A Life that is Wise and Upright

Do you want to live a life that is pure and peaceable, gentle and reasonable and full of mercy and good fruits? A life that is unwavering and without hypocrisy? Such a life is possible but only to those who have been able to take hold of God’s wisdom and live by it.

James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

This life is a sweet life and attractive not only to the Lord but to everyone who meets this person. This verse describes the life of Christ. He offers it to you. Yet, how do you get it? The Lord is very gracious and says that all you have to do is ask Him and He will give it to you and not only to you but to anyone who will ask Him.

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.

However, how do you ask? You need to ask in faith and it will be given to you and given to you generously, that means He will give you as much as you need and ask for.

James 1:6-8 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Is it hard to ask in faith without any doubting? No, it is only hard if the person is double minded, for that person has doubts and is unstable in their faith. What does it mean to be double minded? It means that you can not make up your mind what you want. For instance, you may think, “maybe I should do this or maybe I should do that”. The problem with this kind of thinking is that it is all about what you want and not what the Lord wants. A person who is double minded is not fully surrendered to the Lord.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

A double minded person does not have a pure heart. A pure heart is a fully surrendered heart to the Lord. A single minded person has a pure heart and only one thought and that is “Lord, what do you want?” The cure for being double minded is to fully surrender you life and will to the Lord. It is to say, “not my will, but Thy will be done”. What is the outcome of a pure heart? You will see the Lord. The Lord wants every thing that we do to be a response to Him.

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

If you see the Lord correctly then your response will be correct. This is what it means to be upright in our thoughts, actions and heart.

Psalm 11:7 For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face.

An upright person is one who sees the Lord and responds correctly in obedience to Him and the outcome is righteousness, that is doing life right. You won’t have doubts but you will have peace, quietness and confidence.

Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness will be peace,
And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.

You will find that not only will the Lord give wisdom to the person who is upright with a pure heart but He will also not withhold any good thing from this person.

Psalm 84:11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

 

 

 

 

 

A Life with Love Gives Worth

Love gives worth to the one being loved. It is sin that makes us feel worthless. The more we sin then the less worth that we will feel about ourselves. We are made in the image of God and each time that we sin then that image becomes hidden more and more and our worth diminishes in our own sight until we feel totally worthless.

A worthless person, a wicked man, Is the one who walks with a perverse mouth, Proverbs 6:12

A wicked person begins to be wicked in their heart. The heart of the wicked is worth little.

The heart of the wicked is worth little. Proverbs 10:20

A wicked person is one who believes in God but only enough to make himself feel good. Their belief in God does not change their behavior or life. The wicked are ungodly and live as if there will be no judgment day before God. They are pretentious enough to seek to be accepted by others. They want God and the world.

Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.
For it flatters him in his own eyes
Concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it.
The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;
He has ceased to be wise and to do good.
He plans wickedness upon his bed;
He sets himself on a path that is not good;
He does not despise evil. Psalm 36:1-4

The wicked person will say that he hates what he does that violates his conscience…uses bad language, drinks too much, looks at things they should not look at, gossips, etc. but they do not hate it enough to stop. They are not willing to get help or to do whatever they need to do to be set free from the snare of sin. The wicked person has ceased to be wise and to do good. At one time he wanted to do right and to do good but he no longer despises sin. Either we will love sin and hate God or we will love God and hate sin. We can not do both.

Your lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
Your judgments are like a great deep.
O Lord, You preserve man and beast. Psalm 36:5,6

It is only God’s love that can preserve us. Only the Lord can restore the worth that God gave to man before the fall. Something is worth only what someone is willing to pay for it. God was willing and wanted to redeem us from the power, penalty and presence of sin and He did so by sending His only begotten Son to pay the price for our salvation. Jesus Christ paid the ransom for our life. Jesus Christ took our place on the cross and took death for us so that we could have life.

For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. I Corinthians 6:20

We could not redeem ourselves or restore our worth.

knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. I Peter 1:18,19

We were helpless. Christ died for us while we were sinners. We have been justified and saved from the wrath of God which is coming upon those who have not believed in Jesus Christ. We have been restored in our relationship with God. It is God’s love that saves, justifies and reconciles us.

