I will keep the commandments of the Lord my God.

I will walk in His ways and reverently fear Him.

For the Lord my God is bringing me into a good land:

A land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills;

A land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey;

A land in which I shall eat food without shortage and lack nothing in it;

A land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills I can dig copper.

When I have eaten and am full, then I will bless the Lord my God for all the good land which He has given me.

I will be careful and mindful to not forget the Lord my God.

I will keep His commandments, His precepts, and His statutes which He commands me today.

When I have eaten and am full, when I have built goodly houses and live in them, and when my herds and flocks multiply and my silver and gold is multiplied and all I have is multiplied,

Then I will humble myself – my mind and my heart – to gratefully remember and acknowledge the Lord, my God.

He brings me out of the land of Egypt – out of sin, carnality, and worldliness.

He brings me out of bondage and sets me free.

He leads me out of the wilderness of sin.

He supernaturally provides for me.

He brings me water when I am in the desert.

He feeds me with manna in the wilderness.

He will always do me good in the end.

I will be careful and mindful never to think to myself nor to say out loud that my power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.

I will earnestly remember the Lord my God, for it is He Who gives me power – ability, wisdom, and might – to get wealth that He may establish His covenant, which He swore to all His children.

The Lord will bless and preserve me because I love, obey, worship, and serve only Him.


Paraphrased from Deuteronomy 8:6-20 AMP


I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live.  Deuteronomy 30:19 AMP


Many people think that when life does not go their way, God is being mean to them for no reason, but the Word of God says that we are the ones who are in control – we choose our destiny and our reward. God has set before us two choices – life and blessings or death and curses – we must choose which one we want.


Proverbs 18:21 KJV says that, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” The AMP says that, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].”


There is power in your words! Always speak life over yourself, not death. With the help of the Holy Spirit, you have the ability to submit yourself to the Word of God and partake of all the blessings He has to offer. Confess this passage of God’s Word over your life and begin to see yourself as God does. God’s plan for you is that you should love, serve, and worship only Him. When you do this, He promises to bless you over and above any thing that you can imagine or ask for. Don’t be swayed by earthly riches – they are worth nothing next to the wonderful presence of God. He is the only One worthy of your love and attention.


No servant is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (riches, or anything in which you trust and on which you rely).  Luke 16:13 AMP


“To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:


These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again.


9 I know your afflictions and your poverty-yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.


10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.


11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.   Revelation 2:8-11 NIV


Smyrna is a city which lay on a gulf with the same name. It lay a little north of Ephesus. Around about 627 BC, the original city was destroyed. It lay deserted and in ruins for four hundred years. The new city was built a short distance south of the ancient one, and became the finest city in Asia Minor. It was known as “the glory of Asia.” It was one of the cities which claimed the honor of being the poet, Homer’s, birthplace.


The Smyrnaeans erected a splendid temple to his memory. Apparently, he was said to have composed his poems in a cave in the neighborhood of the city. Smyrna’s fine harbor made it a commercial center; but it was also well known for its schools of rhetoric and philosophy. The city was a seat of the worship of Cybele the Mother of the gods, and of Dionysus or Bacchus. The church of Smyrna suffered much from persecution and Polycarp, who was the first bishop of this church, was said to have been martyred in the stadium of the city, A.D. 166 at the instigation of and with the support of the Jews.


“These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again.” Jesus Christ is the first and the last. He is the first – for by Him all things were made. He was before all things with God and was God himself.


He is the last, for all things are made for Him, and He will be the Judge of all. Jesus is God from everlasting to everlasting. He is an unchangeable Mediator between God and man. Jesus is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. He was dead and is alive. He was dead, and died for our sins; He is alive, for He rose again for our justification, and He ever lives to make intercession for us. He was dead, and by dying purchased salvation for us; He is alive, and by His life applies this salvation to us.


“I know your afflictions and your poverty-yet you are rich!” They may have been poor in goods, but they were rich toward God and rich in grace – their spiritual riches being set off by their outward poverty.


