A Life that Is Rich

Most people want to be rich and yet our values define our riches. If our values are worthy then we will be rich in what matters, but if our values are worth little then we may be rich but our riches will only make us poor in the true riches of life. The end result will be emptiness and poverty with little satisfaction.

Matthew 16:26,27 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.

You may gain the world but you lose your soul. What will a person give in exchange for his soul. He would give everything…or would he only give everything when he realizes it is too late? The Lord says that this life is a test of our faithfulness and obedience to Him, which is an expression of our relationship with Him.

Luke 16:10,11 He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?

If you are rich in good deeds then you are rich indeed and your payment will come later when the Lord comes and renders to every man according to their deeds. Our good deeds are an expression of our relationship with Jesus Christ. He says that if we know Him then we will give to others, for in this way, His love is expressed to the world.

I John 3:17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

Has the Lord entrusted much to you? Then much is required of you.

Luke 12:48b From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

The Lord has given us clear instruction on what we are to do with what He has given to us. The Lord is the One who gives and He is the One who takes away. Give back to Him while you have the opportunity for earthly riches are not forever.

I Timothy 6:17-19 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy doing good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

The Lord has told those whom He has blessed with earthly goods, and we have all been blessed with something to share, to enter into the joy of doing good and to be rich in good works. He wants us to be generous and ready to share and in doing so we will be storing up for ourselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future. Doing so will also allow us to take hold of that which is life indeed. The Lord came that we might have life and life is not hoarding up for ourselves, for He Himself has said that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Acts 20:35 In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Have you ever noticed that when you lose $20.00 you have a sick feeling about it every time you think of it? However, when you give $20.00 to someone in need then every tine you think of it you have a good feeling? Either way, you are out of $20.00 but one situation brought life to your soul and the other brought death to the soul. The Lord wants you to give so much that He has always put the needy in our lives so that we will never have an excuse for not doing good.

Mark 14:7 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.

The Lord says that He will judge us on the good deeds that we have done for others. There will be no excuses because God in His wisdom has always had the poor with us. Are you unhappy and life is “all about you” then find someone needy and meet that need. You will find that those who give are the happiest people you will know.

Matthew 6:3,4 But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

There is only one time in the Bible where the Lord says that He will be a debtor to man. Listen to what He says. We do not give to others so that we can receive but the Lord certainly keeps His Word and pays back more than enough. Lend to the Lord and let Him repay you.

Proverbs 19:17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord,
And He will repay him for his good deed.

One last warning about giving, the Lord says that those who give to the rich will come to poverty. Again, the Lord’s wisdom is so wonderful. He knows our hearts and they are deceitful. He does not want us to give to the rich for they do not need neither do they appreciate our gifts. When we give to the poor it is giving to the Lord and it is to be done in secret. Follow His instructions and let Him bless you.

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

When Jesus comes again then He will judge the world. The non Christians will be judged for their lack of trust in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the things they did openly and in secret that are against His commandments. The Christians will be judged for their faith and faithfulness to Him shown by the deeds that they did. May He find you faithful.

 

 

 

A Life with Love is Relational

Love is about relationships. The Lord made us to be in a relationship with Him and in relationship with others. It is not good to alone. It is love that makes the relationships alive and meaningful and the relationships that we have define our lives. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God then their relationship with God changed and they changed.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food,and that it was a delight to the eyes,and that the tree was desirable to make wise,she took from its fruit and ate;and she gave also to her husband with her,and he ate.Then the eyes of both of them were opened,and they knew that they were naked;and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. Genesis 3:6,7

Sin always changes people and relationships. Something within us is destroyed and we no longer enjoy the freedom and security that we had before we sinned. Adam and Eve were ashamed and insecure. They tried to cover themselves up.

Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a disgrace to any people. Proverbs 14:34

Sin also makes us fearful. The only problem was that there was nothing that they needed to be afraid of but sin distorts reality in our mind and we start responding not to the Lord and His Word but to our fears. When we respond to our fears then our life becomes anxious and even more insecure. Those who obey the Lord have no need to fear. They know the Lord and have put their trust in Him.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit. Jeremiah 17:7,8

Sin brings guilt and guilt changes our thoughts and our actions. The guilt in our lives will change the path that we take so that we can avoid any reminder of the guilt. God made man so that he can not live without love and in the same way, God made man so that he can not live with guilt. Man will do anything that he can to try to get rid of the guilt or to block it out. Since man can not get rid of his own guilt, his actions only lead to more guilt. It is a horrible life.

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

The path of the guilty is no longer straight but it is crooked. His conduct becomes even more crooked just as the saying goes, “the leg of a lie gets longer and longer”. The guilt in a person’s life will twist their view of everything. They will no longer see clearly and will become suspicious of even those who have done them no wrong. Even their view of God becomes distorted.

With the kind You show Yourself kind;
With the blameless You show Yourself blameless;
With the pure You show Yourself pure,
And with the crooked You show Yourself twisted. Psalm 18:25,26

The Lord is good and loving. He is kind and blameless. However, to the guilty and crooked person He becomes twisted in their mind and eyes. The most important thing in a person’s life is their view of God. Everything that man does is a response to his view of God. God is not who you think that He is, He is who He is and He reveals Himself to those who seek Him with a pure heart. The view that you have of God is not an indication of who He is but it is more an indication of the purity of your heart.

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

There is only One who can take your sin and guilt away and give you a clean heart and that is Jesus Christ.

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

He came to earth, died on the cross and rose again to take the punishment that all of us deserve, to forgive us of our sin and to restore us to a relationship with God.

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, I Peter 3:18a

A Life with Prudence

Wisdom is how to achieve a desire result. For example, if you want to have a long and satisfying marriage then you need wisdom on what to do to have this happen. If you want to be successful in your career then you need wisdom as to how to make this happen. Prudence is how to avoid an undesirable result. If you want a long and satisfied marriage then you need prudence to know what to avoid so that your marriage does not fall apart. If you want to be successful then you need to not only know what to do but you need to know what not to do so that you do not fail. Wisdom is knowing what to do and prudence is understanding what not to do.

Proverbs 8:12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And I find knowledge and discretion.

Wisdom and prudence go hand in hand. They are the two different sides of the coin and you need both. They dwell together and with them you will also find knowledge and discretion.

Proverbs 8:11 “For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.

Wisdom is more precious than jewels and all desirable things can not compare with wisdom and prudence.

Proverbs 8:17-21 “I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.
“Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness.
“My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield better than choicest silver.
“I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.

Wisdom loves those who love wisdom. If you diligently seek for wisdom then you will find wisdom. Wisdom is in the way of righteousness and in the paths of justice.

Proverbs 8:35,36 “For he who finds me finds life
And obtains favor from the Lord.
“But he who sins against me injures himself;
All those who hate me love death.”

When you find wisdom and prudence then you will find life and you will obtain favor from the Lord. Those who neglect the discipline of learning wisdom and prudence will experience grief and death. The prudent person sees the evil that an action will cause and they will hide from it. The naive person is one who does not know wisdom. We all come into the world naive and we must learn wisdom.

Proverbs 22:3 The prudent sees the evil and hides himself,
But the naive go on, and are punished for it.

Are you naive and do not know what to do? Ask the Lord and He will give you wisdom and you will find that when you seek the Lord that you will discover wisdom for in Jesus Himself is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Colossians 2:2,3 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

This is one of the reasons that the people were amazed at His teaching for He was teaching them God’s ways, which is the expression of wisdom. The Lord wants to give you prudence and wisdom so that you may avoid the snares of death.

Proverbs 1:4 To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion,

Do you lack wisdom and prudence? Do you struggle in any areas? Do you struggle with bad habits or bad thoughts? Are you frustrated or feel defeated in any area? Ask the Lord for wisdom and prudence. He wants to give to you and will give to you generously that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing.

