A Life of Understanding

A life of understanding is a very exciting life. Could you imagine understanding matters that the world wonders about and yet never come to know? They are ever seeking but never coming to the knowledge of the truth.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.

The beginning of true understanding is to not lean on your own understanding. We look and perceive with our eyes and ears. All we can do is observe but not know about the inner workings of many matters in life. When we look to Him then He gives us insight into the “why”. The creator of the universe who made it all not only understands but will give to His children great understanding. For example, “why do men behave the way they do?” We know a man’s wants but what are his needs? The Lord who made men knows them better than anyone and will give you insight. The Bible says that the eyes of man are never satisfied. Once a man’s wants are satisfied then he will often go elsewhere. There are certain things that a man needs and he will generally go, stay and return to where his needs are met. The same is true for all of us. We will go where our needs are met but our wants are constantly changing.

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

If you want to understand then rather than study the desired object get to know the One who is the Creator of all things.

Exodus 35:31 And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship;

Keeping God’s commandments will give you understanding. Obedience comes before understanding. Often we want to understand and then obey but faith is obeying first and then He rewards us with understanding.

Deuteronomy 4:6 So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’

God’s Word is what gives understanding.

Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.

The fear of the Lord and understanding go together.

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;

Ask the Lord for understanding. King Solomon asked for understanding and it pleased the Lord so much that He gave him riches, honor and life.

I Kings 3:9 So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

He gives understanding and along with understanding comes blessing.

Job 12:13 With Him are wisdom and might; To Him belong counsel and understanding.

To depart from evil is understanding.

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

Apart from understanding, which is the knowledge of the Lord, we are like the beasts that perish.

Psalm 49:20 Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, Is like the beasts that perish.

One who seeks understanding has a heart to obey the Lord.

Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law And keep it with all my heart.

Do you struggle with confusion? The opposite of confusion is understanding. The Lord says that He is not a God of confusion. When you find yourself saying, “I am so confused,” then stop what you are doing and ask the Lord to give you understanding and seek Him in His Word. He wants to give you the knowledge of Him and show you understanding.

I Corinthians 2:9, 14-16 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.”

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

The truly spiritual Christian appraises all things yet he himself is appraised by no one. The non Christian, or natural man, does not accept nor understand the things of the Lord.

 

A Life Free of Guilt

One of the things that man can not live with is guilt. Guilt is a horrible thing that will cause us to do anything to get rid of it. The love of God draws us to Him and it is the guilt of man that drives us to Him. If we refuse to come to Him for forgiveness then we will either try to deny the guilt, bury the guilt, hide the guilt, forget the guilt or try to deny the existence of God in hopes of being free of guilt.

Genesis 3:9-11 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”

The Lord told Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but man ate of it. He knew that he had done wrong and felt guilty.

Ecclesiastes 7:29 Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”

The Lord made man upright and to have fellowship with Him but man chose to go his own way. The word for wanting to go your own way is iniquity. It basically means that you want to run your own life, or in other words, this is what man says in his heart, “nobody is going to tell me what to do”. We see this in toddlers as soon as they can exert their own will. We sometimes will call it the “terrible twos” but really it is our “terrible lives”. A toddler just has not learned to cover it up yet.

Proverbs 21:8 The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.

It does not say the way of a crooked man is guilty but the way of a guilty man is crooked. We are all crooked in our ways. When we see someone that makes us feel guilty then we will change our path to avoid them. Our path is no longer straight but crooked.

Psalm 18:26 With the pure You show Yourself pure,
And with the crooked You show Yourself twisted.

When we are crooked because of our guilt then we will have a twisted view of God. He will seem harsh or mean or unfair. We will not want to come to Him or obey Him. However, your view of God is not a revelation of who He is but an indication of the state of your heart. If you disagree with the Bible and your view of God is, “My God would not…” then you do not know Him correctly. He is who He is and He is a just and loving God. Sin and guilt has distorted the correct view of God in man’s eyes. How can we see who He is clearly? Everything we do is a response to our view of God. Our biggest need is to have the right view of God.

