A Life Blessed by Love and Truth

It was God’s love and His truth that was His gift to us in Jesus Christ. He took the initiative and loved us and made known the truth to us and made it available to us to become right with God.

Proverbs 16:6a By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for,

Our sin was atoned for through the death of Jesus Christ. He took the punishment and penalty for sin that we deserved. We are forgiven through Him and it was His love and His righteousness that we received. Atonement was made for us that we might have the gift of forgiveness and our guilt removed.

Leviticus 14:31 He shall offer what he can afford, the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, together with the grain offering. So the priest shall make atonement before the Lord on behalf of the one to be cleansed.

Jesus was the lamb of God that took our guilt away and cleansed us from our sin.

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,

As many as will receive the gift of Jesus Christ, the lamb of God, who died for the world shall receive the gift of salvation, the removal of their guilt and the cleansing from their sin and they will become “at one” with God and become His child and a part of His family. God, the Father, receives those who receive Jesus Christ because of what Jesus did.

John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

 

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.

A Life with Love Does Not Hate

Love is an expression of everything that is good and hate is an expression of everything that is bad. If we love someone then we will do them good and build them up but if we hate someone then we will do what is bad towards them and will want to bring them grief. Love wants to be with someone and hate wants to do away with someone.

“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Matthew 5:21,22

Hate goes before abusive speech and actions and anger is the beginning of hate. Hate desires destruction to the one whom it is aimed towards but in actuality it destroys the one who has it within their heart. Cain hated Abel because God accepted Abel’s offering but not Cain’s offering.

Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Genesis 4:8

The Lord did not tell anyone but Cain that He did not accept Cain’s sacrifice. The Lord does not shame but we bring about our own shame when we do not do life right. When we do wrong we can seek forgiveness from God or we can continue in our shame and receive more shame. Sin never stands alone. Sin brings more sin.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:9

Abel knew where his brother was. A dead man does not move. If someone will kill they will lie. If someone will steal they will lie. If someone will commit adultery they will lie. Do not be in a relationship with a liar. If you hear them lie then flee from that relationship. The person who lies can not be trusted and the one who lies will lie to you.

He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. Genesis 4:10

The Lord asked Cain the same question that He asked Adam, “What have you done?”. Cain could not silence the dead nor could he do away with Abel. Whenever a person hates someone then they give the devil power over their lives. Whenever someone kills someone then they can not get away from the victim. They become a tormented person and the person whom they killed now lives within their thoughts. Hatred destroys the person who has it.

By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. Hebrews 11:4

Cain was angry with God for not accepting his sacrifice. All anger is ultimately directed at God but it is taken out on someone else. Anger is not getting your way and what you want. Abel received what he wanted but Cain did not and so Cain killed Abel.

For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. I John 3:11,12

Love is of God and the message that has been from the beginning is that we should love one another. The violence that comes from anger is from the devil and when it is carried out then the perpetrator has done the works of the devil. Violence is different from other sins in that some of the other sins are natural desires that are fulfilled in the wrong way. It is wrong to commit adultery but physical intimacy is a natural desire that becomes adultery when it is accomplished between two people not married. The Lord hates violence.

The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates. Psalm 11:5

When the Lord comes into our lives then He sets us free from our own selfish desires which lead to the anger, hatred, jealousy, envy and all the other feelings and attitudes that can control us that leads to death within our souls. He takes out of our lives the things that destroy us and replaces them with what is good. He also will do this with relationships when they are given to the Lord.

We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. I John 3:14-16

Jesus Christ took our death, and all that dwells in death and causes death, to the cross that we might be set free. The anger, hatred, jealousy, strife and more are what characterizes the person who is still in death and separated from God. Love is what marks the person who has passed out of death into life. Jesus Christ died and rose again that He might bring us to God. He laid down His life for us.

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; I Peter 3:18

Abel loved God and Cain could not destroy Abel’s love for God nor could he silence Abel. Evil destroys the person who does it but God came to destroy the works of the devil.

The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. I John 3:8

The one who knows God will love others. The one who does not know God, their heart will have hatred. Those who love God will want to do what is right. Those who do not know God can not do what is right, for their hearts are wicked.

By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. I John 3:10

The Lord loves you whether you belong to Him or not. He wants you to come to Him. God loved Cain. Cain did not choose to love God. Love is a choice. God’s wisdom is a mystery. We do not fully understand it but when we do come to Jesus Christ our lives are changed now and forever.

