A Life that Prays

Prayer is one the greatest privileges that God has given to man and answered prayer is one of the greatest gifts that God has given to man. However, prayer and answered prayer is one of the most rarely used of all His privileges and gifts. There is so much we do not have because we have not prayed.

James 4:2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.

The word lust in the Greek means “desire”. Envy is also wanting something that you do not have. We sin because we do not pray. We do not pray because we sin. The Lord loves to give to His children and He only gives good gifts.

Matthew 7:7-11 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

Are you struggling with something? Are you tempted to desire something that someone else has and you want it also? Ask and ask again. Pray to your Heavenly Father. He wants to give to you and because He is a good Father, He will only give you what is good for you.

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lordlongs 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.

The Lord longs to be gracious to you. Call upon Him while He is near. Are you overwhelmed and anxious?

Philippians 4:5b-6 The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Pray to Him. He loves your prayers and they are a delight to Him.

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

Are you in trouble? Pray to Him. Pray to Him now while He may be found. When others see Him answer your prayers then they too will have the courage to pray. The day will come when others will not be able to pray or to reach Him, just as in the days of Noah. They cried out but there was none to deliver and they had no hiding place but you do if you belong to Him. He is your salvation and deliverer and He is your hiding place.

Psalm 32:6,7 Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.
You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.

 

A Life that Keeps Vows

The Lord says that we are to pay our vows. We are to be faithful to pay our vows to the Lord. The Lord says that it would be better for you to not make a vow than to make a vow to God and not fulfill it.

Ecclesiastes 5:4,5 When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.

Thank the Lord and pay your vows to the Lord.

Psalm 50:14 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High;

The best way to keep vows is one day at a time.

Psalm 61:8 So I will sing praise to Your name forever, That I may pay my vows day by day.

If you are married and have children then your children are children of your marriage vows.

Proverbs 31:2 What, O my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows?

Marriage vows are vows that you make to the Lord and no one, not even your spouse, can break your vows. The Lord does not talk about vows being broken but of vows being kept. Vows can not be broken. They are either kept or not kept but the vows still stand. For this reason if a spouse leaves or divorces his spouse then the wife is to remain single. She is to keep herself pure, spiritually and physically.

I Corinthians 7:34 The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

The “unmarried” refers to women who were once married but are not at this time, but their husband, who they were married to, is still living. The virgin is a reference to a lady who has never been married.

Romans 7:2,3 For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.

Marriage vows are binding and intended to be kept and fulfilled. Do not plan to get married unless it is until death do us part. Marriage vows are made to the Lord not to each other and each spouse is under obligation to the Lord. These matters may seem difficult if you are in a difficult marriage but the Lord will bless you if you do His will. He says that where sin abounds then grace abounds. The Lord will give you the grace to love your husband and He will give you wisdom in your relationship. Go to a godly woman who is is walking with the Lord if you need help in your marriage for that is God’s provision.

Titus 2:3-5 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

However, if you have made a commitment with your mouth or even made a vow to the Lord to do something and you realize that you have made a mistake then the Lord has a provision for you.

Numbers 30:3-8 Also if a woman makes a vow to the Lord, and binds herself by an obligation in her father’s house in her youth,and her father hears her vow and her obligation by which she has bound herself, and her father says nothing to her, then all her vows shall stand and every obligation by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if her father should forbid her on the day he hears of it, none of her vows or her obligations by which she has bound herself shall stand; and the Lord will forgive her because her father had forbidden her.“However, if she should marry while under her vows or the rash statement of her lips by which she has bound herself, and her husband hears of it and says nothing to her on the day he hears it, then her vows shall stand and her obligations by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if on the day her husband hears of it, he forbids her, then he shall annul her vow which she is under and the rash statement of her lips by which she has bound herself; and the Lord will forgive her.

The Lord has provided fathers and husbands for girls and ladies for their protection. Go to your father or husband if you have made a rash decision and humble yourself and ask them to help you. On the day that they hear of what you have done they can release you from that commitment.

Psalm 50:22,23 “Now consider this, you who forget God,
Or I will tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver.
“He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me;
And to him who orders his way aright
I shall show the salvation of God.”

Whatever you do and whatever mess you find yourself in (and we all makes messes at times) then remember the Lord. Do not take things into your own hands or just ignore what you have done thinking that it will go away. It will go into your conscience and will come up later. The Lord is your Savior and He will save you from any situation that you are in and He will show you His salvation.

Psalm 130:1-4 Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.
If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.

If you have not kept previous vows to the Lord there is forgiveness with Him but you need to confess your sin to Him and ask Him to forgive you. Do not minimize it. There is forgiveness with Him. If you have made a vow to the Lord and you can go back and fulfill it then do so. Make sure you have a clear conscience. Cry out to Him out of the depths of any pain. He loves you. Do not despair. You will see His goodness.

Psalm 27:13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

 

 

 

A Life that Works

The Lord created the heavens and the earth in six days and then He rested. He rested from His work. The Lord has given all of us work to do.

Genesis 2:1,2 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.

Jesus worked when He was on earth.

John 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.

Jesus glorified the Father by accomplishing the work which He had given Him to do.

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

The Lord wants us to work for eternal food and not just for food for our physical bodies.

John 6:27 Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”

The Lord says that if we do not work then we have no right to eat. The Lord has given all of us work to do. Some work we get paid for and other work we do not receive financial compensation. We need to be doing the work He has given us to do.

II Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

Those who do not work need to be exhorted to work. Work is part of a disciplined life and the word disciple comes from the word discipline. The Lord wants us to lead disciplined lives.

II Thessalonians 3:11,12 For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.

Joy and contentment are related. Happiness comes from doing the work that the Lord has given you to do and being the person that God has created you to be.

 

 

A Life that Feeds Others

One of the Lord’s last recorded conversations was one that He had with Peter after Peter had denied Him and then been restored. The Lord asked Peter, “Do you love Me?”. The relationship that we all have with the Lord when we become a Christian is a love relationship. It is the greatest love story ever known to man and there is nothing that can surpass it. God so loved the world that He gave.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

The Lord loved us while we were His enemies and He died for us when we had turned our back on Him. He loved us in spite of who we were and had become. His love was unconditional and He loved us just the way we were.

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

There was no good outweighing the bad. Even our goodness is considered as filthy rags. We have nothing to offer to Him.

Isaiah 64:6a For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;

He still asks the same questions even though we have failed Him many times and it is “Do you love Me?”. Do you love Him? His answer is the same as it was to Peter, “Feed My sheep.”

John 21:17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” and he said to Him, “Lord, you know everything, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.”

The Lord gave us His righteousness. He also wants us to feed His sheep.

Proverbs 10:21a The lips of the righteous feed many,

The Lord wants us to feed others with the spiritual food that He has given to us. Who are you feeding? The more you feed others then the hungrier you will get and want to learn more Him. If you don’t feed others then you become spiritually fat and sluggish or spiritually sick from a lack of appetite. Ask the Lord to show you those whom you can feed.

A Life that Does Not Extrapolate

The word extrapolate means to extend the meaning of something to a conclusion. The Bible is full of mysteries that we can not explain or understand. The Lord said that the things revealed belong to us but the secret things belong to the Lord our God.

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

Just as a loving parent does not explain a lot of knowledge in detail to their five year old child because it would be a burden to the child, even so, the Lord has only given us the knowledge that is good for us. He wants us to observe, which means to obey, His word.

I Corinthians 4:6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.

The Lord tells us very clearly not to exceed what is written. There are paradoxes in the Christian life. The Lord says that whoever calls upon the Lord will be saved.

Acts 2:21 ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

The Lord says that no one can come to Him unless the Father draws him.

John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

Are both of these truths true? Yes. He draws us and we call on Him. Just leave it at that and don’t extrapolate by exceeding what is written. The Lord wants us to trust Him.

Ephesians 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of  the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

The goal is to know Jesus Christ. In knowing Him we do not need to know everything but we do need to know in order to trust Him in everything. Rest in the fact that He loves you and He has made everything known to us that we need to obey Him. If we obey Him then we will become that mature Christian.

I Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

Jesus knows you fully and fully knows what you need. He will supply all of your needs according to His riches in Christ. You can rest securely in that knowledge and in Him.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

A Life of Marriage Prep

The best time to prepare for marriage is before you get married. It is a God given desire for a young lady to want to get married. However, the more you are prepared for marriage the easier it will be for you. The seeds that you sow before you get married determines the fruit that you reap after you are married. You will reap either good fruit or bad fruit.

Galatians 6:7-10 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

Do not use the flesh to attract a man because then you will seek to use your flesh to keep him. This will bring great insecurity to you because a man’s eyes are never satisfied.