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:6-11

It is only in Christ’s love that our worth is restored. It is only in God’s love that we can give worth to another. For this reason, it is important that we are filled with God’s love. When we are filled with God’s love then we give worth to each other. If a husband and wife fuss and fight with each other then they destroy each other’s self worth. When a wife does not feel loved then her worth in her own eyes is diminished. When a husband is shamed or not respected then the temptation is to become bitter toward his wife because she is destroying his self worth. When two people marry then they give each other the power over their lives to build up or destroy. People will go where they are praised and built up. Children will go where they are loved and praised. Let your marriage and home be filled with the love of God so that it will be a refuge and shelter from the storms of life and where all who enter will feel loved and of great worth.

A Life with Knowledge

There is only one kind of knowledge that we need and all other knowledge comes from this source of knowledge and that is the knowledge of the Lord.

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

If you were to know the Lord in His fullness then you would have understanding of everything. There is no true knowledge apart from Him. The Lord is a God of knowledge.

I Samuel 2:3 Boast no more so very proudly,
Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth;
For the Lord is a God of knowledge,
And with Him actions are weighed.

There is no comparison to knowing Him and if you had to trade everything in the world for the knowledge of Him then it would be worth it.

Philippians 3:7-11 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

The Lord has not called us to have all knowledge, in fact, we are to be innocent in the knowledge of evil.

Romans 16:19 For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.

You can not have both. You must choose. Do you want to know the Lord or do you want to know evil. You must shut out the knowledge of evil if you want to know the Lord and have understanding. The Lord tells us how to receive the knowledge of God.

Proverbs 2:1-5 My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
And discover the knowledge of God.

Are you receiving His Words and treasuring his commandments within you? Are you making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding? Are you seeking her as you would silver and searching for her as for hidden treasure? If you are, then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. You will then have found the greatest treasure of all and will see that there is none to compare with this treasure of knowing Him.

Proverbs 2:6-11 For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Guarding the paths of justice,
And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
Then you will discern righteousness and justice
And equity and every good course.
For wisdom will enter your heart
And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
Discretion will guard you,
Understanding will watch over you,

If you seek to know the Lord and to fear Him then all these other things will be added to you. You will receive wisdom and understanding will enter your heart. He will be a shield to you as you walk in integrity and He will preserve your way. You will discern righteousness and justice. You will learn equity and recognize the right path to take in life. Wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to you. Discretion will guard you and understanding will watch over you.

Proverbs 8:8-11 All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness;
There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.
They are all straightforward to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.
Take my instruction and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choicest gold.
For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.

There is nothing to compare with knowing the Lord and once you have tasted of the knowledge of Him then you will not desire anything else, unless you are a fool, for fools hate wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

If you don’t yet have the knowledge of the Lord then turn to Him today. He will pour out His Spirit on you and make His words known to you.

Proverbs 1:22,23 How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?
Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

Naive and simple minded means that you just don’t know but you don’t need to stay in that state of mind. Scoffers are those who have turned their back on knowledge. We were all naive, simple minded and scoffers at one time but we don’t have to remain like that for we can come to Him. He is calling to you. He loves you and wants you to know Him.

A Life that is Blessed on Earth

We know that we will be blessed in heaven but what does a life that is blessed on earth look like? The Lord makes it very clear the life that He blesses on earth.

Psalm 41:1,2 How blessed is he who considers the poor;
The Lord will deliver him in a day of trouble.
The Lord will protect him and keep him alive,
And he shall be called blessed upon the earth;

The Lord says that the poor will always be with us. He has called us to do good works and with the poor always being with us there will not be any excuse for anyone why they did not do good works or help the poor. The poor test us. We can judge the poor or find a reason why we do not need to help them but the Lord has told us over and over again to help the poor.

Mark 14:7a For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them;

We can do good to the poor whenever we wish and Jesus comes to us in the disguise of the poor.

Matthew 25:34-40 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

Jesus went around doing good.

