A Life of Much Joy

Do you want to overflow with joy? Do you want much joy in your life? The joy of the Lord is what gives us strength.

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.”

Joy is the medicine that heals our hearts

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones.

Joy is what allows us to enjoy every good thing the Lord has for us. Choose the Lord and His ways and you choose joy. When you choose Him then you will be satisfied in the morning with His lovingkindness and you will sing for joy and be glad all of your days.

Psalm 90:14 O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

The Lord wants you to serve Him with joy.

Deuteronomy 28:47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things;

The Lord makes us joyful with gladness in His presence.

Psalm 21:6 For You make him most blessed forever;
You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence.

This is who the Lord is…He wants you to be filled with much joy. When you learn to live in His presence then your life will be filled with much joy. Don’t try to see how close you can get to the world without sinning but see how close you can get to the Lord.

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.

You will be blessed as you live a life of joy and walk in His light.

Psalm 89:15,16 How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
O Lord, they walk in the light of Your countenance.
In Your name they rejoice all the day,
And by Your righteousness they are exalted.

When we walk in His Spirit then we have joy and just as a child brings their parent joy when they do what is right so we also bring the Lord joy when we are faithful to Him.

Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.

When we serve Him and faithfully do His will then we enter into His joy.

Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

Joy is God’s confirmation that you are in His will. Run with endurance the race that He has set before you. He will fill you with much joy. Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him. Let His joy strengthen you for the journey and stay faithful to the end as our Lord did.

Hebrews 12:1,2 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

He is coming and His reward is with Him.

Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

 

 

A Life that Is Strong

The Lord says that the one whose strength is in Him is blessed. The only way to be truly strong is to be strong in the Lord. You will be blessed if your strength is not in yourself but in the Lord.

Psalm 84:5 How blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
In whose heart are the highways to Zion!

It is His command that we be strong in the Lord and that it should be in the strength of His might.

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.

He must be our strength and the sooner that we realize it the more we will quit trying to be strong in ourselves.

Psalm 18:1 “I love You, O Lord, my strength.”

It is in our weakness that His power is perfected. He is glorified in our weakness.

II Corinthians 12:9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

The Bible says woe to those who put their strength in anything other than the Lord.

Isaiah 31:1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help And rely on horses, And trust in chariots because they are many And in horsemen because they are very strong, But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord!

How do we become strong in the Lord. It is when we acknowledge our weakness to Him. A prayer that you can pray says, “Lord, I can’t, You never said I could, You can and You always said You would.” The Lord wants to help you. He is a very present help and is waiting for you to ask Him for help. Humility is acknowledging that you can not do it. His grace is available to all who call on Him. Ask Him today to help you do what He wants you to do.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Should Never Ever…

There are some things that you just don’t ever want to do and one of these things is that the Lord says to never repay evil for good. He says that evil will not depart for your house. The meaning of evil is to cause grief so you especially do not want to cause grief to someone who has done you good.

Proverbs 17:13 He who returns evil for good,
Evil will not depart from his house.

Women especially have a tendency to want to vent when they are frustrated. Someone who has done you good in the past may frustrate you because you do not get what you want. You need to think of the good that they have done you earlier. Do you want grief to come to you and your family? Absolutely not. So you need to quit thinking about what you want and ask the Lord what He wants for you. In fact, if you can’t let something go then there is a bigger problem and that may be unforgiveness or selfishness.

Psalm 7:3-5 O Lord my God, if I have done this,
If there is injustice in my hands,
If I have rewarded evil to my friend,
Or have plundered him who without cause was my adversary,
Let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it;
And let him trample my life down to the ground
And lay my glory in the dust.

The Psalmist looked at it another way. If he had rewarded evil to his friend or have hurt someone without cause then what he had coming to him is his just consequence. This was even his prayer that the enemy would have victory over him and would walk all over him.

Job 31:5-32 “If I have walked with falsehood,
And my foot has hastened after deceit,
Let Him weigh me with accurate scales,
And let God know my integrity.
“If my step has turned from the way,
Or my heart followed my eyes,
Or if any spot has stuck to my hands,
Let me sow and another eat,
And let my crops be uprooted.

“If my heart has been enticed by a woman,
Or I have lurked at my neighbor’s doorway,
May my wife grind for another,
And let others kneel down over her.
“For that would be a lustful crime;
Moreover, it would be an iniquity punishable by judges.
“For it would be fire that consumes to Abaddon,
And would uproot all my increase.

