A Life with Love is Gentle

What is so amazing about the Lord is that He is so great and awesome, He is mighty and powerful, He is Lord of lords and King of kings and yet, He is also gentle. There is only one place in the Bible where Jesus Christ describes Himself and when He does He lets us know about His heart.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, Matthew 11:28,29a

Not only did He have a gentle heart but He never yelled when He spoke.

He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street. Isaiah 42:2

Not only did Jesus have a gentle heart and did not yell at people but Jesus Christ was gentle in His actions and especially in the way He related to those who were hurting.

A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; Isaiah 42:3

Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is the exact representation of God, the Father, so everything that He says about Himself is who God is.

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 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. Hebrews 1:1-3a

Whoever knows Jesus Christ will also know God, the Father. He who has seen Jesus has seen God.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; John 14:6-11b

Jesus, the Son of God, and God, the Father are One. The Bible is also the Word of God and is the revelation of who God is. When Jesus Christ came to earth, He was born of a virgin and lived and walked among men and women. He died and rose again. The Word of God became flesh in Jesus Christ. Everything that the Bible says about Jesus Christ is who God is. The Bible is God’s revelation to us so that we might know Him.

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

The word “gentle” literally means to condescend. The word condescend literally means to “get down with on the same level”. When Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth as a human being then God literally came down to man on man’s level.

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; I Peter 3:18

Jesus Christ crushed Satan on the head when He went to the cross. Jesus Christ fulfilled the promise that God gave to Adam and Eve in the garden. Jesus Christ rendered powerless, the one who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and Jesus Christ alone can set us free from the fear of death when we receive Him.

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Hebrews 2:14,15

There is nothing greater that has ever happened than God becoming man so we would know that He could understands us, mediates for us and brings us to God.

Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. Hebrews 2:17,18

Jesus Christ became like us so that He could save us. Jesus Christ became like us so that He could not only save us from the penalty of sin but also from its power when we are tempted. He understands our struggles and He has given us salvation in Him and through what He has done for us. He has lifted us up and upholds us. It is His “condescension” which is the greatest expression of gentleness for He truly came down to our level and lifted us up from the pit of despair.

You have also given me the shield of Your salvation,
And Your right hand upholds me;
And Your gentleness makes me great. Psalm 18:35

A Life with Love Heals the Brokenhearted

The relationships and the love that God designed for us through them are gifts from God. He knew that we needed each other. That is why He said that it was not good for Adam to be alone. Adam needed the love and companionship of Eve. Eve needed Adam’s love and companionship as well. The Lord is not only the source of love but He also gives us the wisdom we need to keep love in relationships. When the love is not in our God-given relationships then the Lord wants to restore the love when the love is gone. We may feel that there is “no way” for a relationship and love to be restored but there is nothing impossible with God.

And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Sometimes it is not a husband and wife who are estranged but parents and children also can have hurt and damaged relationships. The Lord can heal broken hearts. Neither the parent or the child are completely happy unless they are at peace with one another.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

The beginning of restoration is to acknowledge that your heart is broken. You may say that you do not care but you are not being honest with yourself or else your heart has become so hardened from seeking to protect yourself from further pain. When your heart is hardened then it can no longer experience any love, not even God’s love. To be fully restored in your relationship with others you need to first be restored in your relationship with the Lord. When we are restored in our relationship with the Lord then we will be able to see clearly.

Then again He laid His hands on his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly. Mark 8:25

Ask Him if there are any areas not pleasing to Him. Everyone has blind spots in their lives, in other words, we may be causing hurts to others and not even aware of it. The Lord wants to reveal our hurtful ways to us so that He can help us and change us.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way. Psalm 139:23,24

The Lord will teach us His ways. Often our blind spots are in our lives because of our backgrounds. When we humble ourselves before Him by coming to Him and asking Him for His help then He is more than willing to help us. He wants us to come to Him.

He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way. Psalm 25:9

One of the most famous stories is the story of the prodigal son. Both the father and the son were reconciled. The father’s heart was broken and humble and the son’s heart was humbled and broken. Both wanted to be reconciled and both were willing to do what they needed to do.

And He said, “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate. Luke 15:11-24

Both father and son had a willing spirit. A willing spirit is necessary for reconciliation. Only the Lord can sustain us with a willing spirit. It is often our pride that keeps us from having a willing spirit and being restored.

