A Life that Does not Stumble

No one wants to stumble through life. It brings pain and frustration. Is it possible to go through life without stumbling? Yes, or at least minimal stumbling and the opportunity to learn to walk without stumbling. How do we do it?

Proverbs 4:10-12 Hear, my son, and accept my sayings and the years of your life will be many. I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. When you walk your steps will not be impeded; and if you run, you will not stumble.

Life is a real joy when you can walk and run through life without stumbling and falling. The way to walk and run without stumbling is to walk in wisdom on upright paths. The Lord is the One who gives us wisdom and He leads us on upright paths. He promises to teach us the way we should go and will give wisdom to anyone who asks Him.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you the way in which you should go, I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

Ask Him for His wisdom. He wants to give it to you.

James 1: But if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach.

When we humble ourselves before Him and ask for His help then He delights in helping us.

Psalm 25:9 He leads the humble in justice and He teaches the humble His way.

He will teach you through His Word. Open your Bible and start reading and praying. Ask Him to teach you His ways and to give you His wisdom. You will find that His Word will become the delight of your heart and that you will love it.

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 of hosts.

When you love something then you want to do it. When you love God’s Word then you want to live by them and find great joy and peace in doing exactly what He says. The outcome is that you will learn to walk in His ways and according to His wisdom. He will also lead you on His upright paths. When you walk His way then you will not stumble for He Himself will be your light and your Shepherd.

Psalm 119:165 Those who love Your Low have great peace and nothing causes them to stumble.

Come to Him all who are weary and He will give you rest. If you are weary of trying to make it on your own then come to Him for you will find that His ways are easy and His burden is light. He will be your Shepherd and lead you in the good and pleasant way so that you will not stumble.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My load is light.

 

 

 

A Life that Is Kind

It is often easy to be kind to those who are kind to us but what separates Christians from others is that they are to be like their Lord who was kind to evil and ungrateful people.

Luke 6:35b …for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

The Lord says that difficult times will come and people will be ungrateful except the Lord wants us to love them and to be kind to them anyway.

II Timothy 3:1,2 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful…

It is hard to be kind to ungrateful and evil people and the only way that we can do it is through Him and by His Holy Spirit. He showed us His way when He loved us.

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

The light shines the brightest when it is the darkest and the Lord has told us that we are the light of the world. Even though we may not want to and it is not in us to be kind to evil and ungrateful people the Lord still wants us to be kind and loving. It is when we are the most like Jesus that the world will see in us something that they do not have. If we love those who are like us or who are loving and kind then we are not any different than the rest of the world.

Luke 6:32,33 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.

Our Heavenly Father wants us to be like Him and wants the world to see Jesus in us. The only way that they can see Jesus in us is if we respond to people the way Jesus would have if He were here on earth. He wants others to see Jesus just as if He were in the flesh, in other words, He wants us to live out in the flesh the life of Christ.

Luke 6:35,36 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

He has adopted us into His family and told us what it means to be His child. The Lord has called us to be different and when we are then the world will see Christ in us.

Matthew 5:44-48 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

A Life with Whom He is Pleased

Peace on earth and goodwill to men is often quoted especially around Christmas time. However, people do not finish the verse and so it leaves people wondering why there is not peace on earth. The verse says, “Peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

Jesus Christ did come and bring peace to us but only those with whom He is pleased will experience that peace. Who is the Lord well pleased with among men? There is only One who lived a life pleasing to Him.

Matthew 3:16,17 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

Again, the Father reaffirmed His total satisfaction with Jesus and the life that He lived on earth. The Father was well pleased with Jesus before He did any ministry. He was pleased with the life of faith and obedience that Jesus lived as the Son of man.

Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”

Jesus laid aside His being God and lived in the flesh a perfect and sinless life.

Philippians 2:5-8 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Jesus lived a perfect life and had a perfect record of no sin at all. We have lived a sinful life and we have all fallen short of God’s glory.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

He offers His life and perfect standard of living in exchange for our life and our sinful record. It is not fair. It was God’s will to show us mercy and grace rather than fairness.

Isaiah 53:4-6 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.

If the Lord gave us what is fair then we would not be able to receive the life of Christ. The Lord was well pleased with this message.

I Corinthians 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

If we will believe the message that God loves us and receive the gift of His Son then we will receive also the affirmation that God is well pleased with us. Not because of any righteousness of our own but because we have trusted in Jesus Christ to take our sin and guilt upon Himself on the cross and to give us His righteousness. It was not fair for Him to take our penalty and give us God’s acceptance of us through Him, but He did it anyway because He loves you. He came to bring you peace.

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

He gave us the greatest gift of all when He gave us His Son. Will you receive Him today?

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

Will you thank Him and share this amazing gift with someone else? Will you tell someone else what He has done for you?

II Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Peace on earth, goodwill to men with whom He is pleased and that is those of us who are in Christ Jesus and Jesus Christ is in us.

 

A Life that Is Praised

We are not to seek the praise of others but the Lord says that a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.

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

The Lord says that a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised. The Lord requires His people to praise Him. He says that it will be for our good if we fear Him.

Deuteronomy 10:12,13 Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?

There will be severe consequences if we do not fear the Lord our God.

Deuteronomy 28:58,59 If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which are written in this book, to fear this honored and awesome name, the Lord your God, then the Lord will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues, and miserable and chronic sicknesses.

How do we learn to fear the Lord? The Lord’s Word produces in us the fear of Him when we learn to obey Him and His Word becomes established in our lives.

