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 Filled with Much Joy

Joy is the expression of the happiness that is within and when one is filled with joy then they are energized and excited about life. Joy is the sweetness that comes from being in the presence of God and knowing that He is real. Joy comes from having prayers answered and seeing the Lord work on one’s behalf. Joy is amazing and when we have it there is nothing that can compare with the true joy that God gives to His children. The world can only offer cheap substitutes that try to mimic the true joy of the Lord but there is no comparison.

Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

The joy of the Lord will strengthen you and will cause you to want to give to others in need. The joy of the Lord allows you to do far more than you would do on your own and in doing so your joy will only be increased. Your joy will become other’s joy.

Psalm 16:11 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.

When you walk and live in His presence then you will know the fullness of joy. Guard your relationship with the Lord and see that nothing quenches the Spirit in your life. Be quick to ask forgiveness so that you will be cleansed from your sin and can continue to walk with Him.

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.

He wants unbroken fellowship with you. Draw near to Him and the Lord will draw near to you.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Who is the one who will live in His presence? It is the one who keeps clean hands and a pure heart.

Psalm 24:3-6 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
And who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive a blessing from the Lord
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face—even Jacob.

Seek the Lord and His face continually. You will find that as you do this then your life will overflow with joy. Whatever little sin or pleasure there is that would quench His Spirit in your life is not worth the loss of His presence. Guard your heart with all diligence for from it flows the springs of life and you will find that these springs of life are ones filled with great joy.

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

Then your soul will sing and out of your innermost being will flow the springs of joy because the Lord will be your joy and your joy will be in Him.

Psalm 87:7 Then those who sing as well as those who play the flutes shall say,
“All my springs of joy are in you.”

A Life that Is Filled with Happiness

The Lord designed for man to be happy. A life filled with happiness is one that has much joy and gladness, peace and contentment, prosperity and success, thankfulness and praise, faith and hope, and above all love. This is what the Lord desired for man to experience but man messed up by sinning by wanting to go his own way and do his own thing. As a result happiness left him and sorrow took its place. God came down to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to restore man to God’s design for him. If man will put himself back in God’s hands then not only will he be restored in a relationship with God but happiness will replace sorrow.

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 thief is the devil and he came to destroy. If we will listen to the Lord and tune out the devil’s lies then we will experience that abundant life that God designed. Our life will be filled with happiness. Our home will be filled with happiness when we live according to His plan. He came to bring love, joy, peace and many other manifestations of who He is.

Galatians 5:22,23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

When we receive Jesus Christ into our life the Spirit comes to live in us and He produces the happiness that becomes a part of of our lives. As we learn to live in the Spirit and walk in the Spirit then we will experience the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

The devil uses our flesh to rob us of the joy, peace and love that God intended and wanted us to know. The fruit of the flesh is what will destroy your happiness, your life, your home and everything else that is precious to you.

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Are there any of these things in your life? Are you immoral and having a physical relationship with someone whom you are not married to? Do you look at impure things on the internet or are your thoughts continually impure from what you have seen or done in the past? Do you dress in such a way that brings attention to your body? What about idolatry? Do you desire anything more than the Lord Jesus Christ? He alone is God and He alone is worthy of our heart, devotion and worship. What about sorcery? Do you read the horoscope or seek guidance where the Lord said not to? What about enemies? Is there strife in your life? Jealousy also is like a poison and will destroy relationships. Do you ever have an outburst of anger? Love and anger can not reside in the same person. Disputes, dissensions and factions are the opposite of unity. Do you envy or can you sincerely rejoice in another person’s success? Drunkenness and carousing is another way of saying that a person is living for the weekend when they can have fun through partying etc. or even drinking and partying at sports events? If these describe you then your life will be filled with much sorrow for it is only a matter of time before you will reap what you sow.

Galatians 6:7,8 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.

God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows then that is what he will reap. If you walk in the flesh and carry out the desire of the flesh then your life will experience corruption and destruction. If you sow to the Spirit then you will from the Spirit experience life. The Lord came to show us the way to life. If you will follow His instructions then your life will overflow with much love, joy, peace, gladness, contentment, prosperity, success, thankfulness, praise, faith and hope.

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 Does the Necessary

Most lives get messed up when their priorities are out of line. The only way our priorities will be what they ought to be is if Jesus Christ is our Lord. We can not run our own lives without problems. If you want to be happy then you must have Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and do what He says. He is good and He loves you. He will remove your guilt and fears and will give you the stability, purpose and meaning in life that you desire. He created you and knows all about you even more than you know about yourself.

Psalm 139:1-3 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

If you will let Him be Lord in your life and allow Him to direct your steps then He will take you where you want to go. Deep within us there is a longing to belong and to be in our niche and yet most people do not know what they want or where they belong until they get there and then there is a sweet contentment that comes from being where He designed for us to fit. However, the contentment comes from Him being first in our lives and then our place in life being second. He chose His disciples first to be with Him and then to preach. He has chosen you first to be with Him in a relationship.

