A Life that Gives and Receives Kindness

Kindness is the sweet oil and fragrant perfume of life. There is no joy to life without kindness and of all desirable qualities in a spouse that one would want it is kindness. Marry a kind person and you will be blessed your entire married life. Marry a cruel person and there will be no end to your misery.

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

Kindness is what is desirable in a man. A cruel man will only receive harm and that harm will affect everyone in his life.

Proverbs 11:17 The merciful man does himself good, But the cruel man does himself harm.

How can you tell if a man is cruel? Women are easily deceived and unless we have a man in our life, which should be a father, to tell us the truth we can be led astray by the wooing of a cruel man. We will not see the truth until it is too late. There is another quality that describes the cruel man and that is, he is a rebellious man.

Proverbs 17:11 A rebellious man seeks only evil, So a cruel messenger will be sent against him.

If you want abuse and cruelty then a rebellious man will give that to you. If you want to have a sweet life and a blessed marriage then marry a man who has surrendered his life to the Lord. The Lord is kind and those who walk with Him learn and become kind. Kindness comes to those who are kind.

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

Look at how a young man treats his mother and his sisters to see what his true character is. In the same way, if you want to be blessed in life then learn to be kind to others. Kindness is not random but it is purposeful. We have to learn to do good. The Lord will help us. It is the responsibility of a mother to teach her children to be kind but if you did not have a godly mother then the Lord will show you and teach you.

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

Love kindness and you will be like the Lord and doing what He requires of you.

Mich 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?

Do kindness and you will have the favor of God and man.

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.

Be filled with the Lord and His Spirit will show kindness through you.

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

Don’t grow weary. Be faithful. The Lord will be with you.

Galatians 6:7-10 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

A Life of a Beautiful Character

There is no real beauty without a beautiful character. Character is what defines who we are and all that we do is an outward expression of our inward character. When one has a beautiful character, which can only come through the person of Jesus Christ living within them, then their life is a manifestation of God on earth. He walks and He talks through men and women today and makes Himself known on earth. You must first have the Lord Jesus Christ within you to walk and talk with Him and for Christ to make Himself known to others.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

He stands at the door of every person’s heart and asks to come in. Have you heard His voice but not asked Him to come in yet? Do not delay any longer. You do not know if you will have another chance. If you block out His voice then the day will come that you will no longer hear it.

Matthew 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

If you are aware of the Lord and want to know Him then come now while your heart is still tender.

Jeremiah 6:10 To whom shall I speak and give warning
That they may hear?
Behold, their ears are closed
And they cannot listen.
Behold, the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them;
They have no delight in it.

All you need to do to walk with the Lord and let Him talk to you is that you must receive Him into your life. Ask Him to come in. He will come in and make you into the person and character that you long to be.

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,

He will begin a good work in you and He will complete it.

Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

His thoughts toward you are only good and He has your best interests at heart. You can trust Him completely.

Isaiah 55:8,9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Forsake your thoughts and let Him fill your life with His thoughts. As a person thinks in their heart so they will become. Your thoughts originate in your heart.

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

Character is formed first through thoughts and then through actions. Actions form habits and habits become character.

Isaiah 55:6,7 Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

When your character is formed then it will rule over your feelings and you will no longer be tossed here and there through the ups and downs of your emotions. Your emotions will submit to your will which has been surrendered to the One whose will for your life is good. You will experience the freedom of a disciplined life and will know what it means to be truly one of His disciples. Your life will exhibit the Lord in all that you do and you will be beautiful to the world as you will bring hope because the love of God has been poured out within your heart.

Romans 5:3-5 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 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.

A Life of a Beautiful Woman

Beauty to a young lady is like wealth to a young man. If there is not the maturity to go with it then it will become a curse rather than a blessing. It will attract unscrupulous individuals and the naive young lady will be blinded and deceived by the attention her beauty brings to her. Rather than it being used for good it will become her snare if it becomes her main attraction and confidence. There is only one true confidence and that is the Lord. A beautiful young lady must learn to put her confidence in the Lord rather than in the outward appearance which she was given from the Lord.

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

If she is wise then she will want the attraction of her inner beauty of being a godly young lady to be greater than the temporary beauty of her outward attraction which will only fade with time.

II Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

A godly young lady who puts her confidence in the Lord will only become stronger and stronger as she matures. Her influence will be greater and her beauty will radiate even more as her countenance will be lifted up.

Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

The knowledge of the Lord will brighten her face as she walks with Him and gains in wisdom.

Ecclesiastes 8:1 Who is like the wise man and who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man’s wisdom illumines him and causes his stern face to beam.

Being godly, she will reach out to others and the wisdom that the Lord gives her will feed many.

Proverbs 10:21 The lips of the righteous feed many,

She will live according to God’s ways, or at least seek to know Him and walk with Him and will grow more like Him, and in doing so, will lead others to the Lord and teach others how to walk with Him. She will not only be beautiful on the inside and outside but she will shine in brilliance like the stars forever and ever.

Daniel 12:3 Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

A truly beautiful woman will realize that her beauty is like a beautiful vase and that it is what is inside the vase that gives off the sweet fragrance. The vase can only enhance what is inside but can never replace it.

Ephesians 5:2 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.

As you learn to walk in love as the Lord commanded and as He has loved you and given Himself up for you, then you too will become a fragrant aroma of the Lord in this world. As your outward beauty fades the inner beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ will grow stronger and stronger and permeate everywhere you go.

II Corinthians 2:14-16a 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; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.

There is no greater influence in the world than a beautiful woman who is filled with the Lord’s Holy Spirit and whose life represents the knowledge and love of the Lord. Her life has a power that is greater than all positions in the world and her influence will last for all eternity. Wise is the beautiful young lady who seeks to know the Lord and seeks to be like Him in every way. She will be like salt and light which changes everything that it touches.

 

A Life with Joy made Full

The Lord was filled with great joy and He wanted His joy to be made full in those who followed Him. The Christian’s life is not one of duty and obligation but one of joy and love. We joyfully serve Him out of a loving relationship with Him.

John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

Jesus served and obeyed the Father out of love and devotion and experienced great joy. He wanted this joy to be in His disciples. His joy came from living in a loving relationship with the Father and abiding in His love.

John 15:9-11 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.

How do we abide in His love so that our joy may be made full? We abide in His love by keeping His commandments. His commandment is that we love one another. His Words are an expression of His love for us and an instruction of how we are to love each other. When we keep His Words then our joy will be made full. His Word teaches us about His love and how to abide in His love and how to love others through keeping His commandments. When we abide in His Word then moment by moment He will show us His love and instruct us how to love others.

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.

When you abide in Him and His Words abide in you then you will bear much fruit. The fruit is love and joy. These are the marks of the Christian and will be the proof that you belong to Him. The word “abide” means to live. You must live in His presence and His Words must live in you. Begin by putting His Words in your heart. Memorize and meditate on them. Apply what they are telling you to do. The Lord will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. He will counsel you with His eye on you.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

As you abide in His love and live according to His commandments then your life will be filled with much joy.

 

A Life that is Not Destroyed

Sin destroys. Sin destroys our relationships with God and everyone else. The Lord is the only One who can restore us. He first restores us to a right relationship with Himself and then He starts restoring us and our relationships. He also restores us to a right relationship with His creation.

Psalm 23 1-3 The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

The Lord knows what we need for restoration. Notice that He says here that He makes you lie down in green pastures. Sometimes He will cause circumstances to allow us to be still and lie down in green pastures where it is safe and He will lead us beside quiet waters where we will find refreshment. He is your Shepherd and He says that you will not be in want, that means that He knows your needs and you will not be lacking anything that you need so don’t struggle against the circumstances but learn to accept what you can not change. He will guide you on your journey in paths of righteousness so that you will have peace, quietness and confidence, but first you need restoration. The sheep were never intended to stay in the same place.

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

As a Christian we can experience death to our soul when we sin and continue in a particular sin. Restoration comes when we confess our sins to Him, turn from our sins and He cleanses us.

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

After confession when we pray to Him we are drawing near to Him and we will experience His restoration. As He says in His Word, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

Psalm 80:3 O God, restore us And cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.

The Lord is the One who restores us in our fellowship with Him.

Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;

The Word of God is what the Lord uses to restore our soul. It is the power of God. It cleanses us.