Acts 10:38 You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

A Christian should be known by their good works and if they are then men will glorify God on account of them. This is one aspect of what it means to be the light of the world.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

It won’t always be easy but the Lord wants you to persevere in doing good.

Romans 2:7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;

The Lord says to give to those who can not pay you back. If you give to those who can repay you then that is your reward. If you give to those who can not repay you then the Lord will give back to you, here and at the resurrection of the righteous. You will be blessed on earth and in heaven.

Luke 14:12-14 And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Is there anyone that you can do good to today? Then do it, for you may not always have the opportunity. You will be glad that you did.

Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in your power to do it.

A Life with Gladness

Gladness is different than joy. Gladness is that great feeling in your heart that makes you happy. Joy comes from the presence of God but gladness comes from loving what God loves. Gladness is the secret of the happy Christian. Jesus had more gladness than all of His companions. What was His secret?

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

Jesus loved righteousness, in other words, He loved doing what was right in God’s eyes. He did not do what was right in His own sight. He always submitted Himself to the will of the Father.

Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Everyone has a different standard of what is right and when people live by their own standards of right and wrong then there is a lack of gladness among the people because there is a lack of God’s righteousness. There is a lack of righteousness because there is a lack of Christ being King in our hearts. Jesus came to restore us to God and His Lordship and to the only true standard, which is what He said in His Word. When the Lord is our King the He helps us do what is right in his sight. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.

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

The Lord replaces our sadness with gladness and He makes us want to sing. Singing is an expression of what is in your heart. Often the songs of the world are sad songs because they have sad and broken hearts even though they may put on a happy face. Christians have joy and gladness and want to sing praises to our God.

Proverbs 10:28 The hope of the righteous is gladness,
But the expectation of the wicked perishes.

We can hope for gladness and expect it when we love righteousness because we have done what we needed to do. The expectation of the wicked perishes because it is a “false” hope, such as, “I hope that I do well on my test” or “I hope that I will go to heaven”. The right thing is to study for your tests or the right thing is to repent and receive Christ as your Lord and Savior and then you know that you are going to heaven.

Ecclesiastes 5:20 For he will not often consider the years of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart.

The Christian’s life is full and the years fly by because the Lord keeps the Christian occupied with gladness of heart. His life is full of joy and gladness because he has followed the Lord with all of his heart and sought to do what is right in God’s eyes.

Acts 2:46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,

The early Christians were filled with gladness because they were sharing with one another and fellowshipping together in the Lord. Jesus Christ was their Lord and they were doing what He wanted them to do.

Psalm 45:7 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness: Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee With the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Jesus had more gladness than all of His companions. He had the “oil of gladness”. The Lord wants to anoint us also with the oil of gladness so that people might be drawn to Christ in us. We need to love righteousness and hate wickedness.

 

 

 

 

A Life of Character

There are five characteristics that should be evidenced in a Christian. These should be spoken of and made manifest in their life.

Psalm 40:10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.

We are not to hide His righteousness within our hearts. We are to live a righteous life which means that we are to do what is right. The opposite of righteousness is wickedness and that is doing what is wrong. It is not our righteousness, which is self righteousness, but it is His righteousness. When we become a Christian we start learning His ways and living by them. Do we fail at times? Yes, but it should grieve us and cause us to want to please Him even more.

Psalm 37:3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

A life of faith will be characterized by His faithfulness. We are to cultivate faithfulness and feed on His faithfulness. Our faithfulness to Him and His faithfulness to us should be one of the hallmarks of a Christian. Do you speak of His faithfulness to others?

I Chronicles 16:23-25 Sing to the Lord, all the earth;
Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.
Tell of His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
He also is to be feared above all gods.

When we become a Christian, He not only saves us for all eternity but He saves us everyday. Are you proclaiming His salvation?

Lamentations 3:22,23 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

His lovingkindnesses indeed never cease! When someone loves someone then it can’t be concealed. They talk about the one they love and that person’s love is their delight. The Lord loves you so much and His love for you never ceases. Do you ever cease talking about His love?

John 14:6,7 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

Jesus is the Truth and when we are filled with Jesus then we will be filled with truth. His truth should characterize all that we do and say. His truth should fill our heart. We should love and long for His truth. Do you conceal His truth from others? Are you afraid at times to speak God’s truth?

