A Life of Great Worth

The value of anything is what someone would pay for it. If this is true then what is your life worth? It is of great worth if you know the Lord because you have been bought with a price, which is the blood of Christ. He paid for you with His life.

I Corinthians 6:20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

The incredible price that you were bought with is the blood of Christ. You have been redeemed and bought out of slavery into freedom through the blood of Jesus.

I Peter 1:18,19 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

All the money in the world could not have bought your freedom. It took the life of One who loved you and have His life for you.

Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—

Not only did He redeem you and set you free but He has made you to be a kingdom and to represent men and women before the Father Himself as His priests.

Revelation 1:6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

However, not only are we to be priests to the Lord but we are His spokesmen to the world. We are to share the Good News of God’s love for mankind and His redeeming work of the blood of Jesus on the cross and how He was raised again to live forever and to give eternal life to those who believe in Him.

Jeremiah 15:19a Therefore, thus says the Lord,
“If you return, then I will restore you—
Before Me you will stand;
And if you extract the precious from the worthless,
You will become My spokesman.

The Bible says that those who do not know the Lord are worth less.

I Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they did not know the Lord

The heart of the wicked is worth little.

Proverbs 10:20 The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver,
The heart of the wicked is worth little.

Only Jesus Christ can restore the image of God within a person who has been destroyed through sin. Only Jesus Christ can give us a new heart and take our old sinful heart. Only Jesus Christ can transform our lives into the image of God according to how He designed and created us. Only God can do the work of salvation but He has chosen those who know Him to be His ambassadors and to tell others.

II Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Jesus Christ is the King of kings and He has made us to be His kingdom, His priests and His ambassadors to the world that the world might be reconciled to God. What an incredible privilege and joy.

II Corinthians 5:18,19 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

 

 

A Life with the Sweetness of Wisdom

When life is done God’s way then it is sweet. When life is not done God’s way then it can become bitter and then we become bitter. His design was to give us good gifts. He wants us to live according to His ways and experience life to the fullest. Even after man and woman messed up in the garden of Eden the Lord had a plan to give us another chance. Jesus Christ came that we might have an abundant life that overflows. He came that we might live.

John 10:10b I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Jesus is that life and life is in Him. He who has Christ has life. He who does not have Jesus Christ does not have life but they have death abiding in them and one day death will overtake them for all eternity.

I John 5:11,12 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.

What does the life look like that Jesus came to give us. It is a picture of wisdom since in Jesus is the fullness of life and wisdom. It is the wisdom from above.

James 3:17  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

If this wisdom does not describe your life, your marriage, your family or whatever relationships that you are in then come to Him and ask Him for His wisdom.

James 1:5-8 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

However, you must ask with a pure heart that is surrendered to Him. Otherwise, your symptom may be fixed but the root problem is still the same and that is rottenness within your heart. Double mindedness comes from an unsurrendered will to the Lord. There is still that fight within of wanting our own way.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Doublemindedness may cause you to be deceived. You will not receive God’s wisdom and if you are not careful then you will receive the wrong kind of wisdom which is demonic and leads to death.

James 3:14-16 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.

Come to Him and you will find rest for your soul and the fighting within of your will and God’s design for you will cease. His ways are pleasant ways and His paths are peace.

Matthew11:28-30 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

 

A Life that Receives Wisdom

We all need wisdom if we want to do life, work, relationships and whatever else right. If we want less sorrow and more happiness and fulfillment in our life then we need wisdom. However, where do we receive wisdom, in other words, what is the source of wisdom?

Proverbs 2:6,7a For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;

The Lord is the Giver of wisdom. Not only does He give wisdom but He gives knowledge and understanding. He is the source of all that is good and upright. He stores us sound wisdom for the upright and delights in giving to those who seek Him then secrets of life which is His wisdom.

Psalm 25:12-14 Who is the man who fears the Lord?
He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
His soul will abide in prosperity,
And his descendants will inherit the land.
The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him,
And He will make them know His covenant.