Psalm 119:38 Establish Your word to Your servant,
As that which produces reverence for You.

What does it mean to fear the Lord? When we fear the Lord we will hate evil, pride, arrogance and the perverted mouth.

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.

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life. When you fear the Lord you will avoid the snares of death. Death brings pain and destruction.

Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
That one may avoid the snares of death.

With the reward of humility and the fear of the Lord there are riches, honor and life.

Proverbs 22:4 The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches, honor and life.

There is strong confidence and your children will have a refuge when you fear Him.

Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence,
And his children will have refuge.

Your children will be blessed and mighty on the earth when you fear Him and greatly delight in His commandments.

Psalm 112:1,2 How blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
Who greatly delights in His commandments.
His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.

Do you want to be blessed? Do you want a life that is praised? Do you want to be a blessing to your family? Fear the Lord and keep His commandments. Greatly delight in the Lord and make it your aim to please Him and obey Him. It begins with fearing Him.

Proverbs 31:28-30 Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
“Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

A Life with Peace

When we become a Christian then we come into a relationship with the Lord and we are at peace with God. He forgives us, our guilt is removed and He gives us His peace.

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

Peace, how sweet it is when we have it and when we don’t have peace we long for it. The Lord promises us peace that no one else can give us.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

There is nothing else that can give us peace but there are several things that can disrupt our peace and two of them are fear and anxiety. For this reason the Lord tells us not to be fearful. You can take courage for He has overcome the world.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Are you anxious? When you are anxious then you will not experience His peace. The Lord tells you that you don’t need to be anxious anymore but let Him know what your requests are. Be sure and thank Him for meeting your needs when you make your requests known to Him. Thanksgiving is an act of faith. His peace will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6,7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Don’t allow the devil to rob you of the peace that the Lord gives to you. The Lord is a God of peace and He will crush Satan under our feet.

Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

Let Him know about your concerns for He cares for you. Cast all of your anxieties on Him.

I Peter 5:6,7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

The Lord wants us to be at peace with each other.

Romans 14:19 So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

When we live in peace with one another then we will know the God of peace and He will be with us.

II Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

We must be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. We must persevere at living in harmony with each other.

Ephesians 4:1-3 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Finally, the Lord wants the peace of God to rule in our hearts. When we sin and do something that is not pleasing to the Lord then His peace is one of the first things that leaves us. Learn to be sensitive to His Spirit so that His peace rules in your heart.

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Confess your sin to Him and allow Him to cleanse your heart and restore your fellowship with Him.

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

His peace will return as your fellowship with Him is restored. You will see that the God of peace will be with you as you learn to dwell on Him, for He is true and honorable. He is right, pure, lovely, of good repute and excellent. He alone is worthy of our praise.

Philippians 4:8,9 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

 

A Life of Thanking Others

Too much can not be said about being grateful to the Lord.

Psalm 118:21 I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me,
And You have become my salvation.

Have you thanked the Lord for what He has done in your life?

Psalm 30:12 That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

No one makes it on their own. There are always other people that the Lord has used who helped you get where you are today. The Lord is for you through those who help you.

Psalm 118:7a The Lord is for me among those who help me;

Have you recently or ever thanked the Lord for the people who have helped you in your relationship with the Lord and who have helped you in life?

I Thessalonians 1:2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers;

A lack of thanksgiving in one’s life is a lack of God in that person’s life. Ungratefulness is a sign of ungodliness.

Romans 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks,

Give thanks to the Lord for what He has done and give thanks to the Lord for the people that He has brought into you life and who have helped you. Thanksgiving is a great encouragement to those who have loved you and pointed you to the Lord.

Hebrews 13:7a Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you;

Remember those who have diligently labored among you and show appreciation to them. When you show appreciation to someone then it is a confirmation to them that what they did met a need in your life or made a difference. People don’t know if what they do makes any difference at all unless they are told.

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

Has the Lord helped you through anyone else? Take the time and effort to thank them. Thanksgiving is a gift that you can give to the one who receives the appreciation. We are not to do anything for the gift of being thanked but when it is received then it is a great encouragement to continue helping others.

 

 

A Life as An Acceptable Offering

Our God is a consuming fire. While we have the opportunity let us be obedient and faithful to offer to Him an acceptable service with reverence and awe.

Hebrews 12:28,29 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.

He says that if you will present your body to Him then He has promised to accept your body for His service. This is an acceptable service which is your spiritual service of worship. Jesus offered up His body to the Father when He was on earth.

Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

Jesus offered Himself to the Father to first be found faithful in all things and obedient to the Father during His life on earth and then to go to the cross, trusting the Father to raise Him from the dead. We also can offer our bodies to Him because we trust Him. He too will raise us up to be with Him.

Hebrews 5:7,8 In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.

If you have never done so then today is a good day to offer yourself to the Lord. May we be found faithful and finish well. The Lord says that this is one aspect of worship to offer ourselves to Him. He also says that the Father seeks for those who will worship Him in spirit and truth.

John 4:23,24 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The Lord has given us His Holy Spirit that we might be filled with Him.

John 14:16,17 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

He has also given us His Word that we might be filled with His Word. He is Spirit and His Word is Truth.

John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

Present yourself to Jesus Christ as a living and holy sacrifice which will be your spiritual service of worship. Walk in the truth and walk in the Spirit and worship Him through your words (let them be filled with truth) and through your actions (let them be done in the Spirit). This will be pleasing to the Lord and acceptable offering to Him as your spiritual service of worship.