A Life that Is Loved

The Lord wants to bless us. He longs to be gracious to us and to show us His great love.

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who long for Him.

He is a God of love and if we will only allow Him to love us with His perfect love then we will truly ride on the heights of the earth. That is, we will live above circumstances and soar in life because we will be secure in the arms of the only One who can love with a perfect love.

Deuteronomy 33:12 May the beloved of the Lord dwell in security by Him,
Who shields him all the day,
And he dwells between His shoulders.

Underneath you will be the everlasting arms and He will hold you up. He will drive out your enemies before you.

Deuteronomy 33:26,27 There is none like the God of Jeshurun,
Who rides the heavens to your help,
And through the skies in His majesty.
The eternal God is a dwelling place,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;
And He drove out the enemy from before you,
And said, ‘Destroy!’

He has enclosed you behind and before and laid His hand on you.

Psalm 139:5 You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.

There is nothing too difficult for Him. There is nothing that you have done that makes it too difficult for Him to love you. He loves you and wants you to belong to Him.

Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,

As high as the heavens are above the earth so great will His love be for those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:11-14 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.

Does He love those who do not fear Him? Yes, but they will not experience His love until they come to know Him. When you know Him then you fear Him, which means you stand in awe of Him and want to fall at His feet and worship Him, because you see that He is God. He invites all to come into a relationship with Him.

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.

Put your name in the place of the word world. For God so loved you that He gave His only begotten Son so that you might be called by His name and belong to Him for all eternity. He invites you into His family, to become His child.

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,

If you have not yet received Him then do so today so that you might begin the incredible journey of experiencing His love and walking with Him. You will realize that there is none to compare with it.

 

 

 

A Life that is Debt Free

Jesus Christ came to set us free. He paid our debt to God and set us free from the bondage that we came into when Adam and Eve sinned. He redeemed us and paid the price for our freedom. One of the consequences of our sin is that we are in debt and Jesus paid the debt for our sin. When you forgive someone you release them from the debt that they owe you. Since Jesus Christ paid your debt and released you then you can release others from their debt to you by forgiving them. Jesus Christ paid their debt also.

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

When we sin then we become a slave to sin and are held captive until Jesus Christ sets us free. When you sin against someone that guilt or debt ties you to that person. You can deny your sin to yourself but that is why you can not get the person out of your mind. You wronged them and that binds you to them. You are in debt and in bondage. Your guilt is like chains. Satan has you as one of his captives because of your sin. He accuses you and your guilt weighs you down in mind , soul and spirit.

John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

Jesus came to give you liberty and to release you from being a captive. He came to set you free from the oppression of the devil. Satan will oppress you first through your thought life and then he will deceive you and tempt you to sin. When you sin then you are held captive to him. A tormenting cycle is his design for you and it is only the beginning.

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed,

Only Jesus Christ can set you free because He is the only One who has the power over the devil. He paid for your sin on the cross and He has ransomed you.

Romans 6:6,7 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.

Just as Christ died on the cross and was raised again from the dead. So, we too, who belong to Jesus Christ was crucified with Him so that we too might become free and walk in newness of life. We no longer have to sin or give into temptation or carry around the guilt and debt of our sin. We have been set free to live a life of freedom. Freedom to do what we ought and not to be held captive by our sin and failures, which leads to bondage and death. The outcome of sin is death.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

The life which you now live is by faith in Jesus Christ. It is no longer you who lives but Christ lives through you. He can and will love through you. He came that we might no longer sin against others but learn to love one another.

Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

The Lord paid the debt of your sin and set you free to love one another. Love is also setting others free from their debt to you. He has called us to love and to forgive. He can and also will forgive through you.

Romans 13:8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

Are you in debt to someone for your sin against them? Ask them to forgive you. The Lord has forgiven you but they need to release you also. Forgiveness is the promise never to bring it up again. The Lord never brings up your past debts to Him and when you forgive someone then you have released them also from their debt to you.

A Life with a Surety

A surety is a guarantee of something. For this reason the Lord says to never become surety for someone else’s debts. However, the Lord has given us a surety for our salvation, that He will come back for us. We can know for sure that we have an eternal home with Him.

I John 5:6-12This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son.The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

The water means that He was born into this world as a human being.For this reason the Lord says that someone must be born of water to become a Christian. This is the actual physical birth. Someone must be born physically to be able to be born again spiritually.

