A Life that Loves People

If you love God then you will love people because God loves people. He loves everyone. The Bible says that He is good to the evil and the good.

Matthew 5:45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

If you are His child then you will want to become like Him.

I John 3:1-3 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

When we see Him we will be like Him but before that happens we are in the process of becoming like Him, which means we are being conformed into His likeness while on earth.

Romans 6:5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

His destiny for us is to become like Him.

Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

It is through knowing Him that we become conformed to His death, His resurrection and His life.

Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;

Jesus is the Word and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. God uses His Word to transform us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

His Word becomes alive in us and replaces our old though patterns and habits.

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.

Just as Jesus did not come to do His own will but the will of the Father, in the same way, we also are not to do our will but the will of God.

John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

Just as Jesus prayed in the garden, “not My will but Thy will be done”, we too are to pray the same and desire that His will would be done.

Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

Jesus also taught His disciples to pray in the same way, that His will would be done.

Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

When you choose to follow Jesus. He will be your Lord and it is His will that becomes of utmost importance. This is what it means to die to yourself. You are dying to your will and living to do His will. This is truly the only way that you can love people. It is the way that Jesus loved you by going to the cross for you. He chose the will of the Father.

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.

God so loved you so that you too might love others with the same kind of love. What amazing love!

A Life Filled with Joy

We all want to have joy. Sometimes it may seem that joy is not possible all of the time but actually it can be. Is not it possible to have peace all of the time and also love? Yes, the Lord wants our lives to be filled with His fruit. Joy is not just an emotion even as love, peace, patience and kindness are not merely emotions either. Joy is a well being or satisfaction and pleasantness in the spirit. It is part of the fruit of the Spirit and comes with no guilt or regret. Emotions come and go and we are not to live by them but the fruit of the Spirit is an expression of Christ in us.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Joy is knowing His presence and having His favor on your life. Joy comes from the Lord. It is a security that comes from His presence and knowing that the Lord will be with you, will guide you and has a pleasing future for you. You can try to please yourself or you can have His pleasures which last for eternity.

Psalm 16:9 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

The Lord has also given us something special in this life which will give us great joy and that is the privilege of serving Him through the spiritual gift that He has given to you. There is no one like you and although others may have the same spiritual gift as you, it will not be expressed in the same unique way. The Lord has a job for you to do and only you can do it.

I Peter 4:10,11 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

There are two types of gifts, a speaking gift and a serving gift. If your gift is speaking then you are to speak the utterances of God, which is His Word. His Word has the power and you are the mouthpiece to speak it. If your gift is serving then He has given you supernatural strength though His Spirit. If you are filled with His Word and His Spirit then He will be glorified in your life and the church will be built up.

II Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

You must know His word if you want to be used by Him. He uses His Word. We are only His vessel through which He speaks. If we know His Word then we will be prepared for the goods works that he has planned for each of us.

II Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

You must keep a clear conscience so that the Holy Spirit is not quenched in your life. The Lord uses His Spirit and His Word. Sanctified means to be cleansed and set apart for a holy purpose.

II Timothy 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

Finally, we must continually humble ourselves before the Lord, for He give grace to the humble. Jesus was full of grace and truth. The Word of God is truth and grace allows us to live out the truth and therefore be full of truth through the power of the Holy Spirit.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

When you are prepared and set apart and obedient to His Word then the Word becomes flesh through you and Jesus Christ is glorified. You are a part of His body and the spiritual gift that He has given you is meant to be an expression of Him to others. The word joy has the same root as the word grace and gift. You will have great joy when you exercise your spiritual gift through the grace that He gives to you.

John 17:15-19 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.

Jesus has sent us into the world. He has prayed that we would be cleansed and set apart through His Word. He wants to use you. When He uses you to fulfill His plan for the world then you will have great joy. When you are faithful to Him and obedient to Him and His will for your life then your life will overflow with joy. May you be blessed by entering into His joy and hearing His words to you, “Well done, My good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master.” What has He called you to do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Loves

The greatest of all is love and love is the most powerful influence in the world. When we learn to love as Christ did then our world will be changed. We will be willing to die for each other even as Christ died for us.

