A Life of Understanding

A life of understanding is a very exciting life. Could you imagine understanding matters that the world wonders about and yet never come to know? They are ever seeking but never coming to the knowledge of the truth.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.

The beginning of true understanding is to not lean on your own understanding. We look and perceive with our eyes and ears. All we can do is observe but not know about the inner workings of many matters in life. When we look to Him then He gives us insight into the “why”. The creator of the universe who made it all not only understands but will give to His children great understanding. For example, “why do men behave the way they do?” We know a man’s wants but what are his needs? The Lord who made men knows them better than anyone and will give you insight. The Bible says that the eyes of man are never satisfied. Once a man’s wants are satisfied then he will often go elsewhere. There are certain things that a man needs and he will generally go, stay and return to where his needs are met. The same is true for all of us. We will go where our needs are met but our wants are constantly changing.

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

If you want to understand then rather than study the desired object get to know the One who is the Creator of all things.

Exodus 35:31 And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship;

Keeping God’s commandments will give you understanding. Obedience comes before understanding. Often we want to understand and then obey but faith is obeying first and then He rewards us with understanding.

Deuteronomy 4:6 So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’

God’s Word is what gives understanding.

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

The fear of the Lord and understanding go together.

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

Ask the Lord for understanding. King Solomon asked for understanding and it pleased the Lord so much that He gave him riches, honor and life.

I Kings 3:9 So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

He gives understanding and along with understanding comes blessing.

Job 12:13 With Him are wisdom and might; To Him belong counsel and understanding.

To depart from evil is understanding.

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

Apart from understanding, which is the knowledge of the Lord, we are like the beasts that perish.

Psalm 49:20 Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, Is like the beasts that perish.

One who seeks understanding has a heart to obey the Lord.

Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law And keep it with all my heart.

Do you struggle with confusion? The opposite of confusion is understanding. The Lord says that He is not a God of confusion. When you find yourself saying, “I am so confused,” then stop what you are doing and ask the Lord to give you understanding and seek Him in His Word. He wants to give you the knowledge of Him and show you understanding.

I Corinthians 2:9, 14-16 but just as it is written, Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

The truly spiritual Christian appraises all things yet he himself is appraised by no one. The non Christian, or natural man, does not accept nor understand the things of the Lord.

 

A Life that Knows His Will

Often people will ask, “How do I know what is God’s will for my life?”.  Is it possible to know His will? There are several ways to help you know the will of the Lord for your life.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

There are three aspects of God’s will. The will of God will always be good and acceptable and perfect.

Mark 10:18 No one is good except God alone.

God is good. The word good means the highest form of love. God’s will for you will be loving for others. If something you want to do does not express the love of God then it is not God’s will for you to do it. There are many things that are not a sin but they are not loving because the activity may make someone stumble. If you think then that you will do it in secret then it will be okay because it will not make anyone stumble then you are not acting wisely.

Proverbs 18:1 He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom.

God’s will is always wise because He is the fullness of wisdom.

Colossians 2:2,3 a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself,  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

God’s will is perfect. You will know what is God’s will when there is nothing to add to it and nothing to take from it. If you ever find yourself saying, “I really like him “but”…” or “I really want to do this “but”…” then you find that the “but” is what will come back to bite you later on and will bring great frustration and sometimes torment. The Lord has give you authority to help you in your desire to know God’s will. Go to the ones over you and ask them what they think. Often the Lord will speak through them. Maybe that particular thing that you want is His will but not His timing yet. Until there is nothing to add to it and nothing to take away do not do it but wait on the Lord and ask Him to help you.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.

the will of the Lord will always be acceptable. God is holy and He has commanded us to be holy.

I Peter 1;15,16 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;  because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

God’s will can be seen in His commandments. His commandments are holy and He has called us to be holy so His will will never violate what He has said in His Word. His will for your life will always be acceptable to Him.

James 1:17 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.

So ask yourself concerning something that you are wondering if it is His will…”Is this person I want to be with, this place I want to go or this thing I want to do” good and acceptable and perfect? If it does not meet these three criteria then do not do it. The Bible says that you will lie down in torment if you “light your own fire” rather than trust in the Lord and rely on Him.

Isaiah 50:10,11 Who is among you that fears the Lord,
That obeys the voice of His servant,
That walks in darkness and has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.
Behold, all you who kindle a fire,
Who encircle yourselves with firebrands,
Walk in the light of your fire
And among the brands you have set ablaze.
This you will have from My hand:
You will lie down in torment.

