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 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!

A Life with Desires Fulfilled

Will the Lord really fulfill your desires or will He only give you what you need but not really desire? These are questions that people ask. What does His Word say about our desires? The Lord may fulfill your desires but the sooner you realize that your desires will never fulfill you the more content and satisfied you will be in life. Jesus Christ is the only who can fulfill you. He is enough. However He delights in giving us gifts.

Psalm 20:4,5 May He grant you your heart’s desire
And fulfill all your purpose!
We will sing for joy over your victory,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners.
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.

May He grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your purpose. May He also fulfill all of your petitions. He does want you to ask Him for what is on your heart. The fact is though, most of us don’t really know what we want. We think that a lot of things will make us happy and so we long for those things. However, once you realize that He loves you perfectly and has a purpose for your life then you can learn to rest in Him and wait on Him. Don’t focus on your desires but focus on Him. That is the only way to be free from our desires controlling us.

Psalm 84:11,12 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Seek Him with all of your heart and seek to walk in His ways and obey Him. He will not withhold any good thing from you. How blessed is the person who will rest in His love for them. Do not fret. He says that He will not disappoint the one who trusts in Him.

Psalm 22:5 To You they cried out and were delivered;
In You they trusted and were not disappointed.

If He withholds something from you it is because at this time it is not good for you. You must trust Him. Learn to delight yourself in Him as you learn to trust Him.

Psalm 37:3,4 Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

This phrase “cultivate faithfulness” means to feed on His faithfulness. He is faithful even when we are not. You can trust him. If you will only trust Him completely then He will give you far more than your desires. Learn to do what is right and learn His ways. He will act on your behalf and meet you.

Isaiah 64:4,5a For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.

He is able to do far more than what we ask or think. Trust Him.

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

Be glad in Him and let your joy be in Him. Let Him be your glory and the One is whom you rejoice. He will meet you with the blessings of good things and then you will know that He is God and does what He pleases. He is the One who gives life.

Psalm 21:1-6 O Lord, in Your strength the king will be glad,
And in Your salvation how greatly he will rejoice!
You have given him his heart’s desire,
And You have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah.
For You meet him with the blessings of good things;
You set a crown of fine gold on his head.
He asked life of You,
You gave it to him,
Length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through Your salvation,
Splendor and majesty You place upon him.
For You make him most blessed forever;
You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence.

Only the Lord can do this in a person’s life. He can satisfy you and He can bring you to the place of total surrender of your desires and your will. Ask Him to help you and to do His work in your life. He wants to bless you but He knows that you need to delight in the Blessor rather than the blessing. He wants you to worship Him and to not have any other idols. If He is not first in our life then whatever else is first is what we worship. And if He is not first then it does not matter if he is second or forty second. He must be first in our life and we must seek Him before anything else.

A Life that Has a Great Reward

The Lord offers a great reward to the person who will obey Him and keep his commandments.

Psalm 19:7-11 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.

Not only is there a great reward for keeping His commandments but the Lord says that your soul will be restored, you will receive wisdom, your heart will rejoice and your eyes will be enlightened. Do you need healing in your soul or wisdom and joy? Do you want insight? Then you must keep His commandments. You will have a great reward.

Matthew 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

If and when you keep His commandments you will be persecuted. Again, your reward will be great and when you see the Lord you will only wish that you had obeyed more than you did. Do not fear. He will be with you.

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

When you love your enemies then you will have a great reward. Trust the Lord and do what He says. You will be glad.

Hebrews 10:35,36 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

Keep trusting Him and do not throw away your confidence in Him. When you have done the will of God for your life then you will receive what He has promised. His promises are sure. So, there are three things that if you do you will receive a great reward and these are keeping his commandments, being persecuted for your faith, loving your enemies and keeping your confidence in Christ who is faithful.