A Life of Grace

Grace does not excuse you from your sin or give you the freedom to do what you want. Grace is what the Lord gives to the humble that allows that person to do what is right. In the Bible grace was a blessing that came before or after the commands of what the Lord wants His people to do or be.

James 4:4-6 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Grace is not something that we give ourselves when we mess up and sin. God gives grace to the humble and His grace is what enables us to not be crushed by our guilt but to be able to get back up and do what He has called us to do. God gives grace to the humble. Humility is confessing your sin to the Lord and your need for Him. Grace allows us to be faithful to the Lord so that we will not be called an adulteress by our flirting with and friendship with the world. He gives a greater grace than what the world has to offer. Grace is what sets you free from your bondage to sin.

Ezra 9:8 But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage.

You were in bondage to sin before you became a Christian. He saved you from your sin and sins and the consequences of them. Your sin is your desire to be your own god and the sins are all of the snares that you became caught in by trying to be your own god.

Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Again, our redemption is through His blood and forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of His grace towards us. God is gracious towards us because of what Christ did on the cross. He took our sin.

Ephesians 1:7,8a In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.

Grace increases when we sin. This means that there is nothing that is beyond His grace to allow you to come back to Him. His grace is what allows us to come back when we have fallen so that we can be restored in our fellowship with Him.

Romans 5:20,21 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Grace reigns through righteousness to eternal life. Eternal life is knowing the Lord. If you are growing in grace then you will be growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ as your 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.

Grace is with those who love the Lord Jesus Christ with a pure love. A love that obeys Him and keeps His commandments.

Ephesians 6:24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.

Are you growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord? Is your love for Him incorruptible and pure? Or are you still struggling with friendship with the world? He loves you and jealousy desires the Spirit that He has made to dwell in you. Ask the Lord to help you be faithful to Him. Put yourself around Christians who love Him rather than the world. The Lord will help you and give you more grace to be faithful to Him if you will humble yourself before Him.

 

A Life with Good Words

Someone once said that many of the people that we encounter during any given day are going through some sort of crisis. Whether that is true no one can say but we can say that most, if not all, of the people we encounter need a word of encouragement. They need a good word.

Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down,
But a good word makes it glad.

Life and death are in the power of your words and you will eat the fruit of the words you say. You will either give life and receive life or your words will give death and you will receive death. How many times have we regretted the words we said and we can never take them back.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Your words will give you great satisfaction if you use your tongue according to God’s ways.

Proverbs 12:14 A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his words,
And the deeds of a man’s hands will return to him.

You will receive great joy when you give a good word in the right situation. Your words can make a difference in someone’s life. You can influence someone by a word of encouragement or comfort.

Proverbs 25:11 Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken in right circumstances.

When someone strokes you with the a good word that word will go down into your innermost being. If someone believes in you, when it seems that no one else does, and expresses it in words then you will sometimes remember those words for years because they went down into your innermost parts.

Proverbs 20:30 Stripes that wound scour away evil,
And strokes reach the innermost parts.

A word of encouragement does wonders to a person. Your words can destroy or build up. When you have children your words are far more important than you realize and your children will remember nearly every word you say to them. Never speak in anger. Anger will never achieve what is right and will often cause great harm.

James 1:19,20 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

The words spoken in gentleness will often turn away anger.

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

The only way that we can give a gentle answer is if we have a gentle spirit. The mouth speaks from that which is on the inside and the spirit of a man communicates even more than his words.

I Peter 3:4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

Finally, the only way that we will be able to give good words to others will be if we listen to the good Words of the Lord.

Joshua 23:14 “Now behold, today I am going the way of all the earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which the Lord your God spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed.

If you have tasted the good word of the Lord then ask Him to help you give a good word to someone else. You can make a difference for the Lord by refreshing the hearts of those who you come in contact with by your words. Just as a cup of cold water refreshes the body of the quenched one so a good word refreshes the soul of one who is thirsty for encouragement.

Hebrews 5:4 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,

A Life of Gratitude

The Lord is good and His lovingkindness is everlasting. We need to thank Him continually. We have a good God.

