A Life of Much Joy

Do you want to overflow with joy? Do you want much joy in your life? The joy of the Lord is what gives us strength.

Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Joy is the medicine that heals our hearts

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones.

Joy is what allows us to enjoy every good thing the Lord has for us. Choose the Lord and His ways and you choose joy. When you choose Him then you will be satisfied in the morning with His lovingkindness and you will sing for joy and be glad all of your days.

Psalm 90:14 O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

The Lord wants you to serve Him with joy.

Deuteronomy 28:47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things;

The Lord makes us joyful with gladness in His presence.

Psalm 21:6 For You make him most blessed forever;
You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence.

This is who the Lord is…He wants you to be filled with much joy. When you learn to live in His presence then your life will be filled with much joy. Don’t try to see how close you can get to the world without sinning but see how close you can get to the Lord.

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.

You will be blessed as you live a life of joy and walk in His light.

Psalm 89:15,16 How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
O Lord, they walk in the light of Your countenance.
In Your name they rejoice all the day,
And by Your righteousness they are exalted.

When we walk in His Spirit then we have joy and just as a child brings their parent joy when they do what is right so we also bring the Lord joy when we are faithful to Him.

Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.

When we serve Him and faithfully do His will then we enter into His joy.

Matthew 25:21 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.’

Joy is God’s confirmation that you are in His will. Run with endurance the race that He has set before you. He will fill you with much joy. Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him. Let His joy strengthen you for the journey and stay faithful to the end as our Lord did.

Hebrews 12:1,2 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

He is coming and His reward is with Him.

Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

 

 

A Life of Grace

Grace does not excuse you from your sin or give you the freedom to do what you want. Grace is what the Lord gives to the humble that allows that person to do what is right. In the Bible grace was a blessing that came before or after the commands of what the Lord wants His people to do or be.

James 4:4-6 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Grace is not something that we give ourselves when we mess up and sin. God gives grace to the humble and His grace is what enables us to not be crushed by our guilt but to be able to get back up and do what He has called us to do. God gives grace to the humble. Humility is confessing your sin to the Lord and your need for Him. Grace allows us to be faithful to the Lord so that we will not be called an adulteress by our flirting with and friendship with the world. He gives a greater grace than what the world has to offer. Grace is what sets you free from your bondage to sin.

Ezra 9:8 But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage.

You were in bondage to sin before you became a Christian. He saved you from your sin and sins and the consequences of them. Your sin is your desire to be your own god and the sins are all of the snares that you became caught in by trying to be your own god.

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.

Again, our redemption is through His blood and forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of His grace towards us. God is gracious towards us because of what Christ did on the cross. He took our sin.

Ephesians 1:7,8a In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.

Grace increases when we sin. This means that there is nothing that is beyond His grace to allow you to come back to Him. His grace is what allows us to come back when we have fallen so that we can be restored in our fellowship with Him.

Romans 5:20,21 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Grace reigns through righteousness to eternal life. Eternal life is knowing the Lord. If you are growing in grace then you will be growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

John 17:3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Grace is with those who love the Lord Jesus Christ with a pure love. A love that obeys Him and keeps His commandments.

Ephesians 6:24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.

Are you growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord? Is your love for Him incorruptible and pure? Or are you still struggling with friendship with the world? He loves you and jealousy desires the Spirit that He has made to dwell in you. Ask the Lord to help you be faithful to Him. Put yourself around Christians who love Him rather than the world. The Lord will help you and give you more grace to be faithful to Him if you will humble yourself before Him.

 

A Life with Desires Fulfilled

Will the Lord really fulfill your desires or will He only give you what you need but not really desire? These are questions that people ask. What does His Word say about our desires? The Lord may fulfill your desires but the sooner you realize that your desires will never fulfill you the more content and satisfied you will be in life. Jesus Christ is the only who can fulfill you. He is enough. However He delights in giving us gifts.

Psalm 20:4,5 May He grant you your heart’s desire
And fulfill all your purpose!
We will sing for joy over your victory,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners.
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.

May He grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your purpose. May He also fulfill all of your petitions. He does want you to ask Him for what is on your heart. The fact is though, most of us don’t really know what we want. We think that a lot of things will make us happy and so we long for those things. However, once you realize that He loves you perfectly and has a purpose for your life then you can learn to rest in Him and wait on Him. Don’t focus on your desires but focus on Him. That is the only way to be free from our desires controlling us.

