A Life that Begins Marriage Right

The beginning of marriage starts before you even meet the person that you are to marry. This may sound a little strange but most, if not all, of the problems in marriage are the weeds of the seeds that were planted before marriage. How much easier it is to only plant good plants with good fruit in our marriage rather than to allow the seeds of weeds or plants with bad fruit to be sown. We all reap what we sow.

Galatians 6:7-9 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. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

There are three enemies of a great marriage. These three enemies will destroy the love that God designed. A great marriage can be the closest experience to heaven if done God’s way. The Lord designed for marriage to be the closest picture of God’s love.

I John 2:15,16 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 word “lust” literally means desire. When we lust for something then we are simply desiring something that is outside of God’s will. God’s will is perfect and His love is perfect. When we succumb to a lust then we have given in to a desire that is not a part of His will and it will bring destruction to our lives and the lives of those around us. A great marriage is made of two people who have learned to not give in to the lust of the flesh or the lust of the eyes. They also have recognized the deceitfulness and emptiness of the boastful pride of life. These three things will destroy love in a marriage but they must be dealt with in a person’s life before they are married. We take into a marriage who we are. If we have failed in these areas then we are taking into our marriage the seeds of failure that will reap a marriage without true love or respect. You can not keep covered up who you are in your heart.

James 1:12-17 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 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. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

It is through learning to persevere under the trials of life that our character is formed. Blessed in the man or woman and blessed will be their marriage if they have learned before marriage to flee from temptation and to turn to the Lord with all of their heart to receive His grace to do life right. If you can seek Jesus Christ and learn to walk in His ways before marriage then your marriage will be a picture of life rather than death. If you give into your lusts before marriage then you will be greatly tempted after marriage and it is you, yourself who will bring about the death of your marriage. Marriage is a gift from the Lord that He wants to give to His children but it must be done God’s way.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.

The Lord is perfect in all His ways and there is nothing to add to it and nothing to take from it. God has so worked that we should fear and honor Him. He is good and His love is perfect. When you do marriage God’s way then you will praise Him for His good and perfect gift.

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

It is most important to remember than you can only have a great marriage through Jesus Christ alone. He is the One who designed marriage and He is the One who will give you the strength and wisdom in how to do marriage right. If you did not start marriage right then He will help you if you turn to Him with all of your heart. Where sin, which is giving into lust, abounds His grace and love abounds all the more. There is no life and no marriage that is beyond His grace and mercy.

Romans 5:20b,21 but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Just as when sin reigns in a person’s life there will be death when grace reigns in a person’s life then there will be righteousness, or in other words, the life and marriage will be done right with the outcome of life. However, the grace, righteousness and life is only through Jesus Christ.

 

A Life that Receives Wisdom

We all need wisdom if we want to do life, work, relationships and whatever else right. If we want less sorrow and more happiness and fulfillment in our life then we need wisdom. However, where do we receive wisdom, in other words, what is the source of wisdom?

Proverbs 2:6,7a For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;

The Lord is the Giver of wisdom. Not only does He give wisdom but He gives knowledge and understanding. He is the source of all that is good and upright. He stores us sound wisdom for the upright and delights in giving to those who seek Him then secrets of life which is His wisdom.

Psalm 25:12-14 Who is the man who fears the Lord?
He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
His soul will abide in prosperity,
And his descendants will inherit the land.
The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him,
And He will make them know His covenant.

Just as there are secrets in all of life and how to do life, so the Lord has made it that the person who fears Him will receive His instructions and will know His secrets. His soul will abide in prosperity and his children will have a refuge and see the promises of God. One of the greatest gifts that you can give to your children is for them to see the reality of God on a daily basis and to see the fulfillment of His promises. He not only has promises for all eternity but He has promises for daily life.

Job 12:16a With Him are strength and sound wisdom,

The Lord gives wisdom but He entrusts it to those who fear Him. Wisdom is so powerful that it would be destructive to the one who does not fear God.

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

Are you frustrated in life or in relationships? Often we desire something and are frustrated because we are not getting what we desire. If you do not fear God then that desire could become a snare or bondage for you. It is the fear of the Lord that keeps things clean and pure. When we fear Him then He purifies our hearts and fulfills our desires in a good way so that the desires do not destroy or control us. The Lord is good and He only gives to His children what is good. Sometimes we do not know what is good for us and for this reason it is crucial that we trust Him to give us what He knows is good. You will look back on life when you are older and you will be thankful for not receiving certain desires.

Psalm 19:9a The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;

Once you have surrendered your life and your desire to the Lord and are seeking to fear Him, then ask Him for wisdom. He promises to give it to you generously.

James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

It is wisdom to seek God and it is foolishness to seek any thing else above God. He is wisdom, life, love and everything else that we long for and He alone is able to give us all that we need. In Him are peace, joy and love. If you will seek Him then He will lead you into the way of wisdom and understanding. You will want to do good and you will be free of the snares of death. He gives grace and wisdom so that we might do His will and live according to His ways. When you know Him then you will know wisdom and you will have understanding. For it is the Lord who gives wisdom and understanding. The outcome will be that you will live securely and will not fear.

