A Life with Love is Sincere

Love is sincere or it is not love at all. Insincere love is a pretension and is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy does not fool anyone but the one who has it. Love must be genuine. Everyone longs to see genuine love and longs to be loved with a genuine love.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Romans 12:9a

A sincere love is a love that is not fickle. It does not change with the times and circumstances. It loves when the one loved seems unlovable. It is the love that great marriages are made of and what should characterize all marriages. It is the love that is repeated in the vows made to God during the wedding ceremony.,,for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.

Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy man? Proverbs 20:6

A genuine love is not intentions but faithfulness in actions. A sincere love never changes. This is the love that God has for all of us. This kind of love is impossible apart from God.

Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, I Peter 1:22

When we draw near to God then we will learn what it means to have a sincere love for others.

let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, Hebrews 10:22a

A genuine love must come from a sincere heart with a clean conscience. Only God can clean our conscience.

having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience Hebrews 10:22b

A sincere love is one which loves expecting nothing in return. A sincere and genuine love will never fail.

Love never fails; I Corinthians 13:8a

The greatest gift that you can give to another is a genuine and sincere love. This kind of love can only come from a pure heart and a good conscience with a sincere faith in God.

But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. I Timothy 1:5

We can only find this kind of love in Jesus Christ. He gave His life for us. He loved us when we did not deserve it. No one deserves anyone’s love. Just as God’s love is a gift to us so is anyone else’s love. When you love with this kind of love then you will know that Christ is in you and you are in Christ. You will have a clear conscience and your heart will not condemn you. You will not help another when you see a need, out of guilt, but it will be love that motivates you. It will be a love greater than yourself for it will be God’s love.

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. I John 3:16-20

The Lord is so gracious to us. He knows our heart and He knows all things. He knows how weak our love is for others. He will help us learn to love and will love through us. Ask Him to teach you and help you love others with His kind of love.

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. I John 3:21-22

The Lord does not condemn you and don’t let your heart condemn you. The Lord will give you what you need to help you have a genuine love for others and keep His commandments. When you obey Him and love sincerely in deed and truth then you will do what is pleasing in His sight and He will hear your prayers. You will receive what you ask for from Him.

This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. I John 3:23

This is His commandment, that we believe in Jesus Christ and love one another as Christ has loved us. Trust in Him and obey Him.

How to Avoid a Life of Sorrow

It is our choice in life if we want to experience unnecessary sorrow or experience and live in the love of God. Sorrow is a part of life but much of the sorrow that we experience is because we either don’t want to or don’t know how to experience the love of God. How can this be?

Psalm 32:10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked, But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him.

The wicked person trusts in himself and wants to “be the master of his own destiny”. The godly person trusts in the Lord and wants the Lord to guide their life and be their Lord and Savior. Many are the sorrows of the wicked. You may get your “own way” but the price that you pay will be great sorrow. The person who trusts in the Lord will have great joy and experience much lovingkindness.

Psalm 16:4a The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied;

One of the amazing aspects of the Lord is that He gives us a free choice. We don’t have to worship Him. We can worship whoever or whatever we want, whether it is an idol fashioned by hands or if it something else such as money, material things, houses, cars, sports, people, beauty or anything else that we allow to control our lives and determine our direction in life. If it controls our happiness then it has the capacity to bring us sorrow and it will in just a matter of time. If God controls us then He will give us joy.

Isaiah 53:4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.

Jesus took our sin and our sorrows that we might have His righteousness and joy, which are everlasting. He is eternal and what He gives to us is eternal. When we give our sorrows to Him then He takes them and gives us eternal life. We realize that we have placed our hopes and joy in what can never satisfy and we come to Him and give Him all that we had earlier put our trust in.

II Corinthians 7:10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

Are you sorrowful? Have you thought that someone or something could satisfy you and then have realized that person or thing can never fill your heart? Come to the Lord. He will take your sorrows and give you joy. He wants you to live in His love. Abide in His love and your cup will overflow with joy.

John 15:9-11 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

The secret to avoiding a life of sorrow is to abide in God’s love. The way we abide in God’s love is to first give our hearts to Him and then once we have surrendered to Him and been born again, we are to keep His commandments. Jesus kept the Father’s commandments and did exactly as the Father commanded Him. He did not tweak it by saying, “God really did not say this or mean this…” Yes, if He said it in His Word then He means it. Keep His commandments and your joy will be made full.

