A Life Fulfilling the Great Commission

When the Lord takes you home to be with Him then what will you leave behind? The Lord wants us to fill the earth with disciples. He wants us to go to the ends of the earth if necessary to make disciples. His command is to make disciples as we are going through life. Who are you teaching the ways of the Lord and pouring into them what the Lord has taught you?

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 Lord says that He has gone before you and all He has called you to do is follow Him. He will show you as you step out in faith, in obedience to Him, how to make disciples. It is His will and He wants you to follow Him.

John 12:26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

He created you for a purpose and as you seek to follow and obey Him then you will find your purpose in life. You are His workmanship for good works which He has prepared beforehand for you.

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

What are you to teach and who are you to disciple? You are to teach the things that the Lord has taught you to those who are teachable and faithful and who will be able to teach others also.

II Timothy 2:2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

The Lord has been given the nations as His inheritance and the very ends of the earth as His possession. On His authority we go and do what He has commanded us.

Psalm 2:7,8 “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.

Jesus Christ has been given the nations and the ends of the earth as His possession and He wants us to ask Him and He will give them to you to make disciples. Who are you asking Him for, that they might know Him and be His disciple? What doors are you knocking on that the Gospel might be heard by others? And are you seeking His kingdom as He commanded you?

Matthew 7:7,8 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

 

 

 

A Life with Gladness

Gladness is different than joy. Gladness is that great feeling in your heart that makes you happy. Joy comes from the presence of God but gladness comes from loving what God loves. Gladness is the secret of the happy Christian. Jesus had more gladness than all of His companions. What was His secret?

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.”

Jesus loved righteousness, in other words, He loved doing what was right in God’s eyes. He did not do what was right in His own sight. He always submitted Himself to the will of the Father.

Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Everyone has a different standard of what is right and when people live by their own standards of right and wrong then there is a lack of gladness among the people because there is a lack of God’s righteousness. There is a lack of righteousness because there is a lack of Christ being King in our hearts. Jesus came to restore us to God and His Lordship and to the only true standard, which is what He said in His Word. When the Lord is our King the He helps us do what is right in his sight. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.

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 replaces our sadness with gladness and He makes us want to sing. Singing is an expression of what is in your heart. Often the songs of the world are sad songs because they have sad and broken hearts even though they may put on a happy face. Christians have joy and gladness and want to sing praises to our God.

Proverbs 10:28 The hope of the righteous is gladness,
But the expectation of the wicked perishes.

We can hope for gladness and expect it when we love righteousness because we have done what we needed to do. The expectation of the wicked perishes because it is a “false” hope, such as, “I hope that I do well on my test” or “I hope that I will go to heaven”. The right thing is to study for your tests or the right thing is to repent and receive Christ as your Lord and Savior and then you know that you are going to heaven.

Ecclesiastes 5:20 For he will not often consider the years of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart.

The Christian’s life is full and the years fly by because the Lord keeps the Christian occupied with gladness of heart. His life is full of joy and gladness because he has followed the Lord with all of his heart and sought to do what is right in God’s eyes.

Acts 2:46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,

The early Christians were filled with gladness because they were sharing with one another and fellowshipping together in the Lord. Jesus Christ was their Lord and they were doing what He wanted them to do.

Psalm 45:7 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness: Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee With the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Jesus had more gladness than all of His companions. He had the “oil of gladness”. The Lord wants to anoint us also with the oil of gladness so that people might be drawn to Christ in us. We need to love righteousness and hate wickedness.

 

 

 

 

A Life of Persecution

When you live according to God’s Word and seek to do what is pleasing in His sight and turn away from evil sometimes you will become a prey for others to laugh at or mock.

Isaiah 59:15 Yes, truth is lacking; And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey.

If you are not being persecuted for the way that you live you need to ask yourself if you are truly living a godly life. The Bible says that you will be persecuted.

II Timothy 3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

However, the Lord tells us that we are blessed if we are persecuted for being a Christian and for righteousness sake, which means, for living by God’s Word. Great is our reward in heaven.

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The Lord’s presence will come to you and rest on you. The sweetest time in your Christian life will be when you sense His presence. You will know then that it is all worth it if you know Him more and are drawn closer to Him through the fellowship of His sufferings, not to mention what He has in store in heaven for you.

I Peter 4:14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

He Himself will come to you and perfect you in your faith and confirm your relationship with Him. He will strengthen you and establish you when you may feel the weakest. After it is over then you will be more like Him and more holy in your behavior.

John 15:8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

There are three characteristics that the Lord said would prove to the world that He is Lord, that Jesus is God and that we are His disciples. It is through our holiness that the world is convinced that He is Lord, it is love for one another that we are His disciples and unity with other believers that Jesus Christ was sent from God.

John 17:23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me.

What do you do if you are persecuted? You pray for your persecutors. This is what our Lord commanded us to do.

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Who is one of the most famous people that was a great persecutor but became a great Christian? Was it because the Christians prayed for him? Paul, the Apostle was zealous in His persecution of Christians and yet he became even more zealous for the Lord after his conversion.

Galatians 1:13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it;

God was glorified through the conversion of one who was once a destroyer of the church. Is there anyone who is persecuting you for being a Christian? Pray for them.