Just as there are secrets in all of life and how to do life, so the Lord has made it that the person who fears Him will receive His instructions and will know His secrets. His soul will abide in prosperity and his children will have a refuge and see the promises of God. One of the greatest gifts that you can give to your children is for them to see the reality of God on a daily basis and to see the fulfillment of His promises. He not only has promises for all eternity but He has promises for daily life.

Job 12:16a With Him are strength and sound wisdom,

The Lord gives wisdom but He entrusts it to those who fear Him. Wisdom is so powerful that it would be destructive to the one who does not fear God.

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

Are you frustrated in life or in relationships? Often we desire something and are frustrated because we are not getting what we desire. If you do not fear God then that desire could become a snare or bondage for you. It is the fear of the Lord that keeps things clean and pure. When we fear Him then He purifies our hearts and fulfills our desires in a good way so that the desires do not destroy or control us. The Lord is good and He only gives to His children what is good. Sometimes we do not know what is good for us and for this reason it is crucial that we trust Him to give us what He knows is good. You will look back on life when you are older and you will be thankful for not receiving certain desires.

Psalm 19:9a The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;

Once you have surrendered your life and your desire to the Lord and are seeking to fear Him, then ask Him for wisdom. He promises to give it to you generously.

James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

It is wisdom to seek God and it is foolishness to seek any thing else above God. He is wisdom, life, love and everything else that we long for and He alone is able to give us all that we need. In Him are peace, joy and love. If you will seek Him then He will lead you into the way of wisdom and understanding. You will want to do good and you will be free of the snares of death. He gives grace and wisdom so that we might do His will and live according to His ways. When you know Him then you will know wisdom and you will have understanding. For it is the Lord who gives wisdom and understanding. The outcome will be that you will live securely and will not fear.

Proverbs 1:33 But he who listens to me shall live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”

 

 

 

A Life of Blessed Faith

There are two kinds of faith. There is a faith that is an intellectual faith where we believe with our minds. The other kind of faith is a heart faith. We can believe with our minds but not with our hearts. Many people believe with their minds but few believe with their hearts. When Jesus walked on earth there were the two kinds of faith evidenced. When we have heart faith God changes and saves us but intellectual faith only pacifies the one with it and there are no changes.

Matthew 21:32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.

Many of the religious leaders believed that John the Baptist came in the way of righteousness but they did not believe with their hearts but only with their minds. Heart faith will act on the words which are heard. The words will go into their hearts and effect a change within the heart that will be seen in the actions of the person. Many of the tax collectors and prostitutes had heart faith and their lives were changed.

Luke 8:5-8a “The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.”

Jesus knew the hearts of men and so He told this parable to the people about the different kinds of hearts. This is a parable about the hearts of men. Three of these people believed the Word of God but only one had an honest and good heart faith.

Luke 8:11-15 Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

In the first soil the Word of God is kept from entering the mind or the heart of the hearer. In the second soil the Word of God only enters the mind but never goes into the heart of the hearer. In time the recipient falls away because the Word of God never took root in their heart. The third soil heard the Word of God but because their hearts were already so cluttered and filled with other things the Word of God never took deep roots in those hearts either. Their lives did not bear mature fruit. The last person heard the Word of God with an honest and good heart. They held the Word of God fast to their hearts and bore fruit with perseverance.

Mark 4:20 And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.

The same parable is repeated in the Gospel of Mark and the word “hear” means “keeps on hearing” in the original language of the Bible. It is a continuation of hearing and not just hearing once but “keeping on hearing”. This is how we hold fast the Word of God in our hearts. Since no one was born with an “honest and good heart” we need to hear the Word continually so that the Word of God will do its work of cleansing in our hearts so that we can receive the Word with an “honest and good heart”.

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

Once we receive the Word of God with an “honest and good heart” then we need to persevere in applying it to our lives so that we might bear fruit. All of us have need of perseverance. The Lord takes us to new levels of obedience and faith and stretches us toward maturity that is reached through perseverance and endurance.

