A Life that Does Not Need to Worry

The Lord knows how fragile we are and our tendency to worry. He tells us not to worry. He makes it very clear and says “Do not worry”.

Matthew 6:25-33 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

The Lord knows that we need food, shelter and clothing. He says “do not worry”. He says that He feeds the birds and that they do not even store up but He feeds all of the birds every day of their lives. Amazing. He says not to worry about our clothing. He knows that we need clothes. He began by clothing Adam and Eve in the garden and He will provide clothing for his children. Do you need shelter? Yes! He will provide for you. All of these things the world eagerly seeks but He tells us to seek Him and His kingdom and righteousness and all of these things will be added to us. God is faithful. Do not worry about His part but be concerned that you do what He has called you to do and that is to be faithful to His commands and instructions to you.

Psalm 37:25 I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging bread.

He also says not to worry about tomorrow. He truly knows how we are made and how tempting it is to worry about tomorrow so He tells us to not even worry about tomorrow.

Matthew 6:34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Do you have troubles today. Yes, we all will have struggles and troubles but the Lord says that He is a present help in time of trouble.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.

Go to Him with your struggles and trouble. He is not only an eternal Savior but He is a present Savior who will show Himself strong on behalf of those who turn to Him with all of their heart.

II Chronicles 16:9a For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.

 

A Life of Kindness and Truth

There are amazing promises to the person who will fill their lives with kindness and truth. You will find favor with God and man.

Proverbs 3:3,4 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.

The person whom the Lord uses will characterize these traits for they are what defined our Lord Jesus Christ. He was full of kindness and He was full of truth. One of the aspects of grace is kindness. An expression of grace is showing favor towards someone expressed in kindness. Jesus was full of grace and truth and it was expressed in kindness and truth.

Proverbs 14:22 Will they not go astray who devise evil?
But kindness and truth will be to those who devise good.

Goodness and doing good is what God has called us to do and it consist of doing kindness and truth. When you seek to do good to others then kindness and truth will come to you. The Lord is good and He is kindness and truth. He wants us to do good and to be kindness and truth to others. What you do to others will be done to you.

Psalm 25:10 All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth
To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.

The paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth and when you learn to keep His commandments then you will walk in His paths.

Psalm 40:11,12 You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me;
Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.
For evils beyond number have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see;
They are more numerous than the hairs of my head,
And my heart has failed me.

If you are seeking Him and seeking to obey Him and to do what is right then even when you feel as though you have failed and your sins have overtaken you so that you can not even see then His lovingkindness and His truth will still and continually preserve you. His lovingkindness and truth are in Christ Jesus and Jesus will never leave you or forsake you.

Psalm 61:2-4 From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a refuge for me,
A tower of strength against the enemy.
Let me dwell in Your tent forever;
Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.

Even when your heart is faint and you can not see through the darkness then call to Him. He will lead you to the rock that is higher than you. Jesus Christ is that Rock and He will be a refuge for you and a tower of strength against the enemy. You will dwell in His presence forever.

Hebrews 13:5b for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”

 

 

 

 

 

A Life of Grace and Truth

Jesus Christ was full of grace and truth. Faith is coming to Jesus and it is God’s grace that allows us to come to Him. Salvation is the gift we receive by grace through faith.

Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

It is Jesus that saves us through His Word and sets us free from our sin. His Words are truth. The gospel (the good news) that Jesus brought to us is the power of God for salvation. Jesus Christ and His Word and truth are equal. The truth became flesh and dwelt among us.

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

Jesus Christ is God and when He dwelt among men they saw His glory which is who the Father is and that is, Jesus was full of grace and truth. Grace is the opposite of shame. When someone is disgraced then they are shamed. Sin brings shame and disgrace. Jesus came to take away our sin and shame and to give us grace.

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a disgrace to any people.

When we do what is right it will be expressed in grace and truth. When Joseph thought Mary, his betrothed, had been unfaithful to him then he, being a righteous man did not want to shame or disgrace her but sought to do what is right and loving by sending her away secretly.

