How to Avoid an Unstable Life

The Bible says that a double minded person is unstable in all of their ways. What does it mean to be double minded? It means just that you can not make up your mind as to what you should do. So, often the double minded person will seek out others and ask them what they should do. However, often it is the bling leading the blind. Not a good situation and especially when it comes to decisions. The double minded person is unstable in everything that they do.

James 1:6a-8 …for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

The double minded person is unstable but what does the double minded person need to do so that they will not be doubting and double minded. The Lord tells us through His Word.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Double mindedness is not the problem but it is the symptom of a deeper issue. The root problem that needs to be addressed is the fact that the double minded person does not have a pure heart. A pure heart is a heart that is fully surrendered to the Lord and has no will of its own but the attitude that Jesus had which was always, “Not My will, but Thy will be done.” A person with a pure heart is one that has fully surrendered its will to the Lord. They have no will of their own.

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

When you see the Lord then you will also see clearly and know what to do. You will not need to ask others what to do, you will be able to understand righteousness, justice and discern every good course.

Proverbs 2:1-9 My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
And discover the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Guarding the paths of justice,
And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
Then you will discern righteousness and justice
And equity and every good course.

If you will learn to receive God’s sayings and treasure His commandments within your heart. If you will make your ear attentive to wisdom and incline your heart to understanding. If you will cry for discernment and lift your voice for understanding. If you will seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. You will also discern righteousness, justice, equity and every good course. Your life will not only be stable but your life will be a light to others.

Psalm 73:1 Surely God is good to Israel,
To those who are pure in heart!

The Lord is good and those who have a pure heart will see His goodness. Not only will you experience and see His goodness but you will see the Lord. The Lord is our stability and when our lives are built on Him then there is nothing that can shake us.

Psalm 46:1,2 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

No matter what the situation is and no matter what happens you will not fear if the Lord is your refuge and strength. He is a present help in trouble and wants to show Himself strong on your behalf. He will be the stability of your times.

Isaiah 33:6 And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the Lord is his treasure.

 

How to Have A Life with Stability

We all long for stability in our lives. When your world is shaken it is a frightening feeling. The Lord promises His children stability so that no matter what happens in your life you will have a calmness within. You will not have to fear the times present nor the times future.

Isaiah 33:6 And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the Lord is his treasure.

The Lord will be your stability and His Word is the foundation of a life that will not be shaken when the instability comes.

Luke 6:46-48 “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.

The Lord tells us what to do so that we will not tremble or be dismayed.

Joshua 1:8,9 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will act wisely. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

The Bible says that what the wicked fears will come upon Him. The wicked have a lot of fears because they do not seek the Lord not listen to His Word. They want to be in control but most of life is out of our control.

Proverbs 10:24 What the wicked fears will come upon him,
But the desire of the righteous will be granted.

The wicked flee when no one is pursuing. Guilt causes a person to run away from life and also to have unfounded fears.

Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no one is pursuing,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.

The Lord says to be strong and courageous. Boldness, strength and courage is what should characterize our lives for we have One who is always with us and will never forsake us.

Hebrews 13:5 …for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”

When we are stable in our faith then not only will we have much joy but we will bring joy to those who have taught us in the faith.

Colossians 2:5 For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.

How to Avoid The Life of a Failure

If you want to be miserable in life then just be a failure. Failure brings with it depression, discouragement, disappointment, defeat and despair. However, the choice is ours, if we want to be a failure or a success in life. No one else is responsible for whether we are a success or a failure. The choice is ours. You may think that circumstances would have something to do with it but not so, it is you who determines your success or failure in life. You have no one to blame but yourself.

Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

It is pride that goes before a fall. Pride is not needing God. Satan had all the best of circumstances. He was beautiful and experienced great wealth. He had many gifts and the highest position of all of the angels. Yet, he was not satisfied. He wanted to be equal to God. He wanted more than what the Lord had given to him. He was not satisfied and became prideful. It was his pride that led to his failure and he lost everything.

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.

Pride is the opposite of humility. When pride comes then comes dishonor. Dishonor goes hand and hand with failure. Those who are successful experience honor. Pride is basically saying, “I can do it on my own and that it is all about me”.

I John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

Humility acknowledges that we can do nothing apart from the Lord. Pride is not from the Lord but is from the devil. We are most like the devil when we are prideful.