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 find that you are weak in faith and need encouragement then read God’s Word for He will speak to your heart. Go and talk to a more mature Christian whose faith has been tested and who has endured and persevered when there did not seem much hope. The Lord is faithful but sometimes we need to reminded and encouraged. Don’t lose heart. Pray to the Lord and He will help you. This is His instruction to us when our faith is weak and our heart is faint.

Luke 18:1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,

 

 

A Life that Abides in Blessedness

The word “abide” means to live. All of us want to live in a blessed state since one of the definitions of “blessed” is happy. The Lord wants us to abide in Him and His Words to abide in us. The Lord blesses His Word. He has obligated Himself to be faithful to His Words and His Words bring blessing.

John 15:7-11 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

If you will learn to abide in the Lord and allow His Words to abide in you then you can ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. Of course, when you abide in Him and His Words abide in you then the longing of your heart will be to keep His Words, which are His commandments to us. When we keep His commandments then we will abide in His love. Your joy will also be made full.

Deuteronomy 28:1,2 Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God

The Lord says that His blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey His commandments. You might think that Jesus Christ came to take away the Old Testament Law and that if you are a “New Testament” Christian then you do not need to obey the Old Testament Law. Not so, He fulfilled all of the Law and completed the sacrificial Law since He was the sacrifice for all sins promised from the beginning in the garden of Eden. He did not nullify the moral law but fulfilled the sacrificial law.

Matthew 5:17-19 Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

The Lord Jesus Christ gave His followers a new commandment and did not abolish the previous commandments other than the ritualistic cleansing commandments concerning food.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

The Lord wants us to remember His commandment and the commandments written beforehand in the Old Testament in how to live.

II Peter 3:2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.

If we keep the Lord’s new commandment then we will keep all of the Old Testament commandments because they are all summed up in loving God and loving each other.

Romans 13:8-10 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

The Lord gave us both the New Testament and the Old Testament for our instruction.

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Grace does not free us from doing right but allows us to do what is right and thus fulfill all righteousness. The Law is righteous and good and when we keep all of God’s words and commandments then we are loving those around us. The Lord promises great blessing to those who abide in His Words and keep His commandments.

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

Do you have peace in your life? What about do you live with quietness and confidence? If you are frustrated then go back to the Bible and ask the Lord to help you learn His ways of doing life, work, relationships, ministry or whatever it is He has you doing. He will teach you His ways and lead you in paths of righteousness.

A Life of Much Gladness

Gladness is different from joy. Joy comes from the presence of the Lord. The Bible says, “in Thy presence is fulness of Joy”. Gladness comes from loving what is right and doing it. Gladness comes from a clear conscience that you did the right thing earlier and so you are not fearful about being questioned or being caught.  Gladness is closely related to happiness. If you love the right thing and do what is right you will be happier than all of your friends.

Hebrews 1:9 “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above your companions.”

Not only will you have gladness but you will also not walk in darkness for you will have the light of the Lord.

Psalm 97:11 Light is sown like seed for the righteous and gladness for the upright in heart.

When others go their own way if you will seek the Lord and walk with Him then you will see that He will give you a witness of Himself and that He is good by giving you a fruitful life and will satisfy your heart with gladness.

Acts 14:16,17 In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”

However, when you walk with the Lord the gladness that the Lord gives you will even be greater than the gladness that you have when you have been blessed with an abundance on this earth. He will give you a gladness in your heart that transcends the blessings of this life on earth and you will sing for joy all the days of your life if only you will seek Him with all of your heart.

Psalm 4:6b,7 Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord!
You have put gladness in my heart,
More than when their grain and new wine abound.

When the Lord’s countenance shines on you then you will reflect the Lord to the world and your heart will be glad. His countenance shining on you is an expression of His favor. There is no sweeter experience than to have the favor of the Lord on your life. When you walk with the Lord in the light of His countenance then it truly is a taste of heaven on earth and is what the Lord designed for us in the garden of Eden.