 

A Life that Is Not Disappointed

The Master Builder says that you will not be disappointed if you build your life on His design and according to His instructions.

Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

Believing means that you are trusting Him to be your Lord and will follow His instructions exactly how to build your life. Not only that, but you will let Him be the builder and allow Him to build your life and make the choices. The opposite of allowing Him to be the builder is believing that you know what is best for your life and that you need to make the decisions…such as, who you will marry, where you will live etc. Lordship means that He is Lord of your life and you are to follow and obey Him. His promise is…”you will not be disappointed”. He is the only One who can make this promise and keep it. No human can ever love you the same way.

Isaiah 64:5 You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness, who remembers You in Your ways.

The Lord meets the one who wants to do life right, that is, according to His ways. He will help the one who wants to build their life on His Word. He will come to you and help you learn to obey Him and follow His instructions and His commandments.

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

The outcome of doing life God’s way and building your life on His Word is that you will not be disappointed and you will have a life of peace, quietness and confidence. If you don’t do it God’s way then you will be disappointed and will be tempted to be bitter and envious of others and there will be NO peace, quietness and confidence. You will have doubts and regrets.

How to Avoid an Unstable Life

The Bible says that a double minded person is unstable in all of their ways. What does it mean to be double minded? It means just that you can not make up your mind as to what you should do. So, often the double minded person will seek out others and ask them what they should do. However, often it is the bling leading the blind. Not a good situation and especially when it comes to decisions. The double minded person is unstable in everything that they do.

James 1:6a-8 …for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

The double minded person is unstable but what does the double minded person need to do so that they will not be doubting and double minded. The Lord tells us through His Word.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Double mindedness is not the problem but it is the symptom of a deeper issue. The root problem that needs to be addressed is the fact that the double minded person does not have a pure heart. A pure heart is a heart that is fully surrendered to the Lord and has no will of its own but the attitude that Jesus had which was always, “Not My will, but Thy will be done.” A person with a pure heart is one that has fully surrendered its will to the Lord. They have no will of their own.

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

When you see the Lord then you will also see clearly and know what to do. You will not need to ask others what to do, you will be able to understand righteousness, justice and discern every good course.

Proverbs 2:1-9 My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
And discover the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Guarding the paths of justice,
And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
Then you will discern righteousness and justice
And equity and every good course.

If you will learn to receive God’s sayings and treasure His commandments within your heart. If you will make your ear attentive to wisdom and incline your heart to understanding. If you will cry for discernment and lift your voice for understanding. If you will seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. You will also discern righteousness, justice, equity and every good course. Your life will not only be stable but your life will be a light to others.

Psalm 73:1 Surely God is good to Israel,
To those who are pure in heart!

The Lord is good and those who have a pure heart will see His goodness. Not only will you experience and see His goodness but you will see the Lord. The Lord is our stability and when our lives are built on Him then there is nothing that can shake us.

Psalm 46:1,2 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

No matter what the situation is and no matter what happens you will not fear if the Lord is your refuge and strength. He is a present help in trouble and wants to show Himself strong on your behalf. He will be the stability of your times.

Isaiah 33:6 And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the Lord is his treasure.

 

How to Avoid The Life of a Failure

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

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

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

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

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

I John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Have A Life that is Successful

Everyone longs to be successful. We don’t want to fail in school, in relationships, on our job, at home or when and if we get married and have children. These next few promises are some of the most amazing promises in the Bible. It shows the heart of the Lord. He wants you to be successful in every area of your life. Incredible that we have a God who not only loves us perfectly but desires our best!

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

Some people may not believe this promise but don’t let someone else’s unbelief pull you down because this verse is very true. The Bible says that it is impossible for God to lie. However, He makes it very clear what you must do to be successful. You must meditate on God’s Word day and night to that you may be careful to follow it exactly as He says. Sometimes it may not make sense to you but do it anyway. Meditate means that you think about His Word. We meditate all of the time. Worry is meditating on your problems and the outcome. If you will replace those thoughts with His Word then you will receive insight that you never saw before and He will show you what to do to avoid failure and to succeed.

Psalm 1:1-3 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Again, this is amazing. The Lord says that if you will meditate on His Word day and night then your life will be fruitful, you will not wither up during the dry seasons of life and in whatever you do…you will prosper. We spend so much time trying to be successful in our own efforts and even reading books on how to be successful in different areas but IF we will only do this one thing then the Lord promises us success. This shows how much He longs for you to spend time with Him. Just like parents want to reward their children big when they do something really big in their eyes even more does the Lord want to reward you IF you will take His Word, meditate on it and then do what He says to do in His Word. However, one of the instructions for learning to meditate on His Word is that you must stop listening to the many voices in the world…voices of the wicked, scoffers and sinners. Do not walk with them nor stand with them not sit with them.

