A Life that Overcomes Bitterness

Bitterness is one of the most damaging emotions. Bitterness can be an unresolved hurt in our hearts. Someone hurt us and we can still feel it as if it just happened yesterday. Bitterness can be a wound that has never been healed. It will cause you trouble and poison many.

Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

When sin abounds then God’s grace abounds also but unless we receive His grace and are healed from the hurt and pain of wounds from others we will become bitter.

Romans 5:20,21 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Grace reigns through righteousness to eternal life which is through Jesus Christ our Lord. When you do what is right after someone has done you wrong, and you can only do this through God’s grace, then you will be set free from the bitterness which would result from not experiencing His grace. If you will turn to Him in your pain then He will heal you and restore you.

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

The opposite of bitterness is thankfulness. He will remove the bitterness and fill your heart with gratitude and joy. Only the Lord can do this but He can and He wants to.

I Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Bitterness also comes from forsaking the Lord.

Jeremiah 2:19 Your own wickedness will correct you,
And your apostasies will reprove you;
Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter
For you to forsake the Lord your God,
And the dread of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord God of hosts.

Bitterness can come from the misfortune of bereavement.

Ruth 1:20 She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.

The Lord healed Naomi and she became the great great grandmother of King David. The Lord restored her joy. She trusted the Lord and He was faithful to her.

Ruth 4:16,17 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Bitterness can come from unfulfilled desires and longings. Hannah was greatly sorrowful that she could not have any children.

I Samuel 1:10 She, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.

Hannah turned to the Lord and the Lord heard her prayer and gave her a son, who became the last judge and first prophet in Israel. Her prayer that is recorded became Mary’s prayer when she found out that she was going to bear a Son and His name would be Jesus, the Son of God.

I Samuel 2:1,2 Then Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord;
My horn is exalted in the Lord,
My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
There is no one holy like the Lord,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.

When you experience great loss then you might feel bitter. Job lost everything but his wife and then she also tried to get him to forsake the Lord.

Job 3:20 Why is light given to him who suffers,
And life to the bitter of soul,

Job was faithful to the Lord and the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him even more.

Job 42:10 The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold.

Great sorrow and pain comes to all of us at some time in our life. How we respond to it will determine whether our life becomes bitter or sweet. If we turn to Him, He is faithful and will not disappoint you, for that is the promise He has made to us.

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

If you don’t turn to Him then your bitterness will eat you up and destroy you from the inside and will make it’s way out through your countenance and your tongue. Not only will it destroy you but it will defile those around you, as mentioned earlier. Don’t substitute what the Lord wants to give to you. His plan for you is sweet. It is the devil who wants to rob you through bitterness.

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Turn to the Lord in you sorrow, loss, disappointment and unfulfilled desires and longings. He will give to you even more than what you can imagine and He has a plan for your life that is good for you and sweet.

 

A Life that Keeps Vows

The Lord says that we are to pay our vows. We are to be faithful to pay our vows to the Lord. The Lord says that it would be better for you to not make a vow than to make a vow to God and not fulfill it.

Ecclesiastes 5:4,5 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.

Thank the Lord and pay your vows to the Lord.

Psalm 50:14 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High;

The best way to keep vows is one day at a time.

Psalm 61:8 So I will sing praise to Your name forever, That I may pay my vows day by day.

If you are married and have children then your children are children of your marriage vows.

Proverbs 31:2 What, O my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows?

Marriage vows are vows that you make to the Lord and no one, not even your spouse, can break your vows. The Lord does not talk about vows being broken but of vows being kept. Vows can not be broken. They are either kept or not kept but the vows still stand. For this reason if a spouse leaves or divorces his spouse then the wife is to remain single. She is to keep herself pure, spiritually and physically.

I Corinthians 7:34 The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

The “unmarried” refers to women who were once married but are not at this time, but their husband, who they were married to, is still living. The virgin is a reference to a lady who has never been married.

Romans 7:2,3 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.

Marriage vows are binding and intended to be kept and fulfilled. Do not plan to get married unless it is until death do us part. Marriage vows are made to the Lord not to each other and each spouse is under obligation to the Lord. These matters may seem difficult if you are in a difficult marriage but the Lord will bless you if you do His will. He says that where sin abounds then grace abounds. The Lord will give you the grace to love your husband and He will give you wisdom in your relationship. Go to a godly woman who is is walking with the Lord if you need help in your marriage for that is God’s provision.

