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 at Peace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

A Life that Is Secure

If you feel secure in life then you can do anything. Security is something that we all want and spend our life trying to get it. We will buy all sorts of insurance, have savings accounts, seek out relationships and much more all for the purpose of wanting to feel secure. However, there is only One who will never change and nothing in this world is unchangeable but Him and that is Jesus Christ. He offers us security.

Psalm 46:1-3 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;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.

Even if the earth should change and the mountains slip into the heart of the sea we can still know for certain that we are secure if He is our refuge and our security is in Him. He will never change and He has those who belong to Him in the palm of His hand. No one can snatch you out of the hand of Jesus and not only are you in His hand but you are also in the Father’s hand and no one can snatch you out of His hand.

John 10:27-30 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

Those who set the Lord before them and who come to Him will never be shaken. Do you continually come to the Lord or just when you feel the need for Him?

Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Do you take refuge in Him? He will show you His lovingkindness and protect you from those who rise up against you.

Psalm 17:7 Wondrously show Your lovingkindness, O Savior of those who take refuge at Your right hand from those who rise up against them.

The Lord upholds those who take refuge in Him. He comes down to you and lifts you up and it is His gentleness that makes you great. The word “gentleness” in this verse means condescension. He condescended when He came down in the form of man, went to the cross and died for our sins and then rose again. He got down on our level and has lifted us up.

Psalm 18:35 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great.

The Lord tells us not to fear or to look anxiously about us for He is our God. He will strengthen us and help us and He will uphold us with His righteous right hand.

Psalm 41:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Even when we fall we are not hurled headlong because the Lord is the One who holds our hand. Just as children walk with one whom they trust so the Lord walks with us and holds our hand. A child may stumble but it just causes the child to hold on more tightly. Are you stumbling in your walk with the Lord? Hold on to Him more tightly.

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

Just as Jesus Christ was judged so that we would not be judged. He was punished so that we would not be punished. In the same way, He was forsaken so that we would not be forsaken. He will never forsake you. He has you by the hand. Trust Him and do not be afraid. He will never let you go for you belong to Him if He is your Lord and Savior.

 

 

 

A Life that Is Not Condemned

No one wants to be judged but the truth of the matter is that we will all be judged. However, not all will be condemned. There is no greater peace than to know for sure that you are going to heaven. Many religions offer “maybe the possibility of heaven” but they can not offer the assurance  of not being condemned to hell. Also, their “possibility” will always fall short because they are all based on what you do to earn heaven. Jesus Christ offers assurance “without a doubt” of not being condemned. He alone can make this offer.

Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Jesus Christ took the judgment and the punishment for the entire world. We were due the consequences of our sin but Jesus Christ took it for us. All of us are just as guilty as everyone else because we all have sinned.

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

The Bible says that not only have all sinned but we are all equally guilty.

James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

Have you ever said a lie? Have you ever taken something that was not yours? Have you ever cheated? Have you ever lusted or been jealous or envious? If so, then you are guilty of all. However, the Lord offers you forgiveness if you will repent and turn to Him. Repenting means turning away from your sin and turning to the Lord. Jesus came to call us to repentance.

Luke 5:32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.

There must be repentance for there to be forgiveness.

Luke 24:47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

You will know when you have repented because you will feel clean on the inside and times of refreshing will come from the presence of the Lord.

Acts 3:19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

You will be a new person and will no longer want to do the things you did before. The Lord wants there to be evidence of your repentance. If you are still hanging out with the same people and doing the same things that you know are wrong then you have not repented.

Matthew 3:8 Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;

Not only are you a new person in Christ and your old life has passed away but you have been set free from the condemnation that once would have come to you.

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.

Jesus took your condemnation on the cross when He shed His blood for you so that now you are forgiven and given a new life in Christ.

Hebrews 9:22b all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

The final judgment will not come from the deeds you have done, whether it was good or bad, but the final judgment that will condemn people to hell is whether they trusted in Jesus Christ to forgive them of their sins and to give them eternal life in Him.

John 3:17-19 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

God did not send His Son into the world to judge you but to save you from your sins. If you believe in Him then you will not be judged and you will not be condemned but if you do not come to Jesus Christ then it is because you want to continue in your sin because you love the darkness rather than the light. Come to Jesus so that your sins might be wiped away and forgiveness and eternal life will be given to you.

Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

The Lord is kind and it is His kindness that leads us to repentance. He is rich in kindness and He is patient not wanting anyone to perish. Come to Him. He is calling all of us into a relationship with Him.

II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

 

A Life that Is Full of Wisdom

If you really want to live life to the fullest, and it is possible, then you desperately need wisdom. We all need God’s wisdom and wisdom is His instruction on how to live well. He came that you might have life and might have it abundantly but we sabotage our own lives by not knowing His ways and not living according to His wisdom. God’s wisdom is His ways.

John 10:10b I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Even though Jesus is the Son of God, He still needed to learn God’s ways and the wisdom from above. Jesus was full of wisdom but He had to be taught just as we need to be taught God’s ways.

