A Life with Love Needs to Receive

 

God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. Genesis 1:31a

Love was a gift that God gave to Adam and Eve through His relationship and fellowship with them. As long as they kept His commandment then they would live in His love. In the day that they would disobey they would die and their capacity to receive God’s love would be gone. Love is always a choice. Adam and Eve chose to not love God and in doing so, chose to not receive and experience the gift of His love.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16,17

When Adam and Eve sinned they no longer experienced God’s love as they did before their sin. Their guilt separated them from God and they hid themselves. They became isolated and lonely.

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

The consequence of their sin was that Adam and Eve had to leave the presence of God. God is love and in His presence is love. Love is received in the spirit, experienced in the soul and expressed through the body. Adam and Eve died spiritually when they sinned and could not longer receive God’s love in the spirit. As a result of their sin they could no longer experience love in their souls or express it through their bodies.

therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, Genesis 3:23a

If someone wants love in their life and in their relationships then they must receive the gift of love in their spirit. God is spirit and He comes to live within a person in their spirit. When we receive God in our spirit we become spiritually alive.

God is spirit, John 4:24

When we become spiritually alive and are restored to a relationship with God then we receive the gift of His love. God is love and when He comes to live within a person then He fills that person with His love. The love of God within a person is like a river of love that never dries up. God is the source of true love and when we receive His Spirit then we become spiritually alive and we become filled with the love of God. It is the love of God that we have received that we can give to others.

Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; John 37b-39a

The only way that love can thrive in a marriage, family or a friendship is if God is in the relationship. God’s love is pure and is a love that is true, faithful, kind, patient, giving, merciful, believes the best, hopes for the best and desires the best in another. God’s love is not selfish but is sacrificial, steadfast, enduring and is eternal. God’s love gives grace and forgives. God’s love never dries up nor can it ever be exhausted. God’s love is perfect. God’s love is beyond our understanding. It is so deep that we can never fully comprehend it. It is so magnificent and perfect that we can only believe it and receive it and when we do our lives and relationships are never the same. God’s love was fully expressed through the life and death of Jesus Christ. When we come to know Him then we begin a love relationship with God that never ends. There is nothing that can separate us from God’s love once we have received it through Jesus Christ.

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

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 a Purpose

When a young person loses hope they quit dreaming and when they quit dreaming then they quit living and are only existing. The Lord has so much in store for each person and He gives a life purpose and direction. How do we know His purpose for our life and how do we accomplish our potential. Living life to the fullest is becoming all that you can be and reaching your full potential in life. How do we know our purpose in life and fulfill it? The word purpose means: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. Not all accept the purpose for which they were created.

Luke 7:30a But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves,

Jesus knew His purpose in the details for which He was sent.

Luke 4:43 But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”

Jesus knew His overall purpose for which He came.

John 12:27 Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.

It is only in Christ that you can discover your purpose. Life is far more than eating and sleeping and work. Apart from the Lord you will just “go through life” without real meaning. If you want to know God’s purpose for your life, in the details and particular purpose just for you, then you must follow God’s purpose for you in the His general purposes for you and everyone else. Humans are the only aspect of creation who have not followed God’s purpose for which they were created. What are the basic purposes?

I Peter 2:20b,21 But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,

The first step in discovering God’s purpose for your life is to do what is right in what He has already revealed to you to be His will. Is there anything that has been left undone that He has told you to do? Why should the Lord make known anything else to you if you are not doing what He has already shown you?

I Timothy 4:7 On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;

God’s purpose for you is to be godly and to discipline yourself for this purpose. How are you doing in your own personal discipline? If you are lazy and indulging yourself for your own comfort then why should He make known to you His purpose for you? It is easier to direct a moving vehicle than one which is sitting by the road. Are you going about and leading a disciplined life by doing what you already know what you should be doing or are you waiting until He shows you what He wants you to do? Get moving doing what you already know to do.

I Thessalonians 4:7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.

The Lord has called us to be pure. Are you reading and listening to things that you should not be paying attention to? What is your music like? Music is often a general expression of the heart. Does it feed your fleshly desires? Why should the Lord show you His will if you are allowing garbage to go into your mind?

Colossians 1:28,29 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

Are you involved with a church or the body of Christ is some way that is helping you fulfill the Great Commission of making disciples? We all can’t do everything but we all can do something to proclaim Christ to the world. When you are doing His will then His power will mightily work in you. You will find that as your are united with other Christians for the purpose of fulfilling God’s will in the world that you will bring joy to others and you will find your purpose in life.

Philippians 2:2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

The Lord will make known to those who follow Him, the mystery of His will for their lives, which is in accordance with the kind intention which He purposed in Christ. The Lord is kind and His will for you is good.

