A Life with Love is Being Accepted

All of us long to be accepted for who we are rather than for what we can accomplish or for what we have or for any other superficial reason. Deep down we know that we will ultimately lose sometime even if we have won a million times and that what we have gained we can lose. Everything that is temporal is superficial and most of which was beyond our control. We had no choice what country we were born in, who our parents are, our physical appearance or intelligence or talents or status in this world. If we focus on these attributes that we have been given then we become even more insecure because no matter how “whatever” someone is they know that someone will come along who is prettier, or smarter, or more athletic or “whatever” it is that we have been praised for or have sought after. Everyone is basically insecure on the inside and think that something more will make us “feel secure”. Eve thought that if she ate of the forbidden fruit then she would be wiser.

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. Genesis 3:6

All of these temptations are illusions. They will not make you wiser nor will you feel more secure nor even feel better. They certainly will not make you accepted more. There have been many women who have fallen into the trap that “if only” they could change “this” or “that” then they would be accepted or “when” they get “this” or “that” then they will feel secure. It is not so and it will never be. However, there is something very attractive about a person who is secure in exactly who they are and that they do not need someone else to give them their security and that they have accepted themselves for what they have and are not constantly seeking for more. The person who is secure does not feel the need to control others or to manipulate. Blessed is the man who finds a wife who is secure.

I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. John 17:23

One of the most amazing truths in the Scripture is that God, the Father loves His children, those who believe in Jesus Christ, with the same love that He loves Jesus. How can this be? Jesus never sinned and we have all sinned. The Bible says that our righteousness is as filthy rags. The filthy rag is one that stinks. Our sin stinks and we are sinners.

For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; Isaiah 64:6

However, when we become one of His sheep He loves us as His own. The only way this happens is because when we become a Christian we receive the righteousness of Christ. He takes our filthiness and He gives us His sweet fragrance.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10

This is best illustrated in the Shepherd who cares for the sheep. When a lamb becomes orphaned because it’s mother dies the Shepherd takes the lamb and finds a nursing ewe who has lost it’s little lamb and covers the orphaned lamb with the skin of the dead lamb. The nursing ewe, who normally will have nothing to do with a lamb not her own, smells the sweet smell of her own little lamb and adopts the live orphaned lamb as her own and cares for it and nurses it until it can survive on its own. In a similar way, Jesus covers us with His robe of righteousness and that is what God, the Father sees in us sinners, the righteousness of Jesus Christ and He fully accepts us as His own and loves us with the same love with which He loves Jesus.

Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. Romans 15:7

The only way that we can love another with perfect acceptance is when we realize that we are fully accepted by God. The only way that two people will feel secure in their relationship is when they are secure in their relationship with the Lord. There is nothing that we can do to be accepted by God other than to be “in Christ” and to be covered with His righteousness. Righteousness is doing it right all of the time and we have all failed. We have no righteousness of our own but those who belong to Jesus Christ have been declared righteous in the eyes of God because of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ never failed to do what is right. We are loved with the same love that Jesus is loved with and we are accepted into the family of God and into heaven because of Jesus Christ and that He has given His righteousness to us and taken our filthy rags.

A Life with Love is Faithfulness

One of the greatest gifts that you can give to someone whom you love is faithfulness. Faithfulness is being faithful in every area of your life. A faithful person will be a faithful spouse and parent. Love and trust is built on faithfulness. Faithfulness is learned from the only One who is truly faithful.

This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23

We can learn to trust and love God because He alone is faithful. We have hope because of Him. His lovingkindnesses and His compassions are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. II Timothy 2:13

His faithfulness is not based on our faithfulness. He is faithful because that is who He is. It is through Him that we learn to be faithful. The only way that we will ever be faithful to the people on earth that we are called to love is if we learn to be faithful to the One who loves us completely and has called us to love Him. Someone asked Jesus what is the greatest commandment.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Matthew 22:36

Jesus answered and said that the greatest was to love God.

And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39

The second commandment was like it because the evidence of our love for God is our love for others. If we love God then we will love others. If we don’t love others then we do not love God and we are only deceiving ourselves.

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. I John 4:20,21

Faithfulness begins with loving God and is expressed through loving others. Faithfulness begins in the heart. We can go through the motions but if we are not faithful in our heart then we are not faithful. However, faithfulness is not merely in our heart but it will be seen through our attitudes and actions. If we love with a whole heart then the recipient will know it and if we love only half-heartedly then they will know that also.

