A Life of Marriage Prep

The best time to prepare for marriage is before you get married. It is a God given desire for a young lady to want to get married. However, the more you are prepared for marriage the easier it will be for you. The seeds that you sow before you get married determines the fruit that you reap after you are married. You will reap either good fruit or bad fruit.

Galatians 6:7-10 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

Do not use the flesh to attract a man because then you will seek to use your flesh to keep him. This will bring great insecurity to you because a man’s eyes are never satisfied.

Proverbs 27:20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.

However, it is important to do your best to look your best because man does look on the outward appearance.

I Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

However, you want the inner beauty of the Lord to be greater than any outward appearance. Your outward appearance is decaying but the inner man is being renewed day by day.

II Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

The Lord will strengthen you through His Spirit in the inner man to become a godly woman who fears the Lord. You must learn to walk in the Spirit on a daily moment by moment basis. This is the greatest preparation for marriage.

Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

A man will never fulfill you or make you happy. The sooner you learn this lesson the happier you will be. Young ladies have a tendency to live in the “if” or “when ” world. “If I were …” or “if I had …” or “when I …” and the truth of the matter is that the “if” and “when” does not change the contentment of your soul. You must learn to be content in Jesus Christ. He must be your desire. The more you learn to be content in Him then the more content you will be in whatever state He has you, whether married or single.

Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.

Contentment, gratefulness and joy all go together. The greatest gift that you can give to yourself and to others and especially to the man you marry is an attitude of gratitude. No one likes to be around a complainer or someone who is never happy. Someone once said that an unhappy wife is a public rebuke to her husband. Cultivate a grateful spirit and begin now by expressing thanks to your parents and those who have helped you in life. Not only do you quench the Spirit when you do not give thanks but you will quench your husband’s spirit and what he once wanted to do for you he will no longer do because it isn’t “exactly the way you like it”.

Ephesians 5:16-19 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit;

Learn to compliment a man. A man longs for praise. The Lord made him this way and most men are starved for praise and they will gravitate to the people who praise them. This is crucial because the Lord made a man to conquer and he needs the praise of his wife to go out and conquer the world in his job. Also, if you do not praise him then other women will. Even if you do praise him other women will still do it. This is one of the ways that an immoral woman gets a man to commit adultery. She flatters him with her tongue. He does not know that it is flattery and the aim of flattery is to manipulate so you want to make sure that he is filled with your praises if you are his wife. Learn now to praise. You can begin by learning to praise your brothers and your brothers in Christ. Look for Christlikeness and then point it out to him how you see the Lord in him.

Proverbs 2:16 To deliver you from the strange woman, From the adulteress who flatters with her words;

Learn to dress in a modest manner so that a godly man will be attracted to you. If you dress in such a way that stimulates a man by stirring up desires that can not be fulfilled righteously then you are a stumbling block. Why should the Lord give you to a godly man who is seeking Him. No, rather, if you dress in a provocative manner then a man who is “all about himself” will be drawn to you and since you dressed in a deceptive manner you will be the one who will end up being deceived. He will deceive you into you believing that he actually cares for you when he does not care for you but loves himself.

Proverbs 23:6,7 Do not eat the bread of a selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;
For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.

Finally, do dress in a modest manner, as is fitting for one who seeks to please the Lord. Learn to fear the Lord and obey Him. Honor you parents, as the Lord has commanded. If you do not honor your parents then you will struggle with honoring and respecting your husband. The Lord gives the woman to the man, not the man to the woman. You need to ask yourself if you want to serve, desire, submit to and respect a man and consider him more important than yourself. If you are not ready for that then ask the Lord to help you and go to older women who have a good marriage and ask them to teach you. Marriage can be a sweet fellowship and relationship between a man and a woman if it is done God’s way. It is supposed to be a picture of Christ and the church. Just as Christ died for the church, the husband is the love His wife in a sacrificial way and be willing to die for her. In the same way, a wife is to live for her husband (as the church is to live for Christ) and the way that she learns to serve and love Him in this Christlike manner is to die to herself. Marriage is a dying of two selves so that the Lord can raise up one (in body, soul and spirit) to glorify Him.

