A Life that Dies…but God

Two of the most powerful words in the Bible are “But God”. These are always used in reference to something that God does that we can not do.

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

But God…loves you just the way you are. When you are at your worst His love is the same. When you were His enemy He loved you and when you turned your back on Him He did not turn His back on you. God’s love never changes for you. There is nothing you can do to turn His love away from you but it keeps calling to you. If you will turn to Him then you will experience His incredible love again and again.

Ephesians 2:4-7 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

But God…when we were dead in our sins He made us alive through Christ so that He might show even more how great His grace is and kindness toward us in Christ. Becoming His child is only the beginning. It is forgiveness but also it is being made alive to live the life He wants to give us. Before we become His child and alive in Him, we are dead to the things of the Lord and His ways and do not desire Him. We are selfish and it is all about us and what we want. We are also very lonely on the inside because He made us to have fellowship with Him and to walk with Him through life.

Acts 13:30 But God raised Him from the dead;

But God raised Jesus from the dead and He will raise us also if we believe in Him. Jesus lived the greatest life of faith in that He completely obeyed the Father in His life on earth, by dying to Himself and His own will, and He went to the cross, was crucified, died and was buried believing that the Father would raise Him up again.  He asks us to do the same.

John 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

If you will give your life completely to Him, die to yourself and your desires and will, and live in obedience to Him then you will bear much fruit. If you don’t, then you will remain alone.

 

A Life that Can Do All Things

A life that can do all thing is only a life that can do all things through the strength and ability that God provides. The Christian life is the sweetest life ever known but it only comes from a dynamic relationship with the Lord Jesus.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

There is a prayer that expresses it well and it is “I can’t, You never said I could. You can, You always said You would.” He lives the life through you in the power of His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the gift He gives us when we receive Him. He said that, “He would never leave us or forsake us.” He is a present help. If some things seem hard to do or hard to understand then give these matters to Him and ask Him to help you.

Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

If something seems too hard in the Christian life then maybe you are taking a burden that He never intended you to have. This is the only time in Scripture where Jesus describes Himself. He is gentle and humble of heart. If you truly follow Him then you will find rest for your soul.

Romans 8:5-8 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 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.

These verses reveal one of the principles of the victorious Christian life. If you are living in the flesh then you will experience death to your soul, which is the defeat you feel and the regret and remorse. If you are living according to the Spirit then you will want to obey and please Him. The flesh is hostile to the Lord and the things of God but the Spirit is alive to the Lord and the things  of God. Ask your self if there is anything that is feeding your flesh. There are so many things today that feed our flesh and when we feed our flesh we will not desire the Lord and it will be impossible to obey Him. After a while often the result is doubting our salvation. It is the Spirit that gives us assurance of our salvation.

Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

The word lusts in the Greek literally means desires. Our flesh has desires that want to be satisfied. The only problem is that they don’t satisfy but leave the Christian feeling empty. They may get for a moment what they want but then once that moment passes then they are lonely on the inside and the temptation is to fill that emptiness comes again but it only increases the emptiness.

James 1:14-17 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. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

If one will only flee from temptation and call on the Lord for help then in time they will receive the good gift that the Lord has for them. We are often tempted right before the Lord gives His good gifts. He wants to fulfill your desires.

Psalm 34:10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.

A Life that Men Honor

All ladies want to be honored by men. The Lord made men to honor women and made women to be honored. A man feels good about himself when he respects a lady and in the same way a man wants to marry a woman whom he respects. So, how does a lady ensure that she is honored? First of all we will mention how a lady loses that honor that she desires from men and is walked on by men.

Matthew 5:13 You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

When a lady compromises she loses her influence. Just as salt is a preservative, in the same way, when a lady has high standards she preserves the image of God in a man and keeps him at a high standard. When Eve compromised then Adam did also. A man will respect a female with high standards and a woman of moral excellence.

Lamentations 1:8 All who honored her despise her
Because they have seen her nakedness;

When a lady reveals her body then she loses the honor from men that she once had. When a lady dresses modestly then she is more attractive to the kind of man who will treat her with respect. He will be drawn to her inner beauty and will want to honor her. When she reveals her body then the kind of man who will dishonor her will be attracted to her and because the Bible says that “the eyes of man are never satisfied” that kind of man will not be satisfied with what his eyes see in her. No matter how perfect her body is or how beautiful she is outwardly he will have a wandering eye and will look elsewhere in just a matter or time. An easy test for appropriate dress in any situation is “would I wear this if Jesus were standing right here?” or “if I were going out with the Lord would I wear this outfit??

Genesis 2:25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Every time in the Bible that the word “naked” is used it is used in reference with shame except when it is used in the context of marriage or a baby. Job said, “naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I shall return there”.

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

A woman who fears the Lord is the kind of lady that a true godly gentleman wants to marry. The Bible says that he will rise up and bless her. He will consider her “more precious than jewels” and “his heart will trust in her”. He will honor her and respect her, he will cherish her and even lay down his life for her. He will love her with every ounce of his being and give her his heart and his life.

