A Life of a Beautiful Character

There is no real beauty without a beautiful character. Character is what defines who we are and all that we do is an outward expression of our inward character. When one has a beautiful character, which can only come through the person of Jesus Christ living within them, then their life is a manifestation of God on earth. He walks and He talks through men and women today and makes Himself known on earth. You must first have the Lord Jesus Christ within you to walk and talk with Him and for Christ to make Himself known to others.

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

He stands at the door of every person’s heart and asks to come in. Have you heard His voice but not asked Him to come in yet? Do not delay any longer. You do not know if you will have another chance. If you block out His voice then the day will come that you will no longer hear it.

Matthew 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

If you are aware of the Lord and want to know Him then come now while your heart is still tender.

Jeremiah 6:10 To whom shall I speak and give warning
That they may hear?
Behold, their ears are closed
And they cannot listen.
Behold, the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them;
They have no delight in it.

All you need to do to walk with the Lord and let Him talk to you is that you must receive Him into your life. Ask Him to come in. He will come in and make you into the person and character that you long to be.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

He will begin a good work in you and He will complete it.

Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

His thoughts toward you are only good and He has your best interests at heart. You can trust Him completely.

Isaiah 55:8,9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Forsake your thoughts and let Him fill your life with His thoughts. As a person thinks in their heart so they will become. Your thoughts originate in your heart.

Proverbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.

Character is formed first through thoughts and then through actions. Actions form habits and habits become character.

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

When your character is formed then it will rule over your feelings and you will no longer be tossed here and there through the ups and downs of your emotions. Your emotions will submit to your will which has been surrendered to the One whose will for your life is good. You will experience the freedom of a disciplined life and will know what it means to be truly one of His disciples. Your life will exhibit the Lord in all that you do and you will be beautiful to the world as you will bring hope because the love of God has been poured out within your heart.

Romans 5:3-5 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

A Life Free of Doubt

Doubt can rob a person of much peace and joy. If you have doubts then it is difficult to do anything with confidence. You will be unsure of your relationship with the Lord and you will be insecure in your friendships and relationships with others and you might even have bad dreams since doubts go deep into our subconsciousness. Doubts can even be paralyzing emotionally and physically. This is not God’s plan for anyone.

James 1:6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

Some people struggle more with doubts than others. The Lord has mercy on those who doubt and He wants others to show them mercy also. If you are one of those who struggle with doubts then ask the Lord to help you. He wants to relieve you of your doubts.

Jude 1:22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting;

The opposite of doubt is faith. Ask the Lord to increase your faith and then you do what you can to increase your faith.

Matthew 14:31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Faith is not drumming up a feeling of believing but faith is putting your trust in the One who 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.

It is a fool who believes in something that is not true. A wise person seeks the truth and when they find the truth they trust in it. Faith comes from hearing the truth.

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

The words of Christ are truth. Jesus Christ is the truth. When you put your faith in Him and His Words then you will see your doubts go away. You can believe something, such as believing that a boat will not sink if you get into it, but until you get into the boat and see for yourself that it does not sink then you have not had true faith but only an intellectual thought. True faith comes from trusting in what Jesus Christ said and acting upon His Words. Then you will experience the truth of what He said and know for yourself that He is God.

John 20:24,25 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

Thomas was doubting that Jesus had really risen from the dead. He had to discover for himself.

John 20:26-29 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

It was not until Thomas experienced it for himself did he believe. As you learn to trust Him you will believe Him and experience His love. The life of faith in Jesus Christ is the most incredible and amazing life. Do what you need to do if you struggle with doubts. Ask the Lord to help you with your unbelief and He will help you learn to believe and increase your faith.

Mark 9:24 Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”

The righteous ones will live by faith.

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.”

The Lord meets the one who delights in doing righteousness. The Lord will come to you if you sincerely want to know Him and you seek Him by faith.

Isaiah 64:4,5a For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.

 

 

A Life Free of Fear

Life is much sweeter when we are free of fear. Fear can control and fear can destroy. Fear can cause a person to make unwise decisions and cause one to be controlled by others. The Lord did not come for us to live a fearful life. He came to set us free from fears.

I John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

When you live in the love of Jesus Christ then you will not live in fear. His love casts out all fear. He forgives your sins so that you do not need to fear punishment for your mistakes, sins, ignorance and guilt. He gives forgiveness to those who come to Him and receive His gift of eternal life.