Ephesians 5:31-33 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

It is a mystery but it is a beautiful mystery and the most intimate relationship on earth when done God’s way. To love and be loved is what we all long for but it is only when we are surrendered to the Lord and learn His ways will we ever know what it means to live in intimate fellowship in marriage.

 

 

A Life that Is Nourished and Fed

Jesus Himself said that “man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”. Man does need far more than physical food. We need spiritual food to nourish our soul and spirit.

Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”

Jesus was validating the Bible as the Word of God when He quoted this Scripture. All Scripture is inspired by God. This means that it is God breathed and that the Lord breathed His Words into the men that He called to record what they had seen and heard.

II Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

God’s Word is profitable. If we do not know His Word then we will be mistaken about certain things.

Matthew 22:29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.

If you are a Christian then you need to know God’s Word. It is your life because Jesus and the Word of God are equal because the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

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

The Lord will open your mind to understand the Word. If you are seeking Him you will find Him through His Word.

Luke 24:45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

The Word testifies to who Jesus is…the only begotten Son of God who came forth from God and dwelt among man. He always has been and always will be. He is God Himself. He died and rose again and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus is all through the Bible, from the beginning to the end.

Luke 24:27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

However, you must have a hunger for the Word of God. You can not make someone eat if they are not hungry. Just as physically there are things that increase our appetite and there are things that decrease our appetite. If you obey the Word that the Lord has given you then you will want more. If you have not obeyed the Lord in what He has spoken to you about then you will not want more. If there is known sin in your life it will diminish your hunger for His Word.

I Peter 2:1-3 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, 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.

His Word is sweet and it is good for you. Living by faith according to His Word is living in the promised land. It is a life of milk and honey. You will thrive spiritually if you consistently feed on His Word. You will be a defeated Christian if you do not stay in His Word.

James 1:21.22 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

Put aside all that is impure and displeasing to the Lord. It is filthiness and wickedness. Don’t minimize what you see or hear. Put it aside so that you may long for His sweet Words. They will save your soul and you will find great delight and comfort in your life. He will come to you as He said that if you draw near to Him that He will draw near to you.

Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.

If you have never known the sweetness of abiding in His presence and His presence abiding in you then now is a great time to start. The Lord is good and His Words are good. You will be glad if you feast on His Words and you will be satisfied.

 

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.

 

 

A Life that is Helped

The Lord helps His children. He is our Helper and is a present help in time of trouble.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.

The Lord is for me through those who help me.

Psalm 118:7a The Lord is for me among those who help me;

Don’t be timid about asking for help. Jesus asked for help when He was here on earth. He asked the Samaritan woman to give Him a drink.

John 4:7 There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”

Joseph asked the cupbearer to help him by mentioning him to Pharoah (after the cupbearer was released) so that Joseph could get out of prison.

Genesis 40:14 Only keep me in mind when it goes well with you, and please do me a kindness by mentioning me to Pharaoh and get me out of this house.

The Lord has provided angels, who are ministering spirits, who help us also in our time of need.

Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?

Often they come in bodily form so that we do not recognize them at the time.

Hebrews 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.

Finally, the Lord gave us a Helper when He departed to go be with the Father and to prepare a place for us. He did not leave us alone.

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

The Lord uses people to help us and at other times He sends angels when we are in need and then He has also provided His Holy Spirit to help us. He never leaves us without help. It is good to call on Him when we are in need and by faith give thanks to Him for His lovingkindness towards us. He is good and He is faithful.

Psalm 92:1,2 It is good to give thanks to the Lord
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning
And Your faithfulness by night,

 

 

A Life that Has a Family

One of the highest honors given to us when we become a Christian, a born again believer in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, is that we come into the family of God. There is no higher honor that could be given to us than that we have God as our Father.

I John 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

It is a such a great love that He allows us to call Him “Abba” which means Daddy. It is one of the most intimate of relationships and many great privileges and promises come with it.

