A Life with Love is Met with Love

The plan from the beginning was that we were to be loved and we were to respond in love. This is still the plan and it is the plan for all relationships. Love seeks only the best for the other and has no selfish ambitions. When we are loved and love in return then we will be and do what we were created to be and do. God created us to be loved by Him and it was His desire that we respond with love for Him. However, love is a choice and in the beginning man chose not to love God.

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Genesis 3:8-11

We hide ourselves from those whom we do not love. We will find reasons to be elsewhere. When two people are in love then they will find every reason to be together. They will make time to be together. When two people no longer love each other then they will find excuses to be elsewhere and hide from each other behind the excuses. When Adam and Eve hid they no longer loved God but God still loved them. God is faithful even when we are not.

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

God’s design was that nothing could separate us from His love, that is, nothing can separate us from His love but our own selves. Love is a choice and we do not have to love God. We can try to hide ourselves from Him.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38,39

We can try to hide from God and we can try to run from Him but we can never get away from His love for us.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;

If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You. Psalm 139:7-12

There is no place that we can go to where He is not there. There is no place that we can hide that He dies not see. His love pursues us and He longs to love us.

Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him. Isaiah 30:18

He longs to be gracious to us and He is waiting for us to come to Him so that we can know his compassion and His love. How happy are all who come to Him. He meets us with His love.

A Life with Love is Met with Love

The plan from the beginning was that we were to be loved and we were to respond in love. This is still the plan and it is the plan for all relationships. Love seeks only the best for the other and has no selfish ambitions. When we are loved and love in return then we will be and do what we were created to be and do. God created us to be loved by Him and it was His desire that we respond with love for Him. However, love is a choice and in the beginning man chose not to love God.

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Genesis 3:8-11

We hide ourselves from those whom we do not love. We will find reasons to be elsewhere. When two people are in love then they will find every reason to be together. They will make time to be together. When two people no longer love each other then they will find excuses to be elsewhere and hide from each other behind the excuses. When Adam and Eve hid they no longer loved God but God still loved them. God is faithful even when we are not.

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

God’s design was that nothing could separate us from His love, that is, nothing can separate us from His love but our own selves. Love is a choice and we do not have to love God. We can try to hide ourselves from Him.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38,39

We can try to hide from God and we can try to run from Him but we can never get away from His love for us.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;

If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You. Psalm 139:7-12

There is no place that we can go to where He is not there. There is no place that we can hide that He dies not see. His love pursues us and He longs to love us.

Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him. Isaiah 30:18

He longs to be gracious to us and He is waiting for us to come to Him so that we can know his compassion and His love. How happy are all who come to Him. He meets us with His love.

A Life with Love Is Impossible

The sooner you realize that it is not in you and that you can not love on your own the easier your life will be. We are basically selfish and life is all about our own self. Everything revolves around “what is in it for me”. This begins the moment we are born and we really are not very happy about being in the real world until we are fed and cuddled and loved. Then, when circumstances change, we change again and we are not happy until we are fed, changed, cuddled and loved again and the cycle goes on and on. The older we get we try to disguise it but it is still in our heart that life is all about me.

that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, Ephesian 4:22

The only way we can love with an unselfish love is if we receive a new self which the Lord gives to us when we come to Him.

and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Ephesians 4:24

We become a new person in Christ and we are no longer the old self but a new person or a in other words, a new self.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. II Corinthians 5:17

When we come to Jesus Christ and give Him our life then He gives Himself to us and takes our old self and gives us a new self. We then begin to live a life in Christ and through Christ. This new life is being transformed into the image of Christ, for He is God and the exact representation of who God is.

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Hebrews 1:3

When we come to Christ then we die to our old self with its selfish desires and we live for Christ through his power that works in us. We can not do His will but He can and wants to through us.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20

We can do nothing apart from Jesus Christ but in Him we can do all things.

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

There is nothing that is impossible once we give our life to Jesus Christ. No matter what kind of mess you are in or how messed up your life or marriage is, the Lord can restore you and your relationships. First, you must be restored to Him and then He restores you and your life and relationships. The way that you are restored to God is to come to Him through Jesus Christ and give Him everything…your life, your relationships, your sins, your dreams, your future and anything else that comes to your mind. Basically, you are giving Him control of everything and you are asking Him to take your life and do whatever He wants with you.

