A Life that Resists

The devil has already been defeated but he is still trying to cause as much grief as he can. For this reason he is called the evil one. The word evil means to cause grief and the Bible says that hell is one of the things that is never satisfied. Sheol is another word for hell.

Proverbs 27:20a Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,

Satan is going to be cast into hell with all the demons and he is trying to take as many people as possible.

Matthew 25:41 Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

As mentioned earlier the devil was defeated when Christ went to the cross. This was spoken of in Genesis and is the first reference to Jesus Christ coming. He came to bruise the devil on the head.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

The Bible says that the devil roams to and fro throughout the earth looking for someone to destroy.

I Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Satan comes like a thief, when you least expect him and when you are at a weak moment. If he can not rob you of salvation then he will seek to rob you of your joy and cause you to be a defeated Christian. Christians are defeated when they compromise.

John 10:10a The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

Christians are useless in the kingdom of God when they compromise. A stream that has been trampled by animals is worthless to drink out of and so is a polluted well.

Proverbs 25:26 Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.

However, the Lord tells us to resist the devil and he will flee.

I Peter 5:9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

We resist the devil through the Word of God. It is the sword of the Spirit and Jesus Himself used the Word of God when He was tempted by the devil.

Matthew 4:3-10 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will command His angels concerning You’; and‘On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”

After you have suffered a little while then the Lord Himself will come to you and comfort you. Resist the devil by keeping firm in your faith and standing on the Word of God. Don’t compromise. Cry out to the Lord to help you. Quote the Word of God out loud or read it out loud.

I Peter 5:10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

After you have seen His love and faithfulness you will be strengthened in your faith and now you are to strengthen and encourage other Christians. We need each other.

Luke 22:31,32 Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Jesus is praying for you that your faith will not fail.

 

 

 

 

A Life Filled with Joy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that is Good

Life can not be good apart from God because only God is good. One of the meanings of the word “good” is the highest form of love.

Matthew 19:17 And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good

The “good” person only does good to others. If it is not loving then it is not God’s will and if it is God’s will then it will always be the highest expression of love not only for you but for all who are affected by your action.

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

This is impossible apart from God but through Him not only is it possible but it is the life that He has planned for you. You are His workmanship made for “good” works which he has planned beforehand for you.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

This is why it is crucial that you learn to hear His voice and follow Him because He will lead you in the good works that He has already accomplished but He wants you to share in the joy.

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

He knows you and knows what is best for you, or in other words, what is “good” for you. His plan for you is exactly what you need and what will fulfill you and make you the happiest. This is why it is so important for you to stay on the “potter’s wheel” and let Him finish making you into the vessel that He has designed you to be. You will love it!

Isaiah 64:8 But now, O Lord, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; and all of us are the work of Your hand.

Does He not know what He is doing? Is He not the Master and you His masterpiece? Does He have hands to form you into something beautiful? Yes, yes and yes!

Isaiah 45:9 “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker— An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?

Don’t quarrel with Him or compare yourself to others. He knows what He is doing and it is perfect.

II Corinthians 10:12 For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.

When we compare ourselves with others then we are without understanding, which means that we do not know Him. When you thank Him for His plan for your life you are expressing trust in Him and faith and then you will receive understanding.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

His plan for you is not only good and loving but when you trust Him and experience His plan then you will have a future and a hope.

A Life that Finishes Well

When it is all said and done the most important words that you will ever hear is what the Lord will say to you at the end of your life. There is justice for all, the Christian and the nonChristian.

I Corinthians 4:5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.

There will be no hiding. He will bring to light the things we have hidden in darkness and He will judge our motives. This is a heavy truth but it is better to hear it now than to wait until it is too late.

II Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

God is a God of justice. Justice means that there will be just compensation for what we have done. He will compensate the nonChristian with wrath and punishment for their not believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, and their resulting sins and lack of works of obedience.

Romans 2:5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

God’s wrath is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth. How many times have we suppressed the truth, which means, we heard it and did not do it. We justified ourselves, or at least tried to, until our hearts became dull and we no longer heard the truth. Repent, repent, repent and turn to Him with all of your heart. His judgment day is going to be a very frightening day.

Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Let no one deceive you with empty words. Don’t just listen to those who will tell you what you want to hear. His wrath is coming!

II Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

The Lord will reward the Christian for their faith, and their resulting obedience and good works. In fact, He says that judgment will begin with the household of God. If you are a Christian then that means you.

I Peter 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

If John the apostle fell like a dead man when he saw the Lord how do you think we will be when we see Him in His glory? One of the responses when He returns will be of great and terrifying fear. However, for those who know Him, He will remove our fear just as He did when John saw Him.

Revelation 1:17.18 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

Another response will be that those who have done the most will feel as if they have done the least. He says that at the end He will separate the sheep from the goats. He will point out to the faithful the many things that they did and their response will be “Lord, when did we do these things?”