For their heart was not steadfast toward Him, Nor were they faithful in His covenant. Psalm 78:37

.The Lord wants us to be faithful to Him and do according to what is in His heart and His soul. When we learn to be faithful to the Lord then we will walk before God. When we learn what it means to walk before God then we will also learn what it means to be faithful. There is no faithfulness apart from God and apart from walking with God.

But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always. I Samuel 2:35

One of the greatest gifts that a father can give to his children is to be faithful to his wife and their mother. One of the greatest gifts that a mother can give to her children is to be faithful their father and her husband. God gave His greatest gift to us when He gave His Son to take our place on the cross and to pay for our sins so that we might become one of His children.

God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. I Corinthians 1:9

The faithfulness of Jesus Christ to do what the Father had sent Him to do was His greatest gift to us.

He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, Hebrews 3:2a

Jesus accomplished the work that the Father had given Him to do.

I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. John 17:4

In the same way, the Lord has given each of us some work that He wants us to do. If He has called you to be married then He wants you to be faithful. If He has called you to be a parent then He wants you to be faithful. Whatever work in building His kingdom that He has given you to do He wants you to be faithful. Faithfulness is who God is and faithfulness is what He is looking for in His children, in those who are called by His name.

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Luke 16:10

If a wife were to love her husband every second of every day of the week except for ten minutes on a Friday night would she be a faithful wife? No, she would have been unfaithful if she had been with another man. Faithfulness is being faithful all of the time with all of your heart. Love is faithfulness and faithfulness to love is truly loving the way that God loves us and has called us to love one another.

A Life with Love Wants to Do Right

Love does what is right. The loving person will want to do what is right in the sight of God and all men. Sometimes we do not know the right thing to do but we will almost always recognize the right thing when it is done by someone else.

Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son who is living, and your son is the dead one’; and the other says, ‘No! For your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’” The king said, “Get me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. The king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” Then the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for she was deeply stirred over her son and said, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!” Then the king said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother.” When all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had handed down, they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice. I Kings 3:23-28

When King Solomon became king he was presented with a difficult situation in which he had to make a decision. When he made the right decision the people recognized that it was right and he gained their respect to rule over them. How important it is for a leader to do what is right so that the people who he is to lead will listen to, follow and respect him. When parents do what is right then their children will feel secure and want to honor them. When a husband does what is right then the wife will respect Him from her heart rather than only out of obedience to the Lord.

“The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me,
And His word was on my tongue.
“The God of Israel said,
The Rock of Israel spoke to me,
‘He who rules over men righteously,
Who rules in the fear of God,
Is as the light of the morning when the sun rises,
A morning without clouds,
When the tender grass springs out of the earth,
Through sunshine after rain.’ II Samuel 23:2-4

The leader who loves will do what is right. He will care about those whom the Lord has given him responsibility for their well being. A great leader will rule in the fear of God. God’s Word will be in his heart and on his tongue. He will be as refreshing as when the daylight comes when the sun rises in the morning. There will be peace, quietness and confidence.

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

When there is love and righteousness in the home then those who live there will feel secure. When a husband and father loves his family and does what is right then his wife will trust him and so will his children.

Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation,
And in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places; Isaiah 32:18

When a mother is loving and does what is right then her children will love her when they are young. They will praise her when they are older and will also want to come back home to visit when she is older.

When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, But when a wicked man rules, people groan. Proverbs 29:2

When a leader is wicked and does what is wrong then those under that leader will groan. Rather than loving them he will bring them much sorrow and shame. He will not have their respect but they will live in fear. There will be no joy or peace. This can be true in a family and home and the children will long to leave and not come back.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. I Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient and love is kind. Love wants to do what is right and does not rejoice in unrighteousness. Love rejoices with the truth.

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. Proverbs 3:3,4

When love, kindness and truth characterize your life then you will do what is right in the sight of God and men. Not only will you do what is right but you will find favor with God and have a good reputation with men.

A Life with Love Must Be Selective

Contrary to what some may say and others may believe we can not have it all. We can not have a life filled with love and do what we want to do. To find and keep love a life must be selective about what it hears, sees and does. What comes into your life is what will be expressed through your life.

and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood— Revelation 1:5

There is One who loves us and He loved us with His life and He released us from the things that would destroy our lives, our marriages and our homes. He does not want us to go back to a life of destruction. He came to bring us life overflowing.

