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 Speaks the Truth

If we want a life that speaks the truth then we must have the truth in our heart.

Psalm 15:2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,
And speaks truth in his heart.

A person that speaks the truth tells what is right.

Proverbs 12:17 He who speaks truth tells what is right,
But a false witness, deceit.

The only way we will be able to speak the truth is if we listen to the truth. You become what you listen to.

Proverbs 21:28 A false witness will perish,
But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.

The Lord tells us to guard our heart with all diligence for from it flows the springs of life. If you listen to lies then you will start to believe lies and then you life will be a lie.

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

The Lord tells us that we should speak truth to one another. The opposite of speaking truth to one another is devising evil against one another. The Lord hates it when we do evil to one another and also He hates it when we lie.

Zechariah 8:16,17 These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the Lord.”

Jesus spoke the truth when He walked on earth. Even those who were His enemies acknowledged that He spoke the truth and taught the way of God in truth.

Luke 20:21 They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth.

When we lie we are being like the devil. How we speak reveals our nature.

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

The only way that we can speak the truth is if we have the Spirit of truth in us. He comes and dwells in us when we become a Christian. Jesus Christ is the Truth and His Spirit leads us into all truth.

John 16:33 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

The Lord wants us to worship Him in Spirit and truth and He wants us to walk in His truth and speak truth with one another. Love without truth is not true love and truth without love can not be heard.

Proverbs 3:3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.

Often we lean towards either lovingkindness or truth. For this reason we need to be connected to other Christians to balance out our tendencies and to learn from one another so that we will have more of the balance that we need in our lives to be filled with lovingkindness and truth.

Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

As we grow in His love and truth then we will grow in our love for one another and will learn to speak truth with one another. When we do these things then we will grow up in all aspects into the likeness of Jesus Christ. It is our aim that Jesus Christ alone is exalted and that the world will see Christ in us.

 

 

 

A Life with a Heart for God

A song written a couple of hundred years ago goes, “Oh, for a heart to praise my God, A heart from sin set free, A heart that feels Thy blood, So freely shed for me.” Oh that we would have such a heart for God. The Lord also said the same many years ago to His people.

Deuteronomy 5:29 Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!

If only our heart would be completely His and that we would fear Him and keep His commandments always. It will be well with us if we do and with our children also. The Lord gave His heart to us when He sent His Son to die on the cross for us. What will it take for us to have a heart that is completely His? He is looking to see if there is anyone who will give their heart to Him completely.

II Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.

He will support the one whose heart is completely His. Don’t wait until you are old but give Him your heart today. There is no reason not to other than our sinful self. He is a good Father and we can give Him our heart and He will guard it until that day.

I Kings 11:4 For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.

King David’s heart was completely devoted to the Lord. For this reason his name will live on forever. The Lord chose him to be part of the lineage of Jesus. The Lord established his throne and the Lord said that there was nothing that he would have withheld from David. The Lord loved giving to David because his heart was the Lord’s.

II Samuel 12:8 …and if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things…

A heart for God is a heart that withholds nothing from Him and is willing to do whatever He wants. A heart for God has one desire and that is to follow the Lord, to fear Him and to obey Him with all of their heart. A heart for God will seek to know His Word so that they can do it. A heart for God is preparing their heart to see Him and lives for the day that He is coming again, just as a bride prepares and lives for the day that the bridegroom will come for her. A heart for God has an undistracted devotion to the Lord.

Zechariah 7:9-12 “Thus has the Lord of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’ But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing. They made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. And just as He called and they would not listen, so they called and I would not listen,” says the Lord of hosts;

The opposite of a heart for God is a heart that is hardened.A heart that is hardened does not call upon Him. A heart that is hardened does not think about His coming again and so is not prepared. A heart that is hardened is characterized by unbelief. They may say that they are a Christian but there is not much in their life to indicate it. A heart that is hardened does not know His word nor seek Him. Just as a hardened heart does not call upon the Lord so it will be that when the hardened heart does call that He will not listen. For all will bow before Him one day and there will be those with a hardened heart that will call but it will be too late.

Joel 2:12,13 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“Return to Me with all your heart,
And with fasting, weeping and mourning;
And rend your heart and not your garments.”
Now return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness
And relenting of evil.

Don’t wait until it is too late. If you hear His voice then cry out to Him to give you a heart for Him. Return to Him with all of your heart. Change your heart rather than your clothing the Lord says, and return to Him. He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

Joel 2:26,27 “You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
Then My people will never be put to shame.
“Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel,
And that I am the Lord your God,
And there is no other;
And My people will never be put to shame.

