A Life that Respects

All of the ten commandments can be summed up in one word and that is respect. We are to respect God and we are to respect one another.

Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before Me.

The Lord God is our Creator and he deserves our respect. We should have no other gods before Him.

Exodus 20:4-6 You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

The Lord has made us for Himself and is a jealous God and does not want us to worship that which is false. There is no comparison to Him. He is the only true God. The Lord does not want us to make any likeness of Him for then we would consider that likeness to be holy and would be honoring it as if it were God. This quickly can lead us astray.

Exodus 20:7 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

Do you say “OMG” then you are taking God’s name in vain. Or saying something like “Oh my _ _ _”. These sayings are not wise nor are they pleasing to the Lord. Who knows how many people are experiencing God’s punishment for taking His name in vain. Don’t take any chances. The Lord takes this very serious. No other commandment does He say that He will punish the evildoers but this one particular commandment. His name is holy and He wants us to respect His name.

Exodus 20:8-10 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 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, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.

The Lord gave you a day of rest each week. If you are stressed out and exhausted then ask yourself, “Am I honoring the Lord on His holy day?”. The early church set aside Sunday as the sabbath to worship Christ and to rest. This means that it is not “Family Day” or “Sunday Funday”. We are to show respect to the Lord on His day…this means no work nor do you pay others to work for you such as waitresses, grocery store workers, etc. The Lord said no one is to serve you on His day.

Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

This is the first commandment with a promise. Show respect to your parents. Even if you don’t want to respect a person you should always respect their position. Your parents are sinners and you may not always feel that they are worthy of your respect. Respect them anyway out of respect for the Lord. If you have parents that are worthy of respect then you need to thank the Lord every day for them.

Exodus 20:13 You shall not murder.

The Lord has called us to respect human life. Abortion is murdering babies. The Lord also said that if we have hatred in our heart then that is the same as murdering someone in our heart. We are all guilty of all of the commandments but there is forgiveness with the Lord if we confess our sin to Him then He will forgive us.

Exodus 20:14 You shall not commit adultery.

Have you ever lusted in your heart for someone? The word “lust” means in the original language “desire”. Have you desired in an inappropriate manner anyone other than your husband? If so, then you have committed adultery in your heart. Keeping this commandment is respecting other people and their relationships.

Exodus 20:15 You shall not steal.

Have you ever cheated? Then you have stolen what is not yours. Do you always pay what you owe even when the person would not be aware of it? Do you ever use something and then return it to a store as if it had not been used? Do you pilfer from your employer? What you do in secret is who you are. If you steal then you are a thief and are not respecting what belongs to others.

Exodus 20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Do you ever lie to someone because you are afraid to tell the truth or do you tell a lie to make yourself look good? If so, then you are not respecting your neighbor.

Exodus 20:17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

The Lord does not even want you to desire what is not yours. A great test for this is do you rejoice when others have something that you have always wanted? Respect for others is not even wanting what they have but being content with what the Lord has given to you.

Matthew 5:19a Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven;

Do you believe that the ten commandments do not apply to today? Then you need to take seriously what our Lord said and that is, that whoever annuls one of the least of these commandments and so teaches others shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:19b but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

On the other hand, whoever keeps and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of God.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Works Diligently

The Lord made us to work and when we work then we feel better about ourselves and especially when our work has met a need, whether it is providing for our family or meeting a need elsewhere. There is a joy in being productive. The Lord worked and set an example for us in showing us that work is good.

Psalm 8:3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;

The Lord is still working and it is glorious. All His work is done in faithfulness to who He is and what He has said.

Psalm 33:4 For the word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness.

Jesus glorified the Father on earth by accomplishing the work that God had given Him to do. The Lord has given each one of us work to do and when we do it, in faithfulness to Him, then He also is glorified in our lives and work.

John 17:4 I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.

As we walk with Him then He will lead us into the good works that He has created us to do.

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.

The Lord wants us to work so that we may have something to share with others. Sometimes we might work for money but other times we might work so that we can give to others. Someone once said that a sign of maturity in someone is when they start to enjoy work. Working with one’s hands is also the prescription for the problem of stealing. Teach your children to work hard and you will be keeping them from the temptation to steal. Generally hard workers are not thieves.

Ephesians 4:28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

There is something not only enjoyable about working with our hands but it also keeps us out of trouble and keeps us from eating the bread of idleness. It helps us to lead a quiet life with all godliness and dignity and gives us a good reputation with those who are unbelievers. Work is very respectable and we appreciate those who work hard and do well in their jobs, whether it is cleaning a room, cooking or serving a meal or managing a business. People in all fields are greatly appreciated for their excellent work. A lazy person is like “vinegar to the teeth” and a slack person is a “brother to him who destroys”, as Scripture tells us.

