A Life that Is Happy

We all want to be happy and when we become parents then we want our children to be happy. The Bible says that Jesus was the happiest person around. If we want to be happy then we need to look at the reason why the Bible says that Jesus was so happy.

Hebrews 1:9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.

This verse was written of Jesus and describes His life on earth. He had the oil of gladness more than those around Him, or in other words, He was happier than all of His friends or companions. The beginning of the verse gives the reason for His incredible happiness. He was happy even though He knew that He would be going to the cross. He was happy because He loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. Do you want to be happy? Then love doing what is right and hate doing what is wrong.

Deuteronomy 6:25 Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us.’

Doing righteousness is keeping God’s Word. The Lord is good and loving and there is no unrighteousness in Him. All His ways are just. All of us recognize the need for righteousness and there will be no justice in the world unless there is righteousness.

Leviticus 19:15 You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.

When there is righteousness then there will be peace and those who love righteousness will be instruments of peace.

Isaiah 32:17 The work of righteousness will be peace,
And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.

When we are stubborn in our hearts then we are far from righteousness and start to practice lawlessness.

Isaiah 46:12 Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, Who are far from righteousness

What is lawlessness? The Lord tells us that if we want to be happy then we must love righteousness, which is doing right, and to hate lawlessness.

I John 3:4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

Sin is falling short of God’s Law and so sin is called lawlessness. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment.

John 16:8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

If you want to be happy then ask the Lord to pour out His Holy Spirit on your life. He will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him and He will help you learn to love righteousness and to hate lawlessness.

Luke 11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

May you experience true happiness as you learn to love righteousness and to hate lawlessness. May the Lord anoint you with the oil of gladness.

Note to parents: If you are a parent and you want your children to be happy then you must love righteousness and hate lawlessness and then your children will also love righteousness and hate lawlessness. Values are caught and not just taught.

 

A Life that Does the Necessary

Most lives get messed up when their priorities are out of line. The only way our priorities will be what they ought to be is if Jesus Christ is our Lord. We can not run our own lives without problems. If you want to be happy then you must have Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and do what He says. He is good and He loves you. He will remove your guilt and fears and will give you the stability, purpose and meaning in life that you desire. He created you and knows all about you even more than you know about yourself.

Psalm 139:1-3 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

If you will let Him be Lord in your life and allow Him to direct your steps then He will take you where you want to go. Deep within us there is a longing to belong and to be in our niche and yet most people do not know what they want or where they belong until they get there and then there is a sweet contentment that comes from being where He designed for us to fit. However, the contentment comes from Him being first in our lives and then our place in life being second. He chose His disciples first to be with Him and then to preach. He has chosen you first to be with Him in a relationship.

Mark 3:13,14 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him.And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach

The Lord has called us to first be with Him and then to serve Him. Our service for Him should be an overflow of our fellowship with Him. No matter what He has called you to do it is service to Him. He wants us to do our work as unto Him. Service to Him is not just for those who are in a Christian ministry. Many of the godly men and women that God used in the Bible did other vocations that were not necessarily spiritual, but He used them because their heart was right with Him and their priorities were in order.

Luke 10:38-42 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

If we don’t have our priorities in order, in spending time with the Lord, sitting at His feet and listening to His Word then we can easily start becoming anxious and bothered about unnecessary things. The Lord said that only one thing is necessary and that is spending time with Him and listening to His Word. This may sound simple but if you have not tried it then why don’t you try it? Try spending more time with the Lord than what you thought you could. You will find great joy if you soak up His Words into your heart. Your heart will become His more than ever before and you will see Him act on your behalf.

II Chronicles 16:9a For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.

He will accomplish what concerns you and He will use you to accomplish what concerns Him.

Psalm 138:8 The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

 

A Life that Loves God’s Word

The Word of God is like honey to the soul of the one who loves the Lord. It satisfies, it renews and refreshes, it rejoices the heart, it restores and gives wisdom. More than anything it allows one to fall more deeply in love with the Lord.

Psalm 19:7-10 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.

There is nothing to compare to the joy of spending time in God’s Word and sitting at His feet. It is His love letter to Christians and once you realize this you will not be able to stay out of His Word if you belong to Him.

Luke 10:38-42 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with [q]all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

When we love the Lord then everything that we do is an overflow of our love relationship with Him. We can not be in His presence enough and realize that it is only a taste of heaven.

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.

The Lord makes our troubles seem much less and our joy is much greater when we delight ourselves in Him.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

His Word is His revelation of who He is and He has given it to us that we may observe all that He says.

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

Jesus Christ is God and was in the beginning before the worlds were made.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Jesus Christ came and lived among men so that we could know Him and have a relationship with Him.

