A Life that Loves

It has been said that people are happiest doing two things and which these two things are loving and learning. The Lord made us to love and He made us to learn. Both of these activities help keep the focus off of ourselves. The most unhappiest people in the world are the people who are all about themselves. We are basically selfish and only the Lord can change our hearts and character so that we will love others more than ourselves. God is love and when we are filled with the Lord’s Spirit then we too will love others as He has loved us.

I John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

God’s love was made known to us through the life and death of His only begotten Son.

I John 4:9-11 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.

If the Lord so loved us this way then we also ought to love one another. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

I John 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

When the Lord permeates all of your life and relationships then love is what will characterize them. Even if the other people are not loving they will usually eventually respond to the love of Christ in you.

I John 4:12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

One of the most exciting things as a Christian is to love people who you naturally would not love and it can only be done by His Holy Spirit abiding in you. He will love through you and will give you a genuine love for others. As you walk with Him then you will start to see others the way Jesus does and you will have compassion on the people you are around.

I John 4:16 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.

Love is the opposite of judgment. Judgment condemns but love forgives and accepts.

I John 4:17,18 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 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.

If we love others then we will not fear in the day of judgment because we have done what our Lord commanded of us. His love casts out the fear in us when we will stand before Him. Sin brings guilt and guilt brings fear. Doing right brings peace and peace brings confidence.

I John 4:19-21 We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

The Lord will love through you. God loves us because He is love. Love is not dependent on the recipient but on the giver. Have you received God’s love? If so, then the evidence will be that you also will love. It is by our love for one another that the world will know that we are Christians.

John 13:34,35  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.”

A Life with a Relationship with God

The Lord first designed us to be in relationship with Himself. All other relationships must flow out of this relationship so that they will flourish as He designed. Sin messed us up and we will have messed up relationships apart from Him. We must be in a loving relationship with God to have loving relationships with others. God is love and the source of all love. The Lord is the One who shows us and teaches us about unconditional love.

I John 4:7-10 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.

God is love and love is from God. The Lord made known His love to us by sending His only begotten Son to die for our sins and to take the punishment for what mankind had done in the garden of Eden by going His own way. God sent His Son to be the Savior of all of mankind.

I Timothy 4:10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

Jesus Christ came to be the Savior of all but only those who believe in Him will receive that salvation.

John 3:16 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.

Jesus Christ was the perfect Lamb of God who came as the sacrifice for our sins which He took upon Himself on the cross.

John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Jesus Christ loved us when we were at enmity with God. He died for us while we were sinners. He loved us just the way we were and accepts us where we are.

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

His salvation is available to any who will receive Him. Whoever puts their trust in Jesus Christ will come into a personal relationship with God. They will become His child and will be restored to a relationship with Him and fellowship with Him, they they might walk with God.

John 1:12 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,

Once restored to a right relationship with God the child of God will experience the incredible and unfathomable riches of the the love of God. Nothing will be able to separate you from His love.

Romans 8:38,39 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.

You will also know the unsearchable depths of the ways and the knowledge of God.

Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!

 

 

A Life with Relationships

Relationships help keep us from being lonely and give us worth, purpose and meaning in life. They also keep us balanced and accountable. We were made for relationships and yet many struggle with few meaningful relationships. Relationships teach us how to receive and give love and it is through relationships that the world is changed. Even if you missed out on certain relationships earlier in life it does not define your life or your ability to make relationships. Relationships must be built on the One who designed us to be in relationships.

Genesis 2:8 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

The Lord God made man and gave him life. Man became a living being because God gave him life and God is the source of all life. When God is absent in a person’s life then he only exists, rather than thrive and life life to the fullest.

Genesis 2:18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

Everything that God had done up to this point He said that it was good. However, after He formed man then He said that it is not good for man to be alone. It was not good then and it is not good now for man to be alone. Man had God but man still needed to be in a relationship with another human being. Through another human being man would find companionship, help and love. The word “helper” means literally savior and is the only time in the Bible that it is used in reference to a person. Every other time it is used in reference to God. The word “suitable” means corresponding to. God made a helper who would respond to Adam’s heart and bring him companionship. Even though Adam lived in a perfect environment and had a job to do, which was to cultivate the earth and name the animals, he still needed a helper and companion, who would respond to his heart. God made man and woman because He wanted them but God made Eve for Adam because they needed each other. Man was not made to live alone. God loved man and woman from the beginning and gave them instructions on life because He wanted them to live life to the fullest.