James 1:25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

Again, in the New Testament our Lord repeats this truth. Blessing and success are closely related just as curses and failure. The Lord wants to bless you and He wants you to be successful. If you do not follow His instructions then you will experience curses and failure.

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

The only part of God’s Word that will profit you is what you believe enough to do. Begin by taking a verse and memorizing it and then thinking about every way that verse can apply to your life and then do it. After you have done this then take another verse. You will see as time goes on that your life is being transformed into a beautiful Christlike life.

How to Avoid The Life of a Fool

Sometimes it is easier to understand a truth when we see the opposite. The opposite of wisdom is foolishness and so the opposite of being a wise person is being a fool. What is the life of a fool like and what is its end? The Bible says that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child. In other words, we come into life with foolishness being a part of our heart.

Proverbs 22:15a Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;

The foolish person engages in folly. The word folly literally means stupidity. We clearly see it in others but it is not so clear in ourselves, that is, until it is too late.

Proverbs 14:24 The crown of the wise is their riches, But the folly of fools is foolishness.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes. The Bible also says that the fool is deceived. When we refuse to listen to the truth then we become deceived and deception only leads to more deception.

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

A fool begins being a fool by setting themselves up as their own authority and letting themselves be the judge of what is right and what is wrong. Everyone has a standard of right and wrong even if the standard is not correct. The fool usually will keep changing the standard so that they will not have to deal with guilt. However, a fool becomes this way, by living as if there is no God.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.

The fool does his best to live as if there is no God. However, this “philosophy” only brings more pain and the fool will ultimately be mad at God. Typical of a fool are the words, “If there is a God, then why would He…”. The fool is completely without understanding and will never understand the ways of God. God will seem unfair to him, that is, when he is finally honest enough to admit there is a God.

Proverbs 19:3 The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the Lord.

The fool destroys his own life and then he gets mad at God.

Proverbs 10:14 Wise men store up knowledge, But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand.

The fool messes his life up by his own mouth. Also, the Bible says that the fool multiplies words and is quick to show their anger. The fool will also display dishonor. Not only does the fool hurt themselves but they also hurt the people around them.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

If you choose to be with a fool then plan to be hurt and dishonored.

Proverbs 3:35 The wise will inherit honor, But fools display dishonor.

An entire book could be written on the fool. However, we can sum up the life of a fool by saying that it will be a life of pain, regret, shame, anger, rage, ignorance, destruction to themselves and others, despising knowledge and lacking in understanding. Unfortunately, the foolishness of man began in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve decided to live without the Lord by going their own way and doing their own thing. They did not submit to the Lord but chose to “make their own decisions”, in other words, “to be their own lord”. That tendency is within all of us.

Ecclesiastes 7:29 Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.

If you will learn to seek out the Lord Jesus Christ, rather than many other ways to God, and to allow Him to be your Lord then you can be saved from being a fool. He will give you wisdom and understanding. The Bible says that the meaning of understanding is to know the Lord.

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

Wisdom is everything that is the opposite being a fool. A wise person is slow to anger and considers their words. Rather than destroy they build their life, marriage and family. They are a joy to be around because they are a blessing to their friends and not only that, but just by being with a wise person you will see and hear wisdom. The wise person’s life will be filled with peace, love and great joy as they seek to follow the One who gave His life for a world of fools, who wanted nothing to do with Him. All we have to do is come to Him and surrender our life and will to Him and He truly takes the foolish things of the world and does something great and glorious. Jesus Christ is amazing Savior and Lord who came to redeem man from all of the destruction that he brought on himself. It is no wonder that those who know Him will spend all eternity praising Him. Will you choose to be wise and come to Him or will you continue on in your foolish ways?

James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

This is a beautiful picture of Jesus Christ because in Him does all the fullness of wisdom dwell.

Colossians 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

This is God’s will for you…that your heart may be encouraged, having been knit together in love and filled with the wealth that comes from knowing Jesus Christ, who is the true knowledge of God and in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

 

A Life that Chooses Wisdom

Wisdom is what characterizes God’s people and the wisdom of God comes from keeping His commandments. When God’s people keep God’s Word then the world will recognize what a wise and understanding people that Christians are and it will set them a part from all the other people’s of the world.