For nothing will be impossible with God. Luke 1:37

Our impossibilities are possible with God. If you believe that then give Him the things that you are struggling with and the matters that have defeated you. We can not be and do all that we need to be and do but God can and He will if we come to Him.

But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” Luke 18:27

Even if you feel that your faith is little, still come to Him.

And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. Matthew 17:20

There once was a man who Jesus wanted to help. His prayer is a famous prayer that the Lord heard. If this prayer expresses the desire of your heart then you might want to pray it also.

Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” Mark 9:24

Loving someone else with a Christlike, unselfish love is impossible for all of us but it is not impossible for Christ because that is the the love that He has for all of us. He will give you His love for others. It is possible to have a great marriage and a great life but it is only possible through Jesus Christ.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24

You will soar in life when Jesus Christ lives and loves through you in the power of His Spirit. The outcome will be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. These qualities will characterize your marriage and your other relationships.

For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. Galatians 5:14,15

If you choose not to give yourself to the Lord and allow Him to live through you then the other outcome will be destruction. You will be destroyed and you will bring destruction to your marriage.

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

Love is a choice and you must choose. If you choose the Lord and His ways then you will choose wisely and you will be blessed. To scoff means to ignore or turn your back to the truth and that is also a choice. You alone will bear it and the pain will be great.

A Life with Love Does Not Disappoint

Expectations destroy relationships because no one can meet up to another’s expectations. Expectations destroy relationships because when there are expectations then that becomes the focus and all the other wonderful things that can come in a loving relationship are not seen because the eyes are set on a certain set of expectations. Expectations bring disappointment. However, there is One who says that He will never disappoint. There is no one else who can make that promise.

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

The Lord is all loving and all powerful and He keeps His Word. When we believe in Jesus Christ then He promises us that we will not be disappointed. Our spouses, our parents and every other human will eventually disappoint us. When we look to the Lord rather than to a person to meet our needs then we will not be let down. The Lord has poured out His love on us and that is what gives us hope and hope in Him does not disappoint.

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. Romans 5:5

When our hearts are filled with love then we are like a sponge that is full but if our hearts are empty of love then we are vulnerable to mistake what we think is love and end up being hurt and more empty. Only Jesus Christ can fill our hearts so that we won’t mistake the bitter for the sweet.

But to a famished man any bitter thing is sweet. Proverbs 27:7

Love is the greatest gift and the one who finds it and keeps it enjoys life and they are able to give love and bring joy to others. Love must first be found in the Lord. God’s love never disappoints and His love never changes. God’s love is perfect and when we live in His love then we no longer live in fear of rejection or fear of being disappointed.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, I John 4:18a

If we cry out to the Lord then He will deliver us from what troubles us. We can trust in Him and in His love. We will not be disappointed.

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

There is no one person who can meet all of our needs. Those who end up being hurt the most are those who put their hopes in another human being to meet their needs. When hopes and expectations are not met then unhappiness and ungratefulness follows along with the disappointment. When we are disappointed with someone then the cup is half empty rather than half full. We will see what that person can not give us. This is especially true in marriage. Your spouse will never provide all of the money, intimacy, time, etc. that you desire. We will not see our spouse as a blessing and a gift but we will see what we don’t have. Marriage can be the sweetest relationship on earth but if one of them is unhappy then it can be the most miserable existence on earth. A husband especially will struggle if he has an unhappy wife. The most beautiful face to a husband is a smiling wife.

Thus says the Lord,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
“For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant. Jeremiah 17:5,6

People are humans and so there are sometimes false hopes in them that lead to unrealistic expectations, which will always leave us empty and disappointed. When we look to a person to fill the needs and longings that only God can fill then we will end up being very lonely and living in an emotional land of emptiness. We will not see the prosperity that only the Lord can give to us.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit. Jeremiah 17:7,8

The one whose trust is in the Lord will see their spouse as a gift and will know that their spouse can never meet all of their expectations and all of their needs. Their cup of joy will overflow as they thank the Lord for their spouse and the gift of marriage. As they give thanks to the Lord for who He has given to them then they will see even more wonderful things in their spouse. Life will be sweet for them and for the one whom they are married to. They will be blessed and their spouse and children will be blessed. Blessed is the person who trusts in the Lord.

