A Life that Receives

There is One who gives and there is one who receives. We have been given a gift, the greatest gift of all, but if we do not receive it then we will not know it or have it. A gift must have a giver who gives it and a recipient to receive it.

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.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. When you believe in Him then it means that you are receiving the gift that He is offering to you. The gift becomes yours. Jesus Christ becomes your Lord and Savior and you become His child.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

The right to become His child and to be adopted in His family only belongs to the One who receives Him but He offers the right to everyone.

I John 4:14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and especially to those who believe and receive the gift of His Son. That is why they are called Believers.

I Timothy 4:10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

It was totally by His grace that brought salvation to all men.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,

All men or women or children who calls on Him will be saved. When you call on Him, confess your need for a Savior and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died and rose again then you will be saved. It is available to all who call on Him.

Romans 10_9,10 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

It was on the basis of His kindness that He saved us and not on the basis of anything that we did to deserve it. His salvation is a gift according to His love and kindness.

Titus 3:4-7 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

He offers you a gift but you must receive the gift for it to become yours. Have you believed and received the greatest gift of all, that is the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ? This is what it means to become a Believer. The world does not know Him because they have yet to believe in Him. He is true and He is good and He loves you. Will you call on Him today to become your Lord and Savior? He offers you forgiveness and cleansing from your guilt. He came to give you His life. His life comes to you through His Holy Spirit whom you will receive when you become a Believer. Ask Him today for the gift of salvation and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

I John 5:11-13 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

 

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 with Times of Refreshing

Just as our bodies can become weary so our souls can become weary also. Sometimes our bodies can be in a dry and weary place where there is not much water or rest. Just as cold water and rest can refresh the body so also God’s presence can bring times of refreshing to the spirit and soul.

Acts 3:19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

We may need to repent if we have never come to Jesus Christ to forgive us our sin and to give us eternal life. Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to the Lord. We are either going toward God or we are going toward sin. God desires that all come to repentance and that none perish.

II Peter 3:9 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.

We need to repent if we have gotten away from having Jesus Christ be our “first love” and the lover of our soul and the giver of life. It is easy to become busy with life and fill our lives with “good things” and forget that the Christian life is a love relationship with Jesus Christ. Or, we may just have gotten our eyes off of Jesus Christ and have been trying to live the Christian life on our own and allowed it to become a life of “do this and don’t do that”.

Revelation 2:4,5 But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.

We may need to repent if we are a Christian and have become ensnared with a particular sin and are experiencing death to our soul, which is the defeat and guilt that we feel when we know that we are not living in a way pleasing to Him. Sin can cause weariness. Whatever it is that is causing our weariness, it is not design.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Come to the Lord Jesus if you are weary and heavy laden. He will give you rest. Repent, if you have gotten away from Him and have left your first love. Do the things you did at first when you first became a Christian. Remember how you marveled at how great a love that He has for you. Remember how His grace was poured out on your life and you experienced His forgiveness and cleansing? Repent and return to Him in order that times of refreshing may come from His presence. In His presence there is fullness of joy and in His right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11 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.

It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance in order that He might bless us.

Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

 

A Life with a Great Love

The Lord offers us in His Word a great peace, a great reward and great goodness to be bestowed on us, but first we must receive His great love. His great love is available to all but only those who receive His Son will ever know the privilege,honor and gift of experiencing His great love by becoming His child.

I John 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.

Not only do you become His child but your Heavenly Father will love you with the same love with which He loves Jesus Christ. Unbelievable! We understand how He could love Jesus. Of course He loves Jesus because Jesus Christ is perfect but does He really love the rest of us the same way? Yes!!!

John 17:23 so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.

Once you belong to Him there is nothing that can separate you from His love.

Romans 8:38,39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Once you have His great love then He promises to give you all things. You no longer have to work for God’s favor or hope that your good will outweigh your bad. His love is a gift and everything that you receive after His great love is a gift. He wants to give to you and give to you some more.

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?