Where there is spiritual plenty, outward poverty may be easier to bear. When, for the sake of Christ and a good conscience, God’s people are impoverished in natural goods, He makes all up to them in spiritual riches, which are much more satisfying and enduring. Obviously they suffered powerful persecutions and tribulations, even to the spoiling of their goods, which contributed to their poverty. They were willing rather to give up their goods and have Jesus, than to deny Him and have plenty and therefore they were spiritually prosperous. Not one of these sacrifices went unnoticed by Jesus. 


“I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”  Jesus is aware of the enemies of the cross and of His people – they will not get away with the things they say and do to the true church. They may claim to be God’s people, but they are tools of the devil, used to do his work.


They may claim to represent God as they persecute the people of God, but they will be judged and punished for their blasphemy. Their cousins are still around today. In Smyrna, the Jews claimed to be the only truth even as they supported the murder of Christians, but they were full of and used of the devil.


Even today, there are so-called Christians who claim to be the only ones who hold the truth as they persecute the people of God. They are as much the “synagogue of Satan” as were the Jews who violently persecuted the church in Smyrna in the first century.


“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” 


God foreknows the future trials of His people, He forewarns them of them, and fore-arms them against them. They are prepared and also encouraged, because they know that God is with them and there is a reward awaiting them. Jesus proposes and promises a glorious reward to their fidelity: a crown of life – a crown, to reward their poverty, their fidelity, and their conflict.


A crown of life, to reward those who are faithful even unto death, who are faithful till they die, and who part with life itself in fidelity to Christ. The life so worn out in his service, or laid down in his cause, shall be rewarded with another and a much better life that shall be eternal.


“He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.”  There is not only a first, but a second death, a death after the body is dead. The expression, “second death” is peculiar to the Book of Revelation. It is defined as “the lake of fire” – the death awaiting the wicked after judgment.


In the book of Revelation, everyone can see and hear what passes between Christ and His churches – how He commends them, how He comforts them, how He reproves their failures, and how He rewards their fidelity. As the world observes God’s dealings with His own people, they may learn instruction and wisdom from it.



Therefore, whether we are at home [on earth away from Him] or away from home [and with Him], we are constantly ambitious and strive earnestly to be pleasing to Him.


10 For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive [his pay] according to what he has done in the body, whether good or evil [considering what his purpose and motive have been, and what he has achieved, been busy with, and given himself and his attention to accomplishing].  2 Corinthians 5:9-10 AMP


Nothing that you do here on earth goes unnoticed in eternity. You may think that you can sin and get away with it, or maybe you did a good thing and you think that no one took notice of it. However, at the judgment seat of Christ, everything you did – good and bad – will be revealed and exposed. The judgment seat of Christ is a judgment seat for believers.


So do not make any hasty or premature judgments before the time when the Lord comes [again], for He will both bring to light the secret things that are [now hidden] in darkness and disclose and expose the [secret] aims (motives and purposes) of hearts. Then every man will receive his [due] commendation from God.  1 Corinthians 4:5 AMP


Every one will be judged and receive his or her pay according to what they did – good or evil – and according to their purpose and motive in doing it. You will be judged according what you have achieved, what you have been busy with, and what you gave your attention to accomplishing. So it makes sense that we should all take a good hard look at our own heart, attitude, motives and works and judge them know. Then we can make the necessary adjustments so that on the day when all is revealed, we are not ashamed over anything that we have done on earth.


For whosoever keeps the Law [as a] whole but stumbles and offends in one [single instance] has become guilty of [breaking] all of it.


11 For He Who said, You shall not commit adultery, also said, You shall not kill. If you do not commit adultery but do kill, you have become guilty of transgressing the [whole] Law.


12 So speak and so act as [people should] who are to be judged under the law of liberty [the moral instruction given by Christ, especially about love].


13 For to him who has shown no mercy the judgment [will be] merciless, but mercy [full of glad confidence] exults victoriously over judgment.  James 2:10-13 AMP


If you are a Christian, you are no longer subject to the Law – you have been redeemed from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13). Your focus is not on keeping the Law itself, but rather on walking in the love of God toward all men, because love fulfills the law – if you walk in the love, you will not transgress the Law (Romans 13:10).


So you should speak and act like people who are to be judged under the law of liberty – the law that commands us to walk in the love of God. If you are merciful, you will receive mercy, but if you are hard and judgmental toward your brothers and sisters, then you will be shown no mercy either. So, in a sense, you are the one who chooses the measure of judgment that you will receive. You would be smart to start showing as much mercy as you can!