A Life of Much Joy

Do you want to overflow with joy? Do you want much joy in your life? The joy of the Lord is what gives us strength.

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.”

Joy is the medicine that heals our hearts

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

Joy is what allows us to enjoy every good thing the Lord has for us. Choose the Lord and His ways and you choose joy. When you choose Him then you will be satisfied in the morning with His lovingkindness and you will sing for joy and be glad all of your days.

Psalm 90:14 O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

The Lord wants you to serve Him with joy.

Deuteronomy 28:47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things;

The Lord makes us joyful with gladness in His presence.

Psalm 21:6 For You make him most blessed forever;
You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence.

This is who the Lord is…He wants you to be filled with much joy. When you learn to live in His presence then your life will be filled with much joy. Don’t try to see how close you can get to the world without sinning but see how close you can get to the Lord.

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.

You will be blessed as you live a life of joy and walk in His light.

Psalm 89:15,16 How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
O Lord, they walk in the light of Your countenance.
In Your name they rejoice all the day,
And by Your righteousness they are exalted.

When we walk in His Spirit then we have joy and just as a child brings their parent joy when they do what is right so we also bring the Lord joy when we are faithful to Him.

Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.

When we serve Him and faithfully do His will then we enter into His joy.

Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

Joy is God’s confirmation that you are in His will. Run with endurance the race that He has set before you. He will fill you with much joy. Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him. Let His joy strengthen you for the journey and stay faithful to the end as our Lord did.

Hebrews 12:1,2 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

He is coming and His reward is with Him.

Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

 

 

A Life with Eternal Love Is Forever

Love never dies and is forever. Love is eternal because God is eternal. There are two things that are eternal and that is the souls of people and the Word of God. The Word became flesh and lived among people around two thousand years ago in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus was fully God and fully man.

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

God is love and because He is love and God has always been and always will be then love is eternal. Love can not be separated from who God is because love is an attribute of God. Love is from God and God is love.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. I John 4:7,8

God is love and when we come into a relationship with Him then we become His child and the recipient of His great love.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. I John 3:1a

Death is separation from God. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden then on that day they died. God is life and when man sinned then he became separated from life and died. God is love and when man sinned then he became separated also from living in God’s love. Man earned death but life is a gift from God that we must receive through Jesus Christ.

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

The Lord Jesus Christ came to give life and to show man the love that God had for all of mankind by dying on the cross for all of us. He came to give the eternal life that was lost in the garden and to begin the process of restoring in us His image in which we were made. It is when we come to Jesus Christ that we receive life and the love that He has for us. At the moment we receive Jesus Christ we begin to live forever.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25,26

Everyone has to answer this question, “Do we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?” If we believe this then we will do what He says and trust Him with our life.

She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.” John 11:27

He who believes in Jesus Christ has life and knows and lives in God’s love. The life that God gives is eternal and the love that He gives is eternal.

And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. I John 5:11,12

Those who do not believe in Jesus Christ will exist forever and they will experience death forever, which is separation from God and from His love. Our life on earth is a taste of death or a taste of death. The decision we make about Jesus Christ will determine whether we will experience fully forever death or life.

when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed II Thessalonians 1:7a-10b

Those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will want to obey Him. They will not be ashamed of Him but will want the world to know that they belong to Jesus Christ.

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. I John 5:1-4

When you love someone you want to please them. When someone becomes a child of God through Christ then they want to obey Him and it is not a burden but a joy. Not only do they obey Him but they also overcome the world. They no longer want to do the things they did before. They have become a new person in Christ and will forever live and forever experience God’s love.

A Life of Grace

Grace does not excuse you from your sin or give you the freedom to do what you want. Grace is what the Lord gives to the humble that allows that person to do what is right. In the Bible grace was a blessing that came before or after the commands of what the Lord wants His people to do or be.

