A Life that Is Wise

Wisdom is applying God’s instructions and commands to your life and living accordingly. Wisdom is living out God’s Word and living by God’s ways in every area of your life. All of our life is connected in one way or another. What we did yesterday affects our life today. What we will do tomorrow will have an impact on us and will bring us life or death to our soul and our body.

Proverbs 9:12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

What goes into our mind influences our decisions just as what goes into our body affects the health of our body. If you want to be mentally and emotionally healthy then you must guard what goes into your mind and heart.

Proverbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.

You may not want to apply God’s Words to you life just as when we were younger we did not want to always eat vegetables but if we ate what was right then our body would function right. If you will live by God’s Words, whether you like them or not, then you will function right in your mind and your heart. You will be healthy mentally and emotionally. You will be very pleased with the outcome. You will not be disappointed.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

You will not always understand God’s ways and that is okay. You do not need to understand them to do them just as you may not understand how a computer works to use it. The more you keep God’s commandments then the more you will understand them. However, understanding comes after obedience to them.

Proverbs 4:20-22 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
For they are life to those who find them
And health to all their body.

Wisdom will bring life to your spirit, soul and body.

Proverbs 4:5-9 Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.

If you do not forget her, forsake her nor turn away from the words of her mouth then wisdom will guard you from making wrong decisions. Love her and she will watch over you. Wisdom will help you marry the right person and teach you how to have a great marriage. Wisdom will prevent you from making stupid decisions on your job, in relationships and in every other area. The number of mistakes that you have made in life is an indication of how often you have needed wisdom. How many regrets do you have and how many missed opportunities? Again, wisdom will keep you from these things. Often people will say after great pain that they are a better person for it but if that is so then they would want other people to go through the pain so that they could learn also. You are not a better person for the mistakes that you made but you are a better person for the lesson that you learned. However, how much sweeter life would have been if you had known the right thing to do so that you would not have had to learn the hard way. Who wants to live a life of tears and mistakes? You are not stronger at the broken places but you are more vulnerable where you have fallen so you guard the broken places much more.

Proverbs 4:7-9 The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.

How much sweeter life is with wisdom. When you get wisdom and understanding them you will realize what a precious treasure that you have. You will prize her and embrace wisdom. Wisdom, in turn, will exalt you and honor you. She will place on your head a garland of grace and present you with a crown of beauty. Wisdom will give you that beauty that nothing else can compare to and you will radiate from the inside to the outside. All desirable things can not compare with wisdom.

Proverbs 8:11 For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.

Proverbs 8:17-21 “I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.
“Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness.
“My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield better than choicest silver.
“I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.

Do you love doing life? Are you excited about what each day holds for you? Are you excited about the future? The Lord wants you to live life to the fullest and you can only do this by wisdom. Just as in a sport, the athlete who gets better and better enjoys the sport proportionately. So it is with life, the more wisdom that you have then the more you will look forward to each day and enjoy life.

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

A Life that Is Not Condemned

No one wants to be judged but the truth of the matter is that we will all be judged. However, not all will be condemned. There is no greater peace than to know for sure that you are going to heaven. Many religions offer “maybe the possibility of heaven” but they can not offer the assurance  of not being condemned to hell. Also, their “possibility” will always fall short because they are all based on what you do to earn heaven. Jesus Christ offers assurance “without a doubt” of not being condemned. He alone can make this offer.

Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Jesus Christ took the judgment and the punishment for the entire world. We were due the consequences of our sin but Jesus Christ took it for us. All of us are just as guilty as everyone else because we all have sinned.

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

The Bible says that not only have all sinned but we are all equally guilty.

James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

Have you ever said a lie? Have you ever taken something that was not yours? Have you ever cheated? Have you ever lusted or been jealous or envious? If so, then you are guilty of all. However, the Lord offers you forgiveness if you will repent and turn to Him. Repenting means turning away from your sin and turning to the Lord. Jesus came to call us to repentance.

Luke 5:32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.

There must be repentance for there to be forgiveness.

Luke 24:47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

You will know when you have repented because you will feel clean on the inside and times of refreshing will come from the presence of the Lord.

Acts 3:19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

You will be a new person and will no longer want to do the things you did before. The Lord wants there to be evidence of your repentance. If you are still hanging out with the same people and doing the same things that you know are wrong then you have not repented.

Matthew 3:8 Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;

Not only are you a new person in Christ and your old life has passed away but you have been set free from the condemnation that once would have come to you.

II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Jesus took your condemnation on the cross when He shed His blood for you so that now you are forgiven and given a new life in Christ.

