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.

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.