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. I Corinthians 15:51,52

The Lord says that if only those who crucified the Lord Jesus Christ had understood that He loved them then they would not have crucified Him. Jesus Christ loved even His enemies and those who hated Him.

but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written,

“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” I Corinthians 2:7-9

His plan for man from the beginning has always been love. God has always loved man but God has also given man a choice. Man can respond to that love through Jesus Christ or they can reject that love. When they reject that love then their hearts continue to stay darkened and what is wrong starts to seem right and what is right seems wrong to them. Those who crucified Jesus Christ hated Him and believed that they could silence Him. God raised Him from the dead and He still desires that all people come to Him and receive eternal life.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. John 5:24

There is no sin too great. We all are guilty of crucifying the Lord. It was for all of us and for all of our sin that He went to the cross. It is not too late to come to Him.

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. II Peter 3:9

A Life with Love Give Freedom

When God created Adam and Eve, He created them to be free. Their sin brought fear and death. Fear makes our world much smaller. The Lord gave Adam and Eve the world to rule and the entire garden to enjoy but their sin caused their world to become the size of their hiding place. They were no longer free.

and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8b

Adam and Eve had no fears until they sinned. When they sinned they experienced death and with it the resulting fear of death. Adam and Eve exchanged life for death and freedom for fear and slavery.

that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Hebrews 2:14b,15

What a person fears is what enslaves that person. What we fear is what controls us. When we are enslaved or controlled by our fears then we are not free.

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. John 8:34

When we sin we are not free. For this reason we often will do the very things that we do not want to do because it is not us doing it but the sin that controls us that is causing us to do the very thing we hate.

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. Romans 7:18-20

The very first step to becoming free is to realize that there is nothing good within us. Since Adam and Eve sinned all of us have inherited the sinful nature that resides within us and that sinful nature is what causes us to sin. There is only One who can set us free from the power of sin and death and that is Jesus Christ.

Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24,25a

Jesus Christ came to set us free. God made man to be free. It was God’s love that set us free. He loved us when we least deserved His love.

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

It is His love that sets us free and it is His love that keeps us free. It is also His love that casts out all of the fears that come with sin and death.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, I John 4:18a

When we receive His love through Jesus Christ then He gives us a new nature and the power to not sin but to do the very good that we want to do.

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

When we become a new creation in Christ then we become born again into God’s family of love. We are born of God’s Spirit and His Spirit gives us the power to do what is right.

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, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12,13

When we have Christ in our life then we also have the Holy Spirit who sets us free from the power of sin.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Romans 8:2

God is good and He loves us. God has given us His Spirit and made us a new creation so that we can do what is right and be free. He created us for freedom and He came again to give us freedom. It is sin that makes us a slave and takes away our freedom. It is sin and death that brings us fears. Jesus Christ conquered death on the cross and set us free from the power of sin and death. He has delivered us from our fears.

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

Learn to live in the freedom that Jesus Christ came to give us. When we learn to live according to His Words then we will live in the freedom that He designed for us. He gives us His Words not to limit our freedom but to give us freedom. His Words and His commands keep us from doing the very things that bring us death, slavery and fears.

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31,32

A Life at Peace

There is nothing in the world that can compare to a life of peace. Peace, how sweet it is for the person who is at peace with the Lord, with themselves and with others. The lack of peace robs you of love, joy and contentment. When peace is missing it is replaced with anxiety, sadness, frustration, emptiness and a lack of satisfaction in life. First of all, there is no peace for the person who is not right with the Lord.

Isaiah 48:22 “There is no peace for the wicked,” says the Lord.

All of our hearts are deceitful and wicked and we will not know peace until we have peace with God. Jesus came to bring us peace and the one who comes to Him receives His peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

When He gives us His peace then He takes our fears and troubles. He came to take the very things that are causing us a lack of peace.

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

Let not your heart be troubled. Come to Him and give Him whatever it is that is causing you anxiety. He will take your burdens and cares for He cares for you. He will take your worries and troubles and give you His peace. Are you afraid? Come to Him.

Luke 8:49-56 While He was still speaking, someone came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.” But when Jesus heard this, He answered him, “Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she will be made well.” When He came to the house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James, and the girl’s father and mother. Now they were all weeping and lamenting for her; but He said, “Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep.”And they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died. He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Child, arise!” And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat. Her parents were amazed; but He instructed them to tell no one what had happened.

The synagogue official came to Jesus about his sick daughter and before they could make it his house, he was informed that she had died. Jesus said to him, “Do not be afraid, only believe.” Jesus makes it sound so simple with the word “only”. Only believe and you do not need to be afraid any longer. If only we could believe. Believing is coming to Jesus. The Lord was saying to Jairus, don’t give up now, keep believing, and don’t be afraid. We become afraid when we get our eyes off of Jesus and onto the problem itself. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and you will not be afraid. If you continue believing you will have His peace and you will end up being amazed at what the Lord will do. It is those who don’t believe who are laughing. To those who have faith the Lord shows His faithfulness. Jesus offers His peace to all who come to Him.

