A Life that Will Never Die

The Lord died for us so that we would not have to die. For this reason the Bible says that those who belong to Him fall asleep and they wake up on the other side of eternity. Their soul never dies.

I Thessalonians 4:13,14 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.

We are the only ones who have hope of living forever. Jesus Christ tasted death for us so that we might live forever with Him. When we die we fall asleep and will wake up in eternity. No one else has this hope and they live with the fear of death.

Hebrews 2:14,15 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.

We no longer have to fear death. He takes away that fear when we come into a relationship with Him.

Revelation 2:20 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

We may be tested but He is faithful to His Word and He will give the crown of life to those who are faithful until death. Do not fear. He has the keys to life and death. He overcame death.

Revelation 1:17,18 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

God raised Jesus Christ from the dead and He has had victory over death.

I Corinthians 15:53-57 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Be faithful until death. The perishable will put on the imperishable and the mortal will put on immortality. You will live forever. Those who have fallen asleep will rise from the graves and those who are alive will meet Him in the air together with those who had previously fallen asleep in Christ.

I Thessalonians 4:15-18 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

He is coming. He said so and and He can not lie.

Hebrews 6:18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.

A Life that is Rich in Faith

We often value the wrong things in this life. If we value riches in this present age we will end up being poor in the age to come. The Lord wants us to be rich in faith. If we value experiences but not the greatest experience of all and that is experiencing God’s love and faithfulness then we will have missed it again. The Lord values faith and showing you His love and faithfulness. Do you live by faith and experience His love and faithfulness on a daily basis? He wants you to declare His lovingkindness in the morning and His faithfulness every night of your life.

Psalm 92:1,2 It is good to give thanks to the Lord
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning
And Your faithfulness by night,

Are you living by faith? If God is the only explanation for your life then you are living by faith. If you can explain your life by your own strength, intellect or ability then the Lord is not who is getting the glory.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Are you living on His promises? Are you trusting Him to meet your needs and provide for you or, do you have your back up plan just in case? Whatever you are trusting in is your god. In the Bible, God’s people have always worshiped Him but it is idolatry if it is God plus a backup plan. When you live by faith then you will always feel needy. It is a humbling feeling but you are right where you need to be.

James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

The Lord never makes mistake. If you are lacking in an area of your life it is because the Lord wants you to be poor in that area so that you will look to Him. It may be in finances or it may be in relationships or child bearing(if you are married) or whatever it is that makes you feel lacking. The Lord is testing you to see if you will trust Him and wait for Him.

Psalm 37:7,8 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.

It is only by His grace that we can rest in Him when we feel needy and humble. Resting is trusting. Waiting is resting. Do not take things into your own hands or fret because “others” have or are even getting by their own means what you “need” or want.

Psalm 37:28,29 For the Lord loves justice
And does not forsake His godly ones;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.
The righteous will inherit the land
And dwell in it forever.

The Old Testament word for the promises of God is the “land”, which was the promised land. The Lord will give to you what you need if you will trust Him. In a little while you will see it but first you must walk by faith and not by sight. You will inherit the promises of God and you will dwell with Him forever.

Psalm 37:34 Wait for the Lord and keep His way,
And He will exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

Most importantly of all you will have pleased Him for “without faith it is impossible to please Him…”.

 

 

 

A Life that is Be-Loved

You are the Lord’s beloved and He is your Beloved and the One whom you delight in if you belong to Him.

Song of Solomon 6:3 “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,
He who pastures his flock among the lilies.”

Just as the shepherd loves the sheep and little lambs and would sometimes carry them on his shoulders so the Lord also, who is your Good Shepherd, carries you between His shoulders because you are His beloved. He wants you to be loved by Him.

Deuteronomy 33:12 …“May the beloved of the Lord dwell in security by Him, Who shields him all the day, And he dwells between His shoulders.”

The Lord wants you to know with all of your heart that He is your Savior and will save His beloved. He will save you and will answer you.

Psalm 108:6 That Your beloved may be delivered, Save with Your right hand, and answer me!

Just as Jesus was the Beloved of the Father so you are Jesus’ beloved.

Mark 1:11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

Being is more important than doing. We need to be right with the Lord before we can do what is right. Doing what is right must come after being in a love relationship with the Lord, otherwise, we will seek to earn God’s love. Doing is a response to being. If you belong to Christ then you are His Beloved and He wants you to be-loved by Him before you do…whatever good works he has for you. The Father was well pleased with Jesus before Jesus began His earthly ministry. You too, must learn to be-loved by Him so that whatever you “do” is an overflow of who you are in Christ. If you belong to Him then there is nothing you can do to cause Him to love you more. He wants you to rest in His love and learn to be-loved by Him. If we struggle in believing that He really loves us then we will struggle in loving Him back.

