A Life that Is Blessed in This Life

When Jesus Christ taught His followers one  of the things that He taught them was how to be blessed in this life. The Lord wants to bless you. This is who He is. He delights in unchanging love and He wants you to be blessed.

Micah 7:18 Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity
And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession?
He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in unchanging love.

The Lord loves us. He forgives our sins when we repent and ask Him for forgiveness. He holds no grudges and does not reward us according to our sins but blesses us according to His lovingkindness.

Psalm 103:8-10 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

It was God’s love that sent Jesus Christ to earth to show us the way to God. He not only came to die for our sins but to make disciples who would make disciples who would make more disciples and that each disciple would pass on to the next disciple what the Lord had taught while on earth.

John 16:29-31 His disciples said, “Lo, now You are speaking plainly and are not using a figure of speech. Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God.”Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe?

When finally His disciples understood and believed that Jesus Christ was sent from God then Jesus knew that He had accomplished the work that the Father had given Him to do.

John 17:3,4 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.

Once His disciples believed then they could receive the Holy Spirit (after his death and resurrection) and go out and do the work the Lord Jesus Christ had given them to do, and that was to do with others what Jesus Christ had done for them…teaching them all things to live a blessed life in His kingdom in earth.

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

God’s Word fits together like a puzzle and reveals to us who God is and His will and purposes for us. At the beginning of the ministry of Jesus when he taught His disciples how to pray He mentioned God’s will being done on earth. The Great Commission is teaching His disciples to do His will on earth as it is done in heaven.

Matthew 6:9,10 Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

 

 

 

A Life of Blessed Faith

There are two kinds of faith. There is a faith that is an intellectual faith where we believe with our minds. The other kind of faith is a heart faith. We can believe with our minds but not with our hearts. Many people believe with their minds but few believe with their hearts. When Jesus walked on earth there were the two kinds of faith evidenced. When we have heart faith God changes and saves us but intellectual faith only pacifies the one with it and there are no changes.

Matthew 21:32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.

Many of the religious leaders believed that John the Baptist came in the way of righteousness but they did not believe with their hearts but only with their minds. Heart faith will act on the words which are heard. The words will go into their hearts and effect a change within the heart that will be seen in the actions of the person. Many of the tax collectors and prostitutes had heart faith and their lives were changed.

Luke 8:5-8a “The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.”

Jesus knew the hearts of men and so He told this parable to the people about the different kinds of hearts. This is a parable about the hearts of men. Three of these people believed the Word of God but only one had an honest and good heart faith.

Luke 8:11-15 Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

In the first soil the Word of God is kept from entering the mind or the heart of the hearer. In the second soil the Word of God only enters the mind but never goes into the heart of the hearer. In time the recipient falls away because the Word of God never took root in their heart. The third soil heard the Word of God but because their hearts were already so cluttered and filled with other things the Word of God never took deep roots in those hearts either. Their lives did not bear mature fruit. The last person heard the Word of God with an honest and good heart. They held the Word of God fast to their hearts and bore fruit with perseverance.

Mark 4:20 And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.

The same parable is repeated in the Gospel of Mark and the word “hear” means “keeps on hearing” in the original language of the Bible. It is a continuation of hearing and not just hearing once but “keeping on hearing”. This is how we hold fast the Word of God in our hearts. Since no one was born with an “honest and good heart” we need to hear the Word continually so that the Word of God will do its work of cleansing in our hearts so that we can receive the Word with an “honest and good heart”.

John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

Once we receive the Word of God with an “honest and good heart” then we need to persevere in applying it to our lives so that we might bear fruit. All of us have need of perseverance. The Lord takes us to new levels of obedience and faith and stretches us toward maturity that is reached through perseverance and endurance.

