A Life that Does Not Worry

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

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

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

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

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

Psalm 23:1-6

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

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

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

Hebrews 4:2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Life that Desires the Truth

One of the changes that the Lord makes in a person is that after they become a Christian they want to know the truth. This is an evidence of their salvation because Jesus is the truth.

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

We are set apart from others because of the truth. God’s Word is the truth and is not a lie. The world can not distinguish between the truth and lies and they often believe a lie. Any explanation that takes God out of the picture is a lie and Satan is the Father of lies.

John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

One of the characteristics of a disciple of Jesus is that they will know the truth through His Word and the truth will set them free.

John 8:31,32 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

Jesus was full of grace and truth and as we grow in our relationship with the Lord then we also should be growing in grace and truth. Truth is what we receive into our lives to change us and grace is what we give to others who fall short of the truth.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Father seeks those who worship in the Spirit and truth.

John 4:23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

The Lord is near to those who call upon Him in truth. He wants us to pray His Words back to Him.

Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.

All His commandments are truth. When we keep His commandments then we will be living according to His truth and we will be free from the snares of death. He came to give us life and this is how we experience His life, by keeping His commandments by His grace, which is His power to obey Him. He gives grace to the humble and He leads the humble in His truth.

Psalm 119:151 You are near, O Lord, And all Your commandments are truth.

His lovingkindness and His truth will preserve you.

Psalm 40:11 You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.

There are many other benefits of knowing the truth. The Lord says to buy it and not to sell it. The more you share the truth of God’s Word with others then the more it will become a part of you.

Proverbs 23:23 Buy truth, and do not sell it, Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.

Don’t seek to have your ears tickled by listening to what you “desire” to hear. The truth may not always be what you want to hear but you will be glad that you heard it and obeyed it. Over and over again, Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”.

II Timothy 4:3,4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

A Life that Is Powerful

Jesus Christ led the most powerful life of all because His life and death changed the world. What makes a life powerful or in other words, full of power? Power comes from giving up our “own” power and submitting to the One who has all power. As Christians, we have no power of our own to do good. We can do nothing apart from Him.

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.

However, in Christ we can do all things.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Only God is good and so the only good that we can do is through His power. However, His power is all we need to change the world.

Mark 10:18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.

All power belongs to the Lord and He has given us the opportunity to be His power for good and to change the world just as the world has been changed through Him for many generations.

Matthew 6:13b For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’

There is none like the Lord. He is great and He is the Almighty One.

Jeremiah 10:6 There is none like You, O Lord;
You are great, and great is Your name in might.

A life of power for good is filled with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. These are the two sources of power that the Lord has given us. Out of our innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.

John 7:38,39a He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive;

Jesus has power and Jesus is life. All authority and power is His. When we receive Jesus Christ then He gives us the power to live the Christian life and to keep His commandments.

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.”

The Word of God is the power. We have no power in our words or opinions. Jesus Christ has called us to share His Words with the world and it is the power of His Words that changes the world.

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.

The gospel is the answer to the needs of all mankind. Once people hear and receive the Gospel then their lives are changed for the good and the goodness of the Lord starts to influence all those around them. Even if it is a small light then it still can light up the darkness. Once there is the light of the Gospel somewhere then it starts to spread to others until the entire area is on fire for the Lord. It only takes a spark to get a fire going. People are drawn to the light.

Isaiah 56:8b “Yet others I will gather to them, to those already gathered.”

 

 

 

A Life of Character

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Life that Listens

A life that listens to the voice of the Good Shepherd is a life that lives in tranquility. The Lord speaks to us in different ways. He says that His sheep hear His voice. This is what He wants. He wants to speak to you through His Holy Spirit that He has made to dwell within you. He speaks to your spirit when you become spiritually alive. You become spiritually alive when you become born again. You become one of His sheep and He becomes your Shepherd. As your Good Shepherd, who lays down His life for the sheep, He will protect you and guide your steps to keep you out of harm.

John10:11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

He knows you by name and calls to you. He will communicate His love for you in many different ways. You will see His hand and hear His voice.

John 10:14-16 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

He has sheep throughout the world and all through the ages. We belong to the Shepherd and He makes us one, regardless of color or race. He is the good Shepherd. The word “good” means the highest form of love. He has an unconditional love for each one of us. There is nothing that we can do to cause Him to love us more.

