A Life that Has Respect

Respect is another one of those desires that we all have. We want to be respected and when we are not respected then it affects everything about us. A lack of respect is very demeaning and a relationship will not last long or be intimate without it. Respect and trust go together. We have difficulty respecting someone whom we do not trust and in the same way we have a hard time trusting someone whom we do not respect. How do we get the respect we long for and need?

II Peter 1:5-7 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

Trust is a prerequisite to respect. You must be trustworthy and to be trustworthy means that you must have moral excellence. Moral excellence means that you have high standards of morality and you do not compromise. You do not have sex before marriage nor do you stir up desires in a man which can not be fulfilled righteously. You exhibit godliness in the way you dress, act and speak. You do not lie, steal or cheat. You do not gossip or slander. These are just a few examples but they can all be summed up in the great commandment of our Lord, which is, “to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself”. He who does these things will not stumble and will be found trustworthy.

I Peter 2:17-19 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.

To respect someone means that we treat them with honor. There are two aspects of respect. One aspect is that we are to respect those who are in a position of authority over us. They may be a king or president or policeman. The person worthy of your respect due to their position may be your employer and certainly your parents and if you are married then your husband also. Their character may not be respect worthy but their position is and you are to respect them. Another meaning of respect is to honor and the Lord commanded us to honor our parents from the beginning. All of these positions we are to honor and respect whether or not the people themselves are worthy of it. Not only are we to respect the people in positions of authority but the Lord tells us that we are to honor all people.

Proverbs 22:4 The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches, honor and life.

The other aspect of respect is that some people earn the respect of others. This is the person that you want to be so that whether you are in a position of respect or not, that people will respect you for who you are and what you do. Respect is generally instinctive and that is why a man will instinctively respect a woman who acts like a lady and is a godly woman. He will respect her even if he generally does not respect women because her life commands a certain respect. A man has no problem using curse words around a female who also curses but if she does not curse then he will become aware of her gracious speech and it will be harder for him to curse.

Lamentations 1:8b All who honored her despise her
Because they have seen her nakedness;
Even she herself groans and turns away.

Another action that causes a man to lose respect for a woman is if he sees her nakedness. A female is not wise to dress in a way that is revealing. She may get attention for the moment but she loses the respect of the man who sees the revealing of her body. Ladies, if you want respect and you should want it, then live in a manner worthy of respect. A man will have a much greater respect for you and he will trust you more. You will be the kind of woman that he will be proud to know and the kind that he would want to introduce to others as belonging to him as his wife.

Proverbs 31:29b,30 “Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

It is not too late to start over if you have compromised in the past. The Lord makes us new creatures in Christ. He forgives us and cleanses us. He gives us a new start. Trust Him and follow His instructions and you will have the respect you long for and desire.

 

 

 

 

A Life Whose Sin is Taken Away

We all know that we are not perfect and that we have messed up sometime during our lifetime. The longer we live the more sins we accumulate to our record. If we were honest then we would agree that yes, we want our sins taken away. There is only One who can take our sin away. Someone has to take the punishment for our sin. That someone who can, who lived the perfect life and never sinned, not even once, is Jesus Christ. He is the Lamb of God.

John 1:29,30 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’

John the Baptist was the first to recognize that Jesus was the perfect Lamb of God. Jesus came to take away the sin of the world. The word is sin and not sins because our original sin was that we wanted to be our own God and run our own lives. We wanted to make the decisions rather than be under the Lordship of God and allow Him to be our Master. From the original “sin” all other sins came. For this reason we can not be saved from our many sins that ensnare us until our “sin” is taken away. When we repent of our “sin” and allow Him to take it away then He becomes our rightful Lord and Master and we become His child.

Matthew 1:21-23 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God becomes our Savior and it is He who saves us from our sins. He sets us free when He forgives us and cleanses us. His blood covers our sins and they are not remembered again by Him. Our sin is taken away and our sins are forgiven.

