A Life that Receives Instruction

The Bible describes a fool as one who will not receive instruction. A wise person receives instruction, benefits from it and is blessed. A wise person seeks out instruction and is grateful for it. A wise person’s life is saved through instruction. The Lord wants to give us instruction on how to live that we may truly experience life and not death.

Psalm 78:1 Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

He will become your gold and your treasure when you learn to receive His instruction. Good will come to you and you will be at peace with God. He will restore you where you are broken. You will find delight in Him and He will hear your prayers. He will become your Savior and your Deliverer. Return to Him if you have strayed from Him and receive His instruction.

Job 22:21-30 “Yield now and be at peace with Him;
Thereby good will come to you.
“Please receive instruction from His mouth
And establish His words in your heart.
“If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored;
If you remove unrighteousness far from your tent,
And place your gold in the dust,
And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks,
Then the Almighty will be your gold
And choice silver to you.
“For then you will delight in the Almighty
And lift up your face to God.
“You will pray to Him, and He will hear you;
And you will pay your vows.
“You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you;
And light will shine on your ways.
“When you are cast down, you will speak with confidence,
And the humble person He will save.
“He will deliver one who is not innocent,
And he will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”

Don’t be a fool but learn to fear the Lord. He is good and He loves you. He will forgive you of any wrong doing and He will instruct you in the way you should go.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

When He gives you instruction then do it, exactly as He says.

Proverbs 4:13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life.

Don’t neglect your time in His Word for it is through His Word that He will give you instruction.

Proverbs 8:33 “Heed instruction and be wise, And do not neglect it.

He came that you might have life and His instruction will keep you on the path of life. Is there something that He has been trying to tell you?

Proverbs 10:17 He is on the path of life who heeds instruction, But he who ignores reproof goes astray.

Don’t ignore what the Old Testament has to say for it was written for our instruction so that through perseverance and the encouragement of His Word we might have hope.

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.

The Lord has put people in our lives to give us instruction. Listen to them. For they will give an account to the Lord.

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,

Finally, as the Lord has called all of us to instruct others, let it be done according to God’s Word, with great patience.

II Timothy 4:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

Always, let the goal of our instruction be love…that others might love the Lord and excel in loving others. That the world might know that we are Christians by our love for one another.

I Timothy 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

 

 

A Life that Overcomes Bitterness

Bitterness is one of the most damaging emotions. Bitterness can be an unresolved hurt in our hearts. Someone hurt us and we can still feel it as if it just happened yesterday. Bitterness can be a wound that has never been healed. It will cause you trouble and poison many.

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

When sin abounds then God’s grace abounds also but unless we receive His grace and are healed from the hurt and pain of wounds from others we will become bitter.

Romans 5:20,21 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Grace reigns through righteousness to eternal life which is through Jesus Christ our Lord. When you do what is right after someone has done you wrong, and you can only do this through God’s grace, then you will be set free from the bitterness which would result from not experiencing His grace. If you will turn to Him in your pain then He will heal you and restore you.

Exodus 15:26 And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.”

The opposite of bitterness is thankfulness. He will remove the bitterness and fill your heart with gratitude and joy. Only the Lord can do this but He can and He wants to.

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

Bitterness also comes from forsaking the Lord.

Jeremiah 2:19 Your own wickedness will correct you,
And your apostasies will reprove you;
Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter
For you to forsake the Lord your God,
And the dread of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord God of hosts.

Bitterness can come from the misfortune of bereavement.

Ruth 1:20 She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.

The Lord healed Naomi and she became the great great grandmother of King David. The Lord restored her joy. She trusted the Lord and He was faithful to her.

Ruth 4:16,17 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Bitterness can come from unfulfilled desires and longings. Hannah was greatly sorrowful that she could not have any children.

I Samuel 1:10 She, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.

Hannah turned to the Lord and the Lord heard her prayer and gave her a son, who became the last judge and first prophet in Israel. Her prayer that is recorded became Mary’s prayer when she found out that she was going to bear a Son and His name would be Jesus, the Son of God.

I Samuel 2:1,2 Then Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord;
My horn is exalted in the Lord,
My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
There is no one holy like the Lord,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.

When you experience great loss then you might feel bitter. Job lost everything but his wife and then she also tried to get him to forsake the Lord.

Job 3:20 Why is light given to him who suffers,
And life to the bitter of soul,

Job was faithful to the Lord and the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him even more.

Job 42:10 The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold.