John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

Pride says that it does not need the Lord. It is manifested by not turning to Him with all of our heart. It is also made known by us neglecting reading and meditating on His Word. When we don’t spend time in His Word then we are relying on ourselves and not on Him. We forget what He has to say and when we forget then we do not act on His Word.

Hosea 7:10 Though the pride of Israel testifies against him, Yet they have not returned to the Lord their God, Nor have they sought Him, for all this.

It is our pride that brings us low and leads to failure. It is the Lord who wants us to be successful and has shown us the way to succeed. There is no success apart from Him. However, you may say that you know people who are successful and who do not seek the Lord. If you will look closely at their successes you will see that they paid a heavy price and it was too great of a price for their temporary success. They lost something else even more precious than their success, whether it is a marriage, family, integrity or even their fellowship with the Lord. For it is the Lord alone who gives success with no sorrow with it.

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

Only the Lord can bless us richly in every area and He adds no sorrow to it. However, we must look to Him and follow His instructions on life. He leads us in the good way.

Jeremiah 6:16a Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls.

The Lord wants us to look to Him and He will be our Shepherd and lead us in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. He will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. There are no regrets in following the Lord and obeying His voice. He will never disappoint you. Have you failed? Then it is to show you how desperately we all need the Lord and how desperately we need to know His Word so that we can do exactly as He says. Turn to Him with all your heart. He does promise success to the one who will trust Him and obey Him completely.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

He says it again what you need to do to be successful. You have nothing to lose, but your pride, and you have everything to gain.

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

How to Avoid The Life of a Fool

Sometimes it is easier to understand a truth when we see the opposite. The opposite of wisdom is foolishness and so the opposite of being a wise person is being a fool. What is the life of a fool like and what is its end? The Bible says that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child. In other words, we come into life with foolishness being a part of our heart.

Proverbs 22:15a Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;

The foolish person engages in folly. The word folly literally means stupidity. We clearly see it in others but it is not so clear in ourselves, that is, until it is too late.

Proverbs 14:24 The crown of the wise is their riches, But the folly of fools is foolishness.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes. The Bible also says that the fool is deceived. When we refuse to listen to the truth then we become deceived and deception only leads to more deception.

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

A fool begins being a fool by setting themselves up as their own authority and letting themselves be the judge of what is right and what is wrong. Everyone has a standard of right and wrong even if the standard is not correct. The fool usually will keep changing the standard so that they will not have to deal with guilt. However, a fool becomes this way, by living as if there is no God.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.

The fool does his best to live as if there is no God. However, this “philosophy” only brings more pain and the fool will ultimately be mad at God. Typical of a fool are the words, “If there is a God, then why would He…”. The fool is completely without understanding and will never understand the ways of God. God will seem unfair to him, that is, when he is finally honest enough to admit there is a God.

Proverbs 19:3 The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the Lord.

The fool destroys his own life and then he gets mad at God.

Proverbs 10:14 Wise men store up knowledge, But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand.

The fool messes his life up by his own mouth. Also, the Bible says that the fool multiplies words and is quick to show their anger. The fool will also display dishonor. Not only does the fool hurt themselves but they also hurt the people around them.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

If you choose to be with a fool then plan to be hurt and dishonored.

Proverbs 3:35 The wise will inherit honor, But fools display dishonor.

An entire book could be written on the fool. However, we can sum up the life of a fool by saying that it will be a life of pain, regret, shame, anger, rage, ignorance, destruction to themselves and others, despising knowledge and lacking in understanding. Unfortunately, the foolishness of man began in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve decided to live without the Lord by going their own way and doing their own thing. They did not submit to the Lord but chose to “make their own decisions”, in other words, “to be their own lord”. That tendency is within all of us.

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

If you will learn to seek out the Lord Jesus Christ, rather than many other ways to God, and to allow Him to be your Lord then you can be saved from being a fool. He will give you wisdom and understanding. The Bible says that the meaning of understanding is to know the Lord.

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

Wisdom is everything that is the opposite being a fool. A wise person is slow to anger and considers their words. Rather than destroy they build their life, marriage and family. They are a joy to be around because they are a blessing to their friends and not only that, but just by being with a wise person you will see and hear wisdom. The wise person’s life will be filled with peace, love and great joy as they seek to follow the One who gave His life for a world of fools, who wanted nothing to do with Him. All we have to do is come to Him and surrender our life and will to Him and He truly takes the foolish things of the world and does something great and glorious. Jesus Christ is amazing Savior and Lord who came to redeem man from all of the destruction that he brought on himself. It is no wonder that those who know Him will spend all eternity praising Him. Will you choose to be wise and come to Him or will you continue on in your foolish ways?

