A Life that is Loving to Enemies

Since we have been so loved that God gave His only begotten Son for us we also ought to be loving in the same way that He has loved us.

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.

For God so loved He gave and He loved us when we were His enemies.

Romans 5:10 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.

In the same way, He has called us to give our lives and to love our enemies and those who do not love us as well as those who are more loving. If we only love those who love us then how are we any different than the rest of the world?

Matthew 5:44-46 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

God’s love is demonstrated to the world when we love sinners. His love is demonstrated to the world through us.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

He reconciles people to Himself but uses us to share His love so that they can hear His Word, so that they might be saved.

Romans 1:16 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.

Love your enemies and do good and your reward will be great. You will also be called a child of God.

Luke 6:35,36 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

A Life that Speaks the Truth

If we want a life that speaks the truth then we must have the truth in our heart.

Psalm 15:2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,
And speaks truth in his heart.

A person that speaks the truth tells what is right.

Proverbs 12:17 He who speaks truth tells what is right,
But a false witness, deceit.

The only way we will be able to speak the truth is if we listen to the truth. You become what you listen to.

Proverbs 21:28 A false witness will perish,
But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.

The Lord tells us to guard our heart with all diligence for from it flows the springs of life. If you listen to lies then you will start to believe lies and then you life will be a lie.

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

The Lord tells us that we should speak truth to one another. The opposite of speaking truth to one another is devising evil against one another. The Lord hates it when we do evil to one another and also He hates it when we lie.

Zechariah 8:16,17 These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the Lord.”

Jesus spoke the truth when He walked on earth. Even those who were His enemies acknowledged that He spoke the truth and taught the way of God in truth.

Luke 20:21 They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth.

When we lie we are being like the devil. How we speak reveals our nature.

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

The only way that we can speak the truth is if we have the Spirit of truth in us. He comes and dwells in us when we become a Christian. Jesus Christ is the Truth and His Spirit leads us into all truth.

John 16:33 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

The Lord wants us to worship Him in Spirit and truth and He wants us to walk in His truth and speak truth with one another. Love without truth is not true love and truth without love can not be heard.

Proverbs 3:3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.

Often we lean towards either lovingkindness or truth. For this reason we need to be connected to other Christians to balance out our tendencies and to learn from one another so that we will have more of the balance that we need in our lives to be filled with lovingkindness and truth.

Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

As we grow in His love and truth then we will grow in our love for one another and will learn to speak truth with one another. When we do these things then we will grow up in all aspects into the likeness of Jesus Christ. It is our aim that Jesus Christ alone is exalted and that the world will see Christ in us.

 

 

 

A Life Not Forsaken, Judged or Condemned

The Lord came so that we might have life and it is an incredible life that He has given to us. We will spend eternity thanking Him. We are not forsaken…

Hebrews 13:5b for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”

…because He was forsaken for our sakes.

Matthew 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

We are not judged, if we believe in Him…

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

…because He was judged. He took the judgment for our sins.

John 3:18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

We are not condemned…

Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

… because He took our condemnation that we deserve.

Romans 8:3,4 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

We are not dead, because He made us alive together with Christ, if we have put our trust in Him.

Ephesians 2:1-6 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

We live because He lives and we will spend all of eternity thanking Him.

A Life that Remembers His Name

One of the most powerful promises that the Lord gives to His people is that in every place where His name is remembered He will come to the people and bless them.

Exodus 20:24 …in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you.

One of the most frightening consequences is when the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is removed from a place or people. When you see His name removed then you will see the removable of His blessing from a place and people. The Lord wants us to remember His name in all that we do and wherever we go.

Daniel 2:20 Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.

The Lord wants us to bless His name. He says that those who use His name in cursing will be punished.

Exodus 20:7 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

Remember His name every time you can and wherever you go, night and day. In other words, you can not talk about His great name too much or call on His name too often. Sing praises to Him as you go through the day. Put His Word in your heart so that He will captivate your heart and thoughts. Give thanks to His name, not only when you eat but in everything give thanks to Him.

Isaiah 12:4 And in that day you will say,
“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name.
Make known His deeds among the peoples;
Make them remember that His name is exalted.”

His name is worthy of all glory and He wants us to praise His name and ascribe the glory that is due His name.

I Chronicles 16:29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come before Him;
Worship the Lord in holy array.

We can either worship Him and call on His name now or we will honor Him who is worthy when He comes in judgment but it will not be the same. He wants our mouths and hearts now to praise Him.

Psalm 145:21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

The Lord alone is exalted and He mercy is towards those who give glory to His name and who fear Him.

Luke 1:49,50 “For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is upon generation after generation
Toward those who fear Him.

When we go after other gods or if we do not listen to spiritual leaders who will teach and preach His word then we will forget His name. Make sure that the Bible teachers and preachers that you sit under preach and teach the Word of God and proclaim His name lest you forget the name of the Lord. They need to be sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to Him.

Jeremiah 23:25-30 “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, ‘I had a dream, I had a dream!’ How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart, who intend to make My people forget My name by their dreams which they relate to one another, just as their fathers forgot My name because of Baal? The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth. What does straw have in common with grain?” declares the Lord.“Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock? Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the Lord, “who steal My words from each other.