Titus 2:3-5 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 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, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

However, if you have made a commitment with your mouth or even made a vow to the Lord to do something and you realize that you have made a mistake then the Lord has a provision for you.

Numbers 30:3-8 Also if a woman makes a vow to the Lord, and binds herself by an obligation in her father’s house in her youth,and her father hears her vow and her obligation by which she has bound herself, and her father says nothing to her, then all her vows shall stand and every obligation by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if her father should forbid her on the day he hears of it, none of her vows or her obligations by which she has bound herself shall stand; and the Lord will forgive her because her father had forbidden her.“However, if she should marry while under her vows or the rash statement of her lips by which she has bound herself, and her husband hears of it and says nothing to her on the day he hears it, then her vows shall stand and her obligations by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if on the day her husband hears of it, he forbids her, then he shall annul her vow which she is under and the rash statement of her lips by which she has bound herself; and the Lord will forgive her.

The Lord has provided fathers and husbands for girls and ladies for their protection. Go to your father or husband if you have made a rash decision and humble yourself and ask them to help you. On the day that they hear of what you have done they can release you from that commitment.

Psalm 50:22,23 “Now consider this, you who forget God,
Or I will tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver.
“He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me;
And to him who orders his way aright
I shall show the salvation of God.”

Whatever you do and whatever mess you find yourself in (and we all makes messes at times) then remember the Lord. Do not take things into your own hands or just ignore what you have done thinking that it will go away. It will go into your conscience and will come up later. The Lord is your Savior and He will save you from any situation that you are in and He will show you His salvation.

Psalm 130:1-4 Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.
If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.

If you have not kept previous vows to the Lord there is forgiveness with Him but you need to confess your sin to Him and ask Him to forgive you. Do not minimize it. There is forgiveness with Him. If you have made a vow to the Lord and you can go back and fulfill it then do so. Make sure you have a clear conscience. Cry out to Him out of the depths of any pain. He loves you. Do not despair. You will see His goodness.

Psalm 27:13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

 

 

 

A Life of Marriage Prep

The best time to prepare for marriage is before you get married. It is a God given desire for a young lady to want to get married. However, the more you are prepared for marriage the easier it will be for you. The seeds that you sow before you get married determines the fruit that you reap after you are married. You will reap either good fruit or bad fruit.

Galatians 6:7-10 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. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

A Life that Forgives

There are certain commands that carry much greater weight than others and the command to forgive seems to be one of the most important. A lack of forgiveness brings about one of the worse consequences that is mentioned in the Bible. The Lord said that if you do not forgive others then your sins will not be forgiven you.

Matthew 5:14,15 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Forgiveness also brings a great blessing from the Lord because He says that if you forgive others then your sins will be forgiven you. We are all sinners who have sinned greatly against the Lord and we desperately need forgiveness from God, the Father. In the same way, we need to desperately forgive others of their sins. You receive what you give away and what you withhold will be withheld from you.

Mark 11:25,26 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”

The meaning of evil is to cause grief. It is hard to forgive when someone has caused us grief and especially great grief. However, when we see what a great debt that we have toward the Lord and the great grief that we have caused Him then we lean more toward forgiving. However, forgiving is impossible apart from the Lord. He has given you forgiveness and this is the forgiveness that you offer to others. Jesus has forgiven you and Jesus has forgiven them. We can only forgive by the power of the Holy Spirit.

John 20:22,23 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

We forgive by faith, in the power of the Holy Spirit in obedience to Him, not by feeling. Our flesh will never want to forgive and does not have the power to do so.

Romans 8:6-8 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.

When you forgive then the Lord releases you from the bitterness and resentment of unforgiveness. You actually are the one who is set free. The person does not have to even be aware of their wrong towards you and they do not have to be sorry for what they did. If they are sorry and repentant then that is wonderful but it is not a prerequisite to you forgiving them. Healing for you comes after forgiveness. There is no pain so great that the Lord can not heal but first you must forgive. He does not hold your sin against you because He has forgiven you. Forgiveness is the promise never to bring it up again. How many times are we to forgive? That is a great question and Jesus answered it for us.

Matthew 18:21,22 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Forgiveness is so important that the Lord told a parable about forgiveness to allow His hearers to understand more clearly what He was saying about forgiveness.

