A Life that is Wise and Upright

Do you want to live a life that is pure and peaceable, gentle and reasonable and full of mercy and good fruits? A life that is unwavering and without hypocrisy? Such a life is possible but only to those who have been able to take hold of God’s wisdom and live by it.

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

This life is a sweet life and attractive not only to the Lord but to everyone who meets this person. This verse describes the life of Christ. He offers it to you. Yet, how do you get it? The Lord is very gracious and says that all you have to do is ask Him and He will give it to you and not only to you but to anyone who will ask Him.

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

However, how do you ask? You need to ask in faith and it will be given to you and given to you generously, that means He will give you as much as you need and ask for.

James 1:6-8 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Is it hard to ask in faith without any doubting? No, it is only hard if the person is double minded, for that person has doubts and is unstable in their faith. What does it mean to be double minded? It means that you can not make up your mind what you want. For instance, you may think, “maybe I should do this or maybe I should do that”. The problem with this kind of thinking is that it is all about what you want and not what the Lord wants. A person who is double minded is not fully surrendered to the Lord.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

A double minded person does not have a pure heart. A pure heart is a fully surrendered heart to the Lord. A single minded person has a pure heart and only one thought and that is “Lord, what do you want?” The cure for being double minded is to fully surrender you life and will to the Lord. It is to say, “not my will, but Thy will be done”. What is the outcome of a pure heart? You will see the Lord. The Lord wants every thing that we do to be a response to Him.

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

If you see the Lord correctly then your response will be correct. This is what it means to be upright in our thoughts, actions and heart.

Psalm 11:7 For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face.

An upright person is one who sees the Lord and responds correctly in obedience to Him and the outcome is righteousness, that is doing life right. You won’t have doubts but you will have peace, quietness and confidence.

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

You will find that not only will the Lord give wisdom to the person who is upright with a pure heart but He will also not withhold any good thing from this person.

Psalm 84:11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Remembers His Name

One of the most powerful promises that the Lord gives to His people is that in every place where His name is remembered He will come to the people and bless them.

Exodus 20:24 …in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you.

One of the most frightening consequences is when the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is removed from a place or people. When you see His name removed then you will see the removable of His blessing from a place and people. The Lord wants us to remember His name in all that we do and wherever we go.

Daniel 2:20 Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.

The Lord wants us to bless His name. He says that those who use His name in cursing will be punished.

Exodus 20:7 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

Remember His name every time you can and wherever you go, night and day. In other words, you can not talk about His great name too much or call on His name too often. Sing praises to Him as you go through the day. Put His Word in your heart so that He will captivate your heart and thoughts. Give thanks to His name, not only when you eat but in everything give thanks to Him.

Isaiah 12:4 And in that day you will say,
“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name.
Make known His deeds among the peoples;
Make them remember that His name is exalted.”

His name is worthy of all glory and He wants us to praise His name and ascribe the glory that is due His name.

I Chronicles 16:29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come before Him;
Worship the Lord in holy array.

We can either worship Him and call on His name now or we will honor Him who is worthy when He comes in judgment but it will not be the same. He wants our mouths and hearts now to praise Him.

Psalm 145:21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

The Lord alone is exalted and He mercy is towards those who give glory to His name and who fear Him.

Luke 1:49,50 “For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is upon generation after generation
Toward those who fear Him.

When we go after other gods or if we do not listen to spiritual leaders who will teach and preach His word then we will forget His name. Make sure that the Bible teachers and preachers that you sit under preach and teach the Word of God and proclaim His name lest you forget the name of the Lord. They need to be sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to Him.

Jeremiah 23:25-30 “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, ‘I had a dream, I had a dream!’ How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart, who intend to make My people forget My name by their dreams which they relate to one another, just as their fathers forgot My name because of Baal? The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth. What does straw have in common with grain?” declares the Lord.“Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock? Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the Lord, “who steal My words from each other.

There is none like the Lord our God. He is to be honored and feared by all.