There is none like the Lord our God. He is to be honored and feared by all.

Jeremiah 10:6,7 There is none like You, O Lord;
You are great, and great is Your name in might.
Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
Indeed it is Your due!
For among all the wise men of the nations
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.

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 of Fearless Trust

Fear can be very paralyzing and a life of fearless trust in the Lord is the most freeing life on earth. He is trustworthy and true but we need to come to the place in our life where we trust Him completely. We will say He loves us but when it comes down to it we will question whether or not He really does love us. He loves us perfectly and wants us to trust Him completely.

Psalm 27:1-3 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.

The only way you can trust Him completely is if you know Him more fully. The way to know Him is to spend time with Him and to take Him at His Word.

Psalm 27:4 One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.

Once you see His beauty then you will want to see Him more. The more you see Him the more you will believe Him.

Psalm 27:7,8 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice,
And be gracious to me and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You,
“Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.”

You only believe what you act on, otherwise it is only head knowledge. The only way that your faith will increase is to spend time in His Word.

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

The Lord is faithful to His Word and your faith will increase as you take Him at His Word. Is there something that you need to trust Him for that He has promised in His Word? Pray that promise back to Him. The Lord does not want you to be fearful. He wants you to have a fearless trust in Him.

Psalm 3:3-6 But You, O Lord, are a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
I was crying to the Lord with my voice,
And He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah.
I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustains me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me round about.

He is a shield to you. He is your glory and He will lift up your head but first you must bow before Him and put your trust in Him. Cry to Him. He will hear you. You can lay down and sleep for He is the One who will sustain you. You don’t have to be afraid of one person or ten thousands of people. He is your trust and you do not need to fear.

Psalm 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You,
For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

A Life that Hears

The Lord makes it very clear in His Word that there are some things that He wants you to hear and some things He does not want you to hear. Just as a loving parent would not want their child to hear everything so the Lord does not want us to hear everything. We must learn to shut our ears to some things and to open our ears to other things. Over and over in His Word He said that those who have ears to hear, let them hear. Hear what? The Word of the Lord is what they need to hear.

Matthew 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

The Lord wants to speak to you. He loves you and wants you to hear His  voice. Just as a loving parent wants to warn their child of the dangers in life so He wants to warn you. Just as a good shepherd knows their own sheep and the sheep knows their own shepherd’s voice so the Lord wants us learn to hear His voice.

Jeremiah 6:10 To whom shall I speak and give warning
That they may hear?
Behold, their ears are closed
And they cannot listen.
Behold, the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them;
They have no delight in it.

Ask the Lord to open your ears. Do you need healing from past or present hurts? He can and wants to heal you. He heals through His Words.

Acts 28:26,27 saying, Go to this people and say,
You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;
And you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
For the heart of this people has become dull,
And with their ears they scarcely hear,
And they have closed their eyes;
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart and return,
And I would heal them.”’

One of the reasons why we can not hear Him, who is the Truth, is because we are listening to the lies of the world. If you are struggling in your relationship with the Lord or feel as if you are not hearing His voice then shut out the noises of the world. If you have friends who are foolish or ungodly then stay away from them.

Proverbs 14:7 Leave the presence of a fool,
Or you will not discern words of knowledge.

A fool is someone who lives as if there is no God. An ungodly person is someone who believes in God but does not fear Him, in other words, they allow sin in their lives and don’t want to give it up. They hate it but not enough to get rid of it. They will say, “I know that I should have my quiet time, but I don’t and I know I should not do _____, but I still do it anyway.” It is enough for them to say they know that it is wrong. They may even used to have a heart for the Lord but they have ceased to be wise and to do good. The ungodly person loves himself more than he loves God.

Psalm 36:1-4 Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.
For it flatters him in his own eyes
Concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it.
The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;
He has ceased to be wise and to do good.
He plans wickedness upon his bed;
He sets himself on a path that is not good;
He does not despise evil.

Stop listening to the news for awhile. Stop looking at things on your phone or computer or television or whatever it is that is a distraction or not good for you. Ask the Lord to show you if there is anything that you are looking at or listening to that is not pleasing to Him. Do not listen to bloodshed and do not look upon evil. If there have been violence then the Lord does not want to to look at it or hear about it.

Isaiah 33:15 He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity,
He who rejects unjust gain
And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe;
He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed
And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil;

So…do you need to feel His love? Do you need the assurance that He loves you? Do you want to hear your Good Shepherd’s voice and the voice of your heavenly Father? Get rid of what is not holy and good and then ask Him to open up your ears to hear Him. He will restore your soul and bringing healing to your life. One of the reasons why we struggle in our relationship with the Lord and other relationships here on earth is that we need healing from hurts in our past. Let Him heal you.

Isaiah 53:4-6 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.

All of us have gone astray. All of us need healing. All of us have been hurt. All of us have been let down by people in our past. Just as you have hurt others and have let others down and will do so again. However, the Lord will heal us and He will never hurt us and He will never disappoint us if only we will hear His voice, listen to His Words and seek Him and put our trust in Him. He is good and He is faithful.

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

Return to Him. He will not disappoint you. Even in your doubting He will help you. Just as the man prayed, “Lord, I believe, help me in my unbelief.”