Proverbs 1:33 But he who listens to me shall live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”

 

 

 

A Life Knowing the Beginning of Wisdom

If you want to know wisdom and receive wisdom then you must start at the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom is the right application of knowledge. If we don’t have wisdom then we will be frustrated, hurt, disappointed and weary. If we continue on a path of a lack of wisdom in a certain area then we will eventually become discouraged and want to give up. It will not seem worth it. What seemed like a “gift” will have become a burden. Life is sweet with wisdom and the gifts that God has given to us are sweet if done God’s way. If you have not experienced the “sweetness” of relationships, marriage, children or whatever good thing you long for then ask yourself if you started at the beginning of wisdom in these particular areas.

Proverbs 9:10,11 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.

When your life is sweet then your days are full and your life is long and satisfying. This is God’s design for us. He never designed us for great sorrow but we bring it on ourselves when we choose to do life without the Giver of life.

Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
That one may avoid the snares of death.

If you want to live life to the fullest then you must have wisdom but before you can have wisdom you must fear the Lord. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life. When you fear the Lord then your life will overflow. You will avoid the snares of death. Death is not only physical but there is death to the soul which is the guilt, defeat, frustration and emptiness which results when we go our own way. There can also be death to relationships and marriages. If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the fountain of life then what does it mean to fear the Lord?

Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverted mouth, I hate.

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil, pride and arrogance. Evil means the opposite of God’s ways. Our hearts are bent on evil and the end of evil is grief. Pride is believing that we can do it on our own and we do not need God. Arrogance is the pride of knowledge and thinking that we “know”, therefore we do not need wisdom. The evil way is “having it our own way” and this permeates everything we do and begins in early childhood. We have to learn God’s ways and they do not come naturally. The one who fears God will also hate the “perverted” mouth. Any form of cursing or taking God’s name is vain is a form of the perverted mouth. Do you allow yourself to speak what is profane or to listen to or read any perversions of the mouth? Since it is not within us to “fear God”, then how do we learn to fear God?

Psalm 119:38 Establish Your word to Your servant,
As that which produces reverence for You.

God’s Word is what will produce in you a fear of God. If you want to live life to the fullest then you must have wisdom. To receive wisdom then you must have the fear of the Lord. If you want to learn to fear the Lord then you must go to God’s Word and have it be established in your life. Once God’s Word is established in your life then His Word will produce in your heart a heart that fears God.

Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the Lord prolongs life,
But the years of the wicked will be shortened.

The fear of the Lord will prolong your life.

Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence,
And his children will have refuge.

In the fear of the Lord you will have strong confidence.

Psalm 19:23 The fear of the Lord leads to life,
So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.

When you fear the Lord then you will sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.

Proverbs 22:4 The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches, honor and life.

Humility is the opposite of pride and it is acknowledging that you need the Lord. Fearing God is acting on that humility and seeking Him with all of your heart. The reward of these two things are riches, honor and life.

Psalm 33:18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope for His lovingkindness,

Greatest of all, when you fear the Lord then His eye will be on you. When you learn to fear Him then you will realize that you need not ever fear anything else. This is what it means to live a life of “no fear”.

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Is a Blessing to Others

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

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

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

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

 

 

 

A Life of True Faith

There are two kinds of faith. There is a faith that is an intellectual faith where we believe with our minds. The other kind of faith is a true heart faith. We can believe with our minds but not with our hearts. Many people believe with their minds but few believe with their hearts. When Jesus walked on earth there were the two kinds of faith evidenced. When we have heart faith God changes and saves us but intellectual faith only pacifies the one with it and there are no changes.

Matthew 21:32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.

Many of the religious leaders believed that John the Baptist came in the way of righteousness but they did not believe with their hearts but only with their minds. Heart faith will act on the words which are heard. The words will go into their hearts and effect a change within the heart that will be seen in the actions of the person. Many of the tax collectors and prostitutes had heart faith and their lives were changed.

Luke 8:5-8a “The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.”

Jesus knew the hearts of men and so He told this parable to the people about the different kinds of hearts. This is a parable about the hearts of men. Three of these people believed the Word of God but only one had an honest and good heart faith.

Luke 8:11-15 Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

In the first soil the Word of God is kept from entering the mind or the heart of the hearer. In the second soil the Word of God only enters the mind but never goes into the heart of the hearer. In time the recipient falls away because the Word of God never took root in their heart. The third soil heard the Word of God but because their hearts were already so cluttered and filled with other things the Word of God never took deep roots in those hearts either. Their lives did not bear mature fruit. The last person heard the Word of God with an honest and good heart. They held the Word of God fast to their hearts and bore fruit with perseverance.

Mark 4:20 And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.

The same parable is repeated in the Gospel of Mark and the word “hear” means “keeps on hearing” in the original language of the Bible. It is a continuation of hearing and not just hearing once but “keeping on hearing”. This is how we hold fast the Word of God in our hearts. Since no one was born with an “honest and good heart” we need to hear the Word continually so that the Word of God will do its work of cleansing in our hearts so that we can receive the Word with an “honest and good heart”.

