A Life with Love Gives Freedom

When God created Adam and Eve, He created them to be free. Their sin brought fear and death. Fear makes our world much smaller. The Lord gave Adam and Eve the world to rule and the entire garden to enjoy but their sin caused their world to become the size of their hiding place. They were no longer free.

and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8b

Adam and Eve had no fears until they sinned. When they sinned they experienced death and with it the resulting fear of death. Adam and Eve exchanged life for death and freedom for fear and slavery.

that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Hebrews 2:14b,15

What a person fears is what enslaves that person. What we fear is what controls us. When we are enslaved or controlled by our fears then we are not free.

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. John 8:34

When we sin we are not free. For this reason we often will do the very things that we do not want to do because it is not us doing it but the sin that controls us that is causing us to do the very thing we hate.

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. Romans 7:18-20

The very first step to becoming free is to realize that there is nothing good within us. Since Adam and Eve sinned all of us have inherited the sinful nature that resides within us and that sinful nature is what causes us to sin. There is only One who can set us free from the power of sin and death and that is Jesus Christ.

Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24,25a

Jesus Christ came to set us free. God made man to be free. It was God’s love that set us free. He loved us when we least deserved His love.

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

It is His love that sets us free and it is His love that keeps us free. It is also His love that casts out all of the fears that come with sin and death.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, I John 4:18a

When we receive His love through Jesus Christ then He gives us a new nature and the power to not sin but to do the very good that we want to do.

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

When we become a new creation in Christ then we become born again into God’s family of love. We are born of God’s Spirit and His Spirit gives us the power to do what is right.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12,13

When we have Christ in our life then we also have the Holy Spirit who sets us free from the power of sin.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Romans 8:2

God is good and He loves us. God has given us His Spirit and made us a new creation so that we can do what is right and be free. He created us for freedom and He came again to give us freedom. It is sin that makes us a slave and takes away our freedom. It is sin and death that brings us fears. Jesus Christ conquered death on the cross and set us free from the power of sin and death. He has delivered us from our fears.

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Learn to live in the freedom that Jesus Christ came to give us. When we learn to live according to His Words then we will live in the freedom that He designed for us. He gives us His Words not to limit our freedom but to give us freedom. His Words and His commands keep us from doing the very things that bring us death, slavery and fears.

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31,32

A Life with Love Fills the Heart

When a person experiences love, really great love, then love will fill their heart. When love fills the heart then love will fill the life, the marriage and the home. When the heart is empty of love then the life, marriage and home will be empty of love.

The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; Luke 6:45a

A good person is one whose heart is filled with the Lord. There is no one good but God. God is good and His love is what changes lives, marriages, homes and the world. However, there is no such thing as a vacuum and if the Lord does not fill your heart with His love then your heart will be filled with what is not good. The opposite of love is selfishness and evil and if our hearts are not filled with God’s love then our hearts will be filled with selfish ambitions and what is evil.

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

Where there is jealousy and selfish ambition there will be confusion and every evil thing. Whether we want to or not, when we are not filled with God’s love and His truth then we will inadvertently do evil to those whom we should love and will bring them grief through our selfishness, our neglect, our attitudes, our actions or our words.

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

The devil uses only one weapon to cause us to bring grief to others and that is the lie. He whispers into our heart thoughts that are not good and we start responding to them and before we know it we are believing these lies.

You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

The lies of the devil stir up our imagination and put doubts into our hearts about our spouse, children, coworkers, bosses, friends and neighbors. It is when we act or speak on these doubts that stir up strife in our lives, our marriages, our homes and our world.

He who loves transgression loves strife; He who raises his door seeks destruction. Proverbs 17:19

Strife is the beginning of destruction. Strife will bring destruction to our marriage and our home and everything else that is precious to us. Love believes the best and seeks to know the truth so that the lies will be recognized and dismissed. The devil is an accuser but the one who loves God and the person who has His truth and His love in their heart will recognize these accusations and not respond to them. Love believes the best in others. If we respond to a lie then our response will always be wrong and bring grief to another.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. Revelation 12:10

Jesus Christ has the power and authority over the devil and when Jesus Christ is in our lives then the devil has no power to deceive us into believing his lies. As we learn to respond to Jesus Christ, who is the truth and who loves us with His own life, then we will bring life and love to others.

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

When Jesus Christ fills us with Himself then we will be filled with His love, His truth and His life. Our hearts will be filled with what is good and our homes and lives will be filled with love.

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

Good thoughts, attitudes and actions can only come from one who is wise and understanding. The Bible says that knowing God gives understanding and revering Him is the beginning of wisdom. Good will be expressed through the gentleness of God’s wisdom and the outcome will build up and not tear down.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. James 3:17

This will characterize the one whose heart is filled with love.

