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 is Being Accepted

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Life with Love Unites

Love unites. Love is one of the most powerful fores in the world. We long for love. We long to be loved and we long to love. It is the food for the soul. Without love our emotions dry up and our hearts become hardened. It is a friendship love that unites friends and it is a brotherly love that unites family. It is romantic love that unites a couple in marriage. However, it is only God’s love that can sustain any of these relationships. God’s love is the purest love ever known. No one can know God’s love unless they know God. God’s love is called agape love because it is a love that is not conditional on the other person.

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. I John 4:15,16

Believing in and confessing Jesus Christ as the Son of God allows a person to come into the personal knowledge of the love of God. God abides in the that person and that person abides in God. Jesus Christ was the fullest and greatest expression of God’s love. We do not deserve God’s love and yet it has been poured out on us through Jesus Christ.

for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:28

The life of Jesus Christ was was sacrificed for the forgiveness of sins. His blood was poured out for us. It was love that sent Jesus Christ to the cross to die for us.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

For God so loved us He gave His only begotten Son.

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

Jesus laid down His life for us.

because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5b

God’s love has been poured out within us through His Holy Spirit who has been given to us. It is His love that unites us. Our love for Him and our love for each other. He came to love us.

Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Colossians 3:14

Love covers a multitude of sins. People will either see our sins or they will see our love. When they see our love they no longer see our sins.

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8

How did Jesus love us? He laid down His life for us. We also ought to lay down our lives for each other.

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. I John 3:16

How do we know when we truly love each other? It is when we keep His commandments that His love is expressed towards each other.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. I John 5:2

What is the outcome when we love each other? The world will know that we are Christians by our love for one another. God is love and love is the expression of who God is.

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

When we love as the Lord has commanded us there will be no division. There will be unity for love is the perfect bond of unity.

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 is Sincere

Love is sincere or it is not love at all. Insincere love is a pretension and is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy does not fool anyone but the one who has it. Love must be genuine. Everyone longs to see genuine love and longs to be loved with a genuine love.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Romans 12:9a

A sincere love is a love that is not fickle. It does not change with the times and circumstances. It loves when the one loved seems unlovable. It is the love that great marriages are made of and what should characterize all marriages. It is the love that is repeated in the vows made to God during the wedding ceremony.,,for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.

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

A genuine love is not intentions but faithfulness in actions. A sincere love never changes. This is the love that God has for all of us. This kind of love is impossible apart from God.

Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, I Peter 1:22

When we draw near to God then we will learn what it means to have a sincere love for others.

let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, Hebrews 10:22a

A genuine love must come from a sincere heart with a clean conscience. Only God can clean our conscience.

having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience Hebrews 10:22b

A sincere love is one which loves expecting nothing in return. A sincere and genuine love will never fail.

Love never fails; I Corinthians 13:8a

The greatest gift that you can give to another is a genuine and sincere love. This kind of love can only come from a pure heart and a good conscience with a sincere faith in God.

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

We can only find this kind of love in Jesus Christ. He gave His life for us. He loved us when we did not deserve it. No one deserves anyone’s love. Just as God’s love is a gift to us so is anyone else’s love. When you love with this kind of love then you will know that Christ is in you and you are in Christ. You will have a clear conscience and your heart will not condemn you. You will not help another when you see a need, out of guilt, but it will be love that motivates you. It will be a love greater than yourself for it will be God’s love.

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. I John 3:16-20

The Lord is so gracious to us. He knows our heart and He knows all things. He knows how weak our love is for others. He will help us learn to love and will love through us. Ask Him to teach you and help you love others with His kind of love.

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. I John 3:21-22

The Lord does not condemn you and don’t let your heart condemn you. The Lord will give you what you need to help you have a genuine love for others and keep His commandments. When you obey Him and love sincerely in deed and truth then you will do what is pleasing in His sight and He will hear your prayers. You will receive what you ask for from Him.

This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. I John 3:23

This is His commandment, that we believe in Jesus Christ and love one another as Christ has loved us. Trust in Him and obey Him.