A Life that Understands Suffering

There is no question that with suffering there is pain but if we can understand more of God’s perspective on suffering then it helps us endure it and remain faithful. It is in our suffering that not only are we made more like Jesus Christ but the devil will tempt us. There are two kinds of suffering. First, is the suffering we bring on ourselves by either not knowing or not doing the will of God. Ignorance does not exclude us from the consequences therefore the more knowledge we have of God’s ways then the less of this kind of suffering we will have in our life.

I Peter 2:21 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

If you sin and the consequences seem harsh then it is your due recompense.

Colossians 3:25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

The second kind of suffering is the suffering that God has allowed for His glory. You may not understand the reason here on earth but if you learn to respond to this kind of suffering then you will experience some of His glory here on earth. If you do not sin but do what is right and suffer for it then this suffering allows you to find favor with God. Favor with God is that He has turned His face toward you and will bless you. He says that the Spirit of God and glory will rest on you. You will know His presence and it is the sweetest feeling in the world. Words can not explain the comfort and peace you will feel and it will greatly minimize your suffering.

I Peter 4:12-14 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

One of the purposes of testing is to test your faith and to strengthen your faith. You might feel very weak during the testing but what the testing is showing you is where your weakness is so that you can strengthen yourself even more in the Lord. Also, so that you might be able to strengthen others when they experience similar testing of their faith.

I Peter 4:1,2 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

Another reason for your suffering is it sets you free from sin so that you will no longer live for the desires of the flesh but for the will of God. Suffering is part of the Christian life but if you know His promises then it is much easier to endure. The Lord Himself has promised to come to you.

I Peter 5:10 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.

Finally, what do you do when you are going through a time of trials and suffering? You are to thank Him for the trial and then the Lord says to ask Him for wisdom. This wonderful promise is for anyone who is suffering, whether you have caused it yourself or it is a part of His will for you and you did not do anything wrong. He says that He will give you wisdom and without reproach. Without reproach means that the Lord does not say to us, “I told you so!”. Rather, what it means, is that He is saying is that He promises to give wisdom to anyone who will ask Him and He will give it generously.

James 1:2-5 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

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.

Thanking the Lord is an expression of faith and keeps the devil from getting a foothold in your thought life by bringing the Lord into your thoughts. As mentioned earlier it is when we go through trials that we struggle the most in our thought life because we can not see clearly because of the suffering. The Lord wants to get your focus off of the pain and hurt and onto Him. He will bring you through this suffering and afterwards you will from the heart give thanks, either in this life or in the life to come. Faith comes before feeling.

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

However, the ultimate purpose of suffering is to make us like Jesus. We become like Jesus when we learn to obey Him. The pathway of obedience is suffering.

Hebrews 5:8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.

The pathway of Christlikeness is obedience.

I Peter 2:21-24 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

 

A Life that Lives Out Love

The Lord is perfect in all of his ways. He is so good to us because He always gives us a free choice. When we become a Christian we do not have to love Him. However, when we experience His unfathomable love for us why would we not want to love Him with all of our heart, soul and mind?

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

When we become a Christian the Lord sets us free. He does not set us free to do what we want but He sets us free to do as we ought. We can still become enslaved again or we can live in the freedom that He paid for with His blood.

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 live according to the flesh then we become a slave again to sin.

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.

God’s grace is what enables us to live in obedience to Him and to remain free. God’s grace became available to us through the cross. Do not allow the free choices you have to turn the grace of God into licentiousness.

Jude 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Don’t allow your freedom or liberty in Christ, which is your freedom to choose, become a stumbling block because you want to indulge your flesh.

I Corinthians 8:9 But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

If you love someone with the love of Christ then you will be more concerned about their relationship with the Lord than your own pleasures and indulgences. If you love the Lord then you will love His children.

I John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

It is by our love for one another that the world will know that we are His disciples.