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

Jesus is full of grace and truth. He revealed Himself to those who knew Him when He walked on earth. They were blessed because they saw and heard the very Son of God, of whom all the prophets and Moses spoke about in the Old Testament.

Luke 10:23,24 Turning to the disciples, He said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see,for I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see the things which you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and did not hear them.”

However, even more blessed are we when we believe in Him whom we have not seen and hear Him who stills speaks to the hearts of men and women who come to Him.

John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

The Lord has had His words and miracles recorded so that we might believe in Him.

John 20:30,31 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

There is no privilege greater nor is there anything sweeter than to know the Lord and find your delight in Him. When He is our desire and the longing of our heart then He becomes our very life and the One for whom we live and will die for that He might be exalted. He lived and died for us and we live for Him and if we should die for Him it would be an honor and privilege to be more like Him.

Philippians 1:20b,21 Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

 

 

A Life that Chooses Good Friends

You will become like your friends therefore the most important decisions that you make in life after choosing the Lord Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior is who will be your friends. Choose good friends and you life will be blessed. Choose bad friends and your life will be filled with grief. This is one of the most profound choices that you will make in life. The companions with whom you walk through life will influence your other decisions.

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

Choose only to be with wise men and run from fools. A fool is someone who lives as if there is no God. They may even say that they believe in God but if they are living as if there is no God then they are living like a fool. Run from them.

Psalms 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
There is no one who does good.

All of us came into the world with a foolish heart. We must turn away from our foolish ways and turn to the Lord with all of our heart. Don’t look at what a person says but at what they do. It is by their deeds that people distinguish themselves.

Proverbs 20:11 It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself
If his conduct is pure and right.

In the same way, the kind of friends that you attract will be the kind of people whom you are attracted to. Is your life pure and right? It is not only by their deeds that a person distinguishes himself but also by his type of speech.

Proverbs 22:11 He who loves purity of heart
And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.

Choose only friends who desire a pure heart. Those who want their heart to be pure will be discerning about where their eyes go and what their ears hear. What goes into  the heart of a man is what comes out of him and what comes out through his mouth is what defiles him.

Mark 7:20 And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man.

It is those who have a pure heart who will see Jesus.

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Our greatest need in life is to see God for all that we do in life is a response to our view of God. If our view is right then our conduct will be upright. If our view of God is twisted then we will be crooked in our ways. If we choose friends who do not know God or do not see Him then they will lead us astray and we will forget our God.

I Corinthians 15:33 Do not let anyone fool you. Bad people can make those who want to live good become bad.

Choose good friends and choose to be a good friend to others. Friendship means speaking the truth in love.

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

If your friends are good then they will point you to Jesus and help you stay on the right path. Sometimes they might tell you what you don’t want to hear but it is much better than to have friends who will always tell you what you “want” to hear. Our hearts are deceitful so we need others in our lives who will help us in our times of weakness and temptation. The temptations will pass and the blessings will follow if we are faithful.

Proverbs 27:9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Believes

Believing in the Lord is what gives us life. If you want to live life to the fullest then you must believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

John 20:30,31 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

Jesus Christ performed many signs and miracles attesting to the fact that He was God. He died and rose again and more than five hundred people saw Him after He was raised from the dead.

I Corinthians 15:3-6a 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,

God’s Word and the Gospel is the power of salvation for all who believe.

Romans 1:16,17  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

Someone who believes will come to the Lord in faith. It is coming to the Lord in faith is what saves a person. Intellectual belief is not enough. We must come to Him and put our trust in Him to forgive us of our sins. One of the aspects of faith is to come to the One whom you believe in.

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

The Gospel is God’s good news for everyone. Salvation is a gift from God through Jesus Christ and is not a result of any amount of good works that we could do to earn it. It is a gift from God to all who will believe and put their trust in Jesus Christ to forgive them of their sins. 

John 6:37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

All who come to Him will be received by Him and will receive forgiveness. He will not cast anyone out who comes to Him. There is no sin too great and His grace invites all to come.

Luke 7:47-50 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.” Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Have you come to Jesus for forgiveness? Coming to Him is the faith that He wants from us. For this reason prayer is an expression of faith. We come to Him in prayer and receive Him and what He has to offer then our response will be one of love for Him. When we realize how great a debt of sin He has forgiven us through His death on the cross then our love for Him will be great. We owe Him everything.

 

 

A Life that Is Rich

Most people want to be rich and yet our values define our riches. If our values are worthy then we will be rich in what matters, but if our values are worth little then we may be rich but our riches will only make us poor in the true riches of life. The end result will be emptiness and poverty with little satisfaction.

