A Life that Loves

The greatest of all is love and love is the most powerful influence in the world. When we learn to love as Christ did then our world will be changed. We will be willing to die for each other even as Christ died for us.

Romans 5:7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.

This word good means the highest form of love. What the Lord is saying is that someone would not be willing to give up their life for someone who does the right thing  but perhaps maybe someone would die for a person who loved them. Love is the greatest power in the world. We will always want to be around those who love us.

I John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

We know that Jesus loves us. He died for us and He would do it again. He did not die for us because we were good but He died for us because He is good. Jesus Christ is the expression of the highest form of love.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The only way we can love with the love of Christ is if we die to ourselves first.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

We must deny ourselves and follow Him. It is a daily dying to ourselves and it is the path to freedom and to Christlikeness.

Luke 9:23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

This life is only possible through His Spirit and by His Spirit. He will only lead you where He has gone before you. There is no fear in a life of dying to self and following Him. In your dying you will begin living and in your death others will find life.

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Jesus went before us. He was crushed for our iniquities and by His scourging we are healed. He died for us.

Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.

The Lord is pleased when we offer ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice. How is it seen by others? It is seen through our love for others as we are poured out as an offering to Him.

Isaiah 53:10-12 But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

You have the opportunity to be like Jesus when you intercede for those who have sinned against you. You may not be able to bear their sins as Jesus did on the cross but when you pray “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”, you will be more like Him than you will ever know and others will see Jesus in you.

Luke 23:24 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.

The greatest is love and those who love are the greatest.

I Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 

A Life that is Sweet and Good

The Lord has a plan for our lives and it is sweet and good. He wants us to live in and on His promises. We are to live by faith in the land of His promises. In the Old Testament when He described the promised land He said it was a land flowing with milk and honey. Milk is good for you and honey is sweet. That is how it is when we walk by faith with the Lord. Fellowship with Him is sweet and obedience to His Word is good for us.

Exodus 3:17 So I said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt…to a land flowing with milk and honey.

Egypt was symbolic of slavery and the land flowing with milk and honey was the land of promise which they were to possess by faith. Are you enslaved to sin or the flesh? Are their any habits that you are struggling with and know you need to be set free? He came to set you free.

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

If you have been set free then don’t go back into the bondage of slavery. There are two things that will hold you back from your goals and desires. They are snares and snags. Snares are sins that have ensnared you and that Jesus can set you free and wants to set you free. Snags are things that you have no control over and they cause you to cry out to Him for help. Just as if you were walking down a path and a branch from a tree were to snag you and you could not free yourself. He allows obstacles and snags in our life to cause us to realize that we can not make it on our own. We need His help. By faith we look continually to Him.

Jude 1:5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.

The Lord died for you and rose again so that you might be set free from the snares of the devil. However you must trust Him and learn to live by faith or you will end up being destroyed.

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 Lord made you to be an overcomer. He wants life to be sweet and good for you. It is possible only through Him. Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

A Life that is Good

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Life of Honor

There is only One who is worthy of all honor, glory and power and He chooses to give to whom he wills and desires. We all want to be honored but the Lord tells us not to seek honor for ourselves but to honor Him.

Revelation 4:11 Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

However, there is a person whom He says that He will honor and the honor He gives is far greater than any honor we could get for ourselves either from ourselves or from others.

Proverbs 22:4 The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor and life.

Those whom the Lord bestows honor on are those who humble themselves before Him, who fear Him and who are His servants. One of the greatest privileges in all of eternity is to be called one of His servants by Him. He has many children but fewer servants. To be His servant you must first die to yourself and your desires and will.

John 12: 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.

Once you have given up all ownership to yourself, your relationships, your reputation, your future, your goals and desires then you must present to Him your body as an aspect of worship which He has promised to accept.

Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

Then you are to follow Him wherever He leads and do whatever he says and speak whatever He commands.

John 12:26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

You will know when you have faithfully served Him because He alone will be glorified.

I Peter 4:11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Finally, he offers the highest praise and honor to the servant who is faithful to Him. You will enter into His joy.

