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.

 

A Life with Great Confidence

People try to live life without the Lord and the Bible describes such a person as a fool.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
There is no one who does good.

Living life without God is like having a painting without acknowledging the artist or enjoying a meal with no thought of the cook. It can’t be done although it is often tried. A life without God is a life that tries to feel it’s way through life just as a blind person has to feel their way around. It will often lead to pain and sometimes much pain because it is a guessing game. There are no absolutes apart from God. The laws in science are the ones He designed and set up. He is the Creator and author of life.

Genesis 2:4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven.

All the Lord had to do was to speak and He created. He spoke and the worlds were created out of nothing. All matter has to be created out of matter except when it comes to the Lord. All He has to do is speak it into existence.

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

God is the only truth that there is and apart from Him there is no truth. When someone tries to deny the existence of God then they have started to believe a lie and will be deceived from then on. Often people don’t want to believe in God because there is something in their life that they don’t want to give up and if they were to acknowledge God then they would have to acknowledge their conscience. If they can get rid of the thought of God then maybe they can get rid of their conscience and enjoy the very thing that they want to. However, when they shut off their conscience then they also shut off their ability to fully enjoy their sinful ways. It is your conscience that allows you to fully enjoy the gifts that the Lord has given to mankind.

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

The person who puts their trust in the Lord will walk with confidence because He knows the One whom He has trusted.

Psalm 27:3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.

A fool puts his confidence in himself and leans on his own understanding. He learns the hard way through pain and regret, that is, if he learns at all. Some people will do the same wrong thing over and over again and yet expect different results.

Proverbs 14:16 A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident.

If you will learn to trust in the Lord with all of your heart and not lean on your own understanding then you will find that He will lead you in the way you should go and that His ways are good. Whatever He tells you to do, do it. Don’t try to understand first and then follow His instructions but rather follow first and then you will receive understanding.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Is Not Ashamed

We often are very concerned and conscious of what others think of us and we want to be accepted and respected by others. As we grow older we become aware of what we need to do to be “socially acceptable”. Only a very secure person can go through life willing and able to stand alone.  It is a natural desire to want the respect of others, however, it can become a snare for us and hypocritical if we change our behavior or put on a certain front in order to receive the acceptance and respect of people.

Matthew 6:2 So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

The religious leaders in Jesus’ day loved the praise and honor of men but the Lord called them hypocrites because it was not who they really were when they gave for appearance sake. They only gave so that others might see and honor them.

Matthew 6:5 When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Again, they prayed so that others might respect them for their “spiritual” prayers. Again, the Lord called them hypocrites. To receive the praise of others was their reward in full.

Matthew 6:16 Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Again, their life was all about putting on an appearance in order to be accepted and praised by others.

Mark 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be  ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of someone who was secure in who He is and who was willing to be rejected by others in order to accomplish something greater. Jesus Christ knew that He was accepted by His Father and He lived to please the One who had sent Him. Jesus Christ promises us that if we will not be ashamed of Him and His words then He will not be ashamed of us when He returns. An indication of a true Christian is that they will be ashamed of the things they did before they were a Christian and they will not be ashamed of Jesus Christ and following after Him after they have become a Christian.

Romans 6:21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.

Sometimes a conflict is created between a Christian and unbelievers who are in a close relationship with the new Christian. They may be a family member or a friend who has not yet come to Christ. New Christians want to please the One who died for them and the nonChristian does not understand that kind of commitment because they have yet to experience His amazing love.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

We are secure in the Lord once we come to know Him and we understand that His words are power and that He will never leave us or forsake us. We have a sure foundation in Him which can not be shaken and He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him.

II Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

What great joy it will be for those Christians who did not shrink back and who were not ashamed to suffer for being a Christian. Sometimes it might seem lonely but He promised us that He would never forsake us. Even though we can not see Him, we believe in Him and know that He is faithful and will fulfill all of His promises that He has given to us. He is not ashamed to call us brethren.

Hebrews 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Neither is God ashamed to be called our God, for He has prepared a place for us.

Hebrews 11:6 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

When the Lord comes again it will only be those who were not ashamed of Jesus Christ during the time of their stay on earth who will not shrink back in shame. Those who refused to call upon Him will wish they had and will shrink away in shame for their many sins and for not calling upon Jesus Christ, the Lord of lords and King of kings.

I Peter 4:16,17 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if itbegins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

It is not too late to call upon Him. It is not too late to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and call upon His name. He desires that all come to know Him.

Isaiah 55:6,7 Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

 

A Life that Loves the Light

We will either love the light or we will love the darkness. Our hearts are deceitful and if we don’t come to the light then we will love the darkness so that our heart will not be exposed.

John 3:19-21 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. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.

The Lord has given us this opportunity to come to Him so that the light might expose our evil hearts so that He might clean them so that we might have a clear conscience.

Hebrews 10:22a let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience

Draw near to the Lord and He will draw near to you and clean your conscience so that you might be able to live before Him with a clear conscience. All of us sin and need to be cleansed. It is the person who does not come to Him for cleansing but continues on in their evil ways that will suffer shipwreck in regard to their faith.

I Timothy 1:19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.

If you will come to Him and have your conscience cleaned then you need not fear the judgment day when your own actions and conscience will testify against you when the light is shown on you because you refused to come to the light earlier and be cleansed.

Luke 8:17 For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.

If you have come to the Light then continue to follow the Light that you might stay in the light.

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

He who walks in the light will not stumble but will have the light of life.

John 12:35,36 So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.”

When we walk in the light then we will have fellowship with one another and His blood will cleanse us from our sin.

I John 1:5-7 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Those who love the light will come to the light that their deeds will be made known as having been wrought in God.