James 4:4-6 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. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Grace is not something that we give ourselves when we mess up and sin. God gives grace to the humble and His grace is what enables us to not be crushed by our guilt but to be able to get back up and do what He has called us to do. God gives grace to the humble. Humility is confessing your sin to the Lord and your need for Him. Grace allows us to be faithful to the Lord so that we will not be called an adulteress by our flirting with and friendship with the world. He gives a greater grace than what the world has to offer. Grace is what sets you free from your bondage to sin.

Ezra 9:8 But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage.

You were in bondage to sin before you became a Christian. He saved you from your sin and sins and the consequences of them. Your sin is your desire to be your own god and the sins are all of the snares that you became caught in by trying to be your own god.

Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Again, our redemption is through His blood and forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of His grace towards us. God is gracious towards us because of what Christ did on the cross. He took our sin.

Ephesians 1:7,8a In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.

Grace increases when we sin. This means that there is nothing that is beyond His grace to allow you to come back to Him. His grace is what allows us to come back when we have fallen so that we can be restored in our fellowship with Him.

Romans 5:20,21 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; 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.

Grace reigns through righteousness to eternal life. Eternal life is knowing the Lord. If you are growing in grace then you will be growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

John 17:3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Grace is with those who love the Lord Jesus Christ with a pure love. A love that obeys Him and keeps His commandments.

Ephesians 6:24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.

Are you growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord? Is your love for Him incorruptible and pure? Or are you still struggling with friendship with the world? He loves you and jealousy desires the Spirit that He has made to dwell in you. Ask the Lord to help you be faithful to Him. Put yourself around Christians who love Him rather than the world. The Lord will help you and give you more grace to be faithful to Him if you will humble yourself before Him.

 

A Life with Love Guards the Heart

Since love flows out of our hearts and is expressed through our actions towards another then the one who loves understands the great importance of guarding the heart. Same thing as “garbage in garbage out” except it is “love in love out”. What comes in is what will go out.

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

Since God is the source of love and His love is pure then our greatest need in life is to know Him and to experience His love moment by moment. If we will do this then out of our heart and life will flow the love of God.

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

However, our hearts are deceitful and we will even deceive ourselves. When one is deceived they do not realize that they are deceived. That is the meaning of deception. Satan is a liar and seeks to deceive us through our hearts by making temptations seem so appealing just as he did with Eve.

The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

However, it is not until we have given into the temptation and fallen into the devil’s snares of death that we realize we have been trapped. Once we are trapped in the snares of death then we go into a downward spiral.

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. James 1:14-16

A Christian has been made spiritually alive but his soul can still experience death through sinning. The death that he experiences is not any different from the death that the nonChristian experiences. The nonChristian lives in a perpetual state of death but the Christian can still experience death to the soul and that is through the guilt, regret, depression, etc.

For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality. Colossians 3:25

It is not until we come to the Lord will we be cleansed of our sins. The nonChristian needs a total cleansing. When we come to Him for salvation then He cleanses our conscience through His Holy Spirit and His Word and purifies our hearts so that we can see Him again and experience His great love.

Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I Peter 3:21

The Christian needs their conscience to be cleansed through confessing their sins for when they sin while they are the world.

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

IF we do not guard our hearts and keep a clear conscience then our view of God become distorted and we want to ultimately blame God for what is happening in our lives. We do not doubt His power but we doubt His love.

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

The Bible says that the way of the guilty is crooked.

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

When we do not have a clear conscience and there is guilt in our heart then we start to see God as twisted and our actions will also become twisted towards those whom we should love. The one whom we should be loving starts not to understand our actions and their responses become different and then begins the downward spiral in the relationship.

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

A double minded person does not have a pure heart. A double minded person is one who says to himself, “Should I do this or should I do that?” They go back and forth on what they should do. The double minded person will not receive help from the Lord until they confess their sin to the Lord and surrender their heart to Him and He cleanses it.

But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. I Timothy 1:5

The Lord wants us to pursue love with all people. However, we need to have a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere heart. These are characteristics of the heart and must characterize our lives in all of our relationships. When we have these qualities then God’s love will fill our lives and hearts and will flow through us to others.