James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

 

 

A Life with Love Brings Satisfaction

Love brings satisfaction to others by helping them to become the person that God designed them to be and to do the things that God wants them to do. A person can only do this if they have the love of God abiding in them. When Eve disobeyed God she no longer was a helpmate to Adam but she became his mate who hurt him. Her life no longer helped him grow closer to God but she hurt his relationship with the Lord by wanting him to sin just as she had sinned. Sin has a ripple effect and will always bring hurt to the people around the one doing the sinning.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her and he ate. Genesis 3:6

If you love someone then you will not want to be a stumbling block to them but will want to help them grow in their relationship with the Lord. You are either pointing people to the Lord through your life or you are pointing them away from the Lord. A person who is disobedient to what the Lord says will not only stumble themselves but they will put a stumbling block before others. God’s Word is offensive to the one who does not want to obey it. The disobedient person will often want others to do the same as they have done. It does not lessen their guilt but only increases it.

For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the very corner stone,” and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. I Peter 2:6-8

“Indeed, did God say…” is what the devil said to Eve. He caused her to question God’s Word and then she twisted what the Lord said and then she disobeyed God’s Word. She disobeyed God’s Word to her own destruction, to the destruction of her marriage and home and to the destruction of her relationship with God. The Lord had given Adam and Eve everything that man and woman could possibly want. Yet, they were not satisfied. You will never be satisfied if you look elsewhere for satisfaction, other than to the Lord. There will always be something prettier, better, more advantageous and anything else that we think would bring us happiness.

Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied. Proverbs 27:20

Sheol and Abaddon are other names for hell. The devil is never satisfied as to how many people he can get to go to hell with him. He is never satisfied with how many marriages he can destroy or how many lives he has destroyed. When your marriage is destroyed and dies then something within you also dies. You will never be the same. In the same way, the eyes of men and women are never satisfied. They will always want more.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6

As you learn to hunger and thirst for the Lord and to hunger and thirst after righteousness then you will be satisfied. Righteousness is believing what God said by faith and acting on it by obeying His Word. It may seem impossible but it is true. The word “blessed” means happy. You will be happy and satisfied in life, in your marriage and you will be a blessing to your spouse and to others.

A Life that Loves Life

Do you want to love life and see good days? The Lord gives us clear instruction on what we need to do if we want to love life. So many people just “get by” or if they are honest with themselves then they don’t really even enjoy life but just live in survival mode.

Psalm 34:12 Who is the man who desires life
And loves length of days that he may see good?

The Lord says that there are four things that you must do if you want to desire life and want to live many days that you may see good.

Psalm 34:13,14 Keep your tongue from evil
And your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

The first thing that you must do is to keep your tongue from speaking evil. In other words, don’t let your tongue cause anyone grief, since the meaning of the word “evil” is to cause grief. Don’t have an edge about you or feel that you need to get in the last word. Another aspect of this is to keep from arguing. If you want to desire life then you don’t have to always win in your discussions with others. Arguing only leads to grief so stay away from it. Jesus is our example of one who did not return evil for evil but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. Jesus refused to argue.

I Peter 2:23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;

The second requirement is to keep your lips from speaking deceit. There was no deceit in what Jesus said. Deceit was never found in His mouth because His heart was pure. Keep a pure heart and you will keep deceit far from you.

I Peter 2:21,22 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;

The third requirement is to depart from evil and do good. Again, the meaning of evil is to cause grief so the Lord wants you to do good to others rather than to cause others grief. We can only do this in the power of the Holy Spirit because it is not in our flesh. No good thing is in our flesh and the only good that we can do is what the Lord does through us. Stay filled with His Holy Spirit and you will depart from evil and do good. The secret to staying filled with the Holy Spirit is to not quench the Holy Spirit through sinning. Fear the Lord and you will hate sin. Be quick to confess so that you do not grieve the Holy Spirit and you will see Him live through you. Only God is good and the good that we do is the Lord doing the good through us.

Romans 14:19 So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

We must pursue peace with all men so that they may see the Lord in us.

Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.