Matthew 16:26,27 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.

You may gain the world but you lose your soul. What will a person give in exchange for his soul. He would give everything…or would he only give everything when he realizes it is too late? The Lord says that this life is a test of our faithfulness and obedience to Him, which is an expression of our relationship with Him.

Luke 16:10,11 He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?

If you are rich in good deeds then you are rich indeed and your payment will come later when the Lord comes and renders to every man according to their deeds. Our good deeds are an expression of our relationship with Jesus Christ. He says that if we know Him then we will give to others, for in this way, His love is expressed to the world.

I John 3:17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

Has the Lord entrusted much to you? Then much is required of you.

Luke 12:48b From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

The Lord has given us clear instruction on what we are to do with what He has given to us. The Lord is the One who gives and He is the One who takes away. Give back to Him while you have the opportunity for earthly riches are not forever.

I Timothy 6:17-19 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy doing good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

The Lord has told those whom He has blessed with earthly goods, and we have all been blessed with something to share, to enter into the joy of doing good and to be rich in good works. He wants us to be generous and ready to share and in doing so we will be storing up for ourselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future. Doing so will also allow us to take hold of that which is life indeed. The Lord came that we might have life and life is not hoarding up for ourselves, for He Himself has said that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Acts 20:35 In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Have you ever noticed that when you lose $20.00 you have a sick feeling about it every time you think of it? However, when you give $20.00 to someone in need then every tine you think of it you have a good feeling? Either way, you are out of $20.00 but one situation brought life to your soul and the other brought death to the soul. The Lord wants you to give so much that He has always put the needy in our lives so that we will never have an excuse for not doing good.

Mark 14:7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me.

The Lord says that He will judge us on the good deeds that we have done for others. There will be no excuses because God in His wisdom has always had the poor with us. Are you unhappy and life is “all about you” then find someone needy and meet that need. You will find that those who give are the happiest people you will know.

Matthew 6:3,4 But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

There is only one time in the Bible where the Lord says that He will be a debtor to man. Listen to what He says. We do not give to others so that we can receive but the Lord certainly keeps His Word and pays back more than enough. Lend to the Lord and let Him repay you.

Proverbs 19:17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord,
And He will repay him for his good deed.

One last warning about giving, the Lord says that those who give to the rich will come to poverty. Again, the Lord’s wisdom is so wonderful. He knows our hearts and they are deceitful. He does not want us to give to the rich for they do not need neither do they appreciate our gifts. When we give to the poor it is giving to the Lord and it is to be done in secret. Follow His instructions and let Him bless you.

Proverbs 10:22 It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich,
And He adds no sorrow to it.

When Jesus comes again then He will judge the world. The non Christians will be judged for their lack of trust in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the things they did openly and in secret that are against His commandments. The Christians will be judged for their faith and faithfulness to Him shown by the deeds that they did. May He find you faithful.

 

 

 

A Life Whose Sin is Taken Away

We all know that we are not perfect and that we have messed up sometime during our lifetime. The longer we live the more sins we accumulate to our record. If we were honest then we would agree that yes, we want our sins taken away. There is only One who can take our sin away. Someone has to take the punishment for our sin. That someone who can, who lived the perfect life and never sinned, not even once, is Jesus Christ. He is the Lamb of God.

John 1:29,30 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’

John the Baptist was the first to recognize that Jesus was the perfect Lamb of God. Jesus came to take away the sin of the world. The word is sin and not sins because our original sin was that we wanted to be our own God and run our own lives. We wanted to make the decisions rather than be under the Lordship of God and allow Him to be our Master. From the original “sin” all other sins came. For this reason we can not be saved from our many sins that ensnare us until our “sin” is taken away. When we repent of our “sin” and allow Him to take it away then He becomes our rightful Lord and Master and we become His child.

Matthew 1:21-23 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God becomes our Savior and it is He who saves us from our sins. He sets us free when He forgives us and cleanses us. His blood covers our sins and they are not remembered again by Him. Our sin is taken away and our sins are forgiven.

Hebrews 9:22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Jesus shed His blood for the world that He might take away the sin of the world. Jesus Christ went to the cross once for all. He does not need to die again nor do any more lambs need to be sacrificed. Before Jesus Christ came then an offering had to be made over and over again for the sins of the people.

Hebrews 10:11-18 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, This is the covenant that I will make with them
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws upon their heart, And on their mind I will write them,” He then says, And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

When Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world and was the perfect Lamb of God and took our sin upon Himself then He nailed to the cross all of the accusations against us. He paid our debt so that we might be set free from the penalty, power and one day the presence of sin.

