A Life that Loves Much

Do you want to have a great love for God? Loving the Lord with all of your heart, soul and mind is the most exciting and fulfilling life on earth. To one who has never done it then they have no idea the thrill there is in being completely sold out to Him and for everything in your life to revolve around Him. It is the sweetest life imaginable and brings great contentment, satisfaction, security, peace, joy, love and many other great things that are too numerous to mention. Loving the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind truly is the great commandment.

Matthew 22:36-38 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.

How can you get this incredible great love for the Lord and want to live it out daily in every area of your life? It can not be drummed up but must come from our relationship with Him. The first step is to realize how great a sinner you are. We have all sinned greatly against the Lord and we deserve the worst imaginable punishment. All of creation has fulfilled the purpose for which the Lord created them except for mankind. We have all rebelled against our Creator and gone our own way. We have turned our back on Him.

Luke 7:47 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.

How easy it is to compare ourselves to others and say to ourselves, “I am not that bad” for we see others who seem worse in our eyes. We are not much different than the man who went to the Lord and prayed that he would not be like others. We may not pray that prayer but we may say it in our hearts.

Luke 18:11,12 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.’

Yes, it is much easier to keep an account of what we have done right and to keep an account of the sins of others. The Lord was not pleased with this man. However, the Lord heard the other man who came to pray, for this second man remembered his own sins and how unworthy he is to come before the Lord.

Luke 18:13,14 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.”

So, loving the Lord with all of our heart, soul and mind begins with the proper perspective of ourselves, that we are sinners of the worse degree and we are not worthy to even come into His presence.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

If you want to love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind then you must keep His Words and do what He says. However, to do this then you must know what He says so that you can do it. The person who wants to love the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind must know His Word. To the degree that you know His Word is to the degree that you can keep His words and to the degree that you keep His word is to the degree that you love Him.

I John 2:4-6 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

The Lord promises us that if we will keep His word then His love will be perfected in us and He will make His abode in us. When the Lord lives in you then there is nothing that can separate you from Him and His love. His love will abide in you and you will abide in His love. You will love Him and you will love life for He is life. This is the secret to a fulfilling life.

 

A Life that Is Abundant and Overflowing

A lot of people go through life surviving and existing rather than living an abundant life that overflows with love, joy and peace. These are three qualities of life that we long for but they seem almost like an illusion at times. If we don’t have them then we can keep ourselves busy or numb ourselves to the emptiness that characterizes our lives in the absence of love, joy and peace. If we have these qualities then our lives are full and meaningful. Is an abundant life possible or is it only a wishful dream?

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

Jesus came to give us life and not just life but to live life abundantly. Life that is overflowing. He said out of our innermost being will come rivers of living water.

John 7:37b-39a Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive;

Are you thirsty for life? Is your soul empty within? Are you tired of not seeing any real changes? Are you often depressed? Are you weary? The Lord says to come to Him and He will give you life.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

He knows your needs for He is the One who made you and wove you in your mother’s womb. You are fearfully and wonderfully made but He is your Creator and He knows what you needs.

Psalm 139:13-16 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

Your needs are as unique as you are and there is no one like you. He knows the day you were born and He knows the day you will leave this earth. There is no one who knows you like He does. He made you for His glory and when you come to Him then He continues the work that He began in you before you were born.

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.

After we were born then we started to go our own way and wanted to run our own lives. When we did this then the devil, who comes like a thief, started to rob us of the love, joy and peace that the Lord designed for our lives. Our sin caused us frustration and emptiness and opened the door to the lies that Satan started to put into our minds that stole our joy, that accused others to us that they did not love us, and peace started to seem further and further away. The Bible says that there is no peace for the sinner but Jesus came to give us peace.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

Jesus came to love us and to give us joy.

John 15:9-11 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

We receive the love, joy and peace when we receive the Holy Spirit, whom we receive when we are born again into God’s family when we receive Jesus Christ into our lives.

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

When we receive Christ we receive the abundant life, that is overflowing.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Not only does Jesus Christ give us life because He is life but He also gives us the truth so that we no longer believe the lies of the devil. Satan may no longer rob us of the love, joy and peace that Jesus gives to us. The Lord also is the way, which means that He teaches us the way in which we should walk so that we don’t go back into our old way of life. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

Ephesians 4:30,31 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Have you been born again but have gotten away from the Lord? Have you lost the joy that you once had and the love and peace that only Jesus can give? Have you grieved the Holy Spirit who lives within you? Come back to the Lord. Remember from where you have fallen and repent so that times of refreshing can come from the presence of the Lord. You will once again know the love, joy and peace that you had when you first came to know Him. Or if you have never made that first step of trusting Jesus then this verse is for you also.