I Chronicles 16:24 O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

You can not ever thank the Lord too much for what He has done for you.The word nations usually refers to all people and not just those who know the Lord. When you publicly give thanks to the Lord you are giving Him the honor due to Him and it glorifies Him.

II Samuel 22:50 “Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the nations, And I will sing praises to Your name.

Give thanks to the Lord for each step in His work. It is His work and He is the One who does it but He allows us to be a part of His kingdom building.

Ezra 3:11 They sang, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, saying, “For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever.” And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.

We will spend all of eternity giving thanks to Him.

Revelation 11:17 saying, “We give You thanks,  O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.

When we thank Him we are offering a sacrifice of praise to Him.

Hebrews 13:15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.

Give thanks to the Lord for other Christians.

II Thessalonians 1:3We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;

And express thanks to the Christians who have helped you.

I Thessalonians 5:12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,

If you have never written them a letter then now is a good time to write them a thank you letter. Your letter will bring encouragement and grace to the one to whom you write and express thanks to for what they have done for you.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

A Life of Thanksgiving

Do you want to live a life filled with joy? Do you want to live in His presence? Do you want your “cup to be half empty” or “your cup half full”? All of us have good things and bad things happen to us.

Matthew 5:45 for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

That is the way life is and the older you get the more good will happen and the more bad will happen. Your attitude is determines the difference in your life. Have you ever noticed that there are certain people that others gravitate towards? They are the ones who are filled with thanksgiving and their cup is always “half full”. After you are around them for awhile you start to think that their “cup of life” is all the way full because of the joy that they have in their life. Their life is not any different from yours or anyone else’s life. They are not more blessed than you. They are thankful people rather than complainers.

Psalm 9:1 I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.

When you give thanks to the Lord with all of your hear then you will see and tell of all of His wonders. His wonders are all around us if we will only give thanks to Him then we will see the multitude of blessings that He has given to us. You have to give thanks to Him with ALL of your heart to see ALL of His wonders.

Psalm 26:7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and declare all Your wonders.

Do you want to honor the Lord. He has given us clear instruction how to do so.

Psalm 50:23 He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me;

He wants us to come into His presence through thanksgiving.

Psalm 95:2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

If He has saved you then should a day go by when we do not thank Him for the precious gift of His Son, Jesus Christ? God’s wrath that you deserved was poured out on Jesus. His anger is turned away and you now have His comfort!

Isaiah 12:1 Then you will say on that day, “I will give thanks to You, O Lord; For although You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, And You comfort me.

All of your prayers should be filled with thanksgiving.

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Finally, thanksgiving is what distinguishes the Christian from the nonChristian. How sweet it is to see a family bow their heads in a restaurant before they eat and give thanks to the Lord. All of us when we see it we know that they are doing the right thing. They are not ashamed of the Gospel.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

If we don’t give thanks to the Lord then our foolish heart will become darkened.

Romans 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Giving thanks is one of the beautiful ways that we can humble ourselves before God and honor Him and bless Him. Let us give thanks to Him and not forget any of His benefits.

Psalm 103:1,2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;

 

 

A Life that Waits

Sometimes we need very clear instruction about what to do when we do not know what to do. The Bible gives us that clear instruction. Have you ever been in a situation and you did not know what to do? Has there ever been a time of spiritual darkness in your life? Have you ever wanted God to write something in the sky to tell you what to do? If you have ever struggled with not having “light” on a situation then listen carefully to God’s Word.

Isaiah 50:10 Who is among you that fears the Lord,
That obeys the voice of His servant,
That walks in darkness and has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.

The Lord says that if you know Him and obey His voice and follow Him but are in a time of darkness then you are to trust Him.Trust Him. Trusting Him means waiting on Him. He promised to lead you. Wait for His leading. Do not take matters into your own hands.

Isaiah 50:11 Behold, all you who kindle a fire,
Who encircle yourselves with firebrands,
Walk in the light of your fire
And among the brands you have set ablaze.
This you will have from My hand:
You will lie down in torment.

You will lie down in torment if you make your own way and light your own fire. Trust Him. He will guide you and lead you in the way you should go.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

Jesus really will show you His way. He is the Light and He is the Way. He wants you to walk by faith and trust Him.

