How to Have 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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Avoid a Life of Sorrow

It is our choice in life if we want to experience unnecessary sorrow or experience and live in the love of God. Sorrow is a part of life but much of the sorrow that we experience is because we either don’t want to or don’t know how to experience the love of God. How can this be?

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

The wicked person trusts in himself and wants to “be the master of his own destiny”. The godly person trusts in the Lord and wants the Lord to guide their life and be their Lord and Savior. Many are the sorrows of the wicked. You may get your “own way” but the price that you pay will be great sorrow. The person who trusts in the Lord will have great joy and experience much lovingkindness.

Psalm 16:4a The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied;

One of the amazing aspects of the Lord is that He gives us a free choice. We don’t have to worship Him. We can worship whoever or whatever we want, whether it is an idol fashioned by hands or if it something else such as money, material things, houses, cars, sports, people, beauty or anything else that we allow to control our lives and determine our direction in life. If it controls our happiness then it has the capacity to bring us sorrow and it will in just a matter of time. If God controls us then He will give us joy.

Isaiah 53:4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.

Jesus took our sin and our sorrows that we might have His righteousness and joy, which are everlasting. He is eternal and what He gives to us is eternal. When we give our sorrows to Him then He takes them and gives us eternal life. We realize that we have placed our hopes and joy in what can never satisfy and we come to Him and give Him all that we had earlier put our trust in.

II Corinthians 7:10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

Are you sorrowful? Have you thought that someone or something could satisfy you and then have realized that person or thing can never fill your heart? Come to the Lord. He will take your sorrows and give you joy. He wants you to live in His love. Abide in His love and your cup will overflow with joy.

John 15:9-11 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

The secret to avoiding a life of sorrow is to abide in God’s love. The way we abide in God’s love is to first give our hearts to Him and then once we have surrendered to Him and been born again, we are to keep His commandments. Jesus kept the Father’s commandments and did exactly as the Father commanded Him. He did not tweak it by saying, “God really did not say this or mean this…” Yes, if He said it in His Word then He means it. Keep His commandments and your joy will be made full.

 

A Life that Is Thankful

If you want your cup of joy to really overflow then this truth is what you need to apply to your everyday walk through life. To the degree that you do this you can almost measure your joy and happiness. The truth that characterizes every happy and joyful person is that they are thankful. They learn to give thanks for everything…when things don’t go so well and when things are wonderful in life. Only the Christian can live out this truth because the Lord has commanded it and what He commands He gives the grace to do.

I Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

We can give thanks in everything because we know the One who controls everything. Nothing catches the Lord Jesus Christ by surprise and He has the power to cause all things to work together for good to those who love Him.

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

The Lord is all powerful and all loving and He loves His children. He loves everyone but only those who have put their trust in Him and love Him will see His goodness ALL of the time. He is good and no evil dwells with Him. The meaning of evil is to cause grief so what this means for the Christian is that He will never cause you grief for any other reason than for your good.

Psalm 5:4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness;
No evil dwells with You.

Everything that God allows in your life is for your good. Sometimes we suffer and we have not done anything wrong but the Lord has allowed it for reasons we may never know and need to trust Him. We still need to thank Him even when we do not understand. #God

Sometimes we experience sorrow because we have gotten off His path and He needs to discipline us. If you get off of the path of righteousness and experience His discipline then it is for your good.

Hebrews 12:10,11 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

If you do not want to experience the sorrow of discipline from the Lord then you need to do what is right so that you will not experience His discipline unnecessarily. When you learn righteousness then you will experience peaceful fruit in your life. So, even His discipline, which is painful, is for our good and shows that we are His children and that He loves us. It is for discipline that we endure until we see Him face to face.

Hebrews 12:7,8 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

For this reason, whether you are experiencing joy or sorrow you can give thanks to the Lord. Giving thanks causes you to focus on the Giver of all good gifts, rather than on your circumstances or yourself. The most unhappiest people in the world are the most self focused and their unhappiness is expressed through their constant complaining. Drip, drip, drip it goes and it never stops. They worry and complain because they are not looking to the One who is life and who never complained, even though He never suffered for his own wrong doing but for the wrong doing of everyone else. Complaining wearies the Lord also, as well as everyone else.

Psalm 100:1-5 Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.

As you learn to live in His presence and fellowship with Him, which is a taste of heaven on earth, then you will learn to enter His presence with thanksgiving. If you have never done it then make a list today of the things that you are thankful for and each day go over that list with the Lord and thank Him for each thing. As you continue in this then add the more difficult struggles you have and thank Him for those things also. You will see as you thank Him that your entire perspective changes and you truly become thankful from the heart. He can change your circumstances anytime that He wants and when that situation is no longer for your good and His glory and it becomes damaging then He will remove it. He is good and He loves you. Do you really believe it?

I John 4:16-18a We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear

If you know Him and belong to Him you have nothing to fear. Learn to trust Him by giving thanks for everything. This is God’s will for you.