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

It pleases the Lord when we ask for wisdom and He delights in giving wisdom to His people. Wisdom will spare a person much heartache and pain. A wise person does not have to learn from hindsight, from their mistakes, but has the foresight to avoid the pain that comes from mistakes. People are not better people because of the mistakes that they made but they are better people because of the knowledge that they learned from their mistakes, that is, if they learn from their errors.

Proverbs 2:6-9 For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Guarding the paths of justice,
And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
Then you will discern righteousness and justice
And equity and every good course.

How much better it is to learn the knowledge beforehand so that we do not have the baggage of painful and broken relationships or habits and patterns that are difficult to change. Wisdom is knowing what path to take to get you where you want and need to go and having the knowledge to get the desired result.

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.

Wisdom is also knowing what to do if and when you have gotten yourself in a mess by not acting wisely in the first place. Ask the Lord for wisdom. He promises to give to all who ask Him.

Proverbs 16:16 How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.

No amount of money can heal a broken heart. Wisdom keeps a life of regrets from characterizing your life. Get wisdom before you make the major decisions in your life.

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

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. When you learn to fear Him then you also learn that He is the source of all wisdom. You learn to fear Him through His Word and then His Word gives you wisdom.

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

When you receive wisdom then understanding and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.

Proverbs 2:10 For wisdom will enter your heart
And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;

Love wisdom and wisdom will love you and you will find wisdom when you seek for wisdom. Along with wisdom will come riches, honor, enduring wealth and righteousness.

Proverbs 8:17-21 I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.
Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness.
My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield better than choicest silver.
I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.

Once you discover the wisdom of God then you will realize that He is the source of life, love, riches, honor and everything else that your heart longs for.

Proverbs 3:13-18 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.
For her profit is better than the profit of silver
And her gain better than fine gold.
She is more precious than jewels;
And nothing you desire compares with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
In her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways
And all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who hold her fast.

Do you want to be happy? Seek the Lord for He is the fullness of all wisdom. He will give you wisdom and every good thing. Hold fast to wisdom and do not let her go. You will discover that life is much easier with wisdom and you will be much happier. With wisdom you learn God’s way and avoid many of the mistakes and heartaches of those who choose to live life without God.

A Life of Belief

Blessed is the one who believes. We came into the world believing in God. There is something within us that affirms there is a God. However, unless we are told, we don’t know how to come to Him. There is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ. He had to die and be raised again so that we would believe in Him.

John 20:1-8 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first;and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in.And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed

The disciples who walked with Jesus on earth struggled also with believing in Jesus Christ. It was not until they came to the tomb and found it empty did they believe. When John, the disciple who Jesus loved, (He loved them all but this disciple did not want to reference his own name so he referred to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved) saw the empty tomb then He believed.

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, who had not yet seen Jesus, did not yet believe. He said that he needed to see the imprint of the nails and put his hand into His side in order for him to believe that Jesus had really risen from the dead.

John 20:26-28 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 understood Thomas and his need to see and touch for himself in order to believe. Jesus also understands each one of us. Each of us comes to believe Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in different manners but the important fact is that we all are believers. You may be struggling with your belief in Jesus Christ. He understands your struggle. Pray to Him and tell Him that you want to believe and ask Him to help you in your unbelief. He does not judge you and is more than willing to help you.

Mark 9:23,24 And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”

Often our prayer may be like this man in this account in one of the Gospels. He believed but still had some unbelief. The Lord will help you in your unbelief and help you believe in Him, if you ask Him for help.

Romans 3:3 What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?

You may have family or friends who want to remain in their unbelief. Don’t let someone else’s unbelief keep you from believing and experiencing the faithfulness of God. He is good and He is faithful and will make Himself known to the one who believes.

I Timothy 1:3 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;

The Lord is a merciful God and if you turn to Him then he will show you mercy. Your past will not hinder you if you come to Him and want to believe in Him.

Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

Sometimes it may seem difficult to continue to believe in the Lord. We don’t always understand His ways. However, believing is trusting without seeing and believing is knowing that God is true to His Word. He is faithful and He loves you even when you can not feel His love. In time, you will again see His love and faithfulness if you continue to believe in Him.

I Thessalonians 5:23,24 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

When you first came to belief in Jesus Christ then the Lord began a good work in you. He will complete what He began and He will perfect it in you until the day of Christ Jesus.

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.

 

 

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.