A Life that Loves Much

Do you want to have a great love for God? Loving the Lord with all of your heart, soul and mind is the most exciting and fulfilling life on earth. To one who has never done it then they have no idea the thrill there is in being completely sold out to Him and for everything in your life to revolve around Him. It is the sweetest life imaginable and brings great contentment, satisfaction, security, peace, joy, love and many other great things that are too numerous to mention. Loving the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind truly is the great commandment.

Matthew 22:36-38 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.

How can you get this incredible great love for the Lord and want to live it out daily in every area of your life? It can not be drummed up but must come from our relationship with Him. The first step is to realize how great a sinner you are. We have all sinned greatly against the Lord and we deserve the worst imaginable punishment. All of creation has fulfilled the purpose for which the Lord created them except for mankind. We have all rebelled against our Creator and gone our own way. We have turned our back on Him.

Luke 7:47 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.

How easy it is to compare ourselves to others and say to ourselves, “I am not that bad” for we see others who seem worse in our eyes. We are not much different than the man who went to the Lord and prayed that he would not be like others. We may not pray that prayer but we may say it in our hearts.

Luke 18:11,12 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’

Yes, it is much easier to keep an account of what we have done right and to keep an account of the sins of others. The Lord was not pleased with this man. However, the Lord heard the other man who came to pray, for this second man remembered his own sins and how unworthy he is to come before the Lord.

Luke 18:13,14 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

So, loving the Lord with all of our heart, soul and mind begins with the proper perspective of ourselves, that we are sinners of the worse degree and we are not worthy to even come into His presence.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

If you want to love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind then you must keep His Words and do what He says. However, to do this then you must know what He says so that you can do it. The person who wants to love the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind must know His Word. To the degree that you know His Word is to the degree that you can keep His words and to the degree that you keep His word is to the degree that you love Him.

I John 2:4-6 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

The Lord promises us that if we will keep His word then His love will be perfected in us and He will make His abode in us. When the Lord lives in you then there is nothing that can separate you from Him and His love. His love will abide in you and you will abide in His love. You will love Him and you will love life for He is life. This is the secret to a fulfilling life.

 

A Life with Love Hears Voice of Love

When Adam and Eve lived in the garden before they sinned they heard God’s voice. It was the voice of comfort and the voice of a loving God who cared for them. They exchanged the voice of a loving God to hear the voices of their own accusations. When the love is gone in relationships then blame and accusations come in. Where there is sin there will also be blame and accusations.

And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Genesis 3:11,12

Confession and repentance is taking the blame of one’s own sin. No one can make us sin. Adam sinned on his own. Eve did not make him sin. He knew that what he was doing was wrong.

And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. I Timothy 2:14

When we know the right thing to do and we do not do it then we have sinned. Adam knew the right thing to do but he did not do it.

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17

Sin blocks us from hearing God’s voice. Sin blocks us from knowing God’s presence. Sin blocks us from experiencing God’s love. It was not until our sin was taken away that we could once again hear God’s voice, know His presence and experience His love.

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

Those who receive Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, have their sin taken away and are no longer separated from God. They can hear His voice, know His presence and experience His love. They are born again and become His child. The relationship that was lost in the garden when Adam and Eve sinned is once again restored through Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12,13

They hear His voice because He also becomes their Good Shepherd.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. John 10:27,28

Jesus came so that Satan could never again snatch those who become His children away through deception or sin or any other means. Once someone becomes His child then they will never perish and be lost again. He holds them in His hand and no one can snatch them our of His hand. One way of knowing if you are God’s child is that you will want to follow Jesus and obey Him.

A Life with Few Regrets

If you jump off a building and you get hurt then you will regret it. In the same way, most people do very similar things and get hurt, however, they don’t make the connection that what they did caused the hurt and it wasn’t hitting the ground that caused the hurt. The pain was caused by jumping off of the building. They may say to themselves, “I am not going to hit the ground the next time”. A life of few regrets is a life that makes the connection between what they do and the consequences that follow.

Colossians 3:25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

God is not mocked. We may think that we get away with something but we don’t. Whatever we sow that shall we reap.

