A Life that is Single but…

Nearly every young lady wants to get married. That is the way that the Lord designed for His creation to function. The Bible says that woman was made for man. This actually is an incredible privilege and very fulfilling when it is done God’s way.

I Corinthians 11:8,9 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.

This is not the way of the world but it is God’s way. God’s way is wisdom but man’s way is foolishness. God’s way will seem like foolishness to the world but we see the fruit of man’s way with many failed marriages. A wife is also man’s reward.

Ecclesiastes 9:9 Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.

When it is done God’s way then the husband will be intoxicated with the love of his wife. He will cherish her and love her because she is his, not as property, but as his fellow heir in Christ, as his beloved.

Proverbs 5:18,19 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.
As a loving hind and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be exhilarated always with her love.

A wife belongs to her husband and longs for him even as we are to long for Jesus since we are His bride. We are Christ’s beloved bride who is loved by Him. A marriage is the most beautiful picture of Jesus Christ and the church, which is His bride.

I Peter 3:7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

However, before a young lady gets married she needs to understand the right way to relate to a young man. There are four things she should not do. She should not initiate, manipulate, speculate nor expect. The man is to pursue the lady and she needs to wait on the Lord. She certainly needs to make herself as attractive as possible, not only physically but spiritually. The Lord brought Eve to Adam and the Lord can still bring you to the one that He has planned for you. He does not need your help in initiating and manipulating. If you do these actions then you will never know if your husband was a gift from the Lord. You will wonder if you did not bring it about and you might doubt during the hard times in marriage. You need to have the assurance that your husband was God’s idea and not yours. If you manipulate then you are just plainly not trusting the Lord but taking matters into your own hands. You will regret this also, just as Sarah regretted manipulating Abraham to have a child by Hagar. An immoral woman initiates. Not that everyone who initiates is immoral but it is not God’s way.

Proverbs 7:10-15 And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.
She is boisterous and rebellious,
Her feet do not remain at home;
She is now in the streets, now in the squares,
And lurks by every corner.
So she seizes him and kisses him
And with a brazen face she says to him:
“I was due to offer peace offerings;
Today I have paid my vows.
“Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.

A young lady should not speculate about young men whether he is the one or not and her decision to spend time with him should not be based on her speculations whether he is someone who she would be “interested in”. She should spend time with him if he loves Jesus and has a heart for the Lord. A young lady is known by the types of young men that she spends time with and so it is a message to other young men what kind of men you are attracted to and who you spend time with fellowshiping.

II Corinthians 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

The relationship should be one of brother and sister. The Bible never talks about “dating” relationships. If he wants to pursue her and she knows that she does not want any more than to be friends then she needs to be sure that she is not leading him on to believe that there is more there than there is. A man takes his cue from her response. The best way to know if a guy has a heart for the Lord is to see how he is in a group of strong Christian young men. A man can see through a man just as often a woman can see through a woman. Also, it is good for the young man to meet your father once he starts talking about being interested in you or is very obvious in calling you, etc. (You should not call him. Again, that is initiating.)

II Corinthians 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

Also, she should not allow any young man to touch her, even holding hands. Touch is special to a young lady and it changes the relationship. Only do with a young man what you would do with your brother because that is who this young man is…your brother in Christ.

I Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman.

The word “good” in the verse means in the original, the highest form of love. It is the highest expression of love that a young man would have for a lady, that is, to wait to touch her until he has committed his life to her in marriage. A man appreciates what he waits for and you can almost guarantee that he will treat her always like a lady, even after they have been married for fifty years. This kind of relationship is the type that will endure for fifty years. So, if you want a true and enduring love in your marriage then wait for the affection.

Proverbs 30:18,19 There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
Four which I do not understand:
The way of an eagle in the sky,
The way of a serpent on a rock,
The way of a ship in the middle of the sea,
And the way of a man with a maid.

A relationship done God’s way is wonderful and beyond our understanding. It is a picture of God’s love when done right for He pursued us. A relationship done right is a shining light to the whole world because all of us long to be loved and especially in an unconditional manner. The husband is the lover and the pursuer. He is the leader and the wife is the responder. He is the strong one and she is the weaker vessel because he is to protect her and provide for her. He is to cherish her and even be willing to die for her. Is this kind of relationship possible? Yes, and it is too wonderful to understand and the Lord wants to give it to every young lady but it is a gift from Him and you must learn His ways, otherwise you will cause damage to one of His precious sons and you will bring destruction to yourself.

 

 

 

A Life that Forgives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

A Life that Runs Well

The Lord has called us to run. One of the ways that He wants us to run is to run from temptation. People often will talk about resisting temptation but that is not what the Lord says, he says to flee from temptation.