Proverbs 6:22 When you walk about, they will guide you;  When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you.

He speaks to you through His Word. You must be faithful to put it in your heart so that when the time comes that you need comfort or guidance or whatever your need is, He can talk to you as you walk about and even when you are asleep or awake.

Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

The word “beloved” means just what it says, “be loved”. The Lord calls you beloved because He wants you to be loved by Him. Let Him love you as He longs to do. Let your striving be your seeking after Him so that you can hear His voice. He will give to you even in your sleep.

 

 

A Life of Understanding

A life of understanding is a very exciting life. Could you imagine understanding matters that the world wonders about and yet never come to know? They are ever seeking but never coming to the knowledge of the truth.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.

The beginning of true understanding is to not lean on your own understanding. We look and perceive with our eyes and ears. All we can do is observe but not know about the inner workings of many matters in life. When we look to Him then He gives us insight into the “why”. The creator of the universe who made it all not only understands but will give to His children great understanding. For example, “why do men behave the way they do?” We know a man’s wants but what are his needs? The Lord who made men knows them better than anyone and will give you insight. The Bible says that the eyes of man are never satisfied. Once a man’s wants are satisfied then he will often go elsewhere. There are certain things that a man needs and he will generally go, stay and return to where his needs are met. The same is true for all of us. We will go where our needs are met but our wants are constantly changing.

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

If you want to understand then rather than study the desired object get to know the One who is the Creator of all things.

Exodus 35:31 And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship;

Keeping God’s commandments will give you understanding. Obedience comes before understanding. Often we want to understand and then obey but faith is obeying first and then He rewards us with understanding.

Deuteronomy 4:6 So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’

God’s Word is what gives understanding.

Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.

The fear of the Lord and understanding go together.

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;

Ask the Lord for understanding. King Solomon asked for understanding and it pleased the Lord so much that He gave him riches, honor and life.

I Kings 3:9 So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

He gives understanding and along with understanding comes blessing.

Job 12:13 With Him are wisdom and might; To Him belong counsel and understanding.

To depart from evil is understanding.

Job 28:28 “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.’ “

Apart from understanding, which is the knowledge of the Lord, we are like the beasts that perish.

Psalm 49:20 Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, Is like the beasts that perish.

One who seeks understanding has a heart to obey the Lord.

Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law And keep it with all my heart.

Do you struggle with confusion? The opposite of confusion is understanding. The Lord says that He is not a God of confusion. When you find yourself saying, “I am so confused,” then stop what you are doing and ask the Lord to give you understanding and seek Him in His Word. He wants to give you the knowledge of Him and show you understanding.

I Corinthians 2:9, 14-16 but just as it is written, Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

The truly spiritual Christian appraises all things yet he himself is appraised by no one. The non Christian, or natural man, does not accept nor understand the things of the Lord.

 

A Life with Confidence

Everyone wants to not only feel confident but actually be confident on the inside and on the outside. You will soar in life if you have confidence. How does one live a life of confidence? People are drawn to a confident person.

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

When you became a Christian and surrendered your life to the Lordship of Christ, He gave you His righteousness which gave you the confidence to go before God.

Ephesians 3:12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

He gave us His righteousness that we might live according to His righteousness. Righteousness is doing life right or in other words, doing life according to His way. He tells us to clothe ourselves in righteousness. He wants us to put aside our old self and the old way of doing life and put on the new self and His way of doing life.

Romans 5:17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

Grace is not the license to do what we want but the freedom and power to do life the right way. That is why the Lord says that when sin abounds then grace abounds. He still gives you the grace to do what is right after you have messed us. As Christians we are not sinless but we should sin less. When we do sin we need to make it right, or in other words we need to do righteousness according to God’s ways. If you owe someone money then pay them. Then you will have confidence when you see them and not want to shrink away in shame. If you need to ask forgiveness then do it so that you will have a clear conscience with that person.

Proverbs 3:26 For the Lord will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.

When He is your confidence you will not be afraid.

II Corinthians 3:4,5 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,

He is enough. When you experience this then you will want to trust Him more. If you are struggling with confidence in life about something in particular then do a word study in the Bible on that topic and then do exactly what the Bible says to do. He will help you and wants to prove His Word to you, that He is trustworthy.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.