A Life that is Truly Great

If you want to be truly great in this life then there is one thing that you must do and that is you must do good. Doing good is meeting the needs of others without hurting others in the process. The end does not outweigh the means. If the end is good but the means are not then you have not done anything great but rather you have hurt others. Doing good also will not take from someone else to do good to another. Doing good is kindness done to one with justice to all.

Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?

Another way of saying it is that doing good must be done the right way. Doing good does not take what is rightfully someone else’s to give to another, even if they are in need.

Mark 7:27,28 And He was saying to her, “Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children’s crumbs.”

The Lord is constantly looking for someone who will do good to others. We all are looking for someone who is genuinely doing good.

Psalm 14:2,3 The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men
To see if there are any who understand,
Who seek after God.
They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one.

The beginning of doing good is to seek God for He is the only One who is good.

Mark 10:18b No one is good except God alone.

The Lord is looking for someone who will seek Him because apart from Him we can not do any good. There is so little good in us that none of seek God. We all seek after our own interests. Seeking God is a prerequisite to being truly great. Otherwise everything that we do will be for our own self and we can not serve ourselves and others also.

Matthew 23:11 But the greatest among you shall be your servant.

The more good we do and the more that we serve others, rather than ourselves, the greater we will be.

Matthew 18:1-4 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Before you can be truly great on earth you must become great in the kingdom on heaven. The kingdom of heaven is here on earth and dwells within the hearts of the people who have received Jesus Christ as their King, for He alone is King of kings. He is our King and we are His servants. In serving Him we are to serve others and do good to them, just as He came and did good to others.

Acts 10:38a You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good

Do you want to be truly great? Then you must discover the needs of others and meet them through serving. This what it means to be truly great. God is the only One who is truly great and in doing these things you will be more like Him. Doing good is when God meets man once again.

 

A Life with No Excuses

Since the Lord created the earth and made it evident to man that there is a Creator then man is without excuse for not acknowledging the Creator. All atheism and agnosticism is a result of not coming to the light that God has given to man. The light of God begins through creation and when man comes to God then the Lord gives him more light.

Romans 1:19,20 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

Man is without excuse because the Lord created man to know Him and made it evident within Him. However, if man does not turn to His Creator then his foolish heart becomes darkened.

Romans 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

God made man to know Him but when we do not honor Him or thank Him then we start speculating about God. Often it will begin with “My God would not…”. Any speculation about God will only bring greater darkness to the foolish heart that does not turn to God. Finally, the one who does not acknowledge God, honor Him or thank Him will cease to even believe that He exists.

Romans 1:22,23 Professing to be wise, they became fools,and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

The person who turns from God will think that he himself is wise. Once he thinks of himself as wise then he has even less hope than when he was only a fool and turned from God. Now, the wise in his own eyes person will exchange the glory of being made in God’s image and think that he is made in the image of creation, which is a summation of evolution.

Proverbs 26:12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

 

A Life that Chooses the Light

Life can be narrowed down to two basic choices and these choices determine the quality of our lives, the direction of our lives and the end of our lives. The two choices are that we can either go towards the light or we can go towards the darkness. If we go towards the light then we will receive more light and will eventually reflect the light to others.

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

In Christ alone is life and His life is the Light of men.

John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

When we receive Christ then we receive the life and we receive the light.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

Jesus Christ is the light that gives light to everyone who receives Him and He enlightens every man.

John 1:9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.

You can come to the light through believing in Jesus Christ or you can remain in darkness. The choice is yours.

John 12:46 I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.

If you choose to remain in darkness then your “world” will become darker and darker and you will not be able to see life clearly. You will live in a state of confusion and will stumble through life without peace.

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

The reason why people do not come to the Light is because they want to go their own way and do what they want to do. The end is frustration, defeat and death.

John 3:19,20 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.For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

After death, those who chose darkness with receive judgment for the choices of sin they made. They could have chosen light and life but they chose darkness, judgment and eternal torment and death.

Hebrews 9:27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,

Those who chose the light and the life of Jesus Christ will see Jesus when He appears a second time for salvation without a reference to sin to those who eagerly await Him. They chose to turn from darkness to the light and received light, life and eternal salvation and life.