Hebrews 9:22b all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

The final judgment will not come from the deeds you have done, whether it was good or bad, but the final judgment that will condemn people to hell is whether they trusted in Jesus Christ to forgive them of their sins and to give them eternal life in Him.

John 3:17-19 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

God did not send His Son into the world to judge you but to save you from your sins. If you believe in Him then you will not be judged and you will not be condemned but if you do not come to Jesus Christ then it is because you want to continue in your sin because you love the darkness rather than the light. Come to Jesus so that your sins might be wiped away and forgiveness and eternal life will be given to you.

Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

The Lord is kind and it is His kindness that leads us to repentance. He is rich in kindness and He is patient not wanting anyone to perish. Come to Him. He is calling all of us into a relationship with Him.

II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

 

A Life that Is Full of Wisdom

If you really want to live life to the fullest, and it is possible, then you desperately need wisdom. We all need God’s wisdom and wisdom is His instruction on how to live well. He came that you might have life and might have it abundantly but we sabotage our own lives by not knowing His ways and not living according to His wisdom. God’s wisdom is His ways.

John 10:10b I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Even though Jesus is the Son of God, He still needed to learn God’s ways and the wisdom from above. Jesus was full of wisdom but He had to be taught just as we need to be taught God’s ways.

Luke 2:40 The Child continued to grow and become strong, becoming full of wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

Jesus learned the Word of God and lived according to it. This is what it means that God’s grace was upon Him. God’s grace enabled Him to grow strong and full of wisdom.

Luke 2:52 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

The Lord will also give us His grace to live according to His ways. Just as Jesus increased in wisdom, we too, are to grow in wisdom.The Lord promises to give wisdom to anyone who will ask Him. He gives it without reproach, which means, He does not say “I told you so” rather, He is waiting for you to ask so that He can help you live life without needless pain.

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

God’s Word is the source of wisdom.

Proverbs 4:5 Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

If you want to become full of wisdom then you must become full of God’s Word and be filled with His Spirit. As you seek to obey the Lord in what He says in His Word then He illumines your heart by His Spirit and fills you with His insight and wisdom.

Psalm 119:98,99 Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies,
For they are ever mine.
I have more insight than all my teachers,
For Your testimonies are my meditation.

You must love God’s Word, live by God’s Word, dwell in God’s Word, meditate on God’s Word and devour God’s Word. If you will do this then you will see the quality of your life greatly improve and not only will you be blessed but you will be a blessing to others.

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

Measure your life by God’s Word and see where you are in His wisdom. Are these the qualities that characterize your life?

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

Wisdom will illumine your face and you will be a light to the world.

Ecclesiastes 8:1 Who is like the wise man and who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man’s wisdom illumines him and causes his stern face to beam.

God’s wisdom will give you insight and you will be like the stars that shine.

Daniel 12:3 Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

Jesus was full of wisdom and He wants to fill you with His wisdom. He has made this offer of wisdom to all but it is only those who seek Him who will find and discover His wisdom. Much of the pain we go through in life is not knowing His wisdom. He has given us many gifts but if we do not have His wisdom then we never experience the joy of His blessings, rather sadly, we experience much sorrow because we don’t know His ways.

Proverbs 10:22 It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich,
And He adds no sorrow to it.

Let Him make you rich in good gifts rather you becoming poor with much sorrow because you don’t have His wisdom. Let Him make you rich with a loving spouse and loving children. Let Him make you rich with a clear conscience rather than poor with shame and compromise. Let Him make you rich in the things that really make life rich rather than you becoming poor with the cheap substitutes that are only counterfeits to the real gifts of life. The Lord is good and wants to give you good gifts that will bless you.

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.

Last of all, if and when you become a mother, one of the greatest gifts that you can give to your children is to teach them God’s ways so that they will be full of His wisdom beginning at an early age.

 

 

 

A Life that Is Fruitful

The promise of a fruitful life is made to the person who abides in the Lord and God’s Word abides in Him. The word abide means to live in, therefore you are to live in God’s Word and He lives in you.

John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

The Lord wants you to be fruitful and He knows that you must abide in Him if this is to happen. He, the vine produces the fruit and you, as the branch, bear the fruit.

John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

The sooner you realize the truth that you can do nothing apart from Him the happier you will be and the sooner you will quit striving on your own to bear fruit. The branches bear the fruit, they do not produce the fruit.

Galatians 5:22,23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

The fruit is produced through vine. You can not make yourself love someone. He will love through you if you abide in Him. In the same way, you can not produce joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control. He must do it.