Luke 6:45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

A Christian should be characterized by His righteousness, His faithfulness, His salvation, His lovingkindness and His truth because these are the things that fill his heart.

A Life with Love Perseveres

Love does not give up when it wants to quit. Sometimes life can seem overwhelming and the temptation is great to stop trying to do what we need to do. Adam and Eve, in a sense, lost both of their sons at the same time. Cain killed Abel and then he had to leave home. We know that he married for he had offspring and the only girl that was available was one of his sisters. So, that means that Adam and Eve also had a daughter leave home at the same time.

Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.” Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. Genesis 4:1.2a

Adam and Eve could have given up and not had anymore children. Maybe they felt like a failure. Their firstborn son had killed his brother. Their hearts were probably broken and there was much grief. Sin brings grief, not only to the one who commits the sin, but also to everyone else that feels the impact. There is a ripple effect. The devil wants you to believe that the “action” that you want to do will only affect you. That is not true. Sin will cost you more than you want to pay and hold you in its power longer than you want to stay. Sin brings death. This was never a part of God’s plan for Adam and Eve or for Cain and Abel.

For the wages of sin is death Romans 6:23a

However, Adam and Eve did not allow circumstances to determine their obedience. They persevered in obeying the Lord. He had instructed them to multiply and so they were committed to having more children.

Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” Genesis 4:25

Eve had become very humble. Each time that she gave birth she gave the glory to the Lord. Eve realized that she can do nothing apart from the help of the Lord. Adam and Eve could persevere during the dark days because their help was in God. The only way that we will not give up is if our faith is in One who is greater than ourselves.

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5

We can do nothing good apart from God. We will bear fruit, much fruit, when we learn to abide in the Lord. Even though Adam and Eve lived in a barren land their life became fruitful because they depended on the Lord. When they lived in a land of plenty, in the Garden of Eden, they did not bear fruit because they depended on their own reasonings rather than on the Lord.

To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord. Genesis 4:26

In the barren land Adam and Eve bore fruit for eternity because they looked to the Lord. Men began to call on the Lord after Seth was born and a godly line began that eventually brought forth the promised One who would strike the serpent on the head. It is in our humility that we can persevere and bear much fruit and then we will see the goodness and power of God.

A Life that Comes

Grace is God’s invitation to come to Him. This is the kindest and most loving aspect of the Lord. He has invited us to come to Him. He will not turn away anyone who comes to Him.

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.”

Are you tired? Are you weary? Are you carrying burdens that are too big for you? Come to Him. You will find rest for your soul. He will yoke you to Himself and your burdens will become much lighter because He will carry your burdens and give you His burden which is light. Whenever two animals were yoked together the farmer would always put a stronger one with a weaker one so that the stronger one would carry the load or burden of the work. Take His yoke and learn from the Lord. He is gentle and humble of heart.

Psalm 40:6-8 Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired;
My ears You have opened;
Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.
Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is prescribed of me.
I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law is within my heart.”

Has He opened your ears yet? He is not interested in your religion. He wants a relationship with you. He is not interested in your sacrifices and that is not what He desires. He wants you and wants a relationship with you. Come to Him today. This is His prescription for a weary soul. He will give you rest.

John 6:37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

There is no one who has gotten too far from the Lord or done too much for Jesus not to love them. Jesus will receive them when they come to Him. He has offered you this invitation, “Come to Me…”. He wants you and loves you. You don’t need to bring anything other than yourself and He wants you to come as you are. Don’t try to clean up your life or feel the need to change yourself before you can come to Him. Come just as you are to Him.

 

A Life with Love Lives By Faith

There can not be love without faith. We must love by faith. Faith is doing the right thing without the need to see results. Faith is trusting One greater than ourselves. Faith is not blind faith but living on the promises of One who is faithful. There is only One who had perfect faith and that is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ lived a life of perfect faith when He was on earth. He trusted His Father in heaven completely.

