A Life that Gives and Receives Kindness

Kindness is the sweet oil and fragrant perfume of life. There is no joy to life without kindness and of all desirable qualities in a spouse that one would want it is kindness. Marry a kind person and you will be blessed your entire married life. Marry a cruel person and there will be no end to your misery.

Proverbs 19:22a What is desirable in a man is his kindness,

Kindness is what is desirable in a man. A cruel man will only receive harm and that harm will affect everyone in his life.

Proverbs 11:17 The merciful man does himself good, But the cruel man does himself harm.

How can you tell if a man is cruel? Women are easily deceived and unless we have a man in our life, which should be a father, to tell us the truth we can be led astray by the wooing of a cruel man. We will not see the truth until it is too late. There is another quality that describes the cruel man and that is, he is a rebellious man.

Proverbs 17:11 A rebellious man seeks only evil, So a cruel messenger will be sent against him.

If you want abuse and cruelty then a rebellious man will give that to you. If you want to have a sweet life and a blessed marriage then marry a man who has surrendered his life to the Lord. The Lord is kind and those who walk with Him learn and become kind. Kindness comes to those who are kind.

Proverbs 18:25a With the kind You show Yourself kind;

Look at how a young man treats his mother and his sisters to see what his true character is. In the same way, if you want to be blessed in life then learn to be kind to others. Kindness is not random but it is purposeful. We have to learn to do good. The Lord will help us. It is the responsibility of a mother to teach her children to be kind but if you did not have a godly mother then the Lord will show you and teach you.

Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

Love kindness and you will be like the Lord and doing what He requires of you.

Mich 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?

Do kindness and you will have the favor of God and man.

Proverbs 3:3,4 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.

Be filled with the Lord and His Spirit will show kindness through you.

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

Don’t grow weary. Be faithful. The Lord will be with you.

Galatians 6:7-10 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

A Life that Gives and Receives Kindness

Kindness is the sweet oil and fragrant perfume of life. There is no joy to life without kindness and of all desirable qualities in a spouse that one would want it is kindness. Marry a kind person and you will be blessed your entire married life. Marry a cruel person and there will be no end to your misery.

Proverbs 19:22a What is desirable in a man is his kindness,

Kindness is what is desirable in a man. A cruel man will only receive harm and that harm will affect everyone in his life.

Proverbs 11:17 The merciful man does himself good, But the cruel man does himself harm.

How can you tell if a man is cruel? Women are easily deceived and unless we have a man in our life, which should be a father, to tell us the truth we can be led astray by the wooing of a cruel man. We will not see the truth until it is too late. There is another quality that describes the cruel man and that is, he is a rebellious man.

Proverbs 17:11 A rebellious man seeks only evil, So a cruel messenger will be sent against him.

If you want abuse and cruelty then a rebellious man will give that to you. If you want to have a sweet life and a blessed marriage then marry a man who has surrendered his life to the Lord. The Lord is kind and those who walk with Him learn and become kind. Kindness comes to those who are kind.

Proverbs 18:25a With the kind You show Yourself kind;

Look at how a young man treats his mother and his sisters to see what his true character is. In the same way, if you want to be blessed in life then learn to be kind to others. Kindness is not random but it is purposeful. We have to learn to do good. The Lord will help us. It is the responsibility of a mother to teach her children to be kind but if you did not have a godly mother then the Lord will show you and teach you.

Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

Love kindness and you will be like the Lord and doing what He requires of you.

Mich 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?

Do kindness and you will have the favor of God and man.

Proverbs 3:3,4 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.

Be filled with the Lord and His Spirit will show kindness through you.

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

Don’t grow weary. Be faithful. The Lord will be with you.

Galatians 6:7-10 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

A Life with Love Shows Mercy in Justice

When Cain’s offering was not accepted by God, rather than doing what was right he did what was wrong and he murdered his brother, Abel, whose offering God had accepted. When we do wrong we can still do what is right. The choice is ours.