Genesis 2:15-18 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 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.”

The Lord knew what man needed and as long as man listened to and obeyed God then man and woman would live happily ever after. As long as they lived in their relationship with their Creator then they would be safe from any grief and the pain of death.

Genesis 3:1-7 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 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.

Woman did not listen to the one whom God had given to protect her and Adam chose also to not obey what he knew was right and so both chose to go their own way and do their own thing apart from what God had commanded. Their relationship with God was changed and they became estranged and separated. The Lord came and they hid.

Genesis 3:8-10 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.”

Separation, death and guilt came into the world and with it fear, grief, pain and blame. When trust is gone in relationships then the relationship is changed and not the same. With broken relationships come broken hearts. With broken hearts there comes blame. Someone is responsible for the brokenness. Often we want to transfer the blame.

Genesis 3:11-13 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? 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.”

With broken relationships come consequences which bring more sadness.

Genesis 3:16 To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”

Woman sinned first and the Lord spoke to her first. The consequences of her sin was pain in childbirth and she would desire her husband but he would rule over her.

Genesis 3:17-19 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;

Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.
“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”

Man sinned by doing what his wife wanted him to do rather than what God wanted him to do. He disobeyed God. His consequences were that the ground would be cursed because of him and there would be thorns and thistles that would make his work more difficult. He would now have to sweat things out in his work and it would not be as pleasant and enjoyable as God had designed. Man still struggles with the thorns and thistles in his occupation.

Genesis 3:22-24 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

It was God’s mercy that sent Adam and Eve out of the garden lest they eat of the tree of life and live forever in their now sinful state. Before God sent them out of the garden the Lord also gave Adam and Eve a promise of a Savior so that they might have hope and not despair.

Genesis 3:14a,15  The Lord God said to the serpent,
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

There would come from the seed of the woman a Savior who would destroy the tempter, Satan, who had brought grief to Adam and Eve. Mankind came into an awful cycle that only God could straighten out, a cycle of sin and death and with it a cycle of grief and despair. Man became brokenhearted with broken relationships.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;

The promised One who would destroy the works of the devil would also bind up the brokenhearted and heal them and heal their relationships.

 

 

 

How to Have A Life that is Successful

Everyone longs to be successful. We don’t want to fail in school, in relationships, on our job, at home or when and if we get married and have children. These next few promises are some of the most amazing promises in the Bible. It shows the heart of the Lord. He wants you to be successful in every area of your life. Incredible that we have a God who not only loves us perfectly but desires our best!

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

Some people may not believe this promise but don’t let someone else’s unbelief pull you down because this verse is very true. The Bible says that it is impossible for God to lie. However, He makes it very clear what you must do to be successful. You must meditate on God’s Word day and night to that you may be careful to follow it exactly as He says. Sometimes it may not make sense to you but do it anyway. Meditate means that you think about His Word. We meditate all of the time. Worry is meditating on your problems and the outcome. If you will replace those thoughts with His Word then you will receive insight that you never saw before and He will show you what to do to avoid failure and to succeed.

Psalm 1:1-3 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Again, this is amazing. The Lord says that if you will meditate on His Word day and night then your life will be fruitful, you will not wither up during the dry seasons of life and in whatever you do…you will prosper. We spend so much time trying to be successful in our own efforts and even reading books on how to be successful in different areas but IF we will only do this one thing then the Lord promises us success. This shows how much He longs for you to spend time with Him. Just like parents want to reward their children big when they do something really big in their eyes even more does the Lord want to reward you IF you will take His Word, meditate on it and then do what He says to do in His Word. However, one of the instructions for learning to meditate on His Word is that you must stop listening to the many voices in the world…voices of the wicked, scoffers and sinners. Do not walk with them nor stand with them not sit with them.