I John 5:18-20 We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

When you come into a relationship with Jesus Christ then the evil one, or Satan, can not touch you. Jesus Christ keeps you safe from the power of the evil one. You do not have to sin or believe his lies. The evil one wants to bring you pain and grief and he will do it through lies which lead to fears.

Psalm 121:7 The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.

The Lord will also protect you from all the evil that others would like to do to you. You do not need to fear other people. In fact, when you fear people then it brings a snare but if you will trust in the Lord then you will be lifted up.

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.

You do not need to fear evil tidings. The world is not coming to an end through climate change or anything else that others may say. The world is not coming to an end until Jesus Christ returns for those who have put their trust in Him.

Psalm 112:1-7 Praise the Lord!
How blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
Who greatly delights in His commandments.
His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.
Light arises in the darkness for the upright;
He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.
It is well with the man who is gracious and lends;
He will maintain his cause in judgment.
For he will never be shaken;
The righteous will be remembered forever.

He will not fear evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

Do you struggle with fears? Are you afraid that something “bad” might happen? Are you afraid of what others might do to you? Are you afraid of the future? Are you afraid of what others think of you?

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

Jesus Christ does not want your heart to be troubled or fearful. He came to bring you peace. The world does not give you His peace and the world can not take it away. If you do not yet know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior then come to Him and keep praying and seeking Him until He has come into your life. Surrender your life and will to Him. If you know Him and are His child then the only thing that can take the peace away that He gives is when you get your eyes off of Him and onto circumstances. Put your eyes back on the One who is all powerful and who loves you. Give Him your struggles and troubles. Ask Him for help and He will help you trust Him again. You will see His peace return.

Philippians 4:6,7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

As you learn to live and walk as Jesus lived then you will see that the God of peace will always be with you and His peace will never leave you.

Philippians 4:8,9 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

A Life that Is Sweet

There is really no other way to describe life when one is a child of God than to say that life is sweet and filled to overflowing with joy and peace. If you have never experienced this then you have only existed in life and never really lived.

John 10:10b I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

When you know the Lord and have fellowship with Him then you hear His voice. He walks with you and He talks with you and He tells you every day how much He loves you. It is even better than being “in love with someone” because the Lord never changes, He will never leave you and His love for you is unconditional and enduring.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Once Jesus Christ comes to live within you then He will never leave you. There is not anything that you can do to cause Him to leave you. Even if you were to neglect your relationship with Him, He never neglects His relationship with you. You are now “in Christ” and “Christ is in you”.

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

The free gift is eternal life that you receive when you receive Christ and He comes to live in you. Jesus Christ came to give you life. This life is free of guilt, regret, bitterness, unforgiveness, hate, doubt, fear and every other “negative” experience that you can think of or have experienced. Jesus Christ came to set you free so that you might have a sweet life. Taste and see that what He has to offer is good.

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

Are you disappointed? Are you lonely? Have others let you down? Come to Him and see for yourself that He is good. He will never disappoint you or let you down. There is no one else in this world that can offer that to you, but Jesus Christ can and does.

Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

You must come to Him and trust Him. If you will do this then you will live and not only live in this life but for all eternity.

Psalm 22:5 To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed.

Trust is putting your faith in One who lived and died and rose again. He lives today and will come again to those who have trusted in Him. He promises to love you and does not lie. His love is as high as the heavens are above the earth. There is no limit to His love for you. You can never exhaust it and it never runs out. Come to Him and live.

Psalm 103:8-14 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.

Are you tired of trying to find fulfillment in life? Are you weary of being disappointed? Do you ever feel that you can not ever trust anyone again? Have you been hurt deeply by those who were supposed to help you? Do you believe that love is elusive? Is happiness only in fairy tales and storybooks? Jesus Christ promises all of these things if you will come to Him. Sometimes we have to become weary of trying before we will surrender control to Him.

Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

He is faithful and He will give you rest. It is impossible for Him to lie. If He said that He would do these things then He will do it. He is gentle and He is humble and He is waiting for you to come to Him. Let go of what you have been holding onto and let Him do what only God can do and that is, He will bring salvation to you and give you life.