“If I have despised the claim of my male or female slaves
When they filed a complaint against me,
What then could I do when God arises?
And when He calls me to account, what will I answer Him?
“Did not He who made me in the womb make him,
And the same one fashion us in the womb?

 

“If I have kept the poor from their desire,
Or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail,
Or have eaten my morsel alone,
And the orphan has not shared it
(But from my youth he grew up with me as with a father,
And from infancy I guided her),
If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing,
Or that the needy had no covering,
If his loins have not thanked me,
And if he has not been warmed with the fleece of my sheep,
If I have lifted up my hand against the orphan,
Because I saw I had support in the gate,
Let my shoulder fall from the socket,
And my arm be broken off at the elbow.
“For calamity from God is a terror to me,
And because of His majesty I can do nothing.

 

“If I have put my confidence in gold,
And called fine gold my trust,
If I have gloated because my wealth was great,
And because my hand had secured so much;
If I have looked at the sun when it shone
Or the moon going in splendor,
And my heart became secretly enticed,
And my hand threw a kiss from my mouth,
That too would have been an iniquity calling for judgment,
For I would have denied God above.

“Have I rejoiced at the extinction of my enemy,
Or exulted when evil befell him?
“No, I have not allowed my mouth to sin
By asking for his life in a curse.
“Have the men of my tent not said,
‘Who can find one who has not been satisfied with his meat’?
“The alien has not lodged outside,
For I have opened my doors to the traveler.

It is no wonder that the Lord called Job righteous. He did good to everyone and especially to the needy who could not pay him back. He never seemed to have an attitude toward anyone because his attitude was right towards the Lord. It is no wonder that the Lord trusted Job in the worst of all trials and even when his wife told him to curse God and die he still did what was right. He could do what was right because He knew the Lord and trusted in Him.

Ezekiel 14:20 even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

Job could speak what was right about the Lord because Job knew Him and walked with Him and did what was pleasing in His sight. Let not the Lord’s wrath come on you because you do not speak what is right about the Lord and let not grief come to your house because you have not done what is right, rather in your own frustration have caused someone else grief.

 

 

 

A Life that Is Not Afraid

Fear can be such a debilitating thing for a young lady and for any one else who struggles with it. He knows our weakness and our tendencies and He comforts us and helps us. However, we need to know what He says.

I John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

Fear is a symptom of a deeper problem. If we truly fear the Lord and trust in Him then we have no reason to fear. When we fear it is because there is something that has not been resolved in our life. He came to cast out our fears. God allows situations in our life so that we will learn to fear Him. If we fear the Lord, as He has commanded us, then we need not fear anything or anyone else.

Exodus 20:20 Moses, said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain in you, so that you may not sin.”

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil and when you fear Him then you will hate sin. You will not take it lightly and say, “Well, there is grace, and He has forgiven me.” No, rather, you will grieve as if you have hurt someone you love and who loves you. If there is no grieving over your sin then there is little fear of the Lord.

Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way. The perverted mouth, I hate.

Do you take lightly your words. Do you say “OMG”? That is a great offense to the Lord. If you do not fear Him then you have great reason to be afraid. He is coming and you will have to give an account of every word that you have spoken. Repent now, while there is hope.

Hebrews 12:17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

He has come to you if you are a Christian and He will never leave you or forsake you. However, do not take lightly His Words and see to it that you do not neglect learning His Word. He has spoken to you and He requires repentance.

Hebrews 12:25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking, For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised saying, “YET ONCE MORE, I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH BUT THE HEAVEN.”

Fear the Lord and you will not fear anything else.

 

 

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 that Is Found

The Lord says that the one who seeks finds. Just make sure that you are seeking the right things in life.

Matthew 18:11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

He came to seek and to save that which is lost and that is us.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

There is great joy in heaven when one of His sheep is found. We too, if we belong to Him should greatly rejoice when there is one who repents and comes to Him.

Matthew 15:3-7 So He told them this parable, saying, “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the [b]open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

Do you still think about how He saved you? Is it still your favorite story of when the One who loves you so much found you?

Luke 15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

You are His treasure that He left heaven so that He might find you. He was rich but became poor so that He might buy you back. You were bought with a price and that price was the precious blood of Christ. He sold everything that He might gain you. He paid for the field that He might have you. If you were the only one on earth then He still would have died for you.

Matthew 13:44 The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

You are His pearl of great value. He died for the whole world so that you could be bought. He paid for the sins of the whole world so that you might come to Him and belong to Him.