And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4:4b-7

It may be humbling but we can still do what is right and if we do what is right then we will be glad and our countenance will reflect it. The Lord gives us the opportunity to humble ourselves before Him so that we might receive His grace which enables us to do what is right no matter how great the sin.

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

His grace will always measure up to the measure of the sin. One aspect of His grace is the strength to do what needs to be done to do what the Lord wants to be done.

but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21b,22

If you mess up or sin once or a million times you can still turn away from sin and turn to the Lord to begin doing what is right. Cain could still have done what was right or he could do what was wrong. The choice is still our choice. The wages of sin is death. It is death to us spiritually and it is death to our soul and death to our body. If we will do what is right then the Lord will meet us and help us.

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

Cain was jealous of his brother and killed him. Cain did not love his brother but he hated him.

For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. I John 3:11,12

How much easier it is for us to love someone else when we have more than they do. However, when someone becomes more successful and has more money, receives more honor or is accepted more then that love can easily turn to hate.

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; I John 3:15a

Sin begins in the heart but if it is not quickly checked and confessed then it will lead to action. Cain did not plan to kill his brother. Most of us don’t plan to sin but we have allowed sin to take root in our heart and then to master us. Sin is a cruel master and when Cain heard his punishment it was too hard to bear. The Lord spoke to Cain.

He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to bear! Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” Genesis 4:10-14

When Cain poured out his heart to the Lord then the Lord heard him and showed him mercy. The Lord is a just God but He is also merciful. How important it is to show mercy to those to whom we have to show justice. This is such an important truth for parents when they need to discipline their child. There can be no love without justice but love must be shown in justice so that the one who receives justice should not despair.

So the Lord said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him. Genesis 4:15

Many a regret comes from an action in the emotion of the moment. Cain messed up privately in his worship with the Lord and the Lord reproved him privately. The Lord had not told anyone. Cain told his brother and when they were alone he killed him.

Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Genesis 4:8

Jealousy is a sickness of the heart that can destroy us from the inside out. It is a secret sin that comes from insecurity. The best way to deal with jealousy is to get it out in the open. Go to someone who walks with the Lord and who you can trust and confess your sin of jealousy to them and ask them to pray for you.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16

The Lord is faithful, righteous and able to cleanse and heal us if we will confess our sins. He can also restore our relationships and heal our marriages and homes.

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:8,9

In God’s righteousness and faithfulness to His Word there is justice but in His love He shows us mercy when we come to Him and pour out our heart to Him.

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 Free From the Wrath to Come

Wrath is coming to every soul who does not turn to the Lord for His mercy and forgiveness for their sins. We have all messed up and we know it. We may try to say that there is no God and we may try to deny our guilt but when we are honest with ourselves then we can say that we realize that there is a God or at least we will acknowledge that at one time we did believe that there is a God. Also, if we are honest then we will acknowledge that we have messed up and that we have guilt in our lives. If there was no guilt then there would be no need to say “I am sorry” and the person who refuses to say “I am sorry” is the most stubborn and miserable of all creatures. So, therefore, we have messed up and we have guilt. The Bible says that wrath will come.

Romans 2:5 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,

If wrath is being stored up because of our stubbornness and unrepentant heart then the answer is to yield to the Lord and to repent of our ways in our heart and in our actions. Repenting means turning from your sin and turning to God. Yielding to the Lord means to surrender to Him and His Lordship in our lives. When we surrender and repent and turn to Jesus Christ then He becomes our Lord and Savior. We are also saved from the wrath to come.

Romans 5:8,9 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

The Lord loves us and His wrath is poured out on unrighteousness and sin. He wants us to experience His love and does not want us to experience His wrath.

Romans 1:18-20 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. 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.

For this reason he sent Jesus Christ to take His wrath that we deserved so that we might experience His love rather than His wrath.

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.”

Have you put your trust in Him so that you will have eternal life and not have the wrath of God abiding on you? Will you turn from what you have been trusting in the save you and believe in Him today?

I Thessalonians 1:9b,10 how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

A Life that Is Merciful

Everyone loves a merciful person and they not only do others good but they do themselves good when they are merciful.