A Life with a Relationship with God

The Lord first designed us to be in relationship with Himself. All other relationships must flow out of this relationship so that they will flourish as He designed. Sin messed us up and we will have messed up relationships apart from Him. We must be in a loving relationship with God to have loving relationships with others. God is love and the source of all love. The Lord is the One who shows us and teaches us about unconditional love.

I John 4:7-10 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

God is love and love is from God. The Lord made known His love to us by sending His only begotten Son to die for our sins and to take the punishment for what mankind had done in the garden of Eden by going His own way. God sent His Son to be the Savior of all of mankind.

I Timothy 4:10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

Jesus Christ came to be the Savior of all but only those who believe in Him will receive that salvation.

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.

Jesus Christ was the perfect Lamb of God who came as the sacrifice for our sins which He took upon Himself on the cross.

John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Jesus Christ loved us when we were at enmity with God. He died for us while we were sinners. He loved us just the way we were and accepts us where we are.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

His salvation is available to any who will receive Him. Whoever puts their trust in Jesus Christ will come into a personal relationship with God. They will become His child and will be restored to a relationship with Him and fellowship with Him, they they might walk with God.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

Once restored to a right relationship with God the child of God will experience the incredible and unfathomable riches of the the love of God. Nothing will be able to separate you from His love.

Romans 8:38,39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

You will also know the unsearchable depths of the ways and the knowledge of God.

Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!

 

 

A Life with Relationships

Relationships help keep us from being lonely and give us worth, purpose and meaning in life. They also keep us balanced and accountable. We were made for relationships and yet many struggle with few meaningful relationships. Relationships teach us how to receive and give love and it is through relationships that the world is changed. Even if you missed out on certain relationships earlier in life it does not define your life or your ability to make relationships. Relationships must be built on the One who designed us to be in relationships.

Genesis 2:8 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

The Lord God made man and gave him life. Man became a living being because God gave him life and God is the source of all life. When God is absent in a person’s life then he only exists, rather than thrive and life life to the fullest.

Genesis 2:18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

Everything that God had done up to this point He said that it was good. However, after He formed man then He said that it is not good for man to be alone. It was not good then and it is not good now for man to be alone. Man had God but man still needed to be in a relationship with another human being. Through another human being man would find companionship, help and love. The word “helper” means literally savior and is the only time in the Bible that it is used in reference to a person. Every other time it is used in reference to God. The word “suitable” means corresponding to. God made a helper who would respond to Adam’s heart and bring him companionship. Even though Adam lived in a perfect environment and had a job to do, which was to cultivate the earth and name the animals, he still needed a helper and companion, who would respond to his heart. God made man and woman because He wanted them but God made Eve for Adam because they needed each other. Man was not made to live alone. God loved man and woman from the beginning and gave them instructions on life because He wanted them to live life to the fullest.

Genesis 2:15-18 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

The Lord knew what man needed and as long as man listened to and obeyed God then man and woman would live happily ever after. As long as they lived in their relationship with their Creator then they would be safe from any grief and the pain of death.

Genesis 3:1-7 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

Woman did not listen to the one whom God had given to protect her and Adam chose also to not obey what he knew was right and so both chose to go their own way and do their own thing apart from what God had commanded. Their relationship with God was changed and they became estranged and separated. The Lord came and they hid.

Genesis 3:8-10 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

Separation, death and guilt came into the world and with it fear, grief, pain and blame. When trust is gone in relationships then the relationship is changed and not the same. With broken relationships come broken hearts. With broken hearts there comes blame. Someone is responsible for the brokenness. Often we want to transfer the blame.

Genesis 3:11-13 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

With broken relationships come consequences which bring more sadness.

Genesis 3:16 To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”

Woman sinned first and the Lord spoke to her first. The consequences of her sin was pain in childbirth and she would desire her husband but he would rule over her.

Genesis 3:17-19 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;

Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.
“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”

Man sinned by doing what his wife wanted him to do rather than what God wanted him to do. He disobeyed God. His consequences were that the ground would be cursed because of him and there would be thorns and thistles that would make his work more difficult. He would now have to sweat things out in his work and it would not be as pleasant and enjoyable as God had designed. Man still struggles with the thorns and thistles in his occupation.

Genesis 3:22-24 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

It was God’s mercy that sent Adam and Eve out of the garden lest they eat of the tree of life and live forever in their now sinful state. Before God sent them out of the garden the Lord also gave Adam and Eve a promise of a Savior so that they might have hope and not despair.