Romans 8:15-17 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

We are adopted into His family and become his children. If we are His children then we are heirs and fellow heirs with Jesus Christ. He calls us brothers and sisters.

John 20:17 Jesus *said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’”

Who does He call His brothers and sisters?

Luke 8:21 But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”

The evidence that you are really in His family is that you want to do His will and you hear the word of God and do it. If you have no desire to obey His word or you find that, truth be told, you are not doing His will by obeying His word then you need to ask yourself if you are really His brother or sister. He says that those who are in His family will hear His word and do it.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

It is not too late to receive Him and surrender your life to His Lordship and call on Him. If you have doubts then maybe that is the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart that now is the time to make sure that you are in His family.

John 3:4-7 Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” 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. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

Nicodemus was a spiritual leader in his day and yet he did not understand what it meant to become born again. Jesus makes it very clear, “you must be born again”. When you are born again you are born again into His family and it is for all eternity.

John 10:28,29 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

If we are a family then the Lord wants us to accept one another since Christ has accepted us.

Romans 15:7 Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.

As His family we are to love one another. This is the evidence that we are children of God.

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.

Do you see your brother in need? Let us love one another as Christ has loved us.

I John 3:16,17 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 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?

Finally, not only will we have the assurance that we are in His family and belong to Him but others will know that we are Christians when they see us love each other.

John 13:34,35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Loving one another is what it means to belong to His family. This is His Word to us that He wants us to hear and do and then all men will know that we are His brothers and sisters.

A Life with a Citizenship

This is not our home nor is our citizenship in this world. From the beginning of those who lived by faith they made it clear that their citizenship is not of this world but they are looking forward to their heavenly city and home.

Hebrews 11:16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

The Lord has prepared a city for us and He has described what a citizen of this city looks like in His word. He asks what this citizen looks like in Psalm 15.

Psalm 15:1 O Lord, who may abide in Your tent?
Who may dwell on Your holy hill?

In other words, what does the person look like who will live with Him in His city?

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

He does what is right and walks with integrity. He is honest in all of His dealings and the way this is done is that he speaks the truth to himself first within his own heart. The only way that he can do this is if God’s word is in his heart.

Psalm 40:8 I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law is within my heart.

So, not only does he love the Lord with all of his heart, soul and mind but he loves his neighbor with a Christlike love. His neighbor is every person that he comes in contact with, whether it is in a store or where he lives. The meaning of evil is to cause grief. He does not cause grief through bad mouthing someone or any other way. He is also loyal to his friends.

Psalm 15:3 He does not slander with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;

We are not to hate anyone but what this is saying is that we do not give honor to a reprobate but we honor those who fear the Lord. There are a lot of people who are reprobates and do not seek the Lord. What about the books you read and the songs you listen to…are the authors and composers men and women of God?

Psalm 15:4 In whose eyes a reprobate is despised,
But who honors those who fear the Lord;
He swears to his own hurt and does not change;

Also, another big thing to the Lord is that a citizen of His keeps their word even when it hurts. Have you made a commitment and then changed your mind? You keep the commitment. You swear to your own hurt so that you do not bring dishonor to our King.

Psalm 15:5 He does not put out his money at interest,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things will never be shaken.

The Lord gives those who live according to His laws a promise that they will never be shaken. You will find that there will be an amazing peace that comes over your life on a daily basis as you live according to His ways. When you violate His ways then you have not loved someone and you have brought grief to someone. Do not minimize your sin by saying that “we are under grace”. Grace was never meant to excuse your sin. Confess your shortcomings to Him. He will forgive you and help you learn to do what is right. He did not just save you so that you would become His child and a citizen of His kingdom but He saved you so that you would be able to live as a child of God and a citizen of His country. He wants you to represent Him to the world as His child and His ambassador.

Isaiah 33:15-17 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;
He will dwell on the heights,
His refuge will be the impregnable rock;
His bread will be given him,
His water will be sure.

Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will behold a far-distant land.

He wants you to see Him before you get to your heavenly home. He wants you to see the King in His beauty and wants you to behold that far distant land just as the great men and women of faith who have gone before us did.

