A Life with Understanding

The Lord is good and there is nothing twisted in His ways. However, if you do not know Him then you may think that He is not fair or that He may even be twisted in what He does. Not so, He is just and He is good all of the time. This is His nature and who He is. All of the utterances of His mouth are right and there is nothing crooked or perverted in them. Those who have understanding know this.

Proverbs 8:8,9 “All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness;
There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.
“They are all straightforward to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.

A person who has understanding will come to Him daily and even moment by moment will commune with Him. They will want to live in His presence and will not have to be like the horse or mule that requires something to make them come to God.

Psalm 32:9 Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, Otherwise they will not come near to you.

The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding and it is sweeter than honey to the soul. There is no comparison to knowing Him and when you learn to live in His presence and in the knowledge of Him then you will truly know that nothing compares with the knowledge of Him.

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

The way to get more understanding is to keep his commandments. Many people want to understand His commandments before they do them but actually the obedience comes first and then the understanding. The Lord tells us to “not speak in the hearing of a fool lest he despise the wisdom of our words” so if He tells us to be that way then how much more will He not teach a fool His ways. It is foolish to not obey Him and do what He says.

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

Understanding is what is supposed to characterize the people of God.

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.’

What characterizes a person who understands and knows the Lord is that they will keep His commandments. To the degree that you keep His commandments is to the degree that you know Him.

I Chronicles 22:12 Only the Lord give you discretion and understanding, and give you charge over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God.

To depart from evil is understanding. If you tolerate sin in your life then not only does the Lord not “understand” or excuse it but it is you who does not understand and know Him. How easy it is to say when we sin, “God will understand”. That is a lie from the devil.

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

The Lord loves you and He wants you to depart from evil because He knows that is for your good and for the good of everyone else. The Lord hates evil and wants us to hate it as well. Evil causes grief and He sent His Son to save us from evil. He has compassion on all.

Job 36:5 “Behold, God is mighty but does not despise any; He is mighty in strength of understanding.

Do you know Him and have understanding? Go to the Lord and ask Him for understanding that you might know Him. Read His Word and pray that you might understand it. He loves you and has come to give you light, life and understanding, which is the knowledge of Him. He makes your life sweet and brings life to the spirit and healing to the soul.

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

 

A Life that Receives Instruction

The Bible describes a fool as one who will not receive instruction. A wise person receives instruction, benefits from it and is blessed. A wise person seeks out instruction and is grateful for it. A wise person’s life is saved through instruction. The Lord wants to give us instruction on how to live that we may truly experience life and not death.

Psalm 78:1 Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

He will become your gold and your treasure when you learn to receive His instruction. Good will come to you and you will be at peace with God. He will restore you where you are broken. You will find delight in Him and He will hear your prayers. He will become your Savior and your Deliverer. Return to Him if you have strayed from Him and receive His instruction.

Job 22:21-30 “Yield now and be at peace with Him;
Thereby good will come to you.
“Please receive instruction from His mouth
And establish His words in your heart.
“If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored;
If you remove unrighteousness far from your tent,
And place your gold in the dust,
And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks,
Then the Almighty will be your gold
And choice silver to you.
“For then you will delight in the Almighty
And lift up your face to God.
“You will pray to Him, and He will hear you;
And you will pay your vows.
“You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you;
And light will shine on your ways.
“When you are cast down, you will speak with confidence,
And the humble person He will save.
“He will deliver one who is not innocent,
And he will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”

Don’t be a fool but learn to fear the Lord. He is good and He loves you. He will forgive you of any wrong doing and He will instruct you in the way you should go.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

When He gives you instruction then do it, exactly as He says.

Proverbs 4:13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life.

Don’t neglect your time in His Word for it is through His Word that He will give you instruction.

Proverbs 8:33 “Heed instruction and be wise, And do not neglect it.

He came that you might have life and His instruction will keep you on the path of life. Is there something that He has been trying to tell you?

Proverbs 10:17 He is on the path of life who heeds instruction, But he who ignores reproof goes astray.