And sustain me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:12b

When relationships have been hurt and fellowship broken then there is the temptation to be defensive because we have been hurt. We have to allow the walls to come down and be vulnerable again. The father could have rejected the son and the son could have stayed away. Both would have been robbed of the love and joy that God designed for them.

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

Our enemies are not each other but our enemy is the devil. He is called the evil one because he wants to rob us of all the good things in life that God has for us.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12

Be strong in the Lord and live in His strength. Be on your guard always against the schemes of the devil. He is always wanting to destroy what is precious to you. Don’t believe his lies. He is an accuser and will accuse the other one to you. Love believes the best. The Lord wants you to be restored and loved.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

A Life with Love is More than Being Sorry

Even when Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying what the Lord had commanded them God still loved them. He still wanted to communicate with them.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. Genesis 3:6,7

They hid from Him but God did not hide from them.

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. Genesis 3:8

They hid from God and knew they were naked so they made coverings out of fig leaves for themselves. For the first time they were afraid.

Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:9

However, even in their fear they were honest with God about what they had done. They did not deny what they had done.

He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” Genesis 3:11

The Lord provided for them because He loved them. In spite of their sin the Lord knew that they needed help. The Lord gave them what they needed.

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

Cain, on the other hand, denied his sin to the Lord.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:9

Of course the Lord knew what Adam and Eve had done before He asked them and He knew what Cain had done. He also knows what each of us has done but He wants to know if we will be honest with Him.

He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.” Genesis 4:10-12

Adam and Eve repented of their sin and sought to obey God from that time on. Cain seemed to be sorry for the consequences rather than sorry for what he had done. There does not seem to be any desire for obedience.

Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to bear! Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” Genesis 4:13,14

The Lord still showed Cain mercy and provided for him. He did not need coverings as Adam and Eve did after they sinned but he needed protection. The Lord provided protection for Cain. The Lord still loved Cain and heard his cry for help.

So the Lord said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him. Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Genesis 4:16a

There are still two kinds of people. There are those who repent of their sins and turn to the Lord and there are those who are sorry for the consequence of their sins but there is no desire to change. Peter wept over his sin when he denied the Lord and grieved over what he had done.

And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:75

Judas on the other hand, was sorry for what he had done, but there was no repentance.

Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. Matthew 27:3-5

The Lord loved both Peter and Judas. The Lord loves each of us and has shown us His kindness over and over again desiring that we will repent and come to Him.

Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:4

Peter was restored in his relationship with the Lord and Judas was not. The Lord came to restore us. He loves us but He wants us to not only be sorry for what we have done but to turn away from our sin and turn to Him with all of our heart. He wants us to love Him. He wants our hearts. Love is more than just being sorry for what you have done. Love is changing and going in a different direction so you won’t do the same thing. If you love someone then you will get help rather than continuing to hurt them over and over again. Love is more than just being sorry. Love is repentance and changing.

A Life with Love Listens and Hears

Love hears because love is listening for the voice or cry of the one whom they love. Every mother understands this fact. Even in her sleep she is always listening for the cries of her children. She knows their cries and their voices and each one is unique. She knows their sounds because she loves her children. Her heart is attentive to them.

But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. I Thessalonians 2:7

So also the Lord hears our cries and He delivers His children from all of their troubles. He is attentive to each one of us.

The righteous cry, and the Lord hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. Psalm 34:17

The Lord loves us and wants us to cry out to Him. He does hear our voice and the sound of our prayers. He hears our cries of distress.

I love the Lord, because He hears
My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live. Psalm 116:1,2

Just as the Lord hears us He also wants us to listen to Him and hear Him. He said over and over again when He was on earth, “He who has ears to hear let him hear”.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. John 5:24

It is through hearing His Word that we believe in Jesus Christ and receive eternal life.

He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” John 8:47

An unbeliever can read the Bible but the unbeliever will not be changed because they are only reading words with their mind. When a person becomes a Christian then they will read God’s Word with their mind and heart and it will no longer be just reading words but they will hear God speak to them through His Words.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

It is through hearing God’s Word that we receive faith. Is your faith little? If you struggle in your faith then read God’s Words over and over again. Ask the Lord to increase your faith. Faith and fear can not reside in the same vessel. Are you fearful? Get into God’s Word and stay in God’s Word until you know His peace.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27

The Lord hears your cries and He listens to your prayers. He loves you. If you will come to Him then you will know His comfort and His peace. He will be with you in trouble.