Hebrews 9:22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Jesus shed His blood for the world that He might take away the sin of the world. Jesus Christ went to the cross once for all. He does not need to die again nor do any more lambs need to be sacrificed. Before Jesus Christ came then an offering had to be made over and over again for the sins of the people.

Hebrews 10:11-18 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, This is the covenant that I will make with them
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws upon their heart, And on their mind I will write them,” He then says, And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

When Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world and was the perfect Lamb of God and took our sin upon Himself then He nailed to the cross all of the accusations against us. He paid our debt so that we might be set free from the penalty, power and one day the presence of sin.

Colossians 2:13,14 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Jesus Christ did it all and He did it once for all so that the gift of salvation might be available to all. However, it is a gift and we can never do anything to deserve it but we must receive it. When we receive the gift of salvation then we receive all that Christ did for us. He took the punishment that we all deserve.

Romans 5:6-10 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

When you have received this gift then you will know that Jesus Christ is God and that He loves you. You receive the gift of salvation through faith. Once you receive Him then you will want to spend the rest of your life thanking Him and living for Him. Your life will be a response to Him. The Christian life is a love relationship with Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

 

 

 

A Life Where Thou Art

The first question the Lord asked man was, “Where are thou?”.

Genesis 3:9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

The man and the woman were made to be with the Lord. He made them for them to have fellowship with Him and for them to enter into His joy.

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

Man disobeyed the Lord and for the first time fear entered into man. Man began his long and lonely journey of hiding from God.

Genesis 3:10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

God came to earth as a man and His name is Jesus Christ, so that He could restore us back into a right relationship with Himself. He took the penalty and the separation from God that we deserved so that we might be restored back into fellowship with Him. Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus was in the beginning with God and all things came into being through Him. Jesus Christ is God and has always been God.

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Jesus, the Word, became flesh and dwelt among men. He is the only begotten Son of God, which means that He is the One and only Son of God. The Father gave His Son to restore us to Himself.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

As many as receive Jesus Christ, to them He gives the right to become one of His children, adopted into His family and to live forever with Him. They are born again.

John 1:12,13 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, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Since God’s love is unconditional and perfect, one of the first things He does after restoring us to Himself is that He casts out all fear.

I John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

What is the evidence of someone who has been restored into a relationship with God. They will love others and especially will love Christians.

I John 4:7-11 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. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

He is still asking, “Where art Thou?”.

 

A Life of Honor

There is only One who is worthy of all honor, glory and power and He chooses to give to whom he wills and desires. We all want to be honored but the Lord tells us not to seek honor for ourselves but to honor Him.

Revelation 4:11 Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

However, there is a person whom He says that He will honor and the honor He gives is far greater than any honor we could get for ourselves either from ourselves or from others.

Proverbs 22:4 The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor and life.

Those whom the Lord bestows honor on are those who humble themselves before Him, who fear Him and who are His servants. One of the greatest privileges in all of eternity is to be called one of His servants by Him. He has many children but fewer servants. To be His servant you must first die to yourself and your desires and will.

John 12: 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.

Once you have given up all ownership to yourself, your relationships, your reputation, your future, your goals and desires then you must present to Him your body as an aspect of worship which He has promised to accept.

Romans 12:1 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.

Then you are to follow Him wherever He leads and do whatever he says and speak whatever He commands.

John 12:26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

You will know when you have faithfully served Him because He alone will be glorified.

I Peter 4:11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Finally, he offers the highest praise and honor to the servant who is faithful to Him. You will enter into His joy.

Matthew 25:23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

He is not only our Father if we serve Him but He is our Master. Can we be His child but not His servant? It does seem that the one who realizes his incredible debt to the One who paid their ransom would want to serve Him. He is a good Lord and Master and you can trust Him completely. He redeems the soul of His servants.

Psalm 34:22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.

And again…He will have compassion on His servants.

Psalm 135:14 For the Lord will judge His people And will have compassion on His servants.