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

Prayer and the Word of God brings restoration to our soul. Go to an older woman who you know is in a right relationship with the Lord and ask her to pray for you also if you are still struggling with a particular sin.

James 5:15,16 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.

If you are walking with the Lord and have been doing so on a consistent basis and growing in your relationship with Him then you have a responsibility to restore others in their relationship with the Lord if they are struggling with being enslaved to a sin.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

The Lord has given all of us responsibility to help each other. We need each other to help one another stay close to the Lord. We are not sinless when we become Christians but we do sin less.

James 5:19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

 

A Life that is Free of Guilt

One of the things that man can not live with is guilt. Guilt is a horrible thing that will cause us to do anything to get rid of it. The love of God draws us to Him and it is the guilt of man that drives us to Him. If we refuse to come to Him for forgiveness then we will either try to deny the guilt, bury the guilt, hide the guilt, forget the guilt or try to deny the existence of God in hopes of being free of guilt.

Genesis 3:9-11 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.” 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 Lord told Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but man ate of it. He knew that he had done wrong and felt guilty.

Ecclesiastes 7:29 Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”

The Lord made man upright and to have fellowship with Him but man chose to go his own way. The word for wanting to go your own way is iniquity. It basically means that you want to run your own life, or in other words, this is what man says in his heart, “nobody is going to tell me what to do”. We see this in toddlers as soon as they can exert their own will. We sometimes will call it the “terrible twos” but really it is our “terrible lives”. A toddler just has not learned to cover it up yet.

Proverbs 21:8 The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.

It does not say the way of a crooked man is guilty but the way of a guilty man is crooked. We are all crooked in our ways. When we see someone that makes us feel guilty then we will change our path to avoid them. Our path is no longer straight but crooked.

Psalm 18:26 With the pure You show Yourself pure,
And with the crooked You show Yourself twisted.

When we are crooked because of our guilt then we will have a twisted view of God. He will seem harsh or mean or unfair. We will not want to come to Him or obey Him. However, your view of God is not a revelation of who He is but an indication of the state of your heart. If you disagree with the Bible and your view of God is, “My God would not…” then you do not know Him correctly. He is who He is and He is a just and loving God. Sin and guilt has distorted the correct view of God in man’s eyes. How can we see who He is clearly? Everything we do is a response to our view of God. Our biggest need is to have the right view of God.

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

We need a pure heart. The Lord is the only One who can cleanse our hearts.

Psalm 51: 1-4 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

It is against the Lord first of all that we have sinned. He can and wants to cleanse us from our iniquity, that is, wanting to be our own God, and then from our particular sins, that is, the particular sins that we have committed against ourselves or others. Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who took away our sin and His death on the cross paid the price for our sins. It is because of His blood that we can have total forgiveness of our sins but we need to ask Him to forgive us. He wants to forgive us and cleanse us and restore us.

Psalm 51:10-13 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
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.

Are you struggling with guilt? Go to Him and receive His forgiveness and by faith claim what He has done for you on the cross. If you have given your life to Him then He has forgiven you of all of your sins and longs to have fellowship with you once again. Once we become His child then we are always His child but our fellowship with Him can be broken. Allow Him to restore it. After you have been restored and know the joy of your salvation once again then you will want to share Him with others for you will again see that He is good and loving and kind.

A Life that Is Sweet

There is really no other way to describe life when one is a child of God than to say that life is sweet and filled to overflowing with joy and peace. If you have never experienced this then you have only existed in life and never really lived.

John 10:10b I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

When you know the Lord and have fellowship with Him then you hear His voice. He walks with you and He talks with you and He tells you every day how much He loves you. It is even better than being “in love with someone” because the Lord never changes, He will never leave you and His love for you is unconditional and enduring.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Once Jesus Christ comes to live within you then He will never leave you. There is not anything that you can do to cause Him to leave you. Even if you were to neglect your relationship with Him, He never neglects His relationship with you. You are now “in Christ” and “Christ is in you”.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The free gift is eternal life that you receive when you receive Christ and He comes to live in you. Jesus Christ came to give you life. This life is free of guilt, regret, bitterness, unforgiveness, hate, doubt, fear and every other “negative” experience that you can think of or have experienced. Jesus Christ came to set you free so that you might have a sweet life. Taste and see that what He has to offer is good.