Matthew 18:23-35 For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

He who has ears to hear, let him hear. A day of accounting is coming and it will be too late to settle your accounts with your fellow man. For this reason it is of utmost importance to “keep your accounts up to date”. God declared the man wicked in this story because of his unwillingness to forgive someone else and therefore all of this wicked person’s sins were still on his account and were not wiped out and forgiven. Forgiveness is a matter of the will. It is letting it go and giving it to the Lord. You can’t, He never said you could, He can, He always said He would. Give the matter to the Lord and He will forgive that person through you by the power of His Holy Spirit. As long as you have unforgiveness in your heart then you are in a prison. However, you can settle the account with that person who owes you through your forgiveness by forgiving him. It is after this that you will be released from your prison.

Luke 7:47,48 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”  Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”

Did Jesus offer forgiveness to you? Yes, He did. Go and do likewise that you too may hear the words, “Your sins have been forgiven”.  Forgiveness begins with the prayer, “Lord, I forgive _________. Please forgive me of my unforgiveness and by faith I have forgiven _________. Then you will love much because you too will see how great a debt that you were forgiven by our Lord. Your slate will be wiped clean. You may have to forgive over and over again because the devil might continue to bring it up again but the devil hates to see you forgive and call on the Lord so he will quit bringing it up to you. It is hard to believe when you are in the pain but healing will come and the Lord will truly make something beautiful our of your life.

 

 

A Life with Love Has Great Peace

When Adam and Eve lived in the garden and walked with the Lord in sweet fellowship they enjoyed great peace with God and with each other. There was no drama in the garden and life was good. He only had one commandment for them and that was for their good. As long as they loved God and obeyed that one commandment then they would live in peace forever. When they thought that they knew better than God and did their “own thing” and sinned then they no longer enjoyed peace and they were afraid.

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.” Genesis 3:8-10

Peace and fear can not abide in the same person. When Adam and Eve did not love God by keeping His commandment then sin robbed Adam and Eve of the peace that they knew and replaced the peace with fear. Fear causes us to hide and we no longer experience life as God designed because of our fears. The fears become a snare to us.

The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted. Proverbs 29:25

Many of our fears are imagined and never come to pass but they influence our lives and cause us to hide. Only the Lord’s love can cast out the fears that we have.

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

As we learn to live in His love by keeping His commandments then we will once again know His presence and experience great peace.

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

The more we love His commandments then the more we will keep them. As we keep His commandments then we will see that they are for our good and the good of those around us. Keeping His commandments brings peace to those who keep them and peace in the homes where God and His Word is loved.

Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble. Psalm 119:165

When we love God’s Word then we love the Lord and when we love the Lord then we will love His Word. The Word of God became flesh and lived among mankind in the person of Jesus Christ. He is fully man and fully God. God’s Word and His name are equal. When we love Him, His name and His Word then we will have great peace and nothing will cause us to fear.

And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name. Psalm 138:2b

Jesus Christ came to not only restore us to our relationship with God but He came to bring us peace. When we are restored to God through Jesus Christ then we experience and know great peace. Nothing can take that peace away.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27

If someone does not know the Lord then they need to be in great fear for their fears will be realized but those who know the Lord do not need to fear and their desires will be granted because they have put their trust in God.

What the wicked fears will come upon him,
But the desire of the righteous will be granted. Proverbs 10:24

A Life with Love Does Not Hide

When Adam and Eve loved God they did not hide from Him. When they loved each other they did not hide from each other. It was not until sin came into the world that man began to hide from God and from each other. We will hide behind all sorts of coverings and facades. We hide because we are insecure. Love makes us secure but sin takes away our security.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. 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.” Genesis 3:7-10

Of course the Lord knew where Adam and Eve were. He knows where all of us are and exactly what we are doing and what we have done. There is nothing hidden from Him.

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Hebrews 4:13

The Lord asked Adam where he was not so that God would know, for He already knew, but He asked Adam so that Adam would acknowledge where he was and what he had done. The Lord wants an honest heart and not a person who pretends to be somewhere they are not or someone whom they are not. The Lord is still asking man, “Where are you in relation to God?”

But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance. Now no one after lighting a lamp covers it over with a container, or puts it under a bed; but he puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Luke 8:15-17

It is not until we learn to be honest with the Lord can we be honest with each other. We can not trust ourselves, for our hearts are deceitful. We deceive ourselves but we can trust the Lord. We can not deceive Him.