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.

The Lord says to flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace with those who have a pure heart. The Bible says that those who have a pure heart will see God.

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

Those with a pure heart will not be deceived by the lusts of the heart. The word “lust” in the Greek means “desire”. A lust is a desire that is outside of the will of God. Many lusts are greater temptations in our youth because we don’t want to wait for the Lord to give us His gifts. We want them now and so we “give in” to temptation.

James 1:14-16 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

However, when you get what you want and it is not God’s will then you also lose the ability to fully enjoy it, that is why, the Bible talks about the passing pleasure of sin. It is only for a moment and then the guilt comes. We were deceived. We are always deceived when we sin. However, if our friends have a pure heart then they will help us in our weakness. The Lord will also help you flee from temptation. He understands your weakness.

Hebrews 4:15,16 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The other way that we are to run is that we are to run to Him and we are to run with endurance the race set before us.

Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

The saints who have gone before us are watching and they are the cloud of witnesses. Therefore, lay aside the things that make it hard for you to run the race and strive to run hard after the Lord. Fix your eyes on Jesus. He is at the right hand of the Father and He is praying for you. He also had to endure and was found faithful. You can do it. This is what grace is all about. Grace is the power and strength to be faithful to the end. Don’t grow weary or lose heart. Ask others to pray for you if you find yourself struggling. We all struggle. Jesus struggled. It is in the struggling that our faith is strengthened. It may seem like forever but in view of eternity it is only a moment. You will never regret being faithful but you will have great regret if you are not faithful.

Psalm 144:4 Man is like a mere breath;
His days are like a passing shadow.

Our life is like a mere breath and our days are a passing shadow but eternity is forever.

 

 

A Life of Faith and Love

The most exciting life is a life of your faith and His love. You will be amazed at His faithfulness and so in love with the Lord when you see Him be true to His Word. A life of faith is a prerequisite to seeing His faithfulness. When you declare, by faith, His lovingkindness in the morning then you will see His faithfulness at night.

Psalm 92:2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your faithfulness by night,

A life of faith is taking Him at His Word. There is no limit to experiencing His love for you other than your unbelief. Fearing Him is respecting Him in an all consuming way where you believe His Word so much that you know that it is true and will do what His Word says to do. Fearing Him is obedience. You can fear Him now voluntarily by faith or you can wait until you see Him and how true His Word is to what He says will take place and then you will really fear Him but that kind of fear is one of a terrifying fear.

Psalm 103:11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.

When you live by faith then His lovingkindness is what will describe your life. It will be the explanation for who you are and everything in your life because He loves you so very much but you must take Him at His Word to see that love.

Psalm 25:10 All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.

The Lord will be your boast and in Him you will glory. You will not be able to stop talking about Him and all of the incredible things that He has done for you.

Psalm 89:24 “My faithfulness and My lovingkindness will be with him, And in My name his horn will be exalted.

You will anticipate each new day and what His great lovingkindness holds for you. No matter how much you mess up the day before His lovingkindnesses and compassions are new every morning.

Lamentations 3:22-25 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.

Everything that the Lord does for you is done in His faithfulness. Trust Him and let Him direct your steps. He is good.

Psalm 33:4 For the word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness.

Underneath are the everlasting arms and He has destroyed the enemy from before you.

Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms; And He drove out the enemy from before you, And said, ‘Destroy!’

Will you trust Him again as you did when you first became a Christian? Of if you have not yet trusted Him with your life then today is the day to begin. You can begin with the prayer that the person prayed, “Lord, I want to believe, help me in my unbelief.” He is more than willing to help you. He wants to give you this incredible life that is overflowing but first you must trust Him.

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

There are only two choices in life…one of a life that is ultimately destroyed or a life that is saved. These two choices go into eternity but are made by you here on earth. Do you choose the destroyer or the Savior?

A Life that Is Fruitful

The promise of a fruitful life is made to the person who abides in the Lord and God’s Word abides in Him. The word abide means to live in, therefore you are to live in God’s Word and He lives in you.

John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

The Lord wants you to be fruitful and He knows that you must abide in Him if this is to happen. He, the vine produces the fruit and you, as the branch, bear the fruit.

John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

The sooner you realize the truth that you can do nothing apart from Him the happier you will be and the sooner you will quit striving on your own to bear fruit. The branches bear the fruit, they do not produce the fruit.

Galatians 5:22,23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

The fruit is produced through vine. You can not make yourself love someone. He will love through you if you abide in Him. In the same way, you can not produce joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control. He must do it.

John 15:7 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

You will not have to prove that you are a Christian. Your fruit will bear witness that you are a Christian.

