A Life with Love Needs to Be Steadfast

True love is steadfast and does not change. It is not dependent on the actions of others nor is it moody or fickle. The more steadfast a love is in a relationship then the more secure the relationship is. Relationships were designed by God to reflect Him. God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

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

God is love and He is the One who pursues us with His love. Our love for Him is a response to His love for us.

We love, because He first loved us. I John 4:19

God’s love never changes. He loved us from the beginning and wanted us to love Him from the beginning. It is man that chose not to love God. Even when man rejected God’s love, God did not stop pursuing man. In fact, He wanted a relationship with man so much so that He sacrificed His only begotten Son so that man could come back into that love relationship with Him. God broke down the barriers that separated man from God’s love.

And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, Colossians 1:21,22a

God pursued man because God loved man. God has pursued each one of us through Jesus Christ. He still pursues a relationship with us. His love does not change. His love is steadfast. It is His unchanging love that makes us feel secure so that we can respond to Him. When we respond to His love and our mind is steadfast in Him, trusting in Him always, then we will live in His love and peace.

The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

When we respond to His love and our heart is steadfast in Him, trusting in Him, then we will not fear hearing bad news. We will not be anxious.

He will not fear evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7

In every love relationship there is a pursuer and a responder. In the love relationship between a man and a woman the man is the pursuer and the woman is the responder. The more the man’s love is pure and steadfast then the more the woman is free to respond. She will feel secure and will learn to trust the man. A man’s love for a woman can only be steadfast if he is secure in his relationship with the Lord and his heart is steadfast towards God. Just as we have to learn to trust the Lord and respond to Him so a woman needs to learn to trust a man and respond to the man that she will one day marry. For this reason, it is important that the female not initiate towards the young man who is pursuing her. When she does not hear from him then she is to learn to wait and trust. If he loves her then he will continue to pursue her. If his love is not a steadfast love then she needs to wait on the Lord for the Lord to work in the young man’s heart or to wait on the Lord for the man of God’s own choosing if he is not the one for her. She needs to learn to wait and respond and not to take matters into her own hands and initiate towards him or do anything else to try to get him to give her the attention she desires. The only way that she can do this is if her heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:17,18

When the relationship between a man and a woman is done right then there is love and the relationship stays pure. The relationship is also filled with mercy and good fruits. It does not waver but is steadfast and it is filled with peace.

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

The Lord loves us and love gives us a choice. We can choose Jesus Christ and choose to live according to His wisdom and understanding or we can scoff, which means we do not act on what God says. When we choose to follow Jesus Christ the outcome will be good and the gentleness of wisdom will be seen.

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. James 3:13

When we scoff then we choose to pursue our own ambitions rather than pursue the Lord and His ways. The outcome of scoffers will be seen in the brokenness and pain in their relationships. When relationships are not done right then there is jealousy, disorder and every evil thing. There will come much grief to both the young man and the young woman. It destroys not only their lives but brings grief and destruction to those who are affected by their own selfish ambitions.

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. James 3:14-16

A Life with Love Does Not Disgrace

To disgrace someone is the opposite of giving someone grace. Love is gracious and so to disgrace someone is to not show them love but to shame them. To shame someone is to make their sins and shortcomings known but grace covers up the sin of others and their shame. God is gracious and showed Adam and Eve grace from the very beginning after they had sinned. Because of their sin they were filled with shame and were afraid so they did themselves from God.

Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” Genesis 3:9.10

Sin brings shame and disgrace.

Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to people. Proverbs 14:34

Our conscience bears witness against us when we sin and although we try to rationalize it or hide it we still know that what we have done is wrong. When the nonChristian appears before God for judgment then it will be their own conscience that will bear witness against them. The Lord knows not only everything that we have done but also the secrets of our heart. Nothing is hidden from Him.

For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. Romans 2:14-16

Sin also brings fears and even though we may try to bury our fears and forget them they still will resurface at times. When the Lord takes away our sin then He also takes our fears. Adam and Eve were fearful and ashamed because of their sin.