 

 

 

A Life that Is Filled with Joy

Joy is what comes from the presence of the Lord and it is for those who know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Joy is different from happiness. Happiness has more to do with what is happening while the person who is filled with joy has something that transcends circumstances.

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.

Joy is connected to thanksgiving. It is a state of mind and heart of knowing that life is more than what is happening at any given moment. Joy is a gift that the Lord gives to His children through His Holy Spirit.

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

Joy can only come from the Lord and it is knowing that you are pleasing Him in your life and in your responses to life. It is a confirming from the Lord that you are in His will and doing what He delights in. When you are filled with joy it is almost as though you can feel His smile on your life. Your joy can be quenched through the old self, which is expressed in the flesh. The deeds of the flesh are not pleasing to the Lord so if you are involved in any of them then you will not have joy. The deeds of the flesh are evident when one is controlled by the flesh.

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The nonChristian will use artificial means to try to be happy because they do not have the Spirit of God living within them. Artificial means, such as wine, drugs, etc., are very superficial and will not last but will only leave the one feeling more empty. When a Christian engages in any of these activities then they will quench the Holy Spirit who has come to live within them.

I Thessalonians 5:16-19 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit;

The way that a Christian can be continually filled with joy is to continually walk in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit keeps the Christian from being controlled by the flesh and expressing the deeds of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16,17 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

We are to please the One who lived and died for us. When we live according to His ways then our hearts will be filled with the joy of the Lord and how sweet it is. You will also find that thanksgiving and joy go together. Your heart will also be filled with much gratitude. What a contrast to those who do not know the Lord and who are always complaining.

A Life that Asks

We are needy people and the Lord made us that way so that we will be dependent on Him. The Bible says that only a fool lives as if there is no God.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
There is no one who does good.

The Lord delights in our prayers and He delights in giving to His children. He wants us and we need Him.

Psalm 15:8b But the prayer of the upright is His delight.

Not only does He delight in our prayers but He wants us to ask Him in prayer and call on His name.

Jeremiah 33:3 ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

There is a lot that we do not know. He delights in making Himself known to us.

Luke 11:11-13 Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

The Lord wants to give Himself first to us and then He will not withhold anything else that we need and that is good for us. It is important that we receive Him first and learn to worship the Giver rather than receive His gifts first because then we would be tempted to worship the gifts and miss the greatest Gift of all.

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

If you seek Him with all of your heart and seek to walk in His ways then you will never lack any good thing.

I Chronicles 28:9 As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.

Once you find the Lord then you will know that there is nothing that compares to Him. He is the Bright and Morning Star, the Giver of life, the One and only One who can satisfy the longing of your heart. Until you come to know Him in a personal way this may seem an impossibility to you but once you see Him and know Him then you will see and know that this is true.

Psalm 119:2 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart.

Those who seek Him will find Him if they seek Him with all of their heart. Seek Him through prayer and through His Word. Ask Him to give His Holy spirit to you. Keep seeking Him until He comes to you. Press on to know Him.

Hosea 6:3 “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.”

Once you know Him and find your delight in Him. Then pray to Him about the things that you are struggling with in your life. Cast your cares on Him and ask Him to take your burdens. He loves you and loves to give to His children. He is a gracious Heavenly Father.

Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

Ask Him and He will give you what is good. Do you need a job? Do you want to get married? If you are married and want to have children but have not been able to, then ask Him. Are you hungry and thirsty for you don’t even know what? Ask Him. Ask, and it will be given to you.

Romans 8:31,32 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 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?

He is for you and gave up His own Son for you. Will He not freely give you all things? Yes, and even more than enough will He give to you. One of the meanings of His name is that “He is More than Enough”.

 

 

A Life that Loves God’s Word

The Word of God is like honey to the soul of the one who loves the Lord. It satisfies, it renews and refreshes, it rejoices the heart, it restores and gives wisdom. More than anything it allows one to fall more deeply in love with the Lord.

Psalm 19:7-10 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.

There is nothing to compare to the joy of spending time in God’s Word and sitting at His feet. It is His love letter to Christians and once you realize this you will not be able to stay out of His Word if you belong to Him.

Luke 10:38-42 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with [q]all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

When we love the Lord then everything that we do is an overflow of our love relationship with Him. We can not be in His presence enough and realize that it is only a taste of heaven.

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.

The Lord makes our troubles seem much less and our joy is much greater when we delight ourselves in Him.

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

His Word is His revelation of who He is and He has given it to us that we may observe all that He says.

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

Jesus Christ is God and was in the beginning before the worlds were made.

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

Jesus Christ came and lived among men so that we could know Him and have a relationship with Him.

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.

Jesus is full of grace and truth. He revealed Himself to those who knew Him when He walked on earth. They were blessed because they saw and heard the very Son of God, of whom all the prophets and Moses spoke about in the Old Testament.

Luke 10:23,24 Turning to the disciples, He said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see,for I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see the things which you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and did not hear them.”