James 1:25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

Again, in the New Testament our Lord repeats this truth. Blessing and success are closely related just as curses and failure. The Lord wants to bless you and He wants you to be successful. If you do not follow His instructions then you will experience curses and failure.

Hebrews 4:2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

The only part of God’s Word that will profit you is what you believe enough to do. Begin by taking a verse and memorizing it and then thinking about every way that verse can apply to your life and then do it. After you have done this then take another verse. You will see as time goes on that your life is being transformed into a beautiful Christlike life.

A Life with Faith

A life with faith is one of pleasing the Lord through believing Him and trusting Him.  If you desire to please the One who loves you so much then you must live by faith. Faith is coming to Him and believing His Word. We think that we would be blessed if we could actually see the Lord but the Lord says, “blessed are they who did not see and yet believe”. Faith is believing in His promises by actually taking Him at His Word and acting as if they will come to pass. The outcome will be that you will see His faithfulness to fulfill His promises and you will grow to love Him more and more. When you grow to love Him more then you will want to please Him more and your faith will grow.

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

The opposite of faith is despair. Despair leads downward into darkness of the soul. Faith leads upward into the light of the Lord.

Psalm 27:13-14 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

When you believe and have faith then it fosters courage which brings about hope.

Romans 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Are you struggling in your faith? The Lord’s provision for you is His Word. Spend time in His Word until your faith is increased. Keep reading until a verse speaks to you. It is the Lord calling you to Himself. He wants to speak to you through His Spirit and bless you.

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

Ask the Lord to help you grow in your faith as you seek Him through His Word. He “meets the one who delights in righteousness”.

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

 

A Life with Lovingkindness

A life with lovingkindness is a sweet life indeed. How much better it is to have a heart filled with love rather than a heart filled with bitterness, hate, anger, rage and the many other emotions and passions that can destroy our lives. How do we have a life filled with lovingkindness?

Lamentations 3:22, 23 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

The word lovingkindness describes who the Lord is and what He does. His lovingkindnesses never cease and His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Did you have a bad day yesterday? Today does not have to be bad at all because it is filled with the lovingkindness of the Lord.

Joel 2:13 And rend your heart and not your garments.” Now return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil.

To know and experience the lovingkindness of the Lord then we must come to Him. He tells us to not worry about changing our clothes but that we need to change our hearts. We need to change the direction of our hearts and quit trying to live life out on our own and live according to His lovingkindness. He is gracious, that means that He is full of grace. He is compassionate, which means that His love and concern for you compels His to act. He is not passive in His love and concern. He is slow to anger and abounds in lovingkindness. He does not give us what we deserve but wants to bless us. He relents of the evil that we should experience because of our wanting to go our own way and in the direction we wanted to go rather than come to Him.

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.”

You must come to God to experience His lovingkindness. Life becomes wearisome apart from Him and we become heavy laden. His lovingkindness gives us rest for our souls and refreshes our hearts.

Daniel 9:4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,

The experience His lovingkindness on a continual basis then you must keep His commandments. He loves you regardless but you will not feel or experience His love apart from keeping His commandments. If you do not obey His commandments then it won’t be long before you will feel that He is has left you and forsaken you. That is an awful feeling and can negatively affect your life and actions. Security comes from living in His love and His truth.

John 14:21 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.

The more you experience His love then the more you want to love Him. The more you love Him then the more you will experience His love. It is a wonderful cycle to be in and is the way life was meant to be lived. If you have gotten off of this cycle or never been on it then come to Him today and ask Him to restore you to Himself.

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

Be honest with the Lord and tell Him where you are at the moment if you are struggling with wondering if He loves you or if you have not been experiencing His love recently. He forgives and cleanses and restores.

 

A Life with Truth

Truth is often what people do not want to hear but truth is often what people most need to hear. Sometimes we don’t want to face the truth or hear the truth but it is the truth that sets us free. Truth sets us free from fear, anxiety, hopelessness, depression, discouragement, loneliness, hate, panic, destruction and whatever else we struggle with in life. We do not need to be afraid of the truth but welcome truth as a gift from God.

John 8:32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

The truth never changes. Theories and speculations will change but the truth never changes. The more we understand the truth about life the more we will enjoy it. Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. Life is a gift from God.