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

Some people’s consequences follow immediately and other’s consequences follow later. It is all a matter of time, whether sooner or later. If you were to jump off a building, you would feel free of all restraints when you are in free fall, but in a matter of time you would be hurt. This is why people feel “free” at first when they go against God’s laws.

I Timothy 5:24,25 The sins of some men are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after. Likewise also, deeds that are good are quite evident, and those which are otherwise cannot be concealed.

Some people will go with the wrong kind of person over and over again and wonder why they get hurt over and over again. If you find that you are experiencing the same kind of hurt over and over again then go to someone one who will speak the truth to you and help you. People can only take so much pain before it starts to destroy them or make them bitter. Bitterness is unresolved pain. The pain may be in your marriage, finances, job, relationships, family and unless the action that causes the pain is understood and corrected then the pain will continue.

Deuteronomy 28:1-8a and 13b,14 Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God: “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways. The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you…if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully, and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

To sum it up, the Lord will open up heaven and bless you until you can hardly stand it and then He will bless you even more if you will follow, obey Him and not go after other gods. The blessings are all of the good things in life that the Lord wants to give you but you must keep His ways and commandments. The gods of our day are not only the different eastern religions but also money, materialism, pleasure, sports and many more things that we give our hearts and time to rather than to the Lord.

Deuteronomy 28:15-20 But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock. Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. The Lord will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me.

Deuteronomy 28:28-30a and 33b,34 The Lord will smite you with madness and with blindness and with bewilderment of heart; and you will grope at noon, as the blind man gropes in darkness, and you will not prosper in your ways; but you shall only be oppressed and robbed continually, with none to save you. You shall betroth a wife, but another man will violate her… and you will never be anything but oppressed and crushed continually. You shall be driven mad by the sight of what you see.

To sum this life up, you will not prosper and even if you do there will be a curse with it. You may be “successful” on your job but someone else may take the heart of your spouse and your children or some other curse. You may see achievement in another area but the personal cost will not be worth it because what you lose will often be a much greater treasure than what you gained. You will finally feel like you are going crazy or will do whatever you can to try to mentally escape what is happening. For this reason many drink or take drugs (often prescription) but they are only numbing agents and you have to eventually face your regrets.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

The Lord came that you may have life and the blessings that come with the life He gives to His children. It is Satan who deceives people into thinking that these “other gods” or things will bring fulfillment and happiness. The Lord says that He will not disappoint those who put their trust in Him. You will never regret following Him and doing what He says but you will one day, if not now, regret not following Him.

Joshua 24:15 If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Ultimately, the choice is yours.

 

A Life with Love Does What is Right

When Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden before they sinned they did not need any rules other than the one that the Lord had given to them. They loved God and they loved each other. Their love was perfect for God and for each other because their hearts were pure. They had never known any evil.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16,17

If Adam and Eve had never sinned then they would not have ever needed any more rules or laws to live by. The Lord only gives commandments for our good and our protection. He does not give us commandments to deprive us of anything that would be good for us. The Lord knew that it would not be good for Adam and Eve to come into the knowledge of evil. They would lose their innocence and purity. They would be tempted in ways that the Lord never designed for them to be tempted. The Lord gives the same commandment in the New Testament and that is to not have the knowledge of evil.

For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. Romans 16:19

The Lord wants us to wise in what is good but innocent in what is evil. We need to be mature in our thinking but babies in the knowledge of evil.

Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature. I Corinthians 14:20

When we become knowledgeable in evil then our thinking has become defiled by what we have seen or heard. When our thinking has become impure then we are not holy in our behavior. One sin always leads to another if we do not repent. The Lord has commanded us to be holy, which means that we are to be separate from the world and do what is right in God’s sight. Then we will be available for the Lord to use us.

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

I Peter 1:14-16

When we are holy then the world will know that Jesus Christ is Lord.

I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” declares the Lord God, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. Ezekiel 36:23

When we compromise and do not do what is right then we have lost the power and influence in the world that God designed for us to have with the people who have yet to come to know Him. When those who know God sin then the world may say, “they are no different than me” or “they do the same things that I do so I do not have to listen to what they say”.

