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 that Responds Correctly to Anger

Anger is such a destructive force in relationships and in families but if it is responded to in the correct way then it will dissolve much more quickly before the damage in done. Often, for a young lady, many of her relationships are ones that she did not choose, for instance, she may have a relative or a boss that has an issue with anger. Anger causes men and women to do things that they would never have done in their sane mind.

Genesis 49:6 “Let my soul not enter into their council; Let not my glory be united with their assembly; Because in their anger they slew men, And in their self-will they lamed oxen.

If you have a choice, then choose friends who do not have an issue with anger. The Lord says to not go with a man given to anger. A person who is slow to anger is like the Lord, for He is slow to anger.

Exodus 34:6 Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;

Even though the Lord is slow to anger He still is a just God who will render judgment and recompense to all men. Slow to anger does not mean that you are passive, rather it means that you are God controlled.

Numbers 14:18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.’

However, how do you respond to a person in authority over you when they become angry? First, be sure of your position, that it is the position of what the Lord stands for in His Word. Check your attitude and make sure that you are entirely dependent on the Lord and that you have no will of you own but only to do His will. Then, once you know that you are doing what is right, do not give in or be intimidated. Stand firm.

Ecclesiastes 10:4 If the ruler’s temper rises against you, do not abandon your position, because composure allays great offenses.

If you must respond then make sure that your gentleness speaks louder than your words. The Bibles says that a king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion. It is frightening.

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

What if you are the one who has been defeated by anger in your own self? If anger is something that you struggle with then you must give it to the Lord. Basically, most anger comes when we do not get our way. Anger is the opposite of self control. Self control is part of the fruit of the spirit. Do you feed your flesh with worldly passions and desires for that quenches your spirit and you will not be able to have self control when you need it. All men and women respect someone who can control his own spirit.

Proverbs 16:32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.

Only a fool allows his anger to take control of him.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.

If you find yourself angry then get away from the situation and through it all call upon the Lord to help you. Ask the Lord for wisdom and prudence so that you will know how to respond to the situation in a way that will cause people to respect you rather than lose respect for you.

Proverbs 12:16 A fool’s anger is known at once, But a prudent man conceals dishonor.

Never let the sun go down on your anger. The more that you can learn to do this then the happier your life will be and the healthier your relationships will be. This also is great preparation for marriage, where the closer you live with someone, the more your selfishness and anger will come out, if you have not learned to walk with the Lord.

Ephesians 4:26 do not let the sun go down on your anger,

Finally, ask the Lord to forgive you and also the person with whom you were angry, if you said or did something. Asking someone to forgive you and meaning it is one of the best ways to stop doing something and to change because if you are really sorry for what you did then you will not want to do it again. It also helps clear the air and bring about healing to the damage that has been caused in a relationship.

Proverbs 28:13 He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes themwill find compassion.

Finally…put it away from you.

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

We all have struggled some time or other with anger but our response, if done correctly, can change us and can change those around us. The Lord wants to give us victory in this area. If you learn to conquer anger then it will save you much grief.

A Life that Lives Out Love

The Lord is perfect in all of his ways. He is so good to us because He always gives us a free choice. When we become a Christian we do not have to love Him. However, when we experience His unfathomable love for us why would we not want to love Him with all of our heart, soul and mind?

I John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

When we become a Christian the Lord sets us free. He does not set us free to do what we want but He sets us free to do as we ought. We can still become enslaved again or we can live in the freedom that He paid for with His blood.

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

When we live according to the flesh then we become a slave again to sin.

Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

God’s grace is what enables us to live in obedience to Him and to remain free. God’s grace became available to us through the cross. Do not allow the free choices you have to turn the grace of God into licentiousness.

Jude 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Don’t allow your freedom or liberty in Christ, which is your freedom to choose, become a stumbling block because you want to indulge your flesh.

I Corinthians 8:9 But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

If you love someone with the love of Christ then you will be more concerned about their relationship with the Lord than your own pleasures and indulgences. If you love the Lord then you will love His children.

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.

It is by our love for one another that the world will know that we are His disciples.

John 13:34.35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 

 

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 Listens

A life that listens to the voice of the Good Shepherd is a life that lives in tranquility. The Lord speaks to us in different ways. He says that His sheep hear His voice. This is what He wants. He wants to speak to you through His Holy Spirit that He has made to dwell within you. He speaks to your spirit when you become spiritually alive. You become spiritually alive when you become born again. You become one of His sheep and He becomes your Shepherd. As your Good Shepherd, who lays down His life for the sheep, He will protect you and guide your steps to keep you out of harm.

John10:11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

He knows you by name and calls to you. He will communicate His love for you in many different ways. You will see His hand and hear His voice.

John 10:14-16 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

He has sheep throughout the world and all through the ages. We belong to the Shepherd and He makes us one, regardless of color or race. He is the good Shepherd. The word “good” means the highest form of love. He has an unconditional love for each one of us. There is nothing that we can do to cause Him to love us more.

Proverbs 6:22 When you walk about, they will guide you;  When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you.