Don’t ignore what the Old Testament has to say for it was written for our instruction so that through perseverance and the encouragement of His Word we might have hope.

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

The Lord has put people in our lives to give us instruction. Listen to them. For they will give an account to the Lord.

I Thessalonians 5:12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,

Finally, as the Lord has called all of us to instruct others, let it be done according to God’s Word, with great patience.

II Timothy 4:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

Always, let the goal of our instruction be love…that others might love the Lord and excel in loving others. That the world might know that we are Christians by our love for one another.

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

 

 

A Life of Character

There are five characteristics that should be evidenced in a Christian. These should be spoken of and made manifest in their life.

Psalm 40:10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.

We are not to hide His righteousness within our hearts. We are to live a righteous life which means that we are to do what is right. The opposite of righteousness is wickedness and that is doing what is wrong. It is not our righteousness, which is self righteousness, but it is His righteousness. When we become a Christian we start learning His ways and living by them. Do we fail at times? Yes, but it should grieve us and cause us to want to please Him even more.

Psalm 37:3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

A life of faith will be characterized by His faithfulness. We are to cultivate faithfulness and feed on His faithfulness. Our faithfulness to Him and His faithfulness to us should be one of the hallmarks of a Christian. Do you speak of His faithfulness to others?

I Chronicles 16:23-25 Sing to the Lord, all the earth;
Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.
Tell of His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
He also is to be feared above all gods.

When we become a Christian, He not only saves us for all eternity but He saves us everyday. Are you proclaiming His salvation?

Lamentations 3:22,23 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

His lovingkindnesses indeed never cease! When someone loves someone then it can’t be concealed. They talk about the one they love and that person’s love is their delight. The Lord loves you so much and His love for you never ceases. Do you ever cease talking about His love?

John 14:6,7 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

Jesus is the Truth and when we are filled with Jesus then we will be filled with truth. His truth should characterize all that we do and say. His truth should fill our heart. We should love and long for His truth. Do you conceal His truth from others? Are you afraid at times to speak God’s truth?

Luke 6:45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

A Christian should be characterized by His righteousness, His faithfulness, His salvation, His lovingkindness and His truth because these are the things that fill his heart.

A Life with Love is Faithful

Love is not a feeling, although there certainly are feelings that come and go in love, but love is not based on feelings. Love is a faithful commitment to the one loved. God is faithful and it is from Him that we learn faithfulness. Faithfulness is based on trust and love grows with faithfulness. Faithfulness means to be full of faith and when we are full of faith in the Lord then we will be faithful to do what he has called us to do in our commitments in loving others.

I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. John 17:4

All of us have different work that we need to accomplish and be faithful to fulfill. When we do the work that God has given us to do then He is glorified. The Lord gives different instructions for each person in different relationships. A friend is to love at all times. A person that has a close friend through life is rich indeed.

A friend loves at all times, Proverbs 17:17a

The instructions to the husband and the wife is that they are to love and respect one another. This is the main work that God has called the husband and wife to do. When they do this then God is glorified in their marriage and they are blessed.

Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33

When your spouse is your best friend, favorite companion, lover, soulmate, teammate, and biggest fan then you are really blessed. Even more, when you are these to your spouse then you are still more blessed for the Lord Himself said that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35b

However, just as love is not stagnant but needs to grow and mature, we need to learn how to be the husband or wife that the Lord has designed for us. It is a work of faith that we learn as we mature in our relationships and as a person. It is in the early years of marriage that a couple learns to express their faithfulness to one another in learning to love each other and their faithfulness to God by doing the work in marriage of loving and respecting that God has called them to do.

and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, I Thessalonians 3:12a

A strong and loving marriage in the later years will be determined by the early years of marriage when the couple faithfully learns to love each other and meet one another’s needs. These years are sometimes more challenging with the demands that are there with jobs, children and often when money is short but it is during these years as the couple learns to work together and love each other that they become one in spirit, soul and body. Their hearts become knit together in love and the many joys, sorrows and struggles that they share will make their marriage a strong one that will last a lifetime…”until death do they part”.

