A Life with Love Does Not Hide

When Adam and Eve loved God they did not hide from Him. When they loved each other they did not hide from each other. It was not until sin came into the world that man began to hide from God and from each other. We will hide behind all sorts of coverings and facades. We hide because we are insecure. Love makes us secure but sin takes away our security.

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. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” Genesis 3:7-10

Of course the Lord knew where Adam and Eve were. He knows where all of us are and exactly what we are doing and what we have done. There is nothing hidden from Him.

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Hebrews 4:13

The Lord asked Adam where he was not so that God would know, for He already knew, but He asked Adam so that Adam would acknowledge where he was and what he had done. The Lord wants an honest heart and not a person who pretends to be somewhere they are not or someone whom they are not. The Lord is still asking man, “Where are you in relation to God?”

But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance. Now no one after lighting a lamp covers it over with a container, or puts it under a bed; but he puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Luke 8:15-17

It is not until we learn to be honest with the Lord can we be honest with each other. We can not trust ourselves, for our hearts are deceitful. We deceive ourselves but we can trust the Lord. We can not deceive Him.

Many a man proclaims his own loyalty,
But who can find a trustworthy man? Proverbs 20:6

How do you know if someone is trustworthy? Many a man will proclaim to a girl his loyalty. How does she know if he will keep his wedding vows to her? How does she know if he will be faithful to her? There is a way that she can know if he is trustworthy before marriage and if he is trustworthy before marriage then there is a much greater chance that he will be trustworthy after marriage. If he fails this test then there is a much greater possibility that he will not be faithful to her after marriage. Trustworthiness comes from the words “worthy of trust”. A man who is worthy of trust will be faithful to the Lord before marriage and will not touch a girl in an inappropriate manner. Trust must be characterized by moral excellence. A man exhibits self control when he controls his passions before marriage and if he can control his passions before marriage then he will most likely control his passions after marriage.

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. II Peter 1:5-7

The beginning of love must be faith in God. Then for there to be love there must be moral excellence and then knowledge and then self control. A man must persevere in his self control and as he perseveres then he will become godly and learn kindness and then he will learn to love as God has loved him. This is the only kind of love that will last. This is a pure love that is built on the Lord and the man who loves like this will be blessed in his marriage and he will be a blessing to the woman he marries. She will trust him for he will have proven himself to be trustworthy. He will have nothing to hide from God or from his wife or others.

A Life with Love Brings Satisfaction

Love brings satisfaction to others by helping them to become the person that God designed them to be and to do the things that God wants them to do. A person can only do this if they have the love of God abiding in them. When Eve disobeyed God she no longer was a helpmate to Adam but she became his mate who hurt him. Her life no longer helped him grow closer to God but she hurt his relationship with the Lord by wanting him to sin just as she had sinned. Sin has a ripple effect and will always bring hurt to the people around the one doing the sinning.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her and he ate. Genesis 3:6

If you love someone then you will not want to be a stumbling block to them but will want to help them grow in their relationship with the Lord. You are either pointing people to the Lord through your life or you are pointing them away from the Lord. A person who is disobedient to what the Lord says will not only stumble themselves but they will put a stumbling block before others. God’s Word is offensive to the one who does not want to obey it. The disobedient person will often want others to do the same as they have done. It does not lessen their guilt but only increases it.

For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the very corner stone,” and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. I Peter 2:6-8

“Indeed, did God say…” is what the devil said to Eve. He caused her to question God’s Word and then she twisted what the Lord said and then she disobeyed God’s Word. She disobeyed God’s Word to her own destruction, to the destruction of her marriage and home and to the destruction of her relationship with God. The Lord had given Adam and Eve everything that man and woman could possibly want. Yet, they were not satisfied. You will never be satisfied if you look elsewhere for satisfaction, other than to the Lord. There will always be something prettier, better, more advantageous and anything else that we think would bring us happiness.

Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied. Proverbs 27:20

Sheol and Abaddon are other names for hell. The devil is never satisfied as to how many people he can get to go to hell with him. He is never satisfied with how many marriages he can destroy or how many lives he has destroyed. When your marriage is destroyed and dies then something within you also dies. You will never be the same. In the same way, the eyes of men and women are never satisfied. They will always want more.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6

As you learn to hunger and thirst for the Lord and to hunger and thirst after righteousness then you will be satisfied. Righteousness is believing what God said by faith and acting on it by obeying His Word. It may seem impossible but it is true. The word “blessed” means happy. You will be happy and satisfied in life, in your marriage and you will be a blessing to your spouse and to others.