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

How do you know if someone is trustworthy? Many a man will proclaim to a girl his loyalty. How does she know if he will keep his wedding vows to her? How does she know if he will be faithful to her? There is a way that she can know if he is trustworthy before marriage and if he is trustworthy before marriage then there is a much greater chance that he will be trustworthy after marriage. If he fails this test then there is a much greater possibility that he will not be faithful to her after marriage. Trustworthiness comes from the words “worthy of trust”. A man who is worthy of trust will be faithful to the Lord before marriage and will not touch a girl in an inappropriate manner. Trust must be characterized by moral excellence. A man exhibits self control when he controls his passions before marriage and if he can control his passions before marriage then he will most likely control his passions after marriage.

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. II Peter 1:5-7

The beginning of love must be faith in God. Then for there to be love there must be moral excellence and then knowledge and then self control. A man must persevere in his self control and as he perseveres then he will become godly and learn kindness and then he will learn to love as God has loved him. This is the only kind of love that will last. This is a pure love that is built on the Lord and the man who loves like this will be blessed in his marriage and he will be a blessing to the woman he marries. She will trust him for he will have proven himself to be trustworthy. He will have nothing to hide from God or from his wife or others.

A Life with Love Can Be Rejected

Love to the soul is like food for the body. We need it, we long for it if we do not have it and we will do almost anything to get it. This is where many a young person gets into trouble. Looking for love in the wrong places. A price can not be put on love because it is the greatest gift that you can ever receive from another and only a fool exchanges love. God is the source of all love and He offers His love to every single person in the world. The Bible describes the fool as one who rejects God’s love and lives as if there is no God. Adam and Eve rejected God’s love when they chose to live as if there was no God. They disobeyed the God of the universe and thought they knew better than their Creator.

The fool has said in his heart,”There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; Psalm 14:1a

When Adam and Eve rejected God’s love and did not obey the Lord and His command for them they sinned and their hearts became not only foolish but wicked. They received a sinful nature because now they had a sinful heart that was both foolish and wicked.

The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him.
All his thoughts are, “There is no God.” Psalm 10:4

Not only did Adam and Eve not seek the Lord but they hid from Him when they heard the sound of God walking in the garden. The wicked person also will seek to avoid Christians who are living for the Lord. Haughtiness is another word for pride. It is our pride that does not want to need God or seek Him.

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.” Genesis 3:8-10

Adam and Eve hid themselves because they were ashamed and guilty. When they hid from God they could no longer experience His love for them. His love had not changed but they had changed. Sin does this to us. It changes us and all of our relationships. We become insecure and we not only want to hide from God but we want to cover ourselves up around others. We don’t want to be vulnerable. We have rejected God and His love when we sin and now we are fearful that others will reject us. The most secure people in the world are those who have experienced God’s salvation and live in fellowship with the Lord and obey His commands. They have nothing to fear.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread? Psalm 27:1

A Life with Love Is Still the Plan

When Adam and Eve disobeyed the command that the Lord had given them for their own protection there had to be consequences or they would have continued in their rebellion against the Lord. He did not accuse them and He still loved them. The plan had not changed but the way for the plan to become a reality had changed. Adam and Eve had not been faithful and could not be trusted.

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— Genesis 3:23

Now, that Adam and Eve had eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they MIGHT stretch out their hand again and take also of the tree of life and eat of that one also and then they would live forever in their sin. Death had come into the world but with the death the Lord promised a provision so that they might live again forever with the Lord, never to die again.

The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
Cursed are you more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you will go,
And dust you will eat
All the days of your life;
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 3:14,15

From the very beginning the Lord promised a provision for man, that he might have hope and not despair. The Lord God promised that He would send a Savior who would crush Satan on the head. This Savior that God was promising would be born of the woman. This was God’s love and goodness towards Adam and Eve and all who would be born through them. Sin brings death but God promises life to all who will believe in His provision, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

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. John 3:16

Those who believe in Jesus Christ have their sin taken away, for He is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. This word “sin” is all encompassing of the rebellion that is in all of us of wanting to be our own Lord and not wanting anyone to rule over us. It includes all of the sins that we have committed as a result of wanting to be our own Lord.

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

It is not until we repent of wanting to “make our own decisions and run our own lives” will we be able to experience His plan of love for our lives. He does not take away our freedom when we trust Him and turn to Him but for the first time we will experience true freedom.

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

John 8:34-36

You experience true freedom when you repent of your sin and turn to the Lord. He also, becomes your Savior and He saves you from your sins.

She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

Have you received the greatest gift of all? The gift of Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, as your Lord and Savior? This gift is offered freely to whoever wants to become His disciple and follow Him in faith and obedience. Love was God’s plan and still is God’s plan but the only way anyone can live in that plan is by becoming God’s child by receiving Jesus Christ into their life.