A Life with Love Reaps Love

A person reaps what they sow. However, just as when we sow seeds in a garden there is a delay in the reaping so also often it is not until later that we reap the fruit of what we have sown in relationships. If we sow seeds that are good then we will reap good fruit, but likewise, if we sow seeds that are not good then we will reap fruit that is not good.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. Galatians 6:7

God was not mocked in the garden of Eden when He said that man could live in the garden and enjoy all of the blessings of living in His love and in fellowship with Him. He was true to His Word. He is always true to His Word. When He told man that if he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil then he would die. Man sowed disobedience and reaped death. God was true to His Word.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16,17

God was not being mean, in fact, it is love when we are faithful to our word. We can trust God because He is faithful to His Word. A child learns not to trust a parent when they do not stick to their word, either in promising something good or saying that a consequence will follow disobedience. For this reason, it is important in relationships to be faithful to our words so that when we say something we carry it out. Trust is built on faithfulness and love is built on trust.

God is faithful, I Corinthians 1:9a

So, God is not mocked. If we sow love in our relationships then we will reap love. Some people will reap sooner and some people will reap later but we will all reap what we sow. The time period before a couple gets married is very important because they are sowing the seeds that they will reap later. A marriage staying together is often determined by what was sown in the relationship before marriage. People do in their youth what they later regret in life but it is too late to take back the bad seeds that were sown.

Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. II Timothy 2:22

The word “lusts” means desires. When one lusts after what God has not yet given to them and they fulfill their lusts then they have sinned and sown seeds that they will reap later. The fruit of lust is sin and the result of sin is death. When a man or woman does not pursue what is right, which is righteousness, or pursue faithfulness, love and peace then he or she will succumb to their lusts.

But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. James 1:14-16

It is of the utmost importance for a young man and woman to learn God’s ways when they are young so that they can sow the good seeds in their relationships before they get married. Defrauding a person is obtaining something by deceit. When a young man takes before marriage what belongs in marriage then he is defrauding the young lady that he supposedly loves. He is sowing bad seeds that he will reap later. When a young woman gives to a man what is to be saved for marriage then she also is sowing seeds of destruction. Often when a marriage fails, people will wonder what happened and forget the seeds that were sown earlier. When a couple waits on the Lord for the gifts of marriage that He has for them then they will be blessed and their children will be blessed. If a man waits until his wedding day for the gift of physical intimacy then he will outshine the sun in his happiness.

In them He has placed a tent for the sun,
Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; Psalm 19:4b,5a

A young man and a young woman rob themselves of the love and joy that God has designed for them in the gift of marriage. Marriage can be a taste of heaven and is the sweetest and most intimate relationship on earth when it is done right. God is not mocked. Marriage is meant to be a sowing and reaping of love. The more that love is sown then the more the couple wants to sow love. It is the most beautiful love cycle that God has created between two people.

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9

One of the wonderful aspects of God is that He always gives us a chance to be changed. Until the day we die we can come to Him in faith and ask His forgiveness. Repentance is acknowledging that we have failed and turning away from our own way to following the Lord and His ways. Faith is coming to Him and asking Him to forgive us and to take control of our lives. If we have not been sowing what is right it is not too late to start today. Start sowing the seeds of love in your relationships. Love is of God and He will teach you how to love in His Word. If you are not married then do it right and you will be eternally glad. You will be blessed, your future spouse will be blessed and your children will be blessed.

Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. Luke 6:47,48

God is not mocked. If we act on His Words then our marriages will be loving and will stand strong when the storms come. God is faithful to His Word and we will reap what we have sown, whether it is good or bad. When we are faithful to sow the seeds of obedience to His Words then we reap the good fruit and our lives be strong and our relationships will be filled with love.

A Life that Resists

The devil has already been defeated but he is still trying to cause as much grief as he can. For this reason he is called the evil one. The word evil means to cause grief and the Bible says that hell is one of the things that is never satisfied. Sheol is another word for hell.