Psalm 84:11,12 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!

Seek Him with all of your heart and seek to walk in His ways and obey Him. He will not withhold any good thing from you. How blessed is the person who will rest in His love for them. Do not fret. He says that He will not disappoint the one who trusts in Him.

Psalm 22:5 To You they cried out and were delivered;
In You they trusted and were not disappointed.

If He withholds something from you it is because at this time it is not good for you. You must trust Him. Learn to delight yourself in Him as you learn to trust Him.

Psalm 37:3,4 Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

This phrase “cultivate faithfulness” means to feed on His faithfulness. He is faithful even when we are not. You can trust him. If you will only trust Him completely then He will give you far more than your desires. Learn to do what is right and learn His ways. He will act on your behalf and meet you.

Isaiah 64:4,5a For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.

He is able to do far more than what we ask or think. Trust Him.

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

Be glad in Him and let your joy be in Him. Let Him be your glory and the One is whom you rejoice. He will meet you with the blessings of good things and then you will know that He is God and does what He pleases. He is the One who gives life.

Psalm 21:1-6 O Lord, in Your strength the king will be glad,
And in Your salvation how greatly he will rejoice!
You have given him his heart’s desire,
And You have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah.
For You meet him with the blessings of good things;
You set a crown of fine gold on his head.
He asked life of You,
You gave it to him,
Length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through Your salvation,
Splendor and majesty You place upon him.
For You make him most blessed forever;
You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence.

Only the Lord can do this in a person’s life. He can satisfy you and He can bring you to the place of total surrender of your desires and your will. Ask Him to help you and to do His work in your life. He wants to bless you but He knows that you need to delight in the Blessor rather than the blessing. He wants you to worship Him and to not have any other idols. If He is not first in our life then whatever else is first is what we worship. And if He is not first then it does not matter if he is second or forty second. He must be first in our life and we must seek Him before anything else.

A Life that Has a Great Reward

The Lord offers a great reward to the person who will obey Him and keep his commandments.

Psalm 19:7-11 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.

Not only is there a great reward for keeping His commandments but the Lord says that your soul will be restored, you will receive wisdom, your heart will rejoice and your eyes will be enlightened. Do you need healing in your soul or wisdom and joy? Do you want insight? Then you must keep His commandments. You will have a great reward.

Matthew 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

If and when you keep His commandments you will be persecuted. Again, your reward will be great and when you see the Lord you will only wish that you had obeyed more than you did. Do not fear. He will be with you.

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

When you love your enemies then you will have a great reward. Trust the Lord and do what He says. You will be glad.

Hebrews 10:35,36 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

Keep trusting Him and do not throw away your confidence in Him. When you have done the will of God for your life then you will receive what He has promised. His promises are sure. So, there are three things that if you do you will receive a great reward and these are keeping his commandments, being persecuted for your faith, loving your enemies and keeping your confidence in Christ who is faithful.

 

A Life that Experiences a Great Love

The Lord has loved us with a great love by giving us the incredible privilege of being called by His name, of belonging to Him and being His child. However, if you don’t experience His love then you will not know Him as you need to and be able to trust him completely. You will have doubts and that can sometimes lead to confusion. The Bible says that God is not a God of confusion.

I Corinthians 14:33a for God is not a God of confusion,

So, if you don’t want doubts or confusion then how do you live in His love? Jesus said that He abided in the Father’s love.

John 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

The way to live in His love is to keep His commandments just as He kept the Father’s commandments and abided in the Father’s love. Jesus never doubted the Father’s love nor was He ever confused. Jesus has loved you just as the Father loved Him. Abide in His love.

John 15:9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have loved you; abide in My love.

The Father loved Jesus perfectly and so Jesus could trust the Father completely. Jesus went to the cross in faith that the Father would raise Him from the dead. Jesus did not raise Himself from the dead. The Father did but Jesus trusted Him to do so because He promised that He would. How did Jesus learn to obey the Father?

Hebrews 5:8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things He suffered.

Obedience is something that we must learn. It does not come naturally but it is necessary. Don’t get discouraged in your failings. Get back up and obey Him in what He has called you to do. Usually you know what it is. If you don’t then ask Him to help you. He will meet you in your need to do what is right.