John 13:34.35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 

 

A Life with a Great Love

The Lord offers us in His Word a great peace, a great reward and great goodness to be bestowed on us, but first we must receive His great love. His great love is available to all but only those who receive His Son will ever know the privilege,honor and gift of experiencing His great love by becoming His child.

I John 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.

Not only do you become His child but your Heavenly Father will love you with the same love with which He loves Jesus Christ. Unbelievable! We understand how He could love Jesus. Of course He loves Jesus because Jesus Christ is perfect but does He really love the rest of us the same way? Yes!!!

John 17:23 so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.

Once you belong to Him there is nothing that can separate you from His love.

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

Once you have His great love then He promises to give you all things. You no longer have to work for God’s favor or hope that your good will outweigh your bad. His love is a gift and everything that you receive after His great love is a gift. He wants to give to you and give to you some more.

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

God’s incredible great love is available to all. There is no one who has sinned too much or has done anything too horrible to be rejected by His great love. All have been disobedient to God. We have all sinned.

Romans 11:32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

God has loved everyone, every single person ever born, the Lord has and is offering His great love to them.

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

The Lord talks about a “time of visitation”, which means that this is the time that He is coming to you and calling to you to come to Him. Do you hear Him calling to you to come to Him or if you have strayed, calling to you to come back to Him?

Luke 19:44 …because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.

The Lord works through His children so that the world might come to Him and be saved. The world is looking for the “real thing” and observing your life to see if you are genuine or a hypocrite. Are you a real Christian or are you pretending to be something that is not really real in your life. Are you ever afraid to be transparent? The Lord wants our lives to be transparent so that others might see Jesus in us. The only way that you can be transparent is if you have a clear conscience.

I Peter 2:12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

If you want to experience the greatest love ever known and want to live a life in His great love then you must receive Him as your Lord and Savior.

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

Once you receive Him you will also experience His great goodness in your life. The Lord loves to show the world how good He is and He does it by showing His great goodness to His children, for those who fear Him and to those who take refuge in Him.

Psalm 31:19 How great is Your goodness,
Which You have stored up for those who fear You,
Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You,
Before the sons of men!

 

A Married Life Overflowing with Love

Everyone who is married longs for there to be true love in the marriage. Love is the sweet fragrance of a great marriage and the if you have love in your marriage then it truly cuts your sorrows in half and doubles your joys. Without love then life and marriage is much harder and eventually can become bitter or lifeless. Love softens the blows that life sometimes brings that are out of our control. Love is the oil in relationships and without it relationships are a grind that can wear us down. Most marriages begin with good intentions but many do not know how to live out the desires and dreams that were there at the beginning.

I John 4:7,8 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.

God is love and there is no love a part from God. We do not know love a part from the Lord and we can not love a part from the Lord Jesus Christ. There may be duty, obligation or even a selfish love a part from the Lord but there will never be an agape love which is an unselfish, unconditional love apart from Jesus Christ. God came to us through Jesus Christ to show us what true love is and how we can experience it and know it. You must have Christ in your life to love and to be loved. We are untrusting creatures and don’t even know how to receive or give love. When we come into an encounter with Jesus Christ and receive Him then we are loved just the way we are and we can learn to love others just the way they are.

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

God loves us. Christ died for us when we did not love Him and had turned our back on Him. Jesus Christ loves us just the way we are with an unconditional, agape love. We are complete in Him and do not need the approval of others. He will always have our back and will never turn His back on us. He will never leave us or forsake us, even when it feels as though all others have and we are alone.

Hebrews 13:4,5 Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”

We do not need to have the “boastful pride of man” nor do we need to fulfill the lusts of the flesh or the lusts of the eyes when we have Christ. He is our glory and He will never leave us. We do not have to ever be lonely again. Being lonely is not His will and He wants His people to have a home. He wants you to have a home.

Psalm 68:6 God makes a home for the lonely;
He leads out the prisoners into prosperity,
Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

Rebellion is simply wanting to go your own way. If you have gone your own way and you are lonely in your marriage then turn to the Lord with all of your heart. He will fill your loneliness and fill you with love for your marriage partner. He will teach you how to love His way.