Colossians 2:13,14 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Jesus Christ did it all and He did it once for all so that the gift of salvation might be available to all. However, it is a gift and we can never do anything to deserve it but we must receive it. When we receive the gift of salvation then we receive all that Christ did for us. He took the punishment that we all deserve.

Romans 5:6-10 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

When you have received this gift then you will know that Jesus Christ is God and that He loves you. You receive the gift of salvation through faith. Once you receive Him then you will want to spend the rest of your life thanking Him and living for Him. Your life will be a response to Him. The Christian life is a love relationship with Jesus Christ.

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

 

 

 

A Life with Understanding

The Lord is good and there is nothing twisted in His ways. However, if you do not know Him then you may think that He is not fair or that He may even be twisted in what He does. Not so, He is just and He is good all of the time. This is His nature and who He is. All of the utterances of His mouth are right and there is nothing crooked or perverted in them. Those who have understanding know this.

Proverbs 8:8,9 “All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness;
There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.
“They are all straightforward to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.

A person who has understanding will come to Him daily and even moment by moment will commune with Him. They will want to live in His presence and will not have to be like the horse or mule that requires something to make them come to God.

Psalm 32:9 Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, Otherwise they will not come near to you.

The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding and it is sweeter than honey to the soul. There is no comparison to knowing Him and when you learn to live in His presence and in the knowledge of Him then you will truly know that nothing compares with the knowledge of Him.

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

The way to get more understanding is to keep his commandments. Many people want to understand His commandments before they do them but actually the obedience comes first and then the understanding. The Lord tells us to “not speak in the hearing of a fool lest he despise the wisdom of our words” so if He tells us to be that way then how much more will He not teach a fool His ways. It is foolish to not obey Him and do what He says.

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.

Understanding is what is supposed to characterize the people of God.

Deuteronomy 4:6 So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’

What characterizes a person who understands and knows the Lord is that they will keep His commandments. To the degree that you keep His commandments is to the degree that you know Him.

I Chronicles 22:12 Only the Lord give you discretion and understanding, and give you charge over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God.

To depart from evil is understanding. If you tolerate sin in your life then not only does the Lord not “understand” or excuse it but it is you who does not understand and know Him. How easy it is to say when we sin, “God will understand”. That is a lie from the devil.

Job 28:28 “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.’”

The Lord loves you and He wants you to depart from evil because He knows that is for your good and for the good of everyone else. The Lord hates evil and wants us to hate it as well. Evil causes grief and He sent His Son to save us from evil. He has compassion on all.

Job 36:5 “Behold, God is mighty but does not despise any; He is mighty in strength of understanding.

Do you know Him and have understanding? Go to the Lord and ask Him for understanding that you might know Him. Read His Word and pray that you might understand it. He loves you and has come to give you light, life and understanding, which is the knowledge of Him. He makes your life sweet and brings life to the spirit and healing to the soul.

Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.

 

A Life that Overcomes Bitterness

Bitterness is one of the most damaging emotions. Bitterness can be an unresolved hurt in our hearts. Someone hurt us and we can still feel it as if it just happened yesterday. Bitterness can be a wound that has never been healed. It will cause you trouble and poison many.

Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

When sin abounds then God’s grace abounds also but unless we receive His grace and are healed from the hurt and pain of wounds from others we will become bitter.

Romans 5:20,21 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Grace reigns through righteousness to eternal life which is through Jesus Christ our Lord. When you do what is right after someone has done you wrong, and you can only do this through God’s grace, then you will be set free from the bitterness which would result from not experiencing His grace. If you will turn to Him in your pain then He will heal you and restore you.

Exodus 15:26 And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.”

The opposite of bitterness is thankfulness. He will remove the bitterness and fill your heart with gratitude and joy. Only the Lord can do this but He can and He wants to.

I Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Bitterness also comes from forsaking the Lord.

Jeremiah 2:19 Your own wickedness will correct you,
And your apostasies will reprove you;
Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter
For you to forsake the Lord your God,
And the dread of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord God of hosts.

Bitterness can come from the misfortune of bereavement.

Ruth 1:20 She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.

The Lord healed Naomi and she became the great great grandmother of King David. The Lord restored her joy. She trusted the Lord and He was faithful to her.

Ruth 4:16,17 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Bitterness can come from unfulfilled desires and longings. Hannah was greatly sorrowful that she could not have any children.

I Samuel 1:10 She, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.

Hannah turned to the Lord and the Lord heard her prayer and gave her a son, who became the last judge and first prophet in Israel. Her prayer that is recorded became Mary’s prayer when she found out that she was going to bear a Son and His name would be Jesus, the Son of God.