 

A Life that Does Not Give Away Intimacy

There is a saying, “If the milk is free why buy the cow?”. There are certain gifts that have been given to us and that a young lady should not give away except to the right person at the right time. She should not give away her body to men but it is to be saved for her husband alone and only should be given to him after he has taken her in marriage. Marriage is a man’s commitment to a young lady to love her, to cherish her, to protect her, to provide for her and ultimately to lay down his life for her. Many a man will make promises to get what they want and then once they have gotten their desires then they never fulfill their promises. Engagement is not marriage and the same rules for dating apply during the engagement period.

I Corinthians 6:18-20 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Marriage is not a 50/50 proposition but it is a 100/100 relationship. Each one gives all of oneself to the other so that they might become one. However, what is right before marriage is wrong after marriage. It is right to abstain from sexual relations before marriage and wrong to withhold from each other after marriage. There is a saying that girls that do “it” before marriage don’t want to do “it” after marriage so it is foolish for both to compromise God’s standard of morality. God is not mocked. He has His standards for our good and we are foolish not to abide by what He has said.

Galatians 6:7,8 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Moral excellence is the root of true love in a marriage and it is expressed through waiting until after the wedding to have a physical relationship. If two people are morally excellent in their standards then they will trust each other after they are married. If a man and woman compromise before marriage then the trust will not be there as it could have been had they waited.

II Peter 1:5-7 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

If you have compromised God’s moral standard then it is not too late to repent but there needs to be repentance and though that may be hard it is necessary. Repentance means that you are turning your back on your sin and turning to God. However, you must keep turning to the Lord so that you do not fall back into your old ways. You also must flee from temptation. Temptations are often much stronger if you have tasted of the pleasures of that particular sin. You do not miss what you have never known.

II Timothy 2:22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

You can, by God’s grace, keep His standards of righteousness. God is faithful and will provide a way of escape to the one who calls on Him and puts their trust in Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

 

A Life with The Few

The choice is yours whether to be with the few who choose to live right or the many who choose to live according to their fleshly desires. The only way that you can live right is to choose Jesus and if you don’t then you will sooner or later choose to make the wrong decisions. You will be deceived by your own desires.

Matthew 7:14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

The Lord gives you the opportunity to choose Him now. He is knocking on the door of your heart.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

If you do not choose to follow Jesus Christ now then the day will come when you will want to but it will be too late. You will knock but no one will answer.

Luke 13:22-28 And He was passing through from one city and village to another, teaching, and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem. And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers.’ In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.

There will be much weeping when you see others but you yourself will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Many are called but only a few respond. Just as in the days of Noah, there was eating and drinking but no thought of tomorrow. It was seize the day and eat and drink.

I Peter 3:18-22 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.

Many are seeking God but do not know the way to Him. This harvest of seekers is plentiful and He expects those who have received salvation to share the Gospel with others. The Gospel literally means “good news” and the goods news is that the Lord wants all to be saved.

Matthew 9:37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

He also wants His children to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which we have been called.

I Thessalonians 2:12 so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

The Lord has called us to be His bride and the bride is to adorn herself in white. Those who have been faithful to Him will be counted worthy to walk with Him.

Revelation 3:4 But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.

The Lord never said that it would be easy but He does say that it will be worth it. Where are you in your journey? Have you responded to His call to become one whom He has chosen to be His? If you have responded are you sharing the good news of the gospel? How are you doing in your walk with Him? Are you walking in a manner worthy of Him? It is not too late to respond to Him and surrender your life to Him. He will put you on His path and will help you walk with Him in a manner worthy of the great calling to be His bride. He loves you.

Revelation 19:7,8 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

A Life that Is Merciful

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

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

The Lord says that the merciful person will receive mercy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

A Life that 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 as A Friend of God

One of the most amazing aspects about the Lord is His offer for a friendship with Him. A friendship with God…can there be anything greater? Yet, He says He will be our Friend and we can be His friend. There are two necessary requirements to be His friend. However, before we can be His friend we must be forgiven, otherwise our sin separates us from fellowship with Him.

Colossians 1:13,14 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

We have forgiveness only in Jesus Christ and once we receive Him as our Lord and Savior then we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of Jesus Christ. He becomes our King, Shepherd, Friend, Lord and Savior and we become His friend. He is our King, which means that He rules in our life and we are subject to Him. He is our Shepherd, which means that He will guide us and we will hear His voice and follow Him. He is our Friend because He laid down His life for us. He is our Lord, which means that He is Lord of our life and we are to obey Him. He is our Savior, which means that He has saved us from the penalty and power of sin and we are forever grateful to Him for saving us eternally as well as saving us every day. He also allows us to be His friend. There are two characteristics of a friend of God. The first characteristic is that a friend of Jesus Christ rejoices when he/she hears His voice.

John 3:29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full.

Do you get great joy when you hear His voice? The Lord promises us that we will hear His voice. If you are not hearing His voice either you do not belong to Him as one of His sheep or you are not His friend.

John 10:27,28 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

The second characteristic of a friend of God is that they will keep His commandments.

John 15:12-14 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.

We can not be a friend to all if we are a friend of God. We can not have a friendship with the world if we want to be a friend of God.

James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Friendship with the world is spiritual adultery and is hostility toward God. If you wish to be a friend of the world then you make yourself to be an enemy of God and the love of God is not in you.

I John 2:15-17 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

The word “lust” simply means desire. Do you desire the things of the flesh and the eyes? Is the boastful pride of life important to you? Do you care what others think of you or do you only care what your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ thinks of you? Ask the Lord to help you if these are struggles with you. Do you get upset over the things of the world?

Psalm 75:25-28 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.