These two words have sent people running from God because he wants to take away the good life. Right? Who wants to follow a bunch of rules? Well for me I know he asks us to follow his ways but I truly believe his desire is for us to have the very best life we can possibly have. He wants us to have a full, happy, successful life. He knows how because he knows everything especially us. He created us and the designer usually writes the owner’s manual for his product. Right. I read this week in a devotional about the “shall nots” in the Bible that most people miss. The ones that really mean the world to us who claim to be his children and had to share.
“The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.”
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
“He that hearth my word, and believeth on him who sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation.”
He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
The Lord is at my right hand, I shall not be moved; Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.”
There are so many more good promises in the word of God waiting to be discovered. There are over 4000 great promises for his children who live his way. Since my stroke I’ve learned so much and have so much peace. I live for him every day. He truly is my very best friend and he is always working all for my best.
“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind. To reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10 NIV
According to how we act we will be rewarded. God wants everyone to have a good life. A life full and abundant. The world uses the word ‘karma’. Bringing on yourself inevitable results by good and bad character. We have been given a free will to do whatever we want. It’s all up to us. From an early age we are taught to be good. Even though we have a natural tendency toward sin because of the fall of Adam and Eve it is not true that we will be bad. Your parents are not the only ones who raise you. They may not of been the best examples to live by but there are other people teaching you good character traits. Teachers, sport coaches, churches and other good people in your life. They teach you how to interact with those around you and how to act as part of a team. Dealing with animals in a caring way. Skills in getting along with others. God has given us his words in the Bible that tell us clearly how to have a good life. The rewards for good behavior and what’s happens with bad behavior. They are spelled out very clearly. There are laws to keep us from doing bad things to others. If you don’t break the law you won’t pay the consequences. There are consequences for every action. Deep inside of us we all have a conscience that guides us. It wants us to do good and makes us feel bad inside when we do something bad. If we ignore it and repeat offenses it will grow hard. We can still change it if we want to but it will take God’s help, our creator, to change us. If we want to be blessed again and not always have problems we need to ask forgiveness and ask for help. He is always waiting right there to help. He is not expecting us to behave in a way that is impossible. He tells us the correct way and also offers us all the help we will need to do it. Knowing what is best for us and loving us unconditionally makes him the expert. He is also the one responsible for the outcome of our lives in his world. That is why I always look at the Bible as my owners manual for life. It will give answers for everything if you will just make it part of your life. Just like reading the owner’s manual for your new car will help you understand how it works best.
Have you read your owner’s manual lately?
It’s the big day. Thousands of years went into the details of this big moment. As families we spare no expense to have that one perfect moment. A wedding, a graduation, a birth, so many special moments. But this day was planned for longer and harder than others. Think of this family, for a moment, the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit. They were together for so long before the world ever began. They spent time talking of all the details. What would it be like to have a huge family to love. Their expertise was love and they had to share it. It had to be free to be, not required. A love given and accepted and given in return. What would this world need. I can image the hours of chats and the special times as a family together planning. Then what would we do when they rejected us and did their own thing. What about sin? Sin had to be dealt with. Someone or something had to pay. God is just and he is perfect, so he needed a perfect plan. I imagine them putting there heads together to come up with a plan. Dad why don’t I go to earth as an example of your love. I can live with man and teach them so much about you and your ways. I can do so much good. Sin means death so I will pay for everyone’s sin with my life and go to hell for them. This was a good plan. But it would take time. So when Adam and Eve sinned God took an innocent lamb and slaughtered it to cover their shame. He taught the people how to cover their own sins by taking an innocent lamb, perfect and precious and slaughter it in their place. God was so proud of his son. He would do this willingly so that we could be together forever. One day everyone would be together where death was no more and everything would be perfect just as it was meant to be. This plan would have so many details but it would be worth it. They also knew that Satan would just give anything to destroy the son of God. That would work to their desired end. Satan would never envision that he was working right into their hands. Then that special day came for Jesus to leave. They had been together for so long. The big three had shared so much it had to be hard. Saying by for now. Jesus was giving up so much. His power, his glory, the closeness they all shared. He was starting out as an innocent, helpless baby. His new family was young, poor, scared and alone. They were to be a part of this great plan. How exciting! It was hard but God was with them. As Jesus grew he always spent time with his family in prayer. He needed that strength now more than ever. As a man he had trials and needs that could easily distract him. He had to stick to the plan perfectly. It was easy to have compassion as he did have that perfect love living in him but the physical challenges of being about all his fathers business could wear him out at times. These people really were messed up. They really needed help. Couldn’t they see. Our ways are so much better. If they just tried it they would know. It was frustrating at times. But Friday came and the overwhelming responsibility came and was hard it was real and scary. If there could be any other way. No, he grew strong in God his father. He would do this and God would be with him. He looked out into the future. Lives flashed before his eyes, not one, not two, but billions. His joy was real. He did this for us. It made him stronger. With each lash and each second he had eternity on his mind. Then came the moment when sin was so great upon him that his own father could look no longer. He turned away. All of heaven was hushed as they watched him take his last breath. The earth rumbled and the veil was torn once and for all. It was finished. Sin would no longer have control. He was placed in the tomb. Jesus the sinless lamb carried all the sin of the world. Every last one into death for each of us. Something too impossible for us to imagine. Death, hell, torment forever was taken away for us never to experience. Jesus did not deserve this but he would do it again if he had to. We were worth it. With the belief in Jesus work and when we are sorry for the sin that has control over our lives he has offered us his gift. We can be born again. We have the opportunity to be new. To be brothers and sisters, to have access to the three 24/7 everything they are is ours. Joy is the greatest. We are no longer a nobody, but are somebody to the king. We receive power and authority as children of the king. Our lives will never, and should never be the same. And we can live in the house of the Lord forever.
Do you wish to accept this awesome gift? To die to the old you and be made brand new?
“Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?….” John 21:15 NIV
“If you love me keep my commandments.”John 14:15 NIV
God is making a very important statement right know. Ever since time began God has been there. He is the one true constant. Another true constant is that man is an imperfect, continually learning and growing creation. Simply said, “we are constantly screwing up.” Still God loves us. Of all God has created, and it is all awesome, we are his most special creation. Created in his image, to be like him. We have so much amazing potential. God has designed everyone ever born on this earth and they were designed because he wanted someone to love and for them to love him. Someone he could be a father to. Someone who would have a relationship with him. Just like normal fathers he would love us unconditionally and want the very best for us. Even though we do things wrong, he will always love us. He wants to give us an abundant life. He tries to teach us what to do and not to do like good parents. Things to help us have a good life. It takes discipline to keep us from doing things that harm us. His question right now is for everyone who says they know him and are “Christians.” “Do you love me?” “Do you really love me?” If you do, then why don’t you keep my commandments? The majority of people live day to day seldom thinking about God. He has become like a spare tire that is seldom needed or used. I know because that was me 15 years ago. Then I had a severe stroke and almost died. Then it became real. Was I ready to die? What would I say standing before Jesus? Boy, do we owe God an apology. I know that most of our lives are less than they could be. We are missing out on so much blessings. I owe him so much. After coming to that conclusion I have been doing all I can for him. My life has improved exponentially and I am so blessed and happy. Best decision I’ve ever made. Now I have an abundant life and won’t go back.
Do you want an abundant life?