Proverbs 11:17 The merciful man does himself good,
But the cruel man does himself harm.

The Lord says that the merciful person will receive mercy.

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

It was in God’s mercy that He redeemed us.

Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.

The merciful person is one who thinks of others and shows God’s love to others. When Jesus showed mercy to someone then those around glorified God saying that the Lord cared for them. When we show mercy to others then they feel as though the Lord has visited them and cares for them.

Luke 7:11-16 Soon afterwards He went to a city called Nain; and His disciples were going along with Him, accompanied by a large crowd. Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!”The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother. Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited His people!”

Compassion moves a person to act and then the recipient receives mercy and feels as though God has visited him. The word visited means “cares for”. He believes that God cares for him. When you are afflicted in any way there is no greater comfort than to feel that God has come to you and cares for you. We actually can be His ambassadors to the world by representing Him and showing mercy to others. When we show mercy to others then they can hear the truth of the Gospel.

Luke 6:36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

We want the Lord to be merciful to us and He has and He will again but He wants us in turn to show mercy to others. This is the characteristic of a Christian, that they are like their Father.

Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their iniquities,
And I will remember their sins no more.”

If you belong to the Lord then He said that He is merciful to you and that He will remember your sins no more. Is there someone that you need to show mercy to and remember their sins no more, or are you still keeping an account? Love does not keep an account of sins of others.

I Corinthians 13:4,5 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

Forgiveness is the promise never to bring it up again. Have you shown mercy, as the Lord has shown you mercy, and forgiven from your heart?

Matthew 18:33-35 Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

You will be blessed if you show mercy for He Himself has said, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy”.

 

 

 

A Life that Experiences Mercy

There is not a soul in the world that does not want mercy and we all need mercy because we have all failed in one way or another. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. We all deserve death because we have all sinned against God. He gave us a conscience and very early in life we violated our conscience and guilt came upon us. Guilt condemns us but mercy accepts us.

Romans 3:23,24 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

The wages of sin is death which means that we have all earned death. It is our just penalty for our sin. Just as the worker earns his wages and his wages are not a favor but justifiably his so all have sinned and earned death.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

On the contrary, eternal life and freedom from condemnation is a gift. None of us have earned it nor can we ever earn it. We deserve death and anything less than death is God’s mercy towards us. However, not only did He remove the condemnation that we deserve through the cross, when Jesus died for us, but He came to give us life and that life is a gift from Him.

Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Mercy is not giving us what we deserve in the way of death, judgment and condemnation and grace is giving us what we do not deserve which is life, justification and freedom. When we come to Christ for salvation then we are set free from the penalty of death because He took the death we deserved. We also are set free from the judgment that is justly ours for wanting to go our own way and turning our back on God. God, the Father, turned His back on Jesus on the cross so that God would not turn His back on us. Jesus took the condemnation that we deserved and He had done no wrong nor was any sin ever found in Him. Mercy set us free.

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Jesus showed us mercy and set us free. We can only give to others what we have been given. If you have received the mercy of God then He wants you to go and show mercy to others. Is there anyone who you are still holding their sin over their head and judging them in your heart? Set them free just as you have been set free.

Matthew 18:32-35 Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

All of our hearts are wicked and the Lord offers forgiveness to everyone who comes to Him, no matter what they have done or not done. Mercy is freely given to all who ask the Lord for mercy. If He had mercy on us should we not have mercy on others. Mercy is giving forgiveness to those who have wronged us, just as the Lord forgave us for wronging Him and others. The consequence of not forgiving is torment. There will be torment on earth and torment for all eternity to those who refuse to forgive his fellow man. Forgiveness is the promise never to bring it up again. If you say you have forgiven someone and then you bring it up again then there is not forgiveness, rather, you are trying to make them pay for their sin. Judgment keeps a person in bondage until you think they have paid enough for what they did but mercy sets them free.