Galatians 6:9,10 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

The word “good” means the “highest form of love”. The Lord will show you how to “do good” to your spouse. In due time you will reap if you do not grow weary. He will show you the opportunities to do good. The Lord will teach you.

A Life that Can Discern

Discernment is the ability to tell the difference between right and wrong, but not what the obvious is to everyone else also. With discernment you can decide before the action takes place whether something is right or wrong. It is a spiritual strength that allows you tell the difference between the spirit of good and the spirit of evil, the spirit of righteousness and the spirit of wickedness. Often the devil will disguise himself as a messenger of good. Something will look good, it will seem as though it would be good for you but it is evil. It will bring you great sorrow.

Genesis 3:4-6 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

Eve saw three good reasons to eat of the fruit that the Lord told her not to eat. However, it does not matter if there are one hundred reasons to do something, if the Lord says not to do something then you are not to do it. There is only one reason that should determine whether we should do something and the reason is, “does the Lord want us to do it?” Or, has the Lord said not to do something. We do or don’t do everything according to His Word.

Colossians 3:25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

The Lord does not show partiality. His ways are laws and they are true no matter who keeps them or who does not keep them. Just as the “law of gravity” is a physical law and does not show partiality, neither does God’s laws.

Proverbs 19:3 A person’s own foolishness leads him astray, yet his heart rages against the Lord.

A person who goes his own way or runs his own life will come into trouble by his own doing but then he will get mad at the Lord. If you find yourself saying, “Lord, why did you allow this to happen?” You need to go back and reexamine your actions to see if you violated any of the Lord’s commandments.

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

Especially if it is a big decision go to an older godly woman who will speak the truth to you and not what you want to hear. Do not go to a man other than your father or your husband. The Bible says that Eve was deceived but Adam was not deceived. if she had gone to Adam then possibly they would still be in the garden.

Psalm 119:24 Your testimonies also are my delight;
They are my counselors.

God’s Word is the only true counselor. One of His names is Counselor. Whoever you go to for counsel, they must counsel you out of God’s Word, otherwise it is not counsel but opinion, which is almost always wrong.

Isaiah 9:6 And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

The Lord is a Wonderful Counselor. Wonderful means that you will be full of wonder as you see Him and His marvelous ways.

Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

It is your spiritual senses that learn to discern good and evil. We all mess up but don’t give up. Learn from your mistakes so that you do not do it again. It takes much practice in life to mature. Don’t give up and you will become a mature Christian.

 

A Life that Responds

The Lord has called His daughters to be responders. First of all, we need to learn to respond to Him. He is the great pursuer and He longs to have a relationship with you and to fellowship with you on a daily basis and even moment by moment. He loves it when you pray to Him about everything.

Proverbs 15: 8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight.

He wants you to pray to Him about everything and not to worry about anything.

I Peter 3:4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

A lady needs to learn to cast all of her cares on Him.

I Peter 5:7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

He wants you to become a woman after His heart and to learn to respond to His heart rather than go through the motions of being religious.

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!

David was a man after God’s heart and that is why the Lord chose him to be king of Israel. The Lord will use you in a way that will bring you great joy when you learn to be a woman after God’s heart.

Acts13:22 After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’

The Lord is looking for one who will give their heart completely to Him. He will support you and you will abide in His love.

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.”

If the Lord is for you then who can be against you? You will always come out victorious. He will withhold nothing from you that you need.

Romans 8:31,32 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

 

A Life of Understanding

A life of understanding is a very exciting life. Could you imagine understanding matters that the world wonders about and yet never come to know? They are ever seeking but never coming to the knowledge of the truth.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.