A Life with Kindness

Do you want your life to be filled with kindness? This is one of the most simple to understand yet most profound of all the truths in the Bible. It is also brings great blessing to the one who does it.

Luke 18:25a With the kind You show Yourself kind;

The Lord is kind and if you are kind then you will experience His kindness. Not only will you experience His kindness but you will be like Him and your reward will be great.

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

Kindness is not necessarily deserved by the one who receives it but it comes to even ungrateful and evil men because kindness comes from the one who gives it. Kindness is of the Lord and when we are filled with His Holy Spirit then kindness will flow from us towards others.

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

Kindness will give you favor with men and with God. The only way that we can continually be kind is if we walk with the Lord. He is kind and His kindness fills us when we walk with Him. The more you show kindness then the more you see it and the more you want to be kind to others.

Proverbs 3:3,4 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.

Do you want favor in life with God and with others? Learn to be kind. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to ways that you can be kind. Ask yourself about your actions…are they kind and are they true? If your words and actions are kind but not true then don’t say or do them. If they are true and not kind then don’t say or do them. Your life and example is what you will eventually teach your children in the way that they relate to others.

Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

Do you always want to have friends? The learn to be kind. The Bible says that what is desirable in a person is kindness.

Proverbs 19:22a What is desirable in a man is his kindness,

If you want to have a marriage filled with kindness then marry a kind man. If you do, then your marriage will be sweet to you and your home will be comforting to your children.

 

 

 

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 that Is Not Condemned

No one wants to be judged but the truth of the matter is that we will all be judged. However, not all will be condemned. There is no greater peace than to know for sure that you are going to heaven. Many religions offer “maybe the possibility of heaven” but they can not offer the assurance  of not being condemned to hell. Also, their “possibility” will always fall short because they are all based on what you do to earn heaven. Jesus Christ offers assurance “without a doubt” of not being condemned. He alone can make this offer.

Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Jesus Christ took the judgment and the punishment for the entire world. We were due the consequences of our sin but Jesus Christ took it for us. All of us are just as guilty as everyone else because we all have sinned.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

The Bible says that not only have all sinned but we are all equally guilty.

James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

Have you ever said a lie? Have you ever taken something that was not yours? Have you ever cheated? Have you ever lusted or been jealous or envious? If so, then you are guilty of all. However, the Lord offers you forgiveness if you will repent and turn to Him. Repenting means turning away from your sin and turning to the Lord. Jesus came to call us to repentance.

Luke 5:32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.

There must be repentance for there to be forgiveness.

Luke 24:47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

You will know when you have repented because you will feel clean on the inside and times of refreshing will come from the presence of the Lord.

Acts 3:19 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;

You will be a new person and will no longer want to do the things you did before. The Lord wants there to be evidence of your repentance. If you are still hanging out with the same people and doing the same things that you know are wrong then you have not repented.

Matthew 3:8 Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;

Not only are you a new person in Christ and your old life has passed away but you have been set free from the condemnation that once would have come to you.

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

Jesus took your condemnation on the cross when He shed His blood for you so that now you are forgiven and given a new life in Christ.

Hebrews 9:22b all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

The final judgment will not come from the deeds you have done, whether it was good or bad, but the final judgment that will condemn people to hell is whether they trusted in Jesus Christ to forgive them of their sins and to give them eternal life in Him.

John 3:17-19 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

God did not send His Son into the world to judge you but to save you from your sins. If you believe in Him then you will not be judged and you will not be condemned but if you do not come to Jesus Christ then it is because you want to continue in your sin because you love the darkness rather than the light. Come to Jesus so that your sins might be wiped away and forgiveness and eternal life will be given to you.

Romans 2:4 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?

The Lord is kind and it is His kindness that leads us to repentance. He is rich in kindness and He is patient not wanting anyone to perish. Come to Him. He is calling all of us into a relationship with Him.

II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

 

A Life that Speaks Forever

The Bible says that those who listen to the truth will speak forever. After you are gone then what will be the legacy that you leave behind for others to follow? If you listen to the truth then your words will speak forever and bring life and light to those who hear. Listen to the truth so that the words you speak will be truth.

Proverbs 21:28 A false witness will perish, but the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.

Whatever you listen to is what you will speak. You can tell how a person spends their time and who they listen to by what they say. Let your words be truth and let them be said in love.