Ephesians 1:8b,9 In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him

So, having done all of these things, how do you know God’s will for your life? The Lord says that the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that shines brighter and brighter until the full day. As you go in the direction of God’s will for you then it will become clearer and clearer.

Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.

His peace will rule in your heart as you follow His direction. If you find yourself being confused then you must stop and not go any further in that direction but you need to wait again on Him. The Lord is not a God of confusion.

I Corinthians 14:33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace

Don’t try to make something fit. If it is God’s will then it will be a good fit for you. He made you for a purpose and as you fulfill the purpose for which you are created then you will be secure and have joy and meaning in life. You will not need to compete with others or feel that you need to impress others but you will be secure in where He has you.

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Don’t forget to give Him thanks for the purpose for which you are created. Giving thanks to the Lord keeps your focus on Him rather than on the purpose. The devil will do anything to get our focus off of the Lord and onto something else, even if it is something good like His purpose for our lives.

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Is Not Ashamed

We often are very concerned and conscious of what others think of us and we want to be accepted and respected by others. As we grow older we become aware of what we need to do to be “socially acceptable”. Only a very secure person can go through life willing and able to stand alone.  It is a natural desire to want the respect of others, however, it can become a snare for us and hypocritical if we change our behavior or put on a certain front in order to receive the acceptance and respect of people.

Matthew 6:2 So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

The religious leaders in Jesus’ day loved the praise and honor of men but the Lord called them hypocrites because it was not who they really were when they gave for appearance sake. They only gave so that others might see and honor them.

Matthew 6:5 When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Again, they prayed so that others might respect them for their “spiritual” prayers. Again, the Lord called them hypocrites. To receive the praise of others was their reward in full.

Matthew 6:16 Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Again, their life was all about putting on an appearance in order to be accepted and praised by others.

Mark 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be  ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of someone who was secure in who He is and who was willing to be rejected by others in order to accomplish something greater. Jesus Christ knew that He was accepted by His Father and He lived to please the One who had sent Him. Jesus Christ promises us that if we will not be ashamed of Him and His words then He will not be ashamed of us when He returns. An indication of a true Christian is that they will be ashamed of the things they did before they were a Christian and they will not be ashamed of Jesus Christ and following after Him after they have become a Christian.

Romans 6:21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.

Sometimes a conflict is created between a Christian and unbelievers who are in a close relationship with the new Christian. They may be a family member or a friend who has not yet come to Christ. New Christians want to please the One who died for them and the nonChristian does not understand that kind of commitment because they have yet to experience His amazing love.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

We are secure in the Lord once we come to know Him and we understand that His words are power and that He will never leave us or forsake us. We have a sure foundation in Him which can not be shaken and He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him.

II Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

What great joy it will be for those Christians who did not shrink back and who were not ashamed to suffer for being a Christian. Sometimes it might seem lonely but He promised us that He would never forsake us. Even though we can not see Him, we believe in Him and know that He is faithful and will fulfill all of His promises that He has given to us. He is not ashamed to call us brethren.

Hebrews 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Neither is God ashamed to be called our God, for He has prepared a place for us.

Hebrews 11:6 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

When the Lord comes again it will only be those who were not ashamed of Jesus Christ during the time of their stay on earth who will not shrink back in shame. Those who refused to call upon Him will wish they had and will shrink away in shame for their many sins and for not calling upon Jesus Christ, the Lord of lords and King of kings.

I Peter 4:16,17 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if itbegins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

It is not too late to call upon Him. It is not too late to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and call upon His name. He desires that all come to know Him.

Isaiah 55:6,7 Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

 

A Life at Peace

There is nothing in the world that can compare to a life of peace. Peace, how sweet it is for the person who is at peace with the Lord, with themselves and with others. The lack of peace robs you of love, joy and contentment. When peace is missing it is replaced with anxiety, sadness, frustration, emptiness and a lack of satisfaction in life. First of all, there is no peace for the person who is not right with the Lord.

Isaiah 48:22 “There is no peace for the wicked,” says the Lord.

All of our hearts are deceitful and wicked and we will not know peace until we have peace with God. Jesus came to bring us peace and the one who comes to Him receives His peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

When He gives us His peace then He takes our fears and troubles. He came to take the very things that are causing us a lack of peace.

John 14:27 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.

Let not your heart be troubled. Come to Him and give Him whatever it is that is causing you anxiety. He will take your burdens and cares for He cares for you. He will take your worries and troubles and give you His peace. Are you afraid? Come to Him.

Luke 8:49-56 While He was still speaking, someone came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.” But when Jesus heard this, He answered him, “Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she will be made well.” When He came to the house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James, and the girl’s father and mother. Now they were all weeping and lamenting for her; but He said, “Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep.”And they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died. He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Child, arise!” And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat. Her parents were amazed; but He instructed them to tell no one what had happened.