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21

The Lord was gracious and full of compassion for Adam and Eve. He knew they were naked and afraid and so He spoke to them and provided for them by clothing them.

the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. James 5:11b

When Jesus came into the world, He came to show us what God was like and to show us God’s love. Jesus Christ was full of grace and truth.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Just as disgrace and shame are the same so grace and love are the same. Grace is the expression of love and love covers sin. God loved us by sending Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, to take away our sin and to cover our sin through His death on the cross for us, which was the expression of God’s love and grace.

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8

When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior then all of our sins are taken away, even the secret sins of our hearts. We are forgiven and our sins are covered, never to be made known and our conscience is cleansed before God. This is how God has loved us and this is how He wants us to love one another.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. I John 4:11

One aspect of the definition of righteousness is doing life right and living according to God’s ways. When Joseph thought that Mary had been unfaithful to him, he was hurt and could not take her as his wife, but Joseph, being a “righteous” man desired to send her away secretly, rather than shame her publicly.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. Matthew 1:18,19

Just as sin is a disgrace to any people so also righteousness exalts a person. When we live and love according to God’s ways then others will see Jesus Christ in us. When a marriage is filled with God’s love then there will be much grace shown to the other and sins will be covered up rather than made known to others. To love is to be like God and when we are like God then we will love. God is love and love is what defines the Christian and the Christ centered marriage and family.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34,35

A Life that Chooses Good Friends

You will become like your friends therefore the most important decisions that you make in life after choosing the Lord Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior is who will be your friends. Choose good friends and you life will be blessed. Choose bad friends and your life will be filled with grief. This is one of the most profound choices that you will make in life. The companions with whom you walk through life will influence your other decisions.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Choose only to be with wise men and run from fools. A fool is someone who lives as if there is no God. They may even say that they believe in God but if they are living as if there is no God then they are living like a fool. Run from them.

Psalms 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
There is no one who does good.

All of us came into the world with a foolish heart. We must turn away from our foolish ways and turn to the Lord with all of our heart. Don’t look at what a person says but at what they do. It is by their deeds that people distinguish themselves.

Proverbs 20:11 It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself
If his conduct is pure and right.

In the same way, the kind of friends that you attract will be the kind of people whom you are attracted to. Is your life pure and right? It is not only by their deeds that a person distinguishes himself but also by his type of speech.

Proverbs 22:11 He who loves purity of heart
And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.

Choose only friends who desire a pure heart. Those who want their heart to be pure will be discerning about where their eyes go and what their ears hear. What goes into  the heart of a man is what comes out of him and what comes out through his mouth is what defiles him.

Mark 7:20 And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man.

It is those who have a pure heart who will see Jesus.

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

Our greatest need in life is to see God for all that we do in life is a response to our view of God. If our view is right then our conduct will be upright. If our view of God is twisted then we will be crooked in our ways. If we choose friends who do not know God or do not see Him then they will lead us astray and we will forget our God.

I Corinthians 15:33 Do not let anyone fool you. Bad people can make those who want to live good become bad.

Choose good friends and choose to be a good friend to others. Friendship means speaking the truth in love.

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

If your friends are good then they will point you to Jesus and help you stay on the right path. Sometimes they might tell you what you don’t want to hear but it is much better than to have friends who will always tell you what you “want” to hear. Our hearts are deceitful so we need others in our lives who will help us in our times of weakness and temptation. The temptations will pass and the blessings will follow if we are faithful.

Proverbs 27:9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.

 

 

 

 

A Life Strong In Storms of Life

Sometimes the people you least expect will suddenly fail in life. Most people have a fear of failing. Is there anything that you can do to build a solid life that endures the hardships and storms of life? Trouble comes to all of us and many of the struggles will test us and either strengthen or destroy.

Job 5:7 For man is born for trouble,
As sparks fly upward.

If storms and hardships are inevitable then what can be done to ensure that our lives, marriages and children will make it through safely. Just as in areas where storms and hurricanes come at intervals, there are people who prepare and there are people who do not prepare. The time to prepare for the storms are before they come just as in real life, it is too late once the storm is upon you. The Lord tells the story of two men who built their houses. One house lasted and the other was destroyed.

Luke 6:47-48 Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.