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

There will be freedom in this life and freedom for all eternity to those who show mercy. If Jesus Christ has shown you mercy, forgiven you and set you free then go and do likewise. If you are in torment from what you have done, the come to Jesus Christ and ask His forgiveness. He will set you free from your sin and the torment so that you can have life in Him.

Luke 17:13 and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

It is not those who think that “their good works will outweigh their bad” who will enter into the kingdom of God but rather those who ask for mercy because they know that they are a sinner and deserve death. They acknowledge that they can never be good enough but need God’s mercy to be accepted by Him.

Luke 18:11-14 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

 

 

 

A Life that Forgives

There are certain commands that carry much greater weight than others and the command to forgive seems to be one of the most important. A lack of forgiveness brings about one of the worse consequences that is mentioned in the Bible. The Lord said that if you do not forgive others then your sins will not be forgiven you.

Matthew 5:14,15 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Forgiveness also brings a great blessing from the Lord because He says that if you forgive others then your sins will be forgiven you. We are all sinners who have sinned greatly against the Lord and we desperately need forgiveness from God, the Father. In the same way, we need to desperately forgive others of their sins. You receive what you give away and what you withhold will be withheld from you.

Mark 11:25,26 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”

The meaning of evil is to cause grief. It is hard to forgive when someone has caused us grief and especially great grief. However, when we see what a great debt that we have toward the Lord and the great grief that we have caused Him then we lean more toward forgiving. However, forgiving is impossible apart from the Lord. He has given you forgiveness and this is the forgiveness that you offer to others. Jesus has forgiven you and Jesus has forgiven them. We can only forgive by the power of the Holy Spirit.

John 20:22,23 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

We forgive by faith, in the power of the Holy Spirit in obedience to Him, not by feeling. Our flesh will never want to forgive and does not have the power to do so.

Romans 8:6-8 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

When you forgive then the Lord releases you from the bitterness and resentment of unforgiveness. You actually are the one who is set free. The person does not have to even be aware of their wrong towards you and they do not have to be sorry for what they did. If they are sorry and repentant then that is wonderful but it is not a prerequisite to you forgiving them. Healing for you comes after forgiveness. There is no pain so great that the Lord can not heal but first you must forgive. He does not hold your sin against you because He has forgiven you. Forgiveness is the promise never to bring it up again. How many times are we to forgive? That is a great question and Jesus answered it for us.

Matthew 18:21,22 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Forgiveness is so important that the Lord told a parable about forgiveness to allow His hearers to understand more clearly what He was saying about forgiveness.

Matthew 18:23-35 For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

He who has ears to hear, let him hear. A day of accounting is coming and it will be too late to settle your accounts with your fellow man. For this reason it is of utmost importance to “keep your accounts up to date”. God declared the man wicked in this story because of his unwillingness to forgive someone else and therefore all of this wicked person’s sins were still on his account and were not wiped out and forgiven. Forgiveness is a matter of the will. It is letting it go and giving it to the Lord. You can’t, He never said you could, He can, He always said He would. Give the matter to the Lord and He will forgive that person through you by the power of His Holy Spirit. As long as you have unforgiveness in your heart then you are in a prison. However, you can settle the account with that person who owes you through your forgiveness by forgiving him. It is after this that you will be released from your prison.

Luke 7:47,48 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”  Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”

Did Jesus offer forgiveness to you? Yes, He did. Go and do likewise that you too may hear the words, “Your sins have been forgiven”.  Forgiveness begins with the prayer, “Lord, I forgive _________. Please forgive me of my unforgiveness and by faith I have forgiven _________. Then you will love much because you too will see how great a debt that you were forgiven by our Lord. Your slate will be wiped clean. You may have to forgive over and over again because the devil might continue to bring it up again but the devil hates to see you forgive and call on the Lord so he will quit bringing it up to you. It is hard to believe when you are in the pain but healing will come and the Lord will truly make something beautiful our of your life.

 

 

A Life of Understanding

A life of understanding is a very exciting life. Could you imagine understanding matters that the world wonders about and yet never come to know? They are ever seeking but never coming to the knowledge of the truth.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.