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

There is no problem too big for Jesus. It is in Him that we find peace. In the world we will have troubles. Take courage, for Jesus Christ has overcome the world. Where are you in your peace with the Lord? Are you an overcomer? It is your faith in Him that will allow you to become an overcomer.

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.

Once you are at peace with God then He will show you what you must do to be at peace with yourself and with others. Often it begins with forgiving ourselves and accepting who we are and where we are at in life. We can forgive ourselves and accept where we are because Christ has forgiven us and accepted us. We can forgive others and accept where they are because Christ has forgiven them and loves them also.

Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Life is sweet when we are at peace with God and with ourselves and others. Where are you in your journey? Believing in Him is coming to Him. He is waiting for us to come to Him. He who gave up His own Son will He not with Him freely give us all things? There is no problem too big or too small for Him. Come to Him.

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

 

 

A Life of Great Peace and Great Reward

This is an incredible life and you will be living life to the fullest when you have great peace. The Lord offers us not only peace but great peace. A person who has great peace will not stumble when things go sour.

Psalm 119:65 Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble.

God’s Word is His law and the Lord says those who will love His Word will have great peace.

Psalm 19:7-11 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.

Not only will someone who loves His Word have great peace but the Lord says that there is a great reward in keeping them. These are amazing promises that He offers. Just as in life if something is very important then there is a great reward for it. Even so, the Lord offers a great reward for something that He puts a great value on and that is being in His Word, loving His Word and keeping His Word.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Do you have dreams and desires in your heart that you may have or may not have told anyone. The Lord knows your heart’s desires better than you know them. Often He puts desires in our hearts so that He can fulfill them. However, with His promises there are conditions and the condition here is that you must delight yourself in Him. Delighting in His Word is one way in which you can delight in Him.

Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.

Have you been called by His name? Another way of saying that is, “are you a Christian?” If so, then He wants you to find a Bible and devour His Word or read it much and meditate on it. You will find that if you do this then His words will become a joy and the delight of your heart. Don’t wait for the desire to get into His Word or the feeling of wanting to do it. Just do it and then you will find that it will be a joy to you.

 

 

 

A Life that Can Do All Things

A life that can do all thing is only a life that can do all things through the strength and ability that God provides. The Christian life is the sweetest life ever known but it only comes from a dynamic relationship with the Lord Jesus.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

There is a prayer that expresses it well and it is “I can’t, You never said I could. You can, You always said You would.” He lives the life through you in the power of His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the gift He gives us when we receive Him. He said that, “He would never leave us or forsake us.” He is a present help. If some things seem hard to do or hard to understand then give these matters to Him and ask Him to help you.

Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

If something seems too hard in the Christian life then maybe you are taking a burden that He never intended you to have. This is the only time in Scripture where Jesus describes Himself. He is gentle and humble of heart. If you truly follow Him then you will find rest for your soul.

Romans 8:5-8 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, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

These verses reveal one of the principles of the victorious Christian life. If you are living in the flesh then you will experience death to your soul, which is the defeat you feel and the regret and remorse. If you are living according to the Spirit then you will want to obey and please Him. The flesh is hostile to the Lord and the things of God but the Spirit is alive to the Lord and the things  of God. Ask your self if there is anything that is feeding your flesh. There are so many things today that feed our flesh and when we feed our flesh we will not desire the Lord and it will be impossible to obey Him. After a while often the result is doubting our salvation. It is the Spirit that gives us assurance of our salvation.

Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

The word lusts in the Greek literally means desires. Our flesh has desires that want to be satisfied. The only problem is that they don’t satisfy but leave the Christian feeling empty. They may get for a moment what they want but then once that moment passes then they are lonely on the inside and the temptation is to fill that emptiness comes again but it only increases the emptiness.

James 1:14-17 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 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.

If one will only flee from temptation and call on the Lord for help then in time they will receive the good gift that the Lord has for them. We are often tempted right before the Lord gives His good gifts. He wants to fulfill your desires.

Psalm 34:10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.

A Life that is Helped and Helps

We all need to help and to be helped. We need to help each other stay on God’s path. We need each other and the Lord has provisions for us. There are three layers of relationships that ladies need to help them stay on God’s path and do what is right.

Hebrew 13:7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the outcome of their way of life, imitate their faith.

The top layer are those whom you look up to and respect. If you can have a loving relationship with this person then that is great but sometimes it may be someone you admire from a distance whose life inspires you. However, you definitely need some people in the upper layer who love you and will pray for you and keep you accountable. This person sees your needs and wants to see you grow in the Lord. Find people who are growing in their relationship with the Lord whom you want to be like and you want to go where they are going in life. Be careful who you aspire to be like because you will become like the person you allow to teach you. Choose godly women who love the Lord. Look at the fruit in their lives.