The first man came to the architect and designer of the house to be built and listened to Him. Then the builder did what He told him to do and then built his house according to the blueprint that was given to him. He did exactly according the instructions that he was given and his house stood strong during the good times and the bad times.

Luke 6:48 But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”

The second man did not come, as noted of the first man, but he did hear but did not do according to what he heard. He did what he thought was best. When the storm came and the torrent burst against that house then immediately it collapsed. The ruin of that house was great. Great will be the ruin of your life if you do not listen to the Master Designer and build your house according to His plans and on the right foundation.

I Corinthians 3:11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

There is only one correct foundation for any life and that is Jesus Christ. Then we must be careful that we build upon it according to the Word of God.

I Corinthians 3:10b But each man must be careful how he builds on it.

We need to build our life on the foundation of Jesus Christ. This means that before we can correctly build our life we must have Jesus Christ in our life as our Lord and Savior. Then He will instruct us each day how to build our life. What decisions to make and how to get to where we need to go. If we will do this then we will not fear when the storm comes and we will not have regrets. He will give us the grace for what we need to do so that we do it right trfg.

I Corinthians 3:10a According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation

Be wise and do it right and you will be blessed. Your spouse will be blessed if you get married and your children will be blessed if the Lord gives you children. You will be a blessing to many and your life will bring comfort and joy to others.

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.

Don’t live your life in vain. Let the Lord build it and you be faithful to do exactly according to what He says.

Psalm 127:1a Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;

Just as Job said earlier that man is born for trouble, you too will be able to say as Job said that the friendship of God is over your house, that is, if you build your life on God’s Word.

Job 29:4b When the friendship of God was over my tent;

 

A Life as A Friend of God

One of the most amazing aspects about the Lord is His offer for a friendship with Him. A friendship with God…can there be anything greater? Yet, He says He will be our Friend and we can be His friend. There are two necessary requirements to be His friend. However, before we can be His friend we must be forgiven, otherwise our sin separates us from fellowship with Him.

Colossians 1:13,14 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

We have forgiveness only in Jesus Christ and once we receive Him as our Lord and Savior then we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of Jesus Christ. He becomes our King, Shepherd, Friend, Lord and Savior and we become His friend. He is our King, which means that He rules in our life and we are subject to Him. He is our Shepherd, which means that He will guide us and we will hear His voice and follow Him. He is our Friend because He laid down His life for us. He is our Lord, which means that He is Lord of our life and we are to obey Him. He is our Savior, which means that He has saved us from the penalty and power of sin and we are forever grateful to Him for saving us eternally as well as saving us every day. He also allows us to be His friend. There are two characteristics of a friend of God. The first characteristic is that a friend of Jesus Christ rejoices when he/she hears His voice.

John 3:29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full.

Do you get great joy when you hear His voice? The Lord promises us that we will hear His voice. If you are not hearing His voice either you do not belong to Him as one of His sheep or you are not His friend.

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

The second characteristic of a friend of God is that they will keep His commandments.

John 15:12-14 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 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.

We can not be a friend to all if we are a friend of God. We can not have a friendship with the world if we want to be a friend of God.

James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Friendship with the world is spiritual adultery and is hostility toward God. If you wish to be a friend of the world then you make yourself to be an enemy of God and the love of God is not in you.

I John 2:15-17 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 world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

The word “lust” simply means desire. Do you desire the things of the flesh and the eyes? Is the boastful pride of life important to you? Do you care what others think of you or do you only care what your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ thinks of you? Ask the Lord to help you if these are struggles with you. Do you get upset over the things of the world?

Psalm 75:25-28 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

 

A Life that is Be-Loved

You are the Lord’s beloved and He is your Beloved and the One whom you delight in if you belong to Him.

Song of Solomon 6:3 “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,
He who pastures his flock among the lilies.”

Just as the shepherd loves the sheep and little lambs and would sometimes carry them on his shoulders so the Lord also, who is your Good Shepherd, carries you between His shoulders because you are His beloved. He wants you to be loved by Him.

Deuteronomy 33:12 …“May the beloved of the Lord dwell in security by Him, Who shields him all the day, And he dwells between His shoulders.”

The Lord wants you to know with all of your heart that He is your Savior and will save His beloved. He will save you and will answer you.