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

We need a pure heart. The Lord is the only One who can cleanse our hearts.

Psalm 51: 1-4 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

It is against the Lord first of all that we have sinned. He can and wants to cleanse us from our iniquity, that is, wanting to be our own God, and then from our particular sins, that is, the particular sins that we have committed against ourselves or others. Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who took away our sin and His death on the cross paid the price for our sins. It is because of His blood that we can have total forgiveness of our sins but we need to ask Him to forgive us. He wants to forgive us and cleanse us and restore us.

Psalm 51:10-13 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.

Are you struggling with guilt? Go to Him and receive His forgiveness and by faith claim what He has done for you on the cross. If you have given your life to Him then He has forgiven you of all of your sins and longs to have fellowship with you once again. Once we become His child then we are always His child but our fellowship with Him can be broken. Allow Him to restore it. After you have been restored and know the joy of your salvation once again then you will want to share Him with others for you will again see that He is good and loving and kind.

A Life with a New Heart

The greatest miracle in the world is when the Lord gives someone a new heart. Not only does He give someone a new heart but He puts a new spirit within them. He removes the heart of stone which we all have in us that causes us to be self centered and to care for ourselves above all others. Our old heart becomes more and more hardened and we do not even feel the pain that we cause to others. We say ugly words with no thought of the broken hearts and hurt feelings of our parents, friends, spouses, acquaintances and those who serve us in the work places of life. Sometimes we don’t say or do anything but our sins are acts of omission when we could have done something to relieve the suffering of someone else but we were so consumed with our own lives we never really noticed. Our thoughtlessness can be as damaging when we may be the only person in a position to help someone else in need.

Ezekiel 36:26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

When we become born again then He puts His Spirit within us and makes us a new person. He gives us a new heart and a new spirit and He comes to live within us and lives through us. He opens our eyes and our ears. He becomes our God and our Lord. He causes us to walk in His ways and observe His ordinances and when we do that then we will love the Lord and our neighbor as we should.

Ezekiel 36:27,28 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.

He will cleanse us from our sins and forgive us from everything wrong that we have done. His forgiveness is complete and includes all of our sins: past, present and future. He forgives us of our acts of omission as well as our actions that we have done against Him and others.

Ezekiel 36:29a Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness;

He will bless us and multiply our resources. He will keep famine away. He will multiply the fruit of our labor.

Ezekiel 36:29b-30a and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you. I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field,

He will remove our disgrace among others and take away our shame.

Ezekiel 36:30b so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations.

The evidence of a new heart is that when we remember our evil ways and deeds that were not good then we will hate what we have done. If it were not for His great love for us then we would also hate ourselves for what we have done. Our heart of flesh will feel the pain and grief that we have caused others.

Ezekiel 36:31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations.

The incredible good news is that we are forgiven and made right with God through Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. We can now commune with Him and hear His voice. We can see His great love and feel it as well. We can love others with a pure heart and feel their pains and griefs. We have compassion on others because of His great compassion on us. This is how you know that you have a new heart and that His Spirit lives with you. You are a new person and the old things have passed away. New things have come.

II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

A Life with a New Heart

The greatest miracle in the world is when the Lord gives someone a new heart. Not only does He give someone a new heart but He puts a new spirit within them. He removes the heart of stone which we all have in us that causes us to be self centered and to care for ourselves above all others. Our old heart becomes more and more hardened and we do not even feel the pain that we cause to others. We say ugly words with no thought of the broken hearts and hurt feelings of our parents, friends, spouses, acquaintances and those who serve us in the work places of life. Sometimes we don’t say or do anything but our sins are acts of omission when we could have done something to relieve the suffering of someone else but we were so consumed with our own lives we never really noticed. Our thoughtlessness can be as damaging when we may be the only person in a position to help someone else in need.

Ezekiel 36:26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

When we become born again then He puts His Spirit within us and makes us a new person. He gives us a new heart and a new spirit and He comes to live within us and lives through us. He opens our eyes and our ears. He becomes our God and our Lord. He causes us to walk in His ways and observe His ordinances and when we do that then we will love the Lord and our neighbor as we should.

