A Life Where Thou Art

The first question the Lord asked man was, “Where are thou?”.

Genesis 3:9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

The man and the woman were made to be with the Lord. He made them for them to have fellowship with Him and for them to enter into His joy.

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

Man disobeyed the Lord and for the first time fear entered into man. Man began his long and lonely journey of hiding from God.

Genesis 3:10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

God came to earth as a man and His name is Jesus Christ, so that He could restore us back into a right relationship with Himself. He took the penalty and the separation from God that we deserved so that we might be restored back into fellowship with Him. Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus was in the beginning with God and all things came into being through Him. Jesus Christ is God and has always been God.

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Jesus, the Word, became flesh and dwelt among men. He is the only begotten Son of God, which means that He is the One and only Son of God. The Father gave His Son to restore us to Himself.

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.

As many as receive Jesus Christ, to them He gives the right to become one of His children, adopted into His family and to live forever with Him. They are born again.

John 1:12,13 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, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Since God’s love is unconditional and perfect, one of the first things He does after restoring us to Himself is that He casts out all fear.

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.

What is the evidence of someone who has been restored into a relationship with God. They will love others and especially will love Christians.

I John 4:7-11 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. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

He is still asking, “Where art Thou?”.

 

A Life that is Debt Free

Jesus Christ came to set us free. He paid our debt to God and set us free from the bondage that we came into when Adam and Eve sinned. He redeemed us and paid the price for our freedom. One of the consequences of our sin is that we are in debt and Jesus paid the debt for our sin. When you forgive someone you release them from the debt that they owe you. Since Jesus Christ paid your debt and released you then you can release others from their debt to you by forgiving them. Jesus Christ paid their debt also.

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

When we sin then we become a slave to sin and are held captive until Jesus Christ sets us free. When you sin against someone that guilt or debt ties you to that person. You can deny your sin to yourself but that is why you can not get the person out of your mind. You wronged them and that binds you to them. You are in debt and in bondage. Your guilt is like chains. Satan has you as one of his captives because of your sin. He accuses you and your guilt weighs you down in mind , soul and spirit.

John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

Jesus came to give you liberty and to release you from being a captive. He came to set you free from the oppression of the devil. Satan will oppress you first through your thought life and then he will deceive you and tempt you to sin. When you sin then you are held captive to him. A tormenting cycle is his design for you and it is only the beginning.

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed,

Only Jesus Christ can set you free because He is the only One who has the power over the devil. He paid for your sin on the cross and He has ransomed you.

Romans 6:6,7 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.

Just as Christ died on the cross and was raised again from the dead. So, we too, who belong to Jesus Christ was crucified with Him so that we too might become free and walk in newness of life. We no longer have to sin or give into temptation or carry around the guilt and debt of our sin. We have been set free to live a life of freedom. Freedom to do what we ought and not to be held captive by our sin and failures, which leads to bondage and death. The outcome of sin is death.

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

The life which you now live is by faith in Jesus Christ. It is no longer you who lives but Christ lives through you. He can and will love through you. He came that we might no longer sin against others but learn to love one another.

Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

The Lord paid the debt of your sin and set you free to love one another. Love is also setting others free from their debt to you. He has called us to love and to forgive. He can and also will forgive through you.

Romans 13:8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

Are you in debt to someone for your sin against them? Ask them to forgive you. The Lord has forgiven you but they need to release you also. Forgiveness is the promise never to bring it up again. The Lord never brings up your past debts to Him and when you forgive someone then you have released them also from their debt to you.

A Life that is Be-Loved

You are the Lord’s beloved and He is your Beloved and the One whom you delight in if you belong to Him.

Song of Solomon 6:3 “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,
He who pastures his flock among the lilies.”

Just as the shepherd loves the sheep and little lambs and would sometimes carry them on his shoulders so the Lord also, who is your Good Shepherd, carries you between His shoulders because you are His beloved. He wants you to be loved by Him.

Deuteronomy 33:12 …“May the beloved of the Lord dwell in security by Him, Who shields him all the day, And he dwells between His shoulders.”

The Lord wants you to know with all of your heart that He is your Savior and will save His beloved. He will save you and will answer you.

Psalm 108:6 That Your beloved may be delivered, Save with Your right hand, and answer me!

Just as Jesus was the Beloved of the Father so you are Jesus’ beloved.

Mark 1:11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

Being is more important than doing. We need to be right with the Lord before we can do what is right. Doing what is right must come after being in a love relationship with the Lord, otherwise, we will seek to earn God’s love. Doing is a response to being. If you belong to Christ then you are His Beloved and He wants you to be-loved by Him before you do…whatever good works he has for you. The Father was well pleased with Jesus before Jesus began His earthly ministry. You too, must learn to be-loved by Him so that whatever you “do” is an overflow of who you are in Christ. If you belong to Him then there is nothing you can do to cause Him to love you more. He wants you to rest in His love and learn to be-loved by Him. If we struggle in believing that He really loves us then we will struggle in loving Him back.