As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; Isaiah 66:13a

Being a Christian is having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. He hears the cries and prayers of His children and He wants us to listen to Him also. He speaks to us and He wants us to talk to Him. Being a Christian is far more than just believing intellectually in God and believing that Jesus Christ is God’s Son. Being a Christian is having a living faith that lives on His promises and follows Him in obedience. When a person is a true Christian then they will no longer “listen” to the world but they will “listen” to the Lord. For this reason, their lifestyle will be different. They will no longer want to do the things they did before. They will choose different friends if their nonChristian friends do not want to listen to the Lord. The Christian’s values will change. The Christian will have become a new person in Christ for they will have heard from God. God is still calling for those who will listen.

Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts Hebrews 3:7,8a

The Lord says that “Today” is the day of salvation. If you hear His voice then come to Him. Do not harden your heart for you do not know what tomorrow holds and you do not know if you will hear His voice again or if you will have another chance.

for He says, “At the acceptable time I listened to you,
And on the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation”— II Corinthians 6:2

He hears you because He loves you. He is listening for your prayer and cry to Him.

A Life with Love Brings Comfort

Everyone needs comfort. A baby seeks comfort from the time that the baby leaves the womb. Children need comfort and will only thrive with it. The word “fatherless” or “orphan” means without comfort. God’s design is that mankind would never be without comfort. Comfort is an expression of love that gives the “feeling” of being loved. The word comfort means “to come alongside”. In other words, the idea of comfort is that you will not be alone. The Lord said that it is not good for man to be alone.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; Genesis 2:18a

It is not good for anyone to be alone. The Lord made us to be in relationships. We were made to be in relationship with God, to receive of His love and to love Him back. Jesus came to bring us back into relationship with God. When Jesus left this earth He promised that the Comforter would come to those who trusted Him. This Comforter would be the Spirit of God Himself and would never leave them.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; John 14:16 (KJV)

They would not ever be alone again because Jesus would come to them and comfort them through His Holy Spirit.

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14:18

God never sent His Holy Spirit to convict Christians. God sent His Holy Spirit to comfort Christians. When we draw near to God then we feel His comfort. The Lord wants us to see Him and know His love. He does not want us to feel alone. He came so that we would never be alone again. Sin isolates but love comforts.

After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” John 14:19-21

If we believe in Jesus then we will see Him. We come into Christ and Christ comes into us when we become a Christian. Because Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and lives we live also. When we keep His commandments then we will live in His love and know His comfort and His love.

I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. John 10:11

When a person believes in Jesus Christ and receives Him as their Savoir and Lord then He also becomes their Shepherd. He is a good Shepherd and He laid down His life for His sheep.

I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. John 10:14-16

The true sheep will hear the Shepherd’s voice. Not only will true believers see the Lord but they will also hear His voice. The Lord calls for His sheep in every generation. It is our belief in Him and our love for Him that unites us into one flock with one Shepherd for all eternity. Just as sheep have differences in outward appearances, they will all have a sheep’s heart and they will all have the one Good Shepherd.

But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. John 10:2-4

Jesus Christ is the true Shepherd and the true sheep hear His voice and they follow Him. He knows them by name and He goes before them. The true sheep will follow the true Shepherd because they know His voice.

I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. John 10:9

Jesus is the door. We must enter into His flock through Him. If we do then we will be saved and we will find comfort and rest for our souls. He cares for His sheep for He is the Good Shepherd.

A Life with Love Gives Worth

Love gives worth to the one being loved. It is sin that makes us feel worthless. The more we sin then the less worth that we will feel about ourselves. We are made in the image of God and each time that we sin then that image becomes hidden more and more and our worth diminishes in our own sight until we feel totally worthless.

A worthless person, a wicked man, Is the one who walks with a perverse mouth, Proverbs 6:12

A wicked person begins to be wicked in their heart. The heart of the wicked is worth little.

The heart of the wicked is worth little. Proverbs 10:20

A wicked person is one who believes in God but only enough to make himself feel good. Their belief in God does not change their behavior or life. The wicked are ungodly and live as if there will be no judgment day before God. They are pretentious enough to seek to be accepted by others. They want God and the world.

Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.
For it flatters him in his own eyes
Concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it.
The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;
He has ceased to be wise and to do good.
He plans wickedness upon his bed;
He sets himself on a path that is not good;
He does not despise evil. Psalm 36:1-4

The wicked person will say that he hates what he does that violates his conscience…uses bad language, drinks too much, looks at things they should not look at, gossips, etc. but they do not hate it enough to stop. They are not willing to get help or to do whatever they need to do to be set free from the snare of sin. The wicked person has ceased to be wise and to do good. At one time he wanted to do right and to do good but he no longer despises sin. Either we will love sin and hate God or we will love God and hate sin. We can not do both.

Your lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
Your judgments are like a great deep.
O Lord, You preserve man and beast. Psalm 36:5,6

It is only God’s love that can preserve us. Only the Lord can restore the worth that God gave to man before the fall. Something is worth only what someone is willing to pay for it. God was willing and wanted to redeem us from the power, penalty and presence of sin and He did so by sending His only begotten Son to pay the price for our salvation. Jesus Christ paid the ransom for our life. Jesus Christ took our place on the cross and took death for us so that we could have life.

For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. I Corinthians 6:20

We could not redeem ourselves or restore our worth.

knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. I Peter 1:18,19

We were helpless. Christ died for us while we were sinners. We have been justified and saved from the wrath of God which is coming upon those who have not believed in Jesus Christ. We have been restored in our relationship with God. It is God’s love that saves, justifies and reconciles us.

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:6-11

It is only in Christ’s love that our worth is restored. It is only in God’s love that we can give worth to another. For this reason, it is important that we are filled with God’s love. When we are filled with God’s love then we give worth to each other. If a husband and wife fuss and fight with each other then they destroy each other’s self worth. When a wife does not feel loved then her worth in her own eyes is diminished. When a husband is shamed or not respected then the temptation is to become bitter toward his wife because she is destroying his self worth. When two people marry then they give each other the power over their lives to build up or destroy. People will go where they are praised and built up. Children will go where they are loved and praised. Let your marriage and home be filled with the love of God so that it will be a refuge and shelter from the storms of life and where all who enter will feel loved and of great worth.

A Life with Love Perseveres

Love does not give up when it wants to quit. Sometimes life can seem overwhelming and the temptation is great to stop trying to do what we need to do. Adam and Eve, in a sense, lost both of their sons at the same time. Cain killed Abel and then he had to leave home. We know that he married for he had offspring and the only girl that was available was one of his sisters. So, that means that Adam and Eve also had a daughter leave home at the same time.

Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.” Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. Genesis 4:1.2a

Adam and Eve could have given up and not had anymore children. Maybe they felt like a failure. Their firstborn son had killed his brother. Their hearts were probably broken and there was much grief. Sin brings grief, not only to the one who commits the sin, but also to everyone else that feels the impact. There is a ripple effect. The devil wants you to believe that the “action” that you want to do will only affect you. That is not true. Sin will cost you more than you want to pay and hold you in its power longer than you want to stay. Sin brings death. This was never a part of God’s plan for Adam and Eve or for Cain and Abel.

For the wages of sin is death Romans 6:23a

However, Adam and Eve did not allow circumstances to determine their obedience. They persevered in obeying the Lord. He had instructed them to multiply and so they were committed to having more children.

Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” Genesis 4:25

Eve had become very humble. Each time that she gave birth she gave the glory to the Lord. Eve realized that she can do nothing apart from the help of the Lord. Adam and Eve could persevere during the dark days because their help was in God. The only way that we will not give up is if our faith is in One who is greater than ourselves.

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. John 15:5

We can do nothing good apart from God. We will bear fruit, much fruit, when we learn to abide in the Lord. Even though Adam and Eve lived in a barren land their life became fruitful because they depended on the Lord. When they lived in a land of plenty, in the Garden of Eden, they did not bear fruit because they depended on their own reasonings rather than on the Lord.

To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord. Genesis 4:26

In the barren land Adam and Eve bore fruit for eternity because they looked to the Lord. Men began to call on the Lord after Seth was born and a godly line began that eventually brought forth the promised One who would strike the serpent on the head. It is in our humility that we can persevere and bear much fruit and then we will see the goodness and power of God.

