A Life That Avoids Sadness

Sadness is a difficult burden to bear not only for the one who is sad but also for many of the people who live with a person who is sad. Sadness is normal under certain circumstances but when sadness controls our life then it is not normal nor healthy. It is not healthy for the person nor for their relationships. How can we keep from having a sad life and being a sad person. Gladness is the opposite of sadness and is good medicine for everyone.

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

A joyful heart, or in other words, a heart full of joy not only makes a cheerful face but is good medicine.

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones.

When life is overwhelming and circumstances are beyond your control and you are very sad then go to the rock that is higher than you. Ask the Lord to life you up. We can not lift ourselves up but He can and will allow us to live above our circumstances.

Psalm 61:1-4 Hear my cry, O God;
Give heed to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a refuge for me,
A tower of strength against the enemy.
Let me dwell in Your tent forever;
Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.

Learn to live in His presence and your heart will be filled with joy. You will be much better prepared for the circumstances of life that are beyond your control if you are healthy emotionally and spiritually. The Lord has not called us to understand everything but He has said that we can trust Him in everything.

Psalm 143:4 Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me;
My heart is appalled within me.

When your spirit is overwhelmed and your heart is broken then call on the Lord Jesus Christ. He is near to you and is a present help in time of trouble.

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

As you draw near to Him then He will draw near to you and in time you will know His presence. His peace will flood your heart and His joy will be made known to you.

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

Get in and stay in His Word. His Word will comfort you so that you do not despair. You will see His goodness once again in the land of the living. He will come to you and bless you.

Psalm 27:13,14 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

The Lord is the God of all comfort and He will comfort you if you will believe in Him and come to Him.

II Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.

Your afflictions are temporal and so should your sadness be. His love and comfort is eternal and so your gladness and joy should be continual.  You need strength for the journey of life because we all get knocked down but He will lift you up so that you do not stay down. His grace is abundant through Jesus Christ.

 

A Life of Much Gladness

Gladness is different from joy. Joy comes from the presence of the Lord. The Bible says, “in Thy presence is fulness of Joy”. Gladness comes from loving what is right and doing it. Gladness comes from a clear conscience that you did the right thing earlier and so you are not fearful about being questioned or being caught.  Gladness is closely related to happiness. If you love the right thing and do what is right you will be happier than all of your friends.

Hebrews 1:9 “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above your companions.”

Not only will you have gladness but you will also not walk in darkness for you will have the light of the Lord.

Psalm 97:11 Light is sown like seed for the righteous and gladness for the upright in heart.

When others go their own way if you will seek the Lord and walk with Him then you will see that He will give you a witness of Himself and that He is good by giving you a fruitful life and will satisfy your heart with gladness.

Acts 14:16,17 In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”

However, when you walk with the Lord the gladness that the Lord gives you will even be greater than the gladness that you have when you have been blessed with an abundance on this earth. He will give you a gladness in your heart that transcends the blessings of this life on earth and you will sing for joy all the days of your life if only you will seek Him with all of your heart.

Psalm 4:6b,7 Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord!
You have put gladness in my heart,
More than when their grain and new wine abound.

When the Lord’s countenance shines on you then you will reflect the Lord to the world and your heart will be glad. His countenance shining on you is an expression of His favor. There is no sweeter experience than to have the favor of the Lord on your life. When you walk with the Lord in the light of His countenance then it truly is a taste of heaven on earth and is what the Lord designed for us in the garden of Eden.

Psalm 30:10-12 “Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me;
O Lord, be my helper.”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

The Lord is the only One who can change our mourning into dancing and loose the things that make us sad and clothe us with gladness. If you heart is sad then let Him do this for you today. Taste and see that the Lord is good and follow Him with all of your heart that you may sing for joy all the days of your life.

 

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 with Few Regrets

If you jump off a building and you get hurt then you will regret it. In the same way, most people do very similar things and get hurt, however, they don’t make the connection that what they did caused the hurt and it wasn’t hitting the ground that caused the hurt. The pain was caused by jumping off of the building. They may say to themselves, “I am not going to hit the ground the next time”. A life of few regrets is a life that makes the connection between what they do and the consequences that follow.

Colossians 3:25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

God is not mocked. We may think that we get away with something but we don’t. Whatever we sow that shall we reap.

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

Some people’s consequences follow immediately and other’s consequences follow later. It is all a matter of time, whether sooner or later. If you were to jump off a building, you would feel free of all restraints when you are in free fall, but in a matter of time you would be hurt. This is why people feel “free” at first when they go against God’s laws.

I Timothy 5:24,25 The sins of some men are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after. Likewise also, deeds that are good are quite evident, and those which are otherwise cannot be concealed.

Some people will go with the wrong kind of person over and over again and wonder why they get hurt over and over again. If you find that you are experiencing the same kind of hurt over and over again then go to someone one who will speak the truth to you and help you. People can only take so much pain before it starts to destroy them or make them bitter. Bitterness is unresolved pain. The pain may be in your marriage, finances, job, relationships, family and unless the action that causes the pain is understood and corrected then the pain will continue.

Deuteronomy 28:1-8a and 13b,14 Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God: “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways. The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you…if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully, and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

To sum it up, the Lord will open up heaven and bless you until you can hardly stand it and then He will bless you even more if you will follow, obey Him and not go after other gods. The blessings are all of the good things in life that the Lord wants to give you but you must keep His ways and commandments. The gods of our day are not only the different eastern religions but also money, materialism, pleasure, sports and many more things that we give our hearts and time to rather than to the Lord.

Deuteronomy 28:15-20 But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock. Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. The Lord will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me.