I John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.

All that we do should be in response to His love for us. All that we do is an expression of His great love. There is no greater love than this, to lay down your life for your friends. He laid down His life for you so that you can lay down your life for others so that others may see Christ in you.

John 15:12,13 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

Do you need to know His love more? To the degree that you love others is to the degree that you have experienced His love for you.

I John 3:16,17 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?

 

A Life that Has an Amazing Life

We can have an amazing life if we  have the amazing God living within us. He is amazing in all of His ways and perfect in all of His dealings with his children. He loves us perfectly and He is a just God. There is no unfairness in Him and He is full of lovingkindness. He wants to give us an abundant life. He came for that reason.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

If you belong to the Lord and you do not have an abundant life it is because you have allowed the thief, who is Satan, to rob you of the love, joy and peace that He gives. If you belong to Him then it is His will for you to have an abundant life. Life comes from Him and when you allow His life to flow to you and through you then you will truly ride on the heights of the earth.

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.

Jesus is the life and there is no life apart from Him. If you do not have Christ in your life then you are only existing and not living. If Christ is in you then you have the life. The life of Christ is one of freedom.

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Since we were made to worship, if you do not worship the living God, then you have false gods or idols, which are another word for false gods. These false gods will enslave you. They will control your life and ultimately destroy you. You were made for the Lord alone and to worship Him alone.

Luke 4:8 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”

How do we worship the Lord so that we can be set free from the false gods of our day, whether they are material things, experiences, people or anything else that we think will make us happy? There is only one way to truly worship the God of the universe, our great Creator and Lord, and that is in Spirit and truth.  These are the ones whom the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

John 4:23,24 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

How do you worship Him is Spirit and truth? The Holy Spirit is who leads us into truth. We must have the Holy Spirit within our lives and if we have Him, then we must not grieve Him, for He is God, so that we might hear His leading.

Ephesians 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

The Word of God is the truth. You will see that the more you know the word of God then the more you will know Him and be able to walk in His truth.

John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

He said that the truth will set you free. The more you learn to walk in His Spirit and to walk in His truth then the more freedom you will experience. His truth comes from His word and is His word. Jesus is the truth and the Living Word.

John 8:32 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

In Him is life and His life is the light of men. If you will walk with Him, in His Spirit and in His truth then His life will be manifest through you and will be the light of the world. Is this the kind of life that you want? If so, then present yourself to Him and allow Him to live that abundant life through you in Spirit and truth. This is true worship that is pleasing to Him.

Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

For such the Father seeks to be His worshipers. He came that you might have life and have it abundantly. He came to set you free so that you might be the light of the world. If Christ is lifted up in your life then He will draw all men to Himself. Let us exalt the name of Jesus Christ and may He alone be lifted up in our lives.

 

 

 

A Life that Forgives

There are certain commands that carry much greater weight than others and the command to forgive seems to be one of the most important. A lack of forgiveness brings about one of the worse consequences that is mentioned in the Bible. The Lord said that if you do not forgive others then your sins will not be forgiven you.

Matthew 5:14,15 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Forgiveness also brings a great blessing from the Lord because He says that if you forgive others then your sins will be forgiven you. We are all sinners who have sinned greatly against the Lord and we desperately need forgiveness from God, the Father. In the same way, we need to desperately forgive others of their sins. You receive what you give away and what you withhold will be withheld from you.

Mark 11:25,26 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”

The meaning of evil is to cause grief. It is hard to forgive when someone has caused us grief and especially great grief. However, when we see what a great debt that we have toward the Lord and the great grief that we have caused Him then we lean more toward forgiving. However, forgiving is impossible apart from the Lord. He has given you forgiveness and this is the forgiveness that you offer to others. Jesus has forgiven you and Jesus has forgiven them. We can only forgive by the power of the Holy Spirit.

John 20:22,23 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

We forgive by faith, in the power of the Holy Spirit in obedience to Him, not by feeling. Our flesh will never want to forgive and does not have the power to do so.

Romans 8:6-8 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

When you forgive then the Lord releases you from the bitterness and resentment of unforgiveness. You actually are the one who is set free. The person does not have to even be aware of their wrong towards you and they do not have to be sorry for what they did. If they are sorry and repentant then that is wonderful but it is not a prerequisite to you forgiving them. Healing for you comes after forgiveness. There is no pain so great that the Lord can not heal but first you must forgive. He does not hold your sin against you because He has forgiven you. Forgiveness is the promise never to bring it up again. How many times are we to forgive? That is a great question and Jesus answered it for us.