Luke 6:40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

The second layer are the friends that you choose. This layer will love you and want to be with you. Both of you agree that you want to be faithful to the Lord, which means that you want to be faithful to honor your parents or husband, or you both want to be faithful in school or on the job.

Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, unless they be agreed?”

You both want to follow the Lord and you stimulate one another to do that very thing. You will stick with each other through thick and thin, no matter what the circumstances.

Proverbs 18: 24 …there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

You also want your closest friends to be wise people who seek the Lord, fear and respect Him and want to be a disciple of Jesus. A wise person lives each day as though it is his last so that he will be ready to meet the Lord.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

A fool lives as if there is no God.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

Who you choose as your friends is one of the most important decisions you will make in life. Choose right and you will treasure them and you will bless each other. Choose wrong and you will end up in situations you never intended to be and you will go places you never wanted to go. A true friend is more concerned about your relationship with the Lord than your relationship with them.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times,

The last layer is the bottom layer and this layer are the girls or young ladies who look up to you. This layer keeps you on the straight and narrow because you do not want to disappoint them. Often they think that you can do no wrong. Of course you know the truth about yourself but they truly believe the best in you. Also, this layer is important because the Lord tells us to reach out to others and especially to those who can not pay you back. The Lord Himself will make sure that your life is watered if you water others.

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

The Lord Himself was like this.

Philippians 2:3-5 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

If you are missing a layer then ask the Lord to provide and then seek out opportunities to meet people. This principle is seen in life with grandparents, parents and children. Also, Jesus looked to the Father and had the disciples, especially Peter, James and John as friends and reached out to the multitude.

An easy way to remember this is to call it the “oreo” principle. (If you like oreo cookies.) The top layer are those who love you in spite of your faults and the bottom layer are those who love you but do not see your faults. Then the sweet stuff in the middle are your friends who see the good, the bad and the ugly but who love you anyway and who will be there for you. Can it get any better? How is your “oreo” principle?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Is Merciful

Everyone loves a merciful person and they not only do others good but they do themselves good when they are merciful.

Proverbs 11:17 The merciful man does himself good,
But the cruel man does himself harm.

The Lord says that the merciful person will receive mercy.

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

It was in God’s mercy that He redeemed us.

Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.

The merciful person is one who thinks of others and shows God’s love to others. When Jesus showed mercy to someone then those around glorified God saying that the Lord cared for them. When we show mercy to others then they feel as though the Lord has visited them and cares for them.

Luke 7:11-16 Soon afterwards He went to a city called Nain; and His disciples were going along with Him, accompanied by a large crowd. Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!”The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother. Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited His people!”

Compassion moves a person to act and then the recipient receives mercy and feels as though God has visited him. The word visited means “cares for”. He believes that God cares for him. When you are afflicted in any way there is no greater comfort than to feel that God has come to you and cares for you. We actually can be His ambassadors to the world by representing Him and showing mercy to others. When we show mercy to others then they can hear the truth of the Gospel.

Luke 6:36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

We want the Lord to be merciful to us and He has and He will again but He wants us in turn to show mercy to others. This is the characteristic of a Christian, that they are like their Father.

Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their iniquities,
And I will remember their sins no more.”

If you belong to the Lord then He said that He is merciful to you and that He will remember your sins no more. Is there someone that you need to show mercy to and remember their sins no more, or are you still keeping an account? Love does not keep an account of sins of others.

I Corinthians 13:4,5 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

Forgiveness is the promise never to bring it up again. Have you shown mercy, as the Lord has shown you mercy, and forgiven from your heart?

Matthew 18:33-35 Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

You will be blessed if you show mercy for He Himself has said, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy”.

 

 

 

A Life in Secret

There are three things that the Lord says that we need to do in secret. Again, He loves to reward His children when they do what pleases Him so He offers great rewards for these three matters of obedience. The Lord says that He sees in secret and He knows what we do in secret. He says that He will reward us openly. If you read the lives of the great men and women that God has used you will learn that they had their secret life with the Lord. Those who are not faithful in their secret life with the Lord eventually fall just as a tree whose roots are shallow or whose inside is rotten will fall. Your roots must go deep into his Word and into the soil of His love. If they do then your spiritual life will be nourished and you will prosper.

Jeremiah 17:7,8 Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.

First, when you give, you are to give in secret. You are to give to those who can not pay you back. You are to give to the poor.

Matthew 6:3 But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Second, when you pray, you are to pray in secret.

Matthew 6:6 But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Third, when you fast, you are to fast in secret.

Matthew 6:17,18 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Just as roots are not seen but produce the fruit on the tree for all to see, so you too, when your roots go deep with the Lord, the Lord will be glorified by the fruit of your life as you bear His fruit.

John 15:8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

May your trust in the Lord grow through maintaining your secret life with the Lord through prayer and meditation, fasting and giving.

Psalm 1:2,3 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.