The beginning of true understanding is to not lean on your own understanding. We look and perceive with our eyes and ears. All we can do is observe but not know about the inner workings of many matters in life. When we look to Him then He gives us insight into the “why”. The creator of the universe who made it all not only understands but will give to His children great understanding. For example, “why do men behave the way they do?” We know a man’s wants but what are his needs? The Lord who made men knows them better than anyone and will give you insight. The Bible says that the eyes of man are never satisfied. Once a man’s wants are satisfied then he will often go elsewhere. There are certain things that a man needs and he will generally go, stay and return to where his needs are met. The same is true for all of us. We will go where our needs are met but our wants are constantly changing.

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

If you want to understand then rather than study the desired object get to know the One who is the Creator of all things.

Exodus 35:31 And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship;

Keeping God’s commandments will give you understanding. Obedience comes before understanding. Often we want to understand and then obey but faith is obeying first and then He rewards us with understanding.

Deuteronomy 4:6 So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’

God’s Word is what gives understanding.

Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.

The fear of the Lord and understanding go together.

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;

Ask the Lord for understanding. King Solomon asked for understanding and it pleased the Lord so much that He gave him riches, honor and life.

I Kings 3:9 So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

He gives understanding and along with understanding comes blessing.

Job 12:13 With Him are wisdom and might; To Him belong counsel and understanding.

To depart from evil is understanding.

Job 28:28 “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.’ “

Apart from understanding, which is the knowledge of the Lord, we are like the beasts that perish.

Psalm 49:20 Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, Is like the beasts that perish.

One who seeks understanding has a heart to obey the Lord.

Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law And keep it with all my heart.

Do you struggle with confusion? The opposite of confusion is understanding. The Lord says that He is not a God of confusion. When you find yourself saying, “I am so confused,” then stop what you are doing and ask the Lord to give you understanding and seek Him in His Word. He wants to give you the knowledge of Him and show you understanding.

I Corinthians 2:9, 14-16 but just as it is written, Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

The truly spiritual Christian appraises all things yet he himself is appraised by no one. The non Christian, or natural man, does not accept nor understand the things of the Lord.

 

A Life that Gives and Receives Kindness

Kindness is the sweet oil and fragrant perfume of life. There is no joy to life without kindness and of all desirable qualities in a spouse that one would want it is kindness. Marry a kind person and you will be blessed your entire married life. Marry a cruel person and there will be no end to your misery.

Proverbs 19:22a What is desirable in a man is his kindness,

Kindness is what is desirable in a man. A cruel man will only receive harm and that harm will affect everyone in his life.

Proverbs 11:17 The merciful man does himself good, But the cruel man does himself harm.

How can you tell if a man is cruel? Women are easily deceived and unless we have a man in our life, which should be a father, to tell us the truth we can be led astray by the wooing of a cruel man. We will not see the truth until it is too late. There is another quality that describes the cruel man and that is, he is a rebellious man.

Proverbs 17:11 A rebellious man seeks only evil, So a cruel messenger will be sent against him.

If you want abuse and cruelty then a rebellious man will give that to you. If you want to have a sweet life and a blessed marriage then marry a man who has surrendered his life to the Lord. The Lord is kind and those who walk with Him learn and become kind. Kindness comes to those who are kind.

Proverbs 18:25a With the kind You show Yourself kind;

Look at how a young man treats his mother and his sisters to see what his true character is. In the same way, if you want to be blessed in life then learn to be kind to others. Kindness is not random but it is purposeful. We have to learn to do good. The Lord will help us. It is the responsibility of a mother to teach her children to be kind but if you did not have a godly mother then the Lord will show you and teach you.

Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

Love kindness and you will be like the Lord and doing what He requires of you.

Mich 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?

Do kindness and you will have the favor of God and man.

Proverbs 3:3,4 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.

Be filled with the Lord and His Spirit will show kindness through you.

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

Don’t grow weary. Be faithful. The Lord will be with you.

Galatians 6:7-10 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.