None of us lives to himself [but to the Lord], and none of us dies to himself [but to the Lord, for]


8 If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or we die, we belong to the Lord.


9 For Christ died and lived again for this very purpose, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.


10 Why do you criticize and pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you look down upon or despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.


11 For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God [acknowledge Him to His honor and to His praise].


12 And so each of us shall give an account of himself [give an answer in reference to judgment] to God.


13 Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a brother.  Romans 14:7-13 AMP



None of us lives or dies to himself, but we live and die as unto the Lord – whether we live or we die, we belong to the Lord. With that in mind, we should be constantly ambitious and earnestly strive to be pleasing to Him. We please Him when we are kind, considerate and merciful toward each other. If we do this then we will not be ashamed to give an account of ourselves to God when we stand before Him.





So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant.


35 The LORD has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, menservants and maidservants, and camels and donkeys.


36 My master’s wife Sarah has borne him a son in her old age, and he has given him everything he owns.


37 And my master made me swear an oath, and said, ‘You must not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live,


38 but go to my father’s family and to my own clan, and get a wife for my son.’


39 “Then I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not come back with me?’


40 “He replied, ‘The LORD, before whom I have walked, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, so that you can get a wife for my son from my own clan and from my father’s family.


41 Then, when you go to my clan, you will be released from my oath even if they refuse to give her to you–you will be released from my oath.’


42 “When I came to the spring today, I said, ‘O LORD, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come.


43 See, I am standing beside this spring; if a maiden comes out to draw water and I say to her, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar,”


44 and if she says to me, “Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too,” let her be the one the LORD has chosen for my master’s son.’


45 “Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out, with her jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water, and I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’


46 “She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too.’ So I drank, and she watered the camels also.


47 “I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ “She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.’ “Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms,


48 and I bowed down and worshiped the LORD. I praised the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right road to get the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son.


49 Now if you will show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so I may know which way to turn.”


50 Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the LORD; we can say nothing to you one way or the other.


51 Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the LORD has directed.”  Genesis 24:34-51 NIV


When Rebekah went down that day to the spring to draw water for her family, she had no idea that her destiny depended upon the choices that she would make that day. There was no neon sign that said, “This is a test – if you pass it you will be very blessed!” There was no angel, or audible voice or special sign that alerted her that this was a special day! God had chosen her – she had to choose Him. Abraham’s servant was on a mission to find a wife for Isaac. He prayed that God would help him and he asked the Lord to point her out to him by her reaction to a request that he had decided to ask of her. He was going to ask for water for himself and she was going to give him water and offer to water his camels as well.


This was not a small thing that he prayed that she would do. The wells or springs were dug down deep with many stairs. She had to go down and back up about fifty steps or more for only three gallons of water – that is how big that her water-jar would have been. Three gallons of water weighs twenty-four pounds and her jar would have been a few more pounds than that. One trip down to the spring would have been an effort, but multiple trips were a major work out. It takes about twenty-five gallons to fill up a camel and ten camels would drink two hundred and fifty gallons of water. This means that Rebekah had to make 83.3 trips to the spring (in reality about 84 trips) – so she had to go up and down 4200 steps and back up 4200 steps until the job was done.


Rebekah had no idea that her humility, hospitality and generosity that day would open the door to the blessing of God in her life and a place in history. She did not know that because of her actions and choices that day, she would marry into a “royal” family – a family in covenant with Almighty God and blessed with favor, prosperity and peace – and would become the great-great-etc-grandmother of the Messiah – the One who would bruise the devil’s head and change the world!


Many people do not enter into all the blessings that God has for them because they are lazy, selfish and self-centered. They will only do the minimum that is absolutely required of them. They find no joy in working hard, being a blessing and doing whatever they can to help others. They are waiting on God to pull something wonderful out of His hat for them, but they won’t press into Him and love His Word and be a doer of His Word.



