A Life of Grace

Grace does not excuse you from your sin or give you the freedom to do what you want. Grace is what the Lord gives to the humble that allows that person to do what is right. In the Bible grace was a blessing that came before or after the commands of what the Lord wants His people to do or be.

James 4:4-6 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Grace is not something that we give ourselves when we mess up and sin. God gives grace to the humble and His grace is what enables us to not be crushed by our guilt but to be able to get back up and do what He has called us to do. God gives grace to the humble. Humility is confessing your sin to the Lord and your need for Him. Grace allows us to be faithful to the Lord so that we will not be called an adulteress by our flirting with and friendship with the world. He gives a greater grace than what the world has to offer. Grace is what sets you free from your bondage to sin.

Ezra 9:8 But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage.

You were in bondage to sin before you became a Christian. He saved you from your sin and sins and the consequences of them. Your sin is your desire to be your own god and the sins are all of the snares that you became caught in by trying to be your own god.

Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Again, our redemption is through His blood and forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of His grace towards us. God is gracious towards us because of what Christ did on the cross. He took our sin.

Ephesians 1:7,8a In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.

Grace increases when we sin. This means that there is nothing that is beyond His grace to allow you to come back to Him. His grace is what allows us to come back when we have fallen so that we can be restored in our fellowship with Him.

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. Eternal life is knowing the Lord. If you are growing in grace then you will be growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

John 17:3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Grace is with those who love the Lord Jesus Christ with a pure love. A love that obeys Him and keeps His commandments.

Ephesians 6:24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.

Are you growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord? Is your love for Him incorruptible and pure? Or are you still struggling with friendship with the world? He loves you and jealousy desires the Spirit that He has made to dwell in you. Ask the Lord to help you be faithful to Him. Put yourself around Christians who love Him rather than the world. The Lord will help you and give you more grace to be faithful to Him if you will humble yourself before Him.

 

A Life with A Hope

Christians are the only ones who have a hope in this life and a promise for the life to come. The Lord has caused us to born again to a living hope.

I Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Since you have a hope, the Lord tells us to fix our hope completely on the grace to be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

I Peter 1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The Lord wants us to be ready always to give an account of the hope that is within us, which is Jesus Christ. Do you know how to share the Gospel with someone who does not have that hope? The word Gospel means good news. You have good news that you can share because you have hope. The world is hopelessly lost and many do not even realize it. They will spend eternity in hell because Jesus Christ is the only hope for eternal life.

I Peter 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

Hold fast to the Lord so that you also will be faithful to the end. He is our confidence and hope, but we must cling to Him.

Hebrews 3:6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.

The hope that we have is sure and steadfast. Jesus is the anchor of your soul.

Hebrews 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,

If you find yourself filled with doubts and fears then go to Him. He will calm your soul and hold you up. He never changes and is faithful to the end.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;

The Lord wants us to look to Him and to be looking for Him, who is coming again.

Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,

Are you ready for His return? Will He find you being faithful to Him and doing the work that He has called you to do? If He came at any moment in your life would you be ashamed in anyway? Just as the bride lives for the moment that she will be with the bridegroom so we too are to live for the moment that we see Him face to face.

I John 3:2,3 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.

This will help you live a pure and holy life…if you are living for when you will see Him face to face. If your heart is pure then you will be ready when He comes for you and not only that, but you will see Him before He comes for the Lord Himself said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”.

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

 

 

A Life that Is Nourished and Fed

Jesus Himself said that “man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”. Man does need far more than physical food. We need spiritual food to nourish our soul and spirit.

Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”

Jesus was validating the Bible as the Word of God when He quoted this Scripture. All Scripture is inspired by God. This means that it is God breathed and that the Lord breathed His Words into the men that He called to record what they had seen and heard.

II Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

God’s Word is profitable. If we do not know His Word then we will be mistaken about certain things.

Matthew 22:29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.

If you are a Christian then you need to know God’s Word. It is your life because Jesus and the Word of God are equal because the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The Lord will open your mind to understand the Word. If you are seeking Him you will find Him through His Word.

Luke 24:45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

The Word testifies to who Jesus is…the only begotten Son of God who came forth from God and dwelt among man. He always has been and always will be. He is God Himself. He died and rose again and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus is all through the Bible, from the beginning to the end.

