A Life that Receives Instruction

Part of the definition of a fool is that they hate instruction and the consequence of a lack of instruction is destruction and death.

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

We would not think of getting an expensive piece of equipment and not read the instructions and yet how much more valuable is our body and soul. It is foolish not to read and study the instruction manual given by the One who made us and has given us clear instructions on how to live. God made us and what He made was good and if we do not know His instructions on how to live then we will bring destruction to ourselves.

Proverbs 5:23 He will die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.

We will go astray in whatever area that we do not know the Lord’s instruction on how to live. He has freely given us everything we need to know to live life right and to thrive but there is something within us that resents anyone telling us what to do. That which is within us that wants to do it ourselves is our sinful nature. How foolish we are to not listen to our Creator and even more foolish to deny that we have a Creator and that He cares about us.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
There is no one who does good.

The Lord speaks to His people and tells them to listen to Him. He has chosen not to MAKE anyone do His instruction or MAKE anyone listen to Him. That is our responsibility. It is wisdom to listen to the Lord and follow His instructions so that we will not die.

Psalm 78:1 Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

We receive instruction by first listening to Him and then we receive His words into our mind and heart and follow His instruction.

Jeremiah 32:33 They have turned their back to Me and not their face; though I taught them, teaching again and again, they would not listen and receive instruction.

It is rebellion against the lord when we refuse to listen to His instruction.

Isaiah 30:9 For this is a rebellious people, false sons, Sons who refuse to listen To the instruction of the Lord;

If you are a true child of the Lord then you will want to listen to His instruction and you will want to live by what He instructs and teaches. Your life will be different and you will be free of many of the struggles of the world, which are sins that ensnare them and destroy them. You will have God’s wisdom and will be a guide to many.

Job 22:22 Please receive instruction from His mouth And establish His words in your heart.

Not only will you receive instruction but you will want others to know God’s instruction and to live according to it as it is in His Word, the Holy Scriptures.

Proverbs 1:2,3 To know wisdom and instruction,
To discern the sayings of understanding,
To receive instruction in wise behavior,
Righteousness, justice and equity;

When you know God’s wisdom, which is in His Word, then you will have instruction in every good course and instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice and equity. You will know what you need to do in every situation so that you will not end up being destroyed.

Proverbs 10:17 He is on the path of life who heeds instruction, But he who ignores reproof goes astray.

Do you want to live, and have an abundant life? Then don’t have it your way but live according to His way. Your life will be sweet and you will be on the path of life rather than the path that leads to death and ultimately eternal death.

Proverbs 5:11-13 And you groan at your final end,
When your flesh and your body are consumed;
And you say, “How I have hated instruction!
And my heart spurned reproof!
“I have not listened to the voice of my teachers,
Nor inclined my ear to my instructors!”

Yes, the end for those who do not heed instruction will be groaning and much regret. Their flesh and body will be consumed. In the greatness of their folly they went astray never to return again. They chose their own destiny and will end up in hell for all eternity. It is all because they wanted to go their own way and did not listen to the Words of the Lord. They will themselves realize that they alone are responsible and will have much regret. It is not too late to seek Him and turn to Him for instruction. He will hear your prayer if you are sincerely wrong for neglecting Him and turning away from Him. He will save you and get you back on the path of life. He is abounding in riches for all who call on Him.

Romans 10:12 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.”

The most simple but beautiful prayer is, “Lord Jesus, I have sinned against you. Please forgive me and save me. Please come into my life and make me the person you want me to be. Help me to receive your Words, for You will instruct me and teach me in the way I should go.”

 

 

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 Can Do All Things

A life that can do all thing is only a life that can do all things through the strength and ability that God provides. The Christian life is the sweetest life ever known but it only comes from a dynamic relationship with the Lord Jesus.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

There is a prayer that expresses it well and it is “I can’t, You never said I could. You can, You always said You would.” He lives the life through you in the power of His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the gift He gives us when we receive Him. He said that, “He would never leave us or forsake us.” He is a present help. If some things seem hard to do or hard to understand then give these matters to Him and ask Him to help you.

Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

If something seems too hard in the Christian life then maybe you are taking a burden that He never intended you to have. This is the only time in Scripture where Jesus describes Himself. He is gentle and humble of heart. If you truly follow Him then you will find rest for your soul.

