A Life that Is Prepared

The Lord wants us to be prepared for Him, just as a bride prepares herself for the bridegroom so we are to be preparing ourselves to see Him. The Lord is preparing a place for you in heaven if you belong to Him and He wants you to be prepared to see Him face to face.

Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

The Lord has prepared you for glory. Are you prepared to see Him? Blessed are those who prepared themselves to meet their Master.

Romans 9:23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,

You can not even imagine all that the Lord has prepared for you. Do you love Him with all your heart? Are you one of those for whom He is preparing?

I Corinthians 2:9 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.”

He has prepared life for you here on earth and eternal life for all eternity. He has given His Spirit to you as a pledge of the life to come.

II Corinthians 5:4,5 For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.

He has prepared work for you to do that is good. He wants you to be ready for the good works that He has prepared beforehand for you to walk in them. If we do what He has prepared for us here on earth then we will be prepared to see Him face to face.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

You need to cleanse yourself from the former things that were yours in your ignorance and put on Christ, so that you will be a vessel for honor, set a part for Him and ready and useful for what He has prepared for you.

II Timothy 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

Just as a bride prepares herself for the bridegroom so the Lord wants us to prepare ourselves to see Him, who is our bridegroom. We are His bride and a bride cleanses herself and then she clothes herself with her clean and beautiful clothes. Our clothing will be the righteous acts or good works that the Lord prepared for us so that we would be beautiful and ready for Him. He has made us ready for Him if we will only prepare ourselves to see Him by being obedient to what He has called us to do, which are the righteous acts that He wants us to walk in.

Revelation 19:7,8 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

To sum up, if we do what He has prepared for us here on earth then we will be prepared to see Him in heaven. He has done everything to make us ready for Him.

A Life that Forgives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 8:6-8 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

A Life that Knows the Truth

There is only One who is true and His Words are truth. If you do not know the truth then you will be deceived and the meaning of deception is that you are not aware that you are deceived, so much so that you believe a lie. Your beliefs will be manifested in your life so if you believe a lie then you will live a lie.

Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks within himself, so he is.

Whatever goes into your heart and mind will come out in your words and actions. For this reason the Lord says to watch over your heart with all diligence.

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

Fill your heart with what is good and good will flow from your mouth and life. Fill your heart and mind with trash and trash will flow from you.

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.

Your heart is a treasure chest and what you put into it is what you treasure. If you value your relationship with the Lord and value what He values then you will put His Words in your heart and treasure them.

Psalm 119:9-11 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.

Do you want the Lord? You must have a pure heart and clean hands. You must guard what goes into your heart. Do you want to come into His presence and know Him?

Psalm 24:3,4 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.

When you come into His presence then you will see Him and you will also see yourself for who you really are. You will no longer be deceived nor will you want to life up your soul to falsehood but will speak the truth. You will draw near to Him.

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.

Do you want to know the nearness of God? Do you want to know His sweet presence? It begins by spending time with Him in His Word and prayer and seeing Him. Then after seeing Him and allowing Him to cleanse your heart through His Word, you then confess your sin and draw near to Him.

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

The nearness of God will be your good and you will see the goodness of the Lord. When you know Him then you will know the truth and the truth will change your life.

Psalm 73:28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

You will want to talk about Him and tell others all of the wonderful things that He has done. If you find yourself defending your actions or wanting to go to movies where you know in your heart that Jesus would not go to then stop…is it worth it? The Bibles says that Eve was deceived and she paid a huge price for her sin. Would someone who wants to know the Lord want to be with you because of your clean hands and pure heart?

Psalm 101:6,7 My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me;
He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me.
He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house;
He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me.

Those who want the Lord will seek out others who want the Lord. Do you want to marry a godly man? Do you want godly friends? You must become a godly young lady. Be faithful to the Lord in all that you do and especially in what goes into your heart and mind. You can not have both the world and the Lord. If you try to have both then it is only a matter of time before your heart is deceived and you no longer will want or hear the truth, which is Jesus, for He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life”.

A Life that Loves People

If you love God then you will love people because God loves people. He loves everyone. The Bible says that He is good to the evil and the good.

Matthew 5:45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

If you are His child then you will want to become like Him.

I John 3:1-3 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

When we see Him we will be like Him but before that happens we are in the process of becoming like Him, which means we are being conformed into His likeness while on earth.

Romans 6:5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

His destiny for us is to become like Him.

Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

It is through knowing Him that we become conformed to His death, His resurrection and His life.

Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;

Jesus is the Word and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. God uses His Word to transform us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.

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.

His Word becomes alive in us and replaces our old though patterns and habits.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Just as Jesus did not come to do His own will but the will of the Father, in the same way, we also are not to do our will but the will of God.

John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

Just as Jesus prayed in the garden, “not My will but Thy will be done”, we too are to pray the same and desire that His will would be done.

Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

Jesus also taught His disciples to pray in the same way, that His will would be done.

Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

When you choose to follow Jesus. He will be your Lord and it is His will that becomes of utmost importance. This is what it means to die to yourself. You are dying to your will and living to do His will. This is truly the only way that you can love people. It is the way that Jesus loved you by going to the cross for you. He chose the will of the Father.

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.

God so loved you so that you too might love others with the same kind of love. What amazing love!

A Life that Knows the Will of God

Often people will ask, “How do I know what is God’s will for my life?”.  Is it possible to know His will? There are several ways to help you know the will of the Lord for your life.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

There are three aspects of God’s will. The will of God will always be good and acceptable and perfect.

Mark 10:18 No one is good except God alone.

