A Life that Lives Above Circumstances

There is a promise in the Bible that is an amazing promise and it is one that says if you do a certain thing then you will ride on the heights of the earth. This means that you will live above the circumstances of every day life. However, as with many of His promises, there is a condition. What does the Lord require of you to live this incredible life?

Isaiah 58:13,14 “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And speaking your own word,
Then you will take delight in the Lord,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

The Lord established the Sabbath commandment at the beginning of creation when the Lord Himself rested on the seventh day of the week. Was He tired? No, the Bible says that the Lord God does not get tired.

Isaiah 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.

The Lord was setting the pattern for work and for life by His example. He does not only teach us but He shows us how to live life. He gave us a day of rest because He is good. He did not make man for the Sabbath but the Sabbath for man.

Mark 2:27 Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

Often people will say that they wish they had a day where they did not have to do anything. He has given us a day every week to rest and become refreshed in our relationship with Him. It is not “family day” or a day that we can do things we want to do and because we enjoy them then it is not considered work. No, rather He makes it very clear that we are not to do our own pleasure or live life our way. We are not to seek our own pleasure or speak our own words but we are to honor Him by honoring His holy day. He says that if we do this then we will ride on the heights of the earth.  Holy means that it is set a part for Him.

Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,

This is the Apostle John speaking. Since Jesus Christ rose again from the dead on Sunday, the first day of the week, Sunday became the Sabbath day for the Christians after the resurrection. Sunday became the day that was set a part from the other days of the week so that they might get together and worship the Lord and rest.

Deuteronomy 5:12-14 ‘Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.

The Lord considered the setting aside one day a week and not doing any work so important that He made it one of the Ten commandments. You will find that if you will keep this commandment then the quality of your life will become much better and you will also “take delight in the Lord”, as He promises.

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

One of the beautiful characteristics of the Lord is that He does not make you do anything. You don’t have to obey any of His commandments. However, because He is so incredibly good He promises a reward if we delight ourselves in Him. He will give us the desires of our heart.

 

 

 

 

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 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 Lives Above Circumstances

There is a promise in the Bible that is an amazing promise and it is one that says if you do a certain thing then you will ride on the heights of the earth. This means that you will live above the circumstances of every day life. However, as with many of His promises, there is a condition. What does the Lord require of you to live this incredible life?

Isaiah 58:13,14 “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And speaking your own word,
Then you will take delight in the Lord,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

The Lord established the Sabbath commandment at the beginning of creation when the Lord Himself rested on the seventh day of the week. Was He tired? No, the Bible says that the Lord God does not get tired.

Isaiah 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.

The Lord was setting the pattern for work and for life by His example. He does not only teach us but He shows us how to live life. He gave us a day of rest because He is good. He did not make man for the Sabbath but the Sabbath for man.

Mark 2:27 Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

Often people will say that they wish they had a day where they did not have to do anything. He has given us a day every week to rest and become refreshed in our relationship with Him. It is not “family day” or a day that we can do things we want to do and because we enjoy them then it is not considered work. No, rather He makes it very clear that we are not to do our own pleasure or live life our way. We are not to seek our own pleasure or speak our own words but we are to honor Him by honoring His holy day. He says that if we do this then we will ride on the heights of the earth.  Holy means that it is set a part for Him.

Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,

This is the Apostle John speaking. Since Jesus Christ rose again from the dead on Sunday, the first day of the week, Sunday became the Sabbath day for the Christians after the resurrection. Sunday became the day that was set a part from the other days of the week so that they might get together and worship the Lord and rest.

Deuteronomy 5:12-14 ‘Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.

The Lord considered the setting aside one day a week and not doing any work so important that He made it one of the Ten commandments. You will find that if you will keep this commandment then the quality of your life will become much better and you will also “take delight in the Lord”, as He promises.

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

One of the beautiful characteristics of the Lord is that He does not make you do anything. You don’t have to obey any of His commandments. However, because He is so incredibly good He promises a reward if we delight ourselves in Him. He will give us the desires of our heart.

 

 

 

 

A Life of Great Peace and Great Reward

This is an incredible life and you will be living life to the fullest when you have great peace. The Lord offers us not only peace but great peace. A person who has great peace will not stumble when things go sour.

Psalm 119:65 Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble.

God’s Word is His law and the Lord says those who will love His Word will have great peace.

Psalm 19:7-11 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.

Not only will someone who loves His Word have great peace but the Lord says that there is a great reward in keeping them. These are amazing promises that He offers. Just as in life if something is very important then there is a great reward for it. Even so, the Lord offers a great reward for something that He puts a great value on and that is being in His Word, loving His Word and keeping His Word.

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

Do you have dreams and desires in your heart that you may have or may not have told anyone. The Lord knows your heart’s desires better than you know them. Often He puts desires in our hearts so that He can fulfill them. However, with His promises there are conditions and the condition here is that you must delight yourself in Him. Delighting in His Word is one way in which you can delight in Him.

Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.

Have you been called by His name? Another way of saying that is, “are you a Christian?” If so, then He wants you to find a Bible and devour His Word or read it much and meditate on it. You will find that if you do this then His words will become a joy and the delight of your heart. Don’t wait for the desire to get into His Word or the feeling of wanting to do it. Just do it and then you will find that it will be a joy to you.

 

 

 

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 that Seeks

We all seek after different things but the Lord is looking for the one who will seek after Him.

Psalm 14:2 The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God.

The Lord wants you to seek Him so much that He says that if you will do this then you will not lack any good thing. Do you need anything? Then you must seek Him. His promises are true.

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

He made us to seek Him because it is in Him alone that we live and move and exist.

Acts 17:26-28, 30-31 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist…

Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

 

The Bible says that only the fool lives as if there is no God.  He also says that if we seek Him with all of our heart we will find Him. The Lord tells us to seek Him continually. He is declaring to us through Jesus Christ that we need to repent and seek Him. He is not far from us.

Deuteronomy 4:29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.

The God of the universe, who made all things, wants to have a relationship with you and fellowship with you. This is much greater than any king or president and yet if someone of great importance were to contact you then you would make every effort to accept their invitation and in all likelihood you would share what has happened with everyone you know. Yet…He who is the King of kings and Lord of lords is seeking you!

Psalm 138:6 For though the Lord is exalted,
Yet He regards the lowly,
But the haughty He knows from afar.

 

 

 

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.