A Life that Lives in Peace

The Lord wants us to be at peace with all men as much as we can and as much it depends on us. We are so much happier when we are at peace with others.

Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

The Lord wants us to pursue peace with all people. There is no peace where there is unforgiveness. Bitterness is hurt that has not been resolved through unforgiveness. The Lord gives us grace when people hurt us and He gives us the grace to forgive.

Hebrews 12:14,15 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

When you are hurt other people are watching to see your response if you will forgive. Forgiveness is only possible through Jesus Christ and that is how the world sees Christ in us. Keep short accounts with others and forgive because Christ has forgiven you.

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

You will find that as you live a life pleasing to the Lord that the Lord will make even your enemies to be at peace with you. The Lord wants us to be at peace with others and to live in peace but this is only possible through Jesus Christ. We first must have peace with God to be at peace with others.  He is our peace.

Ephesians 2:13-18 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.

The Lord came to establish peace with each other through peace with Himself which comes through the cross. He put to death the enmity and when Christians of all color, status, nations and peoples live in peace with each other then the world will see Christ in us.

John 17:20,21 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

Jesus prayed for His followers on earth when He was on earth and He also prayed for us who would believe in Him through their word. He wants us to be one so that the world will believe that Jesus Christ is God and was sent from the Father.

A Life of Devotion

One of the greatest illustrations of true devotion was done by a single woman who gave her all to express her love. Even though it was criticized by another who did not have the same devotion it was praised and received by the One who matters…and that One is the only One who is worthy of our total devotion.

Luke 12:3 Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

Mary loved Jesus and expressed it at a great cost to herself. She was a single woman, whether she had ever been married we do not know. She lived with her brother and sister and no parents are ever mentioned. Whether they were alive or not we do not know. So, she really did not have much security that she could depend on in her old age. However, she gave what was precious to her, and what she may have been counting on to help her in her time of need, to express her love to her Lord. The Lord was so touched that He said that what she had done would be remembered and mentioned wherever the Gospel is preached.

Mark 14:3-9 While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted? For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

Mary did what she could to show her love for Jesus. She knew that He loved her and was giving her all that He had and she gave all that she could to show her love. Her love for Jesus cost her something. The gift that she poured over Him and anointed Him with was worth about a year’s wages. Her love for Him was a fragrant aroma that filled the house where He was. When He went through His crucifixion He had the fragrant aroma of her love for Him. When we love Jesus then the world will be filled with the fragrant aroma of our devotion to Him. Those who don’t have the same devotion may be critical or indignant but that does not deter the one who is devoted nor does it take away from the gift of devotion to the recipient. Mary need not have worried about her security or being ashamed.

Psalm 34:5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed.

Mary was radiant in her love for Jesus. Jesus will never let those be ashamed who put their trust in Him. Others, who do not have the same devotion to Jesus Christ, may try to shame them but He is the One who honors and allows shame. Jesus stood by her and would not let her be ashamed.

Psalm 25:1-3 To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
Do not let my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed;
Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.

Indeed, none who wait for the Lord and put their trust and devotion in Him will be ashamed.

A Life with Relationships

Relationships help keep us from being lonely and give us worth, purpose and meaning in life. They also keep us balanced and accountable. We were made for relationships and yet many struggle with few meaningful relationships. Relationships teach us how to receive and give love and it is through relationships that the world is changed. Even if you missed out on certain relationships earlier in life it does not define your life or your ability to make relationships. Relationships must be built on the One who designed us to be in relationships.

Genesis 2:8 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

The Lord God made man and gave him life. Man became a living being because God gave him life and God is the source of all life. When God is absent in a person’s life then he only exists, rather than thrive and life life to the fullest.

Genesis 2:18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

Everything that God had done up to this point He said that it was good. However, after He formed man then He said that it is not good for man to be alone. It was not good then and it is not good now for man to be alone. Man had God but man still needed to be in a relationship with another human being. Through another human being man would find companionship, help and love. The word “helper” means literally savior and is the only time in the Bible that it is used in reference to a person. Every other time it is used in reference to God. The word “suitable” means corresponding to. God made a helper who would respond to Adam’s heart and bring him companionship. Even though Adam lived in a perfect environment and had a job to do, which was to cultivate the earth and name the animals, he still needed a helper and companion, who would respond to his heart. God made man and woman because He wanted them but God made Eve for Adam because they needed each other. Man was not made to live alone. God loved man and woman from the beginning and gave them instructions on life because He wanted them to live life to the fullest.