Then you will know that He is Lord.

A Life that Pleases the Lord

It is an amazing aspect of the Lord that He allows us to please Him. We are His creation and fallen creation at that but still He loves us and tells us how to please Him. It should be the single minded desire of every Christian to want to please Him. Before we were Christians we wanted to please ourselves or maybe someone else but the highest aim in our life should be to please the Lord.

Ephesians 5:7-10 Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

The Lord offers a great reward when we are living life in a way that pleases Him. He will make even our enemies to be at peace with us.

Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

When we live by faith then we please the Lord or rather if we don’t live by faith then there is not anything that we can do that would please Him.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

First thing we must do if we want to please Him is to believe in Him and believe in His Words. He wants us to seek Him, believe His Words and live as if we believe His Words. If there was someone who loved you and you trusted and that person told you that they would be at such and such a place to meet you, you would be there. The Lord also wants us to act in faith in believing what He has said to us.

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 benefits you is what you believe and act in faith on. You must believe Him and what He said. You must believe Him and do what He says. Be careful to not have an unbelieving heart.

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.

Where does an unbelief come from? It comes from the hardness of our heart.

Mark 16:14 Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen.

Every child believes in God because the Lord has put it in their heart to believe Him.

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

The Lord tells us in His Word to be careful  to not have an unbelieving heart. An unbelieving heart precedes falling away from the Lord.

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.

Faith must be nurtured and it must grow. You can not live on yesterday’s faith. Your faith needs to be stronger today than it was yesterday. The way you feed your faith is through the Word of God. When you believe His Word by faith then you will see His faithfulness and will want to believe Him more. You will give glory to God and will praise Him.

Romans 4:20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,

Come, let us worship Him and bow down before Him. He is God and He is true to His Words. Trust Him and grow strong in your faith and please the One who loves you more than you will ever fully comprehend.

Psalm 95:6-8a Come, let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you would hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts,

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Hears

The Lord makes it very clear in His Word that there are some things that He wants you to hear and some things He does not want you to hear. Just as a loving parent would not want their child to hear everything so the Lord does not want us to hear everything. We must learn to shut our ears to some things and to open our ears to other things. Over and over in His Word He said that those who have ears to hear, let them hear. Hear what? The Word of the Lord is what they need to hear.

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

The Lord wants to speak to you. He loves you and wants you to hear His  voice. Just as a loving parent wants to warn their child of the dangers in life so He wants to warn you. Just as a good shepherd knows their own sheep and the sheep knows their own shepherd’s voice so the Lord wants us learn to hear His voice.

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

Ask the Lord to open your ears. Do you need healing from past or present hurts? He can and wants to heal you. He heals through His Words.

Acts 28:26,27 saying, Go to this people and say,
You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;
And you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
For the heart of this people has become dull,
And with their ears they scarcely hear,
And they have closed their eyes;
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart and return,
And I would heal them.”’

One of the reasons why we can not hear Him, who is the Truth, is because we are listening to the lies of the world. If you are struggling in your relationship with the Lord or feel as if you are not hearing His voice then shut out the noises of the world. If you have friends who are foolish or ungodly then stay away from them.

Proverbs 14:7 Leave the presence of a fool,
Or you will not discern words of knowledge.

A fool is someone who lives as if there is no God. An ungodly person is someone who believes in God but does not fear Him, in other words, they allow sin in their lives and don’t want to give it up. They hate it but not enough to get rid of it. They will say, “I know that I should have my quiet time, but I don’t and I know I should not do _____, but I still do it anyway.” It is enough for them to say they know that it is wrong. They may even used to have a heart for the Lord but they have ceased to be wise and to do good. The ungodly person loves himself more than he loves God.

Psalm 36:1-4 Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.
For it flatters him in his own eyes
Concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it.
The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;
He has ceased to be wise and to do good.
He plans wickedness upon his bed;
He sets himself on a path that is not good;
He does not despise evil.

Stop listening to the news for awhile. Stop looking at things on your phone or computer or television or whatever it is that is a distraction or not good for you. Ask the Lord to show you if there is anything that you are looking at or listening to that is not pleasing to Him. Do not listen to bloodshed and do not look upon evil. If there have been violence then the Lord does not want to to look at it or hear about it.

Isaiah 33:15 He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity,
He who rejects unjust gain
And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe;
He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed
And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil;

So…do you need to feel His love? Do you need the assurance that He loves you? Do you want to hear your Good Shepherd’s voice and the voice of your heavenly Father? Get rid of what is not holy and good and then ask Him to open up your ears to hear Him. He will restore your soul and bringing healing to your life. One of the reasons why we struggle in our relationship with the Lord and other relationships here on earth is that we need healing from hurts in our past. Let Him heal you.