I Thessalonians 4:11b,12 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you,so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.

The hand of the diligent will rule and the Bible says that the precious possession of a man is diligence.

Proverbs 12:27 A lazy man does not roast his prey, But the precious possession of a man is  diligence.

There is something very unattractive about a lazy, worthless man who refuses to work. When work is kept in balance with having a day of rest each week, as the Lord designed for us, then it keeps our life in order and for the person who works hard, he will usually not lack the opportunity to work. It is the sluggard that says there is a “lion in the street”. There will always be a reason why the sluggard can’t work.

Proverbs 22:13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside; I will be killed in the streets!”

We destroy a person’s self worth and their ambitions when we reward them for not working.The Lord says that if a man is not willing to work then neither let him eat.

II Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

The Lord made men and women to work and there is dignity in all work. When you are considering whether or not a certain young man is the one for you then you will be wise to marry a man with a strong work ethic. A sluggard is forever starting things but never finishing them.

Proverbs 26:15 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; He is weary of bringing it to his mouth again.

Generally if you are a hard worker then you will be attracted to someone who works hard and you both will have a great life doing something together and seeing it accomplished. Whatever you do in word or deed do all to the glory of God.

Colossians 3:17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

 

 

A Life that Knows the Creator

When one comes into a relationship with Jesus Christ then they come into a relationship with the Creator of the universe. For the Lord created the earth, the heavens and all that is in them. His creation includes the moon, the stars, the sun and the effects of all of these, including the changes in climate. He is Lord of all and the Creator of everything.

Genesis 1:1-5 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

The Lord also created the heavens and the earth in one day. He does not live in time for He is eternal and a day is the same to Him as a thousand years. If He wants to create something in a day then it is nothing to Him to do this for He is God.

Genesis 2:4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven.

God is the only One who can create something out of nothing. He spoke and it was done. Man can only use what has already been created to create something.

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

What God created was good and He established the earth so that it will not totter.

Psalm 104:5 He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever.

The earth is the Lord’s and all that it contains.

Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.

He is in control of the climate and even holds the water in the clouds. The clouds are His and He controls them also. He controls the rains, the storms and all the other aspects of the climate. He is God.

Job 26:7-9 He stretches out the north over empty space
And hangs the earth on nothing.
He wraps up the waters in His clouds,
And the cloud does not burst under them.
He obscures the face of the full moon
And spreads His cloud over it.

The Lord is the One who made the seasons and they also belong to Him. All the boundaries of the earth belong to Him.

Psalm 74:17 You have established all the boundaries of the earth; You have made summer and winter.

He made the nations from one man and sets the boundaries of the nations. He also appointed the times for the nations.

Acts 17:26 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,

The Lord set the boundaries of the seas. He is the One that says they can go so far and no farther than what He has decreed.

Job 38:10,11 And I placed boundaries on it
And set a bolt and doors,
And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther;
And here shall your proud waves stop’?

The earth is the Lord’s and He does as He pleases.

Exodus 19:5 Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine;

The Lord is coming back one day and will create new heavens and a new earth. He says that the earth will wear out like a garment. Do not fear those who do not fear God and think that they can control the weather or anything else in God’s creation. Rather fear God who is the Creator of all things so that you may be ready when he comes back again.

Isaiah 51:6-8 Lift up your eyes to the sky,
Then look to the earth beneath;
For the sky will vanish like smoke,
And the earth will wear out like a garment
And its inhabitants will die in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not wane.
Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
A people in whose heart is My law;
Do not fear the reproach of man,
Nor be dismayed at their revilings.
For the moth will eat them like a garment,
And the grub will eat them like wool.
But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation to all generations.”

He coming again because His Word says so and even though heaven and earth may pass away His Word never changes.

II Peter 3:10-13 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

Are you ready for His coming? Blessed will be those who are prepared, ready and looking forward to his coming again!

A Life with A Hope

Christians are the only ones who have a hope in this life and a promise for the life to come. The Lord has caused us to born again to a living hope.

I Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Since you have a hope, the Lord tells us to fix our hope completely on the grace to be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

I Peter 1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The Lord wants us to be ready always to give an account of the hope that is within us, which is Jesus Christ. Do you know how to share the Gospel with someone who does not have that hope? The word Gospel means good news. You have good news that you can share because you have hope. The world is hopelessly lost and many do not even realize it. They will spend eternity in hell because Jesus Christ is the only hope for eternal life.

I Peter 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

Hold fast to the Lord so that you also will be faithful to the end. He is our confidence and hope, but we must cling to Him.

Hebrews 3:6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.