They are led and motivated by bribes – if you do this, I will do that. Unfortunately for them, God does not bribe us – He gives you opportunities to show what is in your heart and rewards you accordingly. God is not going to beg you to do the right thing, nor will He transgress His Word and bless disobedience and unwillingness and ungratefulness. We are the ones who must get our act together. You may never know which camel holds the key to your blessing – you must just continue to water every camel that God places in front of you!



My son, be attentive to my Wisdom [godly Wisdom learned by actual and costly experience], and incline your ear to my understanding [of what is becoming and prudent for you], 2 That you may exercise proper discrimination and discretion and your lips may guard and keep knowledge and the wise answer [to temptation].  Proverbs 5:1-2 AMP


King David was a man after God’s own heart. He chose to honor God in his life and to always seek His counsel and follow His leading. Even though he made some mistakes, David was a prosperous and blessed man because he gave God this place in his life. David and his wife, Bathsheba gave godly instruction and wise direction to their son, Solomon, and encouraged him to seek godly wisdom and counsel, so that he could also make wise choices for his life. Solomon recorded this advice in the book of Proverbs, together with the wisdom he, himself, received from the Holy Spirit and his own life experience.


I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live 20 And may love the Lord your God, obey His voice, and cling to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days, that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Deuteronomy 30:19-20 AMP


Wise choices are choices that line up with God’s Word. Wise choices are choices that are pleasing to God. Just choose to obey God and His Word and you will make the wise choice every time. God made us – He knows who you are and what you need to be happy and satisfied and blessed. Obeying His wisdom will bring you life, whereas succumbing to the temptations of the devil and your carnal, fleshly desires will bring death and destruction to your spirit, your mind and your body (Galatians 6:8).


Currently, the world’s wisdom is no more profound than, “if it feels good – do it!” However, this counsel will result in nothing, but pain and heartache in your life. David counseled Solomon:

For the lips of a loose woman drip honey as a honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil; 4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged and devouring sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold of Sheol (Hades, the place of the dead). 6 She loses sight of and walks not in the path of life; her ways wind about aimlessly, and you cannot know them. 7 Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, and depart not from the words of my mouth. 8 Let your way in life be far from her, and come not near the door of her house [avoid the very scenes of temptation], 9 Lest you give your honor to others and your years to those without mercy, 10 Lest strangers [and false teachings] take their fill of your strength and wealth and your labors go to the house of an alien [from God]–11 And you groan and mourn when your end comes, when your flesh and body are consumed, 12 And you say, How I hated instruction and discipline, and my heart despised reproof! 13 I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers nor submitted and consented to those who instructed me. 14[The extent and boldness of] my sin involved almost all evil [in the estimation] of the congregation and the community.  Proverbs 5:3-14 AMP


God’s Word has been around for eternity and its advice is always relevant and up-to-date and is never “old-fashioned.”

Drink waters out of your own cistern [of a pure marriage relationship], and fresh running waters out of your own well. 16 Should your offspring be dispersed abroad as water brooks in the streets? 17[Confine yourself to your own wife] let your children be for you alone, and not the children of strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain [of human life] be blessed [with the rewards of fidelity], and rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant doe [tender, gentle, attractive]–let her bosom satisfy you at all times, and always be transported with delight in her love.

20 Why should you, my son, be infatuated with a loose woman, embrace the bosom of an outsider, and go astray? 21 For the ways of man are directly before the eyes of the Lord, and He [Who would have us live soberly, chastely, and godly] carefully weighs all man’s goings. 22 His own iniquities shall ensnare the wicked man, and he shall be held with the cords of his sin.

23 He will die for lack of discipline and instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he will go astray and be lost.  Proverbs 5:15-23 AMP


This is godly advice that could save your life. Be faithful to your wife/husband before you meet and marry them and you will most likely be faithful to them after you marry them as well. And you will enjoy the blessings of obedience to God’s Word! It is a wise man or woman who chooses to follow after wisdom! Every day of your life, there are decisions and choices that must be made, and temptations that come to trip you up. If you are armed with godly wisdom, it is easier to resist temptation and to make good choices and sound decisions, which set the course of your life in a direction of life and blessing.


The Lord said to Abram after Lot had left him, Lift up now your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward;

15 For all the land which you see I will give to you and to your posterity forever.

16 And I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth, so that if a man could count the dust of the earth, then could your descendants also be counted.