Matthew 13:45,46 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

You are the good fish if you have come to Him. There will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth when those who belong to Him are separated from those who do not belong to Him. You may think that it is not fair but He died for you so that you might belong to Him and be saved from eternal hell. Come to Him now while you can.

I Corinthians 7:23a You were bought with a price;

You were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. He appeared in these last times for your sake, that you might be found in Christ. He is coming again to claim His own. Does He have a claim on you?

I Peter 1:18-20 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you

 

 

 

A Life that Prays

Prayer is one the greatest privileges that God has given to man and answered prayer is one of the greatest gifts that God has given to man. However, prayer and answered prayer is one of the most rarely used of all His privileges and gifts. There is so much we do not have because we have not prayed.

James 4:2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.

The word lust in the Greek means “desire”. Envy is also wanting something that you do not have. We sin because we do not pray. We do not pray because we sin. The Lord loves to give to His children and He only gives good gifts.

Matthew 7:7-11 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

Are you struggling with something? Are you tempted to desire something that someone else has and you want it also? Ask and ask again. Pray to your Heavenly Father. He wants to give to you and because He is a good Father, He will only give you what is good for you.

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lordlongs 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.

The Lord longs to be gracious to you. Call upon Him while He is near. Are you overwhelmed and anxious?

Philippians 4:5b-6 The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Pray to Him. He loves your prayers and they are a delight to Him.

Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.

Are you in trouble? Pray to Him. Pray to Him now while He may be found. When others see Him answer your prayers then they too will have the courage to pray. The day will come when others will not be able to pray or to reach Him, just as in the days of Noah. They cried out but there was none to deliver and they had no hiding place but you do if you belong to Him. He is your salvation and deliverer and He is your hiding place.

Psalm 32:6,7 Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.
You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.

 

A Life that is Single but…

Nearly every young lady wants to get married. That is the way that the Lord designed for His creation to function. The Bible says that woman was made for man. This actually is an incredible privilege and very fulfilling when it is done God’s way.

I Corinthians 11:8,9 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.

This is not the way of the world but it is God’s way. God’s way is wisdom but man’s way is foolishness. God’s way will seem like foolishness to the world but we see the fruit of man’s way with many failed marriages. A wife is also man’s reward.

Ecclesiastes 9:9 Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.

When it is done God’s way then the husband will be intoxicated with the love of his wife. He will cherish her and love her because she is his, not as property, but as his fellow heir in Christ, as his beloved.

Proverbs 5:18,19 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.
As a loving hind and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be exhilarated always with her love.

A wife belongs to her husband and longs for him even as we are to long for Jesus since we are His bride. We are Christ’s beloved bride who is loved by Him. A marriage is the most beautiful picture of Jesus Christ and the church, which is His bride.

I Peter 3:7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

However, before a young lady gets married she needs to understand the right way to relate to a young man. There are four things she should not do. She should not initiate, manipulate, speculate nor expect. The man is to pursue the lady and she needs to wait on the Lord. She certainly needs to make herself as attractive as possible, not only physically but spiritually. The Lord brought Eve to Adam and the Lord can still bring you to the one that He has planned for you. He does not need your help in initiating and manipulating. If you do these actions then you will never know if your husband was a gift from the Lord. You will wonder if you did not bring it about and you might doubt during the hard times in marriage. You need to have the assurance that your husband was God’s idea and not yours. If you manipulate then you are just plainly not trusting the Lord but taking matters into your own hands. You will regret this also, just as Sarah regretted manipulating Abraham to have a child by Hagar. An immoral woman initiates. Not that everyone who initiates is immoral but it is not God’s way.

Proverbs 7:10-15 And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.
She is boisterous and rebellious,
Her feet do not remain at home;
She is now in the streets, now in the squares,
And lurks by every corner.
So she seizes him and kisses him
And with a brazen face she says to him:
“I was due to offer peace offerings;
Today I have paid my vows.
“Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.

A young lady should not speculate about young men whether he is the one or not and her decision to spend time with him should not be based on her speculations whether he is someone who she would be “interested in”. She should spend time with him if he loves Jesus and has a heart for the Lord. A young lady is known by the types of young men that she spends time with and so it is a message to other young men what kind of men you are attracted to and who you spend time with fellowshiping.