John 15:7 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

You will not have to prove that you are a Christian. Your fruit will bear witness that you are a Christian.

Matthew 7:16-18 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.

The Lord loves us and wants us to abide in his love. When we abide in His love and in His Word then our spirit will be nourished and His Spirit in us will produce the fruit that the world will see.

John 15:9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.

The way that we abide in his love is to keep his commandments. Is there anything that you know that He has commanded you to do and you have not done? There is nothing that is worth keeping us from his love.

John 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

Jesus kept His Father’s commandments and abided in His Father’s love. He went before us and showed us how it was to be done.

John 15:12,13 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

Jesus Himself chose us to bear fruit and instructed us on how it was to be accomplished.

John 15:16,17 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another.

Jesus spoke these words to His disciples and to us so that our joy may be made full just as His joy was made full.

John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

 

 

 

A Life of An Encourager

We all need hope and encouragement brings hope and the courage to press on. Discouragement means that we have lost our courage. There are times in a person’s life when they want to quit. If you are an encourager you will never lack friends or a ministry. The Christian and the nonChristian will always need encouragement.

I Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another,  just as you also are doing.

The Lord is the One who gives encouragement so that we might persevere and not give up. He wants us to be of the same mind with one another, that is, to have the mind of Christ.

Romans 15:5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus,

Today, when you have the opportunity, encourage someone. You may not get the chance tomorrow. Sin deceives and we need one another to keep from being deceived and falling. Encouragement to someone who is downcast is like giving a cup of cold water to one who is thirsty. Their soul is quenched and encouragement refreshes their soul.

Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Daniel was an encouragement to the one he worked for and was a blessing to him.

Daniel 11:1 In the first year of Darius the Mede, I arose to be an encouragement and a protection for him.

Barnabas was an encouragement to the Christians.

Acts 4:36 Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement),

Acts 11:22-24 The news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch. Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord; for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord.

Jonathan encouraged his best friend, David. Encourage your friends so that they might thrive.

I Samuel 23:16 And Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David at Horesh, and encouraged him in God.

Encourage the exhausted. Those who are in the battle for the Lord get weary and exhausted. They need you. New mothers need encouragement and young wives need it also. We all need encouragement.

Isaiah 35:3 Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.

Encourage your leaders who lead you spiritually that they may be strengthened  in the Lord.

Deuteronomy 1:38 Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter there; encourage him, for he will cause Israel to inherit it.

The Scripture was given to us to encourage us and give us hope. Read the Old Testament as well as the New Testament.

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

When we take refuge in the Lord then we come away with encouragement.

Hebrews 6:18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.

The Lord gives us encouragement so that we also might give encouragement to others. When you look to Jesus then He will show you those around you who need encouragement. The world is filled with hungry and thirsty souls who need the encouragement and refreshment that you can give them.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.

If the Lord calls you to be married then your husband will desperately need your encouragement and so will your children. Learn now how to encourage others as a way of life. Learn from others who are an example to you in this area. As you learn to encourage your friends, family and leaders then all of you will be built up together in the Lord.

 

A Life as An Ambassador

The Lord wants you to be His spokesman and represent Him to the world.

Jeremiah 15:19-21 Therefore, thus says the Lord,
“If you return, then I will restore you—
Before Me you will stand;
And if you extract the precious from the worthless,
You will become My spokesman.
They for their part may turn to you,
But as for you, you must not turn to them.
“Then I will make you to this people
A fortified wall of bronze;
And though they fight against you,
They will not prevail over you;
For I am with you to save you
And deliver you,” declares the Lord.
“So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked,
And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.”

When you turn to Him, He will restore you and use you. You will be able to stand before Him. The precious that is extracted in others is the image of God that is restored in all people who receive Him as their Lord and Savior. The Bible says the heart of the wicked is worth little and yet the Lord says that He wants to see them saved.

II Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

The Lord has sent you into the world. He has entrusted the message of salvation to us which is the Good News of the Gospel. He has made you to be His ambassador.

John 20:21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

 

The Lord has made it clear to us in His Word that He requires a life of faith and faithfulness of those who belong to Him. He has given each one of general commands and specific commands. We are all commanded to fulfill the Great Commission and to go and share the Gospel and make disciples. How blessed you will be if you are faithful.

Matthew 25:21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

.You will have to give an answer to Him who sent you. How blessed you will be if you have the right answers. The only way you will have the right answers is if you know His Word and do what He says in His Word.