Hebrews 10:36-39 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while,
He who is coming will come, and will not delay.
But My righteous one shall live by faith;
And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

If you find that you are weak in faith and need encouragement then read God’s Word for He will speak to your heart. Go and talk to a more mature Christian whose faith has been tested and who has endured and persevered when there did not seem much hope. The Lord is faithful but sometimes we need to reminded and encouraged. Don’t lose heart. Pray to the Lord and He will help you. This is His instruction to us when our faith is weak and our heart is faint.

Luke 18:1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,

 

 

A Life that Abides in Blessedness

The word “abide” means to live. All of us want to live in a blessed state since one of the definitions of “blessed” is happy. The Lord wants us to abide in Him and His Words to abide in us. The Lord blesses His Word. He has obligated Himself to be faithful to His Words and His Words bring blessing.

John 15:7-11 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

If you will learn to abide in the Lord and allow His Words to abide in you then you can ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. Of course, when you abide in Him and His Words abide in you then the longing of your heart will be to keep His Words, which are His commandments to us. When we keep His commandments then we will abide in His love. Your joy will also be made full.

Deuteronomy 28:1,2 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

The Lord says that His blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey His commandments. You might think that Jesus Christ came to take away the Old Testament Law and that if you are a “New Testament” Christian then you do not need to obey the Old Testament Law. Not so, He fulfilled all of the Law and completed the sacrificial Law since He was the sacrifice for all sins promised from the beginning in the garden of Eden. He did not nullify the moral law but fulfilled the sacrificial law.

Matthew 5:17-19 Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

The Lord Jesus Christ gave His followers a new commandment and did not abolish the previous commandments other than the ritualistic cleansing commandments concerning food.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

The Lord wants us to remember His commandment and the commandments written beforehand in the Old Testament in how to live.

II Peter 3:2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.

If we keep the Lord’s new commandment then we will keep all of the Old Testament commandments because they are all summed up in loving God and loving each other.

Romans 13:8-10 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

The Lord gave us both the New Testament and the Old Testament for our instruction.

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Grace does not free us from doing right but allows us to do what is right and thus fulfill all righteousness. The Law is righteous and good and when we keep all of God’s words and commandments then we are loving those around us. The Lord promises great blessing to those who abide in His Words and keep His commandments.

Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness will be peace,
And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.

Do you have peace in your life? What about do you live with quietness and confidence? If you are frustrated then go back to the Bible and ask the Lord to help you learn His ways of doing life, work, relationships, ministry or whatever it is He has you doing. He will teach you His ways and lead you in paths of righteousness.

A Life that is Much Blessed

A life that is blessed has the same characteristics of a home that is blessed and a nation that is blessed. When you are blessed then you are happy and you will be a blessing to others. The Lord blesses us so that we will be a blessing to others.

Exodus 20:24 …in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you.

When His name is remembered then He will come to you and bless you. You must do all that you can do to remember his name. Bring the name of Jesus into your conversation. Bless His holy name. He also says that He has exalted His Word together with His name.

Psalm 138:2 …For You have magnified Your word together with Your name.

Share His Word in conversation with others. Put it on your walls and wherever else you can to remember it. Most important of all, put it in your heart so that it will be on your mind all day long. Then you will talk to Him about His Word. He “delights in the prayer of the righteous”. Not only will He bless you but you will bring Him delight.

Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.

The Lord will come to you when you call upon Him through His Word. In the same way, when a family calls on Him through His Word and when a nation calls upon Him through His Word He will come to them also. His Word is truth.

John 17:17 …Your word is truth.

A Life Blessed Beyond Measure

If you really want to live a blessed life then take God at His Word. He loves it when we believe Him and trust Him completely. He is faithful to His Word and He has told us that it is impossible for God to lie, so if this is true, then live according to His promises.

Hebrews 6:17,18 In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.

The promised life is a life that is blessed beyond measure. If you have received Jesus Christi as your Lord and Savior then you are a child of God and if you are a child of God then you are an heir of all of the promises of God.

