A Life that Stays In Love

Everyone wants to stay “in love” with the love of their life when they get married. You may not be married yet and are wondering why this would apply to you. It very much applies to any young lady who wants to and plans to get married. In fact, that is God’s will for most young ladies, but not all. However, what can you do now to help your marriage, if the Lord should choose to give you that gift?

Every older lady who is happily married knows the “secret” to staying in love. It should not be a secret but for whatever reason, not many know it or do it.

Your relationship with your husband will be an expression of your relationship with the Lord. You say you love the Lord? We know that if you are a Christian then you want to love God. A measure of how much you love the Lord is how much you love others.

I John 4:20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love  God, whom they have not seen.

Just as God loves because He is love, in the same way, the recipient of your love should not be the source of your love but God should be the source. He can and will love through you.

I John 4:7,8 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

The Lord loved you when you were unlovable and it changed your life.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

The Lord wants you to keep yourself in His love. In other words, to stay in love with Him.

Jude 1:21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

The way you keep yourself in the love of Christ is to nurture the relationship and to not neglect it. Over and over again in the Bible the Lord reproves His people for neglecting their relationship with the Lord and slipping into a ritualistic pattern with Him. Most marriages fail because of neglect although nearly all begin with good intentions. Both people just get so busy and before they realize it their love for each other is lukewarm and then cold. Are you ever too busy to spend time with the Lord? Is your love just as fresh as when you first came into that relationship?

Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

If you learn to be faithful in your relationship with the Lord then you will have gone a long way in cultivating an intimate marriage. If you learn to love, not based on what you will receive in return, but because the Lord has called you and enabled you to love then you will have learned the secret of staying “in love” with the one whom the Lord has called you to be one with here on earth.

If you are married: Just as the Lord wants you to delight yourself in Him and to want to be with Him, so too, if you are married, your husband wants you to want him. He married you because he thought that you did want him. Do you still delight in your husband just as when you were first married? Do you still get excited about seeing him? Just as God’s love changed your life, so too, your love and desire for your husband can motivate him to be the person that the Lord has designed him to be.

Titus 2:4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,

This word “love” in this verse in Titus means to “be a lover of their husband”, or “to want or delight in their husband”.

 

 

A Life that is Faithful

At the end of your life there will only be one thing that matters and that is God’s judgment of you. What will you hear Him say? It will not matter how pretty you were, how much money you had, whether you came from a well off family or from a family that struggled to make ends meet. It will not matter if you had two parents or one parent or no parents around. It will not matter what others thought of you, whether you were “accepted” or not. There is only One who will determine if you are accepted and what He will say to you will echo in your ears for all of eternity.

Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

What is His will? What will he be looking for in you?

John 6:40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

Very simply, God’s will is that you believe in Jesus Christ who He sent into the world to save you from your sin…to die for you, to be raised from the dead and to ascend into heaven.

John 6:39 This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.

Now this belief is not merely an intellectual belief. You can look at a chair and believe that it will not fall apart if you sit in it but it is not until you actually sit in the chair do you believe that it will hold you up. In the same way, you can believe in Jesus but if you are not reading His Word and doing what He says to do then you are only giving intellectual assent to his claims. You are believing with your mind but not with your heart. Those who will come to him on the last day and say, “Lord, Lord” and He rejects them did not believe with their heart but only with their mind.

Matthew 7:22,23 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

They did not obey.

A Life with Times of Refreshing

Just as our bodies can become weary so our souls can become weary also. Sometimes our bodies can be in a dry and weary place where there is not much water or rest. Just as cold water and rest can refresh the body so also God’s presence can bring times of refreshing to the spirit and soul.

Acts 3:19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

We may need to repent if we have never come to Jesus Christ to forgive us our sin and to give us eternal life. Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to the Lord. We are either going toward God or we are going toward sin. God desires that all come to repentance and that none perish.

II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

We need to repent if we have gotten away from having Jesus Christ be our “first love” and the lover of our soul and the giver of life. It is easy to become busy with life and fill our lives with “good things” and forget that the Christian life is a love relationship with Jesus Christ. Or, we may just have gotten our eyes off of Jesus Christ and have been trying to live the Christian life on our own and allowed it to become a life of “do this and don’t do that”.

Revelation 2:4,5 But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.

We may need to repent if we are a Christian and have become ensnared with a particular sin and are experiencing death to our soul, which is the defeat and guilt that we feel when we know that we are not living in a way pleasing to Him. Sin can cause weariness. Whatever it is that is causing our weariness, it is not design.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Come to the Lord Jesus if you are weary and heavy laden. He will give you rest. Repent, if you have gotten away from Him and have left your first love. Do the things you did at first when you first became a Christian. Remember how you marveled at how great a love that He has for you. Remember how His grace was poured out on your life and you experienced His forgiveness and cleansing? Repent and return to Him in order that times of refreshing may come from His presence. In His presence there is fullness of joy and in His right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11 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.

It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance in order that He might bless us.

Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

 

A Life of Freedom from the Fear of Man

The Bible says that the fear of man brings a snare. It is an oppressive feeling to live in the fear of someone else. Only the Lord can set us free from the fear of man.

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

As you learn to trust Him then you will see that you do not have to be afraid of man.

Psalm 56:10,11 In God, whose word I praise,
In the Lord, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?

Only the fear of the Lord can set you free from the fear of man. If you fear Him then you need not have to fear anyone else.

Psalm 112:1 Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who greatly delights in His commandments.

The Lord wants to teach you to fear Him through His Word.

Psalm 119:38 Establish Your word to Your servant, As that which produces reverence for You.