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

The Lord wants you to learn to wait on Him. Do not fret for it will only lead to you doing the wrong thing. Even when it seems like everyone else is getting what they want and taking matters into their own hands. Do not be like them but trust in the Lord and wait on Him.

Psalm 37:7,8 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.

In God’s perfect timing and according to His lovingkindness He will give you what you need and often what you desire. It will be a gift from Him.

James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Not only are His gifts good and perfect but they far exceed anything that you could ever bring about by your own doing. The Lord says that “It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich and He adds no sorrow to it”. The gifts that He gives do not have drawbacks or sorrow with them. They are perfect and far more than what you could even imagine.

Isaiah 64:4,5 For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.

The Lord will bless you and meet you if only you will remember Him in His ways and His ways are of faith. We walk by faith and not by sight. We trust in Him alone who does what He pleases and loves us perfectly.

Psalm 135:5,6 For I know that the Lord is great
And that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the Lord pleases, He does,
In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.

And again…

Job 42:2 I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

He can do all things and if you will only allow His will to be done in your life you will not be disappointed. He wants you to believe in Him and trust Him.

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

A Life that is Victorious

We all want to be victorious. It is the way the Lord made us. He made us to win. No one wants to lose or feel like a loser. How can we live a victorious life? There is only one way to live that kind of life.

I John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

The first prerequisite to being an overcomer is that you must be born again. Have you been born again?

John 3:3-8 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

You must be born again of the Spirit. You will fail over and over again in the flesh. The only way that you can have the victory is in the Spirit because Jesus overcame and He lives in you if you have been born again. How do you become born again?

John 1:12,13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

If you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior then He gives you the incredible gift of becoming His child. You become born of God into His family. It is by faith that we receive Him and call upon Him.

Romans 10:9-13 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

You call on Him in faith and He will save you and you will become His child. How do you get the faith to believe? You receive the faith from hearing God’s Word.

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

It only takes a little bit of faith. Your faith will grow as you grow in your relationship with Him. Call on Him. Come to Him. He says that you will not be disappointed. As you grow in your faith then you will see victory in your life. Victory over discouragement. Victory over depression. Victory over sin and sinful habits. You will not only be sorry for the consequences but the Lord will give you a sorrow over your sin. That sorrow will lead to repentance, which is a turning away from your sin and a turning to Him, over and over again until you have been changed and see the victory. This is God’s will for you.

II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

He is patient and He is kind. Come to Him with your struggles and your burdens. He will take them and give you His peace and His joy.

Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Trusts

A Christian is one who trusts in the Lord. A Christian knows Him and trusts in the trustworthiness of who He is and His faithfulness to His Word. The opposite of trusting in the Lord is to lean on your own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.

The Lord will not forsake those who put their trust in Him.

Psalm 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

When you put your trust in the Lord then you will not be shaken.

Psalm 21:7 For the king trusts in the Lord,
And through the lovingkindness of the Most High he will not be shaken.

His lovingkindness will surround you.

Psalm 32:10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him.

You will be blessed.

Psalm 40:4 How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.

Proverbs 16:20 He who gives attention to the word will find good, And blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

You will not fear bad news.

Psalm 112:7 He will not fear evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

You will prosper.

Proverbs 28:25 An arrogant man stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the Lord will prosper.

You will be exalted.

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.

Woes come to the one who refuses to trust Him. The One who does not trust in the Lord will put their trust in someone or something else. She will not heed His voice and she will not accept instruction. She will not draw near to Him.

Zephaniah 3:1,2 Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled,
The tyrannical city!
She heeded no voice,
She accepted no instruction.
She did not trust in the Lord,
She did not draw near to her God.

Curses will come to the one who does not put their trust in the Lord.

Jeremiah 17:5 Thus says the Lord,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
“For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant.

The choice is ours. Will we trust in the Lord and make Him our trust or will we trust in falsehood by trusting in anything or anyone else other than Him? If we trust in Him then we will cling to Him as a drowning man would cling to a life preserver thrown to Him.

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

A life that trusts in the Lord will have no regrets.