Luke 6:45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

Let your speech be as it were the utterances of God and then the Lord will be glorified. Your words will give grace to those who hear and you will be more like your Lord, for He was full of grace and truth.

I Peter 4:11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The Lord is made known to the world through our lives, words and actions. Let others behold the Lord in you and let you be a fragrant aroma of Him to the world. They will behold His glory.

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

Guard what goes into your heart with all diligence. For from your heart flow the springs of life. Just as you guard what goes into your mouth knowing that it will either give life to your body or death. So also, what goes into your heart will give life and health to your whole body.

Proverbs 4:20-23 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
For they are life to those who find them
And health to all their body.
Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.

Your words will feed your soul and will also bring life or death to those who hear what you say. You are the one who will eat the fruit of your words. Have you ever chastised yourself for what you said and wish that you could take your words back? That feeling of regret is death to your soul. Have you ever spoken kind and good words to someone and then you were the one who was blessed?

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

How many times have you thought of the words that someone said to you years ago and they were just what you needed for that moment. A mother’s words will either bless her children or they will bring them grief. Let your words bring life to those who hear them even long after you are gone. Learn now God’s wisdom and fill your heart with His Words so that they will speak forever to the hearts of the listeners.

Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

 

A Life Whose Sin is Taken Away

We all know that we are not perfect and that we have messed up sometime during our lifetime. The longer we live the more sins we accumulate to our record. If we were honest then we would agree that yes, we want our sins taken away. There is only One who can take our sin away. Someone has to take the punishment for our sin. That someone who can, who lived the perfect life and never sinned, not even once, is Jesus Christ. He is the Lamb of God.

John 1:29,30 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’

John the Baptist was the first to recognize that Jesus was the perfect Lamb of God. Jesus came to take away the sin of the world. The word is sin and not sins because our original sin was that we wanted to be our own God and run our own lives. We wanted to make the decisions rather than be under the Lordship of God and allow Him to be our Master. From the original “sin” all other sins came. For this reason we can not be saved from our many sins that ensnare us until our “sin” is taken away. When we repent of our “sin” and allow Him to take it away then He becomes our rightful Lord and Master and we become His child.

Matthew 1:21-23 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God becomes our Savior and it is He who saves us from our sins. He sets us free when He forgives us and cleanses us. His blood covers our sins and they are not remembered again by Him. Our sin is taken away and our sins are forgiven.

Hebrews 9:22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Jesus shed His blood for the world that He might take away the sin of the world. Jesus Christ went to the cross once for all. He does not need to die again nor do any more lambs need to be sacrificed. Before Jesus Christ came then an offering had to be made over and over again for the sins of the people.

Hebrews 10:11-18 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, This is the covenant that I will make with them
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws upon their heart, And on their mind I will write them,” He then says, And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

When Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world and was the perfect Lamb of God and took our sin upon Himself then He nailed to the cross all of the accusations against us. He paid our debt so that we might be set free from the penalty, power and one day the presence of sin.

Colossians 2:13,14 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Jesus Christ did it all and He did it once for all so that the gift of salvation might be available to all. However, it is a gift and we can never do anything to deserve it but we must receive it. When we receive the gift of salvation then we receive all that Christ did for us. He took the punishment that we all deserve.

Romans 5:6-10 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.

When you have received this gift then you will know that Jesus Christ is God and that He loves you. You receive the gift of salvation through faith. Once you receive Him then you will want to spend the rest of your life thanking Him and living for Him. Your life will be a response to Him. The Christian life is a love relationship with Jesus Christ.

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.

 

 

 

A Life Where Thou Art

The first question the Lord asked man was, “Where are thou?”.

Genesis 3:9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

The man and the woman were made to be with the Lord. He made them for them to have fellowship with Him and for them to enter into His joy.

Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Man disobeyed the Lord and for the first time fear entered into man. Man began his long and lonely journey of hiding from God.

Genesis 3:10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

God came to earth as a man and His name is Jesus Christ, so that He could restore us back into a right relationship with Himself. He took the penalty and the separation from God that we deserved so that we might be restored back into fellowship with Him. Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus was in the beginning with God and all things came into being through Him. Jesus Christ is God and has always been God.

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Jesus, the Word, became flesh and dwelt among men. He is the only begotten Son of God, which means that He is the One and only Son of God. The Father gave His Son to restore us to Himself.

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

As many as receive Jesus Christ, to them He gives the right to become one of His children, adopted into His family and to live forever with Him. They are born again.