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

There are six things that must characterize your life if you want to find and keep love. If you do these six things then you will live on the heights of the earth, that is, you will live above your circumstances rather than under your circumstances. Often it is not our circumstances that determine our lives but our response to our circumstances.

He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity,
He who rejects unjust gain
And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe;
He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed
And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil; Isaiah 33:15

“He who walks righteously” Walking righteously is doing what God says. He is the only One who is righteous and when we do what He says then we will walk righteously.

It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the Lord our God, just as He commanded us. Deuteronomy 6:25

“speaks with sincerity” Speaking with sincerity can only come when a person is honestly walking with God. Only a person with integrity, where there is no double mindedness in them, can speak with sincerity. This person is singular in their desire to please God. There is nothing that they desire from another.

Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. Psalm 73:25

“He who rejects unjust gain” To reject unjust gain is to not be deceptive or cheat in any way. It is to be honest in all of our dealings. To reject unjust gain is to walk in God’s ways and not to want our own way. The Lord says that He will teach us how to profit. When we are seeking Him and seeking to walk in His ways then He will show us how to profit in a way that all will benefit.

They have all turned to their own way, Each one to his unjust gain, to the last one. Isaiah 56:11b

“And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe” The Lord does not take bribes

For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. Deuteronomy 10:17

“And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe” The Lord does not want us to take bribes.

You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. Deuteronomy 10:19

“He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed” The Lord does not want us to listen to bloodshed. We need to stop our ears from listening to bloodshed. Is there bloodshed in the news? Is there bloodshed in the books or movies that are available? The Lord wants us to be proactive in what we listen to and to stop our ears from listening to bloodshed. The Lord wants us to hate bloodshed and not listen to it.

therefore as I live,” declares the Lord God, “I will give you over to bloodshed, and bloodshed will pursue you; since you have not hated bloodshed, therefore bloodshed will pursue you. Ezekiel 35:6

“And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil” The Lord wants us to shut our eyes from looking upon evil. We will only be able to do what we know. He does not even want us to have the knowledge of evil. If we want to find and keep love then we must be innocent in what is evil. There is something pure and refreshing about a person who is innocent in the knowledge of evil.

but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. Romans 16:19b

The Lord says that if you will do these six things then you will live on the heights of the earth. You will be secure and you will not worry over the basic necessities of life, in fact, they will be given to you and you can be sure of them.

He will dwell on the heights,
His refuge will be the impregnable rock;
His bread will be given him,
His water will be sure. Isaiah 33:16

For the person who does these six things they will not only live securely and live a life above the way the rest of the world but they will see the Lord in His beauty. This person will see the Lord and their eyes will also behold that far distant land that He has in store for them. Their entire perspective will be changed and they will realize that this life is only passing. They will have something far greater to live for than what this world has to offer. They will see the One who is love and in seeing they will realize that they have found love and they will keep the love that God has for them, for God is love.

Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will behold a far distant land. Isaiah 33:17

A Life of Generosity and Joy

Generosity and joy go hand and hand. The Lord Himself said that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Giving gets your eyes off of yourself and your interests and needs and causes you to become aware of the needs of others around you. The ore yo give, the more your cup of joy will overflow.

Acts20:35 In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Giving gives you a heart for the Lord, for where your treasure is there will your heat be also. Your heart will follow your treasure. Time and money are two of your treasures that you can give away.

Matthew 6:21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The generous person will be prosperous or successful.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous man will be prosperous,

Give to those who can not pay you back. The Lord says that even sinners give to those from whom they will receive something back. When you give to the needy of His people you are giving to the Lord.

Matthew 25:35-40  For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

The person who gives to the rich will come to poverty. Give to a person in need and they will give you their heart.  When you meet the need of the needy then you are removing the obstacle in their life so that they can hear the Gospel. You are allowing them to see the love and truth of God so that they can hear the love and truth of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:16 He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

Give to the poor and the Lord says that He Himself will pay you back. It is the only time in Scripture where the Lord says that He will become man’s debtor. His payment is in full and more. He remains no man’s debtor.

Proverbs 19:17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord,  And He will repay him for his good deed.

Give to those who have helped you spiritually.

Galatians 6:6 The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.

Your cup of joy will overflow as you give to the Lord by giving to His people, the needy and to reach others for Christ.

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

A Life that Is Blessed

Everyone wants to be blessed. The word blessed means happy. When we are blessed we have the face of God towards us. The opposite of being blessed is being cursed. If blessed means that we are happy then being cursed must mean that we are unhappy and that the Lord is against us. The Lord tells us how to be blessed.