Like a trampled spring and a polluted well, Is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked. Proverbs 25:26

Before Adam and Eve sinned they were holy. They lost their holiness and they lost their power. The Lord Jesus Christ came to make us holy. He wants us to be innocent in what is evil. The less we know of evil the less we will sin. The more we know of evil then the more we will sin. Evil does not destroy us unless we do it. There is a difference between evil being done to us and being around evil against our will and us voluntarily learning about evil through entertainment or deceiving ourselves by saying “there is some good in this book, movie, etc.” even though there is also the knowledge of evil. You are subjecting yourself to evil when you voluntarily learn about it through compromise. You are bringing destruction to yourself. When you bring destruction to yourself then you are also bringing destruction to anyone with whom you are in a relationship and especially a marriage relationship. The Lord loves us and gives us instructions and commandments to protect us from destroying ourselves and each other. Love keeps His commandments.

and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30,31

When you love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself then you will have fulfilled all of God’s commandments. You will have loved and done what is right in God’s sight. You will be holy in all your behavior. Your life will have power and evil will not destroy you.

the power of an indestructible life. Hebrews 7:16

A Life that Is Wise

Wisdom is applying God’s instructions and commands to your life and living accordingly. Wisdom is living out God’s Word and living by God’s ways in every area of your life. All of our life is connected in one way or another. What we did yesterday affects our life today. What we will do tomorrow will have an impact on us and will bring us life or death to our soul and our body.

Proverbs 9:12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

What goes into our mind influences our decisions just as what goes into our body affects the health of our body. If you want to be mentally and emotionally healthy then you must guard what goes into your mind and heart.

Proverbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.

You may not want to apply God’s Words to you life just as when we were younger we did not want to always eat vegetables but if we ate what was right then our body would function right. If you will live by God’s Words, whether you like them or not, then you will function right in your mind and your heart. You will be healthy mentally and emotionally. You will be very pleased with the outcome. You will not be disappointed.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

You will not always understand God’s ways and that is okay. You do not need to understand them to do them just as you may not understand how a computer works to use it. The more you keep God’s commandments then the more you will understand them. However, understanding comes after obedience to them.

Proverbs 4:20-22 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
For they are life to those who find them
And health to all their body.

Wisdom will bring life to your spirit, soul and body.

Proverbs 4:5-9 Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.

If you do not forget her, forsake her nor turn away from the words of her mouth then wisdom will guard you from making wrong decisions. Love her and she will watch over you. Wisdom will help you marry the right person and teach you how to have a great marriage. Wisdom will prevent you from making stupid decisions on your job, in relationships and in every other area. The number of mistakes that you have made in life is an indication of how often you have needed wisdom. How many regrets do you have and how many missed opportunities? Again, wisdom will keep you from these things. Often people will say after great pain that they are a better person for it but if that is so then they would want other people to go through the pain so that they could learn also. You are not a better person for the mistakes that you made but you are a better person for the lesson that you learned. However, how much sweeter life would have been if you had known the right thing to do so that you would not have had to learn the hard way. Who wants to live a life of tears and mistakes? You are not stronger at the broken places but you are more vulnerable where you have fallen so you guard the broken places much more.

Proverbs 4:7-9 The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.

How much sweeter life is with wisdom. When you get wisdom and understanding them you will realize what a precious treasure that you have. You will prize her and embrace wisdom. Wisdom, in turn, will exalt you and honor you. She will place on your head a garland of grace and present you with a crown of beauty. Wisdom will give you that beauty that nothing else can compare to and you will radiate from the inside to the outside. All desirable things can not compare with wisdom.

Proverbs 8:11 For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.

Proverbs 8:17-21 “I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.
“Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness.
“My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield better than choicest silver.
“I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.

Do you love doing life? Are you excited about what each day holds for you? Are you excited about the future? The Lord wants you to live life to the fullest and you can only do this by wisdom. Just as in a sport, the athlete who gets better and better enjoys the sport proportionately. So it is with life, the more wisdom that you have then the more you will look forward to each day and enjoy life.

Proverbs 10:23 Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool,
And so is wisdom to a man of understanding.

A Life with Love Has Great Peace

When Adam and Eve lived in the garden and walked with the Lord in sweet fellowship they enjoyed great peace with God and with each other. There was no drama in the garden and life was good. He only had one commandment for them and that was for their good. As long as they loved God and obeyed that one commandment then they would live in peace forever. When they thought that they knew better than God and did their “own thing” and sinned then they no longer enjoyed peace and they were afraid.