John 1:12,13 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, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Since God’s love is unconditional and perfect, one of the first things He does after restoring us to Himself is that He casts out all fear.

I John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

What is the evidence of someone who has been restored into a relationship with God. They will love others and especially will love Christians.

I John 4:7-11 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

He is still asking, “Where art Thou?”.

 

A Life that Is Kind

It is often easy to be kind to those who are kind to us but what separates Christians from others is that they are to be like their Lord who was kind to evil and ungrateful people.

Luke 6:35b …for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

The Lord says that difficult times will come and people will be ungrateful except the Lord wants us to love them and to be kind to them anyway.

II Timothy 3:1,2 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful…

It is hard to be kind to ungrateful and evil people and the only way that we can do it is through Him and by His Holy Spirit. He showed us His way when He loved us.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The light shines the brightest when it is the darkest and the Lord has told us that we are the light of the world. Even though we may not want to and it is not in us to be kind to evil and ungrateful people the Lord still wants us to be kind and loving. It is when we are the most like Jesus that the world will see in us something that they do not have. If we love those who are like us or who are loving and kind then we are not any different than the rest of the world.

Luke 6:32,33 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.

Our Heavenly Father wants us to be like Him and wants the world to see Jesus in us. The only way that they can see Jesus in us is if we respond to people the way Jesus would have if He were here on earth. He wants others to see Jesus just as if He were in the flesh, in other words, He wants us to live out in the flesh the life of Christ.

Luke 6:35,36 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

He has adopted us into His family and told us what it means to be His child. The Lord has called us to be different and when we are then the world will see Christ in us.

Matthew 5:44-48 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

A Life that Overcomes Bitterness

Bitterness is one of the most damaging emotions. Bitterness can be an unresolved hurt in our hearts. Someone hurt us and we can still feel it as if it just happened yesterday. Bitterness can be a wound that has never been healed. It will cause you trouble and poison many.

Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

When sin abounds then God’s grace abounds also but unless we receive His grace and are healed from the hurt and pain of wounds from others we will become bitter.

Romans 5:20,21 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Grace reigns through righteousness to eternal life which is through Jesus Christ our Lord. When you do what is right after someone has done you wrong, and you can only do this through God’s grace, then you will be set free from the bitterness which would result from not experiencing His grace. If you will turn to Him in your pain then He will heal you and restore you.

Exodus 15:26 And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.”

The opposite of bitterness is thankfulness. He will remove the bitterness and fill your heart with gratitude and joy. Only the Lord can do this but He can and He wants to.

I Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Bitterness also comes from forsaking the Lord.

Jeremiah 2:19 Your own wickedness will correct you,
And your apostasies will reprove you;
Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter
For you to forsake the Lord your God,
And the dread of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord God of hosts.

Bitterness can come from the misfortune of bereavement.

Ruth 1:20 She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.

The Lord healed Naomi and she became the great great grandmother of King David. The Lord restored her joy. She trusted the Lord and He was faithful to her.

Ruth 4:16,17 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Bitterness can come from unfulfilled desires and longings. Hannah was greatly sorrowful that she could not have any children.

I Samuel 1:10 She, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.

Hannah turned to the Lord and the Lord heard her prayer and gave her a son, who became the last judge and first prophet in Israel. Her prayer that is recorded became Mary’s prayer when she found out that she was going to bear a Son and His name would be Jesus, the Son of God.

I Samuel 2:1,2 Then Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord;
My horn is exalted in the Lord,
My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
There is no one holy like the Lord,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.

When you experience great loss then you might feel bitter. Job lost everything but his wife and then she also tried to get him to forsake the Lord.

Job 3:20 Why is light given to him who suffers,
And life to the bitter of soul,

Job was faithful to the Lord and the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him even more.

Job 42:10 The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold.

Great sorrow and pain comes to all of us at some time in our life. How we respond to it will determine whether our life becomes bitter or sweet. If we turn to Him, He is faithful and will not disappoint you, for that is the promise He has made to us.

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

If you don’t turn to Him then your bitterness will eat you up and destroy you from the inside and will make it’s way out through your countenance and your tongue. Not only will it destroy you but it will defile those around you, as mentioned earlier. Don’t substitute what the Lord wants to give to you. His plan for you is sweet. It is the devil who wants to rob you through bitterness.

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Turn to the Lord in you sorrow, loss, disappointment and unfulfilled desires and longings. He will give to you even more than what you can imagine and He has a plan for your life that is good for you and sweet.