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

When you base your life on truth then you will have far fewer decisions to make and will not be overwhelmed with “should I do this or should I do that” or even worse, “if I do this will this happen or if I don’t do this will that happen”. What a horrible way to live. When we understand truth then we start to understand consequences and we will not do this or that because we will know the consequences of our decisions before they are made.

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

For example, the more you understand the truth of the law of gravity then the easier your life will be. You will not step out of a window but will rather go through a door. You will even want to carry things in a way that gravity will help you rather than hinder you. Since you understand the law of gravity you can get securely out of bed in the morning knowing that you will not bump your head against the ceiling by floating up there. The law of gravity never changes. It is not that one day it is not so and another day the law of gravity works, it is true every day of the year, and true year after year. Life is the same and there are truths about every area of life. Sometimes the consequence of a truth does not seem to be related until you understand the truth. The more you understand truth then the more you will understand the consequences of life. Life will not seem so random and your decisions will be based on truth.

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.”

Some people will sometimes hear some truth and will live their life accordingly and will be successful in that area of life and they do not have to be a Christian to experience this. However, unless they have the source of all truth, which is God Himself, then they will not have access to all truth and will fail in other areas of their lives where they lack the truth. They may even have a false confidence because of their success in one area and feel that they do not need the Lord. However, if you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior then you will have the truth because He is the Truth. The truth will be in you.

John 16:13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

The Lord will also give you the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of truth. When you receive Him then He will guide you into the truth. God’s truth applies to everything in life. When you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord then you also receive the Holy Spirit.

John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

God’s Word is also truth. The more you know God’s Word then the more you will know the truth. God’s Word is what will set you apart from others, that is, when you live by His Word.

Luke 6:47-49 Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.

When you hear God’s Word and act on it then your life will stand strong even during the storms of life. The storms will come and go but God’s truth never changes and your life will express God’s truth. Are you struggling in any area of your life? Then take God’s Word and study it and find out what it says about the area that you are struggling with and do what it says. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by searching it out.

Isaiah 64:5a You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.

The Lord will meet you where you are and will help you. He is good and He loves you.

 

A Life with Favor

There is such a thing as favor and it is like sunshine on our lives. Favor is when things go well and we are happy. When we experience favor it lifts us from the darkness of discouragement and depression. Favor energizes us and is like gas in our emotional tank and is like oil in the gears to help things go more smoothly. Without favor life can be rough and hard. How do we receive and experience favor in life? Where does favor come from? Favor comes from God and from man.

Psalm 5:12 For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord,
You surround him with favor as with a shield.

The Lord surrounds as with a shield those who receive favor. It is the Lord who blesses the righteous person with favor. Righteousness is walking and living according to God’s ways. The Lord gives His righteousness to those who receive Him and He wants them to display His righteousness to the world so that others might see and learn God’s ways.

Psalm 147:11 The Lord favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness.

The Lord favors those who fear Him. We are stubborn and don’t often want to do life God’s way. We want to go our own way and the result is much pain and grief. The Lord favors those who wait on His lovingkindness. The opposite of waiting on the Lord is taking matters into our own hands and doing it “our way”. We may get what we want but we will receive sorrow with it. Manipulation is also not waiting on the Lord. Pray and wait for His lovingkindness.

Psalm 44:3 For by their own sword they did not possess the land,
And their own arm did not save them,
But Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence,
For You favored them.

It is not by our strength that we gain victory and receive salvation but it is because He favors us and it is by His strength and His presence that sees us through to victory.

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.

The Lord wants us to learn to walk in His ways. His is kind in all His deeds and all His ways are truth. When we learn to live according to His ways then we will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.

Psalm 145:17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds.

The Lord is good and he wants us to do good. The Lord is truth and He wants us to walk in truth. The Lord is kind and loving and He wants us to be the same. We are secure in life because of His kindness, love and His truth. Truth never changes. Moods, emotions, feelings, likes and dislikes all change but the Lord never changes because He is truth. The more we walk in love and truth the more others will trust us. We will not be in a constant state of change and people will not be anxious when they are around you.