The hope that we have is sure and steadfast. Jesus is the anchor of your soul.

Hebrews 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,

If you find yourself filled with doubts and fears then go to Him. He will calm your soul and hold you up. He never changes and is faithful to the end.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;

The Lord wants us to look to Him and to be looking for Him, who is coming again.

Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,

Are you ready for His return? Will He find you being faithful to Him and doing the work that He has called you to do? If He came at any moment in your life would you be ashamed in anyway? Just as the bride lives for the moment that she will be with the bridegroom so we too are to live for the moment that we see Him face to face.

I John 3:2,3 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

This will help you live a pure and holy life…if you are living for when you will see Him face to face. If your heart is pure then you will be ready when He comes for you and not only that, but you will see Him before He comes for the Lord Himself said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”.

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

 

 

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.

A Life that is Successful

Three times in the Bible the Lord says that if you will do a certain thing then your life will be successful or prosperous. This is a promise with a condition but it is well worth the work. However, unless your heart wants to do it then you will not be able to persevere. You must want to please the Lord in all that you do. This activity helps you learn to do what pleases Him.

Joshua 1:8 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 have success.

You must humble yourself before the Lord and ask Him how you can learn His ways. He says that He teaches the humble His way. God’s Word teaches us His way but His Spirit is what gives us the understanding.

Psalm 25:9 He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way.

Again, the Lord says in Scripture, if you will meditate on God’s Word and delight in His Word then the Lord says that in whatever you do you will be prosperous.

Psalm 1:2,3 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Again, in the New Testament, the Lord mentions again this activity of looking intently at the Word of God and doing what it says.

James 1:25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

Do you feel God’s blessing in your life? Do you need His blessing? If you have never done this then why don’t you ask the Lord to help you? What is it that the Lord wants you to do? He wants you to learn to meditate on His Word and live by what He says in His Word. Meditation is putting God’s Word in your heart and thinking about what it means and how it applies to your life.

Psalm 119:48 And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, Which I love; And I will meditate on Your statutes.

Go to a Christian who puts God’s Word in their heart and seeks to live by it and ask them to help you. It is a great reward and a great promise because the Lord wants you to spend time with Him and delight in Him. It is through His Word that He speaks to His children. He wants to communicate with you and wants you to fellowship with Him.

 

 

 

A Life of Belonging

One of the most precious truths that become ours when we become a Christian is that we belong to Him. We become one of His sheep and He becomes our Shepherd. Of course, we become His child in reality but the Lord uses the picture of the Shepherd and the sheep to show how much He cares for us. We all long to belong to someone and when we come to Him then we belong to the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for us.

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

Before we become a sheep we first become a lamb for a lamb is a baby sheep. Being the Good Shepherd, He cares tenderly for the lambs and before they learn to walk He carries them just as a mother tenderly carries her newborn babies close to her.

Isaiah 40:11 Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

The Shepherd carries the newborn Christian close to Him until they become strong enough to learn to walk and then as a good parent, He teaches them how to walk. Just as a toddler must first learn to step out in faith, so too, the Christian learns to step out in faith. When a toddler falls, the parent comforts and encourages the young child to continue until they can walk on their own. So too, the Shepherd tends for the lambs until they grow and become sheep. As sheep they are still dependent on the Shepherd but it is in a healthy developmental way.

Psalm 23:1-3 The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Once the lamb has grown and is a sheep then the Lord guides them. They are not needy for He supplies what they need. That is the meaning of the sheep not being in want. He will make them, at times when it is needful, to lie down in green pastures so that they can be fed with green, nourishing grass. Notice, He does not make them lie down in the desert or on the weeds. No, He is a Good Shepherd and cares for the sheep. Also, the sheep need the still waters to be refreshed and so He leads them beside quiet waters so that their souls may be restored. Sometimes we don’t like the slower times in our lives but it is for our good. We need the down times so that we can be strong and refreshed for the busy times.

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

He will be with you always. He says that He will never leave you or forsake you. The Shepherd is always with you. Do not be afraid even when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

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

In His prayer for His disciples before He went to the cross Jesus prayed that they would be protected from evil. You do not need to fear evil.

John 17:15 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.

No one can take you from Him or pluck you out of His hand. You belong to Him. You are secure in Him forever.

John 10:27-30 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

When you belong to the Lord then He wants you to “be longing” for Him. He is good and He longs to show His love to you.

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.

 

A Life that Is Changed for Good

We all need to change or rather to be changed for good into a better person. However, we can not change ourselves. We may be able to make outward changes but we can not change our hearts and that is where true change needs to happen. The only problem is that our heart is sick and is deceived.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

Before there can be lasting change in our life we need a new heart. Since the Lord is the One who made our hearts then He is the only One who can give us a new heart.