Proverbs 22:17-21 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;
For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips.
So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I have taught you today, even you.
Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
To make you know the truth of the words of truth
That you may correctly answer to him who sent you?

If you are faithful to represent Him to a lost and dying world then you will stand before Him when He returns.

Luke 21:36 But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

You will not shrink back in shame if you live by faith and have been found faithful.

Hebrews 10:38,39 And,“But my righteous one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.

A Life that Responds

The Lord has called the single men to be the initiators in relationships with single women. Women are called to be responders. If she is interested in the young man and he is suitable for her then she learns to respond to him. The young lady is not the initiator. For this way of life to be for a young lady she must put her trust in the Lord. If she will learn to live in His presence and put her trust in Him then she will thrive in life. If she trusts in herself then she will be constantly frustrated and defeated.

Psalm 52:8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.

The Lord is the One who directs the hearts of all men.

Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.

If she does not trust the Lord then she will be tempted to initiate or manipulate concerning young men. Either of these options are not God’s way. If she initiates or manipulates and she gets what she wants then she will never know if it is what the Lord wanted for her. When the trials come in the relationship then she will be tempted to doubt and in her time of need she will not have the assurance that the Lord brought about the relationship.

Proverbs 7:7-15 And I saw among the naive,
And discerned among the youths
A young man lacking sense,
Passing through the street near her corner;
And he takes the way to her house,
In the twilight, in the evening,
In the middle of the night and in the darkness.
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.

The immoral woman is an initiator and manipulator. Often she also will have a pretense of religion, of being a good girl. However, the Bible says that her way is death.

Proverbs 2:16-19 To deliver you from the strange woman,
From the adulteress who flatters with her words;
That leaves the companion of her youth
And forgets the covenant of her God;
For her house sinks down to death
And her tracks lead to the dead;
None who go to her return again,
Nor do they reach the paths of life.

It is when we are struggling and doubting that we are tempted to take things into our hands and “make it happen”. The attitude that nobody else is looking after you so you need to look after yourself is against God’s ways. Abraham’s wife, Sarah, in the Old Testament came up with an idea to get a baby, rather than wait upon the Lord. It brought her much grief.

Genesis 16:3,4 After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight.

In the same way, you will bring yourself grief also, if you take matters into your own hands. You may get what you “want” but will not want it in the end nor will it bring you any joy.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

When a young lady responds to a young man then it makes him feel like a king. If you make a man feel like a king then he will want you to be his queen. It is well worth it to wait for God’s man and for God’s timing. If a man sees a young lady as a queen he will treat her as such.

Psalm 52:9 I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it,
And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.

In the end, if a young lady will trust in the Lord then she will give thanks to Him because she will know that He is the One who did it.

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.

 

A Life that Pleases God

There is only One whom we can please all of the time if we will only trust Him. The righteous person shall live by faith. The most fulfilling life is a life of faith. A life of faith is what pleases the Lord and you can not please Him without faith.

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

A lack of faith is the only thing the Lord reproved His disciples for when He spent time with them.

Matthew 8:26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.

To increase their faith is what His disciples requested from Him.

Luke 17:5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

What is faith? Faith is believing what you can not see. A conviction means that it defines your life.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Faith comes through God’s Word. If you want to increase your faith then increase your time in His Word. Ask the Lord to increase your faith as you spend time with Him in his Word.

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

There are degrees of faith. The Lord talks about great faith and little faith. If faith is what pleases the One who loves you more than you can comprehend then don’t you want to have great faith?

Matthew 15:28 Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.

However, even if you have little faith then He can increase it if you come to Him. Faith can grow, it is like a mustard seed.

Matthew 17:20 And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

Faith is believing what the Lord said. It is not wishing something will happen and if you wish hard enough then you have faith that it will happen. Faith comes from hearing the Lord speak to you through His Word. It is based on His promises. You must spend time in His Word and then your faith will grow. Faith is believing the Lord and believing that what He said is true. You will be blessed if you believe in Him and His Word.

John 20:29  Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

It is through faith in Jesus Christ that we receive the righteousness of God and are declared “not guilty” because Jesus Christ has justified us because of His righteousness.

Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,

Jesus lived by faith more than anyone. He lived a life of perfect faith. He never doubted the Father. He laid aside His God powers and trusted the Father completely. Jesus went to the cross trusting the Father to raise Him from the dead according to the Father’s promise.

Colossians 2:12 in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the  working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

Faith is not a passive intellectual assent to the claims of Christ but a dynamic living out of obedience to His Word believing that one day He is coming again and is a rewarder of those who seek Him, as was mentioned earlier.