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” Genesis 3:8-10

Peace and fear can not abide in the same person. When Adam and Eve did not love God by keeping His commandment then sin robbed Adam and Eve of the peace that they knew and replaced the peace with fear. Fear causes us to hide and we no longer experience life as God designed because of our fears. The fears become a snare to us.

The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted. Proverbs 29:25

Many of our fears are imagined and never come to pass but they influence our lives and cause us to hide. Only the Lord’s love can cast out the fears that we have.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, I John 4:18

As we learn to live in His love by keeping His commandments then we will once again know His presence and experience great peace.

He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” John 14:21

The more we love His commandments then the more we will keep them. As we keep His commandments then we will see that they are for our good and the good of those around us. Keeping His commandments brings peace to those who keep them and peace in the homes where God and His Word is loved.

Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble. Psalm 119:165

When we love God’s Word then we love the Lord and when we love the Lord then we will love His Word. The Word of God became flesh and lived among mankind in the person of Jesus Christ. He is fully man and fully God. God’s Word and His name are equal. When we love Him, His name and His Word then we will have great peace and nothing will cause us to fear.

And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name. Psalm 138:2b

Jesus Christ came to not only restore us to our relationship with God but He came to bring us peace. When we are restored to God through Jesus Christ then we experience and know great peace. Nothing can take that peace away.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27

If someone does not know the Lord then they need to be in great fear for their fears will be realized but those who know the Lord do not need to fear and their desires will be granted because they have put their trust in God.

What the wicked fears will come upon him,
But the desire of the righteous will be granted. Proverbs 10:24

A Life Successful in Everything

A person may be doubtful of the statement that someone can be successful in everything. Of course, it does not mean that someone could be a successful tennis player if they have no talent but it does mean that a person can be successful in everything that matters in life, that is, in the matters that are important, such as job, marriage, family, etc. It is a promise that God gives to the person who will do exactly as He says to do in each area of life. It is an amazing promise.

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Joshua 1:8

Everyone wants to be successful and pursues success in one form or another. Either God’s Word is true or it is not. If it is true then every word is true and every promise will hold up and never fail. If a person will do this one thing then the Lord promises success. The person must take God’s Word and meditate on it day and night and be careful to do according to all that is written in it. This is an incredible promise.

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers. Psalms 1:1-3

This promise was not just for the people in Joshua’s day because it is repeated in the Psalms. The person must not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the path of sinners or sit in the seat of scoffers but they must meditate on God’s Word day and night. The wicked are the people who do not fear God. They believe in God but don’t do what He says. They are pretentious in their religion. The sinners are those who live as if there is no God. They don’t care what others think and are not pretentious. The scoffers are those who have heard the Word of God at some time in their life but they have turned their back on God and have gone their own way. So, the person who wants to be successful must not stay around or listen to these types of people. However, they must learn to meditate on God’s Word, listen to what He says and do it.

Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. James 1:21-25

The Lord also mentions this promise in the New Testament in the book of James. If someone looks intently at the perfect law, which is God’s Word, and abides (or lives) by it and does not forget it but does it, then this man will be blessed in whatever he does. What an amazing promise! The only way to meditate on God’s Word day and night and to not become a forgetful hearer is to memorize it and put it in your heart. An easy way to do this is to memorize a verse every morning and then think about it and repeat it during the day. If possible, then memorize another verse at night before going to bed and think about it and repeat it if you wake up in the middle of the night. Review your verses out loud and if possible, to someone else. Do whatever it takes to remember God’s Word so that you can do it. You will find that as you do this that God Himself will speak to you through His Words and He will show you what to do in everyday life. God’s Word is very real in business, in family situations, in difficult relationships and in every situation of life. When a person does exactly as the Lord says then that person will see incredible changes in his life and also great success. God blesses His Word and the person who believes and lives by His Word will be greatly blessed with success, peace and much happiness.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.
If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you alone will bear it. Proverbs 9:10-12

The Bible says that the knowledge of God is understanding. As you learn to meditate on God’s Word then you will receive much understanding about God and life. God will become a daily reality to you. You will learn to talk to Him and you will also hear Him through His Word. You will see God in many different situations and you will see how amazing and great His love for you is. Wisdom is learning how to do life the right way so that you will not be hurt nor hurt others. Wisdom and understanding are more precious than jewels and nothing you desire compares with them.