The synagogue official came to Jesus about his sick daughter and before they could make it his house, he was informed that she had died. Jesus said to him, “Do not be afraid, only believe.” Jesus makes it sound so simple with the word “only”. Only believe and you do not need to be afraid any longer. If only we could believe. Believing is coming to Jesus. The Lord was saying to Jairus, don’t give up now, keep believing, and don’t be afraid. We become afraid when we get our eyes off of Jesus and onto the problem itself. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and you will not be afraid. If you continue believing you will have His peace and you will end up being amazed at what the Lord will do. It is those who don’t believe who are laughing. To those who have faith the Lord shows His faithfulness. Jesus offers His peace to all who come to Him.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

There is no problem too big for Jesus. It is in Him that we find peace. In the world we will have troubles. Take courage, for Jesus Christ has overcome the world. Where are you in your peace with the Lord? Are you an overcomer? It is your faith in Him that will allow you to become an overcomer.

I John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

Once you are at peace with God then He will show you what you must do to be at peace with yourself and with others. Often it begins with forgiving ourselves and accepting who we are and where we are at in life. We can forgive ourselves and accept where we are because Christ has forgiven us and accepted us. We can forgive others and accept where they are because Christ has forgiven them and loves them also.

Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Life is sweet when we are at peace with God and with ourselves and others. Where are you in your journey? Believing in Him is coming to Him. He is waiting for us to come to Him. He who gave up His own Son will He not with Him freely give us all things? There is no problem too big or too small for Him. Come to Him.

Romans 8:32 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?

 

 

A Life that Is Abundant and Overflowing

A lot of people go through life surviving and existing rather than living an abundant life that overflows with love, joy and peace. These are three qualities of life that we long for but they seem almost like an illusion at times. If we don’t have them then we can keep ourselves busy or numb ourselves to the emptiness that characterizes our lives in the absence of love, joy and peace. If we have these qualities then our lives are full and meaningful. Is an abundant life possible or is it only a wishful dream?

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

Jesus came to give us life and not just life but to live life abundantly. Life that is overflowing. He said out of our innermost being will come rivers of living water.

John 7:37b-39a Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive;

Are you thirsty for life? Is your soul empty within? Are you tired of not seeing any real changes? Are you often depressed? Are you weary? The Lord says to come to Him and He will give you life.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

He knows your needs for He is the One who made you and wove you in your mother’s womb. You are fearfully and wonderfully made but He is your Creator and He knows what you needs.

Psalm 139:13-16 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

Your needs are as unique as you are and there is no one like you. He knows the day you were born and He knows the day you will leave this earth. There is no one who knows you like He does. He made you for His glory and when you come to Him then He continues the work that He began in you before you were born.

Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

After we were born then we started to go our own way and wanted to run our own lives. When we did this then the devil, who comes like a thief, started to rob us of the love, joy and peace that the Lord designed for our lives. Our sin caused us frustration and emptiness and opened the door to the lies that Satan started to put into our minds that stole our joy, that accused others to us that they did not love us, and peace started to seem further and further away. The Bible says that there is no peace for the sinner but Jesus came to give us peace.

John 14:27 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.

Jesus came to love us and to give us joy.

John 15:9-11 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

We receive the love, joy and peace when we receive the Holy Spirit, whom we receive when we are born again into God’s family when we receive Jesus Christ into our lives.

Galatians 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

When we receive Christ we receive the abundant life, that is overflowing.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Not only does Jesus Christ give us life because He is life but He also gives us the truth so that we no longer believe the lies of the devil. Satan may no longer rob us of the love, joy and peace that Jesus gives to us. The Lord also is the way, which means that He teaches us the way in which we should walk so that we don’t go back into our old way of life. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

Ephesians 4:30,31 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Have you been born again but have gotten away from the Lord? Have you lost the joy that you once had and the love and peace that only Jesus can give? Have you grieved the Holy Spirit who lives within you? Come back to the Lord. Remember from where you have fallen and repent so that times of refreshing can come from the presence of the Lord. You will once again know the love, joy and peace that you had when you first came to know Him. Or if you have never made that first step of trusting Jesus then this verse is for you also.

Acts 3:19,20 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you,

 

 

 

A Life that Experiences Mercy

There is not a soul in the world that does not want mercy and we all need mercy because we have all failed in one way or another. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. We all deserve death because we have all sinned against God. He gave us a conscience and very early in life we violated our conscience and guilt came upon us. Guilt condemns us but mercy accepts us.

Romans 3:23,24 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

The wages of sin is death which means that we have all earned death. It is our just penalty for our sin. Just as the worker earns his wages and his wages are not a favor but justifiably his so all have sinned and earned death.

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

On the contrary, eternal life and freedom from condemnation is a gift. None of us have earned it nor can we ever earn it. We deserve death and anything less than death is God’s mercy towards us. However, not only did He remove the condemnation that we deserve through the cross, when Jesus died for us, but He came to give us life and that life is a gift from Him.