Romans 8:15-17a For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,

If you have received Christ then you have been adopted into His family and you can cry out to God, the Father and call Him, “Abba”, which is another name for Daddy. If His Spirit testifies with your spirit that you are His child then you are an heir of God and a fellow heir with Jesus Christ. All of the promises are yours in Christ Jesus and they are true. However, you must believe them to experience them. There is no limit to His love when you believe Him.

Psalm 103:11-13 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.

He has removed your sins from you as far as the east is from the west. The east and the west will never meet, so in the same way, you will never have to face your sins again if you are His child. He has removed them from you. His lovingkindness towards you is beyond measure because it is as high as the heavens are above the earth and this distance can not be measured. If you want to be blessed beyond measure then learn to live in the Father’s love for you. It is expressed through His promises. Jesus lived the life of ultimate faith in earth and He lived according to the Father’s promises for Him. Jesus Christ went to the cross believing the Father would raise Him from the dead. Jesus Christ went before us and showed us how to live in the Father’s love and how to live by faith in the promises of God. Jesus Christ rested in the promises of God and came to lead us into that same rest.

Hebrews 4:1-3a Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of 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. For we who have believed enter that rest,

If you have heard the good news of the Gospel then where are you in entering into the rest that He has promised? Have you begun the journey of knowing God in a personal way through Jesus Christ?

John 1:12 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,

If then, you have received Him, are you walking by faith and believing His promises or is there some unbelief in your heart?

Colossians 2:6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,

We received Christ by faith and He wants us to walk by faith…faith in the promises of God. Is your faith weak? Read God’s Word. Faith comes through hearing the Word of God. The Lord will speak to you through His Word and He wants you to believe it. However, if you are not hearing Him speak to you then maybe He has spoken to you at an earlier time and you are still not believing and acting on what He has already spoken to you about earlier.

II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Unbelief is what will keep you from a relationship with the Lord and unbelief will hinder your journey with the Lord and your growth as a Christian.

 

 

How to Avoid a Life of Much Sadness

Sadness is a difficult burden to bear not only for the one who is sad but also for many of the people who live with a person who is sad. Sadness is normal under certain circumstances but when sadness controls our life then it is not normal nor healthy. It is not healthy for the person nor for their relationships. How can we keep from having a sad life and being a sad person. Gladness is the opposite of sadness and is good medicine for everyone.

Proverbs 15:13 A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,
But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.

A joyful heart, or in other words, a heart full of joy not only makes a cheerful face but is good medicine.

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones.

When life is overwhelming and circumstances are beyond your control and you are very sad then go to the rock that is higher than you. Ask the Lord to life you up. We can not lift ourselves up but He can and will allow us to live above our circumstances.

Psalm 61:1-4 Hear my cry, O God;
Give heed to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a refuge for me,
A tower of strength against the enemy.
Let me dwell in Your tent forever;
Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.

Learn to live in His presence and your heart will be filled with joy. You will be much better prepared for the circumstances of life that are beyond your control if you are healthy emotionally and spiritually. The Lord has not called us to understand everything but He has said that we can trust Him in everything.

Psalm 143:4 Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me;
My heart is appalled within me.

When your spirit is overwhelmed and your heart is broken then call on the Lord Jesus Christ. He is near to you and is a present help in time of trouble.

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

As you draw near to Him then He will draw near to you and in time you will know His presence. His peace will flood your heart and His joy will be made known to you.

James 4:8a Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Get in and stay in His Word. His Word will comfort you so that you do not despair. You will see His goodness once again in the land of the living. He will come to you and bless you.

Psalm 27:13,14 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

The Lord is the God of all comfort and He will comfort you if you will believe in Him and come to Him.

II Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.

Your afflictions are temporal and so should your sadness be. His love and comfort is eternal and so your gladness and joy should be continual.  You need strength for the journey of life because we all get knocked down but He will lift you up so that you do not stay down. His grace is abundant through Jesus Christ.