But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. Acts 2:24

Jesus Christ did not raise Himself from the dead. The Father raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Jesus Christ went to the cross trusting the Father completely to raise Him from the dead.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8

Jesus Christ is God and equal to God in every way but He emptied Himself and took the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men. He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross. He could only do this because He trusted in God the Father completely to be faithful to raise Him from the dead.

Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. John 14:10

Jesus did not speak His Words but He spoke only what the Father wanted Him to speak. It was the Father abiding in Jesus that did all the works of God that were done through Jesus Christ on earth. Jesus did not do miracles and works with His own power but it was the Father who did these works through him.

I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. John 5:30

Jesus had to study the Old Testament and be taught by the Father. He had to learn what the Father wanted Him to do. Jesus had to learn the promises of God that the Father had given to Him in the Scriptures.

So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. John 8:28

Jesus obeyed the Father completely and lived a life of faith in the promises of God. Jesus did not speak or act on His own initiative but He trusted in the Father completely.

For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. John 12:49

Jesus Christ has not asked His followers to do anything that He, Himself did not do on earth when He walked among men. He went to to the cross in faith and was raised so that He might be the first born from the dead. He lived a life of faith and obedience on earth as He has called us to do. He learned through Scripture what the Father’s will was for Him. He allowed the Father to abide in Him and He abided in the Father. He did not speak His Words but the Words of God. He did nothing on His own initiative except to obey and love the Father. Love, faith and obedience is a choice that we must do on our own initiative.

No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” John 10:18

Love must live by faith believing in, trusting in and obeying the One who loves us far more than we can imagine. He is faithful. Love Him and leave the results to Him.

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

Not only will you not be disappointed but the Lord has so much in store for the One who loves Him that you can not even fathom how great His love is for you. If you were to lay your head on your pillow and think of the greatest thing that God could do for you then He could still say that He can top it.

but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” I Corinthians 2:9

The life of faith is a mystery to those who do not know God. To those who know the Lord then their heart’s desire is to live for Him and to please Him. They have realized that He is the only One who can satisfy the longings of our heart.

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25,26

Love lives by faith and the one who loves God lives by faith. When we love others we love by faith. A husband and wife love each other by faith and a parent loves their children by faith. We love our friends and neighbors by faith. We even love our enemies by faith. Faith is doing what the Lord wants us to do and leaving the outcome to Him.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

A Life of Persecution

When you live according to God’s Word and seek to do what is pleasing in His sight and turn away from evil sometimes you will become a prey for others to laugh at or mock.

Isaiah 59:15 Yes, truth is lacking; And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey.

If you are not being persecuted for the way that you live you need to ask yourself if you are truly living a godly life. The Bible says that you will be persecuted.

II Timothy 3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

However, the Lord tells us that we are blessed if we are persecuted for being a Christian and for righteousness sake, which means, for living by God’s Word. Great is our reward in heaven.

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The Lord’s presence will come to you and rest on you. The sweetest time in your Christian life will be when you sense His presence. You will know then that it is all worth it if you know Him more and are drawn closer to Him through the fellowship of His sufferings, not to mention what He has in store in heaven for you.

I Peter 4:14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

He Himself will come to you and perfect you in your faith and confirm your relationship with Him. He will strengthen you and establish you when you may feel the weakest. After it is over then you will be more like Him and more holy in your behavior.

John 15:8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

There are three characteristics that the Lord said would prove to the world that He is Lord, that Jesus is God and that we are His disciples. It is through our holiness that the world is convinced that He is Lord, it is love for one another that we are His disciples and unity with other believers that Jesus Christ was sent from God.

John 17:23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me.

What do you do if you are persecuted? You pray for your persecutors. This is what our Lord commanded us to do.

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Who is one of the most famous people that was a great persecutor but became a great Christian? Was it because the Christians prayed for him? Paul, the Apostle was zealous in His persecution of Christians and yet he became even more zealous for the Lord after his conversion.

Galatians 1:13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it;

God was glorified through the conversion of one who was once a destroyer of the church. Is there anyone who is persecuting you for being a Christian? Pray for them.

Galatians 1:23,24 but only, they kept hearing, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.” And they were glorifying God because of me.