The beginning of true understanding is to not lean on your own understanding. We look and perceive with our eyes and ears. All we can do is observe but not know about the inner workings of many matters in life. When we look to Him then He gives us insight into the “why”. The creator of the universe who made it all not only understands but will give to His children great understanding. For example, “why do men behave the way they do?” We know a man’s wants but what are his needs? The Lord who made men knows them better than anyone and will give you insight. The Bible says that the eyes of man are never satisfied. Once a man’s wants are satisfied then he will often go elsewhere. There are certain things that a man needs and he will generally go, stay and return to where his needs are met. The same is true for all of us. We will go where our needs are met but our wants are constantly changing.

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

If you want to understand then rather than study the desired object get to know the One who is the Creator of all things.

Exodus 35:31 And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship;

Keeping God’s commandments will give you understanding. Obedience comes before understanding. Often we want to understand and then obey but faith is obeying first and then He rewards us with understanding.

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

God’s Word is what gives understanding.

Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.

The fear of the Lord and understanding go together.

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;

Ask the Lord for understanding. King Solomon asked for understanding and it pleased the Lord so much that He gave him riches, honor and life.

I Kings 3:9 So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

He gives understanding and along with understanding comes blessing.

Job 12:13 With Him are wisdom and might; To Him belong counsel and understanding.

To depart from evil is understanding.

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

Apart from understanding, which is the knowledge of the Lord, we are like the beasts that perish.

Psalm 49:20 Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, Is like the beasts that perish.

One who seeks understanding has a heart to obey the Lord.

Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law And keep it with all my heart.

Do you struggle with confusion? The opposite of confusion is understanding. The Lord says that He is not a God of confusion. When you find yourself saying, “I am so confused,” then stop what you are doing and ask the Lord to give you understanding and seek Him in His Word. He wants to give you the knowledge of Him and show you understanding.

I Corinthians 2:9, 14-16 but just as it is written, Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

The truly spiritual Christian appraises all things yet he himself is appraised by no one. The non Christian, or natural man, does not accept nor understand the things of the Lord.

 

A Life of a Peacemaker

The Lord wants all of us to be peacemakers. He even says that the peacemakers have a special blessing. A peacemaker is a characteristic of the children of God.

Matthew 5:9  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

This word peacemaker means that the Lord uses this person to help bring others into peace with God. One of the aspects of the Christian life is that once we were His enemies but now we are at peace with God.

Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

The fruit of being right with God is that He declares us righteous because of our faith in Jesus Christ and what He did for each one of us on the cross.

James 3:18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Sometimes the Lord will use you to plant the seed or even to water, but God is the one who causes the growth.

I Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.

If you are wise then you will invest your life in eternal values. There are only two things that are eternal and they are the souls of men and the Word of God. These will last for all eternity. Are you reaching out in some way to see others come into His kingdom. The Lord has not called everyone to be evangelists but He has called us all to build His kingdom.

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls.

The Lord wants us to do this so much that He promises us that if we will seek His kingdom and His righteousness then He will provide everything that we need for our life.

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.

Are you anxious for your needs? The Lord cares for you more than the birds of the air or the flowers of the field. He does not want you to be anxious but He wants you to build His kingdom. He knows what will make you the happiest and that is living for something much bigger than yourself.

Luke 16:9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of worldly wealth so that when it fails, they may welcome you into eternal dwellings.

The Lord says that those who come to know Him through the money that you use to share the Gospel and build his kingdom, those very people will welcome you into heaven. He has given you seed to sow, where the fruit is righteousness. Maybe the saddest people in heaven will be those who have no friends to welcome them into heaven.

II Corinthians 9:10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;

 

 

A Life of Favor

The Bible says that favor is better than silver or gold but how do we receive favor? Favor will give you more opportunities than what money can buy and open doors for you. It is basically not what you know but who you know.

Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold.

There are two things that are required to find favor in the sight of God and man. These two qualities are lovingkindness and truth. If you have these then not only will you receive favor but you will have a good reputation. Is everything that you do, done in love? Are you honest in all of your dealings and words? A little white lie is still a lie.