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

A Life Blessed by Love and Truth

It was God’s love and His truth that was His gift to us in Jesus Christ. He took the initiative and loved us and made known the truth to us and made it available to us to become right with God.

Proverbs 16:6a By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for,

Our sin was atoned for through the death of Jesus Christ. He took the punishment and penalty for sin that we deserved. We are forgiven through Him and it was His love and His righteousness that we received. Atonement was made for us that we might have the gift of forgiveness and our guilt removed.

Leviticus 14:31 He shall offer what he can afford, the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, together with the grain offering. So the priest shall make atonement before the Lord on behalf of the one to be cleansed.

Jesus was the lamb of God that took our guilt away and cleansed us from our sin.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

As many as will receive the gift of Jesus Christ, the lamb of God, who died for the world shall receive the gift of salvation, the removal of their guilt and the cleansing from their sin and they will become “at one” with God and become His child and a part of His family. God, the Father, receives those who receive Jesus Christ because of what Jesus did.

John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

 

A Life Living in Love and Truth

As you learn to live in God’s love and truth then you will soar in life. Your life will have purpose and meaning and you will experience great joy and fulfillment.

Psalm 138:8 The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

God’s love and God’s truth are eternal.

Psalm 117:2 For His lovingkindness is great toward us,
And the truth of the Lord is everlasting.
Praise the Lord!

As you live in His love and truth then you will being living the eternal life that He came to bring to you. You will have eternal values and eternal treasures.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

As you walk in His truth and His love then you will be doing what He has called you to do.

I John 2:3-6 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

His commandments are love and truth. If you love Him then you will keep His commandments and if you keep His commandments then you will be loving others as He has loved you. Jesus was full of love and truth and kept His Father’s commandments. He wants us to walk in the same manner as he Himself also walked.

I John 2:10 The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

When you love others then you will not make them stumble nor will you stumble. For this reason there are some activities that are not a right or wrong issue but they are “love” issues because they would make someone stumble. If you love your brother then you will not do anything to make Him stumble. You will restrict your “freedom” out of love for your brother.

Romans 14:15-21 For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles.

If you eat certain foods (that were sacrificed to idols) or drink wine and make your brother stumble then you are not walking according to love. The word “good” in this passage means the highest form of love. If you are not loving your brother then this issue is not just a love issue but has become a sin issue. Even though the activity may not be “sin” for you, the very action has become sin because it is not loving your brother.

I John 3:10b anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

If you are a Christian and belong to Him then the commandment that He has given you is to love your brother. If you keep His commandments then you will abide in His love and His love will abide in you.

 

A Life that Knows the Kindness of God

The kindness of God is truly amazing. His kindness was shown towards us when we were at our worse and it is His kindness that leads us to repent.

Romans 2:4,5 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? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

The kindness of God has come to us through sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins and to be raised again from the dead. We can repent of our sins and be restored to a relationship if God or we can be stubborn and keep an unrepentant heart by going our own way. The Lord does not want us to experience His wrath but if we refuse the kindness of God then wrath will be the righteous judgment of God.

Romans 11:22 Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.

The Lord’s instruction to you if you have experienced His kindness is to continue in His kindness. God’s love and kindness is for those who belong to Him and obey Him. God’s wrath is being stored up for the unrepentant person but His wrath is also evident today against all unrighteousness and ungodliness. If you do unrighteousness and ungodliness then you will experience the wrath of God that is poured out on these activities. When you suppress the truth of God, which is written in His Word, then you will do ungodliness and unrighteousness. You will experience pain and destruction of your body and soul.

John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Belief and obedience go hand in hand. This is what it means to trust and obey. Trust and obey Him that your soul may live and praise Him. When your soul lives it experiences the kindness and love of God and you will want to praise Him.

Psalm 119:175,176 Let my soul live that it may praise You,
And let Your ordinances help me.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant,
For I do not forget Your commandments.

All of our hearts are prone to wander and to go astray. We are like sheep and we go astray at times. Pray to Him and He will seek you. Come back to Him and again trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus.