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

Are you disappointed? Are you lonely? Have others let you down? Come to Him and see for yourself that He is good. He will never disappoint you or let you down. There is no one else in this world that can offer that to you, but Jesus Christ can and does.

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

You must come to Him and trust Him. If you will do this then you will live and not only live in this life but for all eternity.

Psalm 22:5 To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed.

Trust is putting your faith in One who lived and died and rose again. He lives today and will come again to those who have trusted in Him. He promises to love you and does not lie. His love is as high as the heavens are above the earth. There is no limit to His love for you. You can never exhaust it and it never runs out. Come to Him and live.

Psalm 103:8-14 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.
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.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.

Are you tired of trying to find fulfillment in life? Are you weary of being disappointed? Do you ever feel that you can not ever trust anyone again? Have you been hurt deeply by those who were supposed to help you? Do you believe that love is elusive? Is happiness only in fairy tales and storybooks? Jesus Christ promises all of these things if you will come to Him. Sometimes we have to become weary of trying before we will surrender control to Him.

Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

He is faithful and He will give you rest. It is impossible for Him to lie. If He said that He would do these things then He will do it. He is gentle and He is humble and He is waiting for you to come to Him. Let go of what you have been holding onto and let Him do what only God can do and that is, He will bring salvation to you and give you life.

A Life with Friendships

A true friend is rare and is like “icing on the cake” in life. A friend is one of the sweetest gifts that the Lord gives here on earth. If you have one true friend then you are blessed and if you are a true friend to someone else then you are a blessing.

Proverbs 17:17a A friend loves at all times,

A friend is a gift and a trust that the Lord gives to people. Friends are not to be used and expectations will destroy friendships. The trust that someone else gives to you is to be guarded. They are entrusting to you their heart and soul. Prize it and you will keep it. Take it for granted and you will lose it.

Proverbs 17:9 He who conceals a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends.

Be careful who your friends are because they need to be trustworthy. Just as you need to learn to love them and overlook their sins so they need to overlook your transgressions. Both need to seek God’s love which is pure.

Proverbs 11:13 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter.

Be the friend that you want others to be to you. A true friend loves at all times and is trustworthy. A true friend will tell you the truth. A true friend will be more concerned about your relationship with the Lord than your relationship with them.

Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.

A true friend will love with a sacrificial love and you will learn as much from them as they will from you. The greatest way to have a true friend is to be a true friend. True friendship is a oneness of the soul and spirit. For this reason, a Christian can only have a true friendship with another Christian. Their friendship must be built upon the Lord Jesus Christ as He showed us what a true friend is by calling us His friend.

John 15:13-15 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. He has called us to lay down our lives for others and this is His command. As we grow in our relationship with the Lord and keep His new command that He gave to us then He will make known to us His will and His ways. If you really want to be happy then be a friend of God. He calls you to be His friend.

John 15:12 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

 

A Life with A Home

The Lord makes a home for the lonely. Loneliness is devastating and can bring us low with no one to life us up. The Lord wants all of us to have a home where we are loved and where we can love. Even if we live alone we do not have to be lonely.

Psalm 68:6 God makes a home for the lonely;
He leads out the prisoners into prosperity,
Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

The Lord will fill your home with love and joy if you allow Him to be magnified and exalted in your home. He will come to you and show you how He can use you so that He can come to others through your home. People love to come to other people’s homes. Hospitality is a ministry that is given to those who give themselves to the Lord.

Romans 12:10-13 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

You will find that as you open your home to others then the Lord will bless you and fill your home with great joy and His presence. Not only that, but you may even entertain angels without knowing it.

Hebrews 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.

As you water the lives of others then the Lord will water your life. Be generous with what the Lord has given to you. Your abundance is someone else’s need.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.

Your home may even be one of the hundred homes that the Lord has promised those who would leave everything to follow Him.

Mark 10:29,30 Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.

Wherever you are in life the Lord will meet you. He is a restorer of the paths that lead home. Often when Jesus walked on earth He sent people home once they were forgiven, healed or cleansed. You may need to go home and tell those who know you best what great things the Lord has done for you.