Luke 11:27,28 While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.” But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

When a woman in the crowd raised her voice and blessed the mother of Jesus, He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” The Lord has given us His Word so that we will do exactly as He says. He has not given it to us just to talk about it but to do it. Jesus took the curse of our disobedience so that we might be blessed by His obedience.

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—

The word curse means literally, “a solemn utterance intended to invoke a supernatural power to inflict harm or punishment on someone or something”. Jesus took the curse which was intended for us and received the punishment of God. He did not do this so that we could live as we please but so that we might be given the opportunity to be blessed by God. It begins by being in a relationship with Him and continues by being in fellowship with Him and following Him.

John 13:17,18 Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

Jesus came to serve. The one who loves the Lord will also be a servant and will follow Him. When we follow Him then we will go where He goes, we will speak His Words and we will do what He does.

John 13:12-15 So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.

When we keep His Words and do as He did then the world will see Jesus in us. This is the true meaning of discipleship. The pupil is not above His teacher but everyone after they have been taught will be like their teacher.

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

You can not teach someone to do something that you yourself are not doing. Example is the most powerful and effective way of teaching. You can not teach someone else to do something that you are not doing.

Proverbs 29:19 A slave will not be instructed by words alone;
For though he understands, there will be no response.

It is only to the degree that you are observing the Word of God that you can effectively teach and disciple others. People need to see the Word of God lived out and that is what it means to make disciples.

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

When you hear the Words of God and do them then you are blessed. When you hear the Words of God, do them and then teach others also then you will be a blessing to others and you will be doing what the Lord has called you to do.

Matthew 24:44-47 For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. “Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

Not only will you be found faithful here on earth but you will be found faithful when He comes again. Blessed is that slave whom His Master finds doing His Words when He comes again. He says that truly, He will put him in charge of all of His possessions.

 

How to Avoid The Life of a Failure

If you want to be miserable in life then just be a failure. Failure brings with it depression, discouragement, disappointment, defeat and despair. However, the choice is ours, if we want to be a failure or a success in life. No one else is responsible for whether we are a success or a failure. The choice is ours. You may think that circumstances would have something to do with it but not so, it is you who determines your success or failure in life. You have no one to blame but yourself.

Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

It is pride that goes before a fall. Pride is not needing God. Satan had all the best of circumstances. He was beautiful and experienced great wealth. He had many gifts and the highest position of all of the angels. Yet, he was not satisfied. He wanted to be equal to God. He wanted more than what the Lord had given to him. He was not satisfied and became prideful. It was his pride that led to his failure and he lost everything.

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.

Pride is the opposite of humility. When pride comes then comes dishonor. Dishonor goes hand and hand with failure. Those who are successful experience honor. Pride is basically saying, “I can do it on my own and that it is all about me”.

I John 2:16 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.

Humility acknowledges that we can do nothing apart from the Lord. Pride is not from the Lord but is from the devil. We are most like the devil when we are prideful.

John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

Pride says that it does not need the Lord. It is manifested by not turning to Him with all of our heart. It is also made known by us neglecting reading and meditating on His Word. When we don’t spend time in His Word then we are relying on ourselves and not on Him. We forget what He has to say and when we forget then we do not act on His Word.

Hosea 7:10 Though the pride of Israel testifies against him, Yet they have not returned to the Lord their God, Nor have they sought Him, for all this.

It is our pride that brings us low and leads to failure. It is the Lord who wants us to be successful and has shown us the way to succeed. There is no success apart from Him. However, you may say that you know people who are successful and who do not seek the Lord. If you will look closely at their successes you will see that they paid a heavy price and it was too great of a price for their temporary success. They lost something else even more precious than their success, whether it is a marriage, family, integrity or even their fellowship with the Lord. For it is the Lord alone who gives success with no sorrow with it.

Proverbs 10:22 It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich,
And He adds no sorrow to it.

Only the Lord can bless us richly in every area and He adds no sorrow to it. However, we must look to Him and follow His instructions on life. He leads us in the good way.

Jeremiah 6:16a Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls.

The Lord wants us to look to Him and He will be our Shepherd and lead us in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. He will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. There are no regrets in following the Lord and obeying His voice. He will never disappoint you. Have you failed? Then it is to show you how desperately we all need the Lord and how desperately we need to know His Word so that we can do exactly as He says. Turn to Him with all your heart. He does promise success to the one who will trust Him and obey Him completely.

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.