Matthew 1:19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.

Jesus took the attention off of the woman caught in adultery. She was being disgraced and He, being righteous, stooped even lower than those around and wrote on the ground so that the eyes of her accusers would be taken off of her and on to Him. He took away her disgrace by standing in the gap between the accusers and her.

John 8:3-11 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.

Jesus does this for each one of us. We have all sinned and are worthy of much disgrace but Jesus stood in the gap between us and the devil, who is our accuser. He stooped down to earth and made us great by taking our sin and punishment. He took our condemnation and has stood in the gap and faced our accuser for us so that we might be free from condemnation.

Romans 8:1-3 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

Just as Jesus stood up and asked the woman where her accusers were, for they were gone, so Jesus says the same to all of us, “I do not condemn you, either. Go, from now on sin no more.

John 8:10,11 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”

Are you struggling with something that you know that you should stop? Is the devil secretly accusing you? Satan is a bully and a bully always goes after one who is weak at the moment. Satan won’t go after Jesus because he has already lost to the Lord Jesus Christ but he tries to get to Jesus through us.

I Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

The Bible says to resist the devil and he will flee from you. Resist him through God’s Word and the name of Jesus Christ and he will flee.

James 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Get in God’s Word and keep resisting the devil until you see the victory. Keep firm in your faith in the Lord. After you have struggled and suffered for a little while then Jesus Himself will perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

I Peter 5:9-10 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Recognizes a Wise Person

If you have wise people in your life and if you have a wise friend then you are especially blessed because the Bible says that you also will be wise. Since there are not many wise people in the world, for the way of wisdom and walking in God’s ways is narrow, then how do you recognize a wise person so that you might walk with them through life?

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

Many a person has gotten into trouble by being a companion with a fool. However, many a person has been saved from much grief because they had a friend who was wise. First of all, seek to be wise and then ask the Lord to give you a wise friend. Your wise friend will stick closer than a brother and will speak truth to you even if it hurts.

Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.

A wise friend will be more concerned about your relationship with the Lord than with your friendship with them. Their love for you will be Christlike and will point you to the Lord. However, how do you know when someone is a wise person?

James 3:13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.

A wise person will have the fruit of wisdom and the fruit of wisdom is to do good. The Lord gave Solomon great wisdom because the heart of Solomon was to do good by leading God’s people in the right way. Solomon did not seek for wealth or honor but asked God for wisdom. A wise person will not seek after honor for themselves nor will they put their hope in riches. A wise person will seek the Lord and it will be evident in their life by their good deeds.

Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,

A wise person will be teachable and will continually want to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from Him. The Bible says that a man will be praised according to his insight. A wise person will have God’s insight on matters.

Daniel 2:20,21 Daniel said,“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
“It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings;
He gives wisdom to wise men
And knowledge to men of understanding.

A wise person will recognize and know that the Lord is the source of all wisdom and that He is the One who gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding. A fool is one who is wise in his own eyes but a wise person will know that he has no wisdom of his own.

Proverbs 29:11 A fool always loses his temper,
But a wise man holds it back.

A wise person does not have anger issues. Anger stems from wanting your own way and is destructive to those around them. If you want a life of misery then marry a fool and especially one who loses his temper. A wise person wants God’s way and is peaceful, gentle and loving. If you want a marriage designed by the Lord and is a taste of heaven then marry a wise person and enjoy the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

Matthew 7:24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.

Finally, a wise person is one who builds their life on the Word of God. They don’t just listen to it but they do it. They seek the Lord diligently. This is who is wise and who will be a friend who will not only love God but will love you also. Seek to be this friend to others and you will find that those who are wise will want to be your friend. Your life will be richly blessed and you will be a blessing to others.

Hosea 14:9 Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
Whoever is discerning, let him know them.
For the ways of the Lord are right,
And the righteous will walk in them,
But transgressors will stumble in them.

