A Life that is Rich in Faith

We often value the wrong things in this life. If we value riches in this present age we will end up being poor in the age to come. The Lord wants us to be rich in faith. If we value experiences but not the greatest experience of all and that is experiencing God’s love and faithfulness then we will have missed it again. The Lord values faith and showing you His love and faithfulness. Do you live by faith and experience His love and faithfulness on a daily basis? He wants you to declare His lovingkindness in the morning and His faithfulness every night of your life.

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,

Are you living by faith? If God is the only explanation for your life then you are living by faith. If you can explain your life by your own strength, intellect or ability then the Lord is not who is getting the glory.

Hebrews 11:6 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.

Are you living on His promises? Are you trusting Him to meet your needs and provide for you or, do you have your back up plan just in case? Whatever you are trusting in is your god. In the Bible, God’s people have always worshiped Him but it is idolatry if it is God plus a backup plan. When you live by faith then you will always feel needy. It is a humbling feeling but you are right where you need to be.

James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

The Lord never makes mistake. If you are lacking in an area of your life it is because the Lord wants you to be poor in that area so that you will look to Him. It may be in finances or it may be in relationships or child bearing(if you are married) or whatever it is that makes you feel lacking. The Lord is testing you to see if you will trust Him and wait for Him.

Psalm 37:7,8 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.

It is only by His grace that we can rest in Him when we feel needy and humble. Resting is trusting. Waiting is resting. Do not take things into your own hands or fret because “others” have or are even getting by their own means what you “need” or want.

Psalm 37:28,29 For the Lord loves justice
And does not forsake His godly ones;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.
The righteous will inherit the land
And dwell in it forever.

The Old Testament word for the promises of God is the “land”, which was the promised land. The Lord will give to you what you need if you will trust Him. In a little while you will see it but first you must walk by faith and not by sight. You will inherit the promises of God and you will dwell with Him forever.

Psalm 37:34 Wait for the Lord and keep His way,
And He will exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

Most importantly of all you will have pleased Him for “without faith it is impossible to please Him…”.

 

 

 

A Life that is Be-Loved

You are the Lord’s beloved and He is your Beloved and the One whom you delight in if you belong to Him.

Song of Solomon 6:3 “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,
He who pastures his flock among the lilies.”

Just as the shepherd loves the sheep and little lambs and would sometimes carry them on his shoulders so the Lord also, who is your Good Shepherd, carries you between His shoulders because you are His beloved. He wants you to be loved by Him.

Deuteronomy 33:12 …“May the beloved of the Lord dwell in security by Him, Who shields him all the day, And he dwells between His shoulders.”

The Lord wants you to know with all of your heart that He is your Savior and will save His beloved. He will save you and will answer you.

Psalm 108:6 That Your beloved may be delivered, Save with Your right hand, and answer me!

Just as Jesus was the Beloved of the Father so you are Jesus’ beloved.

Mark 1:11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

Being is more important than doing. We need to be right with the Lord before we can do what is right. Doing what is right must come after being in a love relationship with the Lord, otherwise, we will seek to earn God’s love. Doing is a response to being. If you belong to Christ then you are His Beloved and He wants you to be-loved by Him before you do…whatever good works he has for you. The Father was well pleased with Jesus before Jesus began His earthly ministry. You too, must learn to be-loved by Him so that whatever you “do” is an overflow of who you are in Christ. If you belong to Him then there is nothing you can do to cause Him to love you more. He wants you to rest in His love and learn to be-loved by Him. If we struggle in believing that He really loves us then we will struggle in loving Him back.

I John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.

All that we do should be in response to His love for us. All that we do is an expression of His great love. There is no greater love than this, to lay down your life for your friends. He laid down His life for you so that you can lay down your life for others so that others may see Christ in you.

John 15:12,13 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

Do you need to know His love more? To the degree that you love others is to the degree that you have experienced His love for you.

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?

 

A Life that Pleases the Lord

It is an amazing aspect of the Lord that He allows us to please Him. We are His creation and fallen creation at that but still He loves us and tells us how to please Him. It should be the single minded desire of every Christian to want to please Him. Before we were Christians we wanted to please ourselves or maybe someone else but the highest aim in our life should be to please the Lord.

Ephesians 5:7-10 Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

The Lord offers a great reward when we are living life in a way that pleases Him. He will make even our enemies to be at peace with us.

Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

When we live by faith then we please the Lord or rather if we don’t live by faith then there is not anything that we can do that would please Him.

Hebrews 11:6 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.

First thing we must do if we want to please Him is to believe in Him and believe in His Words. He wants us to seek Him, believe His Words and live as if we believe His Words. If there was someone who loved you and you trusted and that person told you that they would be at such and such a place to meet you, you would be there. The Lord also wants us to act in faith in believing what He has said to us.

Hebrews 4:2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

The only part of God’s Word that benefits you is what you believe and act in faith on. You must believe Him and what He said. You must believe Him and do what He says. Be careful to not have an unbelieving heart.

Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

Where does an unbelief come from? It comes from the hardness of our heart.

Mark 16:14 Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen.

Every child believes in God because the Lord has put it in their heart to believe Him.

Romans 1:18,19 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

The Lord tells us in His Word to be careful  to not have an unbelieving heart. An unbelieving heart precedes falling away from the Lord.

Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

Faith must be nurtured and it must grow. You can not live on yesterday’s faith. Your faith needs to be stronger today than it was yesterday. The way you feed your faith is through the Word of God. When you believe His Word by faith then you will see His faithfulness and will want to believe Him more. You will give glory to God and will praise Him.

Romans 4:20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,

Come, let us worship Him and bow down before Him. He is God and He is true to His Words. Trust Him and grow strong in your faith and please the One who loves you more than you will ever fully comprehend.

Psalm 95:6-8a Come, let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you would hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts,

 

 

 

 

 

A Life of Much Joy

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

Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Joy is the medicine that heals our hearts

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

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

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

The Lord wants you to serve Him with joy.

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

The Lord makes us joyful with gladness in His presence.

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

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

Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He is coming and His reward is with Him.

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

 

 

A Life of Fearless Trust

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Life that Hears

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

A Life that Is Not Ashamed

We all hate to be shamed. There is something very demeaning about being shamed especially in front of others. Basically the less we sin the less shame there will be in our life. The Bible says that sin is a disgrace or shame to any person. Sin shows no partiality.

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a disgrace to any people.

If we will trust in the Lord then He will not allow us to be put to shame.

Psalm 25:1-3 To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
Do not let my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed;
Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.

Waiting on the Lord and acting treacherously are opposites. If we wait on the Lord then we will not do something stupid that will bring us shame. He teaches the humble His ways.

Psalm 25:4,5 Make me know Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.

He will remember you because He is compassionate. He has forgiven you of the sins of your youth if you have asked Him so don’t let the devil keep bringing them up.

Psalm 25:6,7 Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
According to Your lovingkindness remember me,
For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.

The Lord wants to teach you His ways so that you will not be put to shame. He is good and will even teach sinners His ways when they acknowledge that they can not do it on their own.

Psalm 25:8-10 Good and upright is the Lord;
Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in justice,
And He teaches the humble His way.
All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth
To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.

His will for your life is that you will walk in His ways on His paths. His ways are loving, kind and true. They are peaceful paths and you will not be put to shame.

Psalm 25:12-15 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.
My eyes are continually toward the Lord,
For He will pluck my feet out of the net.

Learn to fear the Lord and He will teach you His ways and instruct you in the way you should choose. He will also pluck your feet out of the traps that others have set for you so that you will not be put to shame.

Psalm 25:16-20 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
For I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
Bring me out of my distresses.
Look upon my affliction and my trouble,
And forgive all my sins.
Look upon my enemies, for they are many,
And they hate me with violent hatred.
Guard my soul and deliver me;
Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You.

Some of your biggest troubles will come when you are lonely and afflicted with some kind of struggle. Your troubles also will seem much bigger than they really are, they will be enlarged in your own heart and you will feel stressed out. However, look to the Lord. Ask Him to forgive you of any wrong doing so that you will have a clear conscience. He will guard your soul and deliver you so that you will not be put to shame. Take refuge in Him.

Psalm 25:21,22 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
For I wait for You.
Redeem Israel, O God,
Out of all his troubles.

As you walk in His ways they will preserve you. Learn to wait on the Lord and not act treacherously without cause. Put your name in this prayer, “Redeem ______, O God, out of all her troubles.” He will answer you and rescue you and set you on high.

Psalm 2:12b How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

And again…

Psalm 20:1 May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high!