A Life with Friendships

A true friend is rare and is like “icing on the cake” in life. A friend is one of the sweetest gifts that the Lord gives here on earth. If you have one true friend then you are blessed and if you are a true friend to someone else then you are a blessing.

Proverbs 17:17a A friend loves at all times,

A friend is a gift and a trust that the Lord gives to people. Friends are not to be used and expectations will destroy friendships. The trust that someone else gives to you is to be guarded. They are entrusting to you their heart and soul. Prize it and you will keep it. Take it for granted and you will lose it.

Proverbs 17:9 He who conceals a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends.

Be careful who your friends are because they need to be trustworthy. Just as you need to learn to love them and overlook their sins so they need to overlook your transgressions. Both need to seek God’s love which is pure.

Proverbs 11:13 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter.

Be the friend that you want others to be to you. A true friend loves at all times and is trustworthy. A true friend will tell you the truth. A true friend will be more concerned about your relationship with the Lord than your relationship with them.

Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.

A true friend will love with a sacrificial love and you will learn as much from them as they will from you. The greatest way to have a true friend is to be a true friend. True friendship is a oneness of the soul and spirit. For this reason, a Christian can only have a true friendship with another Christian. Their friendship must be built upon the Lord Jesus Christ as He showed us what a true friend is by calling us His friend.

John 15:13-15 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. He has called us to lay down our lives for others and this is His command. As we grow in our relationship with the Lord and keep His new command that He gave to us then He will make known to us His will and His ways. If you really want to be happy then be a friend of God. He calls you to be His friend.

John 15:12 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

 

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 a Thriving Marriage

The Lord wants your marriage to thrive as much as He wants you to thrive in life. Don’t get discouraged if you feel that your marriage is not where it should be or could be. The Lord is a restorer and there is no marriage beyond His restoring love and power. Where the Lord is, there is hope and where there is hope then things will get better.

Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord has given us a blueprint for marriage. Just as a builder must follow the architect’s blueprint for the building to stand strong so you must follow the Lord’s blueprint for marriage. Everyone strays from His blueprint and that is what it means to “miss the mark” at times. If you will turn to Him then He will help you and restore you. His blueprint is in His Word.

Psalm 19:7,8 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 Lord will restore you through His Spirit and His Word. He will give you wisdom and bring joy once again to your heart and marriage. He will open your eyes and give you enlightenment and insight. He is good and He is loving. He is all powerful but you must follow His instructions and do exactly as He tells you. You are not responsible for your spouse. The Lord is fully capable of changing your spouse. Do not focus on your spouse but ask the Lord what He wants you to do.

Ephesians 5:22-32 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

Marriage is a mystery and the mystery is great. Marriage is only between a man and a woman. All other unions are a perversion of God’s design and will ultimately bring grief. God’s design is based on the relationship of Christ and the church, which are all Christians. There is an order in marriage and that order is good. Submission of the wife does not minimize or negate her worth but elevates it. Jesus submitted to the Father even though He was equal to the Father. The church is to submit to Christ. The Father took responsibility for Jesus and Jesus takes responsibility for the church. The wife is to submit and the husband is to love and provide. The wife is to respect and the husband is to lead and protect. If one of the spouse fails to fulfill their responsibility it does not nullify the responsibility of the other spouse. In fact, the best thing for a wayward spouse is for the faithful spouse to continue to be responsible and faithful. If a spouse does not keep their marriage vow to the Lord then it does not negate the marriage vow of the other. Marriage vows can not be broken they can only be “not kept” because they are not vows made to each other but they are vows made to God in the presence of others. Other people are witnesses of the marriage vows that the couple makes to God. The Lord says to keep your vows. You will find that as you are faithful to the Lord then you will see His faithfulness to you.

Ecclesiastes 5:4-7 When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God.