 

A Life with the Sweetness of Wisdom

When life is done God’s way then it is sweet. When life is not done God’s way then it can become bitter and then we become bitter. His design was to give us good gifts. He wants us to live according to His ways and experience life to the fullest. Even after man and woman messed up in the garden of Eden the Lord had a plan to give us another chance. Jesus Christ came that we might have an abundant life that overflows. He came that we might live.

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

Jesus is that life and life is in Him. He who has Christ has life. He who does not have Jesus Christ does not have life but they have death abiding in them and one day death will overtake them for all eternity.

I John 5:11,12 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

What does the life look like that Jesus came to give us. It is a picture of wisdom since in Jesus is the fullness of life and wisdom. It is the wisdom from above.

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

If this wisdom does not describe your life, your marriage, your family or whatever relationships that you are in then come to Him and ask Him for His wisdom.

James 1:5-8 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. 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. 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.

However, you must ask with a pure heart that is surrendered to Him. Otherwise, your symptom may be fixed but the root problem is still the same and that is rottenness within your heart. Double mindedness comes from an unsurrendered will to the Lord. There is still that fight within of wanting our own way.

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.

Doublemindedness may cause you to be deceived. You will not receive God’s wisdom and if you are not careful then you will receive the wrong kind of wisdom which is demonic and leads to death.

James 3:14-16 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.

Come to Him and you will find rest for your soul and the fighting within of your will and God’s design for you will cease. His ways are pleasant ways and His paths are peace.

Matthew11:28-30 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.

 

A Life that Knows the Value of Wisdom

Once you receive wisdom then you will realize the great treasure that it is and that nothing can compare with its value. People seek money and wealth and yet wisdom is far greater and no amount of money can buy it. Wisdom will give you life but earthly treasures promise no such return and can often bring sorrow.

Proverbs 4:7-9 The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.

The Lord says that if you acquire wisdom then there are many other things that come with her. Prize wisdom and she will exalt you. Wisdom will honor you if you embrace her. She will give you grace and present you with a crown of beauty. You must acquire wisdom and in acquiring wisdom you must also seek for understanding.

Proverbs 4:5,6 Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.

Wisdom comes from God’s words. Do not forget His Word nor turn away from them. If you will not forsake wisdom and God’s Word but love them then they will guard you and watch over you.

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.

Jesus Christ is the fullness of wisdom. When you receive Jesus Christ then you begin the journey of knowing wisdom and having understanding. You can not separate one from the other. You must seek the Lord more than silver and search for Him more than hidden treasure. When you find Jesus Christ then you will discover that the profit of a life in Him is more profitable than silver and the gain than fine gold. He is far more precious than jewels and nothing you desire compares with knowing Him. Jesus Christ is that tree of life that was offered in the garden that all who come to Him may eat of and live forever.

Colossians 2:2a,3 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.

Come to Him and find not only wisdom but life and all that life in Him has to offer. You will find that you will be truly happy as you hold fast to Him.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;

 

A Life that Receives Wisdom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

A Life Knowing the Beginning of Wisdom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The fear of the Lord will prolong your life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Abides in Blessedness

The word “abide” means to live. All of us want to live in a blessed state since one of the definitions of “blessed” is happy. The Lord wants us to abide in Him and His Words to abide in us. The Lord blesses His Word. He has obligated Himself to be faithful to His Words and His Words bring blessing.

John 15:7-11 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.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.

If you will learn to abide in the Lord and allow His Words to abide in you then you can ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. Of course, when you abide in Him and His Words abide in you then the longing of your heart will be to keep His Words, which are His commandments to us. When we keep His commandments then we will abide in His love. Your joy will also be made full.

Deuteronomy 28:1,2 Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God

The Lord says that His blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey His commandments. You might think that Jesus Christ came to take away the Old Testament Law and that if you are a “New Testament” Christian then you do not need to obey the Old Testament Law. Not so, He fulfilled all of the Law and completed the sacrificial Law since He was the sacrifice for all sins promised from the beginning in the garden of Eden. He did not nullify the moral law but fulfilled the sacrificial law.