Finally, to sum up, this is the way the Lord has called us to live. You will be giving a blessing and you will be blessed “the eyes of the Lord will be toward you and His ears will attend to your prayer”. Can it get any better than this? No. However, life can certainly get quite miserable for those who do evil for the face of the Lord will be against them.

I Peter 3:8-12 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For,The one who desires life, to love and see good days,
Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.
He must turn away from evil and do good;
He must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous,
And His ears attend to their prayer,
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Learn to do good and to be kind to even ungrateful and evil men and you be will called sons and daughters of the Most High.

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

A Life with Love Must Be Together

Love must be together. Love is relational and relationships must be nurtured to grow strong. The Lord brings a man and a woman together in marriage to be with each other. Your marriage will not grow strong and your love will not grow deeper unless there is an investment of your money and your time. These are the treasures that each of us have and when we invest our treasures in the marriage then our heart will be in it also. The love has become cold in many a marriage simply because the relationship was neglected and the two people have drifted apart. Each one invested their time, energy and money elsewhere and their heart was no longer with their spouse.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34

The more shared experiences then the stronger the marriage. Just as in the past when they used to make a rope strong, it was made of many many little strands of hemp. It was almost impossible to even cut through a thick rope. In the same way, the more shared experiences that married couples have then the stronger the bonds of marriage will be and when the enemy attacks then it will have a much harder time breaking the bonds of marriage. Love grows through sharing each others joys and sorrows.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 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. Ephesians 4:32-5:2

Your marriage and love will deepen as you each learn to be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other just as Christ also has forgiven us. As you and your spouse learn to walk in love and to consider the other one more important than one’s ownself then your marriage will be a fragrant aroma to the Lord and to the world.

Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; Hebrews 13:4a

As you can see, it says marriage bed, not marriage beds. A marriage will not grow strong if each of the married partners sleep in a different bed. Don’t do it. The Lord will help you if one of you has a hard time sleeping. There is something about sharing the same bed that keeps a couple together.

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate. Matthew 19:6

Separation is opposite of being together. The devil tries first to separate a married couple and then divorce is often next. If someone counsels you to separate then they are not with God but against God. Let no man separate, means let no man counsel you to separate nor let another come in between you and your spouse. A woman should never confide in any other man other than her husband. She should not go to a pastor or a male counselor to get marriage help. A woman can almost always get a man’s sympathy and a man can not see through a woman’s tears, hurts, etc. and give her the truth of what she needs to hear.

The first to plead his case seems right,
Until another comes and examines him. Proverbs 18:17

A man can not see through a woman and a woman can not see through a man. In the same way, a man should not go to a woman for counsel. Older men can help a younger man to learn to love his wife and to understand her and older women are God’s provision to help women in learning how to love and respect their husband.

A Life that Does Not Despair

A very terrifying feeling is a panic attack or an overwhelming feeling of despair. These experiences can be very real and awful to the one experiencing them. They can even be paralyzing to whoever is going through either despair or panic. These feelings and experiences are an evidence of our fragility and nothing to be ashamed of for they are not sin but rather they show us our desperate need for the Lord, our Creator. He made us and is aware of how fragile we are.

Psalm 103:14 For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.

He is mindful of our desperate need for Him and is a present help in time of trouble.

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

He is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

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

Jesus came for you and especially for those who are afflicted in the soul and spirit.

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

He will help you and He will come to you. Put your trust in Him and cry out to Him.

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.

Yes, let your heart take courage. You will see His goodness once again and it will be in the land of the living. Even though at the moment or at any particular time it may seem very dark and despairing it will not always be that way. You will see His goodness if you will trust Him, wait on Him, be strong in Him and let your heart take courage in Him. When you have nothing left then you are in the best position to trust Him for you will then see that you can not trust in yourself. It is when we trust in ourselves that we are tempted to turn away from the Lord.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 Thus says the Lord,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
“For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.

He will come to you like the spring rain and water your life again. You will see life and new growth. Continue to press on to know the Lord and trust Him with all your heart.

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.”