Ezekiel 36:27,28 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.

He will cleanse us from our sins and forgive us from everything wrong that we have done. His forgiveness is complete and includes all of our sins: past, present and future. He forgives us of our acts of omission as well as our actions that we have done against Him and others.

Ezekiel 36:29a Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness;

He will bless us and multiply our resources. He will keep famine away. He will multiply the fruit of our labor.

Ezekiel 36:29b-30a and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you. I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field,

He will remove our disgrace among others and take away our shame.

Ezekiel 36:30b so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations.

The evidence of a new heart is that when we remember our evil ways and deeds that were not good then we will hate what we have done. If it were not for His great love for us then we would also hate ourselves for what we have done. Our heart of flesh will feel the pain and grief that we have caused others.

Ezekiel 36:31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations.

The incredible good news is that we are forgiven and made right with God through Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. We can now commune with Him and hear His voice. We can see His great love and feel it as well. We can love others with a pure heart and feel their pains and griefs. We have compassion on others because of His great compassion on us. This is how you know that you have a new heart and that His Spirit lives with you. You are a new person and the old things have passed away. New things have come.

II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

A Life that is Not Destroyed

Sin destroys. Sin destroys our relationships with God and everyone else. The Lord is the only One who can restore us. He first restores us to a right relationship with Himself and then He starts restoring us and our relationships. He also restores us to a right relationship with His creation.

Psalm 23 1-3 The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

The Lord knows what we need for restoration. Notice that He says here that He makes you lie down in green pastures. Sometimes He will cause circumstances to allow us to be still and lie down in green pastures where it is safe and He will lead us beside quiet waters where we will find refreshment. He is your Shepherd and He says that you will not be in want, that means that He knows your needs and you will not be lacking anything that you need so don’t struggle against the circumstances but learn to accept what you can not change. He will guide you on your journey in paths of righteousness so that you will have peace, quietness and confidence, but first you need restoration. The sheep were never intended to stay in the same place.

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

As a Christian we can experience death to our soul when we sin and continue in a particular sin. Restoration comes when we confess our sins to Him, turn from our sins and He cleanses us.

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

After confession when we pray to Him we are drawing near to Him and we will experience His restoration. As He says in His Word, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

Psalm 80:3 O God, restore us And cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.

The Lord is the One who restores us in our fellowship with Him.

Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;

The Word of God is what the Lord uses to restore our soul. It is the power of God. It cleanses us.

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

Prayer and the Word of God brings restoration to our soul. Go to an older woman who you know is in a right relationship with the Lord and ask her to pray for you also if you are still struggling with a particular sin.

James 5:15,16 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.

If you are walking with the Lord and have been doing so on a consistent basis and growing in your relationship with Him then you have a responsibility to restore others in their relationship with the Lord if they are struggling with being enslaved to a sin.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

The Lord has given all of us responsibility to help each other. We need each other to help one another stay close to the Lord. We are not sinless when we become Christians but we do sin less.

James 5:19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

 

A Life with a Relationship with God

The Lord first designed us to be in relationship with Himself. All other relationships must flow out of this relationship so that they will flourish as He designed. Sin messed us up and we will have messed up relationships apart from Him. We must be in a loving relationship with God to have loving relationships with others. God is love and the source of all love. The Lord is the One who shows us and teaches us about unconditional love.

I John 4:7-10 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. 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.

God is love and love is from God. The Lord made known His love to us by sending His only begotten Son to die for our sins and to take the punishment for what mankind had done in the garden of Eden by going His own way. God sent His Son to be the Savior of all of mankind.

I Timothy 4:10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

Jesus Christ came to be the Savior of all but only those who believe in Him will receive that salvation.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Jesus Christ was the perfect Lamb of God who came as the sacrifice for our sins which He took upon Himself on the cross.

John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Jesus Christ loved us when we were at enmity with God. He died for us while we were sinners. He loved us just the way we were and accepts us where we are.