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

All that we do should be in response to His love for us. All that we do is an expression of His great love. There is no greater love than this, to lay down your life for your friends. He laid down His life for you so that you can lay down your life for others so that others may see Christ in you.

John 15:12,13 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

Do you need to know His love more? To the degree that you love others is to the degree that you have experienced His love for you.

I John 3:16,17 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?

 

A Life that Speaks the Truth

If we want a life that speaks the truth then we must have the truth in our heart.

Psalm 15:2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,
And speaks truth in his heart.

A person that speaks the truth tells what is right.

Proverbs 12:17 He who speaks truth tells what is right,
But a false witness, deceit.

The only way we will be able to speak the truth is if we listen to the truth. You become what you listen to.

Proverbs 21:28 A false witness will perish,
But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.

The Lord tells us to guard our heart with all diligence for from it flows the springs of life. If you listen to lies then you will start to believe lies and then you life will be a lie.

Proverbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.

The Lord tells us that we should speak truth to one another. The opposite of speaking truth to one another is devising evil against one another. The Lord hates it when we do evil to one another and also He hates it when we lie.

Zechariah 8:16,17 These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the Lord.”

Jesus spoke the truth when He walked on earth. Even those who were His enemies acknowledged that He spoke the truth and taught the way of God in truth.

Luke 20:21 They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth.

When we lie we are being like the devil. How we speak reveals our nature.

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

The only way that we can speak the truth is if we have the Spirit of truth in us. He comes and dwells in us when we become a Christian. Jesus Christ is the Truth and His Spirit leads us into all truth.

John 16:33 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

The Lord wants us to worship Him in Spirit and truth and He wants us to walk in His truth and speak truth with one another. Love without truth is not true love and truth without love can not be heard.

Proverbs 3:3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.

Often we lean towards either lovingkindness or truth. For this reason we need to be connected to other Christians to balance out our tendencies and to learn from one another so that we will have more of the balance that we need in our lives to be filled with lovingkindness and truth.

Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

As we grow in His love and truth then we will grow in our love for one another and will learn to speak truth with one another. When we do these things then we will grow up in all aspects into the likeness of Jesus Christ. It is our aim that Jesus Christ alone is exalted and that the world will see Christ in us.

 

 

 

A Life that Keeps their Words

A Christian is one who ought to say what they mean and mean what they say. They are to keep the commitments that they make. The Lord said for your yes to be yes and your no to be no.

Matthew 5:37 But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.

Sometimes you might make a commitment and then change your mind. Maybe something more appealing has come up. You need to keep the original commitment that you made.

Psalm 15:4b He swears to his own hurt and does not change;

However, if you are in a situation where you have become ensnared by the words of your mouth and you can get out then do so, if you realize right afterwards that you have made a mistake.

Proverbs 6:2-5 If you have been snared with the words of your mouth,
Have been caught with the words of your mouth,
Do this then, my son, and deliver yourself;
Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor,
Go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor.
Give no sleep to your eyes,
Nor slumber to your eyelids;
Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand
And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

In everything that you do ask yourself, “Is it loving and is it true?” Be faithful to your words and learn to not commit yourself to things that you can not fulfill. If you get your self in a mess then go to your earthly authority and ask for help. Usually if you try to “fix” something then you make a bigger mess. Ask the Lord for wisdom.

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

“Without reproach” means that He does not say “I told you so” or “You should have come to Me in the first place”. No, it means that He is waiting to help you but is waiting for you to ask Him for help and for wisdom. He wants to teach you His ways. Humility is admitting that you need help.

Psalm 25:8,9 Good and upright is the Lord;
Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in justice,
And He teaches the humble His way.

To sum up, He wants you to keep your words and wants you to be faithful to your commitments. If you make a mistake or over commit and can go and humble yourself and get out then do so. If you can’t then go to your authority and ask for help. Ask the Lord for wisdom. You will find that if you don’t run from your responsibilities then you will mature through them. If you learn to be faithful to your commitments then you will also learn to not over commit. Know that for every word you have spoken you will have to give an account to the Lord.

A Life with a Heart for God

A song written a couple of hundred years ago goes, “Oh, for a heart to praise my God, A heart from sin set free, A heart that feels Thy blood, So freely shed for me.” Oh that we would have such a heart for God. The Lord also said the same many years ago to His people.