Genesis 2:15-18 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

The Lord knew what man needed and as long as man listened to and obeyed God then man and woman would live happily ever after. As long as they lived in their relationship with their Creator then they would be safe from any grief and the pain of death.

Genesis 3:1-7 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

Woman did not listen to the one whom God had given to protect her and Adam chose also to not obey what he knew was right and so both chose to go their own way and do their own thing apart from what God had commanded. Their relationship with God was changed and they became estranged and separated. The Lord came and they hid.

Genesis 3:8-10 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

Separation, death and guilt came into the world and with it fear, grief, pain and blame. When trust is gone in relationships then the relationship is changed and not the same. With broken relationships come broken hearts. With broken hearts there comes blame. Someone is responsible for the brokenness. Often we want to transfer the blame.

Genesis 3:11-13 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

With broken relationships come consequences which bring more sadness.

Genesis 3:16 To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”

Woman sinned first and the Lord spoke to her first. The consequences of her sin was pain in childbirth and she would desire her husband but he would rule over her.

Genesis 3:17-19 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;

Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.
“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”

Man sinned by doing what his wife wanted him to do rather than what God wanted him to do. He disobeyed God. His consequences were that the ground would be cursed because of him and there would be thorns and thistles that would make his work more difficult. He would now have to sweat things out in his work and it would not be as pleasant and enjoyable as God had designed. Man still struggles with the thorns and thistles in his occupation.

Genesis 3:22-24 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

It was God’s mercy that sent Adam and Eve out of the garden lest they eat of the tree of life and live forever in their now sinful state. Before God sent them out of the garden the Lord also gave Adam and Eve a promise of a Savior so that they might have hope and not despair.

Genesis 3:14a,15  The Lord God said to the serpent,
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

There would come from the seed of the woman a Savior who would destroy the tempter, Satan, who had brought grief to Adam and Eve. Mankind came into an awful cycle that only God could straighten out, a cycle of sin and death and with it a cycle of grief and despair. Man became brokenhearted with broken relationships.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;

The promised One who would destroy the works of the devil would also bind up the brokenhearted and heal them and heal their relationships.

 

 

 

A Life with Favor

There is such a thing as favor and it is like sunshine on our lives. Favor is when things go well and we are happy. When we experience favor it lifts us from the darkness of discouragement and depression. Favor energizes us and is like gas in our emotional tank and is like oil in the gears to help things go more smoothly. Without favor life can be rough and hard. How do we receive and experience favor in life? Where does favor come from? Favor comes from God and from man.

Psalm 5:12 For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord,
You surround him with favor as with a shield.

The Lord surrounds as with a shield those who receive favor. It is the Lord who blesses the righteous person with favor. Righteousness is walking and living according to God’s ways. The Lord gives His righteousness to those who receive Him and He wants them to display His righteousness to the world so that others might see and learn God’s ways.

Psalm 147:11 The Lord favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness.

The Lord favors those who fear Him. We are stubborn and don’t often want to do life God’s way. We want to go our own way and the result is much pain and grief. The Lord favors those who wait on His lovingkindness. The opposite of waiting on the Lord is taking matters into our own hands and doing it “our way”. We may get what we want but we will receive sorrow with it. Manipulation is also not waiting on the Lord. Pray and wait for His lovingkindness.

Psalm 44:3 For by their own sword they did not possess the land,
And their own arm did not save them,
But Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence,
For You favored them.

It is not by our strength that we gain victory and receive salvation but it is because He favors us and it is by His strength and His presence that sees us through to victory.

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.

The Lord wants us to learn to walk in His ways. His is kind in all His deeds and all His ways are truth. When we learn to live according to His ways then we will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.

Psalm 145:17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds.