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19

We will see the Lord and will want to be like Him. We will be secure in our relationship with Him and will not be fearful of what other think of us. We will be able to consider others more important than ourselves. We will not feel the need to control others because we will be filled with the Lord and His love for others. It will be Jesus Christ who controls us.

For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. II Corinthians 5:14,15

The outcome will be far greater than what anyone can imagine. The Lord can do far more than what we can ask or think when we guard our hearts, live by faith, keep His Word and allow Him to live through us according to His power which works in us.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20,21

A Life with Desires Fulfilled

Will the Lord really fulfill your desires or will He only give you what you need but not really desire? These are questions that people ask. What does His Word say about our desires? The Lord may fulfill your desires but the sooner you realize that your desires will never fulfill you the more content and satisfied you will be in life. Jesus Christ is the only who can fulfill you. He is enough. However He delights in giving us gifts.

Psalm 20:4,5 May He grant you your heart’s desire
And fulfill all your purpose!
We will sing for joy over your victory,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners.
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.

May He grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your purpose. May He also fulfill all of your petitions. He does want you to ask Him for what is on your heart. The fact is though, most of us don’t really know what we want. We think that a lot of things will make us happy and so we long for those things. However, once you realize that He loves you perfectly and has a purpose for your life then you can learn to rest in Him and wait on Him. Don’t focus on your desires but focus on Him. That is the only way to be free from our desires controlling us.

Psalm 84:11,12 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.
O Lord of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Seek Him with all of your heart and seek to walk in His ways and obey Him. He will not withhold any good thing from you. How blessed is the person who will rest in His love for them. Do not fret. He says that He will not disappoint the one who trusts in Him.

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

If He withholds something from you it is because at this time it is not good for you. You must trust Him. Learn to delight yourself in Him as you learn to trust Him.

Psalm 37:3,4 Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

This phrase “cultivate faithfulness” means to feed on His faithfulness. He is faithful even when we are not. You can trust him. If you will only trust Him completely then He will give you far more than your desires. Learn to do what is right and learn His ways. He will act on your behalf and meet you.

Isaiah 64:4,5a For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.

He is able to do far more than what we ask or think. Trust Him.

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

Be glad in Him and let your joy be in Him. Let Him be your glory and the One is whom you rejoice. He will meet you with the blessings of good things and then you will know that He is God and does what He pleases. He is the One who gives life.

Psalm 21:1-6 O Lord, in Your strength the king will be glad,
And in Your salvation how greatly he will rejoice!
You have given him his heart’s desire,
And You have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah.
For You meet him with the blessings of good things;
You set a crown of fine gold on his head.
He asked life of You,
You gave it to him,
Length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through Your salvation,
Splendor and majesty You place upon him.
For You make him most blessed forever;
You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence.

Only the Lord can do this in a person’s life. He can satisfy you and He can bring you to the place of total surrender of your desires and your will. Ask Him to help you and to do His work in your life. He wants to bless you but He knows that you need to delight in the Blessor rather than the blessing. He wants you to worship Him and to not have any other idols. If He is not first in our life then whatever else is first is what we worship. And if He is not first then it does not matter if he is second or forty second. He must be first in our life and we must seek Him before anything else.

A Life that Has a Great Reward

The Lord offers a great reward to the person who will obey Him and keep his commandments.

Psalm 19:7-11 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.

Not only is there a great reward for keeping His commandments but the Lord says that your soul will be restored, you will receive wisdom, your heart will rejoice and your eyes will be enlightened. Do you need healing in your soul or wisdom and joy? Do you want insight? Then you must keep His commandments. You will have a great reward.

Matthew 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

If and when you keep His commandments you will be persecuted. Again, your reward will be great and when you see the Lord you will only wish that you had obeyed more than you did. Do not fear. He will be with you.

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

When you love your enemies then you will have a great reward. Trust the Lord and do what He says. You will be glad.

Hebrews 10:35,36 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

Keep trusting Him and do not throw away your confidence in Him. When you have done the will of God for your life then you will receive what He has promised. His promises are sure. So, there are three things that if you do you will receive a great reward and these are keeping his commandments, being persecuted for your faith, loving your enemies and keeping your confidence in Christ who is faithful.