A Life with Love Does Not Change

Love does not change. If it does then it is not love. God is love and He does not change. There are two things that will not change and it is these two things that give us security in this world and security for all eternity. When Adam and Eve sinned God’s love did not change for them. He loved them as much as he had loved them before. It was Adam and Eve who had changed and they could no longer experience God’s love.

“For I, the Lord, do not change; Malachi 3:6a

It was God, the Father and Jesus, the Son of God who said in the beginning, “Let us make man in our image.”

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26

Jesus Christ is God’s only begotten Son, equal with God, the Father, and He does not change.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

God’s Word does not change. Those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ have been born again into His family through the living and enduring Word of God. It endures forever and will never change.

for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All flesh is like grass,
And all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
And the flower falls off,
But the word of the Lord endures forever.” I Peter 1:23-25a

When God made Adam and Eve, his plan for them was love. He said that if they would keep His commandments then they would live and not die. His plan was for them to live in His love for all eternity. He never designed that they would experience grief, death, guilt, fear, shame, regret, slavery or any of the other horrible consequences of disobeying Him and rejecting living in His love. When they sinned He did not reject them. They rejected God. He still loved them and came up with another provision for them to live in His love. His provision was to be a sacrificial love so that man could “see” how much God loved them. Those who receive this sacrificial love will live forever in God’s love and will never need to hide again.

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:1-3

God loves you and He says that one day He will come back and take those who love Him to the home that He has prepared for them. Jesus Christ said that He would die and rise again from the dead and He did, just as He said. He is risen and and will raise us up also to live forever with Him in His love, just as He says. He is our hope. We do not need to fear. He says that He loves us and God will never lie. We can trust Him and His Word completely. Let not your heart be troubled you who have believed in God and His Word. He is alive and you also will live with Him. God does not change.

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.

 

 

 

 

How to Avoid a Life Empty of Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

A Life that 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?

 

 

A Life with Few Regrets

If you jump off a building and you get hurt then you will regret it. In the same way, most people do very similar things and get hurt, however, they don’t make the connection that what they did caused the hurt and it wasn’t hitting the ground that caused the hurt. The pain was caused by jumping off of the building. They may say to themselves, “I am not going to hit the ground the next time”. A life of few regrets is a life that makes the connection between what they do and the consequences that follow.

Colossians 3:25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

God is not mocked. We may think that we get away with something but we don’t. Whatever we sow that shall we reap.

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

Some people’s consequences follow immediately and other’s consequences follow later. It is all a matter of time, whether sooner or later. If you were to jump off a building, you would feel free of all restraints when you are in free fall, but in a matter of time you would be hurt. This is why people feel “free” at first when they go against God’s laws.

I Timothy 5:24,25 The sins of some men are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after. Likewise also, deeds that are good are quite evident, and those which are otherwise cannot be concealed.

Some people will go with the wrong kind of person over and over again and wonder why they get hurt over and over again. If you find that you are experiencing the same kind of hurt over and over again then go to someone one who will speak the truth to you and help you. People can only take so much pain before it starts to destroy them or make them bitter. Bitterness is unresolved pain. The pain may be in your marriage, finances, job, relationships, family and unless the action that causes the pain is understood and corrected then the pain will continue.

Deuteronomy 28:1-8a and 13b,14 Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God: “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways. The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you…if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully, and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

To sum it up, the Lord will open up heaven and bless you until you can hardly stand it and then He will bless you even more if you will follow, obey Him and not go after other gods. The blessings are all of the good things in life that the Lord wants to give you but you must keep His ways and commandments. The gods of our day are not only the different eastern religions but also money, materialism, pleasure, sports and many more things that we give our hearts and time to rather than to the Lord.

Deuteronomy 28:15-20 But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock. Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. The Lord will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me.

Deuteronomy 28:28-30a and 33b,34 The Lord will smite you with madness and with blindness and with bewilderment of heart; and you will grope at noon, as the blind man gropes in darkness, and you will not prosper in your ways; but you shall only be oppressed and robbed continually, with none to save you. You shall betroth a wife, but another man will violate her… and you will never be anything but oppressed and crushed continually. You shall be driven mad by the sight of what you see.

To sum this life up, you will not prosper and even if you do there will be a curse with it. You may be “successful” on your job but someone else may take the heart of your spouse and your children or some other curse. You may see achievement in another area but the personal cost will not be worth it because what you lose will often be a much greater treasure than what you gained. You will finally feel like you are going crazy or will do whatever you can to try to mentally escape what is happening. For this reason many drink or take drugs (often prescription) but they are only numbing agents and you have to eventually face your regrets.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

The Lord came that you may have life and the blessings that come with the life He gives to His children. It is Satan who deceives people into thinking that these “other gods” or things will bring fulfillment and happiness. The Lord says that He will not disappoint those who put their trust in Him. You will never regret following Him and doing what He says but you will one day, if not now, regret not following Him.

Joshua 24:15 If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Ultimately, the choice is yours.