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

A Life without Excuses

Some of the most powerful words that Jesus spoke are recorded in John 15. He takes away all excuses that we have not to obey Him.

John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.

Have you ever felt that God was speaking to you? Yes, we have all felt that at some time God was trying to get our attention. He made us to have fellowship with Him and He desires that all men come to know Him. When we respond to the light that He gives us then we receive more light.

John 15:24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin;

Has anything ever happened in your life that there was no other explanation other than it was a “God thing”. Again, this is the Lord who is seeking you out. The Lord wants to have a relationship with you and fellowship with you.

Revelation 3:19-22 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

The Lord promises those who respond to Him on earth will reign with Him in heaven. It is your choice. Will you receive His invitation and fellowship with Him and live for Him? The choice is yours.

Psalm 36:1 Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.

If you do not listen to Him then your sin will speak to your heart and bring you torment. What do you choose…comfort or torment? Your choice on earth determines your eternal destiny. He allows us to taste of hell through torment here on earth or to taste of heaven through fellowship with Him on earth. When you lay your head on your pillow at night are your thoughts of your sin or unfaithfulness or of the love and faithfulness of the Lord for that day?

I Peter 2:6-8 For this is contained in Scripture: Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the very corner stone,” and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

There will be no excuse when we see Him. He has tried to speak to all of us and to make Himself known to us. The Bible says that the kindness of God leads us to repentance. He loves you. Is there something in the Bible that you struggle with and it is a stumbling block that is keeping you from a totally surrendered life to Him? Ask Him to help you with it. His plans for you are good and you can trust Him.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans that I have for you,’  declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Seek Him while He may be found and call upon Him while He is near before it is too late and you have no hope. It is appointed unto man to die and then comes judgment the Bible says.

 

 

A Life that Understands Suffering

There is no question that with suffering there is pain but if we can understand more of God’s perspective on suffering then it helps us endure it and remain faithful. It is in our suffering that not only are we made more like Jesus Christ but the devil will tempt us. There are two kinds of suffering. First, is the suffering we bring on ourselves by either not knowing or not doing the will of God. Ignorance does not exclude us from the consequences therefore the more knowledge we have of God’s ways then the less of this kind of suffering we will have in our life.

I Peter 2:21 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

If you sin and the consequences seem harsh then it is your due recompense.

Colossians 3:25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

The second kind of suffering is the suffering that God has allowed for His glory. You may not understand the reason here on earth but if you learn to respond to this kind of suffering then you will experience some of His glory here on earth. If you do not sin but do what is right and suffer for it then this suffering allows you to find favor with God. Favor with God is that He has turned His face toward you and will bless you. He says that the Spirit of God and glory will rest on you. You will know His presence and it is the sweetest feeling in the world. Words can not explain the comfort and peace you will feel and it will greatly minimize your suffering.

I Peter 4:12-14 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

One of the purposes of testing is to test your faith and to strengthen your faith. You might feel very weak during the testing but what the testing is showing you is where your weakness is so that you can strengthen yourself even more in the Lord. Also, so that you might be able to strengthen others when they experience similar testing of their faith.

I Peter 4:1,2 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

Another reason for your suffering is it sets you free from sin so that you will no longer live for the desires of the flesh but for the will of God. Suffering is part of the Christian life but if you know His promises then it is much easier to endure. The Lord Himself has promised to come to you.

I Peter 5:10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

Finally, what do you do when you are going through a time of trials and suffering? You are to thank Him for the trial and then the Lord says to ask Him for wisdom. This wonderful promise is for anyone who is suffering, whether you have caused it yourself or it is a part of His will for you and you did not do anything wrong. He says that He will give you wisdom and without reproach. Without reproach means that the Lord does not say to us, “I told you so!”. Rather, what it means, is that He is saying is that He promises to give wisdom to anyone who will ask Him and He will give it generously.

James 1:2-5 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

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

Thanking the Lord is an expression of faith and keeps the devil from getting a foothold in your thought life by bringing the Lord into your thoughts. As mentioned earlier it is when we go through trials that we struggle the most in our thought life because we can not see clearly because of the suffering. The Lord wants to get your focus off of the pain and hurt and onto Him. He will bring you through this suffering and afterwards you will from the heart give thanks, either in this life or in the life to come. Faith comes before feeling.

James 1:6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

However, the ultimate purpose of suffering is to make us like Jesus. We become like Jesus when we learn to obey Him. The pathway of obedience is suffering.

Hebrews 5:8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.

The pathway of Christlikeness is obedience.

I Peter 2:21-24 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.