A Life that Loves

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

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

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

I John 4:9-11 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

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

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

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

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

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

I John 4:16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

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

I John 4:17,18 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

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

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

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

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

A Life that Is Happy

We all want to be happy and when we become parents then we want our children to be happy. The Bible says that Jesus was the happiest person around. If we want to be happy then we need to look at the reason why the Bible says that Jesus was so happy.

Hebrews 1:9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.

This verse was written of Jesus and describes His life on earth. He had the oil of gladness more than those around Him, or in other words, He was happier than all of His friends or companions. The beginning of the verse gives the reason for His incredible happiness. He was happy even though He knew that He would be going to the cross. He was happy because He loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. Do you want to be happy? Then love doing what is right and hate doing what is wrong.

Deuteronomy 6:25 Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us.’

Doing righteousness is keeping God’s Word. The Lord is good and loving and there is no unrighteousness in Him. All His ways are just. All of us recognize the need for righteousness and there will be no justice in the world unless there is righteousness.

Leviticus 19:15 You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.

When there is righteousness then there will be peace and those who love righteousness will be instruments of peace.

Isaiah 32:17 The work of righteousness will be peace,
And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.

When we are stubborn in our hearts then we are far from righteousness and start to practice lawlessness.

Isaiah 46:12 Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, Who are far from righteousness

What is lawlessness? The Lord tells us that if we want to be happy then we must love righteousness, which is doing right, and to hate lawlessness.

I John 3:4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

Sin is falling short of God’s Law and so sin is called lawlessness. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment.

John 16:8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

If you want to be happy then ask the Lord to pour out His Holy Spirit on your life. He will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him and He will help you learn to love righteousness and to hate lawlessness.

Luke 11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

May you experience true happiness as you learn to love righteousness and to hate lawlessness. May the Lord anoint you with the oil of gladness.

Note to parents: If you are a parent and you want your children to be happy then you must love righteousness and hate lawlessness and then your children will also love righteousness and hate lawlessness. Values are caught and not just taught.

 

A Life that Does Not Give Away Intimacy

There is a saying, “If the milk is free why buy the cow?”. There are certain gifts that have been given to us and that a young lady should not give away except to the right person at the right time. She should not give away her body to men but it is to be saved for her husband alone and only should be given to him after he has taken her in marriage. Marriage is a man’s commitment to a young lady to love her, to cherish her, to protect her, to provide for her and ultimately to lay down his life for her. Many a man will make promises to get what they want and then once they have gotten their desires then they never fulfill their promises. Engagement is not marriage and the same rules for dating apply during the engagement period.

I Corinthians 6:18-20 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Marriage is not a 50/50 proposition but it is a 100/100 relationship. Each one gives all of oneself to the other so that they might become one. However, what is right before marriage is wrong after marriage. It is right to abstain from sexual relations before marriage and wrong to withhold from each other after marriage. There is a saying that girls that do “it” before marriage don’t want to do “it” after marriage so it is foolish for both to compromise God’s standard of morality. God is not mocked. He has His standards for our good and we are foolish not to abide by what He has said.

Galatians 6:7,8 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.

Moral excellence is the root of true love in a marriage and it is expressed through waiting until after the wedding to have a physical relationship. If two people are morally excellent in their standards then they will trust each other after they are married. If a man and woman compromise before marriage then the trust will not be there as it could have been had they waited.

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

If you have compromised God’s moral standard then it is not too late to repent but there needs to be repentance and though that may be hard it is necessary. Repentance means that you are turning your back on your sin and turning to God. However, you must keep turning to the Lord so that you do not fall back into your old ways. You also must flee from temptation. Temptations are often much stronger if you have tasted of the pleasures of that particular sin. You do not miss what you have never known.