Whatever you do, do not say that it was a mistake that you married your spouse. Pay your vows and let the Lord deal with your spouse. The Lord does not in fools. Get to work in your marriage and fear the Lord by doing what He has called you to do. You will find that the Lord will help you, guide you and strengthen you and you will become more like Him. Your life will be a light to others and a testimony of the Lord. There are many people who struggle in difficult marriages and want to quit but the Lord does not bless quitters but He does bless those who are faithful and honor Him.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Is Prepared for Marriage

The best time to prepare for marriage is before you get married. It is a God given desire to want to get married. However, the more you are prepared for marriage the easier it will be for you. The more mature you are as a person the happier you will be in your marriage and the easier your marriage will be. Marriage will never make anyone happy. If you are not happy before you are married then you will not be happy after you are married. No one can meet the needs in your life that God designed for God alone to meet. Marriage does give you meaning or purpose in life. A mate will never make you feel secure of fill any emptiness in your life. The less expectation that you have for your mate then the less disappointment you will feel. Expectations destroy relationships. The more you learn to look to the Lord for strength, security, love, joy, peace, self control, patience. kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness then the happier you will be and the you will also bring great joy to whomever you marry.

Galatians 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Do not use the flesh to attract a mate because then you will seek to use your flesh to keep him. This will bring great insecurity to you because a man’s eyes are never satisfied.

Proverbs 27:20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.

However, it is important to do your best to look your best because man does look on the outward appearance.

I Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

However, you want the inner beauty of the Lord to be greater than any outward appearance. Your outward appearance is decaying but the inner man is being renewed day by day.

II Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

The Lord will strengthen you through His Spirit in the inner man to become a godly woman who fears the Lord. You must learn to walk in the Spirit on a daily moment by moment basis. This is the greatest preparation for marriage.

Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

Again, a mate will never fulfill you or make you happy. The sooner you learn this lesson the happier you will be. Young ladies have a tendency to live in the “if” or “when ” world. “If I were …” or “if I had …” or “when I …” and the truth of the matter is that the “if” and “when” does not change the contentment of your soul. You must learn to be content in Jesus Christ. He must be your desire. The more you learn to be content in Him then the more content you will be in whatever state He has you, whether married or single.

Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.

Contentment, gratefulness and joy all go together. The greatest gift that you can give to yourself and to others and especially to the person you marry is an attitude of gratitude. No one likes to be around a complainer or someone who is never happy. Someone once said that an unhappy wife is a public rebuke to her husband. Cultivate a grateful spirit and begin now by expressing thanks to your parents and those who have helped you in life. Not only do you quench the Spirit when you do not give thanks but you will quench your husband’s spirit and what he once wanted to do for you he will no longer do because it isn’t “exactly the way you like it”.

Ephesians 5:16-19 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit;

Learn to compliment a man. A man longs for praise. The Lord made him this way and most men are starved for praise and they will gravitate to the people who praise them. This is crucial because the Lord made a man to conquer and he needs the praise of his wife to go out and conquer the world in his job. Also, if you do not praise him then other women will. Even if you do praise him other women will still do it. This is one of the ways that an immoral woman gets a man to commit adultery. She flatters him with her tongue. He does not know that it is flattery and the aim of flattery is to manipulate so you want to make sure that he is filled with your praises if you are his wife. Learn now to praise. You can begin by learning to praise your brothers and your brothers in Christ. Look for Christlikeness and then point it out to him how you see the Lord in him.

Proverbs 2:16 To deliver you from the strange woman, From the adulteress who flatters with her words;

Learn to dress in a modest manner so that a godly man will be attracted to you. If you dress in such a way that stimulates a man by stirring up desires that can not be fulfilled righteously then you are a stumbling block. Why should the Lord give you to a godly man who is seeking Him. No, rather, if you dress in a provocative manner then a man who is “all about himself” will be drawn to you and since you dressed in a deceptive manner you will be the one who will end up being deceived. He will deceive you into you believing that he actually cares for you when he does not care for you but loves himself.

Proverbs 23:6,7 Do not eat the bread of a selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;
For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.