One more thing, is there something already in your life that you know that you should be doing that you are not doing? You need to do what He has already shown you before you will receive more light concerning something else. Obedience brings light.

 

 

 

A Life Free of Guilt

One of the things that man can not live with is guilt. Guilt is a horrible thing that will cause us to do anything to get rid of it. The love of God draws us to Him and it is the guilt of man that drives us to Him. If we refuse to come to Him for forgiveness then we will either try to deny the guilt, bury the guilt, hide the guilt, forget the guilt or try to deny the existence of God in hopes of being free of guilt.

Genesis 3:9-11 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”

The Lord told Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but man ate of it. He knew that he had done wrong and felt guilty.

Ecclesiastes 7:29 Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”

The Lord made man upright and to have fellowship with Him but man chose to go his own way. The word for wanting to go your own way is iniquity. It basically means that you want to run your own life, or in other words, this is what man says in his heart, “nobody is going to tell me what to do”. We see this in toddlers as soon as they can exert their own will. We sometimes will call it the “terrible twos” but really it is our “terrible lives”. A toddler just has not learned to cover it up yet.

Proverbs 21:8 The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.

It does not say the way of a crooked man is guilty but the way of a guilty man is crooked. We are all crooked in our ways. When we see someone that makes us feel guilty then we will change our path to avoid them. Our path is no longer straight but crooked.

Psalm 18:26 With the pure You show Yourself pure,
And with the crooked You show Yourself twisted.

When we are crooked because of our guilt then we will have a twisted view of God. He will seem harsh or mean or unfair. We will not want to come to Him or obey Him. However, your view of God is not a revelation of who He is but an indication of the state of your heart. If you disagree with the Bible and your view of God is, “My God would not…” then you do not know Him correctly. He is who He is and He is a just and loving God. Sin and guilt has distorted the correct view of God in man’s eyes. How can we see who He is clearly? Everything we do is a response to our view of God. Our biggest need is to have the right view of God.

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

We need a pure heart. The Lord is the only One who can cleanse our hearts.

Psalm 51: 1-4 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

It is against the Lord first of all that we have sinned. He can and wants to cleanse us from our iniquity, that is, wanting to be our own God, and then from our particular sins, that is, the particular sins that we have committed against ourselves or others. Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who took away our sin and His death on the cross paid the price for our sins. It is because of His blood that we can have total forgiveness of our sins but we need to ask Him to forgive us. He wants to forgive us and cleanse us and restore us.

Psalm 51:10-13 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.

Are you struggling with guilt? Go to Him and receive His forgiveness and by faith claim what He has done for you on the cross. If you have given your life to Him then He has forgiven you of all of your sins and longs to have fellowship with you once again. Once we become His child then we are always His child but our fellowship with Him can be broken. Allow Him to restore it. After you have been restored and know the joy of your salvation once again then you will want to share Him with others for you will again see that He is good and loving and kind.

A Life that is Restored

The Lord is the only One who can restore us. He first restores us to a right relationship with Himself and then He starts restoring us and our relationships. He also restores us to a right relationship with His creation.

Psalm 23 1-3 The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

The Lord knows what we need for restoration. Notice that He says here that He makes you lie down in green pastures. Sometimes He will cause circumstances to allow us to be still and lie down in green pastures where it is safe and He will lead us beside quiet waters where we will find refreshment. He is your Shepherd and He says that you will not be in want, that means that He knows your needs and you will not be lacking anything that you need so don’t struggle against the circumstances but learn to accept what you can not change. He will guide you on your journey in paths of righteousness so that you will have peace, quietness and confidence, but first you need restoration. The sheep were never intended to stay in the same place.

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

As a Christian we can experience death to our soul when we sin and continue in a particular sin. Restoration comes when we confess our sins to Him, turn from our sins and He cleanses us.

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.

After confession when we pray to Him we are drawing near to Him and we will experience His restoration. As He says in His Word, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

Psalm 80:3 O God, restore us And cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.

The Lord is the One who restores us in our fellowship with Him.

Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;

The Word of God is what the Lord uses to restore our soul. It is the power of God. It cleanses us.

John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

Prayer and the Word of God brings restoration to our soul. Go to an older woman who you know is in a right relationship with the Lord and ask her to pray for you also if you are still struggling with a particular sin.

James 5:15,16 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.

If you are walking with the Lord and have been doing so on a consistent basis and growing in your relationship with Him then you have a responsibility to restore others in their relationship with the Lord if they are struggling with being enslaved to a sin.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

The Lord has given all of us responsibility to help each other. We need each other to help one another stay close to the Lord. We are not sinless when we become Christians but we do sin less.