 

 

A Life that Seeks

We all seek after different things but the Lord is looking for the one who will seek after Him.

Psalm 14:2 The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God.

The Lord wants you to seek Him so much that He says that if you will do this then you will not lack any good thing. Do you need anything? Then you must seek Him. His promises are true.

Psalm 34:10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.

He made us to seek Him because it is in Him alone that we live and move and exist.

Acts 17:26-28, 30-31 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist…

Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

 

The Bible says that only the fool lives as if there is no God.  He also says that if we seek Him with all of our heart we will find Him. The Lord tells us to seek Him continually. He is declaring to us through Jesus Christ that we need to repent and seek Him. He is not far from us.

Deuteronomy 4:29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.

The God of the universe, who made all things, wants to have a relationship with you and fellowship with you. This is much greater than any king or president and yet if someone of great importance were to contact you then you would make every effort to accept their invitation and in all likelihood you would share what has happened with everyone you know. Yet…He who is the King of kings and Lord of lords is seeking you!

Psalm 138:6 For though the Lord is exalted,
Yet He regards the lowly,
But the haughty He knows from afar.

 

 

 

A Life of Humility

If you want to be great then the Lord says you must be least. If you want to be exalted then He says that you must humble yourself. He knew that His disciples wanted to be great and wanted to be somebody. In our hearts we are the same. So, as they walked with the Lord Jesus He taught them a different way of life. A way that leads to life and to life abundantly.

Proverbs 18:12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, But humility goes before honor.

If we don’t live life God’s way then we will have sorrow and pain.

Proverbs 10:22 It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, And He adds no sorrow to it.

Many people will get riches and honor but with it will come sorrow and destruction. Jesus Christ gives us the picture of what it means to have humility. We are to consider others more important than ourselves and to not merely look out for our own personal interests but also for the interests of others.

Philippians 2:3-5 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

Humility is the inward expression of total dependence on God and the outward expression of total obedience to Christ. Moses was called the most humble man on earth before Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, came to live and die and rise again from the dead. The phrase that characterized Moses’ life was he “did according to all that the Lord commanded him”.

Exodus 40:16 Thus Moses did; according to all that the Lord had commanded him, so he did.

Humility and obedience go together. Jesus was obedient to the point of death and then the Father highly exalted Him above every name that is named.

Philippians 2:8-11 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus is Lord of all. Every knee will bow before Him. You can either bow now voluntarily or you will bow against your will in hell because you did not bow willingly on earth.

I Peter 5:5,6 … all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,

Yes, He will life up those who clothe themselves with humility and obey Him during this life. He says that we will reign with Him when He comes in His glory. Don’t be foolish and think that you can wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow may not come but eternity will.

 

 

A Life that is Gracious

A gracious life will receive honor. A gracious woman is a beautiful lady and a woman that lacks graciousness is displeasing to the senses.

Proverbs 11:16 A gracious woman attains honor,

A gracious lady knows how to speak in such a way that she gives grace to her hearers. The opposite is a woman who speaks or acts in such a way that people need grace to be around her and listen to her.

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

A righteous person does not want to disgrace or shame someone but will seek to cover up their shame. Joseph was called a righteous man and he did not want to disgrace Mary when he thought that she had sinned.

Matthew 1:19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.

The opposite of a gracious lady is a woman who is a gossip. This is a lack of moral excellence and will destroy her friendships, her reputation and people will not trust her.

I Timothy 3:11 Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.

The Bible says to not associate with a gossip and certainly do not be a friend with one who talks about others and reveals their secrets.

Proverbs 20:19 He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip.

A gracious person is a joy to be around and it is a privilege and gift to have a gracious lady as a friend. Are you the kind of person that others seek as a friend? Do you seek wise ladies to be your friends?

Ecclesiastes 10:12 Words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious, while the lips of a fool consume him;

Jesus was full of grace and it was evident in His words as well as His actions.

Luke 4:22 And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”