Luke 24:27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

However, you must have a hunger for the Word of God. You can not make someone eat if they are not hungry. Just as physically there are things that increase our appetite and there are things that decrease our appetite. If you obey the Word that the Lord has given you then you will want more. If you have not obeyed the Lord in what He has spoken to you about then you will not want more. If there is known sin in your life it will diminish your hunger for His Word.

I Peter 2:1-3 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

His Word is sweet and it is good for you. Living by faith according to His Word is living in the promised land. It is a life of milk and honey. You will thrive spiritually if you consistently feed on His Word. You will be a defeated Christian if you do not stay in His Word.

James 1:21.22 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

Put aside all that is impure and displeasing to the Lord. It is filthiness and wickedness. Don’t minimize what you see or hear. Put it aside so that you may long for His sweet Words. They will save your soul and you will find great delight and comfort in your life. He will come to you as He said that if you draw near to Him that He will draw near to you.

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.

If you have never known the sweetness of abiding in His presence and His presence abiding in you then now is a great time to start. The Lord is good and His Words are good. You will be glad if you feast on His Words and you will be satisfied.

 

A Life of Thanksgiving

Do you want to live a life filled with joy? Do you want to live in His presence? Do you want your “cup to be half empty” or “your cup half full”? All of us have good things and bad things happen to us.

Matthew 5:45 for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

That is the way life is and the older you get the more good will happen and the more bad will happen. Your attitude is determines the difference in your life. Have you ever noticed that there are certain people that others gravitate towards? They are the ones who are filled with thanksgiving and their cup is always “half full”. After you are around them for awhile you start to think that their “cup of life” is all the way full because of the joy that they have in their life. Their life is not any different from yours or anyone else’s life. They are not more blessed than you. They are thankful people rather than complainers.

Psalm 9:1 I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.

When you give thanks to the Lord with all of your hear then you will see and tell of all of His wonders. His wonders are all around us if we will only give thanks to Him then we will see the multitude of blessings that He has given to us. You have to give thanks to Him with ALL of your heart to see ALL of His wonders.

Psalm 26:7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and declare all Your wonders.

Do you want to honor the Lord. He has given us clear instruction how to do so.

Psalm 50:23 He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me;

He wants us to come into His presence through thanksgiving.

Psalm 95:2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

If He has saved you then should a day go by when we do not thank Him for the precious gift of His Son, Jesus Christ? God’s wrath that you deserved was poured out on Jesus. His anger is turned away and you now have His comfort!

Isaiah 12:1 Then you will say on that day, “I will give thanks to You, O Lord; For although You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, And You comfort me.

All of your prayers should be filled with thanksgiving.

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Finally, thanksgiving is what distinguishes the Christian from the nonChristian. How sweet it is to see a family bow their heads in a restaurant before they eat and give thanks to the Lord. All of us when we see it we know that they are doing the right thing. They are not ashamed of the Gospel.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

If we don’t give thanks to the Lord then our foolish heart will become darkened.

Romans 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Giving thanks is one of the beautiful ways that we can humble ourselves before God and honor Him and bless Him. Let us give thanks to Him and not forget any of His benefits.

Psalm 103:1,2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;

 

 

A Life of Praise

You worship what you praise and you praise what you worship. There is only One who is worthy of all praise and He is to be our praise.

Revelation 4:11 Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

When you praise Him then it is becoming and truly makes you beautiful. This is the meaning of true beauty. If you want to be beautiful then learn to praise the Lord.

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

A heart full of joy will make a cheerful face. Your smile is beautiful to the Lord and to others.

Proverbs 15:13 A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,
But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.

There is none like Him.

Exodus 15:11 “Who is like You among the gods, O Lord? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in  praises, working wonders?

Has He shown you His favor? Has He poured out His anger on Jesus so that you would not be the recipient of His wrath? Praise Him!

Psalm 30:4,5 Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones,
And give thanks to His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning.

Has His Word been precious to you? Has the Gospel been the power of salvation to you when you believed? Praise Him!

Psalm 56:10 In God, whose word I praise,
In the Lord, whose word I praise,

Are you praising Him to the next generation? Are you telling them the praises of the Lord and His strength and all of the wonderful works that He has done? Is the Lord the only explanation for your life? He should be and if He is then let others know and praise Him.