Jeremiah 10:6,7 There is none like You, O Lord;
You are great, and great is Your name in might.
Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
Indeed it is Your due!
For among all the wise men of the nations
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.

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 Wins

Everyone wants to wins. The Lord wants you to win and so He tells us how you can live like a true winner. A graceful wreath is what the Olympian winners used to wear and even today the winners of the Olympics wear an ornament around their neck.

Proverbs 1:8,9 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;
Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
And ornaments about your neck.

This father’s instruction to his son, the very first thing that he addresses is who his friends will be and what to do if sinners try to entice him.

Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent.

This father knows that people will want to lead us astray and there are certain people that we need to stay away from and they are the ones who gain by violating the Word of God. You will win or lose in life by the friends you choose.

Proverbs 1:19 So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence;
It takes away the life of its possessors.

The opposite of gaining by violating God’s ways is wisdom. This father knows his child needs wisdom. We desperately need wisdom. The naive person just does not have knowledge and they don’t understand the need for knowledge. To the naive person ignorance is bliss. Scoffers turn their back on knowledge and fools are hostile to knowledge and don’t want to hear it at all.

Proverbs 1:20-22 Wisdom shouts in the street,
She lifts her voice in the square;
At the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings:
How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?

People don’t love the knowledge of God’s ways because it brings reproof. However, the Lord has a sweet promise for those who will turn to Him and receive His reproof. He will pour out His Spirit on their lives and make His Words known to them.

Proverbs 1:23 “Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

If you want to know God’s Words then He tells you that you must turn to Him and listen to His reproof. Reproof is correction and it may be painful but not nearly as painful as the consequence of not listening to His wisdom.

Proverbs 1:24-30 Because I called and you refused,
I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;
And you neglected all my counsel
And did not want my reproof;
I will also laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your dread comes,
When your dread comes like a storm
And your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord.
They would not accept my counsel,
They spurned all my reproof.

Turn to Him now and call upon Him while He is near. Call on Him before the anxious moments come and the stressful times are upon you. Choose to be naive and choose death. Choose to be foolish and choose destruction.

Proverbs 1:31,32 So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way
And be satiated with their own devices.
 “For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them.

Fill your heart with His wisdom. Don’t neglect your time with Him. Choose Him and you will choose life. This father knows that his child needs wisdom to live securely and to be at ease from the dread of evil. Do you struggle with anxiety? Do you listen to the news of the world and it puts a dreadful feeling in you? The Lord does not want you to live this way. Listen to Him and learn His ways.

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

 

A Life that Reaches Out

Jesus Christ has touched your life if you are a Christian. He reached out and touched you through someone else. When Jesus walked on earth He touched the lives of many people. He was not afraid to reach out and touch others.

Psalm 72:13 He will have compassion on the poor and needy, and the lives of the needy he will save.

The godly lady learns how to reach out to the poor and needy. Some of us have to learn how to reach out and touch but for others it comes more naturally or they were brought up in an affectionate and loving environment. Either way, however we learn to touch and reach out, it is something God has called us to do and will bring healing and love to others.

Proverbs 31:20 She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy.

The Lord has called us all to reach out to someone. Ask Him to put someone on your heart who He wants you to reach out to. The guilt of Sodom was that she did not reach out to the poor and needy, thus she became haughty and immoral. She and the other cities around her had abundant food, arrogance and time but rather than reaching out to the poor and needy she became prideful, indulgent and self centered.

Ezekiel 16:49,50 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.

Jesus did not reach out to everyone but He touched the poor and needy and the children.

Matthew 19:13-15 Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” After laying His hands on them, He departed from there.

Jesus even touched the lepers who were considered the untouchables.

Luke 5:13 And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy left him.

Jesus allowed Himself to be touched by His disciples. John wrote at the beginning of His letter that they touched Jesus. Jesus was the Word of Life that became flesh and dwelt among men on earth. He reached out and touched and He was allowed to be touched.

I John 1:1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—

All of us are at different levels of maturity in our Christian life and have different gifts. If you are beginning to grow in the Lord, ask him to help you. If you need healing so that He can use you to bring healing to others then ask Him for healing. He is the Great Healer and He restores us. He has blessed you and He wants you to bless Him and be a blessing to others.