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, John 1:12

The Lord says that “Today is the day of salvation”. Don’t let this day end without knowing for certain that you have a home in heaven with God for all eternity. Whoever calls on Him will be saved.

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9-13

A Life with Love that Came Again

It was love that came again to earth when God sent His only begotten Son to reconcile men and women to God and the love relationship with God that God planned from the beginning. Jesus Christ came to restore everything that man lost and He gave even more.

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. John 3:16

God gave, for love gives, and the gift of His Son is available for anyone who wants to be restored to a love relationship with God. He came to die that He might give life to anyone who will believe in Him. Those who believe will never be separated from His love ever again.

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

Jesus Christ came to earth through the seed of the woman just as God said He would. He was born of a virgin since He is God, Himself.

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:34,35

Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.

And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Luke 2:52

Jesus was made in the likeness of sinful man so that He could relate to our struggles and temptations and yet, He never sinned. Jesus came as an offering for our sin and as a result sin was condemned in the flesh. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, Romans 8:1-3

Jesus had to learn the Word of God and He had to learn obedience. Jesus Christ was faithful to what God had commanded Him. He took the condemnation that we deserved and so we have been set free from the penalty of death. After He died and rose again, making purification of sins, then He sat down at the right hand of God.

When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high Hebrews 1:3b

If we have received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior then we can come to Him, for He is our high priest, who prays for us and delights in our coming to Him. He sits on a throne of grace and gives mercy and grace to those who come to Him.

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:15,16

God made men and women to be in a love relationship with Him. He never reproved them for their failure to keep His commandment but provided a way for them to be restored to the love relationship with Him. Love does not blame. Love finds a way. Love perseveres. Love pursues the relationship. Love gives. Love sacrifices. God did all of this when He sent Jesus Christ to die for the world, that whoever believes in Him, may be restored to the love relationship that God planned from the beginning. He took everything that man lost in the garden and restores those as well. He not only restores the love but He restores the peace and the joy also. He brings healing to our souls and bodies. He heals our relationships that have been broken through sin.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ II Corinthians 5:17,18a

He is alive today and you will find Him if you seek Him. He is seeking to have a love relationship with you.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, I Corinthians 15:3,4

He loves you!

A Life with Love is not Prideful

After Adam sinned he hid himself because he was afraid. He was afraid of how the Lord would respond. No longer was Adam responding to the Lord in obedience but Adam initiated sin and now he was anticipating God’s response. He speculated and presumed that the Lord would not be pleased and may even be angry so he hid himself. The relationship now had gotten turned around because Adam had sinned and it was no longer according to God’s blueprint. God is the initiator and man is the responder. The One who is the leader and begins the relationship is the initiator.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:26-28

God began the love relationship with man and God had a plan for Adam and Eve. He gave them a purpose in life and a calling. He gave the man and woman glory when He made them in the image of God. He crowned them with honor.

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!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas. Psalm 8:4-8

Adam and Eve in their pride and foolishness disobeyed God and were no longer responding to His love for them. They thought they knew better than God. They became in a sense like God but since they were not God, they failed miserably and lost everything. They lost their fellowship with God and they lost their glory and honor. They lost the trust that God had in them. They lost their home. They lost the joy of being in God’s presence. They lost experiencing His love. They lost it all because of their pride.

When pride comes, then comes dishonor,
But with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2

In a similar way, the man is the leader in his relationship with a woman. He is to be the initiator and she is to be the responder. The man is the one who initiates and begins the marriage. God has made the husband to be primarily responsible for the marriage.

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

The woman is called to respond to and follow her husband. It is a woman’s pride that makes her want to control the relationship. It is not God’s blueprint for marriage. God made the man first and brought the woman to him. If you want your marriage to be successful then you must follow God’s plan and have your marriage be built after God’s blueprint.

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 2:21-23

The marriage relationship is to be a picture of God’s relationship with man. If you are a wife then your relationship with your husband is a picture of your relationship with the Lord. If you are a husband then your relationship with your wife is a picture of how well you understand and know the Lord and His love and how obedient you are to Him.

This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:32,33

If a wife is and does as God has called her to be and do, then she will be the crown of her husband. She will receive glory and be crowned with honor.

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, Proverbs 12:4a

If the husband does and is as God would have him then he will have that excellent wife whose worth far exceeds jewels. His heart will trust her and he will not lack gain. She will do him good all the days of her life.

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. Proverbs 31:10-12