Acts 3:19,20 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you,

 

 

 

A Life that Is Not Condemned

No one wants to be judged but the truth of the matter is that we will all be judged. However, not all will be condemned. There is no greater peace than to know for sure that you are going to heaven. Many religions offer “maybe the possibility of heaven” but they can not offer the assurance  of not being condemned to hell. Also, their “possibility” will always fall short because they are all based on what you do to earn heaven. Jesus Christ offers assurance “without a doubt” of not being condemned. He alone can make this offer.

Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Jesus Christ took the judgment and the punishment for the entire world. We were due the consequences of our sin but Jesus Christ took it for us. All of us are just as guilty as everyone else because we all have sinned.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

The Bible says that not only have all sinned but we are all equally guilty.

James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

Have you ever said a lie? Have you ever taken something that was not yours? Have you ever cheated? Have you ever lusted or been jealous or envious? If so, then you are guilty of all. However, the Lord offers you forgiveness if you will repent and turn to Him. Repenting means turning away from your sin and turning to the Lord. Jesus came to call us to repentance.

Luke 5:32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.

There must be repentance for there to be forgiveness.

Luke 24:47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

You will know when you have repented because you will feel clean on the inside and times of refreshing will come from the presence of the Lord.

Acts 3:19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

You will be a new person and will no longer want to do the things you did before. The Lord wants there to be evidence of your repentance. If you are still hanging out with the same people and doing the same things that you know are wrong then you have not repented.

Matthew 3:8 Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;

Not only are you a new person in Christ and your old life has passed away but you have been set free from the condemnation that once would have come to you.

II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Jesus took your condemnation on the cross when He shed His blood for you so that now you are forgiven and given a new life in Christ.

Hebrews 9:22b all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

The final judgment will not come from the deeds you have done, whether it was good or bad, but the final judgment that will condemn people to hell is whether they trusted in Jesus Christ to forgive them of their sins and to give them eternal life in Him.

John 3:17-19 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

God did not send His Son into the world to judge you but to save you from your sins. If you believe in Him then you will not be judged and you will not be condemned but if you do not come to Jesus Christ then it is because you want to continue in your sin because you love the darkness rather than the light. Come to Jesus so that your sins might be wiped away and forgiveness and eternal life will be given to you.

Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

The Lord is kind and it is His kindness that leads us to repentance. He is rich in kindness and He is patient not wanting anyone to perish. Come to Him. He is calling all of us into a relationship with Him.

II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

 

A Life that Does Not Worry

Worry is rampant these days as people do not just worry but they are paranoid about many things. What a thief that worry is and how it robs us of much joy and peace. Worry can paralyze us, control us and it can eventually kill us. What does worry tell us about ourselves?

Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he was deeply moved with compassion for them, because they were troubled and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

When we are anxious and troubled then it is more of a symptom than a problem. The problem that we have that is being manifested in worry is that either we do not have a Shepherd or we are living as if we do not have a Shepherd. Jesus is the Good Shepherd and He cares for His sheep. When you become a Christian then Jesus becomes your Shepherd and the Shepherd is responsible for the sheep.

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

He laid down His life for you. Does He not care for you? Will He not take care of you? Yes and yes and yes…a million times yes! When the Lord is your Shepherd you shall not lack anything that you need, or in other words, you shall never be in want.

Psalm 23:1-6

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Can it get any better than this? He will make you lie down in green pastures and not in the weeds. He will lead you beside still waters and not by the dangerous torrents that could endanger you. He is the One who restores your soul and He will guide you in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even if you were to walk through the valley of death, He will be with you. You need never fear evil for it can not touch you without coming through Him first. He comforts you and prepares a table for you in the presence of those who might be your enemies. He anoints you with the oil of gladness and your cup will overflow with joy. Not only all of these things but goodness and lovingkindness will follow you all the days of your life and then you will dwell with Him forever. Again, can it get any better than this? Do you believe this?

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.

If you don’t believe this then there is no profit for you. If you do believe it then these precious and magnificent promises are yours and they will transform your life, take away your anxiety and bring you the peace and joy that you long for.

II Peter 1:2-4 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

The Lord wants to multiply His grace and peace to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord. His diving power has granted to you the privilege and power to live above circumstances and resist the devil and his lies. You must choose, either to live by faith in the promises of God or to live by worry on the fears of the world and the lies of the devil.

Hebrews 13:5b-6a …for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.”

Yes, life in Jesus Christ is much better than the slow death of anxiety and worry. Are you anxious and worried? Cast your cares upon Him now and ask Him to be your Shepherd.

I Peter 5:7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

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.

A Life with No Regrets

There are two things that are eternal and they are the Word of God and the souls of people. You will never regret investing your life in eternal values. Everything else will soon perish.