Mark 3:13,14 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him.And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach

The Lord has called us to first be with Him and then to serve Him. Our service for Him should be an overflow of our fellowship with Him. No matter what He has called you to do it is service to Him. He wants us to do our work as unto Him. Service to Him is not just for those who are in a Christian ministry. Many of the godly men and women that God used in the Bible did other vocations that were not necessarily spiritual, but He used them because their heart was right with Him and their priorities were in order.

Luke 10:38-42 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

If we don’t have our priorities in order, in spending time with the Lord, sitting at His feet and listening to His Word then we can easily start becoming anxious and bothered about unnecessary things. The Lord said that only one thing is necessary and that is spending time with Him and listening to His Word. This may sound simple but if you have not tried it then why don’t you try it? Try spending more time with the Lord than what you thought you could. You will find great joy if you soak up His Words into your heart. Your heart will become His more than ever before and you will see Him act on your behalf.

II Chronicles 16:9a For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.

He will accomplish what concerns you and He will use you to accomplish what concerns Him.

Psalm 138:8 The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

 

A Life with Lovingkindness

A life with lovingkindness is a sweet life indeed. How much better it is to have a heart filled with love rather than a heart filled with bitterness, hate, anger, rage and the many other emotions and passions that can destroy our lives. How do we have a life filled with lovingkindness?

Lamentations 3:22, 23 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

The word lovingkindness describes who the Lord is and what He does. His lovingkindnesses never cease and His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Did you have a bad day yesterday? Today does not have to be bad at all because it is filled with the lovingkindness of the Lord.

Joel 2:13 And rend your heart and not your garments.” Now return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil.

To know and experience the lovingkindness of the Lord then we must come to Him. He tells us to not worry about changing our clothes but that we need to change our hearts. We need to change the direction of our hearts and quit trying to live life out on our own and live according to His lovingkindness. He is gracious, that means that He is full of grace. He is compassionate, which means that His love and concern for you compels His to act. He is not passive in His love and concern. He is slow to anger and abounds in lovingkindness. He does not give us what we deserve but wants to bless us. He relents of the evil that we should experience because of our wanting to go our own way and in the direction we wanted to go rather than come 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.”

You must come to God to experience His lovingkindness. Life becomes wearisome apart from Him and we become heavy laden. His lovingkindness gives us rest for our souls and refreshes our hearts.

Daniel 9:4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,

The experience His lovingkindness on a continual basis then you must keep His commandments. He loves you regardless but you will not feel or experience His love apart from keeping His commandments. If you do not obey His commandments then it won’t be long before you will feel that He is has left you and forsaken you. That is an awful feeling and can negatively affect your life and actions. Security comes from living in His love and His truth.

John 14:21 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.

The more you experience His love then the more you want to love Him. The more you love Him then the more you will experience His love. It is a wonderful cycle to be in and is the way life was meant to be lived. If you have gotten off of this cycle or never been on it then come to Him today and ask Him to restore you to Himself.

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.

Be honest with the Lord and tell Him where you are at the moment if you are struggling with wondering if He loves you or if you have not been experiencing His love recently. He forgives and cleanses and restores.

 

A Life with Favor

There is such a thing as favor and it is like sunshine on our lives. Favor is when things go well and we are happy. When we experience favor it lifts us from the darkness of discouragement and depression. Favor energizes us and is like gas in our emotional tank and is like oil in the gears to help things go more smoothly. Without favor life can be rough and hard. How do we receive and experience favor in life? Where does favor come from? Favor comes from God and from man.

Psalm 5:12 For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord,
You surround him with favor as with a shield.

The Lord surrounds as with a shield those who receive favor. It is the Lord who blesses the righteous person with favor. Righteousness is walking and living according to God’s ways. The Lord gives His righteousness to those who receive Him and He wants them to display His righteousness to the world so that others might see and learn God’s ways.

Psalm 147:11 The Lord favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness.

The Lord favors those who fear Him. We are stubborn and don’t often want to do life God’s way. We want to go our own way and the result is much pain and grief. The Lord favors those who wait on His lovingkindness. The opposite of waiting on the Lord is taking matters into our own hands and doing it “our way”. We may get what we want but we will receive sorrow with it. Manipulation is also not waiting on the Lord. Pray and wait for His lovingkindness.

Psalm 44:3 For by their own sword they did not possess the land,
And their own arm did not save them,
But Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence,
For You favored them.

It is not by our strength that we gain victory and receive salvation but it is because He favors us and it is by His strength and His presence that sees us through to victory.

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.

The Lord wants us to learn to walk in His ways. His is kind in all His deeds and all His ways are truth. When we learn to live according to His ways then we will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.

Psalm 145:17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds.

The Lord is good and he wants us to do good. The Lord is truth and He wants us to walk in truth. The Lord is kind and loving and He wants us to be the same. We are secure in life because of His kindness, love and His truth. Truth never changes. Moods, emotions, feelings, likes and dislikes all change but the Lord never changes because He is truth. The more we walk in love and truth the more others will trust us. We will not be in a constant state of change and people will not be anxious when they are around you.