Mark 5:19 …but He said to him, “Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.”

As much as possible you need to be reconciled to your family. If you have been the prodigal child then go home and be restored to your parents or if a family member has something against you then go to them and be reconciled.

Matthew 5:23,24 Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

Be at peace with all men as much as it is in your ability to do so. This includes your family. You will find that broken relationships will bring emotional baggage into any future relationships and will make it more difficult to have the home that you long for.

Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

If your life has been restored to the Lord and as much as possible with others then give your home to the Lord and ask Him to use it for His glory and His purposes. Ask Him to make Himself known to others through your home and life. Ask Him to cause His name to be remembered in you and your home.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life with Relationships

Relationships help keep us from being lonely and give us worth, purpose and meaning in life. They also keep us balanced and accountable. We were made for relationships and yet many struggle with few meaningful relationships. Relationships teach us how to receive and give love and it is through relationships that the world is changed. Even if you missed out on certain relationships earlier in life it does not define your life or your ability to make relationships. Relationships must be built on the One who designed us to be in relationships.

Genesis 2:8 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

The Lord God made man and gave him life. Man became a living being because God gave him life and God is the source of all life. When God is absent in a person’s life then he only exists, rather than thrive and life life to the fullest.

Genesis 2:18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

Everything that God had done up to this point He said that it was good. However, after He formed man then He said that it is not good for man to be alone. It was not good then and it is not good now for man to be alone. Man had God but man still needed to be in a relationship with another human being. Through another human being man would find companionship, help and love. The word “helper” means literally savior and is the only time in the Bible that it is used in reference to a person. Every other time it is used in reference to God. The word “suitable” means corresponding to. God made a helper who would respond to Adam’s heart and bring him companionship. Even though Adam lived in a perfect environment and had a job to do, which was to cultivate the earth and name the animals, he still needed a helper and companion, who would respond to his heart. God made man and woman because He wanted them but God made Eve for Adam because they needed each other. Man was not made to live alone. God loved man and woman from the beginning and gave them instructions on life because He wanted them to live life to the fullest.

Genesis 2:15-18 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 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.”

The Lord knew what man needed and as long as man listened to and obeyed God then man and woman would live happily ever after. As long as they lived in their relationship with their Creator then they would be safe from any grief and the pain of death.

Genesis 3:1-7 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

Woman did not listen to the one whom God had given to protect her and Adam chose also to not obey what he knew was right and so both chose to go their own way and do their own thing apart from what God had commanded. Their relationship with God was changed and they became estranged and separated. The Lord came and they hid.

Genesis 3:8-10 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.”

Separation, death and guilt came into the world and with it fear, grief, pain and blame. When trust is gone in relationships then the relationship is changed and not the same. With broken relationships come broken hearts. With broken hearts there comes blame. Someone is responsible for the brokenness. Often we want to transfer the blame.

Genesis 3:11-13 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.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

With broken relationships come consequences which bring more sadness.

Genesis 3:16 To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”

Woman sinned first and the Lord spoke to her first. The consequences of her sin was pain in childbirth and she would desire her husband but he would rule over her.

Genesis 3:17-19 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;

Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.
“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”

Man sinned by doing what his wife wanted him to do rather than what God wanted him to do. He disobeyed God. His consequences were that the ground would be cursed because of him and there would be thorns and thistles that would make his work more difficult. He would now have to sweat things out in his work and it would not be as pleasant and enjoyable as God had designed. Man still struggles with the thorns and thistles in his occupation.

Genesis 3:22-24 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

It was God’s mercy that sent Adam and Eve out of the garden lest they eat of the tree of life and live forever in their now sinful state. Before God sent them out of the garden the Lord also gave Adam and Eve a promise of a Savior so that they might have hope and not despair.

Genesis 3:14a,15  The Lord God said to the serpent,
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

There would come from the seed of the woman a Savior who would destroy the tempter, Satan, who had brought grief to Adam and Eve. Mankind came into an awful cycle that only God could straighten out, a cycle of sin and death and with it a cycle of grief and despair. Man became brokenhearted with broken relationships.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;

The promised One who would destroy the works of the devil would also bind up the brokenhearted and heal them and heal their relationships.