Great sorrow and pain comes to all of us at some time in our life. How we respond to it will determine whether our life becomes bitter or sweet. If we turn to Him, He is faithful and will not disappoint you, for that is the promise He has made to us.

Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

If you don’t turn to Him then your bitterness will eat you up and destroy you from the inside and will make it’s way out through your countenance and your tongue. Not only will it destroy you but it will defile those around you, as mentioned earlier. Don’t substitute what the Lord wants to give to you. His plan for you is sweet. It is the devil who wants to rob you through bitterness.

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Turn to the Lord in you sorrow, loss, disappointment and unfulfilled desires and longings. He will give to you even more than what you can imagine and He has a plan for your life that is good for you and sweet.

 

A Life that Does What is Right

One aspect of the meaning of righteousness is doing what is right. Jesus walked in perfect righteousness, which means that He did what was right all of the time. Righteousness is the opposite of sin. One of the definitions of the word righteousness in the Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament, is literally “do not destroy”. When we sin and do not do what is right then we are destroying something, whether it is our family, our reputation, our relationships, our marriage or whatever else that is a part of us.

Psalm 58:1,2 Do you indeed speak righteousness, O mighty ones?
Do you judge uprightly, O sons of men?
No, in heart you work unrighteousness;
On earth you weigh out the violence of your hands.

In our hearts all of us are guilty of unrighteousness. We deceive our selves by rationalizing or saying something is not that bad, in other words, we weigh out the degree of our sin to determine if it is that bad. Violence is violating the Word of God and in the end we are the ones who are violated. The word violate means to change. When we sin, then something in us is changed. When we sin we lose our innocence in that area and have come into the knowledge of evil. We are no longer the same and it has taken us away from the image of God. When we sin then a part of us is destroyed.

Deuteronomy 6:25 It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the Lord our God, just as He commanded us.

When we do what is right then it keeps us from being destroyed. It is not the kind of righteousness that saves us but it is the righteousness that preserves us. The righteousness that comes from God that saves us is the righteousness that is based on faith. When we believe God then our faith is reckoned to us as righteousness. However, we can be a Christian and still experience destruction if we do not live according to His Word.

I Samuel 26:23a The Lord will repay each man for his righteousenss and his faithfulness;

The Lord rewards each man according to his righteousness. This is a reference to the blessings that he receives, whether it is rewards on earth or in heaven. When you do what is right in God’s eyes then He rewards you.

I Kings 3:6a Then Solomon said, “You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You;

He gives us the righteousness of Christ when we become a Christian but then He wants us to walk in His righteousness after we have come to know Him. He wants us to put on His righteousness, in other words, He wants us to walk in a manner pleasing Him, that is, doing what is right. You are to put on the new self. When you put on the new self the outcome will be righteousness.

Ephesians 4:22-24 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

You are to wear the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate is what guards your heart. When you do what is right then you will guard yourself from much pain in your heart.

Ephesians 6:14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

This is the righteousness that the Lord spoke of in Ezekiel when He mentioned Noah, Job and Daniel, that they could only save themselves by their own righteousness. He is not talking about eternal salvation, for all have sinned and fall short of God’s standard of righteousness. However, they preserved their own lives from destruction on earth because they sought to live out God’s standard of righteousness and while others were destroyed their lives were not destroyed. Let them be our examples of living a godly life in a godless world. God’s judgments are coming and He will judge the world in righteousness.

Ezekiel 14:12-20 Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,” declares the Lord God. “If I were to cause wild beasts to pass through the land and they depopulated it, and it became desolate so that no one would pass through it because of the beasts, though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the country would be desolate. Or if I should bring a sword on that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass through the country and cut off man and beast from it,’ even though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters, but they alone would be delivered. Or if I should send a plague against that country and pour out My wrath in blood on it to cut off man and beast from it, even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

To sum up, you are not responsible for the wrongs done to you by others but you are responsible for doing the right thing in your relationships with others. The devil is the destroyer and the way he destroys is by deceiving us into believing a lie that it is okay to do certain things. Don’t let him destroy you by doing what is wrong. Learn the right way to do life so that you will experience life as the Lord designed and came to give you.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

 

A Life that Is Compensated

The Lord is fair and He is just. He does all things right and well. He is also love. He also says that He recompenses a man according to his work.

Psalm 62:11,12 Once God has spoken;
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God;
And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord,
For You recompense a man according to his work.