Matthew 25:23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

He is not only our Father if we serve Him but He is our Master. Can we be His child but not His servant? It does seem that the one who realizes his incredible debt to the One who paid their ransom would want to serve Him. He is a good Lord and Master and you can trust Him completely. He redeems the soul of His servants.

Psalm 34:22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.

And again…He will have compassion on His servants.

Psalm 135:14 For the Lord will judge His people And will have compassion on His servants.

 

 

A Life that Wins

Everyone wants to wins. The Lord wants you to win and so He tells us how you can live like a true winner. A graceful wreath is what the Olympian winners used to wear and even today the winners of the Olympics wear an ornament around their neck.

Proverbs 1:8,9 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;
Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
And ornaments about your neck.

This father’s instruction to his son, the very first thing that he addresses is who his friends will be and what to do if sinners try to entice him.

Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent.

This father knows that people will want to lead us astray and there are certain people that we need to stay away from and they are the ones who gain by violating the Word of God. You will win or lose in life by the friends you choose.

Proverbs 1:19 So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence;
It takes away the life of its possessors.

The opposite of gaining by violating God’s ways is wisdom. This father knows his child needs wisdom. We desperately need wisdom. The naive person just does not have knowledge and they don’t understand the need for knowledge. To the naive person ignorance is bliss. Scoffers turn their back on knowledge and fools are hostile to knowledge and don’t want to hear it at all.

Proverbs 1:20-22 Wisdom shouts in the street,
She lifts her voice in the square;
At the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings:
How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?

People don’t love the knowledge of God’s ways because it brings reproof. However, the Lord has a sweet promise for those who will turn to Him and receive His reproof. He will pour out His Spirit on their lives and make His Words known to them.

Proverbs 1:23 “Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

If you want to know God’s Words then He tells you that you must turn to Him and listen to His reproof. Reproof is correction and it may be painful but not nearly as painful as the consequence of not listening to His wisdom.

Proverbs 1:24-30 Because I called and you refused,
I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;
And you neglected all my counsel
And did not want my reproof;
I will also laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your dread comes,
When your dread comes like a storm
And your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord.
They would not accept my counsel,
They spurned all my reproof.

Turn to Him now and call upon Him while He is near. Call on Him before the anxious moments come and the stressful times are upon you. Choose to be naive and choose death. Choose to be foolish and choose destruction.

Proverbs 1:31,32 So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way
And be satiated with their own devices.
 “For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them.

Fill your heart with His wisdom. Don’t neglect your time with Him. Choose Him and you will choose life. This father knows that his child needs wisdom to live securely and to be at ease from the dread of evil. Do you struggle with anxiety? Do you listen to the news of the world and it puts a dreadful feeling in you? The Lord does not want you to live this way. Listen to Him and learn His ways.

Proverbs 1:33 But he who listens to me shall live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”

 

A Life that Delights

We all delight in certain things in life, whether it may be food or certain forms of entertainment or something else. To delight in something means that it brings us immense joy and happiness to do it. One of the secrets of a life that is lived to the fullest is delighting in the right things. Some of the things may be harmful and some may not be harmful but not all are profitable.

Psalm 119:16 I shall delight in Your statutes;
I shall not forget Your word.

When we learn to delight in His Word then we will remember it. One of the keys for retaining God’s Word is to delight in it. We remember the things we love.

Psalm 119:24 Your testimonies also are my delight;
They are my counselors.

When we delight in God’s Word then His Word will counsel us and tell us what to do. Also, God’s Word will provide the counsel that we can give to others so that their lives will be helped rather than damaged by bad counsel. If it is not God’s Word then it is not godly, Christian counseling.

Psalm 119:47 I shall delight in Your commandments, Which I love.

Again, we will remember His commandments when they are our delight and they will not seem burdensome but a joy to keep. If God’s Word seems like a burden to you then something is amiss in your relationship with Him. Go back to just delighting in Him and you will again want to please Him by living a life of faith and obedience.

Psalm 119:77 May Your compassion come to me that I may live,
For Your law is my delight.

When His Word is again your delight then His love will come to you in new and fresh ways that you never saw before and you will live life to the fullest.

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

He reserves one of His sweetest promises for the person who learns to delight in Him. Ask Him to help you. He wants to be your delight and He wants to give you the desires of your heart.