John 3:8 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.

The blood is the testimony of the cross that He died and rose again.

I Corinthians 15:3-6 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;

The testimony of God is when He spoke from heaven that Jesus was His beloved Son. These are all in agreement that Jesus is the Son of God.

Matthew 3:17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

However, for those who believe in Him, He has also given another testimony and that is His Holy Spirit. His Spirit bears witness with our Spirit that we are His child.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

He is coming again and will come for those who believe in Him.

I Thessalonians 4:14-17 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

We have the testimony and we have the surety of our salvation. When He comes again for those who belong to Him we have the promise that He will take us with Him. The guarantee of our salvation is the Holy Spirit that He gives to us when we become a Christian.

Ephesians 1:13,14 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

You belong to Him if His Spirit lives within you. If you do not know if the Holy Spirit is within you then there is a possibility that He has not come to live within you. Give your life to Him and ask Him to come in and take possession of your life. You can trust Him completely. He loves you perfectly. You can know for sure that you are His if you have Jesus living in you through the Holy Spirit.

I John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

 

 

 

 

A Life of Gratitude

The Lord is good and His lovingkindness is everlasting. We need to thank Him continually. We have a good God.

I Chronicles 16:24 O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

You can not ever thank the Lord too much for what He has done for you.The word nations usually refers to all people and not just those who know the Lord. When you publicly give thanks to the Lord you are giving Him the honor due to Him and it glorifies Him.

II Samuel 22:50 “Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the nations, And I will sing praises to Your name.

Give thanks to the Lord for each step in His work. It is His work and He is the One who does it but He allows us to be a part of His kingdom building.

Ezra 3:11 They sang, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, saying, “For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever.” And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.

We will spend all of eternity giving thanks to Him.

Revelation 11:17 saying, “We give You thanks,  O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.

When we thank Him we are offering a sacrifice of praise to Him.

Hebrews 13:15 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.

Give thanks to the Lord for other Christians.

II Thessalonians 1:3We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;

And express thanks to the Christians who have helped you.

I Thessalonians 5:12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,

If you have never written them a letter then now is a good time to write them a thank you letter. Your letter will bring encouragement and grace to the one to whom you write and express thanks to for what they have done for you.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

A Life with a New Beginning

The Lord in His mercy offers to everyone who comes to Him a new beginning. We have all messed up and we all need to start over. We messed up because we thought that we could “do life ourselves” and that we did not need God and especially did not need One to be our Lord and to rule in our life.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Sin means to fall short of God’s standard for our lives. We know that we have sinned because all of us know that we are not perfect. Guilt is the consequence of sin and we are all guilty. Repentance is turning away from our sin and turning to God. When we do this then we are given forgiveness and life. We also have been given a new beginning.

Acts 11:17-18 Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”

Being forgiven and justified is a gift of grace from God through repentance and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 3:24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

This gift of forgiveness and life is available to any who calls on the Lord Jesus Christ. He shows no partiality and He is not prejudiced towards anyone. It does not matter how much or how little you have sinned. We all need forgiveness and the gift of life that God offers through Jesus Christ. It is free and undeserved. We can not work for it and there is nothing that we can do to deserve it.

Romans 3:22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

We have all earned death. It is what is due us and yet God in His great love and mercy sent Jesus Christ to pay the penalty and to take the punishment for all of our sins. Salvation is a gift of God through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

For God so loved all of us that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, that whoever believes and trusts in Him should not perish and spend eternity in hell but they would receive eternal life and live forever with Him in heaven in perfect love and harmony.

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.

So, to the one who believes in Jesus Christ the Lord gives to Him not only life but a new beginning in this life. He is no longer alone but the one who believes becomes a new person in Christ and Christ comes into him. The old things pass away and the Lord has a new life for the believer.

II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

What are the new things and what is the new beginning? It is a life of forgiveness and victory over sin. It is a life in relationship with the Lord of the universe. It is a life that experiences God’s love and wants to love Him back. It is a life of faith and obedience to the One who loved us so much that He died for us and took the death that we deserve. It is a life that confesses Him before others and is not ashamed to be called a Christian. It is eternal life and that eternal life begins the moment someone receives Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

John 17:3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

It is the sweetest life anyone could ever know and is knowing that if I died tonight then I would spend eternity in heaven with God. These things He has written to us in order that we may know that we have eternal life.

I John 5:11-13 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

 

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 that is Restored

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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