Apart from the Lord our hearts are proud and everything we do is tainted with that pride. If we are good it may be because we want the praise of others or we want to feel good about ourselves. When we do wrong we will still think that we are not that bad because we can always find someone who has done things worse than us, at least in our own eyes. All of this is apart from the new heart that the Lord gives to us when we give our old heart to Him. He can not reform our old heart and so He gives us a new one.

Psalm 31:23 O love the Lord, all you His godly ones! The Lord preserves the faithful And fully recompenses the proud doer.

When we receive a new heart then we become godly in His eyes because now we have God in us. He came to save us and to make us into the image of Jesus Christ.

Ezekiel 36:26,27 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

The evidence of a new heart is that you will want to walk in His ways and you will want to obey His Word. You will also be compensated but your compensation will come from walking in His ways and obeying Him. When you walk with Him then He leads you into good works that He has already prepared for you to do. You just have to obey Him and when you do, then you will enter into His joy and will know that you have done what He desired.

II Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

We will all appear before the Lord and be recompensed for the deeds we have done to other Christians. All they good or are they bad? Have you loved as the Lord has loved you? Have you withheld good from someone when it was in your power to do it? Are you ready to see the Lord?

Galatians 6:9,10 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.

 

A Life that Is Loved

The Lord wants to bless us. He longs to be gracious to us and to show us His great love.

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

He is a God of love and if we will only allow Him to love us with His perfect love then we will truly ride on the heights of the earth. That is, we will live above circumstances and soar in life because we will be secure in the arms of the only One who can love with a perfect love.

Deuteronomy 33:12 May the beloved of the Lord dwell in security by Him,
Who shields him all the day,
And he dwells between His shoulders.

Underneath you will be the everlasting arms and He will hold you up. He will drive out your enemies before you.

Deuteronomy 33:26,27 There is none like the God of Jeshurun,
Who rides the heavens to your help,
And through the skies in His majesty.
The eternal God is a dwelling place,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;
And He drove out the enemy from before you,
And said, ‘Destroy!’

He has enclosed you behind and before and laid His hand on you.

Psalm 139:5 You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.

There is nothing too difficult for Him. There is nothing that you have done that makes it too difficult for Him to love you. He loves you and wants you to belong to Him.

Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,

As high as the heavens are above the earth so great will His love be for those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:11-14 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.

Does He love those who do not fear Him? Yes, but they will not experience His love until they come to know Him. When you know Him then you fear Him, which means you stand in awe of Him and want to fall at His feet and worship Him, because you see that He is God. He invites all to come into a relationship with Him.

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.

Put your name in the place of the word world. For God so loved you that He gave His only begotten Son so that you might be called by His name and belong to Him for all eternity. He invites you into His family, to become His child.

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,

If you have not yet received Him then do so today so that you might begin the incredible journey of experiencing His love and walking with Him. You will realize that there is none to compare with it.

 

 

 

A Life that Praises

The Bible says that praise is becoming to the upright.

Psalm 33:1 Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.

What you praise is what you will become. You will praise what you put your trust in.

Psalm 115:8 Those who make them will become like them,
Everyone who trusts in them.

What you praise is what you trust in and what you trust in is your idol and your idol is what you worship.

Psalm 115:4-7 Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of man’s hands.
They have mouths, but they cannot speak;
They have eyes, but they cannot see;
They have ears, but they cannot hear;
They have noses, but they cannot smell;
They have hands, but they cannot feel;
They have feet, but they cannot walk;
They cannot make a sound with their throat.

Praise and worship go together. The Lord calls it wickedness if you worship what you have made, whether it is your home, business, career, savings account or anything else that would tempt you to trust in rather than to trust in the Lord.

Jeremiah 1:16 I will pronounce My judgments on them concerning all their wickedness, whereby they have forsaken Me and have offered sacrifices to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands.

Have you sacrificed your children to build your career if you are married? Have you sacrificed your standards to try to get that relationship you desire? Have you forsaken the Lord by not having your quiet times with Him because you are too busy?

Deuteronomy 5:8-10 You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

If you have been trusting in anything other than the Lord then repent and turn to Him with all of your heart. Fear Him and keep His commandments. He will show His lovingkindness to you who love Him and obey Him.

Hebrews 13:15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.

It is through Jesus Christ that we offer up a sacrifice of praise to the Lord. We are to thank Him for all of the great things that He has done. This is one of the ways that you become more like Him. When you praise Him then He is your focus and you become what you fix your eyes on.