Matthew 18:21,22 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Forgiveness is so important that the Lord told a parable about forgiveness to allow His hearers to understand more clearly what He was saying about forgiveness.

Matthew 18:23-35 For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

He who has ears to hear, let him hear. A day of accounting is coming and it will be too late to settle your accounts with your fellow man. For this reason it is of utmost importance to “keep your accounts up to date”. God declared the man wicked in this story because of his unwillingness to forgive someone else and therefore all of this wicked person’s sins were still on his account and were not wiped out and forgiven. Forgiveness is a matter of the will. It is letting it go and giving it to the Lord. You can’t, He never said you could, He can, He always said He would. Give the matter to the Lord and He will forgive that person through you by the power of His Holy Spirit. As long as you have unforgiveness in your heart then you are in a prison. However, you can settle the account with that person who owes you through your forgiveness by forgiving him. It is after this that you will be released from your prison.

Luke 7:47,48 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”  Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”

Did Jesus offer forgiveness to you? Yes, He did. Go and do likewise that you too may hear the words, “Your sins have been forgiven”.  Forgiveness begins with the prayer, “Lord, I forgive _________. Please forgive me of my unforgiveness and by faith I have forgiven _________. Then you will love much because you too will see how great a debt that you were forgiven by our Lord. Your slate will be wiped clean. You may have to forgive over and over again because the devil might continue to bring it up again but the devil hates to see you forgive and call on the Lord so he will quit bringing it up to you. It is hard to believe when you are in the pain but healing will come and the Lord will truly make something beautiful our of your life.

 

 

A Life that is Gentle

One of the most beautiful and powerful verses in the Bible is in the book of Psalms. It says that God’s gentleness makes us great. The word is literally His condescension but some versions use the word gentleness.

Psalms 18:35 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation,
And Your right hand upholds me;
And Your gentleness makes me great.

If you break down the word condescend then it means that He got down with us. He communicated with us on our level. He did not just speak to us on His level but He humbled Himself to communicate with us. A beautiful picture of gentleness is when someone stoops down to speak with someone who is in a wheelchair so that they can be on their same eye level or when someone lowers himself to talk with a child on their level. It is a powerful picture of love and humility.

Psalm 113:5-8 Who is like the Lord our God,
Who is enthroned on high,
Who humbles Himself to behold
The things that are in heaven and in the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust
And lifts the needy from the ash heap,
To make them sit with princes,
With the princes of His people.

The psalmist had it right when he said that there is none like our God. Although He is enthroned on high, He humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and on the earth. Not only does He behold us but when we realize our great need for the Lord then He lifts us up and He will even make us sit with princes!

Isaiah 66:2 “For My hand made all these things,
Thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord.
“But to this one I will look,
To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

Who is He looking for when He looks down from heaven? Who does He want to behold? He wants to find those who are humble and contrite in spirit and who tremble at His word. He is looking for those who are wanting to be like Him for He is humble.

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.

What does a humble person look like? They are not selfish or conceited. They regard others as more important than themselves. They don’t just look after their own personal interests but also for the interests of others. They have a servant heart and attitude and actions of a servant. They are completely obedient no matter what the cost to them even if it is their own life.

Matthew 11:29 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.

The humble person looks life Jesus. The only way we can live a life of gentleness is if we allow Him to live through us in the power of the Holy Spirit for gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22,23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Therefore, let people see Christ in you through your gentle spirit.

Philippians 4:5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.

And again, you are His holy and beloved child through whom the world will see Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;

A Life that Loves People

If you love God then you will love people because God loves people. He loves everyone. The Bible says that He is good to the evil and the good.

Matthew 5:45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

If you are His child then you will want to become like Him.

I John 3:1-3 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

When we see Him we will be like Him but before that happens we are in the process of becoming like Him, which means we are being conformed into His likeness while on earth.

Romans 6:5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

His destiny for us is to become like Him.

Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

It is through knowing Him that we become conformed to His death, His resurrection and His life.

Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;

Jesus is the Word and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. God uses His Word to transform us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.

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.

His Word becomes alive in us and replaces our old though patterns and habits.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Just as Jesus did not come to do His own will but the will of the Father, in the same way, we also are not to do our will but the will of God.

John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

Just as Jesus prayed in the garden, “not My will but Thy will be done”, we too are to pray the same and desire that His will would be done.

Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

Jesus also taught His disciples to pray in the same way, that His will would be done.

Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

When you choose to follow Jesus. He will be your Lord and it is His will that becomes of utmost importance. This is what it means to die to yourself. You are dying to your will and living to do His will. This is truly the only way that you can love people. It is the way that Jesus loved you by going to the cross for you. He chose the will of the Father.

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.

God so loved you so that you too might love others with the same kind of love. What amazing love!