17 Arise, walk through the land, the length of it and the breadth of it, for I will give it to you.  Genesis 13:14-17 AMP


When God chose Abram and set him aside, bringing him out of his own land and away from his family, he brought him to the land of Canaan. God told him to look north, south, east and west because He had already given all this land to him and his posterity – his descendants. God made a covenant promise to give this land to Abram and his posterity.

When the sun was setting, a deep sleep overcame Abram, and a horror (a terror, a shuddering fear) of great darkness assailed and oppressed him.

13 And [God] said to Abram, Know positively that your descendants will be strangers dwelling as temporary residents in a land that is not theirs [Egypt], and they will be slaves there and will be afflicted and oppressed for 400 years.

14 But I will bring judgment on that nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.

15 And you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old (hoary) age.

16 And in the fourth generation they [your descendants] shall come back here [to Canaan] again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full and complete.  Genesis 15:12-16 AMP


God prophesied to Abram about events that would take place for hundreds of years after his death – his descendants would not go straight into Canaan, but they would take a little detour. Before the time came to go in and possess the land, they would multiply in number, they would become slaves, God would judge the nation who oppressed them, He would bring them out with great possessions and in the fourth generation they would come back to Canaan again.


He says something significant at this time – Abram’s descendants had to wait a while before they went in to take possession of their promised land because “the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full and complete.”

Know therefore this day that the Lord your God is He Who goes over before you as a devouring fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall dispossess them and make them perish quickly, as the Lord has promised you.

4 Do not say in your [mind and] heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out from before you, It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land–whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is dispossessing them before you.

5 Not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your [minds and] hearts do you go to possess their land; but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is driving them out before you, and that He may fulfill the promise which the Lord swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

6 Know therefore that the Lord your God does not give you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a hard and stubborn people.

7[Earnestly] remember and forget not how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day you left the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord.  Deuteronomy 9:3-7 AMP


God did not drive all these nations out before Israel because Israel was righteous and upright – because they were hard, stubborn and rebellious – He drove these nations out because of their own wickedness and because of His covenant promise to Abram. God drove the Amorites out because their iniquity was now full and complete!


What can we learn from this? The Word of God says that He rains on the just and the unjust. God loves every man and every woman from every nation. There is not one nation better than another. He gives every one of us an opportunity to choose righteousness and be blessed or to choose unrighteousness and be cursed. Every one of us, as individuals and as nations and peoples, must humble our hearts before the Lord. We must realize that He has a plan for our lives and He has awesome things prepared for every one of us – blessings that exceed our expectations – if we will submit ourselves to Him and allow Him to direct our path and lead us in the way.


God’s blessing does not come from your own hand or worthiness, but it comes by His grace as we exalt Him in our lives, as we give Him place and as we stand on the promises He has made. 


JAMES 4:1-10 NIV

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 

James 4:1-3 NIV


In this letter, James writes to fellow Christians, who were behaving like sinners. Before you receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, you are dominated by your sin nature. You are carnal, worldly and ruled by your flesh and your senses. When you repent of your sins, ask God for forgiveness, and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are delivered from sin’s control, transferred from darkness to light, and made partaker of a new righteous nature. You are a child adopted into a new family – you are a branch grafted into a new tree. You are supposed to begin to yield to this new nature and not continue to do, speak and act the way you did before. Unfortunately, many Christians have forgotten (or never found out) which family they belong to. The nature of God resides in their heart, but they act like they still belong to the devil – they are fleshly and carnal.


The words God speaks to His children and the directions He gives them are not optional they are required. You ought to take God’s Word literally and seriously – it may mean the difference between life and death for you. Tell yourself, “God’s Word is speaking to me!”


Don’t be covetous. Covetousness is a jealous, murderous spirit that will destroy a brother for a material possession that means nothing in eternity. You fight and lust and crave, but you come up empty-handed anyway. God is your source – ask Him for the things you desire instead of going after your brother’s stuff. Adjust your heart attitude and ask unselfishly so that God may bless you. 