John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

Once we receive the Word of God with an “honest and good heart” then we need to persevere in applying it to our lives so that we might bear fruit. All of us have need of perseverance. The Lord takes us to new levels of obedience and faith and stretches us toward maturity that is reached through perseverance and endurance.

Hebrews 10:36-39 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while,
He who is coming will come, and will not delay.
But My righteous one shall live by faith;
And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

If you find that you are weak in faith and need encouragement then read God’s Word for He will speak to your heart. Go and talk to a more mature Christian whose faith has been tested and who has endured and persevered when there did not seem much hope. The Lord is faithful but sometimes we need to reminded and encouraged. Don’t lose heart. Pray to the Lord and He will help you. This is His instruction to us when our faith is weak and our heart is faint.

Luke 18:1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,

 

 

A Life of Much Gladness

Gladness is different from joy. Joy comes from the presence of the Lord. The Bible says, “in Thy presence is fulness of Joy”. Gladness comes from loving what is right and doing it. Gladness comes from a clear conscience that you did the right thing earlier and so you are not fearful about being questioned or being caught.  Gladness is closely related to happiness. If you love the right thing and do what is right you will be happier than all of your friends.

Hebrews 1:9 “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above your companions.”

Not only will you have gladness but you will also not walk in darkness for you will have the light of the Lord.

Psalm 97:11 Light is sown like seed for the righteous and gladness for the upright in heart.

When others go their own way if you will seek the Lord and walk with Him then you will see that He will give you a witness of Himself and that He is good by giving you a fruitful life and will satisfy your heart with gladness.

Acts 14:16,17 In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”

However, when you walk with the Lord the gladness that the Lord gives you will even be greater than the gladness that you have when you have been blessed with an abundance on this earth. He will give you a gladness in your heart that transcends the blessings of this life on earth and you will sing for joy all the days of your life if only you will seek Him with all of your heart.

Psalm 4:6b,7 Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord!
You have put gladness in my heart,
More than when their grain and new wine abound.

When the Lord’s countenance shines on you then you will reflect the Lord to the world and your heart will be glad. His countenance shining on you is an expression of His favor. There is no sweeter experience than to have the favor of the Lord on your life. When you walk with the Lord in the light of His countenance then it truly is a taste of heaven on earth and is what the Lord designed for us in the garden of Eden.

Psalm 30:10-12 “Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me;
O Lord, be my helper.”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

The Lord is the only One who can change our mourning into dancing and loose the things that make us sad and clothe us with gladness. If you heart is sad then let Him do this for you today. Taste and see that the Lord is good and follow Him with all of your heart that you may sing for joy all the days of your life.

 

A Life that Is Thankful

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

A Life that Receives Their Heart’s Desires

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Life that is Not Depressed

Depression and darkness go hand and hand. When we are depressed then everything around us seems dark and everything within us feels dark. If we are not careful then we can descend into that darkness even more and then it brings on even greater darkness, fearfulness and panic that can be very oppressive. Sometimes there seems no way out. How do we get out of the darkness?

Luke 11:35 Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness.

The Lord understands this very well and it was for this reason that He came into the world. He came to bring us out of the darkness. He came into our darkness so that He could transfer us out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. After we come into His kingdom then we can see clearly because the light is within us and we see everything, not through the lens of darkness but through the lens of His light.

Luke 11:33 No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.

The Lord did not speak in secret or through mysteries but openly so that all could understand. Even a child can understand for His message is very simple. He says to come to Him. It is by faith that we come but when we come we receive the light and the darkness goes away. Light is the only thing that can drive the darkness away. Jesus came to bring light into our dark world.

Matthew 4:16 “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, Upon them a Light dawned.”

If you are struggling with depression then you must look unto Jesus for light. He will drive the darkness away and fill you with His light. You must look to Him.

Psalm 18:28 For You light my lamp; The Lord my God illumines my darkness.

Open your Bible and start reading until He gives you light. He will set you free from the darkness that is within you. His light will penetrate the darkest darkness and drive out the dark thoughts within. He breaks the cycle.

Luke 11:34 The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness.

His Word will be light to your path and a lamp for your feet. A lantern only sheds enough light on the next step. Do not worry about what is ahead. He will give you light for each step. The darkness can seem overwhelming to us if we try to see what is further ahead. He wants you to trust Him. He will be your light.

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

And again…

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

The promise of light is only for those who have put their trust in the Lord. He is good and although He loves everyone, only those who have come to Him can experience His love to the fullest.

Psalm 112:4 Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.

When you walk in His light then you will know His joy and you will hear the joyful sound of His voice as He will continually whisper in your spiritual ear that He loves you and you are precious in His sight.

Psalm 89:15 How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O Lord, they walk in the light of Your countenance.

The word “blessed” means happy and you will experience happiness, joy and love again. Come to Him, all who are weary of the struggle within themselves. He loves you and longs to be gracious to you.

Psalm 36:9 For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.

When His light comes in you then He changes your direction. No longer do you spiral downward but He brings you up and brings life to your weary soul.

Luke 11:36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.

He is the fountain of life and in Jesus Christ alone is life.

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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.