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"Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household." Acts 16:31

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


by Pastor Mark Taylor

If you love the Lord and are doing your best to keep His commandments, He wants to bless you.  There are some principles of life that will help you to see if the way you are living, behaving, and thinking is working or not working.  I hope today if the Holy Spirit reveals to you something in your life that is not working, you will resolve to change it.

Problems do not get better with time.  You cannot change what you do not acknowledge.  And what you do not acknowledge is going to get worse until you do.

Failure and bad decisions are the result of a lack of knowledge and wisdom.

Knowledge is the information we obtain, while wisdom is the ability to use it in the right way.  We get wisdom from God and we get it the same way we get our salvation, through faith.  “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and with no reproach, and it shall be given to him. But let him ask in faith, doubting nothing. For he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed. For do not let that person think that he/she shall receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:5-7).

There is more than enough information in God’s Word to help us make the right decisions if we will look for it.  “Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).
When you know better, you can do better.

The first principle of life that God’s Word gives us is that you are accountable for your own life and experiences.  “A good person out of the good treasure of the heart brings out good things; and an evil person out of the evil treasure brings out evil things. But I say to you that every idle word, whatever men/women may speak, they shall give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned” (Matthew 12:35-37).  Good or bad, successful or unsuccessful, happy or sad, fair or unfair, you are accountable for your own life.

If you cling to the belief that you are “right” and your problems are not your fault, you will not successfully create meaningful or lasting change in your life.  You must accept that you are not a victim, but that you are going to learn to make better decisions.    Work only on those things that will truly change your life.  You need to stop saying: “Why are they doing this to me?”
You need to start asking: “What thought, behavior, and choices can I change to get a different result”.  Remember life is not about whether you are right or wrong, but whether the things you are doing are working or not working.

In life, “When you choose the behavior, you choose the consequence”.  Your thoughts are behavior also.  There is a pattern. “Watch your thoughts; they become words.  Watch your words: they become actions.  Watch your actions; they become habits.  Watch your habits; they become character.  Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny!”

If you hope to be successful in your spiritual life and in your personal life, you have to be honest about where your life is right now.  Stop making excuses and start making results. 

Today, we need to get with the Lord and ask for forgiveness and accept personal responsibility for our sins.  Poor decisions either are sin, or they will lead to sin.  “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your loving-kindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me completely from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I confess my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done evil in Your sight” (Psalms 51:1-4).

The first step in problem solving is to recognize you have a problem and then to identify that problem.  Denial not only keeps you from solving problems, but it keeps the Lord from helping you solve them.  “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9).  You can lie to yourself by misrepresenting the truth, or you can lie to yourself by omission.  Denial is what kills dreams and hope.  It kills what might have been a real chance to overcome a problem had the solution just been pursued in time.  What most people want is not truth, but validation.   They will make comments about their problem such as “Well, no one is perfect.” They want reinforcements for their thinking, right or wrong.  They seek out the people and the information that support the conclusions they have already reached, factual or otherwise.  The only things they want to hear are things that make them feel good, that give them comfort about who or where they are, right now.

The second thing we have to do to become more successful in our lives is to  take action.  Good intentions are not enough.  “Even so, if it does not have works, faith is dead, being by itself. You believe that there is one God, you do well; even the demons believe and tremble. But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:17-20). It has been said that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.  

Our number one fear is rejection because we measure the results of our efforts in terms of whether others accepts or rejects us.  The Lord is not going to reject your efforts to improve your life. Whatever your habit and your harmful patterns have been, you must recognize that you no longer need to live your life in that way.  Ask the Lord to help you leave behind things that have been harmful to you and resolve to take a risk to make the effort to accomplish your goals. Start today to measure your life and its quality based on results.