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

His salvation is available to any who will receive Him. Whoever puts their trust in Jesus Christ will come into a personal relationship with God. They will become His child and will be restored to a relationship with Him and fellowship with Him, they they might walk with God.

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

Once restored to a right relationship with God the child of God will experience the incredible and unfathomable riches of the the love of God. Nothing will be able to separate you from His love.

Romans 8:38,39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

You will also know the unsearchable depths of the ways and the knowledge of God.

Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!

 

 

A Life with Relationships

Relationships help keep us from being lonely and give us worth, purpose and meaning in life. They also keep us balanced and accountable. We were made for relationships and yet many struggle with few meaningful relationships. Relationships teach us how to receive and give love and it is through relationships that the world is changed. Even if you missed out on certain relationships earlier in life it does not define your life or your ability to make relationships. Relationships must be built on the One who designed us to be in relationships.

Genesis 2:8 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

The Lord God made man and gave him life. Man became a living being because God gave him life and God is the source of all life. When God is absent in a person’s life then he only exists, rather than thrive and life life to the fullest.

Genesis 2:18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

Everything that God had done up to this point He said that it was good. However, after He formed man then He said that it is not good for man to be alone. It was not good then and it is not good now for man to be alone. Man had God but man still needed to be in a relationship with another human being. Through another human being man would find companionship, help and love. The word “helper” means literally savior and is the only time in the Bible that it is used in reference to a person. Every other time it is used in reference to God. The word “suitable” means corresponding to. God made a helper who would respond to Adam’s heart and bring him companionship. Even though Adam lived in a perfect environment and had a job to do, which was to cultivate the earth and name the animals, he still needed a helper and companion, who would respond to his heart. God made man and woman because He wanted them but God made Eve for Adam because they needed each other. Man was not made to live alone. God loved man and woman from the beginning and gave them instructions on life because He wanted them to live life to the fullest.

Genesis 2:15-18 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

The Lord knew what man needed and as long as man listened to and obeyed God then man and woman would live happily ever after. As long as they lived in their relationship with their Creator then they would be safe from any grief and the pain of death.

Genesis 3:1-7 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

Woman did not listen to the one whom God had given to protect her and Adam chose also to not obey what he knew was right and so both chose to go their own way and do their own thing apart from what God had commanded. Their relationship with God was changed and they became estranged and separated. The Lord came and they hid.

Genesis 3:8-10 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

Separation, death and guilt came into the world and with it fear, grief, pain and blame. When trust is gone in relationships then the relationship is changed and not the same. With broken relationships come broken hearts. With broken hearts there comes blame. Someone is responsible for the brokenness. Often we want to transfer the blame.

Genesis 3:11-13 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

With broken relationships come consequences which bring more sadness.

Genesis 3:16 To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”

Woman sinned first and the Lord spoke to her first. The consequences of her sin was pain in childbirth and she would desire her husband but he would rule over her.

Genesis 3:17-19 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;

Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.
“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”

Man sinned by doing what his wife wanted him to do rather than what God wanted him to do. He disobeyed God. His consequences were that the ground would be cursed because of him and there would be thorns and thistles that would make his work more difficult. He would now have to sweat things out in his work and it would not be as pleasant and enjoyable as God had designed. Man still struggles with the thorns and thistles in his occupation.

Genesis 3:22-24 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

It was God’s mercy that sent Adam and Eve out of the garden lest they eat of the tree of life and live forever in their now sinful state. Before God sent them out of the garden the Lord also gave Adam and Eve a promise of a Savior so that they might have hope and not despair.

Genesis 3:14a,15  The Lord God said to the serpent,
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

There would come from the seed of the woman a Savior who would destroy the tempter, Satan, who had brought grief to Adam and Eve. Mankind came into an awful cycle that only God could straighten out, a cycle of sin and death and with it a cycle of grief and despair. Man became brokenhearted with broken relationships.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;

The promised One who would destroy the works of the devil would also bind up the brokenhearted and heal them and heal their relationships.