The Lord is good and he wants us to do good. The Lord is truth and He wants us to walk in truth. The Lord is kind and loving and He wants us to be the same. We are secure in life because of His kindness, love and His truth. Truth never changes. Moods, emotions, feelings, likes and dislikes all change but the Lord never changes because He is truth. The more we walk in love and truth the more others will trust us. We will not be in a constant state of change and people will not be anxious when they are around you.

Ecclesiastes 12:13,14 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

When we fear God and keep His commandments then we will walk in His love and truth and we will receive favor from God and man. This is the standard by which the Lord will judge all that we do, whether it is good or evil. The standard of good and evil is not what we think of as good or evil but it is according to God’s standards of good and evil.

Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.

Ezra set his heart to study the word of God and to practice it. The Lord wants us to do the same.

II Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

The outcome will be the favor of God on your life.

Proverbs 11:27 He who diligently seeks good seeks favor,
But he who seeks evil, evil will come to him.

It is when we diligently seek the Lord that we will find Him and in finding Him we will learn what it means to do good, for only God is good. When we find the Lord then we find life and we receive the favor of God.

Proverbs 8:35 For he who finds me finds life And obtains favor from the Lord.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Is a Blessing to Others

The Lord wants us to be a blessing to others. This is one aspect of what it means to be a witness of who the Lord is. He is good and He wants to show to others who He is through Christians. NonChristians do not have the correct view of God due to our fallen natures from the sin of Adam and Eve. The devil has distorted our view of God and often it is twisted. We do not really believe the Lord loves us because if we did then we would run to Him. It is easy to believe that God is mad at us or that if we trusted Him with everything then He would do with us what we do not want and would deprive us of things that we think would make us happy. The list is endless of the lies that Satan has put into the heart of man of who God really is. None of the lies are true but we will never know that until we come to Him.

Acts 14:17 and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.

The Lord is good and He gives to us even when we do not deserve it. He loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son. All who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are blessed.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

When we receive Jesus Christ then we receive every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

He blessed us that we might be a blessing to others. He wants us to be a witness of who He is. John the Baptist was the first witness of who Jesus Christ is.

John 1:7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him.

The Lord wants us to be a witness of who He is that others may believe in Him. He is not desiring that any should perish but that all might believe in Him.

John 15:26,27 When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

The purpose of a witness is to testify about something or someone. We are to testify to the world that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. He is the only One who can do this because He is God and took the penalty for our sin. We are to testify that God is good by the works that we do, which are to be good works because God is good.

Ephesians 2:8-10 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. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

The Lord Jesus Christ has saved us by His grace through faith in Him. Not as a result of any works that we have done but that we may do good works and testify to the world who He is, that He is good.

Titus 3:3-5a For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy,

We all were foolish at one time, being disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in doing wrong and having evil in our hearts– but He saved us. He showed us mercy and forgave us and He wants us to go out into the world and do the same. Is there anyone you need to forgive and show mercy to? That person may be the one whom Jesus Christ wants to save next. The greatest blessing that we can give to others is to show them who God is through our lives and remove any obstacles that prevent them from coming to know Him as their Savior and Lord.

 

 

 

A Life that Is Thankful

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

A Life that Receives Their Heart’s Desires

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Life of Devotion

One of the greatest illustrations of true devotion was done by a single woman who gave her all to express her love. Even though it was criticized by another who did not have the same devotion it was praised and received by the One who matters…and that One is the only One who is worthy of our total devotion.

Luke 12:3 Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

Mary loved Jesus and expressed it at a great cost to herself. She was a single woman, whether she had ever been married we do not know. She lived with her brother and sister and no parents are ever mentioned. Whether they were alive or not we do not know. So, she really did not have much security that she could depend on in her old age. However, she gave what was precious to her, and what she may have been counting on to help her in her time of need, to express her love to her Lord. The Lord was so touched that He said that what she had done would be remembered and mentioned wherever the Gospel is preached.

Mark 14:3-9 While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted? For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

Mary did what she could to show her love for Jesus. She knew that He loved her and was giving her all that He had and she gave all that she could to show her love. Her love for Jesus cost her something. The gift that she poured over Him and anointed Him with was worth about a year’s wages. Her love for Him was a fragrant aroma that filled the house where He was. When He went through His crucifixion He had the fragrant aroma of her love for Him. When we love Jesus then the world will be filled with the fragrant aroma of our devotion to Him. Those who don’t have the same devotion may be critical or indignant but that does not deter the one who is devoted nor does it take away from the gift of devotion to the recipient. Mary need not have worried about her security or being ashamed.