God’s incredible great love is available to all. There is no one who has sinned too much or has done anything too horrible to be rejected by His great love. All have been disobedient to God. We have all sinned.

Romans 11:32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

God has loved everyone, every single person ever born, the Lord has and is offering His great love to them.

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

The Lord talks about a “time of visitation”, which means that this is the time that He is coming to you and calling to you to come to Him. Do you hear Him calling to you to come to Him or if you have strayed, calling to you to come back to Him?

Luke 19:44 …because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.

The Lord works through His children so that the world might come to Him and be saved. The world is looking for the “real thing” and observing your life to see if you are genuine or a hypocrite. Are you a real Christian or are you pretending to be something that is not really real in your life. Are you ever afraid to be transparent? The Lord wants our lives to be transparent so that others might see Jesus in us. The only way that you can be transparent is if you have a clear conscience.

I Peter 2:12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

If you want to experience the greatest love ever known and want to live a life in His great love then you must receive Him as your Lord and Savior.

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,

Once you receive Him you will also experience His great goodness in your life. The Lord loves to show the world how good He is and He does it by showing His great goodness to His children, for those who fear Him and to those who take refuge in Him.

Psalm 31:19 How great is Your goodness,
Which You have stored up for those who fear You,
Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You,
Before the sons of men!

 

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 of Humility

If you want to be great then the Lord says you must be least. If you want to be exalted then He says that you must humble yourself. He knew that His disciples wanted to be great and wanted to be somebody. In our hearts we are the same. So, as they walked with the Lord Jesus He taught them a different way of life. A way that leads to life and to life abundantly.

Proverbs 18:12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, But humility goes before honor.

If we don’t live life God’s way then we will have sorrow and pain.

Proverbs 10:22 It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, And He adds no sorrow to it.

Many people will get riches and honor but with it will come sorrow and destruction. Jesus Christ gives us the picture of what it means to have humility. We are to consider others more important than ourselves and to not merely look out for our own personal interests but also for the interests of others.

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,

Humility is the inward expression of total dependence on God and the outward expression of total obedience to Christ. Moses was called the most humble man on earth before Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, came to live and die and rise again from the dead. The phrase that characterized Moses’ life was he “did according to all that the Lord commanded him”.

Exodus 40:16 Thus Moses did; according to all that the Lord had commanded him, so he did.

Humility and obedience go together. Jesus was obedient to the point of death and then the Father highly exalted Him above every name that is named.

Philippians 2:8-11 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus is Lord of all. Every knee will bow before Him. You can either bow now voluntarily or you will bow against your will in hell because you did not bow willingly on earth.

I Peter 5:5,6 … all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,

Yes, He will life up those who clothe themselves with humility and obey Him during this life. He says that we will reign with Him when He comes in His glory. Don’t be foolish and think that you can wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow may not come but eternity will.

 

 

A Life that is Gracious

A gracious life will receive honor. A gracious woman is a beautiful lady and a woman that lacks graciousness is displeasing to the senses.

Proverbs 11:16 A gracious woman attains honor,

A gracious lady knows how to speak in such a way that she gives grace to her hearers. The opposite is a woman who speaks or acts in such a way that people need grace to be around her and listen to her.

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

A righteous person does not want to disgrace or shame someone but will seek to cover up their shame. Joseph was called a righteous man and he did not want to disgrace Mary when he thought that she had sinned.

Matthew 1:19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.

The opposite of a gracious lady is a woman who is a gossip. This is a lack of moral excellence and will destroy her friendships, her reputation and people will not trust her.

I Timothy 3:11 Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.

The Bible says to not associate with a gossip and certainly do not be a friend with one who talks about others and reveals their secrets.

Proverbs 20:19 He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip.

A gracious person is a joy to be around and it is a privilege and gift to have a gracious lady as a friend. Are you the kind of person that others seek as a friend? Do you seek wise ladies to be your friends?

Ecclesiastes 10:12 Words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious, while the lips of a fool consume him;

Jesus was full of grace and it was evident in His words as well as His actions.

Luke 4:22 And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”