James 5:19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

 

A Life of a Peacemaker

The Lord wants all of us to be peacemakers. He even says that the peacemakers have a special blessing. A peacemaker is a characteristic of the children of God.

Matthew 5:9  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

This word peacemaker means that the Lord uses this person to help bring others into peace with God. One of the aspects of the Christian life is that once we were His enemies but now we are at peace with God.

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

The fruit of being right with God is that He declares us righteous because of our faith in Jesus Christ and what He did for each one of us on the cross.

James 3:18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Sometimes the Lord will use you to plant the seed or even to water, but God is the one who causes the growth.

I Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.

If you are wise then you will invest your life in eternal values. There are only two things that are eternal and they are the souls of men and the Word of God. These will last for all eternity. Are you reaching out in some way to see others come into His kingdom. The Lord has not called everyone to be evangelists but He has called us all to build His kingdom.

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls.

The Lord wants us to do this so much that He promises us that if we will seek His kingdom and His righteousness then He will provide everything that we need for our life.

Matthew 6:25-33 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Are you anxious for your needs? The Lord cares for you more than the birds of the air or the flowers of the field. He does not want you to be anxious but He wants you to build His kingdom. He knows what will make you the happiest and that is living for something much bigger than yourself.

Luke 16:9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of worldly wealth so that when it fails, they may welcome you into eternal dwellings.

The Lord says that those who come to know Him through the money that you use to share the Gospel and build his kingdom, those very people will welcome you into heaven. He has given you seed to sow, where the fruit is righteousness. Maybe the saddest people in heaven will be those who have no friends to welcome them into heaven.

II Corinthians 9:10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;

 

 

A Life of Generosity and Joy

Generosity and joy go hand and hand. The Lord Himself said that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Giving gets your eyes off of yourself and your interests and needs and causes you to become aware of the needs of others around you. The ore yo give, the more your cup of joy will overflow.

Acts20:35 In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Giving gives you a heart for the Lord, for where your treasure is there will your heat be also. Your heart will follow your treasure. Time and money are two of your treasures that you can give away.

Matthew 6:21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The generous person will be prosperous or successful.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous man will be prosperous,

Give to those who can not pay you back. The Lord says that even sinners give to those from whom they will receive something back. When you give to the needy of His people you are giving to the Lord.

Matthew 25:35-40  For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

The person who gives to the rich will come to poverty. Give to a person in need and they will give you their heart.  When you meet the need of the needy then you are removing the obstacle in their life so that they can hear the Gospel. You are allowing them to see the love and truth of God so that they can hear the love and truth of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:16 He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

Give to the poor and the Lord says that He Himself will pay you back. It is the only time in Scripture where the Lord says that He will become man’s debtor. His payment is in full and more. He remains no man’s debtor.

Proverbs 19:17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord,  And He will repay him for his good deed.

Give to those who have helped you spiritually.

Galatians 6:6 The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.

Your cup of joy will overflow as you give to the Lord by giving to His people, the needy and to reach others for Christ.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

A Life with Confidence

Everyone wants to not only feel confident but actually be confident on the inside and on the outside. You will soar in life if you have confidence. How does one live a life of confidence? People are drawn to a confident person.

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

When you became a Christian and surrendered your life to the Lordship of Christ, He gave you His righteousness which gave you the confidence to go before God.

Ephesians 3:12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

He gave us His righteousness that we might live according to His righteousness. Righteousness is doing life right or in other words, doing life according to His way. He tells us to clothe ourselves in righteousness. He wants us to put aside our old self and the old way of doing life and put on the new self and His way of doing life.

Romans 5:17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

Grace is not the license to do what we want but the freedom and power to do life the right way. That is why the Lord says that when sin abounds then grace abounds. He still gives you the grace to do what is right after you have messed us. As Christians we are not sinless but we should sin less. When we do sin we need to make it right, or in other words we need to do righteousness according to God’s ways. If you owe someone money then pay them. Then you will have confidence when you see them and not want to shrink away in shame. If you need to ask forgiveness then do it so that you will have a clear conscience with that person.

Proverbs 3:26 For the Lord will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.

When He is your confidence you will not be afraid.

II Corinthians 3:4,5 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,

He is enough. When you experience this then you will want to trust Him more. If you are struggling with confidence in life about something in particular then do a word study in the Bible on that topic and then do exactly what the Bible says to do. He will help you and wants to prove His Word to you, that He is trustworthy.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.