A Life with Love Lives By Faith

There can not be love without faith. We must love by faith. Faith is doing the right thing without the need to see results. Faith is trusting One greater than ourselves. Faith is not blind faith but living on the promises of One who is faithful. There is only One who had perfect faith and that is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ lived a life of perfect faith when He was on earth. He trusted His Father in heaven completely.

But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. Acts 2:24

Jesus Christ did not raise Himself from the dead. The Father raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Jesus Christ went to the cross trusting the Father completely to raise Him from the dead.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8

Jesus Christ is God and equal to God in every way but He emptied Himself and took the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men. He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross. He could only do this because He trusted in God the Father completely to be faithful to raise Him from the dead.

Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. John 14:10

Jesus did not speak His Words but He spoke only what the Father wanted Him to speak. It was the Father abiding in Jesus that did all the works of God that were done through Jesus Christ on earth. Jesus did not do miracles and works with His own power but it was the Father who did these works through him.

I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. John 5:30

Jesus had to study the Old Testament and be taught by the Father. He had to learn what the Father wanted Him to do. Jesus had to learn the promises of God that the Father had given to Him in the Scriptures.

So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. John 8:28

Jesus obeyed the Father completely and lived a life of faith in the promises of God. Jesus did not speak or act on His own initiative but He trusted in the Father completely.

For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. John 12:49

Jesus Christ has not asked His followers to do anything that He, Himself did not do on earth when He walked among men. He went to to the cross in faith and was raised so that He might be the first born from the dead. He lived a life of faith and obedience on earth as He has called us to do. He learned through Scripture what the Father’s will was for Him. He allowed the Father to abide in Him and He abided in the Father. He did not speak His Words but the Words of God. He did nothing on His own initiative except to obey and love the Father. Love, faith and obedience is a choice that we must do on our own initiative.

No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” John 10:18

Love must live by faith believing in, trusting in and obeying the One who loves us far more than we can imagine. He is faithful. Love Him and leave the results to Him.

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

Not only will you not be disappointed but the Lord has so much in store for the One who loves Him that you can not even fathom how great His love is for you. If you were to lay your head on your pillow and think of the greatest thing that God could do for you then He could still say that He can top it.

but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” I Corinthians 2:9

The life of faith is a mystery to those who do not know God. To those who know the Lord then their heart’s desire is to live for Him and to please Him. They have realized that He is the only One who can satisfy the longings of our heart.

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. Psalm 73:25,26

Love lives by faith and the one who loves God lives by faith. When we love others we love by faith. A husband and wife love each other by faith and a parent loves their children by faith. We love our friends and neighbors by faith. We even love our enemies by faith. Faith is doing what the Lord wants us to do and leaving the outcome to Him.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

A Life with Love Gives “Good Things”

A question we need to ask is “Why does God give good things to bad people?”. For there is no one good but God and Adam and Eve did not obey their loving Creator who had nothing but good for them in their present and future. God is good and His plans for us are for our good. God loves us. In spite of what Adam and Eve did the Lord still loved them and wanted good for them.

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

The Lord has a good plan for all of us. He has a good future and He gives us hope.

Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:12,13

If we will call upon Him and come to Him then we will find Him when we search for Him with all of our heart. He will listen to us when we pray to Him. He loves us and longs to show us His love.

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

No matter how “bad” we have been and no matter how far we have run from God He still loves us. He still wants us. He made us to love us. He finds no delight when we fall and when we experience grief.

For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness;
No evil dwells with You. Psalms 5:4

There is no god like the One True God who we know through His Son, Jesus Christ. There is none like Him for He delights in unchanging love.

Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love. Micah 7:18

The Lord wants all of us to come to Him. He will pardon and forgive all of our sins when we come to Him. He came to redeem us because He loves us. When we come to Him then He takes all of our sin and gives us all of His love. His love is a gift and there is nothing that we can do to earn it. We must receive it.

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. Ephesians 2:8,9

When we receive the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ then we receive not only forgiveness but we receive His love. We become His child and everything that is included in being a child of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, John 1:12

We receive Jesus Christ through faith. Faith is coming to Him. It is by grace. Grace is His invitation to come to Him. When we turn away from our sin and come to Jesus Christ through faith by His grace and receive Him as our Lord and Savior then we become His child. We are either going away from God and going toward sin or we are going toward God and away from sin.

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

When we come to Him then He meets us where we are and brings us to Himself.