Deuteronomy 28:28-30a and 33b,34 The Lord will smite you with madness and with blindness and with bewilderment of heart; and you will grope at noon, as the blind man gropes in darkness, and you will not prosper in your ways; but you shall only be oppressed and robbed continually, with none to save you. You shall betroth a wife, but another man will violate her… and you will never be anything but oppressed and crushed continually. You shall be driven mad by the sight of what you see.

To sum this life up, you will not prosper and even if you do there will be a curse with it. You may be “successful” on your job but someone else may take the heart of your spouse and your children or some other curse. You may see achievement in another area but the personal cost will not be worth it because what you lose will often be a much greater treasure than what you gained. You will finally feel like you are going crazy or will do whatever you can to try to mentally escape what is happening. For this reason many drink or take drugs (often prescription) but they are only numbing agents and you have to eventually face your regrets.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

The Lord came that you may have life and the blessings that come with the life He gives to His children. It is Satan who deceives people into thinking that these “other gods” or things will bring fulfillment and happiness. The Lord says that He will not disappoint those who put their trust in Him. You will never regret following Him and doing what He says but you will one day, if not now, regret not following Him.

Joshua 24:15 If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Ultimately, the choice is yours.

 

A Life that Waits

Sometimes we need very clear instruction about what to do when we do not know what to do. The Bible gives us that clear instruction. Have you ever been in a situation and you did not know what to do? Has there ever been a time of spiritual darkness in your life? Have you ever wanted God to write something in the sky to tell you what to do? If you have ever struggled with not having “light” on a situation then listen carefully to God’s Word.

Isaiah 50:10 Who is among you that fears the Lord,
That obeys the voice of His servant,
That walks in darkness and has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.

The Lord says that if you know Him and obey His voice and follow Him but are in a time of darkness then you are to trust Him.Trust Him. Trusting Him means waiting on Him. He promised to lead you. Wait for His leading. Do not take matters into your own hands.

Isaiah 50:11 Behold, all you who kindle a fire,
Who encircle yourselves with firebrands,
Walk in the light of your fire
And among the brands you have set ablaze.
This you will have from My hand:
You will lie down in torment.

You will lie down in torment if you make your own way and light your own fire. Trust Him. He will guide you and lead you in the way you should go.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

Jesus really will show you His way. He is the Light and He is the Way. He wants you to walk by faith and trust Him.

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

The Lord wants you to learn to wait on Him. Do not fret for it will only lead to you doing the wrong thing. Even when it seems like everyone else is getting what they want and taking matters into their own hands. Do not be like them but trust in the Lord and wait on Him.

Psalm 37:7,8 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.

In God’s perfect timing and according to His lovingkindness He will give you what you need and often what you desire. It will be a gift from Him.

James 1:17 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.

Not only are His gifts good and perfect but they far exceed anything that you could ever bring about by your own doing. The Lord says that “It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich and He adds no sorrow to it”. The gifts that He gives do not have drawbacks or sorrow with them. They are perfect and far more than what you could even imagine.

Isaiah 64:4,5 For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.

The Lord will bless you and meet you if only you will remember Him in His ways and His ways are of faith. We walk by faith and not by sight. We trust in Him alone who does what He pleases and loves us perfectly.

Psalm 135:5,6 For I know that the Lord is great
And that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the Lord pleases, He does,
In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.

And again…

Job 42:2 I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

He can do all things and if you will only allow His will to be done in your life you will not be disappointed. He wants you to believe in Him and trust Him.

Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

A Life that Loves People

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

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

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

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

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

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

His destiny for us is to become like Him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

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

A Life 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.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Stands Alone

One of the hardest things to do is to stand alone in the world. We long for affirmation from other humans and confirmation that we are doing what is right. However, the Lord has spoken to us about what is right and He has also given us a conscience to know what is right and wrong.

Romans 1:18,19 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

The Lord describes two types of people in the world and everyone falls into one of these groups. He says there are the righteous and the wicked.Over and over again in Scripture the Lord makes a contrast between the righteous and the wicked.

Proverbs 10:7 The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot.

The righteous lives by faith and obedience to the Lord and the Lord says that it will go well with them.

Isaiah 3:10 Say to the righteous that it will go well with them,
For they will eat the fruit of their actions.

The wicked lives according to what they think is right and wrong and they will receive what they deserve. It will go badly with the wicked.

Isaiah 3:11 Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with him,
For what he deserves will be done to him.

However, there is one characteristic of the righteous that is so special that the Lord takes note of these particular righteous individuals. They stood alone in a wicked world.

Ezekiel 14:20 even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

Noah found favor in God’s eyes. He walked with God even though no one else did other than his family. He was called a preacher of righteousness and he never saw one convert. He stayed faithful to the Lord and did what the Lord commanded him to do.

Genesis 6:9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.

Genesis 6:22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.

Job also was called blameless and righteous before the Lord. Job lived in a time of great evil and there is not evidence that even his children sought the Lord. While they were celebrating at a party he was praying for them. He stood alone even when his wife suggested that he blame God for his troubles. Job was faithful to the Lord in the midst of great suffering and pain. The Lord called him righteous.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.

Daniel also stood alone in the midst of a very wicked society and even when his life was in danger he would not compromise. He remained faithful to the Lord.

Daniel 1:8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself…

Even though these three men did not see much fruit in their lifetime all three of them still speak through their lives and faithfulness to the Lord. All three stood alone and were surrounded by many wicked people and yet they remained faithful. They remained faithful to the Lord and grew strong in their faith. Were they perfect? Not at all and yet the Lord called them righteous. The righteous man shall live by faith and the faithful shall be called righteous by the Lord.

Romans 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

 

 

 

A Life Filled with Joy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Loves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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