Psalm 30:10-12 “Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me;
O Lord, be my helper.”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

The Lord is the only One who can change our mourning into dancing and loose the things that make us sad and clothe us with gladness. If you heart is sad then let Him do this for you today. Taste and see that the Lord is good and follow Him with all of your heart that you may sing for joy all the days of your life.

 

How to Avoid a Life Empty of Love

Love is a basic human need for a healthy development and happy relationships yet it seems illusive at times and often the ones that we “hate” the most are those closest to us or that we have been close to at some time. How do we love others on a long term basis and keep loving, happy, healthy relationships? Love is the greatest commandment and if we fulfill this commandment then we will fulfill them all.

Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Just as moral excellence is the root of love so love is the foundation of the Law and Prophets. The Law was to teach us how to love God with all of our heart and soul and mind and our neighbor as ourselves. The prophets were continually calling the people back to loving the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind and their neighbor as well. There is no peace, love or joy apart from love. There is no love apart from God, for God is love. Remove God from society, families and all relationships and you will eventually remove love.

I John 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

The opposite of loving God and others is selfishness. Selfishness is loving ourselves at the expense of someone else. It is taking and not giving. It is me and not you. No one can serve two masters. He will either love the one and hate the other or vice versa.

Matthew 6:24a No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.

You can not love yourself first and love God second. You must love God first and that will include loving others and then you love yourself next. If you love God first then He will watch out for your interests and He will be your security and defense. If you love yourself first then you will not be loving others the way you should. All of your “love” for others will be selfcentered and not love for them at all. There will always be a conflict of interests. For this reason, the Lord says that if we are to follow Him and love Him then we must die to ourselves.

Luke 9:23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

This is what it means to take up your cross daily, it is to die to yourself. The cross represents death. You can not truly love others if you do not learn to die to yourself. When you get married, the question is not, “Do I love this person more than everyone else?”. No rather, the question should be, “Do I love this person more than myself?”. If you truly love your mate more than yourself then you will truly love that person the way the Lord wants you to love them and there will never be another person that you will ever love in the same way (while you both shall live) because all marital unfaithfulness is all about loving yourself. Most marriages that fail began with selfishness and ended with selfishness in one or both spouses. Selfishness is loving or not wanting someone else for what they have or don’t have to offer to you.

I John 4:7-9 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

Jesus Christ is the ultimate expression and manifestation of love. If you want to know love then you must know Jesus Christ. He came into the world to love and He loves everyone and the gift of His love is offered to everyone. Whoever will receive Jesus Christ will receive His love. We can not love others with a Godlike love without Jesus Christ.

I John 4:10-12 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

Jesus loved us and took our sins that we might receive and live in His love. He came that we might be able to love God and love others as He has loved us. If you know Jesus Christ then you will know true love and His love will be perfected in you. When you live in His love then His love will overflow into the lives of others. The life of love, joy and peace will truly overflow within you and you will begin to experience heaven on earth and what it means to live in His kingdom.

I John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Hate comes from unresolved anger and unresolved anger comes from unforgiveness from being hurt. If you have been hurt and still struggling to forgive then take that hurt to the Lord and ask Him to help you forgive. He went to the cross to forgive us and because He has forgiven us then we can forgive others. He is the source of all love and because He loves us then we too can love others even those who previously seemed unlovable. You will also find that as you love others then your life will be filled with the love of others. Through Him we can love the world and everyone in it but apart from Him we can love no one.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

 

 

 

A Life that Avoids Immorality

There is nothing but much pain and grief to the person who becomes immoral. The pain eventually leads to bitterness and bitterness destroys the soul. All of us have the seeds of immorality within us so how do we avoid becoming immoral? An immoral person is one who satisfies their fleshy desires at the expense of someone else. It can be sexual immorality, greed with money, desire for power or prestige, gossip and slander, or anything else that is against God’s Laws. Immorality destroys. He made His laws and has shown us His ways for our good and not because He wants to withhold anything from us to be mean to us, but that we can experience His love and have loving relationships with others. There is no trust in any relationship apart from good morals.