 

 

 

A Life with Favor

There is such a thing as favor and it is like sunshine on our lives. Favor is when things go well and we are happy. When we experience favor it lifts us from the darkness of discouragement and depression. Favor energizes us and is like gas in our emotional tank and is like oil in the gears to help things go more smoothly. Without favor life can be rough and hard. How do we receive and experience favor in life? Where does favor come from? Favor comes from God and from man.

Psalm 5:12 For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord,
You surround him with favor as with a shield.

The Lord surrounds as with a shield those who receive favor. It is the Lord who blesses the righteous person with favor. Righteousness is walking and living according to God’s ways. The Lord gives His righteousness to those who receive Him and He wants them to display His righteousness to the world so that others might see and learn God’s ways.

Psalm 147:11 The Lord favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness.

The Lord favors those who fear Him. We are stubborn and don’t often want to do life God’s way. We want to go our own way and the result is much pain and grief. The Lord favors those who wait on His lovingkindness. The opposite of waiting on the Lord is taking matters into our own hands and doing it “our way”. We may get what we want but we will receive sorrow with it. Manipulation is also not waiting on the Lord. Pray and wait for His lovingkindness.

Psalm 44:3 For by their own sword they did not possess the land,
And their own arm did not save them,
But Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence,
For You favored them.

It is not by our strength that we gain victory and receive salvation but it is because He favors us and it is by His strength and His presence that sees us through to victory.

Proverbs 3:3,4 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.

The Lord wants us to learn to walk in His ways. His is kind in all His deeds and all His ways are truth. When we learn to live according to His ways then we will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.

Psalm 145:17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds.

The Lord is good and he wants us to do good. The Lord is truth and He wants us to walk in truth. The Lord is kind and loving and He wants us to be the same. We are secure in life because of His kindness, love and His truth. Truth never changes. Moods, emotions, feelings, likes and dislikes all change but the Lord never changes because He is truth. The more we walk in love and truth the more others will trust us. We will not be in a constant state of change and people will not be anxious when they are around you.

Ecclesiastes 12:13,14 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

When we fear God and keep His commandments then we will walk in His love and truth and we will receive favor from God and man. This is the standard by which the Lord will judge all that we do, whether it is good or evil. The standard of good and evil is not what we think of as good or evil but it is according to God’s standards of good and evil.

Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.

Ezra set his heart to study the word of God and to practice it. The Lord wants us to do the same.

II Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

The outcome will be the favor of God on your life.

Proverbs 11:27 He who diligently seeks good seeks favor,
But he who seeks evil, evil will come to him.

It is when we diligently seek the Lord that we will find Him and in finding Him we will learn what it means to do good, for only God is good. When we find the Lord then we find life and we receive the favor of God.

Proverbs 8:35 For he who finds me finds life And obtains favor from the Lord.

 

 

 

 

A Life that is Not Depressed

Depression and darkness go hand and hand. When we are depressed then everything around us seems dark and everything within us feels dark. If we are not careful then we can descend into that darkness even more and then it brings on even greater darkness, fearfulness and panic that can be very oppressive. Sometimes there seems no way out. How do we get out of the darkness?

Luke 11:35 Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness.

The Lord understands this very well and it was for this reason that He came into the world. He came to bring us out of the darkness. He came into our darkness so that He could transfer us out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. After we come into His kingdom then we can see clearly because the light is within us and we see everything, not through the lens of darkness but through the lens of His light.

Luke 11:33 No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.

The Lord did not speak in secret or through mysteries but openly so that all could understand. Even a child can understand for His message is very simple. He says to come to Him. It is by faith that we come but when we come we receive the light and the darkness goes away. Light is the only thing that can drive the darkness away. Jesus came to bring light into our dark world.

Matthew 4:16 “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, Upon them a Light dawned.”

If you are struggling with depression then you must look unto Jesus for light. He will drive the darkness away and fill you with His light. You must look to Him.

Psalm 18:28 For You light my lamp; The Lord my God illumines my darkness.