Matthew 7:16-18 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.

The Lord loves us and wants us to abide in his love. When we abide in His love and in His Word then our spirit will be nourished and His Spirit in us will produce the fruit that the world will see.

John 15:9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.

The way that we abide in his love is to keep his commandments. Is there anything that you know that He has commanded you to do and you have not done? There is nothing that is worth keeping us from his love.

John 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

Jesus kept His Father’s commandments and abided in His Father’s love. He went before us and showed us how it was to be done.

John 15:12,13 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.

Jesus Himself chose us to bear fruit and instructed us on how it was to be accomplished.

John 15:16,17 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another.

Jesus spoke these words to His disciples and to us so that our joy may be made full just as His joy was made full.

John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

 

 

 

A Life that Pleases God

There is only One whom we can please all of the time if we will only trust Him. The righteous person shall live by faith. The most fulfilling life is a life of faith. A life of faith is what pleases the Lord and you can not please Him without faith.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

A lack of faith is the only thing the Lord reproved His disciples for when He spent time with them.

Matthew 8:26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.

To increase their faith is what His disciples requested from Him.

Luke 17:5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

What is faith? Faith is believing what you can not see. A conviction means that it defines your life.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Faith comes through God’s Word. If you want to increase your faith then increase your time in His Word. Ask the Lord to increase your faith as you spend time with Him in his Word.

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

There are degrees of faith. The Lord talks about great faith and little faith. If faith is what pleases the One who loves you more than you can comprehend then don’t you want to have great faith?

Matthew 15:28 Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.

However, even if you have little faith then He can increase it if you come to Him. Faith can grow, it is like a mustard seed.

Matthew 17:20 And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

Faith is believing what the Lord said. It is not wishing something will happen and if you wish hard enough then you have faith that it will happen. Faith comes from hearing the Lord speak to you through His Word. It is based on His promises. You must spend time in His Word and then your faith will grow. Faith is believing the Lord and believing that what He said is true. You will be blessed if you believe in Him and His Word.

John 20:29  Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

It is through faith in Jesus Christ that we receive the righteousness of God and are declared “not guilty” because Jesus Christ has justified us because of His righteousness.

Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,

Jesus lived by faith more than anyone. He lived a life of perfect faith. He never doubted the Father. He laid aside His God powers and trusted the Father completely. Jesus went to the cross trusting the Father to raise Him from the dead according to the Father’s promise.

Colossians 2:12 in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the  working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

Faith is not a passive intellectual assent to the claims of Christ but a dynamic living out of obedience to His Word believing that one day He is coming again and is a rewarder of those who seek Him, as was mentioned earlier.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

A Life without Excuses

Some of the most powerful words that Jesus spoke are recorded in John 15. He takes away all excuses that we have not to obey Him.

John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.

Have you ever felt that God was speaking to you? Yes, we have all felt that at some time God was trying to get our attention. He made us to have fellowship with Him and He desires that all men come to know Him. When we respond to the light that He gives us then we receive more light.

John 15:24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin;

Has anything ever happened in your life that there was no other explanation other than it was a “God thing”. Again, this is the Lord who is seeking you out. The Lord wants to have a relationship with you and fellowship with you.

Revelation 3:19-22 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. 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. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

The Lord promises those who respond to Him on earth will reign with Him in heaven. It is your choice. Will you receive His invitation and fellowship with Him and live for Him? The choice is yours.

Psalm 36:1 Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.

If you do not listen to Him then your sin will speak to your heart and bring you torment. What do you choose…comfort or torment? Your choice on earth determines your eternal destiny. He allows us to taste of hell through torment here on earth or to taste of heaven through fellowship with Him on earth. When you lay your head on your pillow at night are your thoughts of your sin or unfaithfulness or of the love and faithfulness of the Lord for that day?

I Peter 2:6-8 For this is contained in Scripture: Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone,
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 corner stone,” and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

There will be no excuse when we see Him. He has tried to speak to all of us and to make Himself known to us. The Bible says that the kindness of God leads us to repentance. He loves you. Is there something in the Bible that you struggle with and it is a stumbling block that is keeping you from a totally surrendered life to Him? Ask Him to help you with it. His plans for you are good and you can trust Him.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans that I have for you,’  declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Seek Him while He may be found and call upon Him while He is near before it is too late and you have no hope. It is appointed unto man to die and then comes judgment the Bible says.

 

 

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.

 

How to Avoid The Life of a Failure

If you want to be miserable in life then just be a failure. Failure brings with it depression, discouragement, disappointment, defeat and despair. However, the choice is ours, if we want to be a failure or a success in life. No one else is responsible for whether we are a success or a failure. The choice is ours. You may think that circumstances would have something to do with it but not so, it is you who determines your success or failure in life. You have no one to blame but yourself.

Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

It is pride that goes before a fall. Pride is not needing God. Satan had all the best of circumstances. He was beautiful and experienced great wealth. He had many gifts and the highest position of all of the angels. Yet, he was not satisfied. He wanted to be equal to God. He wanted more than what the Lord had given to him. He was not satisfied and became prideful. It was his pride that led to his failure and he lost everything.

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.

Pride is the opposite of humility. When pride comes then comes dishonor. Dishonor goes hand and hand with failure. Those who are successful experience honor. Pride is basically saying, “I can do it on my own and that it is all about me”.

I John 2:16 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.

Humility acknowledges that we can do nothing apart from the Lord. Pride is not from the Lord but is from the devil. We are most like the devil when we are prideful.

John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

Pride says that it does not need the Lord. It is manifested by not turning to Him with all of our heart. It is also made known by us neglecting reading and meditating on His Word. When we don’t spend time in His Word then we are relying on ourselves and not on Him. We forget what He has to say and when we forget then we do not act on His Word.

Hosea 7:10 Though the pride of Israel testifies against him, Yet they have not returned to the Lord their God, Nor have they sought Him, for all this.

It is our pride that brings us low and leads to failure. It is the Lord who wants us to be successful and has shown us the way to succeed. There is no success apart from Him. However, you may say that you know people who are successful and who do not seek the Lord. If you will look closely at their successes you will see that they paid a heavy price and it was too great of a price for their temporary success. They lost something else even more precious than their success, whether it is a marriage, family, integrity or even their fellowship with the Lord. For it is the Lord alone who gives success with no sorrow with it.

Proverbs 10:22 It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich,
And He adds no sorrow to it.

Only the Lord can bless us richly in every area and He adds no sorrow to it. However, we must look to Him and follow His instructions on life. He leads us in the good way.

Jeremiah 6:16a Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls.

The Lord wants us to look to Him and He will be our Shepherd and lead us in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. He will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. There are no regrets in following the Lord and obeying His voice. He will never disappoint you. Have you failed? Then it is to show you how desperately we all need the Lord and how desperately we need to know His Word so that we can do exactly as He says. Turn to Him with all your heart. He does promise success to the one who will trust Him and obey Him completely.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

He says it again what you need to do to be successful. You have nothing to lose, but your pride, and you have everything to gain.

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

A Life of Faith and Love

The most exciting life is a life of your faith and His love. You will be amazed at His faithfulness and so in love with the Lord when you see Him be true to His Word. A life of faith is a prerequisite to seeing His faithfulness. When you declare, by faith, His lovingkindness in the morning then you will see His faithfulness at night.

Psalm 92:2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your faithfulness by night,

A life of faith is taking Him at His Word. There is no limit to experiencing His love for you other than your unbelief. Fearing Him is respecting Him in an all consuming way where you believe His Word so much that you know that it is true and will do what His Word says to do. Fearing Him is obedience. You can fear Him now voluntarily by faith or you can wait until you see Him and how true His Word is to what He says will take place and then you will really fear Him but that kind of fear is one of a terrifying fear.

Psalm 103:11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.

When you live by faith then His lovingkindness is what will describe your life. It will be the explanation for who you are and everything in your life because He loves you so very much but you must take Him at His Word to see that love.

Psalm 25:10 All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.

The Lord will be your boast and in Him you will glory. You will not be able to stop talking about Him and all of the incredible things that He has done for you.

Psalm 89:24 “My faithfulness and My lovingkindness will be with him, And in My name his horn will be exalted.

You will anticipate each new day and what His great lovingkindness holds for you. No matter how much you mess up the day before His lovingkindnesses and compassions are new every morning.

Lamentations 3:22-25 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.

Everything that the Lord does for you is done in His faithfulness. Trust Him and let Him direct your steps. He is good.

Psalm 33:4 For the word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness.

Underneath are the everlasting arms and He has destroyed the enemy from before you.

Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms; And He drove out the enemy from before you, And said, ‘Destroy!’

Will you trust Him again as you did when you first became a Christian? Of if you have not yet trusted Him with your life then today is the day to begin. You can begin with the prayer that the person prayed, “Lord, I want to believe, help me in my unbelief.” He is more than willing to help you. He wants to give you this incredible life that is overflowing but first you must trust Him.

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

There are only two choices in life…one of a life that is ultimately destroyed or a life that is saved. These two choices go into eternity but are made by you here on earth. Do you choose the destroyer or the Savior?