A Life with Love Needs to Receive

 

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

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

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

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

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8

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

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

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

God is spirit, John 4:24

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

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

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

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38,39

A Life with Love Needs to Be Steadfast

True love is steadfast and does not change. It is not dependent on the actions of others nor is it moody or fickle. The more steadfast a love is in a relationship then the more secure the relationship is. Relationships were designed by God to reflect Him. God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

God is love and He is the One who pursues us with His love. Our love for Him is a response to His love for us.

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

God’s love never changes. He loved us from the beginning and wanted us to love Him from the beginning. It is man that chose not to love God. Even when man rejected God’s love, God did not stop pursuing man. In fact, He wanted a relationship with man so much so that He sacrificed His only begotten Son so that man could come back into that love relationship with Him. God broke down the barriers that separated man from God’s love.

And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, Colossians 1:21,22a

God pursued man because God loved man. God has pursued each one of us through Jesus Christ. He still pursues a relationship with us. His love does not change. His love is steadfast. It is His unchanging love that makes us feel secure so that we can respond to Him. When we respond to His love and our mind is steadfast in Him, trusting in Him always, then we will live in His love and peace.

The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

When we respond to His love and our heart is steadfast in Him, trusting in Him, then we will not fear hearing bad news. We will not be anxious.

He will not fear evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7

In every love relationship there is a pursuer and a responder. In the love relationship between a man and a woman the man is the pursuer and the woman is the responder. The more the man’s love is pure and steadfast then the more the woman is free to respond. She will feel secure and will learn to trust the man. A man’s love for a woman can only be steadfast if he is secure in his relationship with the Lord and his heart is steadfast towards God. Just as we have to learn to trust the Lord and respond to Him so a woman needs to learn to trust a man and respond to the man that she will one day marry. For this reason, it is important that the female not initiate towards the young man who is pursuing her. When she does not hear from him then she is to learn to wait and trust. If he loves her then he will continue to pursue her. If his love is not a steadfast love then she needs to wait on the Lord for the Lord to work in the young man’s heart or to wait on the Lord for the man of God’s own choosing if he is not the one for her. She needs to learn to wait and respond and not to take matters into her own hands and initiate towards him or do anything else to try to get him to give her the attention she desires. The only way that she can do this is if her heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:17,18

When the relationship between a man and a woman is done right then there is love and the relationship stays pure. The relationship is also filled with mercy and good fruits. It does not waver but is steadfast and it is filled with peace.

If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, And if you scoff, you alone will bear it. Proverbs 9:12

The Lord loves us and love gives us a choice. We can choose Jesus Christ and choose to live according to His wisdom and understanding or we can scoff, which means we do not act on what God says. When we choose to follow Jesus Christ the outcome will be good and the gentleness of wisdom will be seen.

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. James 3:13

When we scoff then we choose to pursue our own ambitions rather than pursue the Lord and His ways. The outcome of scoffers will be seen in the brokenness and pain in their relationships. When relationships are not done right then there is jealousy, disorder and every evil thing. There will come much grief to both the young man and the young woman. It destroys not only their lives but brings grief and destruction to those who are affected by their own selfish ambitions.

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. James 3:14-16

A Life with Love Honors and Respects

 

Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:11b-13

When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of which He commanded them not to eat then they did not honor or respect God. He only gave them one law and out of respect for God they were to obey that one law.

Respect what is right in the sight of all men. Romans 12:17b

We are to respect what is right in the sight of all men. When we keep God’s commandments then we will be respecting what is right in the sight of all men.

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

We are to show honor to all people, we are to honor the governmental authority, whether it is a president or king, and we are to be submissive to our employers with all respect. We are to submit not only to employers who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. This finds favor with God and is honoring to Him.

Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect. Titus 2:9,10

Respect is not pilfering (which is stealing) and taking what is not yours to take nor is it giving to others the privileges that have been given to you because you work at a certain place. If you do work for yourself, during your paid time from someone else, then you are not honoring the Lord and stealing also.

Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. Ephesians 6:5-8

Respecting someone is showing good behavior at all times, not just when the authority is around as “men pleasers” but as “God pleasers”, doing what is right when no one is watching. Showing respect to the Lord in your job is working for the one who pays you as if you are working for the Lord.

And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. Ephesians 6:9

Just as employees are to respect those whom they work for so also the employer or boss is to respect those who work under them.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth. Ephesians 6:1-3

Children are to honor and respect their fathers and mothers.

Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33

Just as the husband is to love his wife so the wife is to respect her husband. One of a man’s biggest needs is respect. Just as when a wife does not feel loved she has a more difficult time respecting her husband, in the same way, when a man does not feel respected then it is more difficult for him to love his wife. Respect and love is not always deserved but it is to be given because the Lord requires it of us. The more a wife learns to respect her husband then the more secure she will feel and the more love she will experience in her marriage.

Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you. Genesis 3:16b

Before Eve sinned she and her husband, Adam, were to rule together but after she was deceived and sinned the Lord put her husband over her to rule her to keep her from being deceived again and experiencing even more grief. The more a wife honors the new design that the Lord gave her because of her being deceived and sinning, then the more she will be kept from temptation. If she rebels against this new design of her husband ruling over her then she will experience much more pain, sadness and depression.

What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty! Psalm 8:4,5

Respect is the opposite of rebelling and respect means honoring the position of the one whom the Lord has put in authority over us, whether it is a mother, father, husband, employer or governmental authority. Respect is also honoring another human being because they have been made in God’s image and have been created for honor and glory.

A Life with Love Needs Protection

Just as anything of value needs to be guarded and protected, the same also is true with love. Love is one of the greatest gifts that you will ever have and just like all great gifts, we often take it for granted and do not fully appreciate it until it is gone. Don’t allow love to be left, lost, stolen or plundered because it was not protected in your life.

‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Revelation 2:2-4

The most important relationship in your life is your relationship with God. You must guard your love relationship with God. How easy it is to get “caught up” in serving Him and neglect our time with Him. We can persevere, endure and not grow weary for Him but if we are not spending time with Him then we have neglected and left out the most important time in our life and that is our own personal time with Him. When we neglect this area, then it is only a matter of time before we will neglect our other relationships, for God is love and we need to continually be growing in the love and truth which is in Jesus Christ.

But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house. Mark 3:27

Stay close to the Lord for He is the strong One and will not allow anyone to plunder what belongs to Him. You belong to Christ and He calls you His beloved. To belong to someone is to “be longing” for that one and to be called someone’s beloved means that you are the one that they are to “be loving”. In a similar way, if a wife stays close to her husband and longs for her husband, then no one will be able to take her away from him. If a husband is faithful to be loving to his wife then no one can enter his house and take what is his.

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:24,25

When the Lord brought Adam and Eve together in marriage then He had specific instructions for them. Marriage is the most intimate relationship on earth and is the only relationship where there is a union of spirit, soul and body. The Lord says that He joins two people together in marriage and that they are not to be separated.

And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Matthew 18:4-6

Once someone becomes married to someone then that person is their spouse until one of them dies. The marriage vows and God’s Word is binding on the couple who get married. Marriage vows are made to protect the marriage. Love may bring a couple together but the marriage vows keep a married couple together. The Lord wants us to keep our vows that we made to God. Marriage vows are not made to each other but they are vows that each person makes to God. Do not say after you are married that it was a mistake. Life is not the same for the one who does not keep their vows and who sins and is foolish in their actions and words by not keeping their vows and saying that it was a mistake for them to have married that person. The Lord wants you to keep your marriage vows.

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? Ecclesiastes 5:4-6

If one of them is unfaithful and the unfaithful one does not keep their vows then it does not negate the vows of the other. If one of them leaves and marries another then it does not give the other spouse the “freedom” to marry someone else. They are only free to remain unmarried until the unfaithful spouse dies.

But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife. I Corinthians 7:10,11

The Lord gives clear instructions to the married couple. The wife is not to leave her husband, but if does, she is to remain unmarried. A husband is not to divorce his wife.

A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. I Corinthians 7:39

If a woman who has been married and her first husband is still alive and she marries another man then she is committing and living in adultery. The man who marries her is also committing and living in adultery.

For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. Romans 7:2,3

If a man divorces his wife and marries another woman then he is sinning as well. The Lord says that the husband is not to divorce his wife. A wife will not leave a husband who loves her. If a wife has left her husband then the husband needs to seek to be reconciled with his wife and pursue her in love.

“This is another thing you do: you cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and with groaning, because He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And what did that one do while he was seeking a godly offspring? Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” Malachi 2:13-16

The Lord hates divorce. Divorce has never been in His plan. Divorce brings grief and destruction to all in the family. The New Testament never refers to a divorced person, only to one who is unmarried and that is if that one has been married before, but is not longer with their spouse who is still living. The unmarried are to stay unmarried. If there is divorce then remarriage is not permissible in God’s will. If someone leaves or is unfaithful then the other spouse is not under bondage to perform the marriage duties and they are not free to remarry. Protect your marriage. The Lord has made you one with each other. Guard the love that you had at the beginning. Keep your vows. The Lord is able to rekindle the love and restore your marriage.

A Life with Love Can Be Rekindled

If sin is what causes love to be quenched then doing what is right will help love to be rekindled and come alive again. Another word for doing what is right is righteousness. Often, the love grows cold because there is guilt involved and our pride makes it hard to say that we are sorry and to ask for forgiveness. We can forgive when we realize the tremendous amount of sin in each of our lives that Jesus Christ has forgiven. Again, it is our own pride that feels that we do not need God and that we do not need to walk in His ways.

But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. Matthew 5:22-24

How easy it is to sin with our tongue when we are angry. The Lord says that if we even call someone a fool then there is guilt enough to send us to hell. The Lord says that we all sin with our tongue. Just as He was not mad at Adam and Eve when they sinned but He was sad for them, in the same way, He is not angry with you when you sin, He wants to help you make it right so that the devil does not destroy your marriage. He tells us what to do if we get angry with someone.

Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. Ephesians 4:26,27

Anger is really hurt and if it is not dealt with then it becomes bitterness or wrath, which is stored up anger. Be honest with yourself if what someone said or what they did hurt you. If you said something back then ask the Lord to forgive you and then ask the other person to forgive you. You are not responsible for their actions but you are responsible for your actions. The Lord will help you do what is right. He loves you and wants you to experience love and life. God is a restorer and He wants to see your marriage and relationships restored when they have been damaged or broken.

And the work of righteousness will be peace,
And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.
Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation,
And in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places; Isaiah 32:17,18

As you learn to do what is right and follow the Lord in what He says then you will find that your home will be filled with peace and the love that you and your spouse have for each other will be rekindled.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:7-9

As you learn to love and respond in love, rather than returning evil for evil or giving grief back when you have received grief, then you will reap love more and more. Loving another is a choice and a discipline just like any other virtue. The Lord loves us, fills us with His love and shows us how to love but we must act on what He has given us and shown us. The feelings of love come and go but the one who learns to love faithfully will reap love because He who promised is faithful. Do not grow weary or lose heart, for in time, you will be very thankful and you will see that what He says is true, if you are faithful.

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. I John 4:7,8

If you want to have love in your marriage and in your relationships then you must have the One who is love in your life and marriage. Jesus Christ is God and came to show us real love and bring love into our lives and relationships. Ask Jesus Christ to come into your life today if you have not yet done so and He will bring, restore and rekindle the love in your life.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

Revelation 3:20

A Life with Love Can Grow Cold

Most couples when they get married their love for each other is fresh and very much alive. However, as time goes on if they are not careful then their love will grow cold towards each other. Often one of them will feel that they are not “in love” any more. More than anything else, that is not the problem, but rather they do not understand love. Love can be quenched, as fire can be quenched, and seems like it is not as alive as before. However, when one understands more about love then they discover, just as a fire can be rekindled so their love for their spouse can be rekindled if they will follow God’s instructions on rekindling their love.

Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.

Matthew 24:12

Lawlessness can be simply defined as sin. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God then they were being lawless. They were wanting to live under their own law and not under God’s law. They thought that they knew better.

Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. I John 3:4-8

The devil is the father of lawlessness and he is the one who deceived Eve into temptation and when she gave into temptation then she sinned. He wanted to destroy Eve, her relationship with God and her marriage and everything else that was precious to her. Jesus Christ came to take away our sins and to destroy the works of the devil. Satan, the devil, came to destroy and he still wants to destroy.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John10:10

Jesus Christ came to give you life and to bring love into all of your relationships. He wants to rekindle your love for Him and for your spouse and whoever else you may be estranged from that He designed for you to be in a relationship with here on earth.

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, I Peter 5:6-9a

The beginning of rekindling your heart to know love and to give love is to rekindle your relationship with the Lord if you belong to Him. If you have not yet given your life to Him then do it today. He will come and live within you and give you a new heart and a new love for your spouse and everyone else. This is what it means to humble yourself before the Lord, it is to say, ” I need you, Lord. I don’t know what is best for my life or for my marriage or whatever relationship it may be.” Please be my Lord and my Savior. He will hear that prayer. Then cast all of your anxiety on Him. He loves you. Next, be on the alert for the devil and resist Him through the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. The devil has to flee at His name and His Word. The name of Jesus Christ and His Word has authority over the devil because Jesus Christ defeated the devil at the cross. This is what that promise means that the Lord gave to Adam and Eve.

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.” Genesis 3:15

Jesus Christ was the seed of the woman who bruised Satan on the head. Jesus Christ was the One whom God was sending into the world to defeat the devil and to destroy his works. Jesus Christ conquered on the cross the death that came through Adam and Eve’s sin in order that we might be reconciled back to God and live forever in His love. Since Jesus Christ so loved us we also can love one another. Love can be rekindled in relationships because of and through our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. I John 4:11

A Life with Love Overcomes Evil

The Lord says that we are never to repay evil for evil. One of the meanings of evil is to cause grief. When someone causes us grief then the temptation is to return grief to them.

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Romans 12:17a

The Lord says never to do return evil for evil but rather we are to overcome evil with good. This word good means the highest form of love. It always takes two to argue or fight. If one will refuse to return grief but chooses to give love rather than trying to hurt the one who has hurt them then there is no contention.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

The Lord says that it is foolish to quarrel with one another. Keep away from strife and keep strife out of your marriage and family.

Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man,
But any fool will quarrel. Proverbs 20:3

The Bible describes a foolish person as one who consumes. They will consume you and your life if you allow them. Stay away from a fool. They only bring destruction to themselves and those whom they are around.

But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. Galatians 5:15

Don’t even begin to quarrel. You both will say things that you will regret. You can not take back your words and your words destroy the one who you are supposed to love. After the argument is over then you have two defeated and sad people.

The beginning of strife is like letting out water, So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out. Proverbs 17:14

Turn to the Lord rather than turning away from Him. When there is a disagreement or someone has been hurt then be quick to ask forgiveness and to say that you are sorry. Humility goes a long way in healing hurts. Don’t be arrogant. There are always things that you do not know. The Lord is a present help in time of trouble.

An arrogant man stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the Lord will prosper. Proverbs 28:25

Love seeks reconciliation and gives grace rather than wanting the other person to be proven wrong and disgrace. Love covers a multitude of sins.

Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions. Proverbs 10:12

You will discover as you show mercy to others then you both benefit. If you are not merciful then you do harm not only to the other person but to yourself as well.

The merciful man does himself good, But the cruel man does himself harm. Proverbs 11:17

The Lord is merciful to us and He does not give us what we deserve. Love others as the Lord has loved you.

We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. James 5:11

Being a Christian means that we do not want to be controlled by our flesh and do what our flesh wants to do but we want to be controlled by God’s Spirit and we want to do as we ought.

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. Galatians 5:22-24

You will find that as you walk in God’s Spirit and live according to the power that He has given to you that you will be walking in obedience to Him. You will be fulfilling the Law by loving your neighbor as yourself. This will keep you from sinning and suffering the torment of regret and sadness of destroying those who you want to love the most. You will see that love overcomes evil and you will both be blessed.

For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. Galatians 5:14-17

A Life with Love Gives Identity

Love is relational and relationships give identity. When a man gets a wife he becomes a husband and when a woman gets married she becomes a wife. A man becomes a father when he has a child and a woman becomes a mother when her baby is born. Love gives identity and purpose and meaning in life. Relationships define the people who are in them.

The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.” Genesis 2:20-23

Man did not name himself until the Lord brought Eve to him. When he had finished naming the animals then the Lord brought Eve to him and Adam immediately recognized her and said, “this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman…” and then he called himself man. His identity came from his relationship with God and his relationship with Eve. God loved Adam and Adam loved Eve. Adam’s love for God was a response to God’s love for him and Eve’s love for her husband is a response of Adam’s love for Eve.

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

Someone once said, “Women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.”

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:24,25

Adam and Eve were the only part of creation that could receive and know God’s love because they were the only part of creation that had a spirit. Love is spiritual and man receives love through his spirit and experiences it through his soul and expresses it through his body. Adam and Eve became husband and wife and with their identity came meaning and purpose in life. Love brings fulfillment as we fulfill the purpose for which God created us. Adam and Eve needed each other to be the person and to do that which God had created them to do. Eve was to become a mother and once again she would receive a new identity and a new purpose in life.

The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; Genesis 2:8,9a

Love provides what is good. The Lord was not only Adam’s Creator but his Provider. The Lord provided everything that Adam and Eve needed. He gave them a home in the garden of Eden and the Lord gave them each other to love and to be loved. He gave Adam work to do, for God made man to work and He called Eve to be a wife and a mother. He made Adam for the dust of the ground so he related to the world and his work involved the world. God made Eve from a person and a woman relates to people and so her work involved people. Adam and Eve lived in a perfect world with an identity and purpose. God’s love had given their lives meaning and fulfillment. They loved God and loved each other. If only…they would not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil then they would live in this perfect state of love and harmony with God and each other forever.

“But he who sins against me injures himself;
All those who hate me love death.” Proverbs 8:36

The Lord has not changed. He is good and His plans for us are good. His design for marriage is good. If only we would keep His commandments and follow His instructions then we will live and our relationships will be filled with love. If only…we would not sin. It is sin that brings death to our relationships and marriages. It is sin that destroys all that is precious to us. When we sin against God then we hurt ourselves and if we hate what He says then we love death.

A Life with Love is to Be Expressed

Love is a gift that is meant to be expressed. Love is not love until it is given away. Love is a gift and must be received if it is to be known. God is love and unless one has received God into their life then they have never known unconditional love. Jesus Christ loved us and died for us when we were His enemies and when we had no love for Him. His love was not conditional on our love for him.

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

Everyone longs for unconditional love in relationships, that is, a love that accepts them for who they are and not a type of love based on what they have to give or offer to the one who says they love them. Unconditional love is God’s gift to us.

the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23b

This love of God which was expressed through Jesus Christ is the greatest gift that we can receive and that we can give to another. Just as this gift did not come without a cost to the One who gave it, so also, when we give this gift it does not come without a cost to us.

And forgive us our sins,
For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. Luke 11:4a

Unconditional love begins with forgiving the debt that is owed to us. When we love and forgive the sins that others have done to us then we are being like Jesus Christ and expressing His love. We are forgiving a debt that we did not owe. We are loving as Christ has loved us and we are loving as we want to be loved.

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:8-10

Before Adam and Eve sinned they did not need any laws other than the one that they Lord gave them to “not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”, in order to allow them to express their free will in loving Him by honoring Him in what He said. In the same way, the one who loves as Jesus Christ has loved us is free from any laws, for love is the fulfillment of the law. God’s laws were given to instruct us how to love God and how to love each other. They were not given to restrict us from any good pleasure but that we might enjoy the good pleasures He has for us.

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

Jesus Christ came to give us life and to make known to us the path of life. He came that we might live forever in God’s love and experience the fullness of joy and His pleasures forever. When we know Him then we become secure in Him and His love. It is His love that allows us to love others with the love which we have experienced. An unconditional love is a love that is not based on who someone is or what someone has but a love that accepts the person in spite of shortcomings or what they have done. It is a love that comes from the one loving and not from the one who is loved.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. I John 3:1-3

Although many in the world do not yet know Jesus Christ, they can see the love of God as it is expressed through those who know Him and have been born again. All men will know that we are His disciples and belong to Him if we have love for one another. God has loved us and His love is meant to be expressed to others that the world will see what it means to know Him and follow Him.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34,35

A Life with Love Can Be Found

Just as love can be lost, love also can be found. Those who find love, that is, true unconditional love, are never the same. Love changes a person. Love brings life to the spirit, soul and body of the one who finds love. Love is meant to be experienced. This is what it means to “know” love.

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. I John 4:7,8

God is love and the one who knows God will also know love. Love is spiritual but is felt and experienced in the soul and expressed through the body. Adam and Eve had no love of their own apart from God.

Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3

Just as the Bible says that everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. One has to be born again to experience the love and the knowledge of God. Until one is born again he is still separated from knowing and experiencing the love that God has for him.

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:3-6

Just as the spirit of man died when Adam and Eve sinned so also his spirit must be made alive. Man is spiritually made alive when he becomes born again. For this reason, it is not enough to know about God’s love with the mind and even feel it with the emotions, unless we have been born again. It will only be an intellectual belief or an emotional faith until one is born again. When a person is born again, they are no longer separated from God but they have become restored in their relationship with God through the Spirit of God. God’s Spirit has become united with their spirit to make them spiritually alive. The born again one not only knows about the love of God but God’s Spirit has caused them to born again into God’s own family and they now have found and discovered God’s love for them personally. They have become a child of God and a recipient of God’s love forever.

Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ John 3:7

There is no other way to find love than through being restored back into a love relationship with God through Jesus Christ. God sent Jesus Christ into the world that man might be restored to the love relationship that God had with Adam and Eve before they sinned. Jesus Christ did not come into the world to judge man but that man might be restored and know God’s love.

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 did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:16,17

When God saves a person, they are saved and restored in their spirit, soul and body. They are saved from eternal death and given life in these three areas. When one is born again he can now love and worship God in his spirit, love and pray with his spirit and his soul, and love and serve God with His spirit, soul and body. He has been given a new life in Christ and every area of him experiences the love of God in Christ Jesus. When someone is restored to God and finds God’s love then he has found the greatest treasure of all.

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Romans 8:32

Just as Adam and Eve lost everything pertaining to life when they sinned so also when one receives Jesus Christ into their life and is born again, they find not only love but everything else pertaining to life.

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