James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

This is a beautiful picture of Jesus Christ because in Him does all the fullness of wisdom dwell.

Colossians 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

This is God’s will for you…that your heart may be encouraged, having been knit together in love and filled with the wealth that comes from knowing Jesus Christ, who is the true knowledge of God and in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

 

A Life that Chooses Wisdom

Wisdom is what characterizes God’s people and the wisdom of God comes from keeping His commandments. When God’s people keep God’s Word then the world will recognize what a wise and understanding people that Christians are and it will set them a part from all the other people’s of the world.

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

It pleases the Lord when we ask for wisdom and He delights in giving wisdom to His people. Wisdom will spare a person much heartache and pain. A wise person does not have to learn from hindsight, from their mistakes, but has the foresight to avoid the pain that comes from mistakes. People are not better people because of the mistakes that they made but they are better people because of the knowledge that they learned from their mistakes, that is, if they learn from their errors.

Proverbs 2:6-9 For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Guarding the paths of justice,
And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
Then you will discern righteousness and justice
And equity and every good course.

How much better it is to learn the knowledge beforehand so that we do not have the baggage of painful and broken relationships or habits and patterns that are difficult to change. Wisdom is knowing what path to take to get you where you want and need to go and having the knowledge to get the desired result.

James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Wisdom is also knowing what to do if and when you have gotten yourself in a mess by not acting wisely in the first place. Ask the Lord for wisdom. He promises to give to all who ask Him.

Proverbs 16:16 How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.

No amount of money can heal a broken heart. Wisdom keeps a life of regrets from characterizing your life. Get wisdom before you make the major decisions in your life.

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

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. When you learn to fear Him then you also learn that He is the source of all wisdom. You learn to fear Him through His Word and then His Word gives you wisdom.

Psalm 119:38 Establish Your word to Your servant,
As that which produces reverence for You.

When you receive wisdom then understanding and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.

Proverbs 2:10 For wisdom will enter your heart
And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;

Love wisdom and wisdom will love you and you will find wisdom when you seek for wisdom. Along with wisdom will come riches, honor, enduring wealth and righteousness.

Proverbs 8:17-21 I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.
Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness.
My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield better than choicest silver.
I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.

Once you discover the wisdom of God then you will realize that He is the source of life, love, riches, honor and everything else that your heart longs for.

Proverbs 3:13-18 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.
For her profit is better than the profit of silver
And her gain better than fine gold.
She is more precious than jewels;
And nothing you desire compares with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
In her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways
And all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who hold her fast.

Do you want to be happy? Seek the Lord for He is the fullness of all wisdom. He will give you wisdom and every good thing. Hold fast to wisdom and do not let her go. You will discover that life is much easier with wisdom and you will be much happier. With wisdom you learn God’s way and avoid many of the mistakes and heartaches of those who choose to live life without God.

A Life that Receives Their Heart’s Desires

The Lord has amazing promises for those who seek Him and delight themselves in Him. There is none to compare with Him for He delights in giving to His children. He knows our needs and that we need to learn to delight ourselves in Him first. If He is not our chief delight then the desires of our heart can easily become an idol in our lives. If our desires become an idol then something that could be good for us becomes a snare.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

The Lord loves to give to us and He does not withhold from us what is good and what we need. As you learn to trust Him and walk with Him you will see that the dis-appointments in life are really His-appointments. He is wise and loving and when there is a disappointment then it means that there is something you don’t know and you need to trust Him. You don’t need to understand Him in everything but you need to trust Him in everything.

Psalm 84:10-12 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in You!

When the Lord is your delight then you would rather stand at the threshold of the house of the Lord than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. There is no comparison to being with Him and in His presence. It truly is the fullness of 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.

How do you learn to delight yourself in Him? There are a few principles that help you do this. First of all, if you will learn to love God’s Word then He will become your delight. How do you learn to love God’s Word? It is by spending time in it and seeking Him through his Word.

Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found and I ate them,
And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart;
For I have been called by Your name,
O Lord God of hosts.