Romans 8:5-8 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

These verses reveal one of the principles of the victorious Christian life. If you are living in the flesh then you will experience death to your soul, which is the defeat you feel and the regret and remorse. If you are living according to the Spirit then you will want to obey and please Him. The flesh is hostile to the Lord and the things of God but the Spirit is alive to the Lord and the things  of God. Ask your self if there is anything that is feeding your flesh. There are so many things today that feed our flesh and when we feed our flesh we will not desire the Lord and it will be impossible to obey Him. After a while often the result is doubting our salvation. It is the Spirit that gives us assurance of our salvation.

Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

The word lusts in the Greek literally means desires. Our flesh has desires that want to be satisfied. The only problem is that they don’t satisfy but leave the Christian feeling empty. They may get for a moment what they want but then once that moment passes then they are lonely on the inside and the temptation is to fill that emptiness comes again but it only increases the emptiness.

James 1:14-17 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 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.

If one will only flee from temptation and call on the Lord for help then in time they will receive the good gift that the Lord has for them. We are often tempted right before the Lord gives His good gifts. He wants to fulfill your desires.

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.

A Life that is Helped and Helps

We all need to help and to be helped. We need to help each other stay on God’s path. We need each other and the Lord has provisions for us. There are three layers of relationships that ladies need to help them stay on God’s path and do what is right.

Hebrew 13:7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the outcome of their way of life, imitate their faith.

The top layer are those whom you look up to and respect. If you can have a loving relationship with this person then that is great but sometimes it may be someone you admire from a distance whose life inspires you. However, you definitely need some people in the upper layer who love you and will pray for you and keep you accountable. This person sees your needs and wants to see you grow in the Lord. Find people who are growing in their relationship with the Lord whom you want to be like and you want to go where they are going in life. Be careful who you aspire to be like because you will become like the person you allow to teach you. Choose godly women who love the Lord. Look at the fruit in their lives.

Luke 6:40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

The second layer are the friends that you choose. This layer will love you and want to be with you. Both of you agree that you want to be faithful to the Lord, which means that you want to be faithful to honor your parents or husband, or you both want to be faithful in school or on the job.

Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, unless they be agreed?”

You both want to follow the Lord and you stimulate one another to do that very thing. You will stick with each other through thick and thin, no matter what the circumstances.

Proverbs 18: 24 …there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

You also want your closest friends to be wise people who seek the Lord, fear and respect Him and want to be a disciple of Jesus. A wise person lives each day as though it is his last so that he will be ready to meet the Lord.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

A fool lives as if there is no God.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

Who you choose as your friends is one of the most important decisions you will make in life. Choose right and you will treasure them and you will bless each other. Choose wrong and you will end up in situations you never intended to be and you will go places you never wanted to go. A true friend is more concerned about your relationship with the Lord than your relationship with them.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times,

The last layer is the bottom layer and this layer are the girls or young ladies who look up to you. This layer keeps you on the straight and narrow because you do not want to disappoint them. Often they think that you can do no wrong. Of course you know the truth about yourself but they truly believe the best in you. Also, this layer is important because the Lord tells us to reach out to others and especially to those who can not pay you back. The Lord Himself will make sure that your life is watered if you water others.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.

The Lord Himself was like this.

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,

If you are missing a layer then ask the Lord to provide and then seek out opportunities to meet people. This principle is seen in life with grandparents, parents and children. Also, Jesus looked to the Father and had the disciples, especially Peter, James and John as friends and reached out to the multitude.

An easy way to remember this is to call it the “oreo” principle. (If you like oreo cookies.) The top layer are those who love you in spite of your faults and the bottom layer are those who love you but do not see your faults. Then the sweet stuff in the middle are your friends who see the good, the bad and the ugly but who love you anyway and who will be there for you. Can it get any better? How is your “oreo” principle?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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;

 

 

A Life that is Helped and Helps

We all need to help and to be helped. We need to help each other stay on God’s path. We need each other and the Lord has provisions for us. There are three layers of relationships that ladies need to help them stay on God’s path and do what is right.

Hebrew 13:7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the outcome of their way of life, imitate their faith.