Psalm 30:4 Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones,
And give thanks to His holy name.

When He is your trust then He will be your Savior. He will deliver you, save you, protect you, provide for you and whatever else you need. His name is Jehovah and His name means “the becoming One”. He will become what you need and your praise will be becoming to Him.

A Life with Love Heals the Brokenhearted

The relationships and the love that God designed for us through them are gifts from God. He knew that we needed each other. That is why He said that it was not good for Adam to be alone. Adam needed the love and companionship of Eve. Eve needed Adam’s love and companionship as well. The Lord is not only the source of love but He also gives us the wisdom we need to keep love in relationships. When the love is not in our God-given relationships then the Lord wants to restore the love when the love is gone. We may feel that there is “no way” for a relationship and love to be restored but there is nothing impossible with God.

And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Sometimes it is not a husband and wife who are estranged but parents and children also can have hurt and damaged relationships. The Lord can heal broken hearts. Neither the parent or the child are completely happy unless they are at peace with one another.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

The beginning of restoration is to acknowledge that your heart is broken. You may say that you do not care but you are not being honest with yourself or else your heart has become so hardened from seeking to protect yourself from further pain. When your heart is hardened then it can no longer experience any love, not even God’s love. To be fully restored in your relationship with others you need to first be restored in your relationship with the Lord. When we are restored in our relationship with the Lord then we will be able to see clearly.

Then again He laid His hands on his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly. Mark 8:25

Ask Him if there are any areas not pleasing to Him. Everyone has blind spots in their lives, in other words, we may be causing hurts to others and not even aware of it. The Lord wants to reveal our hurtful ways to us so that He can help us and change us.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way. Psalm 139:23,24

The Lord will teach us His ways. Often our blind spots are in our lives because of our backgrounds. When we humble ourselves before Him by coming to Him and asking Him for His help then He is more than willing to help us. He wants us to come to Him.

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

One of the most famous stories is the story of the prodigal son. Both the father and the son were reconciled. The father’s heart was broken and humble and the son’s heart was humbled and broken. Both wanted to be reconciled and both were willing to do what they needed to do.

And He said, “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate. Luke 15:11-24

Both father and son had a willing spirit. A willing spirit is necessary for reconciliation. Only the Lord can sustain us with a willing spirit. It is often our pride that keeps us from having a willing spirit and being restored.

And sustain me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:12b

When relationships have been hurt and fellowship broken then there is the temptation to be defensive because we have been hurt. We have to allow the walls to come down and be vulnerable again. The father could have rejected the son and the son could have stayed away. Both would have been robbed of the love and joy that God designed for them.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10

Our enemies are not each other but our enemy is the devil. He is called the evil one because he wants to rob us of all the good things in life that God has for us.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12

Be strong in the Lord and live in His strength. Be on your guard always against the schemes of the devil. He is always wanting to destroy what is precious to you. Don’t believe his lies. He is an accuser and will accuse the other one to you. Love believes the best. The Lord wants you to be restored and loved.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

A Life that Stands

The Lord told His disciples that they need to be able to stand when He comes back. It is going to be so terrifying and awesome that we will fall on our faces before Him when He comes again. Only those who have stood for Him and walked with Him on earth will be able to stand before Him when He comes again.

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.”

There are times when you will have to stand for Him. Don’t shrink back or be afraid for He will stand with you.

Mark 13:9 “But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them.

Be faithful to the end and He will stand for you. When Stephen was being stoned to death, he saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

Acts 7:54-57 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse.

We stand in His grace. You will keep standing throughout this journey on earth as you learn to stand on His Word in His grace.

Romans 5:1,2 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

If you fall, get back up and keep standing strong in His grace. Your standing before the Lord is not based on your goodness or not falling but on Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 24:16 For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,
But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.

He considers you righteous even when you fall and He holds your hand.

Psalm 37:23,24 The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.

The Lord is the One who keeps us standing so that we may stand before Him. Don’t worry if someone else judges you because the Lord will keep you standing and that is all that matters.

Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

He will deliver your soul your soul from death and keep your feet from stumbling, not only in this life but in the life to come, so that you may walk before Him in the light of the living.

Psalm 56:13 For You have delivered my soul from death,
Indeed my feet from stumbling,
So that I may walk before God
In the light of the living.

 

A Life that Calls

One of the definitions of a wicked person is that they do not call upon the Lord.