Deuteronomy 5:29 Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!

If only our heart would be completely His and that we would fear Him and keep His commandments always. It will be well with us if we do and with our children also. The Lord gave His heart to us when He sent His Son to die on the cross for us. What will it take for us to have a heart that is completely His? He is looking to see if there is anyone who will give their heart to Him completely.

II Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.

He will support the one whose heart is completely His. Don’t wait until you are old but give Him your heart today. There is no reason not to other than our sinful self. He is a good Father and we can give Him our heart and He will guard it until that day.

I Kings 11:4 For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.

King David’s heart was completely devoted to the Lord. For this reason his name will live on forever. The Lord chose him to be part of the lineage of Jesus. The Lord established his throne and the Lord said that there was nothing that he would have withheld from David. The Lord loved giving to David because his heart was the Lord’s.

II Samuel 12:8 …and if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things…

A heart for God is a heart that withholds nothing from Him and is willing to do whatever He wants. A heart for God has one desire and that is to follow the Lord, to fear Him and to obey Him with all of their heart. A heart for God will seek to know His Word so that they can do it. A heart for God is preparing their heart to see Him and lives for the day that He is coming again, just as a bride prepares and lives for the day that the bridegroom will come for her. A heart for God has an undistracted devotion to the Lord.

Zechariah 7:9-12 “Thus has the Lord of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’ But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing. They made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. And just as He called and they would not listen, so they called and I would not listen,” says the Lord of hosts;

The opposite of a heart for God is a heart that is hardened.A heart that is hardened does not call upon Him. A heart that is hardened does not think about His coming again and so is not prepared. A heart that is hardened is characterized by unbelief. They may say that they are a Christian but there is not much in their life to indicate it. A heart that is hardened does not know His word nor seek Him. Just as a hardened heart does not call upon the Lord so it will be that when the hardened heart does call that He will not listen. For all will bow before Him one day and there will be those with a hardened heart that will call but it will be too late.

Joel 2:12,13 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“Return to Me with all your heart,
And with fasting, weeping and mourning;
And rend your heart and not your garments.”
Now return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness
And relenting of evil.

Don’t wait until it is too late. If you hear His voice then cry out to Him to give you a heart for Him. Return to Him with all of your heart. Change your heart rather than your clothing the Lord says, and return to Him. He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

Joel 2:26,27 “You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
Then My people will never be put to shame.
“Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel,
And that I am the Lord your God,
And there is no other;
And My people will never be put to shame.

Then you will know that He is Lord.

A Life that Pleases the Lord

It is an amazing aspect of the Lord that He allows us to please Him. We are His creation and fallen creation at that but still He loves us and tells us how to please Him. It should be the single minded desire of every Christian to want to please Him. Before we were Christians we wanted to please ourselves or maybe someone else but the highest aim in our life should be to please the Lord.

Ephesians 5:7-10 Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

The Lord offers a great reward when we are living life in a way that pleases Him. He will make even our enemies to be at peace with us.

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

When we live by faith then we please the Lord or rather if we don’t live by faith then there is not anything that we can do that would please Him.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

First thing we must do if we want to please Him is to believe in Him and believe in His Words. He wants us to seek Him, believe His Words and live as if we believe His Words. If there was someone who loved you and you trusted and that person told you that they would be at such and such a place to meet you, you would be there. The Lord also wants us to act in faith in believing what He has said to us.

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 benefits you is what you believe and act in faith on. You must believe Him and what He said. You must believe Him and do what He says. Be careful to not have an unbelieving heart.

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.

Where does an unbelief come from? It comes from the hardness of our heart.

Mark 16:14 Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen.

Every child believes in God because the Lord has put it in their heart to believe Him.

Romans 1:18,19 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

The Lord tells us in His Word to be careful  to not have an unbelieving heart. An unbelieving heart precedes falling away from the Lord.

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.

Faith must be nurtured and it must grow. You can not live on yesterday’s faith. Your faith needs to be stronger today than it was yesterday. The way you feed your faith is through the Word of God. When you believe His Word by faith then you will see His faithfulness and will want to believe Him more. You will give glory to God and will praise Him.

Romans 4:20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,

Come, let us worship Him and bow down before Him. He is God and He is true to His Words. Trust Him and grow strong in your faith and please the One who loves you more than you will ever fully comprehend.

Psalm 95:6-8a Come, let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you would hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts,