A Life that Has Respect

Respect is another one of those desires that we all have. We want to be respected and when we are not respected then it affects everything about us. A lack of respect is very demeaning and a relationship will not last long or be intimate without it. Respect and trust go together. We have difficulty respecting someone whom we do not trust and in the same way we have a hard time trusting someone whom we do not respect. How do we get the respect we long for and need?

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

Trust is a prerequisite to respect. You must be trustworthy and to be trustworthy means that you must have moral excellence. Moral excellence means that you have high standards of morality and you do not compromise. You do not have sex before marriage nor do you stir up desires in a man which can not be fulfilled righteously. You exhibit godliness in the way you dress, act and speak. You do not lie, steal or cheat. You do not gossip or slander. These are just a few examples but they can all be summed up in the great commandment of our Lord, which is, “to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself”. He who does these things will not stumble and will be found trustworthy.

I Peter 2:17-19 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.

To respect someone means that we treat them with honor. There are two aspects of respect. One aspect is that we are to respect those who are in a position of authority over us. They may be a king or president or policeman. The person worthy of your respect due to their position may be your employer and certainly your parents and if you are married then your husband also. Their character may not be respect worthy but their position is and you are to respect them. Another meaning of respect is to honor and the Lord commanded us to honor our parents from the beginning. All of these positions we are to honor and respect whether or not the people themselves are worthy of it. Not only are we to respect the people in positions of authority but the Lord tells us that we are to honor all people.

Proverbs 22:4 The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches, honor and life.

The other aspect of respect is that some people earn the respect of others. This is the person that you want to be so that whether you are in a position of respect or not, that people will respect you for who you are and what you do. Respect is generally instinctive and that is why a man will instinctively respect a woman who acts like a lady and is a godly woman. He will respect her even if he generally does not respect women because her life commands a certain respect. A man has no problem using curse words around a female who also curses but if she does not curse then he will become aware of her gracious speech and it will be harder for him to curse.

Lamentations 1:8b All who honored her despise her
Because they have seen her nakedness;
Even she herself groans and turns away.

Another action that causes a man to lose respect for a woman is if he sees her nakedness. A female is not wise to dress in a way that is revealing. She may get attention for the moment but she loses the respect of the man who sees the revealing of her body. Ladies, if you want respect and you should want it, then live in a manner worthy of respect. A man will have a much greater respect for you and he will trust you more. You will be the kind of woman that he will be proud to know and the kind that he would want to introduce to others as belonging to him as his wife.

Proverbs 31:29b,30 “Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

It is not too late to start over if you have compromised in the past. The Lord makes us new creatures in Christ. He forgives us and cleanses us. He gives us a new start. Trust Him and follow His instructions and you will have the respect you long for and desire.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Knows Love

There is nothing sweeter than to know that you are loved. When you know that you are loved there is a much greater satisfaction with life. You will see that your sorrows are not so bitter, your joys are much deeper and your burdens are lighter. You have a confidence and a security that just makes life so much greater. However, there is only One who can love us that way and His love never changes.

Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

He loves us with an everlasting love and underneath us are the everlasting arms.

Deuteronomy 33:26,27a There is none like the God of Jeshurun,
Who rides the heavens to your help,
And through the skies in His majesty.
The eternal God is a dwelling place,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;

His love is perfect and will cast out all fear.

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.

Are you fearful? Do you lack confidence? Are you insecure? Come to the One whose love never changes and nothing can 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.

In everything we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loves us.

Romans 8:37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

You are loved and you are precious in His sight. He loves you. He loves you. He loves you. His love will never fail you nor will He ever forsake you.

Romans 8:35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

There is nothing that will separate you from knowing His love, but you. If you don’t come to Him then you will never know His love. If you don’t obey Him then you will not experience His love. He loves you but He wants you to know His love and experience His love.

John 15:9,10 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

Life is sweet when you know the love of Jesus and you abide in His love. Your life will not always be easy but it will be much easier when you know you are loved and it is a daily reality to you. Abide in His love.

 

A Life that Is Loved Unconditionally

You are far more loved than you will ever fully realize but if you do not know this unconditional love for you then you will live as if you were not loved at all, for you will realize that most of the love that people have for us is conditional. It is based on how smart we are, how well we do in school, how pretty we are, if we do not shame our family or friends and basically how proud we make others feel or what we have to offer to them. It is based on our performance or physical or mental assets. However, all of us know in our heart that we can not perform forever, that we will not always be smart or pretty and also, that what we have to offer to others will one day fail.

I Corinthians 13:8a Love never fails

Love is the one thing that all of us long for deep within our hearts. We wonder if there is anyone who will love us just the way we are, with all of our faults, including our past failures, present failures and future failures. There is only One who can and does love us with the love we long for. His love will never fail for He is love.

I Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

You can read this as, “Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind and is not jealous, Jesus does not brag and is not arrogant nor does He act unbecomingly. Jesus is not selfish or gets angry easily. Jesus does not remember your sins. Jesus is not glad when you do wrong because He knows that you will suffer. Jesus is happy when you live in the truth so that you will prosper. However, even when you fail, Jesus bears all things (including your failures), Jesus believes all things (that are good about you), Jesus hopes all things (when you have no hope for yourself) and Jesus endures all things (when you want to give up) because Jesus does not give up on you.” He is the only One who will never fail you because He is love.

Isaiah 43:4a “Since you are precious in My sight,
Since you are honored and I love you,

Jesus sees you as precious to Him, He honors you and He loves you. He is love.

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

God is love and His love was made known to the world through Jesus Christ. You will never be able to love others with God’s love until you know His love. You will never know His love until you know the love of Jesus Christ for you. You will never know the love of Jesus until you receive and believe what He did for you on the cross and that was that He died for you and was the propitiation for your sins. What propitiation means, is that Jesus Christ took the punishment for your sins so that you might experience God’s love for you forever.

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.

For God so loved you that He gave His only begotten Son to die for you so that if you will believe in Jesus you will live in His love forever and you will not receive the punishment for your sins that you deserve, because Jesus took it on the cross when He died for you.

Have you experienced this love? Have you received and believed the love that God had for you by taking your punishment on the cross?

 

 

 

A Life with An Understanding of Men

Women often will think that men are clueless when it comes to women but the truth of the matter is that often women are clueless when it comes to men. We need each other and yet unless we know the One who created men and women, we will never understand each other. Since this is a constant source of frustration among women it is good to know a few things that the Lord says a man needs and wants in a woman

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.”

A man needs a companion so that he will not be alone. He needs a companion with whom he can share his life with and who will help him and support him. He needs a woman who will respond to his heart, one who understands what he would want done and one whom he can trust.

Proverbs 31:10-12 An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.

A man needs a wife who will love him all the days of her life and will do him good and not evil. He needs a wife who will not bring him grief or will shame him, a wife that he can confide his deepest needs to and she will still love and respect him, knowing that it is his weaknesses and needs that cause him to need her and love her so very much. A great marriage is one where both the husband and wife want and need each other but are not dependent on each other in an insecure way, but rather realizing that it is their mutual needs that cause each to complement the other so that each one can reach their full potential.

Titus 2:4,5 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands,

The word “love” in this verse really means in the original Greek, to “want or be a lover of” her husband.  A man needs and wants a wife who wants him. He married her because he believed that she wanted him. The words “I want you” to a man are similar to the words “I love you” to a woman. A husband knows that his wife needs him but he wants her to want him. When she refuses him physically after their marriage then it can communicate a message of rejection. Just as a wife longs for her husband to love her so her husband longs for her to want him.

Ephesians 5:33 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.

A husband needs respect from his wife. This is especially important when there are children in the home. The glory of children and especially sons is their father so when a wife does not respect her husband then she is destroying her children’s glory. We receive our self worth from our glory so the very thing that a mother longs to do in her children, see their confidence grow, she is destroying if she is in any way not respecting her husband. Respect is communicated through attitude, actions and words. An example of a lack of respect would be if she were to say, “Don’t tell your father….” or communicating in anyway her approval of anything that he would not like.

Ephesians 5:28-31 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.

You will find that it will be a much greater delight for your husband to love you when you are a delight and joy to him. The husband and the wife relationship is the closest thing to heaven on earth if it is done God’s way. He ways are perfect and there is nothing to add to it or to take away from his ways.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.

It is the wise woman who seeks to do exactly as the Lord says. She will be blessed and she will be a blessing to her husband, her children and to the world. The world is longing to see marriage done right. It is only possible in Christ. To Him belongs all the glory and honor.

II Corinthians 6:14-16 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Finally, a Christian woman must only marry a Christian man. Marriage is binding of two people and a partnership in Christ. There will be no fellowship and no harmony in the relationship if a believer marries an unbeliever. The marriage is a union of the spirit, soul and body. If one person is alive spiritually and the other person is dead spiritually in the marriage then there will be no oneness of spirit. You will be spiritually alone if you are a Christian.

 

A Life that Is Healed

We all need healing whether it is physical healing or emotional healing or healing in our relationships. We have all been bruised and the older we get the more bruises and battering we will get from life. What a comfort if we know the Great Healer who has great compassion on the broken and hurting. He is kind and He is gentle.

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

The Lord is the Great Healer and He wants to heal you of your broken heart and your bruised soul.

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

When He brings healing to you then you will be filled with joy but first you must fear the Lord so that nothing worse may befall you if you caused the grief through not walking in His ways. The Lord will come to you with healing in His wings. Jesus is the sun of righteousness.

Malachi 4:2 But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.

Jesus went about healing when He walked on earth. He is God and has the power to heal.

Matthew 9:35 Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

He came to the sick and to those who realized that they needed healing.

Matthew 9:12 But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.

Are you broken and bruised? Has your heart been crushed? Do you need healing? Come to Jesus. When you admit your need for Him then you will see Him and experience His healing power.

Matthew 13:15 For the heart of this people has become dull, With their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes, Otherwise they would see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I would heal them.’

The Lord is closer to you than you realize. He is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

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

Sometimes the healing of the Lord will come through someone that He has called to pray for you.

James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Sometimes we need healing because of our own sin and sometimes we need healing because of the sins of others. Sometimes we need healing because God has allowed something for His glory. Sometimes we may want healing but it does not come because the Lord has appointed something greater for us. Sometimes the healing is physical and sometimes it is our soul that needs healing. He went to the cross for our healing.

I Peter 2:24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

Whatever it is and whatever you need, come to the feet of Jesus and lay it before Him. He cares for you. If He wants to heal He will and can but either way He will come to you if you will call upon Him.

I Peter 5:6-11 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The Lord wants you to prosper and He wants you to prosper in your spirit, soul and body.

III John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Has Love

People can only love unconditionally to the degree that they have known unconditional love. People may love but apart from the Lord it is a selfish love. It is a “because” love. I love you because I want you to love me back. I love you because you are beautiful. I love you because of how you make me feel. It is all about me. It was not until Jesus Christ came into the world did we even see what an unconditional love looks like. God loves you because He is love and not because of anything that you have done or will ever do.

I John 3:16a We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us;

God’s love was manifested by sending His only begotten Son to die on a cross for sinners who did not even care about Him.

I John 4:9 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.

The justice of God was satisfied through the death of Jesus Christ. We sinned and we deserve hell but Jesus Christ took our place on the cross and rose again so that we might have life and know His love. This is what propitiation means. God is satisfied. God is holy and our sin is offensive to Him and causes His wrath to be stored up. Now, God is not mad at us anymore because His wrath was poured out on Jesus Christ, who never sinned.

I John 4:10 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 demonstrated His love towards us in that while we were His enemies Jesus Christ died for us.

Romans 5:6-10 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

We turned our back to the Lord and because of that we are responsible for the Father turning His back on Jesus. For this reason Jesus Christ cried out on the cross, “My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” He was rejected so that we might be accepted. He was rejected and knows what it feels like when someone we love might turn their back on us.

Matthew 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Not only have we turned our back on God when we have sinned but we have also at times turned our backs on others. We would not and could not love them with the same kind of love that Jesus Christ has loved us, that is, until we came to know Him as our Savior and Lord. We were helpless to love with an unselfish love until we came to know His love. It is only when God is in us that we can love with His love because He actually loves through us through the power of His Spirit.

I John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.

This is the mark of a true Christian. A true Christian will be known by their love.

I John 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.

He showed us what true, unconditional love looks like so that others might see Christ in us. When you see this unconditional love in someone else then you will know that you have seen the Lord in the life of someone who has love, God’s love.

A Life of Generosity and Joy

Generosity and joy go hand and hand. The Lord Himself said that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Giving gets your eyes off of yourself and your interests and needs and causes you to become aware of the needs of others around you. The ore yo give, the more your cup of joy will overflow.

Acts20:35 In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Giving gives you a heart for the Lord, for where your treasure is there will your heat be also. Your heart will follow your treasure. Time and money are two of your treasures that you can give away.

Matthew 6:21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The generous person will be prosperous or successful.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous man will be prosperous,

Give to those who can not pay you back. The Lord says that even sinners give to those from whom they will receive something back. When you give to the needy of His people you are giving to the Lord.

Matthew 25:35-40  For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

The person who gives to the rich will come to poverty. Give to a person in need and they will give you their heart.  When you meet the need of the needy then you are removing the obstacle in their life so that they can hear the Gospel. You are allowing them to see the love and truth of God so that they can hear the love and truth of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:16 He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

Give to the poor and the Lord says that He Himself will pay you back. It is the only time in Scripture where the Lord says that He will become man’s debtor. His payment is in full and more. He remains no man’s debtor.

Proverbs 19:17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord,  And He will repay him for his good deed.

Give to those who have helped you spiritually.

Galatians 6:6 The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.

Your cup of joy will overflow as you give to the Lord by giving to His people, the needy and to reach others for Christ.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”