A Life that is Free of Bitterness

This can be a real struggle for some as life goes on because bitterness comes from being hurt and the longer we live the more we are hurt. Sometimes hurt is intentional and sometimes it isn’t but just happens because you happen to have been born in a certain family or you just happened to have been somewhere when something took place. We live in a sinful, fallen world where there is a lot of pain. However, what determines your life more is not the pain you go through but your response to it. The cup is partly empty for all of us but to a bitter person it is half empty and to a thankful person the cup is half full. Bitterness and thankfulness are opposites. You must choose if you want to be bitter person or a grateful person.

Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

Hurt comes from sin and when there is sin, whether you did or someone else, then there is pain. When sin abounds then grace also abounds. God’s grace is what allows you to come to Him and He will heal you. Bitterness is hurt that has not been resolved. Most of us will say that we are not bitter but we are only hurt. Bitterness is when the hurt feels like it just happened yesterday when in actuality it happened in the past and sometimes years ago. Bitterness is holding onto the hurt. Bitterness is refusing to forgive. Bitterness is not wanting the offensive person to be free when what happens is the bitter person is no longer free. Bitterness is living in the past. Bitterness is also like a poison and affects other people so that is why no one wants to be around a bitter person.

Acts 8:23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity

The first step to be free of bitterness is to go to the Lord and confess to Him that you are bitter. He wants an honest heart. Then ask Him to help you do what is right. Then forgive that person. Forgiveness is a matter of the will and only takes a second. If you are planning on forgiving or getting around to it then you are still holding on. Forgive and then you may still need to forgive again. Then, thank the Lord for the situation. This is hard but the Lord says to give thanks in everything. He does not say to feel thankful or that you should be thankful that something happened but to give thanks. This keeps Satan from getting a foothold and ensnaring you again. Satan hates when yo thank the Lord and he will stop bringing up these painful memories if you thank the Lord when they come up. Thank Him for Jesus, who bore our griefs, took our sorrows and who loves us.

Isaiah 53:4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried

Bitterness causes you to focus on and see what you do not have and you don’t see or you forget what you do have that the Lord has blessed you with through his kindness.

Ephesians 4:13 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Thankfulness allows you to focus on and see all that the Lord has blessed you with so that in time you don’t focus on what is missing in your life. A thankful person is like Christ and is a fragrant aroma of Him. Giving thanks is an act of faith and it pleases Him. Is there anything or anyone in your life that you are struggling with at this time? Thank the Lord for the situation or person.

I Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Thanksgiving is living by faith trusting the Lord for the future.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

A Life that is Successful

Everyone longs to be successful. We don’t want to fail in school, in relationships, on our job, at home or when and if we get married and have children. These next few promises are some of the most amazing promises in the Bible. It shows the heart of the Lord. He wants you to be successful in every area of your life. Incredible that we have a God who not only loves us perfectly but desires our best!

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

Some people may not believe this promise but don’t let someone else’s unbelief pull you down because this verse is very true. The Bible says that it is impossible for God to lie. However, He makes it very clear what you must do to be successful. You must meditate on God’s Word day and night to that you may be careful to follow it exactly as He says. Sometimes it may not make sense to you but do it anyway. Meditate means that you think about His Word. We meditate all of the time. Worry is meditating on your problems and the outcome. If you will replace those thoughts with His Word then you will receive insight that you never saw before and He will show you what to do to avoid failure and to succeed.

Psalm 1:1-3 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Again, this is amazing. The Lord says that if you will meditate on His Word day and night then your life will be fruitful, you will not wither up during the dry seasons of life and in whatever you do…you will prosper. We spend so much time trying to be successful in our own efforts and even reading books on how to be successful in different areas but IF we will only do this one thing then the Lord promises us success. This shows how much He longs for you to spend time with Him. Just like parents want to reward their children big when they do something really big in their eyes even more does the Lord want to reward you IF you will take His Word, meditate on it and then do what He says to do in His Word. However, one of the instructions for learning to meditate on His Word is that you must stop listening to the many voices in the world…voices of the wicked, scoffers and sinners. Do not walk with them nor stand with them not sit with them.

James 1:25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

Again, in the New Testament our Lord repeats this truth. Blessing and success are closely related just as curses and failure. The Lord wants to bless you and He wants you to be successful. If you do not follow His instructions then you will experience curses and failure.

Hebrews 4:2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

The only part of God’s Word that will profit you is what you believe enough to do. Begin by taking a verse and memorizing it and then thinking about every way that verse can apply to your life and then do it. After you have done this then take another verse. You will see as time goes on that your life is being transformed into a beautiful Christlike life.

A Life that is Blessed

A life that is blessed has the same characteristics of a home that is blessed and a nation that is blessed. When you are blessed then you are happy and you will be a blessing to others. The Lord blessed Abraham so that he would be a blessing.

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

When His name is remembered then He will come to you and bless you. You must do all that you can do to remember his name. Bring the name of Jesus into your conversation. Bless His holy name. He also says that He has exalted His Word together with His name.

Psalm 138:2 …For You have magnified Your word together with Your name.

Share His Word in conversation with others. Put it on your walls and wherever else you can to remember it. Most important of all, put it in your heart so that it will be on your mind all day long. Then you will talk to Him about His Word. He “delights in the prayer of the righteous”. Not only will He bless you but you will bring Him delight.

Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.

The Lord will come to you when you call upon Him through His Word. In the same way, when a family calls on Him through His Word and when a nation calls upon Him through His Word He will come to them also. His Word is truth.

John 17:17 …Your word is truth.

A Life of Intimacy

The more intimate you are in your relationships the more fulfilling they will be. This also is true of your relationship with the Lord.

Psalm 25:14 The intimate counsel of the Lord is for those who fear him so they may know his covenant.

The intimacy of the Lord is for those who fear Him so if you want to know Him in a close way then you must fear Him. What does it mean to fear Him?

Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate.

Do you hate sin? What about the pride of life? What about pride of knowledge and the way of the world? What about cursing? Do you ever let a bad word slip out of your mouth? You will never know the intimacy of the Lord unless you first learn to fear Him. You can only go as deep in your relationships with others as you go with the Lord. If your relationship with Him is shallow then your relationships with others will be shallow. How does He show us His intimacy? He identifies with us, knows us completely and forgives us completely.

John 20:17 …but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’

Forgiveness is what Jesus offered to us. Forgiveness is the promise never to bring up an offense again. This will destroy intimacy in any relationship. Jesus never brings up your sins again.

Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Are you still bringing up past sins of others? Are you allowing Satan to do this in your mind? This will destroy your relationships and your joy. The next time Satan tries to rob you through your thought life then pray to the Lord. Thank the Lord for Jesus and that He has forgiven your sins and their sins. Satan can not stand for you to do this and will stop bringing these thoughts up to you. And stop bringing up the past to others.

Proverbs 17:9 He who conceals a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends.

A Life of Faith

A life of faith is one of pleasing the Lord through believing Him and trusting Him.  If you desire to please the One who loves you so much then you must live by faith. Faith is coming to Him and believing His Word. We think that we would be blessed if we could actually see the Lord but the Lord says, “blessed are they who did not see and yet believe”. Faith is believing in His promises by actually taking Him at His Word and acting as if they will come to pass. The outcome will be that you will see His faithfulness to fulfill His promises and you will grow to love Him more and more. When you grow to love Him more then you will want to please Him more and your faith will grow.

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

The opposite of faith is despair. Despair leads downward into darkness of the soul. Faith leads upward into the light of the Lord.

Psalm 27:13-14 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

When you believe and have faith then it fosters courage which brings about hope.

Romans 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Are you struggling in your faith? The Lord’s provision for you is His Word. Spend time in His Word until your faith is increased. Keep reading until a verse speaks to you. It is the Lord calling you to Himself. He wants to speak to you through His Spirit and bless you.

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.

Ask the Lord to help you grow in your faith as you seek Him through His Word. He “meets the one who delights in righteousness”.

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

 

A Life that Never…

You would think that the Lord would use the word “never” about a lot of sins but He only uses it in reference to one command.

Romans 12:17-21 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

The meaning of evil is to cause grief. When someone causes us grief then the temptation is to cause them grief. The Lord says to never take vengeance, which is paying back evil for evil. When one takes vengeance then they are taking things into “their own hands” and not trusting the Lord. The Lord does not want you to be like them but He wants you to be like Him.

I Peter 2:23 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;

A Life that is Filled with Love

A life that is filled with love will overflow with love. The only way that one can live a life that is filed with love is to live in the love of the One who so loved that He gave us His Son. His love is perfect, sacrificial and eternal. He loves because He is love. When we love because of His love through us then we will have His love for others. It is unconditional. Our love is conditional, imperfect and selfish.

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

How does one experience His love? It begins by receiving His love for you. How is this done? It is by keeping His commandments.

John 14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and disclose Myself to him.

His first commandment is to come to Him. When we come to Him then we turn our back on our sin. We can not continue to sin and come to Him. All of us some time or other turned our back on Him and came to sin. Now, He is calling us to turn our back on our sin and come to Him. He will meet us the moment we turn to Him. Then He will let us know the next thing He wants us to do. It will be in accordance with His Word. It may be that He wants us to change friends, or ask forgiveness or forgive someone else.

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

If you belong to Him then you will hear His voice. If you do not obey when you hear His voice then you may not hear it again. He waits until you obey. He wants obedience so that you can learn to live in His love. Is there something that you know that you should be doing and have not done it? You need to obey Him.

II Peter 1:5-8 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge, and in knowledge, self-control, and in self-control, perseverance, and in perseverance, godliness,  and in godliness, brotherly kindness, and in brotherly kindness, love.

Moral excellence is obeying the Lord in what His Word says and keeping His commandments. That is the beginning of love. This is why many marriages fail…it is because the couple sowed seeds of a lack of moral excellence before they were married and then they reaped the bad fruit later. Nearly all marriages fail because of the seeds that were sown before marriage. It is the same in all of your relationships. There must be moral excellence for relationships to have the right foundation.

James 3:13-18 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

There are two kinds of wisdom just as there are two kinds of relationships. One of jealousy and selfish ambition or one that is pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering and without hypocrisy. How sweet life is when it is done God’s way.