Finally, do dress in a modest manner, as is fitting for one who seeks to please the Lord. Learn to fear the Lord and obey Him. Honor you parents, as the Lord has commanded. If you do not honor your parents then you will struggle with honoring and respecting your husband. The Lord gives the woman to the man, not the man to the woman. You need to ask yourself if you want to serve, desire, submit to and respect a man and consider him more important than yourself. If you are not ready for that then ask the Lord to help you and go to older women who have a good marriage and ask them to teach you. Marriage can be a sweet fellowship and relationship between a man and a woman if it is done God’s way. It is supposed to be a picture of Christ and the church. Just as Christ died for the church, the husband is the love His wife in a sacrificial way and be willing to die for her. In the same way, a wife is to live for her husband (as the church is to live for Christ) and the way that she learns to serve and love Him in this Christlike manner is to die to herself. Marriage is a dying of two selves so that the Lord can raise up one (in body, soul and spirit) to glorify Him.

Ephesians 5:31-33 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

It is a mystery but it is a beautiful mystery and the most intimate relationship on earth when done God’s way. To love and be loved is what we all long for but it is only when we are surrendered to the Lord and learn His ways will we ever know what it means to live in intimate fellowship in marriage.

 

 

A Life with The Few

The choice is yours whether to be with the few who choose to live right or the many who choose to live according to their fleshly desires. The only way that you can live right is to choose Jesus and if you don’t then you will sooner or later choose to make the wrong decisions. You will be deceived by your own desires.

Matthew 7:14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

The Lord gives you the opportunity to choose Him now. He is knocking on the door of your heart.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

If you do not choose to follow Jesus Christ now then the day will come when you will want to but it will be too late. You will knock but no one will answer.

Luke 13:22-28 And He was passing through from one city and village to another, teaching, and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem. And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers.’ In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.

There will be much weeping when you see others but you yourself will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Many are called but only a few respond. Just as in the days of Noah, there was eating and drinking but no thought of tomorrow. It was seize the day and eat and drink.

I Peter 3:18-22 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.

Many are seeking God but do not know the way to Him. This harvest of seekers is plentiful and He expects those who have received salvation to share the Gospel with others. The Gospel literally means “good news” and the goods news is that the Lord wants all to be saved.

Matthew 9:37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

He also wants His children to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which we have been called.

I Thessalonians 2:12 so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

The Lord has called us to be His bride and the bride is to adorn herself in white. Those who have been faithful to Him will be counted worthy to walk with Him.

Revelation 3:4 But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.

The Lord never said that it would be easy but He does say that it will be worth it. Where are you in your journey? Have you responded to His call to become one whom He has chosen to be His? If you have responded are you sharing the good news of the gospel? How are you doing in your walk with Him? Are you walking in a manner worthy of Him? It is not too late to respond to Him and surrender your life to Him. He will put you on His path and will help you walk with Him in a manner worthy of the great calling to be His bride. He loves you.

Revelation 19:7,8 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

A Life that is Changed

Most people want change in their lives and even permanent changes. We can try harder but often that leaves us feeling even more defeated. If we are honest with ourselves then all of us feel a need for there to be some changes in our life. All of us have failed in some way. The Bible affirms that truth that we feel within ourselves.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Sin is basically we have fallen short of what we should be in God’s eye.We have missed the mark of what we should be. If we had perfect parents and a perfect environment we would still mess up.

Genesis 2:7-9 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 planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Adam and Eve had a perfect Father and a perfect environment and yet they still chose to go their own way. Sin is us going our own way and doing our own thing. Sin is not doing what the Lord has commanded for us because…we really want to do something else.

Genesis 2:15-17 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.

We can not change ourselves because of our sin nature. We sin because we are sinners. We were not made that way but we became that way due to our going astray from what we were told to do. We thought that something else was better.

Genesis 3:1-4 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!

Our sin began by doubting and questioning God. Satan is the source of this doubting of God. These doubts may come through your thought life or someone else, such as, “if God were good He would not allow…” or “it really does not mean that” or “God will understand, you have no other choice”. If you do this…”surely you will not die!”. But God says that when we sin we have violated ourselves and something within us is changed. The word violate means “to change”. The more we sin the more we are changed but it is not a good change. It is a change away from the image of God. There is only one hope for us to be changed back into God’s image. God’s image is good, acceptable and perfect. The change does not happen over night but it begins in one instant and that is when Jesus Christ comes to live within our hearts. He begins to change us from the inside out.

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.

We literally become a new person on the inside because the Lord gives us a new heart.