Psalm 34:5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed.

Mary was radiant in her love for Jesus. Jesus will never let those be ashamed who put their trust in Him. Others, who do not have the same devotion to Jesus Christ, may try to shame them but He is the One who honors and allows shame. Jesus stood by her and would not let her be ashamed.

Psalm 25:1-3 To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
Do not let my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed;
Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.

Indeed, none who wait for the Lord and put their trust and devotion in Him will be ashamed.

A Life that Is Blessed

Everyone wants to be blessed. The word blessed means happy. When we are blessed we have the face of God towards us. The opposite of being blessed is being cursed. If blessed means that we are happy then being cursed must mean that we are unhappy and that the Lord is against us. The Lord tells us how to be blessed.

Luke 11:27,28 While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.” But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

When a woman in the crowd raised her voice and blessed the mother of Jesus, He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” The Lord has given us His Word so that we will do exactly as He says. He has not given it to us just to talk about it but to do it. Jesus took the curse of our disobedience so that we might be blessed by His obedience.

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—

The word curse means literally, “a solemn utterance intended to invoke a supernatural power to inflict harm or punishment on someone or something”. Jesus took the curse which was intended for us and received the punishment of God. He did not do this so that we could live as we please but so that we might be given the opportunity to be blessed by God. It begins by being in a relationship with Him and continues by being in fellowship with Him and following Him.

John 13:17,18 Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

Jesus came to serve. The one who loves the Lord will also be a servant and will follow Him. When we follow Him then we will go where He goes, we will speak His Words and we will do what He does.

John 13:12-15 So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.

When we keep His Words and do as He did then the world will see Jesus in us. This is the true meaning of discipleship. The pupil is not above His teacher but everyone after they have been taught will be like their teacher.

Luke 6:40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

You can not teach someone to do something that you yourself are not doing. Example is the most powerful and effective way of teaching. You can not teach someone else to do something that you are not doing.

Proverbs 29:19 A slave will not be instructed by words alone;
For though he understands, there will be no response.

It is only to the degree that you are observing the Word of God that you can effectively teach and disciple others. People need to see the Word of God lived out and that is what it means to make disciples.

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

When you hear the Words of God and do them then you are blessed. When you hear the Words of God, do them and then teach others also then you will be a blessing to others and you will be doing what the Lord has called you to do.

Matthew 24:44-47 For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. “Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

Not only will you be found faithful here on earth but you will be found faithful when He comes again. Blessed is that slave whom His Master finds doing His Words when He comes again. He says that truly, He will put him in charge of all of His possessions.

 

A Life that Does Not Stumble

The Lord says that the person who does not stumble over Him and what He says then that person will be blessed.

I Peter 2:6-8a For this is contained in Scripture: Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious cornerstone, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, The stone which the builders rejected, This became the very cornerstone,”and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word

Those who believe in Jesus Christ and obey His Word will not be disappointed but those who do not believe and are disobedient will stumble over the Lord and His Words. He will be a stone of stumbling to them and a rock of offense. They are “offended” because they do not want to hear His Word and do it.

II Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;

Stumbling brings pain and frustration. If you will learn to practice keeping His commandments then you will not stumble.

Hosea 14:9 Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them.

If you are wise, have understanding and discernment then you will know that the ways of the Lord are right. The righteous will learn to walk in His ways but those who turn away from the Lord will stumble in them.

Proverbs 4:10-12 Hear, my son, and accept my sayings
And the years of your life will be many.
I have directed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be impeded;
And if you run, you will not stumble.

Listen to the Lord and accept His Word. Not only will you walk and your steps will not be impeded but you will run and not stumble. The Lord is good and He wants you to be able to walk and run in life without stumbling. Learn to love His Word and you will find that life is sweet to the one who does not stumble over what He says but with a whole heart learns to abide in his Word and do it.

Psalm 119:165 Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble.

At first God’s Word may seem hard but it is only because we are not accustomed to it. Once it become a part of you then you will see that it is actually much easier than the ways of sin.

Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.