A Life with Love is Sincere

Love is sincere or it is not love at all. Insincere love is a pretension and is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy does not fool anyone but the one who has it. Love must be genuine. Everyone longs to see genuine love and longs to be loved with a genuine love.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Romans 12:9a

A sincere love is a love that is not fickle. It does not change with the times and circumstances. It loves when the one loved seems unlovable. It is the love that great marriages are made of and what should characterize all marriages. It is the love that is repeated in the vows made to God during the wedding ceremony.,,for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.

Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy man? Proverbs 20:6

A genuine love is not intentions but faithfulness in actions. A sincere love never changes. This is the love that God has for all of us. This kind of love is impossible apart from God.

Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, I Peter 1:22

When we draw near to God then we will learn what it means to have a sincere love for others.

let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, Hebrews 10:22a

A genuine love must come from a sincere heart with a clean conscience. Only God can clean our conscience.

having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience Hebrews 10:22b

A sincere love is one which loves expecting nothing in return. A sincere and genuine love will never fail.

Love never fails; I Corinthians 13:8a

The greatest gift that you can give to another is a genuine and sincere love. This kind of love can only come from a pure heart and a good conscience with a sincere faith in God.

But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. I Timothy 1:5

We can only find this kind of love in Jesus Christ. He gave His life for us. He loved us when we did not deserve it. No one deserves anyone’s love. Just as God’s love is a gift to us so is anyone else’s love. When you love with this kind of love then you will know that Christ is in you and you are in Christ. You will have a clear conscience and your heart will not condemn you. You will not help another when you see a need, out of guilt, but it will be love that motivates you. It will be a love greater than yourself for it will be God’s love.

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. I John 3:16-20

The Lord is so gracious to us. He knows our heart and He knows all things. He knows how weak our love is for others. He will help us learn to love and will love through us. Ask Him to teach you and help you love others with His kind of love.

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. I John 3:21-22

The Lord does not condemn you and don’t let your heart condemn you. The Lord will give you what you need to help you have a genuine love for others and keep His commandments. When you obey Him and love sincerely in deed and truth then you will do what is pleasing in His sight and He will hear your prayers. You will receive what you ask for from Him.

This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. I John 3:23

This is His commandment, that we believe in Jesus Christ and love one another as Christ has loved us. Trust in Him and obey Him.

How to Avoid an Unstable Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

A Life with Love Must Be Selective

Contrary to what some may say and others may believe we can not have it all. We can not have a life filled with love and do what we want to do. To find and keep love a life must be selective about what it hears, sees and does. What comes into your life is what will be expressed through your life.

and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood— Revelation 1:5

There is One who loves us and He loved us with His life and He released us from the things that would destroy our lives, our marriages and our homes. He does not want us to go back to a life of destruction. He came to bring us life overflowing.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10

There are six things that must characterize your life if you want to find and keep love. If you do these six things then you will live on the heights of the earth, that is, you will live above your circumstances rather than under your circumstances. Often it is not our circumstances that determine our lives but our response to our circumstances.

He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity,
He who rejects unjust gain
And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe;
He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed
And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil; Isaiah 33:15

“He who walks righteously” Walking righteously is doing what God says. He is the only One who is righteous and when we do what He says then we will walk righteously.

It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the Lord our God, just as He commanded us. Deuteronomy 6:25

“speaks with sincerity” Speaking with sincerity can only come when a person is honestly walking with God. Only a person with integrity, where there is no double mindedness in them, can speak with sincerity. This person is singular in their desire to please God. There is nothing that they desire from another.

Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. Psalm 73:25

“He who rejects unjust gain” To reject unjust gain is to not be deceptive or cheat in any way. It is to be honest in all of our dealings. To reject unjust gain is to walk in God’s ways and not to want our own way. The Lord says that He will teach us how to profit. When we are seeking Him and seeking to walk in His ways then He will show us how to profit in a way that all will benefit.

They have all turned to their own way, Each one to his unjust gain, to the last one. Isaiah 56:11b

“And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe” The Lord does not take bribes

For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. Deuteronomy 10:17

“And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe” The Lord does not want us to take bribes.

You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. Deuteronomy 10:19

“He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed” The Lord does not want us to listen to bloodshed. We need to stop our ears from listening to bloodshed. Is there bloodshed in the news? Is there bloodshed in the books or movies that are available? The Lord wants us to be proactive in what we listen to and to stop our ears from listening to bloodshed. The Lord wants us to hate bloodshed and not listen to it.

therefore as I live,” declares the Lord God, “I will give you over to bloodshed, and bloodshed will pursue you; since you have not hated bloodshed, therefore bloodshed will pursue you. Ezekiel 35:6

“And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil” The Lord wants us to shut our eyes from looking upon evil. We will only be able to do what we know. He does not even want us to have the knowledge of evil. If we want to find and keep love then we must be innocent in what is evil. There is something pure and refreshing about a person who is innocent in the knowledge of evil.

but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. Romans 16:19b

The Lord says that if you will do these six things then you will live on the heights of the earth. You will be secure and you will not worry over the basic necessities of life, in fact, they will be given to you and you can be sure of them.