Ezekiel 11:19,20 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

The Lord gives you a new start in life and this time He says that He will live through you and change you into His image. He only takes away the bad and makes you into the person that He has created you to be.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Are there changes to be made in your life? Let Him change you and transform your life into the beautiful person He created you to be. When He made you, He said, “It is good.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can try to lower the standard but when we fall short of that standard then we feel even more of a failure, whether it is in our personal discipline, relationships, responsibilities, goals or resolutions. We long for acceptance with ourselves, others and God.

A Life that is Holy

The Lord has made clear to us His command in that He wants us to be holy.

I Peter 1:14-16 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

As noted this command is only for His children for those who do not belong to Him can not be holy. You can only be holy if you have the Holy One dwelling within you. However, if you are His child, then He expects you to be holy. It is a testimony of your obedience to Him. Is there anything in your life that would be considered unholy? If Jesus returned at any moment would He find you doing something that you would be ashamed of or wearing clothes that were shameful, in other words, clothes that could cause a man to desire you physically? Is your speech holy? What about what you laugh at or the movies you watch or the music you listen to…would Jesus engage in these activities? The Lord is holy and wants His children to be holy. He told His people in the Old and the New testaments that they were to be holy.

Exodus 22:31a You shall be holy men to Me,

The only way that you can be holy is if you regard the Lord as holy. He is to be your fear and He is to be your dread. If He is these things to you then He will become your sanctuary. He will be a refuge for those who regard Him as holy. If you do not regard Him as holy then His Words will become a stumbling block to you.

Isaiah 8:13-15 “It is the Lord of hosts whom you should regard as holy.
And He shall be your fear,
And He shall be your dread.
“Then He shall become a sanctuary;
But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over,
And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
“Many will stumble over them,
Then they will fall and be broken;
They will even be snared and caught.”

God the Father is holy, Jesus is holy and the Spirit is called the Holy Spirit. Everything about God is holy. He wants you to be holy.

Luke 1:35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.

It is our unbelief that causes us to not treat God as holy. It is our unbelief that prevents us from entering and living in the promised land. However, regardless of how we treat the Lord, He still proves Himself to be holy amongst us.

Numbers 20:12,13 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” Those were the waters of Meribah, because the sons of Israel contended with the Lord, and He proved Himself holy among them.

For what reason does the Lord want us to be holy and why does He prove Himself to be holy amongst us in the sight of others? It is because he wants the world to know that He is the Lord. When you are not holy then the world can say that God must not be real because “they are no different than us who do not claim to follow God”.

Ezekiel 36:23 I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” declares the Lord God, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight.

When we are God’s people and represent Him as a holy people then we will be a soothing aroma to Him.

Ezekiel 20:41 As a soothing aroma I will accept you when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered; and I will prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations.

Therefore, as an obedient child, do not be conformed to this world but present yourself to Him as a living and holy sacrifice, which He has promised to accept.

Romans 12:1,2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Now this is truly grace. For it is by grace that we have been saved through faith and not of ourselves. It is by grace through faith that we offer ourselves to Him. And He accepts us! What an incredible privilege and gift!

Ephesians 2:8  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

A Life with a Surety

A surety is a guarantee of something. For this reason the Lord says to never become surety for someone else’s debts. However, the Lord has given us a surety for our salvation, that He will come back for us. We can know for sure that we have an eternal home with Him.

I John 5:6-12This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son.The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

The water means that He was born into this world as a human being.For this reason the Lord says that someone must be born of water to become a Christian. This is the actual physical birth. Someone must be born physically to be able to be born again spiritually.

John 3:8 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

The blood is the testimony of the cross that He died and rose again.

I Corinthians 15:3-6 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;

The testimony of God is when He spoke from heaven that Jesus was His beloved Son. These are all in agreement that Jesus is the Son of God.

Matthew 3:17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

However, for those who believe in Him, He has also given another testimony and that is His Holy Spirit. His Spirit bears witness with our Spirit that we are His child.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

He is coming again and will come for those who believe in Him.

I Thessalonians 4:14-17 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

We have the testimony and we have the surety of our salvation. When He comes again for those who belong to Him we have the promise that He will take us with Him. The guarantee of our salvation is the Holy Spirit that He gives to us when we become a Christian.