Proverbs 27:20a Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,

Satan is going to be cast into hell with all the demons and he is trying to take as many people as possible.

Matthew 25:41 Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

As mentioned earlier the devil was defeated when Christ went to the cross. This was spoken of in Genesis and is the first reference to Jesus Christ coming. He came to bruise the devil on the head.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

The Bible says that the devil roams to and fro throughout the earth looking for someone to destroy.

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

Satan comes like a thief, when you least expect him and when you are at a weak moment. If he can not rob you of salvation then he will seek to rob you of your joy and cause you to be a defeated Christian. Christians are defeated when they compromise.

John 10:10a The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

Christians are useless in the kingdom of God when they compromise. A stream that has been trampled by animals is worthless to drink out of and so is a polluted well.

Proverbs 25:26 Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.

However, the Lord tells us to resist the devil and he will flee.

I Peter 5:9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

We resist the devil through the Word of God. It is the sword of the Spirit and Jesus Himself used the Word of God when He was tempted by the devil.

Matthew 4:3-10 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will command His angels concerning You’; and‘On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”

After you have suffered a little while then the Lord Himself will come to you and comfort you. Resist the devil by keeping firm in your faith and standing on the Word of God. Don’t compromise. Cry out to the Lord to help you. Quote the Word of God out loud or read it out loud.

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.

After you have seen His love and faithfulness you will be strengthened in your faith and now you are to strengthen and encourage other Christians. We need each other.

Luke 22:31,32 Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Jesus is praying for you that your faith will not fail.

 

 

 

 

A Life with Love Does Not Disgrace

To disgrace someone is the opposite of giving someone grace. Love is gracious and so to disgrace someone is to not show them love but to shame them. To shame someone is to make their sins and shortcomings known but grace covers up the sin of others and their shame. God is gracious and showed Adam and Eve grace from the very beginning after they had sinned. Because of their sin they were filled with shame and were afraid so they did themselves from God.

Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” Genesis 3:9.10

Sin brings shame and disgrace.

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

Our conscience bears witness against us when we sin and although we try to rationalize it or hide it we still know that what we have done is wrong. When the nonChristian appears before God for judgment then it will be their own conscience that will bear witness against them. The Lord knows not only everything that we have done but also the secrets of our heart. Nothing is hidden from Him.

For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. Romans 2:14-16

Sin also brings fears and even though we may try to bury our fears and forget them they still will resurface at times. When the Lord takes away our sin then He also takes our fears. Adam and Eve were fearful and ashamed because of their sin.

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21

The Lord was gracious and full of compassion for Adam and Eve. He knew they were naked and afraid and so He spoke to them and provided for them by clothing them.

the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. James 5:11b

When Jesus came into the world, He came to show us what God was like and to show us God’s love. Jesus Christ was full of grace and truth.

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. John 1:14

Just as disgrace and shame are the same so grace and love are the same. Grace is the expression of love and love covers sin. God loved us by sending Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, to take away our sin and to cover our sin through His death on the cross for us, which was the expression of God’s love and grace.

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8

When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior then all of our sins are taken away, even the secret sins of our hearts. We are forgiven and our sins are covered, never to be made known and our conscience is cleansed before God. This is how God has loved us and this is how He wants us to love one another.

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

One aspect of the definition of righteousness is doing life right and living according to God’s ways. When Joseph thought that Mary had been unfaithful to him, he was hurt and could not take her as his wife, but Joseph, being a “righteous” man desired to send her away secretly, rather than shame her publicly.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. Matthew 1:18,19

Just as sin is a disgrace to any people so also righteousness exalts a person. When we live and love according to God’s ways then others will see Jesus Christ in us. When a marriage is filled with God’s love then there will be much grace shown to the other and sins will be covered up rather than made known to others. To love is to be like God and when we are like God then we will love. God is love and love is what defines the Christian and the Christ centered marriage and family.

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. John 13:34,35

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 with Love Hears Voice of Love

When Adam and Eve lived in the garden before they sinned they heard God’s voice. It was the voice of comfort and the voice of a loving God who cared for them. They exchanged the voice of a loving God to hear the voices of their own accusations. When the love is gone in relationships then blame and accusations come in. Where there is sin there will also be blame and accusations.

