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 Has Great Joy

Love brings great joy to the one who loves and to the one who is loved. Joy is different than happiness. Happiness comes from what is happening but joy comes from something else. Joy comes from being in the presence of God.

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

When Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden of Eden and knew His presence then they had fullness of joy. Fullness of joy meant that they were filled with joy. They walked the path of life with God and were filled with His joy. Not only did they know much joy, but they experienced His pleasures. They knew life, joy and pleasure. Everything that they had was given to them. When they sinned then they traded life for death, joy for despair and His pleasures for the counterfeit pleasure of the world, which is an illusion and leaves one feeling even more empty once the feeling of pleasure leaves.

for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b

The joy of the Lord brings strength. Death, despair and emptiness drain a person of the strength that God designed for them. Without joy then relationships become a drudgery and a burden. Not only does the joy of the Lord lighten the load of everyday life and but His joy keeps the love in relationships. When we turn to the Lord and take refuge in Him then we can know His joy.

But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You. Psalm 5:11

Joy comes from His salvation. You know when someone has come into a personal relationship with the Lord because that person wants to sing for joy.

Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright. Psalm 33:1

They have experienced God’s love and presence and they can’t hid their joy. They want to share that joy with others.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You. Psalm 52:12,13

When God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to restore man to his relationship with God then He also restored the joy of the Lord within man by giving His Holy Spirit to the one who has come to trust Him. Joy characterizes the child of God because he has once again come into God’s presence through Christ. Joy also characterizes the couple who have built their marriage according to God’s design.

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

The joy of the Lord goes in both directions. Adam and Eve brought the Lord great joy when they walked with Him and enjoyed that sweet fellowship. He loved them and He delighted in their communication and in His relationship.

But the prayer of the upright is His delight. Proverbs 15:8b

We, too, can still bring the Lord great delight when we walk with Him and pray to Him. We know His joy as we come into His presence. His joy is like a fragrant aroma in our relationships and also as we go through the day. When we walk with Him then we hate sin and anything that grieves His Spirit because we love Him know that the joy of being with Him is like no other joy and there is nothing to compare with Him.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 5:1,2

We also realize that sin destroys the joy in our marriage and relationships. Before Adam and Eve had sinned they had that sweet communion with the Lord and with each other because they obeyed Him and knew Him. If you are married then you will see that as you and your spouse each seek to please the Lord then your hearts will become knit together and your love will deepen for the Lord and for each other. You will not want to do anything to quench the Spirit for it will quench the love and joy that the Lord gives to those who live in His presence. As a married couple learns to live together in His presence then their love relationship with the Lord and each other will be a sweet aroma to everyone around them and the rest of the world.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; II Corinthians 2:14,15

A Life with Love Gives Freely

When the Lord created Adam, the Lord told Adam that he could eat freely of any tree in the garden.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; Genesis 2:16

Love gives freely. A gift is something that is not worked for and there is nothing that you can do to earn it, but you must receive it. The Lord offered His love and provision to Adam. Adam lacked nothing when he lived in the garden that the Lord had created. The Lord offers His love to all the descendants of Adam and Eve. He again gives us the freedom to choose Him, for that is love, and He paid the price to give His love and He freely gives His gift of love to anyone who will ask Him. For God so loved He gave.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:4-9

God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us gave. He gave His best and His only begotten beloved Son so that we might be able to know Him and walk with Him in a loving relationship. The cross is the greatest expression of love. Salvation is a free gift for any who come to the Lord in faith and that gift of salvation comes through the price that someone else paid.

Freely you received, freely give. Matthew 10:8b

If we only understood the Lord’s love for us then we would realize how much He delights in giving to us. He not only gave up His only Son, but He says that He will freely give us all things. Wow!

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

When we have the Spirit of the Lord living within us then we will know the things freely given to us by God.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,

I Corinthians 2:12

In love, God destined us to be His children. It was His plan all along and when Adam and Eve sinned then love found a way to restore us to Him. When you love someone then you want the relationship to be restored. You are not thinking how you want justice fulfilled, no, you are thinking of how can we be reconciled again. God sent His only begotten Son to die for the world because He loved the world. God was willing to take the punishment that we deserve so that we could be restored to Him. He fulfilled and satisfied the need for justice but it was because He loved us. Justice was fulfilled when Adam and Eve died but for them to live again and be restored to God, the Lord had to take their death so that they would never have to die again. He gave to man His righteousness and took man’s unrighteousness. Man owed a debt he could not pay and so God paid a debt that He did not owe. The debt was paid on the cross.

In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. Ephesians 1:4b-8a

The Lord has freely bestowed on us His grace, which is in Christ Jesus. The Lord has given freely to us and He wants us to give freely to others in need. We were the needy that Jesus came to love and He has also put the needy amongst us so that we will freely give to them as He has given to us. Jesus wants us to love others as He has loved us. He came to earth to love, not to judge.

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

The Lord wants our faith to be a living faith. He wants us to live it out as He lived His faith out when He walked among men and women over two thousand years ago.

If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. James 2:15-17

The Lord wants us to live out the love that He has put in our hearts when we came to know Him. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. I John 3:16-18

Freely you received, freely give.

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

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 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 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 Makes a Home

We all need a home. A home is different from a house. A home is where you feel loved and secure. A home is where you can go anytime and you are always welcome. It is your home and it was made for you to dwell there. A home offers protection from the world and the elements. The storms of this world, whether emotional or physical, can be cold and seem cruel and relentless at times but if you have a home then you have a shelter. We all long for a place where we feel loved and secure that we can call our home. When Adam and Eve sinned they lost their home. Sin and rebellion sometimes does that to us. The devil lies about or minimizes the consequences of sin and the price that we pay for not obeying the Lord. It probably did not occur to Adam and Eve that they would lose their home.

therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. Genesis 3:23

The Lord had to send them out from the garden, where life was a delight, lest they eat of the tree of life and live forever in their sinful state. Love makes a home for the lonely and the Lord began preparing a place for Adam and Eve, where they would be safe and secure and which would never be taken away from them but that home would come later for those who would put their faith in Jesus Christ.

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:1-3

Adam and Eve still had a choice of whether or not they were going to love God or go their own way and do their own thing. However, because of sin, life becomes harder and Adam’s work was harder because the land had weeds and thistles. Work was no longer the delight that it had been before. He could rebel again, and make it even harder for himself, or he could learn to trust and obey the Lord and God’s help would be available for him even in his difficulty.

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”—therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24

It was God’s love that sent Adam out of the garden. It is God’s love that gives us a home. If we will not rebel against the Lord but learn to trust Him then He makes a home for the lonely.

God makes a home for the lonely;
He leads out the prisoners into prosperity,
Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land. Psalm 68:6

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.