Matthew 5:17-19 Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

The Lord Jesus Christ gave His followers a new commandment and did not abolish the previous commandments other than the ritualistic cleansing commandments concerning food.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

The Lord wants us to remember His commandment and the commandments written beforehand in the Old Testament in how to live.

II Peter 3:2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.

If we keep the Lord’s new commandment then we will keep all of the Old Testament commandments because they are all summed up in loving God and loving each other.

Romans 13:8-10 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

The Lord gave us both the New Testament and the Old Testament for our instruction.

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Grace does not free us from doing right but allows us to do what is right and thus fulfill all righteousness. The Law is righteous and good and when we keep all of God’s words and commandments then we are loving those around us. The Lord promises great blessing to those who abide in His Words and keep His commandments.

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

Do you have peace in your life? What about do you live with quietness and confidence? If you are frustrated then go back to the Bible and ask the Lord to help you learn His ways of doing life, work, relationships, ministry or whatever it is He has you doing. He will teach you His ways and lead you in paths of righteousness.

How to Avoid a Life Empty of Love

Love is a basic human need for a healthy development and happy relationships yet it seems illusive at times and often the ones that we “hate” the most are those closest to us or that we have been close to at some time. How do we love others on a long term basis and keep loving, happy, healthy relationships? Love is the greatest commandment and if we fulfill this commandment then we will fulfill them all.

Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Just as moral excellence is the root of love so love is the foundation of the Law and Prophets. The Law was to teach us how to love God with all of our heart and soul and mind and our neighbor as ourselves. The prophets were continually calling the people back to loving the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind and their neighbor as well. There is no peace, love or joy apart from love. There is no love apart from God, for God is love. Remove God from society, families and all relationships and you will eventually remove love.

I John 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

The opposite of loving God and others is selfishness. Selfishness is loving ourselves at the expense of someone else. It is taking and not giving. It is me and not you. No one can serve two masters. He will either love the one and hate the other or vice versa.

Matthew 6:24a No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.

You can not love yourself first and love God second. You must love God first and that will include loving others and then you love yourself next. If you love God first then He will watch out for your interests and He will be your security and defense. If you love yourself first then you will not be loving others the way you should. All of your “love” for others will be selfcentered and not love for them at all. There will always be a conflict of interests. For this reason, the Lord says that if we are to follow Him and love Him then we must die to ourselves.

Luke 9:23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

This is what it means to take up your cross daily, it is to die to yourself. The cross represents death. You can not truly love others if you do not learn to die to yourself. When you get married, the question is not, “Do I love this person more than everyone else?”. No rather, the question should be, “Do I love this person more than myself?”. If you truly love your mate more than yourself then you will truly love that person the way the Lord wants you to love them and there will never be another person that you will ever love in the same way (while you both shall live) because all marital unfaithfulness is all about loving yourself. Most marriages that fail began with selfishness and ended with selfishness in one or both spouses. Selfishness is loving or not wanting someone else for what they have or don’t have to offer to you.

I John 4:7-9 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.

Jesus Christ is the ultimate expression and manifestation of love. If you want to know love then you must know Jesus Christ. He came into the world to love and He loves everyone and the gift of His love is offered to everyone. Whoever will receive Jesus Christ will receive His love. We can not love others with a Godlike love without Jesus Christ.

I John 4:10-12 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. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

Jesus loved us and took our sins that we might receive and live in His love. He came that we might be able to love God and love others as He has loved us. If you know Jesus Christ then you will know true love and His love will be perfected in you. When you live in His love then His love will overflow into the lives of others. The life of love, joy and peace will truly overflow within you and you will begin to experience heaven on earth and what it means to live in His kingdom.

I John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Hate comes from unresolved anger and unresolved anger comes from unforgiveness from being hurt. If you have been hurt and still struggling to forgive then take that hurt to the Lord and ask Him to help you forgive. He went to the cross to forgive us and because He has forgiven us then we can forgive others. He is the source of all love and because He loves us then we too can love others even those who previously seemed unlovable. You will also find that as you love others then your life will be filled with the love of others. Through Him we can love the world and everyone in it but apart from Him we can love no one.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”