Open your Bible and start reading until He gives you light. He will set you free from the darkness that is within you. His light will penetrate the darkest darkness and drive out the dark thoughts within. He breaks the cycle.

Luke 11:34 The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness.

His Word will be light to your path and a lamp for your feet. A lantern only sheds enough light on the next step. Do not worry about what is ahead. He will give you light for each step. The darkness can seem overwhelming to us if we try to see what is further ahead. He wants you to trust Him. He will be your light.

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

And again…

Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.

The promise of light is only for those who have put their trust in the Lord. He is good and although He loves everyone, only those who have come to Him can experience His love to the fullest.

Psalm 112:4 Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.

When you walk in His light then you will know His joy and you will hear the joyful sound of His voice as He will continually whisper in your spiritual ear that He loves you and you are precious in His sight.

Psalm 89:15 How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O Lord, they walk in the light of Your countenance.

The word “blessed” means happy and you will experience happiness, joy and love again. Come to Him, all who are weary of the struggle within themselves. He loves you and longs to be gracious to you.

Psalm 36:9 For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.

When His light comes in you then He changes your direction. No longer do you spiral downward but He brings you up and brings life to your weary soul.

Luke 11:36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.

He is the fountain of life and in Jesus Christ alone is life.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life at Peace

There is nothing in the world that can compare to a life of peace. Peace, how sweet it is for the person who is at peace with the Lord, with themselves and with others. The lack of peace robs you of love, joy and contentment. When peace is missing it is replaced with anxiety, sadness, frustration, emptiness and a lack of satisfaction in life. First of all, there is no peace for the person who is not right with the Lord.

Isaiah 48:22 “There is no peace for the wicked,” says the Lord.

All of our hearts are deceitful and wicked and we will not know peace until we have peace with God. Jesus came to bring us peace and the one who comes to Him receives His peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

When He gives us His peace then He takes our fears and troubles. He came to take the very things that are causing us a lack of peace.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

Let not your heart be troubled. Come to Him and give Him whatever it is that is causing you anxiety. He will take your burdens and cares for He cares for you. He will take your worries and troubles and give you His peace. Are you afraid? Come to Him.

Luke 8:49-56 While He was still speaking, someone came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.” But when Jesus heard this, He answered him, “Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she will be made well.” When He came to the house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James, and the girl’s father and mother. Now they were all weeping and lamenting for her; but He said, “Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep.”And they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died. He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Child, arise!” And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat. Her parents were amazed; but He instructed them to tell no one what had happened.

The synagogue official came to Jesus about his sick daughter and before they could make it his house, he was informed that she had died. Jesus said to him, “Do not be afraid, only believe.” Jesus makes it sound so simple with the word “only”. Only believe and you do not need to be afraid any longer. If only we could believe. Believing is coming to Jesus. The Lord was saying to Jairus, don’t give up now, keep believing, and don’t be afraid. We become afraid when we get our eyes off of Jesus and onto the problem itself. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and you will not be afraid. If you continue believing you will have His peace and you will end up being amazed at what the Lord will do. It is those who don’t believe who are laughing. To those who have faith the Lord shows His faithfulness. Jesus offers His peace to all who come to Him.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

There is no problem too big for Jesus. It is in Him that we find peace. In the world we will have troubles. Take courage, for Jesus Christ has overcome the world. Where are you in your peace with the Lord? Are you an overcomer? It is your faith in Him that will allow you to become an overcomer.

I John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

Once you are at peace with God then He will show you what you must do to be at peace with yourself and with others. Often it begins with forgiving ourselves and accepting who we are and where we are at in life. We can forgive ourselves and accept where we are because Christ has forgiven us and accepted us. We can forgive others and accept where they are because Christ has forgiven them and loves them also.

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

Life is sweet when we are at peace with God and with ourselves and others. Where are you in your journey? Believing in Him is coming to Him. He is waiting for us to come to Him. He who gave up His own Son will He not with Him freely give us all things? There is no problem too big or too small for Him. Come to Him.

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?