Ecclesiastes 12:13,14 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

When we fear God and keep His commandments then we will walk in His love and truth and we will receive favor from God and man. This is the standard by which the Lord will judge all that we do, whether it is good or evil. The standard of good and evil is not what we think of as good or evil but it is according to God’s standards of good and evil.

Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.

Ezra set his heart to study the word of God and to practice it. The Lord wants us to do the same.

II Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

The outcome will be the favor of God on your life.

Proverbs 11:27 He who diligently seeks good seeks favor,
But he who seeks evil, evil will come to him.

It is when we diligently seek the Lord that we will find Him and in finding Him we will learn what it means to do good, for only God is good. When we find the Lord then we find life and we receive the favor of God.

Proverbs 8:35 For he who finds me finds life And obtains favor from the Lord.

 

 

 

 

A Life with a Thriving Marriage

The Lord wants your marriage to thrive as much as He wants you to thrive in life. Don’t get discouraged if you feel that your marriage is not where it should be or could be. The Lord is a restorer and there is no marriage beyond His restoring love and power. Where the Lord is, there is hope and where there is hope then things will get better.

Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord has given us a blueprint for marriage. Just as a builder must follow the architect’s blueprint for the building to stand strong so you must follow the Lord’s blueprint for marriage. Everyone strays from His blueprint and that is what it means to “miss the mark” at times. If you will turn to Him then He will help you and restore you. His blueprint is in His Word.

Psalm 19:7,8 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

The Lord will restore you through His Spirit and His Word. He will give you wisdom and bring joy once again to your heart and marriage. He will open your eyes and give you enlightenment and insight. He is good and He is loving. He is all powerful but you must follow His instructions and do exactly as He tells you. You are not responsible for your spouse. The Lord is fully capable of changing your spouse. Do not focus on your spouse but ask the Lord what He wants you to do.

Ephesians 5:22-32 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

Marriage is a mystery and the mystery is great. Marriage is only between a man and a woman. All other unions are a perversion of God’s design and will ultimately bring grief. God’s design is based on the relationship of Christ and the church, which are all Christians. There is an order in marriage and that order is good. Submission of the wife does not minimize or negate her worth but elevates it. Jesus submitted to the Father even though He was equal to the Father. The church is to submit to Christ. The Father took responsibility for Jesus and Jesus takes responsibility for the church. The wife is to submit and the husband is to love and provide. The wife is to respect and the husband is to lead and protect. If one of the spouse fails to fulfill their responsibility it does not nullify the responsibility of the other spouse. In fact, the best thing for a wayward spouse is for the faithful spouse to continue to be responsible and faithful. If a spouse does not keep their marriage vow to the Lord then it does not negate the marriage vow of the other. Marriage vows can not be broken they can only be “not kept” because they are not vows made to each other but they are vows made to God in the presence of others. Other people are witnesses of the marriage vows that the couple makes to God. The Lord says to keep your vows. You will find that as you are faithful to the Lord then you will see His faithfulness to you.

Ecclesiastes 5:4-7 When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God.

Whatever you do, do not say that it was a mistake that you married your spouse. Pay your vows and let the Lord deal with your spouse. The Lord does not in fools. Get to work in your marriage and fear the Lord by doing what He has called you to do. You will find that the Lord will help you, guide you and strengthen you and you will become more like Him. Your life will be a light to others and a testimony of the Lord. There are many people who struggle in difficult marriages and want to quit but the Lord does not bless quitters but He does bless those who are faithful and honor Him.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Is Prepared for Marriage

The best time to prepare for marriage is before you get married. It is a God given desire to want to get married. However, the more you are prepared for marriage the easier it will be for you. The more mature you are as a person the happier you will be in your marriage and the easier your marriage will be. Marriage will never make anyone happy. If you are not happy before you are married then you will not be happy after you are married. No one can meet the needs in your life that God designed for God alone to meet. Marriage does give you meaning or purpose in life. A mate will never make you feel secure of fill any emptiness in your life. The less expectation that you have for your mate then the less disappointment you will feel. Expectations destroy relationships. The more you learn to look to the Lord for strength, security, love, joy, peace, self control, patience. kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness then the happier you will be and the you will also bring great joy to whomever you marry.