Psalm 53:4 Have the workers of wickedness no knowledge,
Who eat up My people as though they ate bread
And have not called upon God?

A life that lives as the Lord calls us to live is one who calls upon the Lord. He says over and over again in His Word, “call on Me”. It is the wise young lady who gives heed to this admonition. Are you ever in trouble? Call on Him. He has promised that He will rescue you but you need to be careful to give Him the honor.

Psalm 50:15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.

Do you need boldness? Call on Him.

Psalm 138:3 On the day I called, You answered me;
You made me bold with strength in my soul.

Do you need to know what to do? Call on Him.

Jeremiah 33:3 Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

An expression of true repentance is when people call on the Lord. Is there something in your life that you know that you should not be doing? Call on the Lord and turn from your wicked ways. The Lord meets the one who delights in doing righteousness.

Jonah 3:8 But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands.

The greatest invitation that has ever been given has been given to all of us.  Whoever will call upon the Lord will be saved!

Romans 10:8-13 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Let it not be said of you that you did not call on the Lord or that you became weary of Him. Call on Him today, while you have the opportunity.

Isaiah 43:22 Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob;
But you have become weary of Me, O Israel.

If you do not call upon Him while you can then the day will come when you will wish that you had done so when you had the opportunity. He is calling to you. Do not refuse Him.

Proverbs 1:28,29 Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord.

 

 

 

A Life with Love is Being Accepted

All of us long to be accepted for who we are rather than for what we can accomplish or for what we have or for any other superficial reason. Deep down we know that we will ultimately lose sometime even if we have won a million times and that what we have gained we can lose. Everything that is temporal is superficial and most of which was beyond our control. We had no choice what country we were born in, who our parents are, our physical appearance or intelligence or talents or status in this world. If we focus on these attributes that we have been given then we become even more insecure because no matter how “whatever” someone is they know that someone will come along who is prettier, or smarter, or more athletic or “whatever” it is that we have been praised for or have sought after. Everyone is basically insecure on the inside and think that something more will make us “feel secure”. Eve thought that if she ate of the forbidden fruit then she would be wiser.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6

All of these temptations are illusions. They will not make you wiser nor will you feel more secure nor even feel better. They certainly will not make you accepted more. There have been many women who have fallen into the trap that “if only” they could change “this” or “that” then they would be accepted or “when” they get “this” or “that” then they will feel secure. It is not so and it will never be. However, there is something very attractive about a person who is secure in exactly who they are and that they do not need someone else to give them their security and that they have accepted themselves for what they have and are not constantly seeking for more. The person who is secure does not feel the need to control others or to manipulate. Blessed is the man who finds a wife who is secure.

I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. John 17:23

One of the most amazing truths in the Scripture is that God, the Father loves His children, those who believe in Jesus Christ, with the same love that He loves Jesus. How can this be? Jesus never sinned and we have all sinned. The Bible says that our righteousness is as filthy rags. The filthy rag is one that stinks. Our sin stinks and we are sinners.

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

However, when we become one of His sheep He loves us as His own. The only way this happens is because when we become a Christian we receive the righteousness of Christ. He takes our filthiness and He gives us His sweet fragrance.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10

This is best illustrated in the Shepherd who cares for the sheep. When a lamb becomes orphaned because it’s mother dies the Shepherd takes the lamb and finds a nursing ewe who has lost it’s little lamb and covers the orphaned lamb with the skin of the dead lamb. The nursing ewe, who normally will have nothing to do with a lamb not her own, smells the sweet smell of her own little lamb and adopts the live orphaned lamb as her own and cares for it and nurses it until it can survive on its own. In a similar way, Jesus covers us with His robe of righteousness and that is what God, the Father sees in us sinners, the righteousness of Jesus Christ and He fully accepts us as His own and loves us with the same love with which He loves Jesus.

Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. Romans 15:7

The only way that we can love another with perfect acceptance is when we realize that we are fully accepted by God. The only way that two people will feel secure in their relationship is when they are secure in their relationship with the Lord. There is nothing that we can do to be accepted by God other than to be “in Christ” and to be covered with His righteousness. Righteousness is doing it right all of the time and we have all failed. We have no righteousness of our own but those who belong to Jesus Christ have been declared righteous in the eyes of God because of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ never failed to do what is right. We are loved with the same love that Jesus is loved with and we are accepted into the family of God and into heaven because of Jesus Christ and that He has given His righteousness to us and taken our filthy rags.