 

A Life of Much Gladness

Gladness is different from joy. Joy comes from the presence of the Lord. The Bible says, “in Thy presence is fulness of Joy”. Gladness comes from loving what is right and doing it. Gladness comes from a clear conscience that you did the right thing earlier and so you are not fearful about being questioned or being caught.  Gladness is closely related to happiness. If you love the right thing and do what is right you will be happier than all of your friends.

Hebrews 1:9 “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above your companions.”

Not only will you have gladness but you will also not walk in darkness for you will have the light of the Lord.

Psalm 97:11 Light is sown like seed for the righteous and gladness for the upright in heart.

When others go their own way if you will seek the Lord and walk with Him then you will see that He will give you a witness of Himself and that He is good by giving you a fruitful life and will satisfy your heart with gladness.

Acts 14:16,17 In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”

However, when you walk with the Lord the gladness that the Lord gives you will even be greater than the gladness that you have when you have been blessed with an abundance on this earth. He will give you a gladness in your heart that transcends the blessings of this life on earth and you will sing for joy all the days of your life if only you will seek Him with all of your heart.

Psalm 4:6b,7 Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord!
You have put gladness in my heart,
More than when their grain and new wine abound.

When the Lord’s countenance shines on you then you will reflect the Lord to the world and your heart will be glad. His countenance shining on you is an expression of His favor. There is no sweeter experience than to have the favor of the Lord on your life. When you walk with the Lord in the light of His countenance then it truly is a taste of heaven on earth and is what the Lord designed for us in the garden of Eden.

Psalm 30:10-12 “Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me;
O Lord, be my helper.”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

The Lord is the only One who can change our mourning into dancing and loose the things that make us sad and clothe us with gladness. If you heart is sad then let Him do this for you today. Taste and see that the Lord is good and follow Him with all of your heart that you may sing for joy all the days of your life.

 

How to Avoid Being Disappointed in Life

Hope deferred brings disappointment but desires realized are sweet to the soul and refreshing to those who see their desires fulfilled. Expectations will often lead to disappointment and will weigh the heart down. How do we avoid disappointments in life and how do we deal with disappointments so that our hearts are not discouraged?

Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

There is only One whom we can put our hope in and who will never disappoint us. Since we are all sinners we will eventually disappoint each other. For this reason, you must look to Him and point others to the One who will never disappoint. His love is poured out within our hearts if we have the Holy Spirit living within us. He loves you and sees your heart and knows your needs.

Romans 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

If you are looking to Him and He is your hope then your desires will be realized for He is the Giver of all things. He is the only One who promises us that we will not be disappointed if we believe in Him.

Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

Expectations in people will always ultimately bring disappointment if we put our trust in them to meet all of our expectations. Political leaders, even if they are good leaders will bring disappointment because they can never meet your expectations. Parents will ultimately disappoint you if you are looking to them with expectations. Husbands will disappoint wives if there are expectations. No one can meet all of your needs. You must look to the One who is God alone. He is the only One who will never disappoint you. This may seem hard since you can not see Him but He is faithful to His Word and He has promised those who believe in Him that they will not be disappointed. If you have never had this kind of trust and faith in Him then ask Him to help you. Pray the same prayer as the man in the Bible prayed, “Lord, I believe, help me in my unbelief.”

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.

Faith and trust in the Lord is increased through reading, studying and meditating on His Word. If you are not reading it every day then start there and read it every day. If you are reading and not studying the Word of God then find a Bible study that will help you study the Bible. If you are reading and studying but not meditating and putting it in your heart then start doing that and putting God’s Word in your heart. You can memorize and meditate on at least one verse a week. Watch God’s Word do His work in your life and increase your faith and trust in Him. You will not be disappointed.

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

 

A Life that will Not Disappointed

The Master Builder says that you will not be disappointed if you build your life on His design and according to His instructions.

Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

Believing means that you are trusting Him to be your Lord and will follow His instructions exactly how to build your life. Not only that, but you will let Him be the builder and allow Him to build your life and make the choices. The opposite of allowing Him to be the builder is believing that you know what is best for your life and that you need to make the decisions…such as, who you will marry, where you will live etc. Lordship means that He is Lord of your life and you are to follow and obey Him. His promise is…”you will not be disappointed”. He is the only One who can make this promise and keep it. No human can ever love you the same way.