Psalm 78:4 We will not conceal them from their children,
But tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.

Has He brought up your soul from the pit of depression and discouragement? Then praise Him.

Psalm 30:3 O Lord, You have brought up my soul from Sheol;
You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.

If He has saved you and redeemed your life and paid your ransom then praise Him. If He has rescued you and set your feet on a firm place then praise Him. If He has allowed you to know Him in His goodness and lovingkindness then praise Him. If you are His child then praise Him!

Psalm 107:2,3 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary
And gathered from the lands,
From the east and from the west,
From the north and from the south.

He has gathered us from all over that we might be a people for His glory and that we might give praise to Him. Let us say so!

A Life that Trusts

A Christian is one who trusts in the Lord. A Christian knows Him and trusts in the trustworthiness of who He is and His faithfulness to His Word. The opposite of trusting in the Lord is to lean on your own understanding.

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

The Lord will not forsake those who put their trust in Him.

Psalm 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

When you put your trust in the Lord then you will not be shaken.

Psalm 21:7 For the king trusts in the Lord,
And through the lovingkindness of the Most High he will not be shaken.

His lovingkindness will surround you.

Psalm 32:10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him.

You will be blessed.

Psalm 40:4 How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.

Proverbs 16:20 He who gives attention to the word will find good, And blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

You will not fear bad news.

Psalm 112:7 He will not fear evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

You will prosper.

Proverbs 28:25 An arrogant man stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the Lord will prosper.

You will be exalted.

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.

Woes come to the one who refuses to trust Him. The One who does not trust in the Lord will put their trust in someone or something else. She will not heed His voice and she will not accept instruction. She will not draw near to Him.

Zephaniah 3:1,2 Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled,
The tyrannical city!
She heeded no voice,
She accepted no instruction.
She did not trust in the Lord,
She did not draw near to her God.

Curses will come to the one who does not put their trust in the Lord.

Jeremiah 17:5 Thus says the Lord,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
“For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant.

The choice is ours. Will we trust in the Lord and make Him our trust or will we trust in falsehood by trusting in anything or anyone else other than Him? If we trust in Him then we will cling to Him as a drowning man would cling to a life preserver thrown to Him.

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.

A life that trusts in the Lord will have no regrets.

A Life that Is Remembered

Jesus was very kind to women and treated them with equal respect as He treated the men. There were a number of women who followed Him and loved him while He was on earth.

Mark 15:41 When He was in Galilee, they used to follow Him and minister to Him; and there were many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.

The women also remained with Him, looking on from a distance, when He was crucified.

Mark 15:40 There were also some women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome.

Mary Magdalene was probably the oldest of the women since she is mentioned first and so she had to be around fifty years old. Mary, mentioned here is the mother of Jesus and Salome is the mother of James and John and was Mary’s sister. Mary was either in her late forties or in her fifties since Jesus was thirty three years old at this time. The disciples honored these women and they were included in His ministry and afterwards.

Acts 1:14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

However, there was one woman who the Lord honored by mentioning how she will be remembered wherever the Gospel is preached.

Mark 14:3-9 While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted?For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

She did what she could to honor and minister to Him. Simple as that. She did what she could. Jesus did not ask her to do anything but out of her love for Him she did what she could. We all have different gifts and abilities. When we do what we can then Jesus takes note of it and remembers it. Don’t worry about doing something great for the Lord. Do what you can do. Whether it is giving a cup of cold water to a thirsty person or helping the fatherless in Jesus’ name, either in your hometown or across the world, just do what you can out of love for Him.

John 12:3 Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

In all likelihood it was probably Mary, who sat at His feet, who anointed His head and his feet. The house was filled with the sweet fragrance of her love for Him. Also, since this happened before His crucifixion, her offering was a fragrant aroma to Him during His suffering. That is how it is, when we do what we can in our love for Him then the house of God is filled with a sweet fragrance and we are a fragrant aroma to Him.

Ephesians 5:2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Our love for Him is expressed in our love for each other. When we consider others more important than us and love others as He has loved us then we will be like Christ and an offering to God as a fragrant aroma.

II Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

The Lord is the One who leads us in victory in Christ and He is the One who manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. As we learn to walk with Him, He will lead us and make Himself known through us to the world. You are the one the Lord wants to use to make Himself known to a hurting world.