Psalm 108:6 That Your beloved may be delivered, Save with Your right hand, and answer me!

Just as Jesus was the Beloved of the Father so you are Jesus’ beloved.

Mark 1:11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

Being is more important than doing. We need to be right with the Lord before we can do what is right. Doing what is right must come after being in a love relationship with the Lord, otherwise, we will seek to earn God’s love. Doing is a response to being. If you belong to Christ then you are His Beloved and He wants you to be-loved by Him before you do…whatever good works he has for you. The Father was well pleased with Jesus before Jesus began His earthly ministry. You too, must learn to be-loved by Him so that whatever you “do” is an overflow of who you are in Christ. If you belong to Him then there is nothing you can do to cause Him to love you more. He wants you to rest in His love and learn to be-loved by Him. If we struggle in believing that He really loves us then we will struggle in loving Him back.

I John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.

All that we do should be in response to His love for us. All that we do is an expression of His great love. There is no greater love than this, to lay down your life for your friends. He laid down His life for you so that you can lay down your life for others so that others may see Christ in you.

John 15:12,13 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

Do you need to know His love more? To the degree that you love others is to the degree that you have experienced His love for you.

I John 3:16,17 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

 

A Life that Is Nourished and Fed

Jesus Himself said that “man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”. Man does need far more than physical food. We need spiritual food to nourish our soul and spirit.

Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”

Jesus was validating the Bible as the Word of God when He quoted this Scripture. All Scripture is inspired by God. This means that it is God breathed and that the Lord breathed His Words into the men that He called to record what they had seen and heard.

II Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

God’s Word is profitable. If we do not know His Word then we will be mistaken about certain things.

Matthew 22:29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.

If you are a Christian then you need to know God’s Word. It is your life because Jesus and the Word of God are equal because the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The Lord will open your mind to understand the Word. If you are seeking Him you will find Him through His Word.

Luke 24:45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

The Word testifies to who Jesus is…the only begotten Son of God who came forth from God and dwelt among man. He always has been and always will be. He is God Himself. He died and rose again and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus is all through the Bible, from the beginning to the end.

Luke 24:27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

However, you must have a hunger for the Word of God. You can not make someone eat if they are not hungry. Just as physically there are things that increase our appetite and there are things that decrease our appetite. If you obey the Word that the Lord has given you then you will want more. If you have not obeyed the Lord in what He has spoken to you about then you will not want more. If there is known sin in your life it will diminish your hunger for His Word.

I Peter 2:1-3 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

His Word is sweet and it is good for you. Living by faith according to His Word is living in the promised land. It is a life of milk and honey. You will thrive spiritually if you consistently feed on His Word. You will be a defeated Christian if you do not stay in His Word.

James 1:21.22 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

Put aside all that is impure and displeasing to the Lord. It is filthiness and wickedness. Don’t minimize what you see or hear. Put it aside so that you may long for His sweet Words. They will save your soul and you will find great delight and comfort in your life. He will come to you as He said that if you draw near to Him that He will draw near to you.

Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.

If you have never known the sweetness of abiding in His presence and His presence abiding in you then now is a great time to start. The Lord is good and His Words are good. You will be glad if you feast on His Words and you will be satisfied.

 

A Life that Loves People

If you love God then you will love people because God loves people. He loves everyone. The Bible says that He is good to the evil and the good.

Matthew 5:45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

If you are His child then you will want to become like Him.

I John 3:1-3 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

When we see Him we will be like Him but before that happens we are in the process of becoming like Him, which means we are being conformed into His likeness while on earth.

Romans 6:5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

His destiny for us is to become like Him.

Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

It is through knowing Him that we become conformed to His death, His resurrection and His life.

Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;

Jesus is the Word and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. God uses His Word to transform us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

His Word becomes alive in us and replaces our old though patterns and habits.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Just as Jesus did not come to do His own will but the will of the Father, in the same way, we also are not to do our will but the will of God.

John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

Just as Jesus prayed in the garden, “not My will but Thy will be done”, we too are to pray the same and desire that His will would be done.

Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

Jesus also taught His disciples to pray in the same way, that His will would be done.

Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

When you choose to follow Jesus. He will be your Lord and it is His will that becomes of utmost importance. This is what it means to die to yourself. You are dying to your will and living to do His will. This is truly the only way that you can love people. It is the way that Jesus loved you by going to the cross for you. He chose the will of the Father.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

God so loved you so that you too might love others with the same kind of love. What amazing love!

A Life that Lives Out Love

The Lord is perfect in all of his ways. He is so good to us because He always gives us a free choice. When we become a Christian we do not have to love Him. However, when we experience His unfathomable love for us why would we not want to love Him with all of our heart, soul and mind?

I John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

When we become a Christian the Lord sets us free. He does not set us free to do what we want but He sets us free to do as we ought. We can still become enslaved again or we can live in the freedom that He paid for with His blood.

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

When we live according to the flesh then we become a slave again to sin.

Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

God’s grace is what enables us to live in obedience to Him and to remain free. God’s grace became available to us through the cross. Do not allow the free choices you have to turn the grace of God into licentiousness.

Jude 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Don’t allow your freedom or liberty in Christ, which is your freedom to choose, become a stumbling block because you want to indulge your flesh.

I Corinthians 8:9 But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

If you love someone with the love of Christ then you will be more concerned about their relationship with the Lord than your own pleasures and indulgences. If you love the Lord then you will love His children.

I John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

It is by our love for one another that the world will know that we are His disciples.

John 13:34.35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 

 

A Life that is Helped and Helps

We all need to help and to be helped. We need to help each other stay on God’s path. We need each other and the Lord has provisions for us. There are three layers of relationships that ladies need to help them stay on God’s path and do what is right.

Hebrew 13:7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the outcome of their way of life, imitate their faith.

The top layer are those whom you look up to and respect. If you can have a loving relationship with this person then that is great but sometimes it may be someone you admire from a distance whose life inspires you. However, you definitely need some people in the upper layer who love you and will pray for you and keep you accountable. This person sees your needs and wants to see you grow in the Lord. Find people who are growing in their relationship with the Lord whom you want to be like and you want to go where they are going in life. Be careful who you aspire to be like because you will become like the person you allow to teach you. Choose godly women who love the Lord. Look at the fruit in their lives.

Luke 6:40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

The second layer are the friends that you choose. This layer will love you and want to be with you. Both of you agree that you want to be faithful to the Lord, which means that you want to be faithful to honor your parents or husband, or you both want to be faithful in school or on the job.

Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, unless they be agreed?”

You both want to follow the Lord and you stimulate one another to do that very thing. You will stick with each other through thick and thin, no matter what the circumstances.

Proverbs 18: 24 …there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

You also want your closest friends to be wise people who seek the Lord, fear and respect Him and want to be a disciple of Jesus. A wise person lives each day as though it is his last so that he will be ready to meet the Lord.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

A fool lives as if there is no God.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

Who you choose as your friends is one of the most important decisions you will make in life. Choose right and you will treasure them and you will bless each other. Choose wrong and you will end up in situations you never intended to be and you will go places you never wanted to go. A true friend is more concerned about your relationship with the Lord than your relationship with them.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times,

The last layer is the bottom layer and this layer are the girls or young ladies who look up to you. This layer keeps you on the straight and narrow because you do not want to disappoint them. Often they think that you can do no wrong. Of course you know the truth about yourself but they truly believe the best in you. Also, this layer is important because the Lord tells us to reach out to others and especially to those who can not pay you back. The Lord Himself will make sure that your life is watered if you water others.

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

The Lord Himself was like this.

Philippians 2:3-5 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

If you are missing a layer then ask the Lord to provide and then seek out opportunities to meet people. This principle is seen in life with grandparents, parents and children. Also, Jesus looked to the Father and had the disciples, especially Peter, James and John as friends and reached out to the multitude.

An easy way to remember this is to call it the “oreo” principle. (If you like oreo cookies.) The top layer are those who love you in spite of your faults and the bottom layer are those who love you but do not see your faults. Then the sweet stuff in the middle are your friends who see the good, the bad and the ugly but who love you anyway and who will be there for you. Can it get any better? How is your “oreo” principle?