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.

Mercy is not giving us what we deserve in the way of death, judgment and condemnation and grace is giving us what we do not deserve which is life, justification and freedom. When we come to Christ for salvation then we are set free from the penalty of death because He took the death we deserved. We also are set free from the judgment that is justly ours for wanting to go our own way and turning our back on God. God, the Father, turned His back on Jesus on the cross so that God would not turn His back on us. Jesus took the condemnation that we deserved and He had done no wrong nor was any sin ever found in Him. Mercy set us free.

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

Jesus showed us mercy and set us free. We can only give to others what we have been given. If you have received the mercy of God then He wants you to go and show mercy to others. Is there anyone who you are still holding their sin over their head and judging them in your heart? Set them free just as you have been set free.

Matthew 18:32-35 Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

All of our hearts are wicked and the Lord offers forgiveness to everyone who comes to Him, no matter what they have done or not done. Mercy is freely given to all who ask the Lord for mercy. If He had mercy on us should we not have mercy on others. Mercy is giving forgiveness to those who have wronged us, just as the Lord forgave us for wronging Him and others. The consequence of not forgiving is torment. There will be torment on earth and torment for all eternity to those who refuse to forgive his fellow man. Forgiveness is the promise never to bring it up again. If you say you have forgiven someone and then you bring it up again then there is not forgiveness, rather, you are trying to make them pay for their sin. Judgment keeps a person in bondage until you think they have paid enough for what they did but mercy sets them free.

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

There will be freedom in this life and freedom for all eternity to those who show mercy. If Jesus Christ has shown you mercy, forgiven you and set you free then go and do likewise. If you are in torment from what you have done, the come to Jesus Christ and ask His forgiveness. He will set you free from your sin and the torment so that you can have life in Him.

Luke 17:13 and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

It is not those who think that “their good works will outweigh their bad” who will enter into the kingdom of God but rather those who ask for mercy because they know that they are a sinner and deserve death. They acknowledge that they can never be good enough but need God’s mercy to be accepted by Him.

Luke 18:11-14 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

 

 

 

A Life as A Friend of God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John 15:12-14 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.

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

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

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

I John 2:15-17 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

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

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

 

A Life with Love Has An Enemy

Love has an enemy that wants to destroy it and the people in the relationship where love is. God is love and there will only be true love where God is but there is one who hates God and he will do everything he can to destroy what the Lord establishes. The Lord is the One who brings people together in marriage.

And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Matthew 19:4-6

The Lord made the marriage to be between male and a female. He joins them together and they become one flesh. They are no longer two but one. The Lord’s blueprint for marriage is that the two people are to stay married until one of them dies and then the length of the marriage has been completed. However, the devil hates what God has ordained and he tries to destroy the love, the marriage and the people in the marriage. The enemy of love is not flesh and blood but it is spiritual forces.

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

Struggles will come in any marriage but if you recognize who the real enemy is then you can stand firm together and resist him.

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

As both of you, or even if one of you, will recognize the real enemy then you can resist him and he will flee. You must be strong in the Lord and you resist him through submitting to God and in the strength of God’s might. He will have to flee.

But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes. II Corinthians 2:10,11

Do not be ignorant of his schemes. He wants one of you to harbor unforgiveness in your heart. We all wrong each other and hurt each other, and often we are not even aware of it. If you will learn to forgive quickly then that keeps Satan from getting a foothold in the marriage. The Bible says that he is “an accuser of the brethren”. He wants to accuse each one of you to the other. He might say, something like, “If he really loved you then he would not do that.” Not so, for a man often does not know what will hurt his wife. He has to learn to live with her in an understanding way. It does not come naturally.

You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way,

I peter 3:7

In the same way, a wife needs to learn how to respect her husband and love him the way that God designed. It is different from the way a wife “wants” to be loved. She will often love him the way she wants to be loved and the man will do the same. The older women are instructed to teach the younger women how to love their husbands.

so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:4,5

This word love in “to love their husbands” means that they are to want their husbands. A man marries a woman because he thinks that she wants him. If she does not communicate this after marriage then he will feel rejected.

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

The devil will do what he can to get the man to not love his wife and to get the woman to not respect her husband. It takes two to destroy a relationship. A marriage is only dysfunctional if both people are not doing what the Lord called them to do. If only one person is disobedient then that person is dysfunctional and the obedience of their partner will help them become the wife or husband that the Lord called them to be.

In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. I Peter 3:1,2

Marriage relationships are work but when they work the way the Lord designed then they are the sweetest relationships on earth. They are a taste of heaven to the marriage partners and they are salt and light to the rest of the world. When each partner does the work that God has called them to do and be the spouse that God designed them to be then God is glorified.

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