He will dwell on the heights,
His refuge will be the impregnable rock;
His bread will be given him,
His water will be sure. Isaiah 33:16

For the person who does these six things they will not only live securely and live a life above the way the rest of the world but they will see the Lord in His beauty. This person will see the Lord and their eyes will also behold that far distant land that He has in store for them. Their entire perspective will be changed and they will realize that this life is only passing. They will have something far greater to live for than what this world has to offer. They will see the One who is love and in seeing they will realize that they have found love and they will keep the love that God has for them, for God is love.

Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will behold a far distant land. Isaiah 33:17

How to Have A Life with Stability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Have A Life that is Successful

Everyone longs to be successful. We don’t want to fail in school, in relationships, on our job, at home or when and if we get married and have children. These next few promises are some of the most amazing promises in the Bible. It shows the heart of the Lord. He wants you to be successful in every area of your life. Incredible that we have a God who not only loves us perfectly but desires our best!

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

Some people may not believe this promise but don’t let someone else’s unbelief pull you down because this verse is very true. The Bible says that it is impossible for God to lie. However, He makes it very clear what you must do to be successful. You must meditate on God’s Word day and night to that you may be careful to follow it exactly as He says. Sometimes it may not make sense to you but do it anyway. Meditate means that you think about His Word. We meditate all of the time. Worry is meditating on your problems and the outcome. If you will replace those thoughts with His Word then you will receive insight that you never saw before and He will show you what to do to avoid failure and to succeed.

Psalm 1:1-3 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
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.

Again, this is amazing. The Lord says that if you will meditate on His Word day and night then your life will be fruitful, you will not wither up during the dry seasons of life and in whatever you do…you will prosper. We spend so much time trying to be successful in our own efforts and even reading books on how to be successful in different areas but IF we will only do this one thing then the Lord promises us success. This shows how much He longs for you to spend time with Him. Just like parents want to reward their children big when they do something really big in their eyes even more does the Lord want to reward you IF you will take His Word, meditate on it and then do what He says to do in His Word. However, one of the instructions for learning to meditate on His Word is that you must stop listening to the many voices in the world…voices of the wicked, scoffers and sinners. Do not walk with them nor stand with them not sit with them.

James 1:25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

Again, in the New Testament our Lord repeats this truth. Blessing and success are closely related just as curses and failure. The Lord wants to bless you and He wants you to be successful. If you do not follow His instructions then you will experience curses and failure.

Hebrews 4:2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

The only part of God’s Word that will profit you is what you believe enough to do. Begin by taking a verse and memorizing it and then thinking about every way that verse can apply to your life and then do it. After you have done this then take another verse. You will see as time goes on that your life is being transformed into a beautiful Christlike life.

How to Avoid The Life of a Fool

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

A Life of Belief

Blessed is the one who believes. We came into the world believing in God. There is something within us that affirms there is a God. However, unless we are told, we don’t know how to come to Him. There is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ. He had to die and be raised again so that we would believe in Him.

John 20:1-8 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first;and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in.And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed

The disciples who walked with Jesus on earth struggled also with believing in Jesus Christ. It was not until they came to the tomb and found it empty did they believe. When John, the disciple who Jesus loved, (He loved them all but this disciple did not want to reference his own name so he referred to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved) saw the empty tomb then He believed.

John 20:24,25 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

Thomas, who had not yet seen Jesus, did not yet believe. He said that he needed to see the imprint of the nails and put his hand into His side in order for him to believe that Jesus had really risen from the dead.

John 20:26-28 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus understood Thomas and his need to see and touch for himself in order to believe. Jesus also understands each one of us. Each of us comes to believe Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in different manners but the important fact is that we all are believers. You may be struggling with your belief in Jesus Christ. He understands your struggle. Pray to Him and tell Him that you want to believe and ask Him to help you in your unbelief. He does not judge you and is more than willing to help you.

Mark 9:23,24 And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”

Often our prayer may be like this man in this account in one of the Gospels. He believed but still had some unbelief. The Lord will help you in your unbelief and help you believe in Him, if you ask Him for help.

Romans 3:3 What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?

You may have family or friends who want to remain in their unbelief. Don’t let someone else’s unbelief keep you from believing and experiencing the faithfulness of God. He is good and He is faithful and will make Himself known to the one who believes.

I Timothy 1:3 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;

The Lord is a merciful God and if you turn to Him then he will show you mercy. Your past will not hinder you if you come to Him and want to believe in Him.

Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

Sometimes it may seem difficult to continue to believe in the Lord. We don’t always understand His ways. However, believing is trusting without seeing and believing is knowing that God is true to His Word. He is faithful and He loves you even when you can not feel His love. In time, you will again see His love and faithfulness if you continue to believe in Him.

I Thessalonians 5:23,24 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

When you first came to belief in Jesus Christ then the Lord began a good work in you. He will complete what He began and He will perfect it in you until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

 

 

A Life that Is Thankful

If you want your cup of joy to really overflow then this truth is what you need to apply to your everyday walk through life. To the degree that you do this you can almost measure your joy and happiness. The truth that characterizes every happy and joyful person is that they are thankful. They learn to give thanks for everything…when things don’t go so well and when things are wonderful in life. Only the Christian can live out this truth because the Lord has commanded it and what He commands He gives the grace to do.

I Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

We can give thanks in everything because we know the One who controls everything. Nothing catches the Lord Jesus Christ by surprise and He has the power to cause all things to work together for good to those who love Him.

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

The Lord is all powerful and all loving and He loves His children. He loves everyone but only those who have put their trust in Him and love Him will see His goodness ALL of the time. He is good and no evil dwells with Him. The meaning of evil is to cause grief so what this means for the Christian is that He will never cause you grief for any other reason than for your good.

Psalm 5:4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness;
No evil dwells with You.

Everything that God allows in your life is for your good. Sometimes we suffer and we have not done anything wrong but the Lord has allowed it for reasons we may never know and need to trust Him. We still need to thank Him even when we do not understand. #God

Sometimes we experience sorrow because we have gotten off His path and He needs to discipline us. If you get off of the path of righteousness and experience His discipline then it is for your good.

Hebrews 12:10,11 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

If you do not want to experience the sorrow of discipline from the Lord then you need to do what is right so that you will not experience His discipline unnecessarily. When you learn righteousness then you will experience peaceful fruit in your life. So, even His discipline, which is painful, is for our good and shows that we are His children and that He loves us. It is for discipline that we endure until we see Him face to face.

Hebrews 12:7,8 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

For this reason, whether you are experiencing joy or sorrow you can give thanks to the Lord. Giving thanks causes you to focus on the Giver of all good gifts, rather than on your circumstances or yourself. The most unhappiest people in the world are the most self focused and their unhappiness is expressed through their constant complaining. Drip, drip, drip it goes and it never stops. They worry and complain because they are not looking to the One who is life and who never complained, even though He never suffered for his own wrong doing but for the wrong doing of everyone else. Complaining wearies the Lord also, as well as everyone else.

Psalm 100:1-5 Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.

As you learn to live in His presence and fellowship with Him, which is a taste of heaven on earth, then you will learn to enter His presence with thanksgiving. If you have never done it then make a list today of the things that you are thankful for and each day go over that list with the Lord and thank Him for each thing. As you continue in this then add the more difficult struggles you have and thank Him for those things also. You will see as you thank Him that your entire perspective changes and you truly become thankful from the heart. He can change your circumstances anytime that He wants and when that situation is no longer for your good and His glory and it becomes damaging then He will remove it. He is good and He loves you. Do you really believe it?

I John 4:16-18a We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear

If you know Him and belong to Him you have nothing to fear. Learn to trust Him by giving thanks for everything. This is God’s will for you.

 

 

 

A Life that Receives Their Heart’s Desires

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Life that Is Filled with Joy

Joy is what comes from the presence of the Lord and it is for those who know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Joy is different from happiness. Happiness has more to do with what is happening while the person who is filled with joy has something that transcends circumstances.

Psalm 16:9 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.

Joy is connected to thanksgiving. It is a state of mind and heart of knowing that life is more than what is happening at any given moment. Joy is a gift that the Lord gives to His children through His Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Joy can only come from the Lord and it is knowing that you are pleasing Him in your life and in your responses to life. It is a confirming from the Lord that you are in His will and doing what He delights in. When you are filled with joy it is almost as though you can feel His smile on your life. Your joy can be quenched through the old self, which is expressed in the flesh. The deeds of the flesh are not pleasing to the Lord so if you are involved in any of them then you will not have joy. The deeds of the flesh are evident when one is controlled by the flesh.

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The nonChristian will use artificial means to try to be happy because they do not have the Spirit of God living within them. Artificial means, such as wine, drugs, etc., are very superficial and will not last but will only leave the one feeling more empty. When a Christian engages in any of these activities then they will quench the Holy Spirit who has come to live within them.

I Thessalonians 5:16-19 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit;

The way that a Christian can be continually filled with joy is to continually walk in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit keeps the Christian from being controlled by the flesh and expressing the deeds of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16,17 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

We are to please the One who lived and died for us. When we live according to His ways then our hearts will be filled with the joy of the Lord and how sweet it is. You will also find that thanksgiving and joy go together. Your heart will also be filled with much gratitude. What a contrast to those who do not know the Lord and who are always complaining.