesus did not do miracles and works with His own power but it was the Father who did these works through him.

I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. John 5:30

Jesus had to study the Old Testament and be taught by the Father. He had to learn what the Father wanted Him to do. Jesus had to learn the promises of God that the Father had given to Him in the Scriptures.

So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. John 8:28

Jesus obeyed the Father completely and lived a life of faith in the promises of God. Jesus did not speak or act on His own initiative but He trusted in the Father completely.

For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. John 12:49

Jesus Christ has not asked His followers to do anything that He, Himself did not do on earth when He walked among men. He went to to the cross in faith and was raised so that He might be the first born from the dead. He lived a life of faith and obedience on earth as He has called us to do. He learned through Scripture what the Father’s will was for Him. He allowed the Father to abide in Him and He abided in the Father. He did not speak His Words but the Words of God. He did nothing on His own initiative except to obey and love the Father. Love, faith and obedience is a choice that we must do on our own initiative.

No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” John 10:18

Love must live by faith believing in, trusting in and obeying the One who loves us far more than we can imagine. He is faithful. Love Him and leave the results to Him.

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

Not only will you not be disappointed but the Lord has so much in store for the One who loves Him that you can not even fathom how great His love is for you. If you were to lay your head on your pillow and think of the greatest thing that God could do for you then He could still say that He can top it.

but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” I Corinthians 2:9

The life of faith is a mystery to those who do not know God. To those who know the Lord then their heart’s desire is to live for Him and to please Him. They have realized that He is the only One who can satisfy the longings of our heart.

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25,26

Love lives by faith and the one who loves God lives by faith. When we love others we love by faith. A husband and wife love each other by faith and a parent loves their children by faith. We love our friends and neighbors by faith. We even love our enemies by faith. Faith is doing what the Lord wants us to do and leaving the outcome to Him.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

A Life that Blesses and Is Blessed

A blessed life and a life that is cursed are opposites. Blessings are everything that is good and curses are everything that is bad. The Lord wants to bless us and warns against living a life that is cursed.

Psalm 109:17 He also loved cursing, so it came to him;
And he did not delight in blessing, so it was far from him.

You can either be a blessing or a cursing. Along with cursing comes bitterness. You can not have both sweet water and bitter come out of you, as God’s vessel, you are a fountain that will either bless or curse others.

James 3:8-11 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening bothfresh and bitter water?

What is your tongue like? Do you ever use curse words? Do you seek to bless others? Your tongue is what expresses what is in your heart.

Luke 6:44,45 For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. 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.

What is the fruit of your lips? Do you bless the Lord and man? The only way you can be a blessing to God and man is to fill your heart with what is good for then your will speak from that which fills your heart.

Hebrews 13:15,16 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love to speak will eat its fruit. Your words will either give blessing and life or they will bring cursing and death.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

 

A Life that Is a Blessing to Others

The Lord wants us to be a blessing to others. This is one aspect of what it means to be a witness of who the Lord is. He is good and He wants to show to others who He is through Christians. NonChristians do not have the correct view of God due to our fallen natures from the sin of Adam and Eve. The devil has distorted our view of God and often it is twisted. We do not really believe the Lord loves us because if we did then we would run to Him. It is easy to believe that God is mad at us or that if we trusted Him with everything then He would do with us what we do not want and would deprive us of things that we think would make us happy. The list is endless of the lies that Satan has put into the heart of man of who God really is. None of the lies are true but we will never know that until we come to Him.

Acts 14:17 and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.

The Lord is good and He gives to us even when we do not deserve it. He loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son. All who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are blessed.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

When we receive Jesus Christ then we receive every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

He blessed us that we might be a blessing to others. He wants us to be a witness of who He is. John the Baptist was the first witness of who Jesus Christ is.

John 1:7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him.

The Lord wants us to be a witness of who He is that others may believe in Him. He is not desiring that any should perish but that all might believe in Him.

John 15:26,27 When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

The purpose of a witness is to testify about something or someone. We are to testify to the world that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. He is the only One who can do this because He is God and took the penalty for our sin. We are to testify that God is good by the works that we do, which are to be good works because God is good.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

The Lord Jesus Christ has saved us by His grace through faith in Him. Not as a result of any works that we have done but that we may do good works and testify to the world who He is, that He is good.

Titus 3:3-5a For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy,

We all were foolish at one time, being disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in doing wrong and having evil in our hearts– but He saved us. He showed us mercy and forgave us and He wants us to go out into the world and do the same. Is there anyone you need to forgive and show mercy to? That person may be the one whom Jesus Christ wants to save next. The greatest blessing that we can give to others is to show them who God is through our lives and remove any obstacles that prevent them from coming to know Him as their Savior and Lord.

 

 

 

A Life with Love Shows Mercy in Justice

When Cain’s offering was not accepted by God, rather than doing what was right he did what was wrong and he murdered his brother, Abel, whose offering God had accepted. When we do wrong we can still do what is right. The choice is ours.

And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4:4b-7

It may be humbling but we can still do what is right and if we do what is right then we will be glad and our countenance will reflect it. The Lord gives us the opportunity to humble ourselves before Him so that we might receive His grace which enables us to do what is right no matter how great the sin.

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

His grace will always measure up to the measure of the sin. One aspect of His grace is the strength to do what needs to be done to do what the Lord wants to be done.

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. Romans 5:21b,22

If you mess up or sin once or a million times you can still turn away from sin and turn to the Lord to begin doing what is right. Cain could still have done what was right or he could do what was wrong. The choice is still our choice. The wages of sin is death. It is death to us spiritually and it is death to our soul and death to our body. If we will do what is right then the Lord will meet us and help us.

You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways. Isaiah 64:5a

Cain was jealous of his brother and killed him. Cain did not love his brother but he hated him.

For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. I John 3:11,12

How much easier it is for us to love someone else when we have more than they do. However, when someone becomes more successful and has more money, receives more honor or is accepted more then that love can easily turn to hate.

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; I John 3:15a

Sin begins in the heart but if it is not quickly checked and confessed then it will lead to action. Cain did not plan to kill his brother. Most of us don’t plan to sin but we have allowed sin to take root in our heart and then to master us. Sin is a cruel master and when Cain heard his punishment it was too hard to bear. The Lord spoke to Cain.

He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to bear! Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” Genesis 4:10-14

When Cain poured out his heart to the Lord then the Lord heard him and showed him mercy. The Lord is a just God but He is also merciful. How important it is to show mercy to those to whom we have to show justice. This is such an important truth for parents when they need to discipline their child. There can be no love without justice but love must be shown in justice so that the one who receives justice should not despair.

So the Lord said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him. Genesis 4:15

Many a regret comes from an action in the emotion of the moment. Cain messed up privately in his worship with the Lord and the Lord reproved him privately. The Lord had not told anyone. Cain told his brother and when they were alone he killed him.

Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Genesis 4:8

Jealousy is a sickness of the heart that can destroy us from the inside out. It is a secret sin that comes from insecurity. The best way to deal with jealousy is to get it out in the open. Go to someone who walks with the Lord and who you can trust and confess your sin of jealousy to them and ask them to pray for you.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16

The Lord is faithful, righteous and able to cleanse and heal us if we will confess our sins. He can also restore our relationships and heal our marriages and homes.

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:8,9

In God’s righteousness and faithfulness to His Word there is justice but in His love He shows us mercy when we come to Him and pour out our heart to Him.