I Samuel 2:1,2 Then Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord;
My horn is exalted in the Lord,
My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
There is no one holy like the Lord,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.

When you experience great loss then you might feel bitter. Job lost everything but his wife and then she also tried to get him to forsake the Lord.

Job 3:20 Why is light given to him who suffers,
And life to the bitter of soul,

Job was faithful to the Lord and the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him even more.

Job 42:10 The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold.

Great sorrow and pain comes to all of us at some time in our life. How we respond to it will determine whether our life becomes bitter or sweet. If we turn to Him, He is faithful and will not disappoint you, for that is the promise He has made to us.

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

If you don’t turn to Him then your bitterness will eat you up and destroy you from the inside and will make it’s way out through your countenance and your tongue. Not only will it destroy you but it will defile those around you, as mentioned earlier. Don’t substitute what the Lord wants to give to you. His plan for you is sweet. It is the devil who wants to rob you through bitterness.

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Turn to the Lord in you sorrow, loss, disappointment and unfulfilled desires and longings. He will give to you even more than what you can imagine and He has a plan for your life that is good for you and sweet.

 

A Life that Does What is Right

One aspect of the meaning of righteousness is doing what is right. Jesus walked in perfect righteousness, which means that He did what was right all of the time. Righteousness is the opposite of sin. One of the definitions of the word righteousness in the Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament, is literally “do not destroy”. When we sin and do not do what is right then we are destroying something, whether it is our family, our reputation, our relationships, our marriage or whatever else that is a part of us.

Psalm 58:1,2 Do you indeed speak righteousness, O mighty ones?
Do you judge uprightly, O sons of men?
No, in heart you work unrighteousness;
On earth you weigh out the violence of your hands.

In our hearts all of us are guilty of unrighteousness. We deceive our selves by rationalizing or saying something is not that bad, in other words, we weigh out the degree of our sin to determine if it is that bad. Violence is violating the Word of God and in the end we are the ones who are violated. The word violate means to change. When we sin, then something in us is changed. When we sin we lose our innocence in that area and have come into the knowledge of evil. We are no longer the same and it has taken us away from the image of God. When we sin then a part of us is destroyed.

Deuteronomy 6:25 It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the Lord our God, just as He commanded us.

When we do what is right then it keeps us from being destroyed. It is not the kind of righteousness that saves us but it is the righteousness that preserves us. The righteousness that comes from God that saves us is the righteousness that is based on faith. When we believe God then our faith is reckoned to us as righteousness. However, we can be a Christian and still experience destruction if we do not live according to His Word.

I Samuel 26:23a The Lord will repay each man for his righteousenss and his faithfulness;

The Lord rewards each man according to his righteousness. This is a reference to the blessings that he receives, whether it is rewards on earth or in heaven. When you do what is right in God’s eyes then He rewards you.

I Kings 3:6a Then Solomon said, “You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You;

He gives us the righteousness of Christ when we become a Christian but then He wants us to walk in His righteousness after we have come to know Him. He wants us to put on His righteousness, in other words, He wants us to walk in a manner pleasing Him, that is, doing what is right. You are to put on the new self. When you put on the new self the outcome will be righteousness.

Ephesians 4:22-24 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

You are to wear the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate is what guards your heart. When you do what is right then you will guard yourself from much pain in your heart.

Ephesians 6:14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

This is the righteousness that the Lord spoke of in Ezekiel when He mentioned Noah, Job and Daniel, that they could only save themselves by their own righteousness. He is not talking about eternal salvation, for all have sinned and fall short of God’s standard of righteousness. However, they preserved their own lives from destruction on earth because they sought to live out God’s standard of righteousness and while others were destroyed their lives were not destroyed. Let them be our examples of living a godly life in a godless world. God’s judgments are coming and He will judge the world in righteousness.

Ezekiel 14:12-20 Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,” declares the Lord God. “If I were to cause wild beasts to pass through the land and they depopulated it, and it became desolate so that no one would pass through it because of the beasts, though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the country would be desolate. Or if I should bring a sword on that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass through the country and cut off man and beast from it,’ even though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters, but they alone would be delivered. Or if I should send a plague against that country and pour out My wrath in blood on it to cut off man and beast from it, 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.”

To sum up, you are not responsible for the wrongs done to you by others but you are responsible for doing the right thing in your relationships with others. The devil is the destroyer and the way he destroys is by deceiving us into believing a lie that it is okay to do certain things. Don’t let him destroy you by doing what is wrong. Learn the right way to do life so that you will experience life as the Lord designed and came to give you.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.