 

A Life with Love is Gentle

What is so amazing about the Lord is that He is so great and awesome, He is mighty and powerful, He is Lord of lords and King of kings and yet, He is also gentle. There is only one place in the Bible where Jesus Christ describes Himself and when He does He lets us know about His heart.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, Matthew 11:28,29a

Not only did He have a gentle heart but He never yelled when He spoke.

He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street. Isaiah 42:2

Not only did Jesus have a gentle heart and did not yell at people but Jesus Christ was gentle in His actions and especially in the way He related to those who were hurting.

A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; Isaiah 42:3

Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is the exact representation of God, the Father, so everything that He says about Himself is who God is.

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. Hebrews 1:1-3a

Whoever knows Jesus Christ will also know God, the Father. He who has seen Jesus has seen God.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; John 14:6-11b

Jesus, the Son of God, and God, the Father are One. The Bible is also the Word of God and is the revelation of who God is. When Jesus Christ came to earth, He was born of a virgin and lived and walked among men and women. He died and rose again. The Word of God became flesh in Jesus Christ. Everything that the Bible says about Jesus Christ is who God is. The Bible is God’s revelation to us so that we might know Him.

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

The word “gentle” literally means to condescend. The word condescend literally means to “get down with on the same level”. When Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth as a human being then God literally came down to man on man’s level.

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; I Peter 3:18

Jesus Christ crushed Satan on the head when He went to the cross. Jesus Christ fulfilled the promise that God gave to Adam and Eve in the garden. Jesus Christ rendered powerless, the one who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and Jesus Christ alone can set us free from the fear of death when we receive Him.

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Hebrews 2:14,15

There is nothing greater that has ever happened than God becoming man so we would know that He could understands us, mediates for us and brings us to God.

Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. Hebrews 2:17,18

Jesus Christ became like us so that He could save us. Jesus Christ became like us so that He could not only save us from the penalty of sin but also from its power when we are tempted. He understands our struggles and He has given us salvation in Him and through what He has done for us. He has lifted us up and upholds us. It is His “condescension” which is the greatest expression of gentleness for He truly came down to our level and lifted us up from the pit of despair.

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

A Life with Love Perseveres

Love does not give up when it wants to quit. Sometimes life can seem overwhelming and the temptation is great to stop trying to do what we need to do. Adam and Eve, in a sense, lost both of their sons at the same time. Cain killed Abel and then he had to leave home. We know that he married for he had offspring and the only girl that was available was one of his sisters. So, that means that Adam and Eve also had a daughter leave home at the same time.

Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.” Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. Genesis 4:1.2a

Adam and Eve could have given up and not had anymore children. Maybe they felt like a failure. Their firstborn son had killed his brother. Their hearts were probably broken and there was much grief. Sin brings grief, not only to the one who commits the sin, but also to everyone else that feels the impact. There is a ripple effect. The devil wants you to believe that the “action” that you want to do will only affect you. That is not true. Sin will cost you more than you want to pay and hold you in its power longer than you want to stay. Sin brings death. This was never a part of God’s plan for Adam and Eve or for Cain and Abel.

For the wages of sin is death Romans 6:23a

However, Adam and Eve did not allow circumstances to determine their obedience. They persevered in obeying the Lord. He had instructed them to multiply and so they were committed to having more children.

Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” Genesis 4:25

Eve had become very humble. Each time that she gave birth she gave the glory to the Lord. Eve realized that she can do nothing apart from the help of the Lord. Adam and Eve could persevere during the dark days because their help was in God. The only way that we will not give up is if our faith is in One who is greater than ourselves.

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. John 15:5

We can do nothing good apart from God. We will bear fruit, much fruit, when we learn to abide in the Lord. Even though Adam and Eve lived in a barren land their life became fruitful because they depended on the Lord. When they lived in a land of plenty, in the Garden of Eden, they did not bear fruit because they depended on their own reasonings rather than on the Lord.