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, I Peter 3:18a

When we become God’s child then He pours out His love on us. God loves us with the same love which He loved Jesus Christ when He walked upon the earth.

and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them. John 17:26

The Lord made Himself known to us so that we also may know God the Father. He who knows Jesus, the Son of God, also knows God, the Father.

If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him. John 14:7

The commandment has not changed. The same instruction that God gave to Adam and Eve, He has also given to us. When we become His child then He wants us to live in His love forever. If we will keep His commandments then we will know Him and experience His love.

In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” John 14:20,21

The Lord wants to give us good things. He loves us and wants us to know His love and live in it. The way we live in His love is to obey Him. His commandments are for our good and to keep us from grief that we would bring upon ourselves by going our own way. Love is a choice and again, just like in the Garden of Eden, the Lord has given that choice to man, if man wants to love God and obey Him or not love God and go his own way.

No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11

Not only does God give good things to those who do not deserve them but there is no good thing that He will withhold from those who obey Him.

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Romans 8:32

God gives us good things because He loves us. He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him for us wants to also with Christ, freely give us all things. There is none like Him who delights in unchanging love. It is only a fool who would not come to Him.

A Life with Love Allows “Bad Things”

Some people wonder why God allows “bad things” to happen to good people. First of all, this question is not from the Lord rather it is from the devil. It is saying, “Would God do something bad?”. It seeks to put doubts into people about God just as the Serpent did in the garden when he said to Eve, “Indeed, has God said…”. In other words, what the serpent was really saying was, “Would God withhold something good from you?”

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” Genesis 3:1

The question “Why do bad things happen to good people?” implies that God is the author of bad and that people are actually good.

There is no one who does good.
The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men
To see if there are any who understand,
Who seek after God.
They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one. Psalm 14:1b-3

There is no person that does good. We have all failed and gone our own way. Apart from God none of us seek after Him. Not only is God the only One who is good but no bad is in Him. No evil dwells with Him. One of the meanings of evil is to cause grief. The Lord does not cause grief to anyone. We bring grief upon ourselves when we disobey God and what He has told us to do.

No evil dwells with You. Psalms 5:4b

Adam and Eve brought grief to themselves and to their offspring when they disobeyed God. Death, sadness and every other “bad thing” never was in God’s plan for Adam and Eve. However, it was God’s mercy that even allowed the grief to come to them. If God had not been true to His Word then they would have continued in their rebellion against God by doing what they wanted to do rather than doing what they ought to do. There is no record of them ever disobeying God again. Sometimes, it seems, we learn more from the consequences of our sin than we do through the instruction of not to sin. However, how much better life is if we will learn from His instruction to do what is right rather than learn from His discipline.

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Hebrews 12:11

Understanding is knowing the Lord. He wants us to believe and trust Him first and then we will understand.

And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10b

It is unbelief that wants to understand first and then obey. Anything that is not of faith is sin.

and whatever is not from faith is sin. Romans 14:23b

By faith we obey and in obeying we are preserved from the destruction of sin.

But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. Hebrews 10:39

The Lord often will speak to us through three different ways. The first way that He wants to teach us His way is through His Word. He wants us to listen to Him and obey Him by doing exactly as He says. If we don’t listen to His Word then sometimes He will send someone our way who will speak His truth to us. Of course, no one knows you as the Lord does and often this person will not be as gentle as the Lord is with us. It can be painful coming from someone else but it is still love. The Bible says “faithful are the wounds of a friend”. A true friend will speak the truth to you. If you still will not listen and obey then circumstances will speak even more loudly to you through the pain and sorrow that comes to your heart from not obeying and following the Lord.

Wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding, But in the hearts of fools it is made known. Proverbs 14:33

The Lord loves you. He never wants anything bad to happen. He wants you to learn from Him. He is gentle and humble in heart. His ways are good.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,
Otherwise they will not come near to you.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him. Psalm 32:8-10

The Lord wants to surround you with His lovingkindness. That is who He is. He wants to instruct you and teach you the good way. He will counsel you with His eye on you. Don’ be like a stubborn animal that needs a bit and bridle to hold them in check. Draw near to the Lord. He will draw near to you.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8a

As you learn to seek Him day by day and look to Him moment by moment you will be able to tell of His amazing love and what He has done for you. The nearness of God will be your good for you will have made Him your refuge.

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. Psalm 73:28