Ezekiel 36:26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

We will know when we have received a new heart because we will want to obey Him and walk in His ways.

Ezekiel 36:27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

We will no longer want to do the things we did before. We will be ashamed of the things we did before and they will no longer appeal to us in the same way.

Ezekiel 36:31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations.

We know that we have been changed because we will want to do what is right within our heart. Rather than want to sin we will want to obey the Lord because we will see that He is good and kind.

Romans 6:17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,

Even more than just wanting to obey Him, we will want to spend time with Him because now we are in a love relationship with Him. The God of the universe wants to spend time with us and we realize the incredible privilege that He has given to us to be with Him. When He gives us a new heart then He comes to live within our hearts through the Holy Spirit. He is the One who changes us and transforms us as we grow in our relationship with Him.

II Corinthians 3:17,18 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

We grow in our relationship with Him as we spend time with Him in His Word and in His presence through prayer. Our life is changed and transformed through His Word as He replaces the lies that we believed before our new heart with his truths that set us free and give us life.

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.

As our lives are transformed into the image of God then we experience His will, which is good and acceptable and perfect. There is nothing to add to His will or take from His will, for God has so worked that we should love and fear Him all the days of our lives.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.

 

 

 

A Life that is Restored

The Lord is the only One who can restore us. He first restores us to a right relationship with Himself and then He starts restoring us and our relationships. He also restores us to a right relationship with His creation.

Psalm 23 1-3 The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

The Lord knows what we need for restoration. Notice that He says here that He makes you lie down in green pastures. Sometimes He will cause circumstances to allow us to be still and lie down in green pastures where it is safe and He will lead us beside quiet waters where we will find refreshment. He is your Shepherd and He says that you will not be in want, that means that He knows your needs and you will not be lacking anything that you need so don’t struggle against the circumstances but learn to accept what you can not change. He will guide you on your journey in paths of righteousness so that you will have peace, quietness and confidence, but first you need restoration. The sheep were never intended to stay in the same place.

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

As a Christian we can experience death to our soul when we sin and continue in a particular sin. Restoration comes when we confess our sins to Him, turn from our sins and He cleanses us.

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

After confession when we pray to Him we are drawing near to Him and we will experience His restoration. As He says in His Word, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

Psalm 80:3 O God, restore us And cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.

The Lord is the One who restores us in our fellowship with Him.

Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;

The Word of God is what the Lord uses to restore our soul. It is the power of God. It cleanses us.

John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

Prayer and the Word of God brings restoration to our soul. Go to an older woman who you know is in a right relationship with the Lord and ask her to pray for you also if you are still struggling with a particular sin.

James 5:15,16 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.

If you are walking with the Lord and have been doing so on a consistent basis and growing in your relationship with Him then you have a responsibility to restore others in their relationship with the Lord if they are struggling with being enslaved to a sin.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

The Lord has given all of us responsibility to help each other. We need each other to help one another stay close to the Lord. We are not sinless when we become Christians but we do sin less.

James 5:19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

 

A Life of a Peacemaker

The Lord wants all of us to be peacemakers. He even says that the peacemakers have a special blessing. A peacemaker is a characteristic of the children of God.

Matthew 5:9  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

This word peacemaker means that the Lord uses this person to help bring others into peace with God. One of the aspects of the Christian life is that once we were His enemies but now we are at peace with God.

Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

The fruit of being right with God is that He declares us righteous because of our faith in Jesus Christ and what He did for each one of us on the cross.

James 3:18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Sometimes the Lord will use you to plant the seed or even to water, but God is the one who causes the growth.

I Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.

If you are wise then you will invest your life in eternal values. There are only two things that are eternal and they are the souls of men and the Word of God. These will last for all eternity. Are you reaching out in some way to see others come into His kingdom. The Lord has not called everyone to be evangelists but He has called us all to build His kingdom.

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls.

The Lord wants us to do this so much that He promises us that if we will seek His kingdom and His righteousness then He will provide everything that we need for our life.

Matthew 6:25-33 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Are you anxious for your needs? The Lord cares for you more than the birds of the air or the flowers of the field. He does not want you to be anxious but He wants you to build His kingdom. He knows what will make you the happiest and that is living for something much bigger than yourself.

Luke 16:9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of worldly wealth so that when it fails, they may welcome you into eternal dwellings.

The Lord says that those who come to know Him through the money that you use to share the Gospel and build his kingdom, those very people will welcome you into heaven. He has given you seed to sow, where the fruit is righteousness. Maybe the saddest people in heaven will be those who have no friends to welcome them into heaven.

II Corinthians 9:10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;