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

To sum it up, the child of God and citizen of heaven has clean hands, a pure heart and a clear conscience.

A Life that is Gentle

One of the most beautiful and powerful verses in the Bible is in the book of Psalms. It says that God’s gentleness makes us great. The word is literally His condescension but some versions use the word gentleness.

Psalms 18:35 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation,
And Your right hand upholds me;
And Your gentleness makes me great.

If you break down the word condescend then it means that He got down with us. He communicated with us on our level. He did not just speak to us on His level but He humbled Himself to communicate with us. A beautiful picture of gentleness is when someone stoops down to speak with someone who is in a wheelchair so that they can be on their same eye level or when someone lowers himself to talk with a child on their level. It is a powerful picture of love and humility.

Psalm 113:5-8 Who is like the Lord our God,
Who is enthroned on high,
Who humbles Himself to behold
The things that are in heaven and in the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust
And lifts the needy from the ash heap,
To make them sit with princes,
With the princes of His people.

The psalmist had it right when he said that there is none like our God. Although He is enthroned on high, He humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and on the earth. Not only does He behold us but when we realize our great need for the Lord then He lifts us up and He will even make us sit with princes!

Isaiah 66:2 “For My hand made all these things,
Thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord.
“But to this one I will look,
To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

Who is He looking for when He looks down from heaven? Who does He want to behold? He wants to find those who are humble and contrite in spirit and who tremble at His word. He is looking for those who are wanting to be like Him for He is humble.

Philippians 2:3-8 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

What does a humble person look like? They are not selfish or conceited. They regard others as more important than themselves. They don’t just look after their own personal interests but also for the interests of others. They have a servant heart and attitude and actions of a servant. They are completely obedient no matter what the cost to them even if it is their own life.

Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

The humble person looks life Jesus. The only way we can live a life of gentleness is if we allow Him to live through us in the power of the Holy Spirit for gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22,23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Therefore, let people see Christ in you through your gentle spirit.

Philippians 4:5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.

And again, you are His holy and beloved child through whom the world will see Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;

A Life with Good Words

Someone once said that many of the people that we encounter during any given day are going through some sort of crisis. Whether that is true no one can say but we can say that most, if not all, of the people we encounter need a word of encouragement. They need a good word.

Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down,
But a good word makes it glad.

Life and death are in the power of your words and you will eat the fruit of the words you say. You will either give life and receive life or your words will give death and you will receive death. How many times have we regretted the words we said and we can never take them back.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Your words will give you great satisfaction if you use your tongue according to God’s ways.

Proverbs 12:14 A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his words,
And the deeds of a man’s hands will return to him.

You will receive great joy when you give a good word in the right situation. Your words can make a difference in someone’s life. You can influence someone by a word of encouragement or comfort.

Proverbs 25:11 Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken in right circumstances.

When someone strokes you with the a good word that word will go down into your innermost being. If someone believes in you, when it seems that no one else does, and expresses it in words then you will sometimes remember those words for years because they went down into your innermost parts.

Proverbs 20:30 Stripes that wound scour away evil,
And strokes reach the innermost parts.

A word of encouragement does wonders to a person. Your words can destroy or build up. When you have children your words are far more important than you realize and your children will remember nearly every word you say to them. Never speak in anger. Anger will never achieve what is right and will often cause great harm.

James 1:19,20 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

The words spoken in gentleness will often turn away anger.

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.

The only way that we can give a gentle answer is if we have a gentle spirit. The mouth speaks from that which is on the inside and the spirit of a man communicates even more than his words.

I Peter 3:4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

Finally, the only way that we will be able to give good words to others will be if we listen to the good Words of the Lord.

Joshua 23:14 “Now behold, today I am going the way of all the earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which the Lord your God spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed.

If you have tasted the good word of the Lord then ask Him to help you give a good word to someone else. You can make a difference for the Lord by refreshing the hearts of those who you come in contact with by your words. Just as a cup of cold water refreshes the body of the quenched one so a good word refreshes the soul of one who is thirsty for encouragement.

Hebrews 5:4 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,