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?   6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud

but gives grace to the humble.”   James 4:4-6 NIV


Unsaved, carnal, worldly people are proud. They are self-sufficient – they are all they need – they don’t need God. However, a wise person realizes that they need God and that they are lost without Him. Christians should never look up to worldly people as their example, nor should they want to be like them. Rather, Christians should set an example for the world to follow. Pride is a terrible thing – it is an impenetrable barrier that will keep you from the presence and the blessing of the Lord, because you believe that you don’t need Him when you actually need Him desperately. Humility is the ability to receive that which you do not deserve. Your humility opens the door for you to receive all that God has for you, while pride keeps it firmly shut. God wants you to be blessed – humble yourself to receive from His hand all that He has for you.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  James 4:7 NIV


Until you submit to God, you will not be able to deal with the manipulations and machinations of the devil against you. Your pride, arrogance and ego give the devil an edge. It is like a handle he can turn or a button he can push. When he places a thought in your mind, or when he uses someone to push your buttons, he knows how you will react – in a carnal manner. When your nose is proudly in the air, you are not watching where your feet are going and the devil finds his opportunity to trip you up.

Haughtiness comes before disaster, but humility before honor.  Proverbs 18:12 AMP


Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.  James 4:8-10 NIV


You are not waiting on God – He is waiting on you. Make a move toward Him by humbling your heart; becoming as a little child; not trusting in yourself. Do not be confident in yourself or your own abilities. In doing this, you will be throwing yourself on His mercy and His grace and He will joyfully and willingly pour out His gift of grace upon you. You will find, in Him, everything that you need and you will be fully satisfied in and by His presence and His provision.


35 But love your enemies and be kind and do good [doing favors so that someone derives benefit from them] and lend, expecting and hoping for nothing in return but considering nothing as lost and despairing of no one: and then your recompense (your reward) will be great (rich, strong, intense and abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind and charitable and good to the ungrateful and the selfish and wicked. 36 So be merciful (sympathetic, tender, responsive and compassionate) just as your Father is [all these].  Luke 6:35-36 Amp

Love your enemies.


God’s ways are higher than our ways and His ways always work in your favor in the end. You may not think so at the time, but obedience to the Word of God – even and especially when it seems like the most ridiculous thing to do – will bring a favorable result to your life. When He says, “Love your enemies” then you need to love your enemies, because it will bring a favorable end to you and to them. God is not necessarily on your side against another person, especially if your “enemy” is another believer, but He has a blessing for all concerned if they will only yield to Him. You cannot be held responsible for the behavior or attitude of your enemies, but you are responsible and will give an account for your behavior and attitude! So pick a good attitude and behave like a child of God, not a child of the devil.


The agape love of God is not concerned with the character or deservedness of an individual, but He reaches out to love the unlovely and the undeserving and the ungrateful. It is a love that springs from the character of God that sees every person as valuable and precious when they are nothing of the sort.

Be kind and do good. Do favors so that someone derives benefit from them.


Be kind to your enemies. Do good things to and for your enemies. Do favors to and for your enemies – favors that benefit them in some way. Don’t do a favor that has a sting in the tail. Don’t do something that is outwardly kind and good, but nasty in the end, only to make a point or to rub their nose in it. Get an attitude adjustment. Let your favors be done out of a genuine love and a humble spirit that is submitted to the will of the Father. Do this in order to release yourself from the vicious cycles of hate and retribution that can spiral out of control like a giant whirlpool, sucking everything that gets close enough to it down to be dashed on the rocks on the sea bed below.

Lend, expecting and hoping for nothing in return.


Don’t give or bless expecting a particular result or reward. Don’t look for a particular response from the recipient of your favor. Give and bless and sow in faith, trusting God and expecting Him to do His will, as only He can, in the situation. If you give just to give – in compliance with the will and Word of God – then He will take care of you. His favor and protection will be on you.

Consider nothing as lost and despairing of no one.


Don’t give up on anyone. Don’t think of your favor and blessing as being wasted on anyone. Don’t give up on your seed. Plant it and leave it in the ground, watering it with your faith that just as you have done your part, that God will do His. Just because you do not see an immediate result or response, it does not mean that your favor did not have an impact. Just as you must give regular seed time to germinate and spring forth, so you must give your blessing-seed time to work and produce. Even if you must walk away and never see the end result except in Heaven – then do it anyway, trusting your Heavenly Father to do the right thing and to honor your faith and obedience.