II Timothy 2:22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

You can, by God’s grace, keep His standards of righteousness. God is faithful and will provide a way of escape to the one who calls on Him and puts their trust in Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

 

A Life that Chooses Good Friends

You will become like your friends therefore the most important decisions that you make in life after choosing the Lord Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior is who will be your friends. Choose good friends and you life will be blessed. Choose bad friends and your life will be filled with grief. This is one of the most profound choices that you will make in life. The companions with whom you walk through life will influence your other decisions.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Choose only to be with wise men and run from fools. A fool is someone who lives as if there is no God. They may even say that they believe in God but if they are living as if there is no God then they are living like a fool. Run from them.

Psalms 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
There is no one who does good.

All of us came into the world with a foolish heart. We must turn away from our foolish ways and turn to the Lord with all of our heart. Don’t look at what a person says but at what they do. It is by their deeds that people distinguish themselves.

Proverbs 20:11 It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself
If his conduct is pure and right.

In the same way, the kind of friends that you attract will be the kind of people whom you are attracted to. Is your life pure and right? It is not only by their deeds that a person distinguishes himself but also by his type of speech.

Proverbs 22:11 He who loves purity of heart
And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.

Choose only friends who desire a pure heart. Those who want their heart to be pure will be discerning about where their eyes go and what their ears hear. What goes into  the heart of a man is what comes out of him and what comes out through his mouth is what defiles him.

Mark 7:20 And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man.

It is those who have a pure heart who will see Jesus.

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Our greatest need in life is to see God for all that we do in life is a response to our view of God. If our view is right then our conduct will be upright. If our view of God is twisted then we will be crooked in our ways. If we choose friends who do not know God or do not see Him then they will lead us astray and we will forget our God.

I Corinthians 15:33 Do not let anyone fool you. Bad people can make those who want to live good become bad.

Choose good friends and choose to be a good friend to others. Friendship means speaking the truth in love.

Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.

If your friends are good then they will point you to Jesus and help you stay on the right path. Sometimes they might tell you what you don’t want to hear but it is much better than to have friends who will always tell you what you “want” to hear. Our hearts are deceitful so we need others in our lives who will help us in our times of weakness and temptation. The temptations will pass and the blessings will follow if we are faithful.

Proverbs 27:9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.

 

 

 

 

A Life with Kindness

Do you want your life to be filled with kindness? This is one of the most simple to understand yet most profound of all the truths in the Bible. It is also brings great blessing to the one who does it.

Luke 18:25a With the kind You show Yourself kind;

The Lord is kind and if you are kind then you will experience His kindness. Not only will you experience His kindness but you will be like Him and your reward will be great.

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

Kindness is not necessarily deserved by the one who receives it but it comes to even ungrateful and evil men because kindness comes from the one who gives it. Kindness is of the Lord and when we are filled with His Holy Spirit then kindness will flow from us towards others.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Kindness will give you favor with men and with God. The only way that we can continually be kind is if we walk with the Lord. He is kind and His kindness fills us when we walk with Him. The more you show kindness then the more you see it and the more you want to be kind to others.

Proverbs 3:3,4 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.

Do you want favor in life with God and with others? Learn to be kind. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to ways that you can be kind. Ask yourself about your actions…are they kind and are they true? If your words and actions are kind but not true then don’t say or do them. If they are true and not kind then don’t say or do them. Your life and example is what you will eventually teach your children in the way that they relate to others.

Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

Do you always want to have friends? The learn to be kind. The Bible says that what is desirable in a person is kindness.

Proverbs 19:22a What is desirable in a man is his kindness,

If you want to have a marriage filled with kindness then marry a kind man. If you do, then your marriage will be sweet to you and your home will be comforting to your children.

 

 

 

A Life with An Understanding of Men

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ephesians 5:28-31 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

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

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

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

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

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

 

A Life that Has Love

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

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

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

I John 4:9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

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

I John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

God demonstrated His love towards us in that while we were His enemies Jesus Christ died for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Life of Generosity and Joy

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

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

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

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

The generous person will be prosperous or successful.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous man will be prosperous,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Give to those who have helped you spiritually.

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

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

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