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

Do not use the flesh to attract a mate because then you will seek to use your flesh to keep him. This will bring great insecurity to you because a man’s eyes are never satisfied.

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

However, it is important to do your best to look your best because man does look on the outward appearance.

I Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

However, you want the inner beauty of the Lord to be greater than any outward appearance. Your outward appearance is decaying but the inner man is being renewed day by day.

II Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

The Lord will strengthen you through His Spirit in the inner man to become a godly woman who fears the Lord. You must learn to walk in the Spirit on a daily moment by moment basis. This is the greatest preparation for marriage.

Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

Again, a mate will never fulfill you or make you happy. The sooner you learn this lesson the happier you will be. Young ladies have a tendency to live in the “if” or “when ” world. “If I were …” or “if I had …” or “when I …” and the truth of the matter is that the “if” and “when” does not change the contentment of your soul. You must learn to be content in Jesus Christ. He must be your desire. The more you learn to be content in Him then the more content you will be in whatever state He has you, whether married or single.

Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.

Contentment, gratefulness and joy all go together. The greatest gift that you can give to yourself and to others and especially to the person you marry is an attitude of gratitude. No one likes to be around a complainer or someone who is never happy. Someone once said that an unhappy wife is a public rebuke to her husband. Cultivate a grateful spirit and begin now by expressing thanks to your parents and those who have helped you in life. Not only do you quench the Spirit when you do not give thanks but you will quench your husband’s spirit and what he once wanted to do for you he will no longer do because it isn’t “exactly the way you like it”.

Ephesians 5:16-19 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit;

Learn to compliment a man. A man longs for praise. The Lord made him this way and most men are starved for praise and they will gravitate to the people who praise them. This is crucial because the Lord made a man to conquer and he needs the praise of his wife to go out and conquer the world in his job. Also, if you do not praise him then other women will. Even if you do praise him other women will still do it. This is one of the ways that an immoral woman gets a man to commit adultery. She flatters him with her tongue. He does not know that it is flattery and the aim of flattery is to manipulate so you want to make sure that he is filled with your praises if you are his wife. Learn now to praise. You can begin by learning to praise your brothers and your brothers in Christ. Look for Christlikeness and then point it out to him how you see the Lord in him.

Proverbs 2:16 To deliver you from the strange woman, From the adulteress who flatters with her words;

Learn to dress in a modest manner so that a godly man will be attracted to you. If you dress in such a way that stimulates a man by stirring up desires that can not be fulfilled righteously then you are a stumbling block. Why should the Lord give you to a godly man who is seeking Him. No, rather, if you dress in a provocative manner then a man who is “all about himself” will be drawn to you and since you dressed in a deceptive manner you will be the one who will end up being deceived. He will deceive you into you believing that he actually cares for you when he does not care for you but loves himself.

Proverbs 23:6,7 Do not eat the bread of a selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;
For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.

Finally, do dress in a modest manner, as is fitting for one who seeks to please the Lord. Learn to fear the Lord and obey Him. Honor you parents, as the Lord has commanded. If you do not honor your parents then you will struggle with honoring and respecting your husband. The Lord gives the woman to the man, not the man to the woman. You need to ask yourself if you want to serve, desire, submit to and respect a man and consider him more important than yourself. If you are not ready for that then ask the Lord to help you and go to older women who have a good marriage and ask them to teach you. Marriage can be a sweet fellowship and relationship between a man and a woman if it is done God’s way. It is supposed to be a picture of Christ and the church. Just as Christ died for the church, the husband is the love His wife in a sacrificial way and be willing to die for her. In the same way, a wife is to live for her husband (as the church is to live for Christ) and the way that she learns to serve and love Him in this Christlike manner is to die to herself. Marriage is a dying of two selves so that the Lord can raise up one (in body, soul and spirit) to glorify Him.

Ephesians 5:31-33 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

It is a mystery but it is a beautiful mystery and the most intimate relationship on earth when done God’s way. To love and be loved is what we all long for but it is only when we are surrendered to the Lord and learn His ways will we ever know what it means to live in intimate fellowship in marriage.