Isaiah 64:5 You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness, who remembers You in Your ways.

The Lord meets the one who wants to do life right, that is, according to His ways. He will help the one who wants to build their life on His Word. He will come to you and help you learn to obey Him and follow His instructions and His commandments.

Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness will be peace, And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.

The outcome of doing life God’s way and building your life on His Word is that you will not be disappointed and you will have a life of peace, quietness and confidence. If you don’t do it God’s way then you will be disappointed and will be tempted to be bitter and envious of others and there will be NO peace, quietness and confidence. You will have doubts and regrets.

How to Avoid a Life Empty of Love

Love is a basic human need for a healthy development and happy relationships yet it seems illusive at times and often the ones that we “hate” the most are those closest to us or that we have been close to at some time. How do we love others on a long term basis and keep loving, happy, healthy relationships? Love is the greatest commandment and if we fulfill this commandment then we will fulfill them all.

Matthew 22:36-40 “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. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Just as moral excellence is the root of love so love is the foundation of the Law and Prophets. The Law was to teach us how to love God with all of our heart and soul and mind and our neighbor as ourselves. The prophets were continually calling the people back to loving the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind and their neighbor as well. There is no peace, love or joy apart from love. There is no love apart from God, for God is love. Remove God from society, families and all relationships and you will eventually remove love.

I John 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

The opposite of loving God and others is selfishness. Selfishness is loving ourselves at the expense of someone else. It is taking and not giving. It is me and not you. No one can serve two masters. He will either love the one and hate the other or vice versa.

Matthew 6:24a No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.

You can not love yourself first and love God second. You must love God first and that will include loving others and then you love yourself next. If you love God first then He will watch out for your interests and He will be your security and defense. If you love yourself first then you will not be loving others the way you should. All of your “love” for others will be selfcentered and not love for them at all. There will always be a conflict of interests. For this reason, the Lord says that if we are to follow Him and love Him then we must die to ourselves.

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

This is what it means to take up your cross daily, it is to die to yourself. The cross represents death. You can not truly love others if you do not learn to die to yourself. When you get married, the question is not, “Do I love this person more than everyone else?”. No rather, the question should be, “Do I love this person more than myself?”. If you truly love your mate more than yourself then you will truly love that person the way the Lord wants you to love them and there will never be another person that you will ever love in the same way (while you both shall live) because all marital unfaithfulness is all about loving yourself. Most marriages that fail began with selfishness and ended with selfishness in one or both spouses. Selfishness is loving or not wanting someone else for what they have or don’t have to offer to you.

I John 4:7-9 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

Jesus Christ is the ultimate expression and manifestation of love. If you want to know love then you must know Jesus Christ. He came into the world to love and He loves everyone and the gift of His love is offered to everyone. Whoever will receive Jesus Christ will receive His love. We can not love others with a Godlike love without Jesus Christ.

I John 4:10-12 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

Jesus loved us and took our sins that we might receive and live in His love. He came that we might be able to love God and love others as He has loved us. If you know Jesus Christ then you will know true love and His love will be perfected in you. When you live in His love then His love will overflow into the lives of others. The life of love, joy and peace will truly overflow within you and you will begin to experience heaven on earth and what it means to live in His kingdom.

I John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Hate comes from unresolved anger and unresolved anger comes from unforgiveness from being hurt. If you have been hurt and still struggling to forgive then take that hurt to the Lord and ask Him to help you forgive. He went to the cross to forgive us and because He has forgiven us then we can forgive others. He is the source of all love and because He loves us then we too can love others even those who previously seemed unlovable. You will also find that as you love others then your life will be filled with the love of others. Through Him we can love the world and everyone in it but apart from Him we can love no one.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”