Galatians 1:23,24 but only, they kept hearing, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.” And they were glorifying God because of me.

 

 

A Life that Seeks and Finds

The Lord says that the one who seeks finds. Just make sure that you are seeking the right things in life.

Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

There is only one treasure that is worth more than all the other treasures on earth and heaven and that is Jesus Christ. He is the pearl of great price. He is the One who is worthy of our seeking and He says that He allows Himself to be found.

Matthew 13:45,46 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

The Lord tells us to seek Him continually and not only that but to seek His face, that is to seek to know Him and to please Him. When His face is towards us it means that He is pleased with us and His favor is on us.

Psalm 105:4 Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face continually.

Those who want to know Him will want to live in His presence, to behold His beauty and to meditate on Him.

Psalm 27:4 One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.

This truly is a time of grace because the Lord has offered Himself even to those who do not seek Him. If they turn to Him they can still find Him.

Isaiah 65:1,2 I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me;
I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me.
I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’
To a nation which did not call on My name.
“I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts,

If you have tried to live life on your own and think that you know best and have followed your own thoughts then turn to Him now while He may be found. He is gracious and abundant in mercy. He loves you and gave His only begotten Son so that you would not perish but have eternal life.

Deuteronomy 4:29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.

You will not be disappointed if you seek Him. You will find Him if you seek Him with all of your heart. The day will come when you will not be able to find Him and will regret that you had not sought Him. You have today to turn to Him with all of your heart. Today is the day of salvation.

I Chronicles 16:10 Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.

And, again…if you seek Him, He will let you find Him but if you forsake Him then He will reject you forever.

I Chronicles 28:9 As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.

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 that Chooses Life

The Lord presented His people with a choice many years ago and we are presented also with the same choice. We can either choose life or choose death.

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,

If we do not intentionally choose life then we will be choosing death because that is our bent because of sin. Man chose death in the garden of Eden when He disobeyed God.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

That sinful choice was passed down through the generations to all of us. Left to ourselves we will choose sin, which means that we choose to be our own God and the end result is death.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Death is the curse that comes to us when we do not choose life. The only way that we can choose life is to choose Jesus, for He is life. When we choose Jesus it means that we choose to have Him be our God and rule our lives.

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.

When we choose life then we choose the life of Christ in us. We want Him to live through us in the power of the Holy Spirit. He always does what the Father desires and so if you choose Jesus Christ and life then you will do what He wills and that is, you will keep His commandments.

John 8:28 So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.

Jesus did nothing on His own initiative. When you choose life you choose Christ and a commitment to keep His commandments and do His will. The only way you can do this is to die to yourself and what you want so that you might live for Him and His will.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

It is a life of abiding in Him and obeying His commandments.

I John 3:24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

If you choose Him then He also will make known to others that you are His.

Matthew 2:49,50 And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

How well do you know His commandments? He wants our love and devotion and these qualities are manifested in our life through keeping His commandments.

John 14:15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

Life is in Jesus Christ and His words are life. Choose life and you will choose Jesus Christ and the evidence of that choice will be obedience to Him.

A Life that Stands Alone

One of the hardest things to do is to stand alone in the world. We long for affirmation from other humans and confirmation that we are doing what is right. However, the Lord has spoken to us about what is right and He has also given us a conscience to know what is right and wrong.

Romans 1:18,19 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

The Lord describes two types of people in the world and everyone falls into one of these groups. He says there are the righteous and the wicked.Over and over again in Scripture the Lord makes a contrast between the righteous and the wicked.

Proverbs 10:7 The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot.

The righteous lives by faith and obedience to the Lord and the Lord says that it will go well with them.

Isaiah 3:10 Say to the righteous that it will go well with them,
For they will eat the fruit of their actions.

The wicked lives according to what they think is right and wrong and they will receive what they deserve. It will go badly with the wicked.

Isaiah 3:11 Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with him,
For what he deserves will be done to him.

However, there is one characteristic of the righteous that is so special that the Lord takes note of these particular righteous individuals. They stood alone in a wicked world.

Ezekiel 14:20 even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

Noah found favor in God’s eyes. He walked with God even though no one else did other than his family. He was called a preacher of righteousness and he never saw one convert. He stayed faithful to the Lord and did what the Lord commanded him to do.

Genesis 6:9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.

Genesis 6:22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.

Job also was called blameless and righteous before the Lord. Job lived in a time of great evil and there is not evidence that even his children sought the Lord. While they were celebrating at a party he was praying for them. He stood alone even when his wife suggested that he blame God for his troubles. Job was faithful to the Lord in the midst of great suffering and pain. The Lord called him righteous.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.

Daniel also stood alone in the midst of a very wicked society and even when his life was in danger he would not compromise. He remained faithful to the Lord.

Daniel 1:8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself…

Even though these three men did not see much fruit in their lifetime all three of them still speak through their lives and faithfulness to the Lord. All three stood alone and were surrounded by many wicked people and yet they remained faithful. They remained faithful to the Lord and grew strong in their faith. Were they perfect? Not at all and yet the Lord called them righteous. The righteous man shall live by faith and the faithful shall be called righteous by the Lord.

Romans 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”