A Life with Love Does Not Grow Weary

Love is not a fifty yard dash but it is a marathon. It is a long run in the right direction that brings incredibly great rewards if we stay the path. Do not grow weary. It is worth the struggle, the perseverance, the endurance, the pain and the growth that will occur in you.

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. Galatians 6:9,10

We will not always have opportunity to do good to others. The word good means the highest form of love. When we love we are doing good to others. First, we are to love and do good to our spouses. Then we are to love and do good to our children. Next we are to love and do good to our extended family, friends, neighbors and those whom we work with or engage in business. This is the order of the requirements in responsibility that the Lord has for leaders.

An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. I Timothy 3:2-7

The Lord says that we will know others by their fruit. No one knows what another’s relationship with the Lord is like but if his relationship with the Lord is not right then it will show up in his marriage. No one really knows what a person’s marriage is like but the fruit of the marriage will be made known in the children. If the children are not being brought up right then there will be problems with those outside of the home. The Lord would not make these requirements in leadership if it was random how a marriage or children end up.

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

A person’s relationships and family are the fruits of a trustworthy man. They are indications of a person’s relationship with the Lord. The most important relationship is a leader’s relationship with the Lord but no one knows what is done in secret but the Lord. The Lord tells us to look at the fruit.

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15-20

If there are issues in your marriage, family or outside of your family then the temptation is to focus on the marriage partner, children or others but the need is to focus first on your relationship with the Lord. Are you being faithful? Are you seeking Him with all of your heart? Are you spending time with the Lord in His Word and prayer daily and especially in the morning? Or are you secretly feeding your flesh? Do you have bitter jealousy or selfish ambition in your heart? The good fruit or the corruption in our own relationship with the Lord, in our marriage and our family will be evident.

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. Galatians 6:7,8

Do not be deceived by the deceptiveness of sin and the flesh, God is not mocked. If you are feeding your flesh secretly it will be seen openly in the fruit in your relationships. If you are feeding your spirit then you will see life and experience life and peace in your life and in your relationships.

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:6-8

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.”

A Life with Love is Not Easily Angered

Anger is an emotion that can easily destroy love. Only a fool will allow anger to control him and it is best to not be angry at all.

Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9

A person who is slow to get angry is greater than the mighty. He who rules his spirit shows more power than he who captures a city.

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. Proverbs 16:32

Love is not easily angered because love and understanding sees the need in the other person rather than the desire in one’s own self to get angry.

He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly. Proverbs 14:29

The angry person does not realize that once they are over their anger the damage has been done in the spirit of the other ones who have seen it. Anger destroys intimacy in a marriage and a family because it puts fear in the one who is vulnerable. A wife is vulnerable to her husband and children are vulnerable to parents. Fear keeps the vulnerable one from opening up.

A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression. Proverbs 19:11

It is a wise and discreet person who is slow to anger. It is a loving person who overlooks mistakes and shortcomings in others. It is love that covers a multitude of sins.

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

A wise person is slow to anger and a prudent person conceals dishonor. A loving person is one who conceals dishonor in someone else. They will not seek to exalt themselves at the expense of someone else.

A fool’s anger is known at once, But a prudent man conceals dishonor. Proverbs 12:16

Anger pours gas on a potentially explosive situation whereas love pours water on a fire. A wise and loving person will learn to turn away from anger.

Scorners set a city aflame, But wise men turn away anger. Proverbs 29:8

Anger and wrath are related and so is fretting. Fretting is another word for being anxious and when we are anxious then it leads to evildoing. Doing evil is usually taking things into our own hands to deal with a situation and the outcome will not be good.

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.
Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more;
And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.
But the humble will inherit the land
And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity. Psalm 37:7-11

The opposite of anger is to trust in the Lord, rest in Him and wait for Him. We can only do that if we know Him and know His love. If you do get angry with someone and say or do something that is not right then go to the person and ask their forgiveness for what you have done.

He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. Proverbs 28:13

Don’t try to conceal your angry response by excusing or justifying what you have done or blaming someone else by saying they caused your anger. Maybe what they did was wrong but it does not excuse our response if it is not right. If we confess our sins to one another and forsake them then we will find compassion. Ask for prayer from another who has struggled and seen victory. All of us can relate to being angry but it does not justify us being that way.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. James 5:16

My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. James 5:19,20

It is the soul of the angry person who dies when they get angry and say and do things that they regret. We need each other to help us in our struggles when we stray from the truth of God’s ways. Ask the Lord to help you find an older Christian who will pray for you and who you can talk with and confess your sins to so that they can turn you back to the Lord and His truth.

A Life with Love is Wise

True love will always act with wisdom. Love seeks only the best for the other and wisdom are the practical steps of action of what we need to do to get where we want to go. If we want a loving marriage then we need wisdom to know what we need to do so that our marriage will be filled with love. Most people know what they want but they do not know how to get there. Most people get married wanting for their marriage to be filled with love but too often the love fades and then the marriage dies.

A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, Proverbs 1:5

A wise person will always be learning in the ways of love. Wisdom and understanding often go together and the wise and understanding person will acquire as much wisdom and counsel that they can get. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Lord is understanding. The Lord is love and wisdom and He is the One who created man and woman and so He understands what each of us needs far more than we do. The more we know Him then the more we will understand how to love. Only a fool will try to do relationships on their own and especially marriage and family.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

Much of the grief in relationships begins with the tongue and what we say. Wisdom will teach you what to say and what not to say. You can never take back your words and much of our regrets have to do with what we said in the emotion of the moment.

The heart of the wise instructs his mouth Proverbs 16:23a

Your tongue can also bring much healing to your spouse. All of us have been hurt and disappointed in life and we bring that baggage into our marriages. There is nothing sweeter than for a spouse to know our hurts and pains and to love us through the difficult times.

…the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18b

A home is meant to be a refuge from the storms of life. It is a taste of heaven to come home to a loving spouse. When you give love then you will receive love. Often where you are weak your spouse is strong and both of you will learn wisdom from each other on how to love. Loving is a learning process and we need to love in actions and words. Wisdom will teach us how to love in word and deed.

Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. I John 3:18

If you feel a need for wisdom or you don’t know what to do in your marriage then ask God for wisdom. He promises that He will give wisdom to all who ask Him. God is the source of all wisdom and He will give you wisdom for what you need to do.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

With the Lord is wisdom and counsel. There is no counsel apart from Him. The person who seeks the Lord will find Him when they seek Him with all their heart. They will also discover wisdom and their life will be sweet and good. They will soar in life and their marriage and children will be blessed. If you miss the Lord you will have missed it for all eternity and there will be no end to their misery.

With Him are wisdom and might; To Him belong counsel and understanding. Job 12:13

There is much counsel contrary to the ways of God. You will not recognize the lies that permeate our world unless you know God’s ways and His truth. Good counsel will never go against what the Lord has said in His Word.

There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the Lord. Proverbs 21:30

Wisdom is more important than money and yet how much time is spent seeking wealth over wisdom. The most important things in life money can not buy and we lose them through a lack of wisdom. Once they are gone it is never the same. We value the love in our marriage, our families, our friends and the well being of our health, our emotions and minds, and yet money can not buy any of these but wisdom tells us what we need to discover and preserve them.

How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver. Proverbs 16:16

He who gets wisdom loves his own soul.

He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good. Proverbs 19:8

There is nothing that compares to wisdom. Wisdom is different from knowledge. Wisdom is the right application of knowledge. The Lord stores up wisdom for those who love Him. If you are wise then you are wise for yourself. If you neglect wisdom or do not seek it then you will be the one who suffers from the lack of wisdom.

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

When you find wisdom then you will be blessed and those who live under your influence will be blessed. Wisdom is more precious than jewels and all desirable things can not compare with wisdom. You will also discover knowledge, prudence, discernment, understanding and discretion.

“For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her. “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And I find knowledge and discretion. Proverbs 8:11,12

A Life with Love Is a Response

Love is a response to love. We can only love to the extent that we have known love. We can only know love through God since He is the source of love and God is love. When we love God then we will know the Lord and His love and we will be known by Him. It is then that we can love others with a God like love.

but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him. I Corinthians 8:3

God loves us and when we experience His great love for us then we want to love Him back. It is only when our hearts are evil that we do not want to love One who loves us so deeply and so sacrificially. The Lord is good and only does good towards us. The opposite of good is evil. One aspect of the meaning of good is the highest form of love and one of the meanings of evil is to cause grief. The Lord loves us and shows us good. We are the ones who bring Him grief and sadness by not loving Him and by rejecting His love for us. When we do not love God then we not only bring grief to God but we bring grief on ourselves. We also bring grief on those whom God has called us to love.

He who returns evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house. Proverbs 17:13

Since our hearts are evil we can not love God the way we need to so when we come to Him then He gives us a new heart to love Him. It is also this new heart that allows us to love others.

Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

If you are struggling with loving God and loving others then ask God for a new heart. It is not within ourselves to love God and love others.

Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Ezekiel 18:31a

Either we will love something else first or we will love God first. Whatever else it is that we love before God will be sin to us and will ultimately destroy us. The Lord wants us to cast our sins away from us so that we can love Him. When we love God and come to Him then He will bring healing to our lives and our relationships. He will heal us and restore us.

Woe to them, for they have strayed from Me!
Destruction is theirs, for they have rebelled against Me!
I would redeem them, but they speak lies against Me.
And they do not cry to Me from their heart

When they wail on their beds;
For the sake of grain and new wine they assemble themselves,
They turn away from Me.
Although I trained and strengthened their arms,
Yet they devise evil against Me.
They turn, but not upward,
They are like a deceitful bow; Hosea 7:13-16a

When we stray from the Lord the destruction follows. The Lord wants us to respond to His love and come to Him with all of our heart. He does not want us to just seek Him when we need something.

‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3

Love is a response to love. We can only respond to God’s love when we see it. He will show you His love. Call to Him. He will answer you. The Lord will meet you where you are. He will show you great and mighty things which you did not know. The Lord will bring healing to your broken heart, if your heart has been broken. He will show you His great love and restore your relationships. He will teach you how to find and keep love. He will give to you with an abundance of peace and truth. He will show you how to respond in love.

Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth. Jeremiah 33:6

There is none like the Lord. He is the Only true God and He rides the heavens to our help. He is our dwelling place and underneath us are His everlasting arms.

“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; Deuteronomy 33:26b,27a

God’s love never changes. He always loves us. The Lord keeps loving us and waits for us to come to Him and respond to Him once again. When we respond to Him then we will love Him by keeping His commandments. When we keep His commandments then we will experience His love and want to love Him more.

He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” John 14:21

Jesus loved the Father and did exactly as the Father commanded Him. Jesus has asked us to do what He Himself did.

but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. John 14:31a

If we will keep His commandments then we will live in His love just as Jesus kept the Father’s commandments and lived in the Father’s love.

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. John 14:23

A Life with Love is Met with Love

The plan from the beginning was that we were to be loved and we were to respond in love. This is still the plan and it is the plan for all relationships. Love seeks only the best for the other and has no selfish ambitions. When we are loved and love in return then we will be and do what we were created to be and do. God created us to be loved by Him and it was His desire that we respond with love for Him. However, love is a choice and in the beginning man chose not to love God.

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.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Genesis 3:8-11

We hide ourselves from those whom we do not love. We will find reasons to be elsewhere. When two people are in love then they will find every reason to be together. They will make time to be together. When two people no longer love each other then they will find excuses to be elsewhere and hide from each other behind the excuses. When Adam and Eve hid they no longer loved God but God still loved them. God is faithful even when we are not.

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. II Timothy 2:13

God’s design was that nothing could separate us from His love, that is, nothing can separate us from His love but our own selves. Love is a choice and we do not have to love God. We can try to hide ourselves from Him.

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

We can try to hide from God and we can try to run from Him but we can never get away from His love for us.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;

If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You. Psalm 139:7-12

There is no place that we can go to where He is not there. There is no place that we can hide that He dies not see. His love pursues us and He longs to love us.

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. Isaiah 30:18

He longs to be gracious to us and He is waiting for us to come to Him so that we can know his compassion and His love. How happy are all who come to Him. He meets us with His love.

A Life with Love Is Impossible

The sooner you realize that it is not in you and that you can not love on your own the easier your life will be. We are basically selfish and life is all about our own self. Everything revolves around “what is in it for me”. This begins the moment we are born and we really are not very happy about being in the real world until we are fed and cuddled and loved. Then, when circumstances change, we change again and we are not happy until we are fed, changed, cuddled and loved again and the cycle goes on and on. The older we get we try to disguise it but it is still in our heart that life is all about me.

that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, Ephesian 4:22

The only way we can love with an unselfish love is if we receive a new self which the Lord gives to us when we come to Him.

and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Ephesians 4:24

We become a new person in Christ and we are no longer the old self but a new person or a in other words, a new self.

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

When we come to Jesus Christ and give Him our life then He gives Himself to us and takes our old self and gives us a new self. We then begin to live a life in Christ and through Christ. This new life is being transformed into the image of Christ, for He is God and the exact representation of who God is.

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Hebrews 1:3

When we come to Christ then we die to our old self with its selfish desires and we live for Christ through his power that works in us. We can not do His will but He can and wants to through us.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20

We can do nothing apart from Jesus Christ but in Him we can do all things.

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

There is nothing that is impossible once we give our life to Jesus Christ. No matter what kind of mess you are in or how messed up your life or marriage is, the Lord can restore you and your relationships. First, you must be restored to Him and then He restores you and your life and relationships. The way that you are restored to God is to come to Him through Jesus Christ and give Him everything…your life, your relationships, your sins, your dreams, your future and anything else that comes to your mind. Basically, you are giving Him control of everything and you are asking Him to take your life and do whatever He wants with you.

For nothing will be impossible with God. Luke 1:37

Our impossibilities are possible with God. If you believe that then give Him the things that you are struggling with and the matters that have defeated you. We can not be and do all that we need to be and do but God can and He will if we come to Him.

But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” Luke 18:27

Even if you feel that your faith is little, still come to Him.

And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. Matthew 17:20

There once was a man who Jesus wanted to help. His prayer is a famous prayer that the Lord heard. If this prayer expresses the desire of your heart then you might want to pray it also.

Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” Mark 9:24

Loving someone else with a Christlike, unselfish love is impossible for all of us but it is not impossible for Christ because that is the the love that He has for all of us. He will give you His love for others. It is possible to have a great marriage and a great life but it is only possible through Jesus Christ.

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 soar in life when Jesus Christ lives and loves through you in the power of His Spirit. The outcome will be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. These qualities will characterize your marriage and your other relationships.

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. Galatians 5:14,15

If you choose not to give yourself to the Lord and allow Him to live through you then the other outcome will be destruction. You will be destroyed and you will bring destruction to your marriage.

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

Love is a choice and you must choose. If you choose the Lord and His ways then you will choose wisely and you will be blessed. To scoff means to ignore or turn your back to the truth and that is also a choice. You alone will bear it and the pain will be great.

A Life with Love Does Not Disappoint

Expectations destroy relationships because no one can meet up to another’s expectations. Expectations destroy relationships because when there are expectations then that becomes the focus and all the other wonderful things that can come in a loving relationship are not seen because the eyes are set on a certain set of expectations. Expectations bring disappointment. However, there is One who says that He will never disappoint. There is no one else who can make that promise.

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

The Lord is all loving and all powerful and He keeps His Word. When we believe in Jesus Christ then He promises us that we will not be disappointed. Our spouses, our parents and every other human will eventually disappoint us. When we look to the Lord rather than to a person to meet our needs then we will not be let down. The Lord has poured out His love on us and that is what gives us hope and hope in Him does not disappoint.

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. Romans 5:5

When our hearts are filled with love then we are like a sponge that is full but if our hearts are empty of love then we are vulnerable to mistake what we think is love and end up being hurt and more empty. Only Jesus Christ can fill our hearts so that we won’t mistake the bitter for the sweet.

But to a famished man any bitter thing is sweet. Proverbs 27:7

Love is the greatest gift and the one who finds it and keeps it enjoys life and they are able to give love and bring joy to others. Love must first be found in the Lord. God’s love never disappoints and His love never changes. God’s love is perfect and when we live in His love then we no longer live in fear of rejection or fear of being disappointed.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, I John 4:18a

If we cry out to the Lord then He will deliver us from what troubles us. We can trust in Him and in His love. We will not be disappointed.

To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed. Psalm 22:5

There is no one person who can meet all of our needs. Those who end up being hurt the most are those who put their hopes in another human being to meet their needs. When hopes and expectations are not met then unhappiness and ungratefulness follows along with the disappointment. When we are disappointed with someone then the cup is half empty rather than half full. We will see what that person can not give us. This is especially true in marriage. Your spouse will never provide all of the money, intimacy, time, etc. that you desire. We will not see our spouse as a blessing and a gift but we will see what we don’t have. Marriage can be the sweetest relationship on earth but if one of them is unhappy then it can be the most miserable existence on earth. A husband especially will struggle if he has an unhappy wife. The most beautiful face to a husband is a smiling wife.

Thus says the Lord,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
“For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant. Jeremiah 17:5,6

People are humans and so there are sometimes false hopes in them that lead to unrealistic expectations, which will always leave us empty and disappointed. When we look to a person to fill the needs and longings that only God can fill then we will end up being very lonely and living in an emotional land of emptiness. We will not see the prosperity that only the Lord can give to us.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit. Jeremiah 17:7,8

The one whose trust is in the Lord will see their spouse as a gift and will know that their spouse can never meet all of their expectations and all of their needs. Their cup of joy will overflow as they thank the Lord for their spouse and the gift of marriage. As they give thanks to the Lord for who He has given to them then they will see even more wonderful things in their spouse. Life will be sweet for them and for the one whom they are married to. They will be blessed and their spouse and children will be blessed. Blessed is the person who trusts in the Lord.