Proverbs 27:20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.

However, it is important to do your best to look your best because man does look on the outward appearance.

I Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

However, you want the inner beauty of the Lord to be greater than any outward appearance. Your outward appearance is decaying but the inner man is being renewed day by day.

II Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

The Lord will strengthen you through His Spirit in the inner man to become a godly woman who fears the Lord. You must learn to walk in the Spirit on a daily moment by moment basis. This is the greatest preparation for marriage.

Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

A man will never fulfill you or make you happy. The sooner you learn this lesson the happier you will be. Young ladies have a tendency to live in the “if” or “when ” world. “If I were …” or “if I had …” or “when I …” and the truth of the matter is that the “if” and “when” does not change the contentment of your soul. You must learn to be content in Jesus Christ. He must be your desire. The more you learn to be content in Him then the more content you will be in whatever state He has you, whether married or single.

Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.

Contentment, gratefulness and joy all go together. The greatest gift that you can give to yourself and to others and especially to the man you marry is an attitude of gratitude. No one likes to be around a complainer or someone who is never happy. Someone once said that an unhappy wife is a public rebuke to her husband. Cultivate a grateful spirit and begin now by expressing thanks to your parents and those who have helped you in life. Not only do you quench the Spirit when you do not give thanks but you will quench your husband’s spirit and what he once wanted to do for you he will no longer do because it isn’t “exactly the way you like it”.

Ephesians 5:16-19 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit;

Learn to compliment a man. A man longs for praise. The Lord made him this way and most men are starved for praise and they will gravitate to the people who praise them. This is crucial because the Lord made a man to conquer and he needs the praise of his wife to go out and conquer the world in his job. Also, if you do not praise him then other women will. Even if you do praise him other women will still do it. This is one of the ways that an immoral woman gets a man to commit adultery. She flatters him with her tongue. He does not know that it is flattery and the aim of flattery is to manipulate so you want to make sure that he is filled with your praises if you are his wife. Learn now to praise. You can begin by learning to praise your brothers and your brothers in Christ. Look for Christlikeness and then point it out to him how you see the Lord in him.

Proverbs 2:16 To deliver you from the strange woman, From the adulteress who flatters with her words;

Learn to dress in a modest manner so that a godly man will be attracted to you. If you dress in such a way that stimulates a man by stirring up desires that can not be fulfilled righteously then you are a stumbling block. Why should the Lord give you to a godly man who is seeking Him. No, rather, if you dress in a provocative manner then a man who is “all about himself” will be drawn to you and since you dressed in a deceptive manner you will be the one who will end up being deceived. He will deceive you into you believing that he actually cares for you when he does not care for you but loves himself.

Proverbs 23:6,7 Do not eat the bread of a selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;
For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.

Finally, do dress in a modest manner, as is fitting for one who seeks to please the Lord. Learn to fear the Lord and obey Him. Honor you parents, as the Lord has commanded. If you do not honor your parents then you will struggle with honoring and respecting your husband. The Lord gives the woman to the man, not the man to the woman. You need to ask yourself if you want to serve, desire, submit to and respect a man and consider him more important than yourself. If you are not ready for that then ask the Lord to help you and go to older women who have a good marriage and ask them to teach you. Marriage can be a sweet fellowship and relationship between a man and a woman if it is done God’s way. It is supposed to be a picture of Christ and the church. Just as Christ died for the church, the husband is the love His wife in a sacrificial way and be willing to die for her. In the same way, a wife is to live for her husband (as the church is to live for Christ) and the way that she learns to serve and love Him in this Christlike manner is to die to herself. Marriage is a dying of two selves so that the Lord can raise up one (in body, soul and spirit) to glorify Him.

Ephesians 5:31-33 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 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.

It is a mystery but it is a beautiful mystery and the most intimate relationship on earth when done God’s way. To love and be loved is what we all long for but it is only when we are surrendered to the Lord and learn His ways will we ever know what it means to live in intimate fellowship in marriage.

 

 

A Life that Is Nourished and Fed

Jesus Himself said that “man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”. Man does need far more than physical food. We need spiritual food to nourish our soul and spirit.

Matthew 4:4 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.’”

Jesus was validating the Bible as the Word of God when He quoted this Scripture. All Scripture is inspired by God. This means that it is God breathed and that the Lord breathed His Words into the men that He called to record what they had seen and heard.

II Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

God’s Word is profitable. If we do not know His Word then we will be mistaken about certain things.

Matthew 22:29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.

If you are a Christian then you need to know God’s Word. It is your life because Jesus and the Word of God are equal because the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The Lord will open your mind to understand the Word. If you are seeking Him you will find Him through His Word.

Luke 24:45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

The Word testifies to who Jesus is…the only begotten Son of God who came forth from God and dwelt among man. He always has been and always will be. He is God Himself. He died and rose again and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus is all through the Bible, from the beginning to the end.

Luke 24:27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

However, you must have a hunger for the Word of God. You can not make someone eat if they are not hungry. Just as physically there are things that increase our appetite and there are things that decrease our appetite. If you obey the Word that the Lord has given you then you will want more. If you have not obeyed the Lord in what He has spoken to you about then you will not want more. If there is known sin in your life it will diminish your hunger for His Word.

I Peter 2:1-3 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

His Word is sweet and it is good for you. Living by faith according to His Word is living in the promised land. It is a life of milk and honey. You will thrive spiritually if you consistently feed on His Word. You will be a defeated Christian if you do not stay in His Word.

James 1:21.22 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

Put aside all that is impure and displeasing to the Lord. It is filthiness and wickedness. Don’t minimize what you see or hear. Put it aside so that you may long for His sweet Words. They will save your soul and you will find great delight and comfort in your life. He will come to you as He said that if you draw near to Him that He will draw near to you.

Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.

If you have never known the sweetness of abiding in His presence and His presence abiding in you then now is a great time to start. The Lord is good and His Words are good. You will be glad if you feast on His Words and you will be satisfied.

 

A Life that is Single but…

Nearly every young lady wants to get married. That is the way that the Lord designed for His creation to function. The Bible says that woman was made for man. This actually is an incredible privilege and very fulfilling when it is done God’s way.

I Corinthians 11:8,9 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.

This is not the way of the world but it is God’s way. God’s way is wisdom but man’s way is foolishness. God’s way will seem like foolishness to the world but we see the fruit of man’s way with many failed marriages. A wife is also man’s reward.

Ecclesiastes 9:9 Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.

When it is done God’s way then the husband will be intoxicated with the love of his wife. He will cherish her and love her because she is his, not as property, but as his fellow heir in Christ, as his beloved.

Proverbs 5:18,19 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.
As a loving hind and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be exhilarated always with her love.

A wife belongs to her husband and longs for him even as we are to long for Jesus since we are His bride. We are Christ’s beloved bride who is loved by Him. A marriage is the most beautiful picture of Jesus Christ and the church, which is His bride.

I Peter 3:7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

However, before a young lady gets married she needs to understand the right way to relate to a young man. There are four things she should not do. She should not initiate, manipulate, speculate nor expect. The man is to pursue the lady and she needs to wait on the Lord. She certainly needs to make herself as attractive as possible, not only physically but spiritually. The Lord brought Eve to Adam and the Lord can still bring you to the one that He has planned for you. He does not need your help in initiating and manipulating. If you do these actions then you will never know if your husband was a gift from the Lord. You will wonder if you did not bring it about and you might doubt during the hard times in marriage. You need to have the assurance that your husband was God’s idea and not yours. If you manipulate then you are just plainly not trusting the Lord but taking matters into your own hands. You will regret this also, just as Sarah regretted manipulating Abraham to have a child by Hagar. An immoral woman initiates. Not that everyone who initiates is immoral but it is not God’s way.

Proverbs 7:10-15 And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.
She is boisterous and rebellious,
Her feet do not remain at home;
She is now in the streets, now in the squares,
And lurks by every corner.
So she seizes him and kisses him
And with a brazen face she says to him:
“I was due to offer peace offerings;
Today I have paid my vows.
“Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.

A young lady should not speculate about young men whether he is the one or not and her decision to spend time with him should not be based on her speculations whether he is someone who she would be “interested in”. She should spend time with him if he loves Jesus and has a heart for the Lord. A young lady is known by the types of young men that she spends time with and so it is a message to other young men what kind of men you are attracted to and who you spend time with fellowshiping.