The top layer are those whom you look up to and respect. If you can have a loving relationship with this person then that is great but sometimes it may be someone you admire from a distance whose life inspires you. However, you definitely need some people in the upper layer who love you and will pray for you and keep you accountable. This person sees your needs and wants to see you grow in the Lord. Find people who are growing in their relationship with the Lord whom you want to be like and you want to go where they are going in life. Be careful who you aspire to be like because you will become like the person you allow to teach you. Choose godly women who love the Lord. Look at the fruit in their lives.

Luke 6:40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

The second layer are the friends that you choose. This layer will love you and want to be with you. Both of you agree that you want to be faithful to the Lord, which means that you want to be faithful to honor your parents or husband, or you both want to be faithful in school or on the job.

Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, unless they be agreed?”

You both want to follow the Lord and you stimulate one another to do that very thing. You will stick with each other through thick and thin, no matter what the circumstances.

Proverbs 18: 24 …there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

You also want your closest friends to be wise people who seek the Lord, fear and respect Him and want to be a disciple of Jesus. A wise person lives each day as though it is his last so that he will be ready to meet the Lord.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

A fool lives as if there is no God.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

Who you choose as your friends is one of the most important decisions you will make in life. Choose right and you will treasure them and you will bless each other. Choose wrong and you will end up in situations you never intended to be and you will go places you never wanted to go. A true friend is more concerned about your relationship with the Lord than your relationship with them.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times,

The last layer is the bottom layer and this layer are the girls or young ladies who look up to you. This layer keeps you on the straight and narrow because you do not want to disappoint them. Often they think that you can do no wrong. Of course you know the truth about yourself but they truly believe the best in you. Also, this layer is important because the Lord tells us to reach out to others and especially to those who can not pay you back. The Lord Himself will make sure that your life is watered if you water others.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.

The Lord Himself was like this.

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,

If you are missing a layer then ask the Lord to provide and then seek out opportunities to meet people. This principle is seen in life with grandparents, parents and children. Also, Jesus looked to the Father and had the disciples, especially Peter, James and John as friends and reached out to the multitude.

An easy way to remember this is to call it the “oreo” principle. (If you like oreo cookies.) The top layer are those who love you in spite of your faults and the bottom layer are those who love you but do not see your faults. Then the sweet stuff in the middle are your friends who see the good, the bad and the ugly but who love you anyway and who will be there for you. Can it get any better? How is your “oreo” principle?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Can Do All Things

A life that can do all thing is only a life that can do all things through the strength and ability that God provides. The Christian life is the sweetest life ever known but it only comes from a dynamic relationship with the Lord Jesus.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

There is a prayer that expresses it well and it is “I can’t, You never said I could. You can, You always said You would.” He lives the life through you in the power of His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the gift He gives us when we receive Him. He said that, “He would never leave us or forsake us.” He is a present help. If some things seem hard to do or hard to understand then give these matters to Him and ask Him to help you.

Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

If something seems too hard in the Christian life then maybe you are taking a burden that He never intended you to have. This is the only time in Scripture where Jesus describes Himself. He is gentle and humble of heart. If you truly follow Him then you will find rest for your soul.

Romans 8:5-8 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

These verses reveal one of the principles of the victorious Christian life. If you are living in the flesh then you will experience death to your soul, which is the defeat you feel and the regret and remorse. If you are living according to the Spirit then you will want to obey and please Him. The flesh is hostile to the Lord and the things of God but the Spirit is alive to the Lord and the things  of God. Ask your self if there is anything that is feeding your flesh. There are so many things today that feed our flesh and when we feed our flesh we will not desire the Lord and it will be impossible to obey Him. After a while often the result is doubting our salvation. It is the Spirit that gives us assurance of our salvation.

Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

The word lusts in the Greek literally means desires. Our flesh has desires that want to be satisfied. The only problem is that they don’t satisfy but leave the Christian feeling empty. They may get for a moment what they want but then once that moment passes then they are lonely on the inside and the temptation is to fill that emptiness comes again but it only increases the emptiness.

James 1:14-17 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 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.

If one will only flee from temptation and call on the Lord for help then in time they will receive the good gift that the Lord has for them. We are often tempted right before the Lord gives His good gifts. He wants to fulfill your desires.

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.

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.