To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord. Genesis 4:26

In the barren land Adam and Eve bore fruit for eternity because they looked to the Lord. Men began to call on the Lord after Seth was born and a godly line began that eventually brought forth the promised One who would strike the serpent on the head. It is in our humility that we can persevere and bear much fruit and then we will see the goodness and power of God.

A Life that is Helped and Helps

We all need to help and to be helped. We need to help each other stay on God’s path. We need each other and the Lord has provisions for us. There are three layers of relationships that ladies need to help them stay on God’s path and do what is right.

Hebrew 13:7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the outcome of their way of life, imitate their faith.

The top layer are those whom you look up to and respect. If you can have a loving relationship with this person then that is great but sometimes it may be someone you admire from a distance whose life inspires you. However, you definitely need some people in the upper layer who love you and will pray for you and keep you accountable. This person sees your needs and wants to see you grow in the Lord. Find people who are growing in their relationship with the Lord whom you want to be like and you want to go where they are going in life. Be careful who you aspire to be like because you will become like the person you allow to teach you. Choose godly women who love the Lord. Look at the fruit in their lives.

Luke 6:40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

The second layer are the friends that you choose. This layer will love you and want to be with you. Both of you agree that you want to be faithful to the Lord, which means that you want to be faithful to honor your parents or husband, or you both want to be faithful in school or on the job.

Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, unless they be agreed?”

You both want to follow the Lord and you stimulate one another to do that very thing. You will stick with each other through thick and thin, no matter what the circumstances.

Proverbs 18: 24 …there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

You also want your closest friends to be wise people who seek the Lord, fear and respect Him and want to be a disciple of Jesus. A wise person lives each day as though it is his last so that he will be ready to meet the Lord.

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

A fool lives as if there is no God.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

Who you choose as your friends is one of the most important decisions you will make in life. Choose right and you will treasure them and you will bless each other. Choose wrong and you will end up in situations you never intended to be and you will go places you never wanted to go. A true friend is more concerned about your relationship with the Lord than your relationship with them.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times,

The last layer is the bottom layer and this layer are the girls or young ladies who look up to you. This layer keeps you on the straight and narrow because you do not want to disappoint them. Often they think that you can do no wrong. Of course you know the truth about yourself but they truly believe the best in you. Also, this layer is important because the Lord tells us to reach out to others and especially to those who can not pay you back. The Lord Himself will make sure that your life is watered if you water others.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.

The Lord Himself was like this.

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

If you are missing a layer then ask the Lord to provide and then seek out opportunities to meet people. This principle is seen in life with grandparents, parents and children. Also, Jesus looked to the Father and had the disciples, especially Peter, James and John as friends and reached out to the multitude.

An easy way to remember this is to call it the “oreo” principle. (If you like oreo cookies.) The top layer are those who love you in spite of your faults and the bottom layer are those who love you but do not see your faults. Then the sweet stuff in the middle are your friends who see the good, the bad and the ugly but who love you anyway and who will be there for you. Can it get any better? How is your “oreo” principle?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life in Secret

There are three things that the Lord says that we need to do in secret. Again, He loves to reward His children when they do what pleases Him so He offers great rewards for these three matters of obedience. The Lord says that He sees in secret and He knows what we do in secret. He says that He will reward us openly. If you read the lives of the great men and women that God has used you will learn that they had their secret life with the Lord. Those who are not faithful in their secret life with the Lord eventually fall just as a tree whose roots are shallow or whose inside is rotten will fall. Your roots must go deep into his Word and into the soil of His love. If they do then your spiritual life will be nourished and you will prosper.

Jeremiah 17:7,8 Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.

First, when you give, you are to give in secret. You are to give to those who can not pay you back. You are to give to the poor.

Matthew 6:3 But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Second, when you pray, you are to pray in secret.

Matthew 6:6 But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Third, when you fast, you are to fast in secret.

Matthew 6:17,18 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Just as roots are not seen but produce the fruit on the tree for all to see, so you too, when your roots go deep with the Lord, the Lord will be glorified by the fruit of your life as you bear His fruit.

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

May your trust in the Lord grow through maintaining your secret life with the Lord through prayer and meditation, fasting and giving.

Psalm 1:2,3 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.