Luke 2:40 The Child continued to grow and become strong, becoming full of wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

Jesus learned the Word of God and lived according to it. This is what it means that God’s grace was upon Him. God’s grace enabled Him to grow strong and full of wisdom.

Luke 2:52 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

The Lord will also give us His grace to live according to His ways. Just as Jesus increased in wisdom, we too, are to grow in wisdom.The Lord promises to give wisdom to anyone who will ask Him. He gives it without reproach, which means, He does not say “I told you so” rather, He is waiting for you to ask so that He can help you live life without needless pain.

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.

God’s Word is the source of wisdom.

Proverbs 4:5 Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

If you want to become full of wisdom then you must become full of God’s Word and be filled with His Spirit. As you seek to obey the Lord in what He says in His Word then He illumines your heart by His Spirit and fills you with His insight and wisdom.

Psalm 119:98,99 Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies,
For they are ever mine.
I have more insight than all my teachers,
For Your testimonies are my meditation.

You must love God’s Word, live by God’s Word, dwell in God’s Word, meditate on God’s Word and devour God’s Word. If you will do this then you will see the quality of your life greatly improve and not only will you be blessed but you will be a blessing to others.

Proverbs 3:13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.

Measure your life by God’s Word and see where you are in His wisdom. Are these the qualities that characterize your life?

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

Wisdom will illumine your face and you will be a light to the world.

Ecclesiastes 8:1 Who is like the wise man and who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man’s wisdom illumines him and causes his stern face to beam.

God’s wisdom will give you insight and you will be like the stars that shine.

Daniel 12:3 Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

Jesus was full of wisdom and He wants to fill you with His wisdom. He has made this offer of wisdom to all but it is only those who seek Him who will find and discover His wisdom. Much of the pain we go through in life is not knowing His wisdom. He has given us many gifts but if we do not have His wisdom then we never experience the joy of His blessings, rather sadly, we experience much sorrow because we don’t know His ways.

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

Let Him make you rich in good gifts rather you becoming poor with much sorrow because you don’t have His wisdom. Let Him make you rich with a loving spouse and loving children. Let Him make you rich with a clear conscience rather than poor with shame and compromise. Let Him make you rich in the things that really make life rich rather than you becoming poor with the cheap substitutes that are only counterfeits to the real gifts of life. The Lord is good and wants to give you good gifts that will bless you.

James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Last of all, if and when you become a mother, one of the greatest gifts that you can give to your children is to teach them God’s ways so that they will be full of His wisdom beginning at an early age.

 

 

 

A Life with Hope

Hope is the confident expectation of what God has promised will come true and faith is the assurance that what He promised He is able and will also perform. We hope for what we can not see.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval.

Only the Lord can give us hope. However, our hope must be in the Lord and not in the object of our desire. We can go through anything if we have hope. However, life never turns out the way you think it will but if your hope is in the Lord then He will not disappoint you and your disappointments will be His appointments. You will see His purposes and His love if your eyes are on Him and your hope is in Him.

Job 13:15 “Though He slay me,
I will hope in Him.

Hope gives us strength and the courage to go on.

Psalm 31:24 Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the Lord.

Life will get better when you feel that there is not much hope. Don’t give up but turn to the Lord and ask Him to help you.

Psalm 27:13,14 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

His eye is on those who hope for His lovingkindness.

Psalm 33:18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His lovingkindness,

Hope will not disappoint if your hope is in the Lord. Do not get discouraged for each trial that you go through only strengthens you in your faith in the Lord and brings about perseverance and proven character. Your faith is tested and you will see how much He loves you if you will hope in Him and His lovingkindness.

Romans 5:3-5 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Strengthen you faith and hope in Him through the incredible stories of His faithfulness that are preserved for us through the Old Testament.

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

The Lord is the God of hope and He will strengthen you as you seek Him.

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.

A Life of Generosity and Joy

Generosity and joy go hand and hand. The Lord Himself said that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Giving gets your eyes off of yourself and your interests and needs and causes you to become aware of the needs of others around you. The ore yo give, the more your cup of joy will overflow.

Acts20:35 In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Giving gives you a heart for the Lord, for where your treasure is there will your heat be also. Your heart will follow your treasure. Time and money are two of your treasures that you can give away.

Matthew 6:21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The generous person will be prosperous or successful.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous man will be prosperous,

Give to those who can not pay you back. The Lord says that even sinners give to those from whom they will receive something back. When you give to the needy of His people you are giving to the Lord.

Matthew 25:35-40  For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

The person who gives to the rich will come to poverty. Give to a person in need and they will give you their heart.  When you meet the need of the needy then you are removing the obstacle in their life so that they can hear the Gospel. You are allowing them to see the love and truth of God so that they can hear the love and truth of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:16 He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

Give to the poor and the Lord says that He Himself will pay you back. It is the only time in Scripture where the Lord says that He will become man’s debtor. His payment is in full and more. He remains no man’s debtor.

Proverbs 19:17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord,  And He will repay him for his good deed.

Give to those who have helped you spiritually.

Galatians 6:6 The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.

Your cup of joy will overflow as you give to the Lord by giving to His people, the needy and to reach others for Christ.

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