Luke 12:15-21 Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

We all will die and leave whatever we have to others. We might spend our life accumulating more and more and more. It is endless because the eyes of man are never satisfied. You will never have enough to satisfy you. Once you get what you want then you will only want more. Contentment comes from being satisfied with what the Lord has given you.

Psalm 49:10-13 For he sees that even wise men die; The stupid and the senseless alike perish And leave their wealth to others. Their inner thought is that their houses are forever And their dwelling places to all generations; They have called their lands after their own names. But man in his pomp will not endure;  He is like the beasts that perish. This is the way of those who are foolish, And of those after them who approve their words.

Be careful that you don’t hoard what the Lord has given you but give back to the Giver of all good gifts. The Lord wants us to be a channel of blessings. If He has blessed you it is so you might be a blessing.

Ecclesiastes 5:13 There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: riches being hoarded by their owner to his hurt.

Do you want a heart for the Lord? Then give to Him. He will bless you with the greatest treasure and that is a heart for Him. For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.

Matthew 6:19-21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The Lord clearly instructs us not to store up treasures on earth but to store up treasures in heaven. How do we do this? Well, it is what you give that will determine your treasure in heaven. He wants us to experience the joy of doing good. He wants us to be rich in good works.

I Timothy 6:17-19 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

What you do and what you give will determine the treasure of your good foundation for the future. He will take what you have done for eternity to determine your treasure in heaven. Your work will be tested.

I Corinthians 3:12-15 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

If you were to die today and the Lord were to take what you have done  and tested it for eternal values and then taken the result to “build your mansion” in heaven then what would it look like? Would your life works be of wood, hay and straw that would be burned up beforehand or would it be gold, silver and precious stones? It is not too late to live for the Lord and invest in eternity for He has given you today. He has promised you that you will not regret storing up treasure in heaven, but even the Lord says that you would be a fool to store up treasure for yourself and not to be rich towards God. The Lord says that He will take care of His children. Are you trusting Him or are you trusting yourself?

Matthew 6:31-34 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

He will never leave you or forsake you. He has promised that if you will seek first His kingdom and His righteousness then He will take care of all of your needs. This is what it means to live by faith. Faith is believing the Lord and living by His promises.

 

A Life that is Wise and Upright

Do you want to live a life that is pure and peaceable, gentle and reasonable and full of mercy and good fruits? A life that is unwavering and without hypocrisy? Such a life is possible but only to those who have been able to take hold of God’s wisdom and live by it.

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 life is a sweet life and attractive not only to the Lord but to everyone who meets this person. This verse describes the life of Christ. He offers it to you. Yet, how do you get it? The Lord is very gracious and says that all you have to do is ask Him and He will give it to you and not only to you but to anyone who will ask Him.

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.

However, how do you ask? You need to ask in faith and it will be given to you and given to you generously, that means He will give you as much as you need and ask for.

James 1:6-8 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, 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.

Is it hard to ask in faith without any doubting? No, it is only hard if the person is double minded, for that person has doubts and is unstable in their faith. What does it mean to be double minded? It means that you can not make up your mind what you want. For instance, you may think, “maybe I should do this or maybe I should do that”. The problem with this kind of thinking is that it is all about what you want and not what the Lord wants. A person who is double minded is not fully surrendered to the Lord.

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.

A double minded person does not have a pure heart. A pure heart is a fully surrendered heart to the Lord. A single minded person has a pure heart and only one thought and that is “Lord, what do you want?” The cure for being double minded is to fully surrender you life and will to the Lord. It is to say, “not my will, but Thy will be done”. What is the outcome of a pure heart? You will see the Lord. The Lord wants every thing that we do to be a response to Him.

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

If you see the Lord correctly then your response will be correct. This is what it means to be upright in our thoughts, actions and heart.

Psalm 11:7 For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face.

An upright person is one who sees the Lord and responds correctly in obedience to Him and the outcome is righteousness, that is doing life right. You won’t have doubts but you will have peace, quietness and confidence.

Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness will be peace,
And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.

You will find that not only will the Lord give wisdom to the person who is upright with a pure heart but He will also not withhold any good thing from this person.

Psalm 84:11 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.

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that is Blessed on Earth

We know that we will be blessed in heaven but what does a life that is blessed on earth look like? The Lord makes it very clear the life that He blesses on earth.

Psalm 41:1,2 How blessed is he who considers the poor;
The Lord will deliver him in a day of trouble.
The Lord will protect him and keep him alive,
And he shall be called blessed upon the earth;

The Lord says that the poor will always be with us. He has called us to do good works and with the poor always being with us there will not be any excuse for anyone why they did not do good works or help the poor. The poor test us. We can judge the poor or find a reason why we do not need to help them but the Lord has told us over and over again to help the poor.