Romans 5:7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.

This word good means the highest form of love. What the Lord is saying is that someone would not be willing to give up their life for someone who does the right thing  but perhaps maybe someone would die for a person who loved them. Love is the greatest power in the world. We will always want to be around those who love us.

I John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

We know that Jesus loves us. He died for us and He would do it again. He did not die for us because we were good but He died for us because He is good. Jesus Christ is the expression of the highest form of love.

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

The only way we can love with the love of Christ is if we die to ourselves first.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

We must deny ourselves and follow Him. It is a daily dying to ourselves and it is the path to freedom and to Christlikeness.

Luke 9:23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

This life is only possible through His Spirit and by His Spirit. He will only lead you where He has gone before you. There is no fear in a life of dying to self and following Him. In your dying you will begin living and in your death others will find life.

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

Jesus went before us. He was crushed for our iniquities and by His scourging we are healed. He died for us.

Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.

The Lord is pleased when we offer ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice. How is it seen by others? It is seen through our love for others as we are poured out as an offering to Him.

Isaiah 53:10-12 But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

You have the opportunity to be like Jesus when you intercede for those who have sinned against you. You may not be able to bear their sins as Jesus did on the cross but when you pray “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”, you will be more like Him than you will ever know and others will see Jesus in you.

Luke 23:24 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.

The greatest is love and those who love are the greatest.

I Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 

A Life that is Sweet and Good

The Lord has a plan for our lives and it is sweet and good. He wants us to live in and on His promises. We are to live by faith in the land of His promises. In the Old Testament when He described the promised land He said it was a land flowing with milk and honey. Milk is good for you and honey is sweet. That is how it is when we walk by faith with the Lord. Fellowship with Him is sweet and obedience to His Word is good for us.

Exodus 3:17 So I said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt…to a land flowing with milk and honey.

Egypt was symbolic of slavery and the land flowing with milk and honey was the land of promise which they were to possess by faith. Are you enslaved to sin or the flesh? Are their any habits that you are struggling with and know you need to be set free? He came to set you free.

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

If you have been set free then don’t go back into the bondage of slavery. There are two things that will hold you back from your goals and desires. They are snares and snags. Snares are sins that have ensnared you and that Jesus can set you free and wants to set you free. Snags are things that you have no control over and they cause you to cry out to Him for help. Just as if you were walking down a path and a branch from a tree were to snag you and you could not free yourself. He allows obstacles and snags in our life to cause us to realize that we can not make it on our own. We need His help. By faith we look continually to Him.

Jude 1:5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.

The Lord died for you and rose again so that you might be set free from the snares of the devil. However you must trust Him and learn to live by faith or you will end up being destroyed.

I John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

The Lord made you to be an overcomer. He wants life to be sweet and good for you. It is possible only through Him. Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

A Life that Chooses Life and Peace

There are two people within the Christian. There is the “old person” which is called the flesh and there is the “new person” who is the new spiritual man that came alive when a Christian is born again. He is born spiritually. This truth is a puzzlement to an unbeliever but is a reality to the Christian. A religious man asked Jesus this question 2000 years ago.

John 3:4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”

Jesus answered him because he was truly seeking to know the truth. The Lord knows your heart and if you are sincerely seeking to know the truth then you will hear the truth.

John 3:5-7 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

You must be physically born and your must be spiritually born to become a child of God and enter His kingdom. We are born spiritually dead and that is why we do not understand spiritual matters until we are born again. When we become born again then His Spirit enters into us and unites with our spirit and makes us become alive spiritually.  For this reason, no one can give us assurance of our salvation but the Spirit and He does assure our spirit that we have become His child.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

When you become His child, by becoming born again, you have now within you the “old man”, which is your flesh and the “new man” which is your spirit. If you allow the flesh to control you then you will experience death. If by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the flesh then you will live.

Romans 8:12-14 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

If you are a Christian then you will want to be led by His Spirit. If you are a Christian then you will not want to sin. If you will feed your spirit by spending time with the Lord through His Word and prayer and allow His Spirit to control you then you will experience life and peace.