II Corinthians 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

The relationship should be one of brother and sister. The Bible never talks about “dating” relationships. If he wants to pursue her and she knows that she does not want any more than to be friends then she needs to be sure that she is not leading him on to believe that there is more there than there is. A man takes his cue from her response. The best way to know if a guy has a heart for the Lord is to see how he is in a group of strong Christian young men. A man can see through a man just as often a woman can see through a woman. Also, it is good for the young man to meet your father once he starts talking about being interested in you or is very obvious in calling you, etc. (You should not call him. Again, that is initiating.)

II Corinthians 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

Also, she should not allow any young man to touch her, even holding hands. Touch is special to a young lady and it changes the relationship. Only do with a young man what you would do with your brother because that is who this young man is…your brother in Christ.

I Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman.

The word “good” in the verse means in the original, the highest form of love. It is the highest expression of love that a young man would have for a lady, that is, to wait to touch her until he has committed his life to her in marriage. A man appreciates what he waits for and you can almost guarantee that he will treat her always like a lady, even after they have been married for fifty years. This kind of relationship is the type that will endure for fifty years. So, if you want a true and enduring love in your marriage then wait for the affection.

Proverbs 30:18,19 There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
Four which I do not understand:
The way of an eagle in the sky,
The way of a serpent on a rock,
The way of a ship in the middle of the sea,
And the way of a man with a maid.

A relationship done God’s way is wonderful and beyond our understanding. It is a picture of God’s love when done right for He pursued us. A relationship done right is a shining light to the whole world because all of us long to be loved and especially in an unconditional manner. The husband is the lover and the pursuer. He is the leader and the wife is the responder. He is the strong one and she is the weaker vessel because he is to protect her and provide for her. He is to cherish her and even be willing to die for her. Is this kind of relationship possible? Yes, and it is too wonderful to understand and the Lord wants to give it to every young lady but it is a gift from Him and you must learn His ways, otherwise you will cause damage to one of His precious sons and you will bring destruction to yourself.

 

 

 

A Life with Evidence

If you were to go to court for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you? What are the evidences that would convict you of being a Christian? Often people want to know how to know for sure that they are a Christian, in other words, what are the evidences or how can you know for sure. Great question and the Lord says that we can know without a doubt.

I John 5:10-13 The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for their sins and rose again that they might have eternal life in born again and comes into the life of Christ and the life of Christ comes into Him through the Holy Spirit. If you have received the Holy Spirit through believing in the Lord Jesus Christ then you can know that you have eternal life. He who has the Son has the life and he who does not have Jesus Christ does not have the life.

Romans 8:The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

The Holy Spirit whom you receive when you become a Christian dwells in you and He will give life to your mortal body. Just as the Spirit raised Jesus from the dead, He also will raise you from the dead.

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

If you are a Christian then you will want to do what is right. You may not always know what is right but you want to please the One who died and lives again for you, Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior. Also, you will want to be with Christians and you will want to love them. If you still want to be with your nonChristian friends more than your new Christian friends then you need to question whether you are a Christian.

I john 3:10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

When you do what is wrong you not only grieve the Holy Spirit but you also are grieved because you love Him. If it does not bother you to sin, then again, you need to ask yourself if you really have been born again.

Ephesians 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

You will have a hunger for the Word of God. Just as a baby that is born into this world will cry for food and will continue to cry until the baby is fed, so you too, if you have become a Christian then you will long for the Word of God. Hunger is a sign of life. If there is not a hunger for the Word of God then you need to ask yourself if you have really tasted the kindness of the Lord and that the life of Christ in you.

I Peter 2:2,3 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

You will want to become like Jesus Christ. You will be willing to suffer for His name sake as well as desiring to experience all the fullness of His blessings and the riches that are ours in Christ. Your hope will be fixed on Him and on Him alone.

I John 3:2,3 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Let us therefore, if we belong to Him, “run with endurance the race that is set before us fixing our eyes on Jesus”. Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame for the joy set before Him.

Hebrews 12:1,2 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We too will be filled with great joy if we endure to the end. The Lord says that those who endure to the end will be saved.

Hebrews 10:36-39 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while,
He who is coming will come, and will not delay. But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

If you belong to Him then you are blessed. May you also bless the Lord by bringing Him great pleasure. Don’t shrink back. Even when it gets hard look to Him and He will strengthen you. Stay in His Word. Nourish your spirit. Ask Christians to pray for you. The Lord never said that it would be easy but He did say that it will be worth it. Keep praying that you may not enter into temptation but that you may be faithful to the end. He is coming and He will not delay.

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.