Isaiah 64:5a You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness, who remembers you in Your ways.

It is a wonderful sweet fellowship when you live in His love. When you experience His love then you want to love Him back. When you love Him back by keeping His commandments then you will experience His love. Your life will be sweet and people will be drawn to the One whom you are in love with as you radiate His love to the world.

I John 4:19 We love because He first loved us.

Is there something that He wants you to do or a command that He has given you. He has given you the grace to obey. His commandments are for your good. He loves you. You will be glad that you obeyed. Keeping His commandments will bring you great joy and peace for they are not burdensome.

I John 5:3 For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

 

A Life that Is Joyful

A life that is joyful is a life that is full of joy. The Lord wants us to be full of joy and He tells us how to have that kind of life. When He walked on earth He said to His disciples that He spoke these things to them that their joy may be made full. What are these things?

John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

When we learn to abide, which means live, in His love then our joy will be made full and His joy will be in us. How do we learn to live in His love? He tells us in His Word.

John 15:9-10 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

The way we learn to keep His commandments is to abide in His Word. The one who abides in His Word and His Words abide in him will also abide in His love. He wants you to abide in Him and His Words abide in you. The Lord has some amazing promises for the people who abide in His Word and His Words abide in them. He says that they can ask whatever they wish! Who among us would not love to see our prayers answered and also to be able to ask whatever we wish? When the reward is great then it puts a greater value on the command.

John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Do you believe that if you abide in Him and His words abide in you that you can ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you? Do you have any unfulfilled wishes? You might say that it must be according to His will but that phrase is not in this promise. It says that you can ask what you wish and it will be done for you. The Lord also says that if you do this then you will bear much fruit and the Father will be glorified.

John 15:8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

To abide in His Word and His Words abide in you means that you live in His Word and His Words live in you. When they live in you then you and His Word become one and His Word is expressed through your life. In other words, since the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, Jesus will dwell among others through you. You will keep His commandments because they are so much a part of you. This is how Jesus lived when He was on earth.

Psalm 40:7,8 Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law is within my heart.”

When His Word is in you and you abide in His Word then it will be your delight to do His will. When you delight in something then it becomes the joy of your heart and your joy is made full when you do it. Are your wishes filled and is your joy full? Take the Lord at His Word and do exactly as He has commanded us and you will see your prayers answered and your joy full.

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

Jesus came to do the Father’s will and He wants us to do His will.

John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

When you live this way then His desires will become your desires and your desire will be to fulfill His desire for your life. Your life will overflow with great joy even in the midst of trials and suffering.

Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus knew what it meant to have joy. Joy comes from living in His presence and His life being lived through you.

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.

Jesus lived a joyful life and this is His will for you.

John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

 

 

A Life that Calls

From the very beginning the great men and women of God, who lived by faith, called on the Lord. The wicked do not call on the Most High but look elsewhere for help.

Genesis 13:4 to the place of the altar which he had made there formerly; and there Abram called on the name of the Lord.

The incredible privilege of being able to call on the Creator of the universe is what makes Christians so unique. The Lord has made us a people for Himself.

Deuteronomy 4:7 For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the Lord our God whenever we call on Him?

The Christian life begins with calling on the Lord and the Christian life is a relationship where we continually call on Him. He says that whoever, which includes everyone, calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Romans 10:12,13 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

He tells us to call on Him when we are in trouble and He will rescue us. Has He ever rescued you? Did you honor Him by telling others what great thing He has done for you?

Psalm 50:15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”

Full repentance involves turning from your sin and turning to the Lord and calling on Him, that He might have mercy on you and save you from your iniquity.  Iniquity is  what your sin is called of wanting to be your own lord, by going your own way and making your own decisions. Once you repent from your iniquity then He will save you from your sins, which are all of the foolish acts, words, thoughts and offenses against Him.

Jonah 3:8 But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands.

The Lord wants you to call on Him so that He can show you great and mighty things.

Jeremiah 33:3 ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

Where are you in your calling upon the Lord? Do you call on Him every morning before you start your day or have you become weary in your walk and no longer call on Him as you did earlier when you first came into your love relationship with the Lord?

Isaiah 43:22 Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob;
But you have become weary of Me, O Israel.

The Lord longs to hear from you and waits for your call. Just as a parent, who loves their child waits for their calls when they are away, so your heavenly Father is waiting to hear from you.