God is good. The word good means the highest form of love. God’s will for you will be loving for others. If something you want to do does not express the love of God then it is not God’s will for you to do it. There are many things that are not a sin but they are not loving because the activity may make someone stumble. If you think then that you will do it in secret then it will be okay because it will not make anyone stumble then you are not acting wisely.

Proverbs 18:1 He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom.

God’s will is always wise because He is the fullness of wisdom.

Colossians 2:2,3 a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself,  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

God’s will is perfect. You will know what is God’s will when there is nothing to add to it and nothing to take from it. If you ever find yourself saying, “I really like him “but”…” or “I really want to do this “but”…” then you find that the “but” is what will come back to bite you later on and will bring great frustration and sometimes torment. The Lord has give you authority to help you in your desire to know God’s will. Go to the ones over you and ask them what they think. Often the Lord will speak through them. Maybe that particular thing that you want is His will but not His timing yet. Until there is nothing to add to it and nothing to take away do not do it but wait on the Lord and ask Him to help you.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.

the will of the Lord will always be acceptable. God is holy and He has commanded us to be holy.

I Peter 1;15,16 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;  because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

God’s will can be seen in His commandments. His commandments are holy and He has called us to be holy so His will will never violate what He has said in His Word. His will for your life will always be acceptable to Him.

James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

So ask yourself concerning something that you are wondering if it is His will…”Is this person I want to be with, this place I want to go or this thing I want to do” good and acceptable and perfect? If it does not meet these three criteria then do not do it. The Bible says that you will lie down in torment if you “light your own fire” rather than trust in the Lord and rely on Him.

Isaiah 50:10,11 Who is among you that fears the Lord,
That obeys the voice of His servant,
That walks in darkness and has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.
Behold, all you who kindle a fire,
Who encircle yourselves with firebrands,
Walk in the light of your fire
And among the brands you have set ablaze.
This you will have from My hand:
You will lie down in torment.

One more thing, is there something already in your life that you know that you should be doing that you are not doing? You need to do what He has already shown you before you will receive more light concerning something else. Obedience brings light.

 

 

 

A Life with Friendships

A true friend is rare and is like “icing on the cake” in life. A friend is one of the sweetest gifts that the Lord gives here on earth. If you have one true friend then you are blessed and if you are a true friend to someone else then you are a blessing.

Proverbs 17:17a A friend loves at all times,

A friend is a gift and a trust that the Lord gives to people. Friends are not to be used and expectations will destroy friendships. The trust that someone else gives to you is to be guarded. They are entrusting to you their heart and soul. Prize it and you will keep it. Take it for granted and you will lose it.

Proverbs 17:9 He who conceals a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends.

Be careful who your friends are because they need to be trustworthy. Just as you need to learn to love them and overlook their sins so they need to overlook your transgressions. Both need to seek God’s love which is pure.

Proverbs 11:13 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter.

Be the friend that you want others to be to you. A true friend loves at all times and is trustworthy. A true friend will tell you the truth. A true friend will be more concerned about your relationship with the Lord than your relationship with them.

Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.

A true friend will love with a sacrificial love and you will learn as much from them as they will from you. The greatest way to have a true friend is to be a true friend. True friendship is a oneness of the soul and spirit. For this reason, a Christian can only have a true friendship with another Christian. Their friendship must be built upon the Lord Jesus Christ as He showed us what a true friend is by calling us His friend.

John 15:13-15 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. He has called us to lay down our lives for others and this is His command. As we grow in our relationship with the Lord and keep His new command that He gave to us then He will make known to us His will and His ways. If you really want to be happy then be a friend of God. He calls you to be His friend.

John 15:12 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

 

A Life as A Friend of God

One of the most amazing aspects about the Lord is His offer for a friendship with Him. A friendship with God…can there be anything greater? Yet, He says He will be our Friend and we can be His friend. There are two necessary requirements to be His friend. However, before we can be His friend we must be forgiven, otherwise our sin separates us from fellowship with Him.

Colossians 1:13,14 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

We have forgiveness only in Jesus Christ and once we receive Him as our Lord and Savior then we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of Jesus Christ. He becomes our King, Shepherd, Friend, Lord and Savior and we become His friend. He is our King, which means that He rules in our life and we are subject to Him. He is our Shepherd, which means that He will guide us and we will hear His voice and follow Him. He is our Friend because He laid down His life for us. He is our Lord, which means that He is Lord of our life and we are to obey Him. He is our Savior, which means that He has saved us from the penalty and power of sin and we are forever grateful to Him for saving us eternally as well as saving us every day. He also allows us to be His friend. There are two characteristics of a friend of God. The first characteristic is that a friend of Jesus Christ rejoices when he/she hears His voice.

John 3:29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full.

Do you get great joy when you hear His voice? The Lord promises us that we will hear His voice. If you are not hearing His voice either you do not belong to Him as one of His sheep or you are not His friend.

John 10:27,28 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

The second characteristic of a friend of God is that they will keep His commandments.

John 15:12-14 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.

We can not be a friend to all if we are a friend of God. We can not have a friendship with the world if we want to be a friend of God.

James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Friendship with the world is spiritual adultery and is hostility toward God. If you wish to be a friend of the world then you make yourself to be an enemy of God and the love of God is not in you.

I John 2:15-17 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 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. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

The word “lust” simply means desire. Do you desire the things of the flesh and the eyes? Is the boastful pride of life important to you? Do you care what others think of you or do you only care what your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ thinks of you? Ask the Lord to help you if these are struggles with you. Do you get upset over the things of the world?

Psalm 75:25-28 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.
For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.