However, even more blessed are we when we believe in Him whom we have not seen and hear Him who stills speaks to the hearts of men and women who come to Him.

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.”

The Lord has had His words and miracles recorded so that we might believe in Him.

John 20:30,31 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

There is no privilege greater nor is there anything sweeter than to know the Lord and find your delight in Him. When He is our desire and the longing of our heart then He becomes our very life and the One for whom we live and will die for that He might be exalted. He lived and died for us and we live for Him and if we should die for Him it would be an honor and privilege to be more like Him.

Philippians 1:20b,21 Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

 

 

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 The Few

The choice is yours whether to be with the few who choose to live right or the many who choose to live according to their fleshly desires. The only way that you can live right is to choose Jesus and if you don’t then you will sooner or later choose to make the wrong decisions. You will be deceived by your own desires.

Matthew 7:14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

The Lord gives you the opportunity to choose Him now. He is knocking on the door of your heart.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

If you do not choose to follow Jesus Christ now then the day will come when you will want to but it will be too late. You will knock but no one will answer.

Luke 13:22-28 And He was passing through from one city and village to another, teaching, and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem. And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers.’ In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.

There will be much weeping when you see others but you yourself will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Many are called but only a few respond. Just as in the days of Noah, there was eating and drinking but no thought of tomorrow. It was seize the day and eat and drink.

I Peter 3:18-22 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.

Many are seeking God but do not know the way to Him. This harvest of seekers is plentiful and He expects those who have received salvation to share the Gospel with others. The Gospel literally means “good news” and the goods news is that the Lord wants all to be saved.

Matthew 9:37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

He also wants His children to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which we have been called.

I Thessalonians 2:12 so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

The Lord has called us to be His bride and the bride is to adorn herself in white. Those who have been faithful to Him will be counted worthy to walk with Him.

Revelation 3:4 But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.

The Lord never said that it would be easy but He does say that it will be worth it. Where are you in your journey? Have you responded to His call to become one whom He has chosen to be His? If you have responded are you sharing the good news of the gospel? How are you doing in your walk with Him? Are you walking in a manner worthy of Him? It is not too late to respond to Him and surrender your life to Him. He will put you on His path and will help you walk with Him in a manner worthy of the great calling to be His bride. He loves you.

Revelation 19:7,8 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

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 Is Abundant and Overflowing

A lot of people go through life surviving and existing rather than living an abundant life that overflows with love, joy and peace. These are three qualities of life that we long for but they seem almost like an illusion at times. If we don’t have them then we can keep ourselves busy or numb ourselves to the emptiness that characterizes our lives in the absence of love, joy and peace. If we have these qualities then our lives are full and meaningful. Is an abundant life possible or is it only a wishful dream?

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

Jesus came to give us life and not just life but to live life abundantly. Life that is overflowing. He said out of our innermost being will come rivers of living water.

John 7:37b-39a Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive;

Are you thirsty for life? Is your soul empty within? Are you tired of not seeing any real changes? Are you often depressed? Are you weary? The Lord says to come to Him and He will give you life.

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.”

He knows your needs for He is the One who made you and wove you in your mother’s womb. You are fearfully and wonderfully made but He is your Creator and He knows what you needs.

Psalm 139:13-16 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

Your needs are as unique as you are and there is no one like you. He knows the day you were born and He knows the day you will leave this earth. There is no one who knows you like He does. He made you for His glory and when you come to Him then He continues the work that He began in you before you were born.

Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

After we were born then we started to go our own way and wanted to run our own lives. When we did this then the devil, who comes like a thief, started to rob us of the love, joy and peace that the Lord designed for our lives. Our sin caused us frustration and emptiness and opened the door to the lies that Satan started to put into our minds that stole our joy, that accused others to us that they did not love us, and peace started to seem further and further away. The Bible says that there is no peace for the sinner but Jesus came to give us 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.

Jesus came to love us and to give us joy.

John 15:9-11 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

We receive the love, joy and peace when we receive the Holy Spirit, whom we receive when we are born again into God’s family when we receive Jesus Christ into our lives.

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

When we receive Christ we receive the abundant life, that is overflowing.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Not only does Jesus Christ give us life because He is life but He also gives us the truth so that we no longer believe the lies of the devil. Satan may no longer rob us of the love, joy and peace that Jesus gives to us. The Lord also is the way, which means that He teaches us the way in which we should walk so that we don’t go back into our old way of life. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

Ephesians 4:30,31 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Have you been born again but have gotten away from the Lord? Have you lost the joy that you once had and the love and peace that only Jesus can give? Have you grieved the Holy Spirit who lives within you? Come back to the Lord. Remember from where you have fallen and repent so that times of refreshing can come from the presence of the Lord. You will once again know the love, joy and peace that you had when you first came to know Him. Or if you have never made that first step of trusting Jesus then this verse is for you also.

Acts 3:19,20 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; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you,