Ecclesiastes 12:13,14 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

When we fear God and keep His commandments then we will walk in His love and truth and we will receive favor from God and man. This is the standard by which the Lord will judge all that we do, whether it is good or evil. The standard of good and evil is not what we think of as good or evil but it is according to God’s standards of good and evil.

Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.

Ezra set his heart to study the word of God and to practice it. The Lord wants us to do the same.

II Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

The outcome will be the favor of God on your life.

Proverbs 11:27 He who diligently seeks good seeks favor,
But he who seeks evil, evil will come to him.

It is when we diligently seek the Lord that we will find Him and in finding Him we will learn what it means to do good, for only God is good. When we find the Lord then we find life and we receive the favor of God.

Proverbs 8:35 For he who finds me finds life And obtains favor from the Lord.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Begins Marriage Right

The beginning of marriage starts before you even meet the person that you are to marry. This may sound a little strange but most, if not all, of the problems in marriage are the weeds of the seeds that were planted before marriage. How much easier it is to only plant good plants with good fruit in our marriage rather than to allow the seeds of weeds or plants with bad fruit to be sown. We all reap what we sow.

Galatians 6:7-9 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.

There are three enemies of a great marriage. These three enemies will destroy the love that God designed. A great marriage can be the closest experience to heaven if done God’s way. The Lord designed for marriage to be the closest picture of God’s love.

I John 2:15,16 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

The word “lust” literally means desire. When we lust for something then we are simply desiring something that is outside of God’s will. God’s will is perfect and His love is perfect. When we succumb to a lust then we have given in to a desire that is not a part of His will and it will bring destruction to our lives and the lives of those around us. A great marriage is made of two people who have learned to not give in to the lust of the flesh or the lust of the eyes. They also have recognized the deceitfulness and emptiness of the boastful pride of life. These three things will destroy love in a marriage but they must be dealt with in a person’s life before they are married. We take into a marriage who we are. If we have failed in these areas then we are taking into our marriage the seeds of failure that will reap a marriage without true love or respect. You can not keep covered up who you are in your heart.

James 1:12-17 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

It is through learning to persevere under the trials of life that our character is formed. Blessed in the man or woman and blessed will be their marriage if they have learned before marriage to flee from temptation and to turn to the Lord with all of their heart to receive His grace to do life right. If you can seek Jesus Christ and learn to walk in His ways before marriage then your marriage will be a picture of life rather than death. If you give into your lusts before marriage then you will be greatly tempted after marriage and it is you, yourself who will bring about the death of your marriage. Marriage is a gift from the Lord that He wants to give to His children but it must be done God’s way.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 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.

The Lord is perfect in all His ways and there is nothing to add to it and nothing to take from it. God has so worked that we should fear and honor Him. He is good and His love is perfect. When you do marriage God’s way then you will praise Him for His good and perfect gift.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

It is most important to remember than you can only have a great marriage through Jesus Christ alone. He is the One who designed marriage and He is the One who will give you the strength and wisdom in how to do marriage right. If you did not start marriage right then He will help you if you turn to Him with all of your heart. Where sin, which is giving into lust, abounds His grace and love abounds all the more. There is no life and no marriage that is beyond His grace and mercy.

Romans 5:20b,21 but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Just as when sin reigns in a person’s life there will be death when grace reigns in a person’s life then there will be righteousness, or in other words, the life and marriage will be done right with the outcome of life. However, the grace, righteousness and life is only through Jesus Christ.

 

A Life of A Great Marriage

A great marriage is God’s design for His children if it is His will for them to be married. He came that we might have an abundant life and part of that abundant life is an abundant marriage if marriage is a part of that life.

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

It is the devil who comes only to steal, kill and destroy and he will do that not only in your life but in your marriage if you let him. The Bible says to resist the devil and he will flee from you.

James 4:6-8 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

The first step to having a great marriage is to realize and acknowledge that you can not do it on your own. We all need God’s grace and the way to get God’s grace and help is to humble yourself before the Lord. He gives grace to the humble. He opposes the proud. Pride says that “I can do it on my own and I can do it my way.” When you humble yourself before the Lord then you are resisting the devil who whispers in your ear that “you have got this and don’t need the Lord”. Cleanse your hands means that you need to take it out of your hands and put it in the hands of the Lord by giving it to Him. Purify your hearts means that you can not be double minded, but single minded by being fully surrendered to the Lord. A double minded person is one who can not decide how to do something. Should they do it “this way or that way”. A pure heart says that you want only to do it God’s way. When we are fully surrendered to the Lord and put our marriage or future marriage in God’s hands then He will show us His ways and give us His grace. God’s ways are God’s wisdom and He will give to all who ask Him if they are not double minded.

James 1:5-8 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

So, the beginning of a great marriage is to ask God for wisdom. Don’t lean on your own understanding but trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Faith is trusting in the Lord and asking Him for wisdom is an expression of that faith. He wants to help you and direct you. His ways are perfect and He is good.

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.

If you will build your marriage on God’s wisdom then it will be firmly established and will be able to endure the storms of life. The days will be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. Your marriage and home will be a refuge to you and all who enter.

Proverbs 24:3,4 By wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
And by knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.