II Corinthians 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

The relationship should be one of brother and sister. The Bible never talks about “dating” relationships. If he wants to pursue her and she knows that she does not want any more than to be friends then she needs to be sure that she is not leading him on to believe that there is more there than there is. A man takes his cue from her response. The best way to know if a guy has a heart for the Lord is to see how he is in a group of strong Christian young men. A man can see through a man just as often a woman can see through a woman. Also, it is good for the young man to meet your father once he starts talking about being interested in you or is very obvious in calling you, etc. (You should not call him. Again, that is initiating.)

II Corinthians 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

Also, she should not allow any young man to touch her, even holding hands. Touch is special to a young lady and it changes the relationship. Only do with a young man what you would do with your brother because that is who this young man is…your brother in Christ.

I Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman.

The word “good” in the verse means in the original, the highest form of love. It is the highest expression of love that a young man would have for a lady, that is, to wait to touch her until he has committed his life to her in marriage. A man appreciates what he waits for and you can almost guarantee that he will treat her always like a lady, even after they have been married for fifty years. This kind of relationship is the type that will endure for fifty years. So, if you want a true and enduring love in your marriage then wait for the affection.

Proverbs 30:18,19 There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
Four which I do not understand:
The way of an eagle in the sky,
The way of a serpent on a rock,
The way of a ship in the middle of the sea,
And the way of a man with a maid.

A relationship done God’s way is wonderful and beyond our understanding. It is a picture of God’s love when done right for He pursued us. A relationship done right is a shining light to the whole world because all of us long to be loved and especially in an unconditional manner. The husband is the lover and the pursuer. He is the leader and the wife is the responder. He is the strong one and she is the weaker vessel because he is to protect her and provide for her. He is to cherish her and even be willing to die for her. Is this kind of relationship possible? Yes, and it is too wonderful to understand and the Lord wants to give it to every young lady but it is a gift from Him and you must learn His ways, otherwise you will cause damage to one of His precious sons and you will bring destruction to yourself.

 

 

 

A Life with Evidence

If you were to go to court for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you? What are the evidences that would convict you of being a Christian? Often people want to know how to know for sure that they are a Christian, in other words, what are the evidences or how can you know for sure. Great question and the Lord says that we can know without a doubt.

I John 5:10-13 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. 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.

The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for their sins and rose again that they might have eternal life in born again and comes into the life of Christ and the life of Christ comes into Him through the Holy Spirit. If you have received the Holy Spirit through believing in the Lord Jesus Christ then you can know that you have eternal life. He who has the Son has the life and he who does not have Jesus Christ does not have the life.

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

The Holy Spirit whom you receive when you become a Christian dwells in you and He will give life to your mortal body. Just as the Spirit raised Jesus from the dead, He also will raise you from the dead.

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

If you are a Christian then you will want to do what is right. You may not always know what is right but you want to please the One who died and lives again for you, Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior. Also, you will want to be with Christians and you will want to love them. If you still want to be with your nonChristian friends more than your new Christian friends then you need to question whether you are a Christian.

I john 3:10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

When you do what is wrong you not only grieve the Holy Spirit but you also are grieved because you love Him. If it does not bother you to sin, then again, you need to ask yourself if you really have been born again.

Ephesians 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

You will have a hunger for the Word of God. Just as a baby that is born into this world will cry for food and will continue to cry until the baby is fed, so you too, if you have become a Christian then you will long for the Word of God. Hunger is a sign of life. If there is not a hunger for the Word of God then you need to ask yourself if you have really tasted the kindness of the Lord and that the life of Christ in you.

I Peter 2:2,3 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

You will want to become like Jesus Christ. You will be willing to suffer for His name sake as well as desiring to experience all the fullness of His blessings and the riches that are ours in Christ. Your hope will be fixed on Him and on Him alone.

I John 3:2,3 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.

Let us therefore, if we belong to Him, “run with endurance the race that is set before us fixing our eyes on Jesus”. Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame for the joy set before Him.

Hebrews 12:1,2 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We too will be filled with great joy if we endure to the end. The Lord says that those who endure to the end will be saved.

Hebrews 10:36-39 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while,
He who is coming will come, and will not delay. But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

If you belong to Him then you are blessed. May you also bless the Lord by bringing Him great pleasure. Don’t shrink back. Even when it gets hard look to Him and He will strengthen you. Stay in His Word. Nourish your spirit. Ask Christians to pray for you. The Lord never said that it would be easy but He did say that it will be worth it. Keep praying that you may not enter into temptation but that you may be faithful to the end. He is coming and He will not delay.

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.