Ephesians 1:13,14 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

You belong to Him if His Spirit lives within you. If you do not know if the Holy Spirit is within you then there is a possibility that He has not come to live within you. Give your life to Him and ask Him to come in and take possession of your life. You can trust Him completely. He loves you perfectly. You can know for sure that you are His if you have Jesus living in you through the Holy Spirit.

I John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Keeps Vows

The Lord says that we are to pay our vows. We are to be faithful to pay our vows to the Lord. The Lord says that it would be better for you to not make a vow than to make a vow to God and not fulfill it.

Ecclesiastes 5:4,5 When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.

Thank the Lord and pay your vows to the Lord.

Psalm 50:14 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High;

The best way to keep vows is one day at a time.

Psalm 61:8 So I will sing praise to Your name forever, That I may pay my vows day by day.

If you are married and have children then your children are children of your marriage vows.

Proverbs 31:2 What, O my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows?

Marriage vows are vows that you make to the Lord and no one, not even your spouse, can break your vows. The Lord does not talk about vows being broken but of vows being kept. Vows can not be broken. They are either kept or not kept but the vows still stand. For this reason if a spouse leaves or divorces his spouse then the wife is to remain single. She is to keep herself pure, spiritually and physically.

I Corinthians 7:34 The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

The “unmarried” refers to women who were once married but are not at this time, but their husband, who they were married to, is still living. The virgin is a reference to a lady who has never been married.

Romans 7:2,3 For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.

Marriage vows are binding and intended to be kept and fulfilled. Do not plan to get married unless it is until death do us part. Marriage vows are made to the Lord not to each other and each spouse is under obligation to the Lord. These matters may seem difficult if you are in a difficult marriage but the Lord will bless you if you do His will. He says that where sin abounds then grace abounds. The Lord will give you the grace to love your husband and He will give you wisdom in your relationship. Go to a godly woman who is is walking with the Lord if you need help in your marriage for that is God’s provision.

Titus 2:3-5 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

However, if you have made a commitment with your mouth or even made a vow to the Lord to do something and you realize that you have made a mistake then the Lord has a provision for you.

Numbers 30:3-8 Also if a woman makes a vow to the Lord, and binds herself by an obligation in her father’s house in her youth,and her father hears her vow and her obligation by which she has bound herself, and her father says nothing to her, then all her vows shall stand and every obligation by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if her father should forbid her on the day he hears of it, none of her vows or her obligations by which she has bound herself shall stand; and the Lord will forgive her because her father had forbidden her.“However, if she should marry while under her vows or the rash statement of her lips by which she has bound herself, and her husband hears of it and says nothing to her on the day he hears it, then her vows shall stand and her obligations by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if on the day her husband hears of it, he forbids her, then he shall annul her vow which she is under and the rash statement of her lips by which she has bound herself; and the Lord will forgive her.

The Lord has provided fathers and husbands for girls and ladies for their protection. Go to your father or husband if you have made a rash decision and humble yourself and ask them to help you. On the day that they hear of what you have done they can release you from that commitment.

Psalm 50:22,23 “Now consider this, you who forget God,
Or I will tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver.
“He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me;
And to him who orders his way aright
I shall show the salvation of God.”

Whatever you do and whatever mess you find yourself in (and we all makes messes at times) then remember the Lord. Do not take things into your own hands or just ignore what you have done thinking that it will go away. It will go into your conscience and will come up later. The Lord is your Savior and He will save you from any situation that you are in and He will show you His salvation.

Psalm 130:1-4 Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.
If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.

If you have not kept previous vows to the Lord there is forgiveness with Him but you need to confess your sin to Him and ask Him to forgive you. Do not minimize it. There is forgiveness with Him. If you have made a vow to the Lord and you can go back and fulfill it then do so. Make sure you have a clear conscience. Cry out to Him out of the depths of any pain. He loves you. Do not despair. You will see His goodness.

Psalm 27:13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

 

 

 

A Life of Marriage Prep

The best time to prepare for marriage is before you get married. It is a God given desire for a young lady to want to get married. However, the more you are prepared for marriage the easier it will be for you. The seeds that you sow before you get married determines the fruit that you reap after you are married. You will reap either good fruit or bad fruit.