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.

Are you seeking the Lord and desiring to know His ways? You bless yourself if you are and if you do not then you bring pain and injury to yourself. If you really don’t want to hear His ways then you love death.

Proverbs 8:32-36 “Now therefore, O sons, listen to me,
For blessed are they who keep my ways.
“Heed instruction and be wise,
And do not neglect it.
“Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at my doorposts.
 “For he who finds me finds life
And obtains favor from the Lord.
“But he who sins against me injures himself;
All those who hate me love death.”

One of the easiest and best ways to learn His ways is to have a daily quiet time or in other words, when you have a quiet time then you are listening to the Lord, watching for Him every day and waiting for Him. You will not be disappointed. Start with trying to be faithful to spend time in His Word each day even if for only five minutes. Then spend time in prayer asking Him to help you each day. After you have been faithful for a month then try to increase to ten minutes.

Psalm 5:12 For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield.

His favor is also a protection from evil people and from making the wrong decisions. You will never regret seeking the Lord and His favor.

Genesis 6:8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

Do not be afraid to stand alone. Just as Noah stood alone, the Lord took care of him. He will care for you no matter what storms rage or whatever the circumstances are in life.


 

 

A Life that is Helped and Helps

We all need to help and to be helped. We need to help each other stay on God’s path. We need each other and the Lord has provisions for us. There are three layers of relationships that ladies need to help them stay on God’s path and do what is right.

Hebrew 13:7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the outcome of their way of life, imitate their faith.

The top layer are those whom you look up to and respect. If you can have a loving relationship with this person then that is great but sometimes it may be someone you admire from a distance whose life inspires you. However, you definitely need some people in the upper layer who love you and will pray for you and keep you accountable. This person sees your needs and wants to see you grow in the Lord. Find people who are growing in their relationship with the Lord whom you want to be like and you want to go where they are going in life. Be careful who you aspire to be like because you will become like the person you allow to teach you. Choose godly women who love the Lord. Look at the fruit in their lives.

Luke 6:40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

The second layer are the friends that you choose. This layer will love you and want to be with you. Both of you agree that you want to be faithful to the Lord, which means that you want to be faithful to honor your parents or husband, or you both want to be faithful in school or on the job.

Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, unless they be agreed?”

You both want to follow the Lord and you stimulate one another to do that very thing. You will stick with each other through thick and thin, no matter what the circumstances.

Proverbs 18: 24 …there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

You also want your closest friends to be wise people who seek the Lord, fear and respect Him and want to be a disciple of Jesus. A wise person lives each day as though it is his last so that he will be ready to meet the Lord.

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

A fool lives as if there is no God.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

Who you choose as your friends is one of the most important decisions you will make in life. Choose right and you will treasure them and you will bless each other. Choose wrong and you will end up in situations you never intended to be and you will go places you never wanted to go. A true friend is more concerned about your relationship with the Lord than your relationship with them.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times,

The last layer is the bottom layer and this layer are the girls or young ladies who look up to you. This layer keeps you on the straight and narrow because you do not want to disappoint them. Often they think that you can do no wrong. Of course you know the truth about yourself but they truly believe the best in you. Also, this layer is important because the Lord tells us to reach out to others and especially to those who can not pay you back. The Lord Himself will make sure that your life is watered if you water others.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.

The Lord Himself was like this.

Philippians 2:3-5 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,

If you are missing a layer then ask the Lord to provide and then seek out opportunities to meet people. This principle is seen in life with grandparents, parents and children. Also, Jesus looked to the Father and had the disciples, especially Peter, James and John as friends and reached out to the multitude.

An easy way to remember this is to call it the “oreo” principle. (If you like oreo cookies.) The top layer are those who love you in spite of your faults and the bottom layer are those who love you but do not see your faults. Then the sweet stuff in the middle are your friends who see the good, the bad and the ugly but who love you anyway and who will be there for you. Can it get any better? How is your “oreo” principle?