Genesis 3:14a,15  The Lord God said to the serpent,
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

There would come from the seed of the woman a Savior who would destroy the tempter, Satan, who had brought grief to Adam and Eve. Mankind came into an awful cycle that only God could straighten out, a cycle of sin and death and with it a cycle of grief and despair. Man became brokenhearted with broken relationships.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;

The promised One who would destroy the works of the devil would also bind up the brokenhearted and heal them and heal their relationships.

 

 

 

A Life with Characteristics of Greatness

There are certain character qualities that describe a person who is great. If you want to be great then don’t focus on being great rather focus on the discipline of your character. These characteristics described the life of Jesus Christ. He was not only God but He was fully man also. He laid aside His God powers and lived just like us, dependent on the Father in a life of faith in the Father. Jesus was full of faith. Another word for full of faith is faithful.

Hebrews 3:6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.

You can only be faithful if you are full of faith. Faith is what pleases the Lord and He allows our faith to grow through His Word.

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

There is no greatness without faithfulness and no faithfulness without faith. You must grown strong in your faith. Faithfulness is obeying the Lord in everything that He commands us to do and exactly as He commands. If we do this then we will be doing according to what is in His heart and His soul.

I Samuel 2:35 But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always.

Faithfulness is related to walking before the Lord always. The person who the Lord makes great will have a consistent walk with the Lord. They will live and walk in His presence.

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

The person who is humble before the Lord will be honored by the Lord. However, part of humility is not caring about what the world thinks of you so this person only desires the praise of God and does not seek or even want the praise of men. The humble person wants the praise and honor to go to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 2:3-8 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

The disciples argued about who was the greatest. They were just being honest because all of us to some degree are tempted to compare ourselves to others to see how we measure up. The truly humble people compare themselves to Jesus Christ and none of us measure up. Our humble and honest response will be “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Matthew 18:1-6 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

A truly great person will consider others more important than himself and will walk in humility and not be a stumbling block to others. This person will seek to serve rather than be served and will look to the Lord alone for praise, rather than to others. A great person will me misunderstood but their contentment will be in Christ alone. They will be characterized by faithfulness, obedience, humility and love towards others. The fruit of such a life will be that many will be blessed. A truly great life leaves a wonderful ripple effect where others want to be life him. It is the seeds of greatness in the lives of people that make a nation great. It is not prosperity or knowledge, rather these things lead to pride and arrogance. It is the knowledge love of the Holy One and living and teaching that to others that causes a family and a nation to be truly great. When a person or a nation returns to the Lord Jesus Christ then they are on their way to greatness and the world will be blessed.

 

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 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 Is Filled with Joy

Joy is what comes from the presence of the Lord and it is for those who know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Joy is different from happiness. Happiness has more to do with what is happening while the person who is filled with joy has something that transcends circumstances.

Psalm 16:9 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.

Joy is connected to thanksgiving. It is a state of mind and heart of knowing that life is more than what is happening at any given moment. Joy is a gift that the Lord gives to His children through His Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Joy can only come from the Lord and it is knowing that you are pleasing Him in your life and in your responses to life. It is a confirming from the Lord that you are in His will and doing what He delights in. When you are filled with joy it is almost as though you can feel His smile on your life. Your joy can be quenched through the old self, which is expressed in the flesh. The deeds of the flesh are not pleasing to the Lord so if you are involved in any of them then you will not have joy. The deeds of the flesh are evident when one is controlled by the flesh.

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The nonChristian will use artificial means to try to be happy because they do not have the Spirit of God living within them. Artificial means, such as wine, drugs, etc., are very superficial and will not last but will only leave the one feeling more empty. When a Christian engages in any of these activities then they will quench the Holy Spirit who has come to live within them.

I Thessalonians 5:16-19 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit;

The way that a Christian can be continually filled with joy is to continually walk in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit keeps the Christian from being controlled by the flesh and expressing the deeds of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16,17 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

We are to please the One who lived and died for us. When we live according to His ways then our hearts will be filled with the joy of the Lord and how sweet it is. You will also find that thanksgiving and joy go together. Your heart will also be filled with much gratitude. What a contrast to those who do not know the Lord and who are always complaining.