He speaks to you through His Word. You must be faithful to put it in your heart so that when the time comes that you need comfort or guidance or whatever your need is, He can talk to you as you walk about and even when you are asleep or awake.

Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

The word “beloved” means just what it says, “be loved”. The Lord calls you beloved because He wants you to be loved by Him. Let Him love you as He longs to do. Let your striving be your seeking after Him so that you can hear His voice. He will give to you even in your sleep.

 

 

A Life that is Near to God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

A Life with a New Beginning

The Lord in His mercy offers to everyone who comes to Him a new beginning. We have all messed up and we all need to start over. We messed up because we thought that we could “do life ourselves” and that we did not need God and especially did not need One to be our Lord and to rule in our life.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Sin means to fall short of God’s standard for our lives. We know that we have sinned because all of us know that we are not perfect. Guilt is the consequence of sin and we are all guilty. Repentance is turning away from our sin and turning to God. When we do this then we are given forgiveness and life. We also have been given a new beginning.

Acts 11:17-18 Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”

Being forgiven and justified is a gift of grace from God through repentance and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 3:24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

This gift of forgiveness and life is available to any who calls on the Lord Jesus Christ. He shows no partiality and He is not prejudiced towards anyone. It does not matter how much or how little you have sinned. We all need forgiveness and the gift of life that God offers through Jesus Christ. It is free and undeserved. We can not work for it and there is nothing that we can do to deserve it.

Romans 3:22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

We have all earned death. It is what is due us and yet God in His great love and mercy sent Jesus Christ to pay the penalty and to take the punishment for all of our sins. Salvation is a gift of God through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

For God so loved all of us that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, that whoever believes and trusts in Him should not perish and spend eternity in hell but they would receive eternal life and live forever with Him in heaven in perfect love and harmony.

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.

So, to the one who believes in Jesus Christ the Lord gives to Him not only life but a new beginning in this life. He is no longer alone but the one who believes becomes a new person in Christ and Christ comes into him. The old things pass away and the Lord has a new life for the believer.

II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

What are the new things and what is the new beginning? It is a life of forgiveness and victory over sin. It is a life in relationship with the Lord of the universe. It is a life that experiences God’s love and wants to love Him back. It is a life of faith and obedience to the One who loved us so much that He died for us and took the death that we deserve. It is a life that confesses Him before others and is not ashamed to be called a Christian. It is eternal life and that eternal life begins the moment someone receives Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

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

It is the sweetest life anyone could ever know and is knowing that if I died tonight then I would spend eternity in heaven with God. These things He has written to us in order that we may know that we have eternal life.

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 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 Filled with Kindness

If you really want to soar in life then learn kindness and let it be a way of life for you. You will not only experience the kindness of others but you will see the kindness of the Lord.

Psalm 18:25 With the kind You show Yourself kind;

Kindness does not mock at, laugh at or make fun of someone else in unfortunate circumstances. The one who mocks the poor will find himself insulting the Lord and the one who rejoices at someone else’s trouble will be punished.

Proverbs 17:5 The one who mocks the poor insults his Maker, and one who rejoices over calamity will not go unpunished.

Kindness can begin with you and it influences the entire sphere of influence of the kind person. It is like the ripple effect when a rock is thrown into a pond and touches everyone. The godly woman is kind and is one whom the Lord praises, her husband praises her and her children also praise her.

Proverbs 31:20 She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.

Kindness is part of the fruit of the Spirit. We do not produce it but He produces it through us.

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

If you really want to soar in happiness in your marriage then marry a man who is kind. The opposite of kindness is anger. Kindness thinks about the other person. Anger thinks about himself and is self centered.

Proverbs 19:22 What is desirable in a man is his kindness,

If a man has an edge or always has to be right or has anger issues then run from that man if you are not married to him.

Proverbs 22:24 Do not associate with a man given to anger; Or go with a hot-tempered man,

Often a man who has anger or rage issues also struggles with pornography since they come from the same root word. A man who struggles with these issues will seek to cover it up when he is pursuing a girl so this is why it is crucial that you ask your father what he thinks of the particular young man.

I Corinthians 7:38 So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.

It is the father who gives his daughter away and he will want to give her to a man who will love her. Often, if he does not express his opinion then it is because he may feel as though you have made up your mind already. If he is not supportive of the relationship then you would be wise to back away. Either the young man is not the one or it is not the time.

Proverbs 20:5 A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, But a man of understanding draws it out.

Your father has a lot of wisdom. You need to listen to him and especially when it comes to young men. If he feels that you really want to know what he thinks then he will share insights with you. Women can not see through men and men can not see through women. For this reason it is crucial that a father meets very early in the relationship a prospective young man for her daughter and a mother meets early on a prospective your lady for her son.

Proverbs 18:4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; The fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.

The Bible says you will be a winner in life and you will be a winner in marriage if you hear your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

Proverbs 1:8,9 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;
Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
And ornaments about your neck.

A wreath is what they used to adorn the winners in the Olympic games. Even now, the winners will wear a medal around their neck which is an ornament. You will be a winner in life if you listen and do your mother and father’s teaching.