Psalm 4:1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.

He will answer you and He will hear your call. He loves you and longs to hear from you. You will find strength that you did not have and boldness in your soul.

Psalm 138:3 On the day I called, You answered me;
You made me bold with strength in my soul.

A Life with Love Needs to Receive

 

God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. Genesis 1:31a

Love was a gift that God gave to Adam and Eve through His relationship and fellowship with them. As long as they kept His commandment then they would live in His love. In the day that they would disobey they would die and their capacity to receive God’s love would be gone. Love is always a choice. Adam and Eve chose to not love God and in doing so, chose to not receive and experience the gift of His love.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16,17

When Adam and Eve sinned they no longer experienced God’s love as they did before their sin. Their guilt separated them from God and they hid themselves. They became isolated and lonely.

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8

The consequence of their sin was that Adam and Eve had to leave the presence of God. God is love and in His presence is love. Love is received in the spirit, experienced in the soul and expressed through the body. Adam and Eve died spiritually when they sinned and could not longer receive God’s love in the spirit. As a result of their sin they could no longer experience love in their souls or express it through their bodies.

therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, Genesis 3:23a

If someone wants love in their life and in their relationships then they must receive the gift of love in their spirit. God is spirit and He comes to live within a person in their spirit. When we receive God in our spirit we become spiritually alive.

God is spirit, John 4:24

When we become spiritually alive and are restored to a relationship with God then we receive the gift of His love. God is love and when He comes to live within a person then He fills that person with His love. The love of God within a person is like a river of love that never dries up. God is the source of true love and when we receive His Spirit then we become spiritually alive and we become filled with the love of God. It is the love of God that we have received that we can give to others.

Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; John 37b-39a

The only way that love can thrive in a marriage, family or a friendship is if God is in the relationship. God’s love is pure and is a love that is true, faithful, kind, patient, giving, merciful, believes the best, hopes for the best and desires the best in another. God’s love is not selfish but is sacrificial, steadfast, enduring and is eternal. God’s love gives grace and forgives. God’s love never dries up nor can it ever be exhausted. God’s love is perfect. God’s love is beyond our understanding. It is so deep that we can never fully comprehend it. It is so magnificent and perfect that we can only believe it and receive it and when we do our lives and relationships are never the same. God’s love was fully expressed through the life and death of Jesus Christ. When we come to know Him then we begin a love relationship with God that never ends. There is nothing that can separate us from God’s love once we have received it through Jesus Christ.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38,39

A Life that Resists

The devil has already been defeated but he is still trying to cause as much grief as he can. For this reason he is called the evil one. The word evil means to cause grief and the Bible says that hell is one of the things that is never satisfied. Sheol is another word for hell.

Proverbs 27:20a Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,

Satan is going to be cast into hell with all the demons and he is trying to take as many people as possible.

Matthew 25:41 Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

As mentioned earlier the devil was defeated when Christ went to the cross. This was spoken of in Genesis and is the first reference to Jesus Christ coming. He came to bruise the devil on the head.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

The Bible says that the devil roams to and fro throughout the earth looking for someone to destroy.

I Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Satan comes like a thief, when you least expect him and when you are at a weak moment. If he can not rob you of salvation then he will seek to rob you of your joy and cause you to be a defeated Christian. Christians are defeated when they compromise.

John 10:10a The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

Christians are useless in the kingdom of God when they compromise. A stream that has been trampled by animals is worthless to drink out of and so is a polluted well.

Proverbs 25:26 Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.

However, the Lord tells us to resist the devil and he will flee.

I Peter 5:9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

We resist the devil through the Word of God. It is the sword of the Spirit and Jesus Himself used the Word of God when He was tempted by the devil.

Matthew 4:3-10 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will command His angels concerning You’; and‘On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”

After you have suffered a little while then the Lord Himself will come to you and comfort you. Resist the devil by keeping firm in your faith and standing on the Word of God. Don’t compromise. Cry out to the Lord to help you. Quote the Word of God out loud or read it out loud.

I Peter 5:10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

After you have seen His love and faithfulness you will be strengthened in your faith and now you are to strengthen and encourage other Christians. We need each other.

Luke 22:31,32 Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Jesus is praying for you that your faith will not fail.

 

 

 

 

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.