How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.
For her profit is better than the profit of silver
And her gain better than fine gold.
She is more precious than jewels;
And nothing you desire compares with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
In her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways
And all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who hold her fast. Proverbs 3:13-18

Happy is the man or woman who discovers these amazing promises! They will have success in whatever they do. Their life will overflow with great joy and peace. They will not only survive whatever comes their way but they will thrive. They will have great understanding and they will truly be a blessing to many as their life will be built on wisdom.

A Life with Love Has Great Joy

Love brings great joy to the one who loves and to the one who is loved. Joy is different than happiness. Happiness comes from what is happening but joy comes from something else. Joy comes from being in the presence of God.

You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Psalm 16:11

When Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden of Eden and knew His presence then they had fullness of joy. Fullness of joy meant that they were filled with joy. They walked the path of life with God and were filled with His joy. Not only did they know much joy, but they experienced His pleasures. They knew life, joy and pleasure. Everything that they had was given to them. When they sinned then they traded life for death, joy for despair and His pleasures for the counterfeit pleasure of the world, which is an illusion and leaves one feeling even more empty once the feeling of pleasure leaves.

for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b

The joy of the Lord brings strength. Death, despair and emptiness drain a person of the strength that God designed for them. Without joy then relationships become a drudgery and a burden. Not only does the joy of the Lord lighten the load of everyday life and but His joy keeps the love in relationships. When we turn to the Lord and take refuge in Him then we can know His joy.

But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You. Psalm 5:11

Joy comes from His salvation. You know when someone has come into a personal relationship with the Lord because that person wants to sing for joy.

Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright. Psalm 33:1

They have experienced God’s love and presence and they can’t hid their joy. They want to share that joy with others.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You. Psalm 52:12,13

When God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to restore man to his relationship with God then He also restored the joy of the Lord within man by giving His Holy Spirit to the one who has come to trust Him. Joy characterizes the child of God because he has once again come into God’s presence through Christ. Joy also characterizes the couple who have built their marriage according to God’s design.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, Galatians 5:22

The joy of the Lord goes in both directions. Adam and Eve brought the Lord great joy when they walked with Him and enjoyed that sweet fellowship. He loved them and He delighted in their communication and in His relationship.

But the prayer of the upright is His delight. Proverbs 15:8b

We, too, can still bring the Lord great delight when we walk with Him and pray to Him. We know His joy as we come into His presence. His joy is like a fragrant aroma in our relationships and also as we go through the day. When we walk with Him then we hate sin and anything that grieves His Spirit because we love Him know that the joy of being with Him is like no other joy and there is nothing to compare with Him.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 5:1,2

We also realize that sin destroys the joy in our marriage and relationships. Before Adam and Eve had sinned they had that sweet communion with the Lord and with each other because they obeyed Him and knew Him. If you are married then you will see that as you and your spouse each seek to please the Lord then your hearts will become knit together and your love will deepen for the Lord and for each other. You will not want to do anything to quench the Spirit for it will quench the love and joy that the Lord gives to those who live in His presence. As a married couple learns to live together in His presence then their love relationship with the Lord and each other will be a sweet aroma to everyone around them and the rest of the world.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; II Corinthians 2:14,15

A Life with Kindness

Do you want your life to be filled with kindness? This is one of the most simple to understand yet most profound of all the truths in the Bible. It is also brings great blessing to the one who does it.

Luke 18:25a With the kind You show Yourself kind;

The Lord is kind and if you are kind then you will experience His kindness. Not only will you experience His kindness but you will be like Him and your reward will be great.

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

Kindness is not necessarily deserved by the one who receives it but it comes to even ungrateful and evil men because kindness comes from the one who gives it. Kindness is of the Lord and when we are filled with His Holy Spirit then kindness will flow from us towards others.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Kindness will give you favor with men and with God. The only way that we can continually be kind is if we walk with the Lord. He is kind and His kindness fills us when we walk with Him. The more you show kindness then the more you see it and the more you want to be kind to others.