Romans 1:21-25 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

We came into the world knowing that there was a God. However, when we do not honor Him as God or thank Him for His many blessings and goodness to us then we become fools and our heart becomes darkened. We will start to think that man is wiser than God. For this reason the Lord gives us over to the lusts of our hearts which causes us to become impure and immoral.

Romans 1:26,27 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

We all also came into the world with an impure heart and that is what causes us to do the things that lead to further impurity. Our conscience restrains us from many actions but when our hearts become hardened then we no longer hear our conscience and have that natural restraint that God gives to us. Morality is doing the right thing in every relationship and situation and treating people with respect and honor. A woman is immoral when she allows a man to sexually take advantage of her and a man is immoral when he takes advantage of a woman sexually. Sexual morality is within marriage only and marriage is between a man and a woman. Homosexuality is sexual immorality and every other form of sexual behavior outside of marriage is immoral. There can also be sexual immorality within marriage. What is not natural is immoral.

Romans 1:28-32 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

When the Lord gives us over to a depraved mind then we will not only do the things that are wrong and destructive for us but we will give hearty approval to others who practive the same. The only way that we can avoid immorality is through the precious and magnificent promises that He has given to all who believe in Him.

II Peter 1:2-4 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

As we grow in the knowledge of the Lord then grace and peace will be multiplied to us. We will experience His diving power which leads to life and godliness. It is through the knowledge of Him that we come to know His promises and it is through them that we become partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.

May His grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. There is no comparison to this kind of life lived with moral excellence and to those who live this way they don’t want to go back to a life that is controlled by the lusts, deceit and destruction of immorality. High morals is the foundation of trust and where there is no trust then there is no love. Without love we only exist but do not thrive. God is love and He set good morals as necessary for love.

 

A Life that Receives Instruction

Part of the definition of a fool is that they hate instruction and the consequence of a lack of instruction is destruction and death.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

We would not think of getting an expensive piece of equipment and not read the instructions and yet how much more valuable is our body and soul. It is foolish not to read and study the instruction manual given by the One who made us and has given us clear instructions on how to live. God made us and what He made was good and if we do not know His instructions on how to live then we will bring destruction to ourselves.

Proverbs 5:23 He will die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.

We will go astray in whatever area that we do not know the Lord’s instruction on how to live. He has freely given us everything we need to know to live life right and to thrive but there is something within us that resents anyone telling us what to do. That which is within us that wants to do it ourselves is our sinful nature. How foolish we are to not listen to our Creator and even more foolish to deny that we have a Creator and that He cares about us.

Psalm 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.

The Lord speaks to His people and tells them to listen to Him. He has chosen not to MAKE anyone do His instruction or MAKE anyone listen to Him. That is our responsibility. It is wisdom to listen to the Lord and follow His instructions so that we will not die.

Psalm 78:1 Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

We receive instruction by first listening to Him and then we receive His words into our mind and heart and follow His instruction.

Jeremiah 32:33 They have turned their back to Me and not their face; though I taught them, teaching again and again, they would not listen and receive instruction.

It is rebellion against the lord when we refuse to listen to His instruction.

Isaiah 30:9 For this is a rebellious people, false sons, Sons who refuse to listen To the instruction of the Lord;

If you are a true child of the Lord then you will want to listen to His instruction and you will want to live by what He instructs and teaches. Your life will be different and you will be free of many of the struggles of the world, which are sins that ensnare them and destroy them. You will have God’s wisdom and will be a guide to many.

Job 22:22 Please receive instruction from His mouth And establish His words in your heart.

Not only will you receive instruction but you will want others to know God’s instruction and to live according to it as it is in His Word, the Holy Scriptures.

Proverbs 1:2,3 To know wisdom and instruction,
To discern the sayings of understanding,
To receive instruction in wise behavior,
Righteousness, justice and equity;

When you know God’s wisdom, which is in His Word, then you will have instruction in every good course and instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice and equity. You will know what you need to do in every situation so that you will not end up being destroyed.