Isaiah 53:4-6 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.

All of us have gone astray. All of us need healing. All of us have been hurt. All of us have been let down by people in our past. Just as you have hurt others and have let others down and will do so again. However, the Lord will heal us and He will never hurt us and He will never disappoint us if only we will hear His voice, listen to His Words and seek Him and put our trust in Him. He is good and He is faithful.

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

Return to Him. He will not disappoint you. Even in your doubting He will help you. Just as the man prayed, “Lord, I believe, help me in my unbelief.”

 

 

 

A Life that Should Never Ever…

There are some things that you just don’t ever want to do and one of these things is that the Lord says to never repay evil for good. He says that evil will not depart for your house. The meaning of evil is to cause grief so you especially do not want to cause grief to someone who has done you good.

Proverbs 17:13 He who returns evil for good,
Evil will not depart from his house.

Women especially have a tendency to want to vent when they are frustrated. Someone who has done you good in the past may frustrate you because you do not get what you want. You need to think of the good that they have done you earlier. Do you want grief to come to you and your family? Absolutely not. So you need to quit thinking about what you want and ask the Lord what He wants for you. In fact, if you can’t let something go then there is a bigger problem and that may be unforgiveness or selfishness.

Psalm 7:3-5 O Lord my God, if I have done this,
If there is injustice in my hands,
If I have rewarded evil to my friend,
Or have plundered him who without cause was my adversary,
Let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it;
And let him trample my life down to the ground
And lay my glory in the dust.

The Psalmist looked at it another way. If he had rewarded evil to his friend or have hurt someone without cause then what he had coming to him is his just consequence. This was even his prayer that the enemy would have victory over him and would walk all over him.

Job 31:5-32 “If I have walked with falsehood,
And my foot has hastened after deceit,
Let Him weigh me with accurate scales,
And let God know my integrity.
“If my step has turned from the way,
Or my heart followed my eyes,
Or if any spot has stuck to my hands,
Let me sow and another eat,
And let my crops be uprooted.

“If my heart has been enticed by a woman,
Or I have lurked at my neighbor’s doorway,
May my wife grind for another,
And let others kneel down over her.
“For that would be a lustful crime;
Moreover, it would be an iniquity punishable by judges.
“For it would be fire that consumes to Abaddon,
And would uproot all my increase.

“If I have despised the claim of my male or female slaves
When they filed a complaint against me,
What then could I do when God arises?
And when He calls me to account, what will I answer Him?
“Did not He who made me in the womb make him,
And the same one fashion us in the womb?

 

“If I have kept the poor from their desire,
Or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail,
Or have eaten my morsel alone,
And the orphan has not shared it
(But from my youth he grew up with me as with a father,
And from infancy I guided her),
If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing,
Or that the needy had no covering,
If his loins have not thanked me,
And if he has not been warmed with the fleece of my sheep,
If I have lifted up my hand against the orphan,
Because I saw I had support in the gate,
Let my shoulder fall from the socket,
And my arm be broken off at the elbow.
“For calamity from God is a terror to me,
And because of His majesty I can do nothing.

 

“If I have put my confidence in gold,
And called fine gold my trust,
If I have gloated because my wealth was great,
And because my hand had secured so much;
If I have looked at the sun when it shone
Or the moon going in splendor,
And my heart became secretly enticed,
And my hand threw a kiss from my mouth,
That too would have been an iniquity calling for judgment,
For I would have denied God above.

“Have I rejoiced at the extinction of my enemy,
Or exulted when evil befell him?
“No, I have not allowed my mouth to sin
By asking for his life in a curse.
“Have the men of my tent not said,
‘Who can find one who has not been satisfied with his meat’?
“The alien has not lodged outside,
For I have opened my doors to the traveler.

It is no wonder that the Lord called Job righteous. He did good to everyone and especially to the needy who could not pay him back. He never seemed to have an attitude toward anyone because his attitude was right towards the Lord. It is no wonder that the Lord trusted Job in the worst of all trials and even when his wife told him to curse God and die he still did what was right. He could do what was right because He knew the Lord and trusted in Him.

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

Job could speak what was right about the Lord because Job knew Him and walked with Him and did what was pleasing in His sight. Let not the Lord’s wrath come on you because you do not speak what is right about the Lord and let not grief come to your house because you have not done what is right, rather in your own frustration have caused someone else grief.