Romans 8:5,6 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,

The Christian life is a process of maturing and becoming more like Christ. It takes time and obedience. We all fall but the Lord picks us up and helps us get back on track.

Proverbs 24:16 For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,

You will find that the more consistent you are in your quiet times with Him the smoother your Christian life will be. It is a “sweet life” to walk with the Lord. Don’t get discouraged. We all have to learn to walk with Him. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ.

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

He loves you and He remembers your sin no more!

Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

 

 

A Life that Seeks First

We all seek after something, whether it is fame, fortune, security, significance,purpose and meaning in life or all of the above, there is something deep within us that seeks. Oftentimes when we find what we are seeking it leaves us even more empty because many of the things that we think will make us happy are only an illusion, an emptiness that we realize is only vanity.

Ecclesiastes 4:4 I have seen that every labor and every skill which is done is the result of rivalry between a man and his neighbor. This too is vanity and striving after wind.

Many of the things that we seek are only a rivalry with another, a one up man ship or envy, coveting or jealousy. Again, it will not satisfy and we will only want more.

Ecclesiastes 5:10 He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity.

You can become the richest person in the world and you still will not be happy. Your life will feel more empty than before because you will have gotten what you thought would make you happy.

Ecclesiastes 2:23 Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity.

Your life will have been lived in vain if you do not seek what the Lord has designed you to seek. Your days will be filled with pain and your work will be grievous. You will not see meaning in many of the things that you do and some people will even have trouble sleeping at night.

Deuteronomy 4:29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.

If you do seek Him then you will find Him if you seek Him with all of your heart. If you seek Him, not only will you find Him and be satisfied, but you will receive everything else that you need to make you content as well. In seeking Him not only will you be content but you will understand that it is more blessed to give than to receive and your life will overflow with joy, satisfaction, contentment and life!

Matthew 6:33,34 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The Lord tells us that if we seek Him kingdom first and His righteousness all of the things that the nonchristians seek will be given to us and we will also need not have to worry about tomorrow. So, He says He will give us the meaning and security that we are seeking. He will give us what we need. He cares for us but He wants us to seek Him, so that we do not get caught up in the emptiness of wanting more and more and more.

Psalm 119:37 Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me in Your ways.

Pray for revival first in your own heart. Revival comes when we quit seeking vanity and start seeking Him, that He might revive us in His ways.

A Life that Finishes Well

When it is all said and done the most important words that you will ever hear is what the Lord will say to you at the end of your life. There is justice for all, the Christian and the nonChristian.

I Corinthians 4:5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.

There will be no hiding. He will bring to light the things we have hidden in darkness and He will judge our motives. This is a heavy truth but it is better to hear it now than to wait until it is too late.

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.

God is a God of justice. Justice means that there will be just compensation for what we have done. He will compensate the nonChristian with wrath and punishment for their not believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, and their resulting sins and lack of works of obedience.

Romans 2:5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

God’s wrath is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth. How many times have we suppressed the truth, which means, we heard it and did not do it. We justified ourselves, or at least tried to, until our hearts became dull and we no longer heard the truth. Repent, repent, repent and turn to Him with all of your heart. His judgment day is going to be a very frightening day.

Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Let no one deceive you with empty words. Don’t just listen to those who will tell you what you want to hear. His wrath is coming!

II Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

The Lord will reward the Christian for their faith, and their resulting obedience and good works. In fact, He says that judgment will begin with the household of God. If you are a Christian then that means you.

I Peter 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

If John the apostle fell like a dead man when he saw the Lord how do you think we will be when we see Him in His glory? One of the responses when He returns will be of great and terrifying fear. However, for those who know Him, He will remove our fear just as He did when John saw Him.

Revelation 1:17.18 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

Another response will be that those who have done the most will feel as if they have done the least. He says that at the end He will separate the sheep from the goats. He will point out to the faithful the many things that they did and their response will be “Lord, when did we do these things?”

Matthew 25:31-40 But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 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 Lord makes it very clear here what separates the sheep from the goats.

Matthew 25:41-46 Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Works are not what saves us but works are what are the outcome of our faith. May you hear the good words that will forever echo in your mind at judgment day.

Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’