Proverbs 10:17 He is on the path of life who heeds instruction, But he who ignores reproof goes astray.

Do you want to live, and have an abundant life? Then don’t have it your way but live according to His way. Your life will be sweet and you will be on the path of life rather than the path that leads to death and ultimately eternal death.

Proverbs 5:11-13 And you groan at your final end,
When your flesh and your body are consumed;
And you say, “How I have hated instruction!
And my heart spurned reproof!
“I have not listened to the voice of my teachers,
Nor inclined my ear to my instructors!”

Yes, the end for those who do not heed instruction will be groaning and much regret. Their flesh and body will be consumed. In the greatness of their folly they went astray never to return again. They chose their own destiny and will end up in hell for all eternity. It is all because they wanted to go their own way and did not listen to the Words of the Lord. They will themselves realize that they alone are responsible and will have much regret. It is not too late to seek Him and turn to Him for instruction. He will hear your prayer if you are sincerely wrong for neglecting Him and turning away from Him. He will save you and get you back on the path of life. He is abounding in riches for all who call on Him.

Romans 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

The most simple but beautiful prayer is, “Lord Jesus, I have sinned against you. Please forgive me and save me. Please come into my life and make me the person you want me to be. Help me to receive your Words, for You will instruct me and teach me in the way I should go.”

 

 

A Life with Love Lives By Faith

There can not be love without faith. We must love by faith. Faith is doing the right thing without the need to see results. Faith is trusting One greater than ourselves. Faith is not blind faith but living on the promises of One who is faithful. There is only One who had perfect faith and that is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ lived a life of perfect faith when He was on earth. He trusted His Father in heaven completely.

But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. Acts 2:24

Jesus Christ did not raise Himself from the dead. The Father raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Jesus Christ went to the cross trusting the Father completely to raise Him from the dead.

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. Philippians 2:5-8

Jesus Christ is God and equal to God in every way but He emptied Himself and took the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men. He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross. He could only do this because He trusted in God the Father completely to be faithful to raise Him from the dead.

Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. John 14:10

Jesus did not speak His Words but He spoke only what the Father wanted Him to speak. It was the Father abiding in Jesus that did all the works of God that were done through Jesus Christ on earth. Jesus did not do miracles and works with His own power but it was the Father who did these works through him.

I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. John 5:30

Jesus had to study the Old Testament and be taught by the Father. He had to learn what the Father wanted Him to do. Jesus had to learn the promises of God that the Father had given to Him in the Scriptures.

So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. John 8:28

Jesus obeyed the Father completely and lived a life of faith in the promises of God. Jesus did not speak or act on His own initiative but He trusted in the Father completely.

For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. John 12:49

Jesus Christ has not asked His followers to do anything that He, Himself did not do on earth when He walked among men. He went to to the cross in faith and was raised so that He might be the first born from the dead. He lived a life of faith and obedience on earth as He has called us to do. He learned through Scripture what the Father’s will was for Him. He allowed the Father to abide in Him and He abided in the Father. He did not speak His Words but the Words of God. He did nothing on His own initiative except to obey and love the Father. Love, faith and obedience is a choice that we must do on our own initiative.

No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” John 10:18

Love must live by faith believing in, trusting in and obeying the One who loves us far more than we can imagine. He is faithful. Love Him and leave the results to Him.

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

Not only will you not be disappointed but the Lord has so much in store for the One who loves Him that you can not even fathom how great His love is for you. If you were to lay your head on your pillow and think of the greatest thing that God could do for you then He could still say that He can top it.

but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” I Corinthians 2:9

The life of faith is a mystery to those who do not know God. To those who know the Lord then their heart’s desire is to live for Him and to please Him. They have realized that He is the only One who can satisfy the longings of our heart.

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25,26

Love lives by faith and the one who loves God lives by faith. When we love others we love by faith. A husband and wife love each other by faith and a parent loves their children by faith. We love our friends and neighbors by faith. We even love our enemies by faith. Faith is doing what the Lord wants us to do and leaving the outcome to Him.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6