If you will read and meditate on God’s Word then in time He will speak to you through your spirit. He will be very real to you and you will want to spend more time with Him. There is a wonderful cycle of the more time you spend in God’s Word then the more time you want to spend in His Word. He Himself will teach you and His Word becomes sweeter than honey to you.

Psalm 119:102,103 I have not turned aside from Your ordinances,
For You Yourself have taught me.
How sweet are Your words to my taste!
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

There is another wonderful principle that helps you take delight in the Lord. This principle is a precious truth found in His Word of keeping His day holy to Him. The Lord set aside one day a week as His day and He says that day is holy to Him.

Isaiah 58:13,14 “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And speaking your own word,
Then you will take delight in the Lord,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

In the book of Revelation the Lord’s day is mentioned as Sunday, the day Jesus was resurrected.

Revelation 1:10a I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,

Since Sunday is usually the day that Christians get together to worship the Lord in community with each other then that is usually the day to honor the Lord in keeping His commandment of “keeping the Sabbath day holy”. Back in the days of the early church some people considered every day to be the Lord’s day and therefore holy and some people only considered one day to be the Lord’s day. Either way, if you want to learn to delight in Him, then this promise is for you if you will honor Him on His day.

Romans 14:5,6a One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord,

When the Lord becomes your delight then He also will be the love of your life and you will grow more “in love” with Him as you see and hear His love a thousand times a day. All of life looks different when you are “in love” and you will find that you will want to talk about Him, as well as talk to Him more and more each day. Your life truly becomes an overflow of your love relationship with the Lord. Your longing will be for Him.

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who long for Him.

If you belong to Him then He wants you to “be longing” for Him. He, on His part, longs to be gracious to you. Long for Him and see what a blessed life it is when you do so.

A Life with Great Confidence

People try to live life without the Lord and the Bible describes such a person as a fool.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
There is no one who does good.

Living life without God is like having a painting without acknowledging the artist or enjoying a meal with no thought of the cook. It can’t be done although it is often tried. A life without God is a life that tries to feel it’s way through life just as a blind person has to feel their way around. It will often lead to pain and sometimes much pain because it is a guessing game. There are no absolutes apart from God. The laws in science are the ones He designed and set up. He is the Creator and author of life.

Genesis 2:4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven.

All the Lord had to do was to speak and He created. He spoke and the worlds were created out of nothing. All matter has to be created out of matter except when it comes to the Lord. All He has to do is speak it into existence.

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

God is the only truth that there is and apart from Him there is no truth. When someone tries to deny the existence of God then they have started to believe a lie and will be deceived from then on. Often people don’t want to believe in God because there is something in their life that they don’t want to give up and if they were to acknowledge God then they would have to acknowledge their conscience. If they can get rid of the thought of God then maybe they can get rid of their conscience and enjoy the very thing that they want to. However, when they shut off their conscience then they also shut off their ability to fully enjoy their sinful ways. It is your conscience that allows you to fully enjoy the gifts that the Lord has given to mankind.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

The person who puts their trust in the Lord will walk with confidence because He knows the One whom He has trusted.

Psalm 27:3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.

A fool puts his confidence in himself and leans on his own understanding. He learns the hard way through pain and regret, that is, if he learns at all. Some people will do the same wrong thing over and over again and yet expect different results.

Proverbs 14:16 A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident.

If you will learn to trust in the Lord with all of your heart and not lean on your own understanding then you will find that He will lead you in the way you should go and that His ways are good. Whatever He tells you to do, do it. Don’t try to understand first and then follow His instructions but rather follow first and then you will receive understanding.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life with Love Honors and Respects

 

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.” Genesis 3:11b-13

When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of which He commanded them not to eat then they did not honor or respect God. He only gave them one law and out of respect for God they were to obey that one law.

Respect what is right in the sight of all men. Romans 12:17b

We are to respect what is right in the sight of all men. When we keep God’s commandments then we will be respecting what is right in the sight of all men.

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. I Peter 2:17-19

We are to show honor to all people, we are to honor the governmental authority, whether it is a president or king, and we are to be submissive to our employers with all respect. We are to submit not only to employers who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. This finds favor with God and is honoring to Him.

Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect. Titus 2:9,10

Respect is not pilfering (which is stealing) and taking what is not yours to take nor is it giving to others the privileges that have been given to you because you work at a certain place. If you do work for yourself, during your paid time from someone else, then you are not honoring the Lord and stealing also.

Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. Ephesians 6:5-8

Respecting someone is showing good behavior at all times, not just when the authority is around as “men pleasers” but as “God pleasers”, doing what is right when no one is watching. Showing respect to the Lord in your job is working for the one who pays you as if you are working for the Lord.

And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. Ephesians 6:9

Just as employees are to respect those whom they work for so also the employer or boss is to respect those who work under them.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth. Ephesians 6:1-3

Children are to honor and respect their fathers and mothers.

Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33

Just as the husband is to love his wife so the wife is to respect her husband. One of a man’s biggest needs is respect. Just as when a wife does not feel loved she has a more difficult time respecting her husband, in the same way, when a man does not feel respected then it is more difficult for him to love his wife. Respect and love is not always deserved but it is to be given because the Lord requires it of us. The more a wife learns to respect her husband then the more secure she will feel and the more love she will experience in her marriage.

Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you. Genesis 3:16b

Before Eve sinned she and her husband, Adam, were to rule together but after she was deceived and sinned the Lord put her husband over her to rule her to keep her from being deceived again and experiencing even more grief. The more a wife honors the new design that the Lord gave her because of her being deceived and sinning, then the more she will be kept from temptation. If she rebels against this new design of her husband ruling over her then she will experience much more pain, sadness and depression.

What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty! Psalm 8:4,5

Respect is the opposite of rebelling and respect means honoring the position of the one whom the Lord has put in authority over us, whether it is a mother, father, husband, employer or governmental authority. Respect is also honoring another human being because they have been made in God’s image and have been created for honor and glory.

A Life that Is Not Ashamed

We often are very concerned and conscious of what others think of us and we want to be accepted and respected by others. As we grow older we become aware of what we need to do to be “socially acceptable”. Only a very secure person can go through life willing and able to stand alone.  It is a natural desire to want the respect of others, however, it can become a snare for us and hypocritical if we change our behavior or put on a certain front in order to receive the acceptance and respect of people.

Matthew 6:2 So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

The religious leaders in Jesus’ day loved the praise and honor of men but the Lord called them hypocrites because it was not who they really were when they gave for appearance sake. They only gave so that others might see and honor them.

Matthew 6:5 When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Again, they prayed so that others might respect them for their “spiritual” prayers. Again, the Lord called them hypocrites. To receive the praise of others was their reward in full.

Matthew 6:16 Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Again, their life was all about putting on an appearance in order to be accepted and praised by others.

Mark 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be  ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of someone who was secure in who He is and who was willing to be rejected by others in order to accomplish something greater. Jesus Christ knew that He was accepted by His Father and He lived to please the One who had sent Him. Jesus Christ promises us that if we will not be ashamed of Him and His words then He will not be ashamed of us when He returns. An indication of a true Christian is that they will be ashamed of the things they did before they were a Christian and they will not be ashamed of Jesus Christ and following after Him after they have become a Christian.

Romans 6:21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.

Sometimes a conflict is created between a Christian and unbelievers who are in a close relationship with the new Christian. They may be a family member or a friend who has not yet come to Christ. New Christians want to please the One who died for them and the nonChristian does not understand that kind of commitment because they have yet to experience His amazing love.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

We are secure in the Lord once we come to know Him and we understand that His words are power and that He will never leave us or forsake us. We have a sure foundation in Him which can not be shaken and He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him.

II Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

What great joy it will be for those Christians who did not shrink back and who were not ashamed to suffer for being a Christian. Sometimes it might seem lonely but He promised us that He would never forsake us. Even though we can not see Him, we believe in Him and know that He is faithful and will fulfill all of His promises that He has given to us. He is not ashamed to call us brethren.

Hebrews 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Neither is God ashamed to be called our God, for He has prepared a place for us.

Hebrews 11:6 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

When the Lord comes again it will only be those who were not ashamed of Jesus Christ during the time of their stay on earth who will not shrink back in shame. Those who refused to call upon Him will wish they had and will shrink away in shame for their many sins and for not calling upon Jesus Christ, the Lord of lords and King of kings.

I Peter 4:16,17 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if itbegins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

It is not too late to call upon Him. It is not too late to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and call upon His name. He desires that all come to know Him.

Isaiah 55:6,7 Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

 

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.