A Life that Pleases God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Life with True Liberty

The Lord is the only One who can set us free. He sets us free from our guilt, our sin, our fears, our worries, our past, our bitterness, our doubts and whatever else we struggle with that keeps us captive. Jesus came to set the captive free. This is what was spoken of Jesus Christ 700 years before He was born of a virgin and came to live among men, to die for our sins and to be raised again. He died and lives again to set us free!!

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners;

This is the verse that Jesus spoke concerning Himself, which was prophesied in the Old Testament, by Isaiah.

Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed,

True freedom begins on the inside. It is only when we have experienced the liberty that Jesus came to give us can He use us to help set others free.

I Peter 2:16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.

It is the truth that sets us free. The Lord has called us to share His precious truths with others so that they can be set free.

John 8:32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

Has the Lord set you free in any area through His Word? Share that truth with others so that they too can be set free. His Word is truth.

John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

Only Jesus Christ can give life but He has called us to set others free by giving them His Word so that they will no longer be bound by the grave clothes of their past.

John 11:43,44  When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and then He turned to those who were with Him and told them to unbind him and set him free.

 

A Life that Has a Refuge

A refuge is a safe place. We all need a refuge. The Lord has a refuge for the Christian lady where she will always be safe. It is very important for a young lady to understand this truth. The Bible says that the Lord keeps us and the devil can not touch us.

I John 5:18 He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.

If a young Christian lady is any danger it is very important that she runs to the Lord. She must speak the name of Jesus Christ in her situation. People have to block out God in order to do evil.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.

Pour out your heart to the Lord. He will come to you. Seek refuge in Him.

Psalm 62:8 Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.

He will be a shield to all who take refuge in Him. Don’t go where you should not go but if you find yourself being attacked in your thought life or by the accusations of others then go to the Lord and call on His name. He will help you and be a shield for you to extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one. If you are in physical danger He will be a shield for you. Nothing can touch you unless it first comes through Him.

Psalm 37:40 The Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, Because they take refuge in Him.

He is a very present help in trouble.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

There are many verses in the Bible about the Lord being a refuge for the Christian. However, unless we believe them they do not help us.

Hebrews 4:2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

If we take His Word and believe what He says then we will possess His promises. They will become ours and we will have faith, hope and courage.

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

The book of Hebrews was written to the Christians whose homes had been taken from them and they had to flee Rome during the times of the early church. They were able to persevere under very trying circumstances only because they put their hope in Him.

James 1:12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

We are not to shrink back in the day of trial but we are to take refuge in Him and persevere so that we shall not be ashamed. It is the little trials that prepare us for the bigger trials. The Lord is a present help in time of trouble but you must call on Him.

Hebrews 10:37-39 For yet in a very little while,
He who is coming will come, and will not delay.
But My righteous one shall live by faith;
And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.

But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

Faith is taking refuge in Him and believing what He says is true. When our faith is strong then our courage is strong and we are able to persevere. Discouragement means that we have lost our courage. The Lord says to be strong and courageous. He is coming again and His reward is with Him and for all who were faithful.

 

A Life that is Near to God

The Lord says that He is not far from you and that those who draw near to Him then He will draw near to them.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

The nearness of the Lord is a refuge. A refuge means protection from the storms and stresses of life.

Psalm 73:28 But as for me, it is good for me to draw near to God; I have made the Lord God my refuge and placed my trust in Him, That I may tell of all Your works.

Do you ever feel stressed out or depressed? If so, then you are living as if you have no Shepherd. If you have not come to the Good Shepherd and given your life to Him then now is a good time to do it. Or maybe you gave your life to Him earlier but now you are living as if you have no Shepherd.

Matthew 9:36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.

Another reason why people do not draw near to Him but rather go far from Him is that they feel that He has been unfair. He is good and there is no unfairness in Him but if that is your perception then it will feel like reality to you. The Bible says that you will go far from Him. Going from Him begins with just not seeking Him or neglecting your time with Him. Do you find that you are making excuses for missing your devotions or for missing church? Before you realize it, your heart has become kind of cold to the things of the Lord and then after awhile you really don’t even miss Him. You will also start going after emptiness and in a matter of time you will feel empty.

Jeremiah 2:4 “What injustice did your fathers find in Me,
That they went far from Me
And walked after emptiness and became empty?

He is calling for you to come back to Him. We all drift at certain times in our lives but don’t stay away from Him. He wants you more than you know and offers you rest for your soul. You will have no rest as long as you are not close to Him. He made you to be close to Him.

Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

 

 

 

A Life that is Not Anxious

Are you ever anxious and worried? Anxiety can debilitate a person. Worry robs us of peace, joy and love for others because when we are anxious we focus on our problems. Some of our anxiety is about things that have never happened and will never happen but we believe they might so we worry about them.

Philippians 4:6,7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Anxiety is a lack of faith. A lack of prayer is a lack of faith. The Lord says that if we will pray then we will not be anxious. Prayer is an expression of faith.

Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

If you will go to Him with your cares then then you will find mercy and grace to help in your time of need.

I Peter 5:7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

He tells us to cast all of our anxieties on Him because He cares for us. He cares for you and your burdens will become His burdens if you will give them to Him.

Psalms 138:8 The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

Isn’t this an amazing promise…that He will accomplish what concerns you. Are there things that concern you? Are you anxious about whether you will ever meet a young man who will truly love you? Are you anxious in your school work or you job? Do you have a sick loved one? There are so many things that concern us but if we will give them to Him then He will accomplish them for us.

A Life Free of Guilt

One of the things that man can not live with is guilt. Guilt is a horrible thing that will cause us to do anything to get rid of it. The love of God draws us to Him and it is the guilt of man that drives us to Him. If we refuse to come to Him for forgiveness then we will either try to deny the guilt, bury the guilt, hide the guilt, forget the guilt or try to deny the existence of God in hopes of being free of guilt.

Genesis 3:9-11 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”

The Lord told Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but man ate of it. He knew that he had done wrong and felt guilty.

Ecclesiastes 7:29 Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”

The Lord made man upright and to have fellowship with Him but man chose to go his own way. The word for wanting to go your own way is iniquity. It basically means that you want to run your own life, or in other words, this is what man says in his heart, “nobody is going to tell me what to do”. We see this in toddlers as soon as they can exert their own will. We sometimes will call it the “terrible twos” but really it is our “terrible lives”. A toddler just has not learned to cover it up yet.

Proverbs 21:8 The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.

It does not say the way of a crooked man is guilty but the way of a guilty man is crooked. We are all crooked in our ways. When we see someone that makes us feel guilty then we will change our path to avoid them. Our path is no longer straight but crooked.

Psalm 18:26 With the pure You show Yourself pure,
And with the crooked You show Yourself twisted.

When we are crooked because of our guilt then we will have a twisted view of God. He will seem harsh or mean or unfair. We will not want to come to Him or obey Him. However, your view of God is not a revelation of who He is but an indication of the state of your heart. If you disagree with the Bible and your view of God is, “My God would not…” then you do not know Him correctly. He is who He is and He is a just and loving God. Sin and guilt has distorted the correct view of God in man’s eyes. How can we see who He is clearly? Everything we do is a response to our view of God. Our biggest need is to have the right view of God.

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

We need a pure heart. The Lord is the only One who can cleanse our hearts.

Psalm 51: 1-4 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

It is against the Lord first of all that we have sinned. He can and wants to cleanse us from our iniquity, that is, wanting to be our own God, and then from our particular sins, that is, the particular sins that we have committed against ourselves or others. Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who took away our sin and His death on the cross paid the price for our sins. It is because of His blood that we can have total forgiveness of our sins but we need to ask Him to forgive us. He wants to forgive us and cleanse us and restore us.

Psalm 51:10-13 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.

Are you struggling with guilt? Go to Him and receive His forgiveness and by faith claim what He has done for you on the cross. If you have given your life to Him then He has forgiven you of all of your sins and longs to have fellowship with you once again. Once we become His child then we are always His child but our fellowship with Him can be broken. Allow Him to restore it. After you have been restored and know the joy of your salvation once again then you will want to share Him with others for you will again see that He is good and loving and kind.

A Life that is Restored

The Lord is the only One who can restore us. He first restores us to a right relationship with Himself and then He starts restoring us and our relationships. He also restores us to a right relationship with His creation.

Psalm 23 1-3 The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

The Lord knows what we need for restoration. Notice that He says here that He makes you lie down in green pastures. Sometimes He will cause circumstances to allow us to be still and lie down in green pastures where it is safe and He will lead us beside quiet waters where we will find refreshment. He is your Shepherd and He says that you will not be in want, that means that He knows your needs and you will not be lacking anything that you need so don’t struggle against the circumstances but learn to accept what you can not change. He will guide you on your journey in paths of righteousness so that you will have peace, quietness and confidence, but first you need restoration. The sheep were never intended to stay in the same place.

Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness will be peace, And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.

As a Christian we can experience death to our soul when we sin and continue in a particular sin. Restoration comes when we confess our sins to Him, turn from our sins and He cleanses us.

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

After confession when we pray to Him we are drawing near to Him and we will experience His restoration. As He says in His Word, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

Psalm 80:3 O God, restore us And cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.

The Lord is the One who restores us in our fellowship with Him.

Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;

The Word of God is what the Lord uses to restore our soul. It is the power of God. It cleanses us.

John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

Prayer and the Word of God brings restoration to our soul. Go to an older woman who you know is in a right relationship with the Lord and ask her to pray for you also if you are still struggling with a particular sin.

James 5:15,16 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.

If you are walking with the Lord and have been doing so on a consistent basis and growing in your relationship with Him then you have a responsibility to restore others in their relationship with the Lord if they are struggling with being enslaved to a sin.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

The Lord has given all of us responsibility to help each other. We need each other to help one another stay close to the Lord. We are not sinless when we become Christians but we do sin less.

James 5:19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.