Mark 14:7a For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them;

We can do good to the poor whenever we wish and Jesus comes to us in the disguise of the poor.

Matthew 25:34-40 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

Jesus went around doing good.

Acts 10:38 You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

A Christian should be known by their good works and if they are then men will glorify God on account of them. This is one aspect of what it means to be the light of the world.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

It won’t always be easy but the Lord wants you to persevere in doing good.

Romans 2:7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;

The Lord says to give to those who can not pay you back. If you give to those who can repay you then that is your reward. If you give to those who can not repay you then the Lord will give back to you, here and at the resurrection of the righteous. You will be blessed on earth and in heaven.

Luke 14:12-14 And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Is there anyone that you can do good to today? Then do it, for you may not always have the opportunity. You will be glad that you did.

Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in your power to do it.

A Life with Gladness

Gladness is different than joy. Gladness is that great feeling in your heart that makes you happy. Joy comes from the presence of God but gladness comes from loving what God loves. Gladness is the secret of the happy Christian. Jesus had more gladness than all of His companions. What was His secret?

Hebrews 1:9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness above Your companions.”

Jesus loved righteousness, in other words, He loved doing what was right in God’s eyes. He did not do what was right in His own sight. He always submitted Himself to the will of the Father.

Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Everyone has a different standard of what is right and when people live by their own standards of right and wrong then there is a lack of gladness among the people because there is a lack of God’s righteousness. There is a lack of righteousness because there is a lack of Christ being King in our hearts. Jesus came to restore us to God and His Lordship and to the only true standard, which is what He said in His Word. When the Lord is our King the He helps us do what is right in his sight. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Psalm 30:10-12 “Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me;
O Lord, be my helper.”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

The Lord replaces our sadness with gladness and He makes us want to sing. Singing is an expression of what is in your heart. Often the songs of the world are sad songs because they have sad and broken hearts even though they may put on a happy face. Christians have joy and gladness and want to sing praises to our God.

Proverbs 10:28 The hope of the righteous is gladness,
But the expectation of the wicked perishes.

We can hope for gladness and expect it when we love righteousness because we have done what we needed to do. The expectation of the wicked perishes because it is a “false” hope, such as, “I hope that I do well on my test” or “I hope that I will go to heaven”. The right thing is to study for your tests or the right thing is to repent and receive Christ as your Lord and Savior and then you know that you are going to heaven.

Ecclesiastes 5:20 For he will not often consider the years of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart.

The Christian’s life is full and the years fly by because the Lord keeps the Christian occupied with gladness of heart. His life is full of joy and gladness because he has followed the Lord with all of his heart and sought to do what is right in God’s eyes.

Acts 2:46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,

The early Christians were filled with gladness because they were sharing with one another and fellowshipping together in the Lord. Jesus Christ was their Lord and they were doing what He wanted them to do.

Psalm 45:7 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness: Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee With the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Jesus had more gladness than all of His companions. He had the “oil of gladness”. The Lord wants to anoint us also with the oil of gladness so that people might be drawn to Christ in us. We need to love righteousness and hate wickedness.

 

 

 

 

A Life of Character

There are five characteristics that should be evidenced in a Christian. These should be spoken of and made manifest in their life.

Psalm 40:10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.

We are not to hide His righteousness within our hearts. We are to live a righteous life which means that we are to do what is right. The opposite of righteousness is wickedness and that is doing what is wrong. It is not our righteousness, which is self righteousness, but it is His righteousness. When we become a Christian we start learning His ways and living by them. Do we fail at times? Yes, but it should grieve us and cause us to want to please Him even more.

Psalm 37:3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

A life of faith will be characterized by His faithfulness. We are to cultivate faithfulness and feed on His faithfulness. Our faithfulness to Him and His faithfulness to us should be one of the hallmarks of a Christian. Do you speak of His faithfulness to others?

I Chronicles 16:23-25 Sing to the Lord, all the earth;
Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.
Tell of His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
He also is to be feared above all gods.

When we become a Christian, He not only saves us for all eternity but He saves us everyday. Are you proclaiming His salvation?

Lamentations 3:22,23 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

His lovingkindnesses indeed never cease! When someone loves someone then it can’t be concealed. They talk about the one they love and that person’s love is their delight. The Lord loves you so much and His love for you never ceases. Do you ever cease talking about His love?

John 14:6,7 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

Jesus is the Truth and when we are filled with Jesus then we will be filled with truth. His truth should characterize all that we do and say. His truth should fill our heart. We should love and long for His truth. Do you conceal His truth from others? Are you afraid at times to speak God’s truth?

Luke 6:45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

A Christian should be characterized by His righteousness, His faithfulness, His salvation, His lovingkindness and His truth because these are the things that fill his heart.