Psalm 103:1-4 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

 

A Life that Gains Understanding

Understanding is the knowledge of Him that the Lord gives to us but understanding can also be taken away from us.

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

Wisdom and understanding go together and the lady is blessed who gains wisdom and understanding.

Proverbs 3:13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.

With understanding comes less discipline. Discipline is painful.

Proverbs 10:13 On the lips of the discerning, wisdom is found, But a rod is for the back of him who lacks understanding.

The Lord gives understanding.

II Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Jesus came that we might have understanding.

I John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Immorality and indulging our flesh takes away understanding.

Hosea 4:11 Harlotry, wine and new wine take away the understanding.

Without understanding we are ruined.

Hosea 4:14 …So the people without understanding are ruined.

A true spiritual leader, who is a shepherd of God’s people will feed His people with the knowledge of Him. Go where you will be fed spiritually. The Lord has not called His shepherds to entertain or to even be popular but to be faithful. Jesus said to Peter before He departed, “if you love Me, feed My sheep”.

Jeremiah 3:15 Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding.

In this world where we don’t know who to trust, we know that we can trust Him but we must know Him and understand His ways. He promises to deliver us from those who are deceitful if we know Him and have understanding.

Proverbs 2:2-12 Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
And discover the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Guarding the paths of justice,
And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
Then you will discern righteousness and justice
And equity and every good course.
For wisdom will enter your heart
And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
Discretion will guard you,
Understanding will watch over you,
To deliver you from the way of evil,
From the man who speaks perverse things;

Make your ear attentive, cry to Him and lift your voice for understanding. Seek understanding. He will be your shield and preserve your ways. You will discern the right course to take and discretion will guard you. Understanding will watch over you to deliver you from the way of evil and from men who would lie to you and try to deceive you to take advantage of you.

A Life of Wisdom

Wisdom comes from the Lord. It is one of the gifts that He promises to anyone who will ask Him and He will give it generously…and without reproach. What a beautiful picture of who the Lord is and how different He is from many of us. He gives when we do not deserve and He does not remind us that we do not deserve His goodness!

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

Wisdom is the right application of knowledge in any situation. When we act with wisdom there is great benefit to not only us but to everyone involved. Wisdom sets things right side up. Have you ever felt as though your life was a mess or upside down? You need wisdom.

Colossians 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

All of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found in Him. There is no wisdom apart from Him. When you know Him then you have access to all of the treasures of wisdom. His wisdom is a picture of who He is.

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

When we become like Christ then wisdom will characterize our lives.

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

If you live according to God’s wisdom then you do not have to constantly be defending yourself to others but your life will manifest the fruit of wisdom.

Matthew 11:19 …Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

Your life will be vindicated by its deeds if it is built on God’s Word.

Proverbs 24:3 By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established;

There is no wisdom that will go against God’s Word. If someone says that something is okay or gives advice that is not in accordance with God’s Word then it is not wisdom so do not act on it even if they are in a position of an advisor, such as a pastor, a Christian counselor, etc. Examine what everyone says by what is written in Scripture.

Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the Lord.

He who loves herself will get wisdom. Getting wisdom is one of the most thrilling aspects of your relationship with the Lord. You will understand cause and effect. Rather than deal with the symptom of problems you will be able to understand the root of problems.

Proverbs 19:8 He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good.

With wisdom you will see life more from God’s perspective. You will love life and enjoy it and want to know more of God’s ways. Wisdom makes life pleasant.

Proverb 2:10 For wisdom will enter your heart And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;

Wisdom is how to live life in this world with less pain. Just like with any sport, the better you get at it the more you enjoy it. It is the same with wisdom, the more you apply wisdom to life then the more you will enjoy doing life.

Proverbs 10:23 Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool, And so is wisdom to a man of understanding.

May you ask Him for wisdom and be blessed. He wants to give His wisdom to you.

Proverbs 3:13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.