Galatians 6:7-10 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

Do not use the flesh to attract a man because then you will seek to use your flesh to keep him. This will bring great insecurity to you because a man’s eyes are never satisfied.

Proverbs 27:20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.

However, it is important to do your best to look your best because man does look on the outward appearance.

I Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

However, you want the inner beauty of the Lord to be greater than any outward appearance. Your outward appearance is decaying but the inner man is being renewed day by day.

II Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

The Lord will strengthen you through His Spirit in the inner man to become a godly woman who fears the Lord. You must learn to walk in the Spirit on a daily moment by moment basis. This is the greatest preparation for marriage.

Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

A man will never fulfill you or make you happy. The sooner you learn this lesson the happier you will be. Young ladies have a tendency to live in the “if” or “when ” world. “If I were …” or “if I had …” or “when I …” and the truth of the matter is that the “if” and “when” does not change the contentment of your soul. You must learn to be content in Jesus Christ. He must be your desire. The more you learn to be content in Him then the more content you will be in whatever state He has you, whether married or single.

Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.

Contentment, gratefulness and joy all go together. The greatest gift that you can give to yourself and to others and especially to the man you marry is an attitude of gratitude. No one likes to be around a complainer or someone who is never happy. Someone once said that an unhappy wife is a public rebuke to her husband. Cultivate a grateful spirit and begin now by expressing thanks to your parents and those who have helped you in life. Not only do you quench the Spirit when you do not give thanks but you will quench your husband’s spirit and what he once wanted to do for you he will no longer do because it isn’t “exactly the way you like it”.

Ephesians 5:16-19 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit;

Learn to compliment a man. A man longs for praise. The Lord made him this way and most men are starved for praise and they will gravitate to the people who praise them. This is crucial because the Lord made a man to conquer and he needs the praise of his wife to go out and conquer the world in his job. Also, if you do not praise him then other women will. Even if you do praise him other women will still do it. This is one of the ways that an immoral woman gets a man to commit adultery. She flatters him with her tongue. He does not know that it is flattery and the aim of flattery is to manipulate so you want to make sure that he is filled with your praises if you are his wife. Learn now to praise. You can begin by learning to praise your brothers and your brothers in Christ. Look for Christlikeness and then point it out to him how you see the Lord in him.

Proverbs 2:16 To deliver you from the strange woman, From the adulteress who flatters with her words;

Learn to dress in a modest manner so that a godly man will be attracted to you. If you dress in such a way that stimulates a man by stirring up desires that can not be fulfilled righteously then you are a stumbling block. Why should the Lord give you to a godly man who is seeking Him. No, rather, if you dress in a provocative manner then a man who is “all about himself” will be drawn to you and since you dressed in a deceptive manner you will be the one who will end up being deceived. He will deceive you into you believing that he actually cares for you when he does not care for you but loves himself.

Proverbs 23:6,7 Do not eat the bread of a selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;
For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.

Finally, do dress in a modest manner, as is fitting for one who seeks to please the Lord. Learn to fear the Lord and obey Him. Honor you parents, as the Lord has commanded. If you do not honor your parents then you will struggle with honoring and respecting your husband. The Lord gives the woman to the man, not the man to the woman. You need to ask yourself if you want to serve, desire, submit to and respect a man and consider him more important than yourself. If you are not ready for that then ask the Lord to help you and go to older women who have a good marriage and ask them to teach you. Marriage can be a sweet fellowship and relationship between a man and a woman if it is done God’s way. It is supposed to be a picture of Christ and the church. Just as Christ died for the church, the husband is the love His wife in a sacrificial way and be willing to die for her. In the same way, a wife is to live for her husband (as the church is to live for Christ) and the way that she learns to serve and love Him in this Christlike manner is to die to herself. Marriage is a dying of two selves so that the Lord can raise up one (in body, soul and spirit) to glorify Him.

Ephesians 5:31-33 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

It is a mystery but it is a beautiful mystery and the most intimate relationship on earth when done God’s way. To love and be loved is what we all long for but it is only when we are surrendered to the Lord and learn His ways will we ever know what it means to live in intimate fellowship in marriage.