Then your recompense (your reward) will be great (rich, strong, intense and abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind and charitable and good to the ungrateful and the selfish and wicked.


When you obey God’s word and bless your enemies, the Lord will bless you with a great reward – a rich, strong, intense and abundant reward. Not only will you receive a blessing, but also when you bless your enemies, you are showing yourself to be a child of your Heavenly Father because He is kind charitable and good to the ungrateful, the selfish and the wicked. You should be glad that He is so merciful to the wicked because you were wicked once and even now that you are saved, you still do and say wrong things and you still need His mercy. Thank God for His mercy to the wicked and also to you when you did not deserve it!

So be merciful (sympathetic, tender, responsive and compassionate) just as your Father is [all these].


God does not ask us to do anything that He is not already doing. He does not expect you to do anything that will not benefit you in the end. Everything that the Lord tells you to do is ultimately going to be a great blessing in your life. When you bless others, especially your enemies, you will receive blessings and satisfaction and peace in your own life.


5 Now He Who has fashioned us [preparing and making us fit] for this very thing is God, Who has given us the [Holy] Spirit guarantee [of the fulfillment of His promise].


6 So then, we are always full of good and hopeful and confident courage; we know that while we are at home in the body, we are abroad from the home with the Lord [that is promised us].


7 For we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance.


8 [Yes] we have confident and hopeful courage and are pleased rather to be away from home out of the body and be at home with the Lord.


9 Therefore, whether we are at home [on earth away from Him] or away from home [and with Him], we are constantly ambitious and strive earnestly to be pleasing to Him.


10 For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive [his pay] according to what he has done in the body, whether good or evil [considering what his purpose and motive have been, and what he has achieved, been busy with, and given himself and his attention to accomplishing].


11 Therefore being conscious of fearing the Lord with respect and reverence, we seek to win people over [to persuade them]. But what sort of persons we are is plainly recognized and thoroughly understood by God, and I hope it is plainly recognized and thoroughly understood by your consciences [your inborn discernment].  2 Corinthians 5:5-11 NIV


After the resurrection, God has promised to give us a glorified (heavenly) body. God is preparing us and making us ready for it right now and the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of that promise. We have the Holy Spirit on the inside now as a taste of that which is to come on the outside. Our spirit is born again – we need a new, redeemed body and mind – which we will get after the resurrection.


We have a home here on earth in our physical bodies and we have a home with God, in His presence. We cannot be two places at once – we are either on the earth or in heaven. We live here now and even though we have not seen our heavenly house, we believe that it exists and that we will go there when we leave this earthly house. We walk by faith, not by sight, concerning our heavenly dwelling place.


We are not afraid to die. Whether we live or die – we are His – we belong to Jesus. We are perfectly happy to live for Him down here, but we certainly look forward to going to be with Him for eternity. In fact, we long to be in His presence. Because of this, whether we are at home on earth away from Him or away from home on the earth and with Him, our one desire is to please Him and be acceptable to Him. In fact, we are constantly ambitious and strive earnestly to be pleasing to Him.


We know that there will come a time when all of us will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and be asked to give an account for what we have done and also what we have left undone. We will appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ. Nothing will be hidden from His sight.


Each one of us will receive our pay (our reward) according to what we have done here on earth – in our bodies – whether good or evil. Jesus will take into consideration what our purpose and motive have been. He will look at what we have achieved. He will look at what we been busy with – what we gave our time and attention to accomplishing.


If we know that we will have to give an account for our life and that nothing will be hidden from God’s sight, then we would be wise to find out those things that please Him and do them. We would also be wise to find out those things that displease God and make sure that we do not do them. Because we are conscious of fearing the Lord with respect and reverence, we seek to win people over and to persuade them to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, because we know that this is pleasing to Him.


13 If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.


14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.


15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.  2 Corinthians 5:13-15 NIV


20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.


21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  2 Corinthians 5:20-21 NIV


The one thing that pleases God above all else and the thing that we need to do with all our heart is to share the Gospel with others and bring them into the wonderful relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ that we have enjoyed – so that they too can make their eternal home with their Father God in heavenly places.