And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Genesis 3:11,12

Confession and repentance is taking the blame of one’s own sin. No one can make us sin. Adam sinned on his own. Eve did not make him sin. He knew that what he was doing was wrong.

And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. I Timothy 2:14

When we know the right thing to do and we do not do it then we have sinned. Adam knew the right thing to do but he did not do it.

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17

Sin blocks us from hearing God’s voice. Sin blocks us from knowing God’s presence. Sin blocks us from experiencing God’s love. It was not until our sin was taken away that we could once again hear God’s voice, know His presence and experience His love.

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

Those who receive Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, have their sin taken away and are no longer separated from God. They can hear His voice, know His presence and experience His love. They are born again and become His child. The relationship that was lost in the garden when Adam and Eve sinned is once again restored through Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection.

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. John 1:12,13

They hear His voice because He also becomes their Good Shepherd.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. John 10:27,28

Jesus came so that Satan could never again snatch those who become His children away through deception or sin or any other means. Once someone becomes His child then they will never perish and be lost again. He holds them in His hand and no one can snatch them our of His hand. One way of knowing if you are God’s child is that you will want to follow Jesus and obey Him.

A Life with a Citizenship

This is not our home nor is our citizenship in this world. From the beginning of those who lived by faith they made it clear that their citizenship is not of this world but they are looking forward to their heavenly city and home.

Hebrews 11:16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

The Lord has prepared a city for us and He has described what a citizen of this city looks like in His word. He asks what this citizen looks like in Psalm 15.

Psalm 15:1 O Lord, who may abide in Your tent?
Who may dwell on Your holy hill?

In other words, what does the person look like who will live with Him in His city?

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

He does what is right and walks with integrity. He is honest in all of His dealings and the way this is done is that he speaks the truth to himself first within his own heart. The only way that he can do this is if God’s word is in his heart.

Psalm 40:8 I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law is within my heart.

So, not only does he love the Lord with all of his heart, soul and mind but he loves his neighbor with a Christlike love. His neighbor is every person that he comes in contact with, whether it is in a store or where he lives. The meaning of evil is to cause grief. He does not cause grief through bad mouthing someone or any other way. He is also loyal to his friends.

Psalm 15:3 He does not slander with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;

We are not to hate anyone but what this is saying is that we do not give honor to a reprobate but we honor those who fear the Lord. There are a lot of people who are reprobates and do not seek the Lord. What about the books you read and the songs you listen to…are the authors and composers men and women of God?

Psalm 15:4 In whose eyes a reprobate is despised,
But who honors those who fear the Lord;
He swears to his own hurt and does not change;

Also, another big thing to the Lord is that a citizen of His keeps their word even when it hurts. Have you made a commitment and then changed your mind? You keep the commitment. You swear to your own hurt so that you do not bring dishonor to our King.

Psalm 15:5 He does not put out his money at interest,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things will never be shaken.

The Lord gives those who live according to His laws a promise that they will never be shaken. You will find that there will be an amazing peace that comes over your life on a daily basis as you live according to His ways. When you violate His ways then you have not loved someone and you have brought grief to someone. Do not minimize your sin by saying that “we are under grace”. Grace was never meant to excuse your sin. Confess your shortcomings to Him. He will forgive you and help you learn to do what is right. He did not just save you so that you would become His child and a citizen of His kingdom but He saved you so that you would be able to live as a child of God and a citizen of His country. He wants you to represent Him to the world as His child and His ambassador.

Isaiah 33:15-17 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;
He will dwell on the heights,
His refuge will be the impregnable rock;
His bread will be given him,
His water will be sure.

Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will behold a far-distant land.

He wants you to see Him before you get to your heavenly home. He wants you to see the King in His beauty and wants you to behold that far distant land just as the great men and women of faith who have gone before us did.

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

To sum it up, the child of God and citizen of heaven has clean hands, a pure heart and a clear conscience.