Proverbs 3:3,4 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.

Do you want favor in life with God and with others? Learn to be kind. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to ways that you can be kind. Ask yourself about your actions…are they kind and are they true? If your words and actions are kind but not true then don’t say or do them. If they are true and not kind then don’t say or do them. Your life and example is what you will eventually teach your children in the way that they relate to others.

Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

Do you always want to have friends? The learn to be kind. The Bible says that what is desirable in a person is kindness.

Proverbs 19:22a What is desirable in a man is his kindness,

If you want to have a marriage filled with kindness then marry a kind man. If you do, then your marriage will be sweet to you and your home will be comforting to your children.

 

 

 

A Life that Is Mentally Healthy

Mental health is even more important than physical health and if someone were given the choice most would choose mental health over physical health. The mental aspect of a person is a part of their soul. A person’s soul is made up of the mind, will and emotions. If the mind is healthy then the will to do right will permeate the being and their emotions will express the decisions of their will. A person must guard their mind with all of their heart. What goes into your mind is what determines your actions and your actions determine your destiny. If unhealthy thoughts go in then unhealthy actions will follow. In the same way, if there is healthy input into the mind then the person will be mentally healthy.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, Romans 12:2a

Do not be conformed to this world. The world is filled with lies, confusion, perversions, anxieties and fears. If someone listens to what the world has to say then they will be filled with lies, confusion, perverted thoughts, fears and anxieties. Then, as they respond to these thoughts, their decisions and actions will be foolish, fearful, confused and perverted. The world says that it is okay to be a certain way and to do certain actions. Not so, the way of the world will bring destruction and death to the one who listens to the world because the way of the world is not good. The way of the world makes a person mentally unhealthy.

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13,14

People may say that the way of the Lord is narrow and they are right. For this reason you will find few people genuinely happy and mentally healthy. To be mentally healthy means that you are not controlled by fears, anxieties, outside influences or other people. To be mentally healthy means that you are free on the inside and that you have a healthy relationship with others and yourself. You do not bring destruction to others nor to yourself. You have genuinely learned how to love others as well as to have a healthy respect for yourself. True mental health can only come from a constant renewing of your mind. When a mind is healthy and renewed then it is alive and strong. It is able to make the right decisions and has the mental discipline to carry out the necessary and responsible actions in life. A healthy mind is fed with healthy thoughts just as a healthy body needs to be fed with healthy foods.

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. Romans 12:2

A person who is not conformed to the world but is transformed through the renewing of their mind is able to prove what God’s will is and that is, His will is good and acceptable and perfect. God’s will is good. This word “good” in the original language means “the highest form of love”. God’s will for a person is the highest expression of love that can be done for that individual. This “will of God” for each individual means that God’s will for each person is the very best thing for that person. The Lord is love and He desires that each person live in His love to the fullest. We are the only ones who rob ourselves of God’s great love and that is when we do not live in His will.

I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him. Ecclesiastes 3:14

God’s will is acceptable and perfect. God’s will is so amazing that if you knew beforehand what it was then you would choose it every time. There is nothing that you would want to add to it or take from it. God is so powerful and so loving that only He can orchestrate something so wonderful for each person. However, the Lord wants each person to trust Him and to believe His Word. He has said this but you must believe it for you to experience it.

For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. Hebrews 4:2

The Lord has an amazing life for those who will come to Jesus Christ in faith, believe and receive His promises. Not only does He keep them in excellent mental health by continually renewing their minds but He has a will for their lives that is good, acceptable and perfect.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, John 1:12

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. I John 3:1a

A person’s mind is renewed and he discovers God’s will for his life when he becomes God’s child. A person becomes God’s child through receiving Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Not only does he become one of God’s children but he becomes a recipient of God’s great love. He truly begins the greatest adventure of life and once he tastes of the goodness of God, his only regret will be that he did not come to Jesus Christ sooner. Do you want to be mentally healthy? Do you want to live a life that is good, acceptable and perfect? Do you want to receive a great love and become a child of God? The Lord is good and wants to give you His amazing gifts of His salvation, His goodness and His love.

O taste and see that the Lord is good; Psalm 34:8a