Matthew 25:31-40 But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. “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.’

The Lord makes it very clear here what separates the sheep from the goats.

Matthew 25:41-46 Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Works are not what saves us but works are what are the outcome of our faith. May you hear the good words that will forever echo in your mind at judgment day.

Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

 

 

 

A Life that is Created

Your life did not just begin in a random sort of way. You were planned and skillfully made in your mother’s womb. The Lord planned you before the foundation of the world and He chose your parents because He wanted you to be the unique and special person that you are. You are beautiful in His sight and there is nothing that you can do to make yourself more beautiful to Him.

Psalm 139:13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.

You have no flaws because He does all things well. Whatever imperfections that you think that you have are marks of His ownership in your life. There is no one like you and nothing was done in accident.

Psalm 139:15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

Not only did He form you but He also knows all the days that you will live on earth. He knows all about you and He was pleased with how He made you.

Psalm 139:16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

You were made in His image. His image is not in physical appearance because that is temporal but His image is in the unseen and reveals the glory of God. The physical will pass away but His image in you will live on forever.

Genesis 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Man is the only creature that was created in His image and yet man is the only one who has rebelled against his Creator. We don’t want to do what He has created us to do and that is to have fellowship with Him in a relationship with Him. We wanted to go our own way and the image of God was no longer seen the way He designed. Man violated
God’s Word and the word “violate” means to change, so we were changed and no longer showed His glory to the world. How can we be changed back so that we can reflect the image of God in our lives? There is only one way and that is to return to our Creator and be restored to Him. When this happens then we will become a new creation in Christ and the old things will pass away.

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.

Once we are restored then we will understand more fully His creation of us and how we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Our soul will know it and we will give thanks to Him.

Psalm 139:14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

Give thanks to Him today for how He made you. Give thanks for the unchangeable characteristics in your life. Give thanks for the parents he chose so that you would have the unique genetic makeup that you have. Give thanks to Him for making you in His image. Give thanks that you are beautiful.

 

 

A Life with Stability

We all long for stability in our lives. When your world is shaken it is a frightening feeling. The Lord promises His children stability so that no matter what happens in your life you will have a calmness within. You will not have to fear the times present nor the times future.

Isaiah 33:6 And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the Lord is his treasure.

The Lord will be your stability and His Word is the foundation of a life that will not be shaken when the instability comes.

Luke 6:46-48 “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.

The Lord tells us what to do so that we will not tremble or be dismayed.

Joshua 1:8,9 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will act wisely. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

The Bible says that what the wicked fears will come upon Him. The wicked have a lot of fears because they do not seek the Lord not listen to His Word. They want to be in control but most of life is out of our control.

Proverbs 10:24 What the wicked fears will come upon him,
But the desire of the righteous will be granted.

The wicked flee when no one is pursuing. Guilt causes a person to run away from life and also to have unfounded fears.

Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no one is pursuing,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.

The Lord says to be strong and courageous. Boldness, strength and courage is what should characterize our lives for we have One who is always with us and will never forsake us.

Hebrews 13:5 …for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”

When we are stable in our faith then not only will we have much joy but we will bring joy to those who have taught us in the faith.

Colossians 2:5 For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.

A Life of Discipline

Most people feel the need for more discipline in their lives but fewer people are willing to discipline themselves. Discipline is the training that forms our character. A good parent will discipline their children with the ultimate goal of the child having self discipline. The Lord does not punish His children but He disciplines His children. In fact, He says that if you are without discipline then you are not a child.

Hebrews 12:8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

The Lord disciplines us for our good, that we might become more like Him.

Hebrews 12:10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.

The Lord tells us not to regard lightly His discipline or faint when He reproves us.

Hebrews 12:5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;

He disciplines us because He loves us. Just as a parent takes special care to train and discipline the child whom they love.

Hebrews 12:6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.”

Discipline produces in us endurance so that we will be faithful to the end. Thank the Lord for the discipline that He gives you.

Hebrews 12:7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

However, discipline is painful. Just as some children need more discipline than other children, in the same way, if we learn to obey and do what is right then we will receive less discipline from the Lord.

Hebrews 12:11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

The Lord exhorts us in His Word to discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness. The word disciple comes from the word discipline. We are to have discipline in our lives so that we will do what is right. The outcome of a disciplined life is peace.

I Timothy 4:7,8 …On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Since discipline can be painful and it is very necessary in life. How much better it is to discipline yourself to obey the Lord and to do what is right than to be disciplined by Him, to keep you from further sorrow and shame. He has given us everything that we need to live a disciplined life.

II Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

Is there anything in your life that you need to change or that you have been slack in? Turn to Him with all of your heart. He loves you and wants you to become like Him. He wants you to know and experience the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

Revelation 3:19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

Be zealous and repent so that you will not experience His discipline.