He says it again what you need to do to be successful. You have nothing to lose, but your pride, and you have everything to gain.

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

A Life with Love Honors and Respects

 

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.” Genesis 3:11b-13

When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of which He commanded them not to eat then they did not honor or respect God. He only gave them one law and out of respect for God they were to obey that one law.

Respect what is right in the sight of all men. Romans 12:17b

We are to respect what is right in the sight of all men. When we keep God’s commandments then we will be respecting what is right in the sight of all men.

Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. I Peter 2:17-19

We are to show honor to all people, we are to honor the governmental authority, whether it is a president or king, and we are to be submissive to our employers with all respect. We are to submit not only to employers who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. This finds favor with God and is honoring to Him.

Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect. Titus 2:9,10

Respect is not pilfering (which is stealing) and taking what is not yours to take nor is it giving to others the privileges that have been given to you because you work at a certain place. If you do work for yourself, during your paid time from someone else, then you are not honoring the Lord and stealing also.

Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. Ephesians 6:5-8

Respecting someone is showing good behavior at all times, not just when the authority is around as “men pleasers” but as “God pleasers”, doing what is right when no one is watching. Showing respect to the Lord in your job is working for the one who pays you as if you are working for the Lord.

And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. Ephesians 6:9

Just as employees are to respect those whom they work for so also the employer or boss is to respect those who work under them.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth. Ephesians 6:1-3

Children are to honor and respect their fathers and mothers.

Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33

Just as the husband is to love his wife so the wife is to respect her husband. One of a man’s biggest needs is respect. Just as when a wife does not feel loved she has a more difficult time respecting her husband, in the same way, when a man does not feel respected then it is more difficult for him to love his wife. Respect and love is not always deserved but it is to be given because the Lord requires it of us. The more a wife learns to respect her husband then the more secure she will feel and the more love she will experience in her marriage.

Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you. Genesis 3:16b

Before Eve sinned she and her husband, Adam, were to rule together but after she was deceived and sinned the Lord put her husband over her to rule her to keep her from being deceived again and experiencing even more grief. The more a wife honors the new design that the Lord gave her because of her being deceived and sinning, then the more she will be kept from temptation. If she rebels against this new design of her husband ruling over her then she will experience much more pain, sadness and depression.

What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty! Psalm 8:4,5

Respect is the opposite of rebelling and respect means honoring the position of the one whom the Lord has put in authority over us, whether it is a mother, father, husband, employer or governmental authority. Respect is also honoring another human being because they have been made in God’s image and have been created for honor and glory.

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 with Love Needs Grace

We need God’s grace to love and to be faithful to what He has called us to do. He has called us to be His children and love is to characterize our lives. We are to represent Him to others in our lives and our marriages are to show the world His plan of love for mankind. His grace and peace is multiplied to us through the knowledge of God.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; II Peter 1:2

We are powerless to love with a Godlike love apart from the Lord but can be recipients of His grace and power. We need His grace and His power to live the life He intended for us and to have the love in our marriages that He meant for us to have.

seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. II Peter 1:3

His divine power has granted us everything that we need pertaining to all of life and to live a godly life and to have a godly marriage in an ungodly world.

For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. II Peter 1:4

It is His precious and magnificent promises that allow us to become like Him and to escape the corruption that is in the world. It is His promises that give us hope that our life and marriage will not be destroyed or corrupted but will grow stronger and stronger as we grow in the love and knowledge of Jesus Christ. We no longer have to live according to our lusts but we can live according to His will which will allow us to experience His love and will bring us great joy and peace. The word “lusts” in the original language means “desires”. It is our “lusts” that destroys love in our relationships and brings death to our marriage. It is His will that nourishes love in our marriage.

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. James 1:14,15

The Lord tells us not to let our “lusts” deceive us. He will give us His desires for our life, which are good and perfect gifts. If we had all of the knowledge to choose what is best for us then they are the good and perfect gifts that He would choose for our lives. He is the only One who is all knowing and knows what we need and what is best for us.

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. James 1:17,18

The lusts of the world bring corruption and destruction to our life and marriage. Love in marriage is a good and perfect gift that He wants to give to us. He will give you the grace and power to live according to His ways and to not give in to temptation. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11

The Lord is the One who gives grace and glory. If you humble yourself before Him then He will give you His grace so that you might have the power to walk uprightly, obey Him and live according to his promises. You will escape the corruption that is in the world that comes to those who seek their own will and live according to their own desires.

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6