You are blessed if people revile you because you are a Christian. Do not be intimidated. Remember who you are, a child of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

I Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled,

The Lord does not want you to fear anyone but if you live according to His ways then people will fear the Lord by not wanting you around when they do evil.

Deuteronomy 11:25 No man will be able to stand before you; the Lord your God will lay the dread of you and the fear of you on all the land on which you set foot, as He has spoken to you.

However, you must look to the Lord and not to others. He will protect you and be your defense. He will never forsake you but will help you when you need Him.

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

If you do not fear the Lord then often times you will be tempted to have irrational fears.

Psalm 53:4,5 Have the workers of wickedness no knowledge,
Who eat up My people as though they ate bread
And have not called upon God?
There they were in great fear where no fear had been;

Finally, the Lord Himself is for you.

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

You are the apple of His eye.

Zechariah 2:8 …for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.

 

 

A Life that is Forgiven

The Bible says that the one who is forgiven is blessed. How sweet it is to know that you are forgiven for everything that you have done. There is no sin that is too great for God’s forgiveness. How easy it is to ask the Lord to forgive you over and over again. However, His forgiveness is complete and we only need to ask once.

Psalm 32:1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered!

Not only will He forgive you but He removes the guilt of your sin.

Psalm 32:5 I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”;
And You forgave the guilt of my sin.

However, you must confess your sin to Him and ask Him to forgive you. Don’t minimize your sins or hide them.

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

Your sins have offended Him because He can not look upon evil. He is a holy God.

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

The Lord is compassionate and wants to forgive you. He wants you to return to Him. Remember when you were a child and you used to love to hear about the Lord and you wanted to come to Him. Return to Him and He will come to you.

II Chronicles 30:9 For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.”

He is waiting for you and wants to forgive you and cleanse you.

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Jesus Christ died for your sins. He died once for all of your sins. He died for you so that He might bring you to God.

I Peter 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;

If you are still struggling with your sins then either you have never surrendered to Him or you are living in defeat. He took the punishment for your sins so that you could become spiritually alive. If there are doubts about your salvation then tell Him and ask Him to come into your life if He is not already there. He will make Himself known to you. When you become a Christian you become born again spiritually and then you become alive to God. What it means is that you can not continue on the same path of sin that you were on before. He forgives you, cleanses you, gives you a new life and changes your path.

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

As you learn to walk with Him then you will learn to have fellowship with other Christians.

I John 1:7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses  us from all sin.

Don’t let the devil weigh you down with guilt. People who do experience God’s forgiveness will often make poor decisions due to the effects of their sins.

II Timothy 3:6 …weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses,

He offers everyone forgiveness. God so loved the world that he sent His Son to die for all of our sins. It is a gift but we must receive it. If you are not a Christian yet then come to Him and get it settled. If you are a Christian who is still struggling with sins then come to Him also for cleansing and forgiveness. Confess your sins and experience His forgiveness. The Bible says that in the same way that you received Christ, which was by faith, then learn to walk with Him by faith and that requires a continual confessing and cleansing. We all mess up and sin but He forgives. How blessed is the one who sin is forgiven and whose guilt is removed.

 

 

 

A Life that Lives Above Circumstances

There is a promise in the Bible that is an amazing promise and it is one that says if you do a certain thing then you will ride on the heights of the earth. This means that you will live above the circumstances of every day life. However, as with many of His promises, there is a condition. What does the Lord require of you to live this incredible life?

Isaiah 58:13,14 “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And speaking your own word,
Then you will take delight in the Lord,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

The Lord established the Sabbath commandment at the beginning of creation when the Lord Himself rested on the seventh day of the week. Was He tired? No, the Bible says that the Lord God does not get tired.

Isaiah 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.

The Lord was setting the pattern for work and for life by His example. He does not only teach us but He shows us how to live life. He gave us a day of rest because He is good. He did not make man for the Sabbath but the Sabbath for man.

Mark 2:27 Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

Often people will say that they wish they had a day where they did not have to do anything. He has given us a day every week to rest and become refreshed in our relationship with Him. It is not “family day” or a day that we can do things we want to do and because we enjoy them then it is not considered work. No, rather He makes it very clear that we are not to do our own pleasure or live life our way. We are not to seek our own pleasure or speak our own words but we are to honor Him by honoring His holy day. He says that if we do this then we will ride on the heights of the earth.  Holy means that it is set a part for Him.

Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,

This is the Apostle John speaking. Since Jesus Christ rose again from the dead on Sunday, the first day of the week, Sunday became the Sabbath day for the Christians after the resurrection. Sunday became the day that was set a part from the other days of the week so that they might get together and worship the Lord and rest.

Deuteronomy 5:12-14 ‘Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.

The Lord considered the setting aside one day a week and not doing any work so important that He made it one of the Ten commandments. You will find that if you will keep this commandment then the quality of your life will become much better and you will also “take delight in the Lord”, as He promises.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

One of the beautiful characteristics of the Lord is that He does not make you do anything. You don’t have to obey any of His commandments. However, because He is so incredibly good He promises a reward if we delight ourselves in Him. He will give us the desires of our heart.

 

 

 

 

A Life that is Moral

Morality and immorality are opposites. Immorality is exchanging eternal values for  temporal values. Esau was immoral by trading his birthright for a meal. His birthright was his so why was his action immoral? His birthright was what had eternal value and the meal had temporal value.

Hebrews 12:16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.

If we do not wait for God’s timing then we are also godless. Esau would have gotten some food but he could not wait.

Isaiah 64:4 For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.

The Lord has far more for you than what you can see or have heard of if you will only wait for Him.

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

He can even do more than what you can think of if you will only trust Him and wait for Him.

James 1:16,17 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Do not be deceived and listen to the lies of the devil that come out of the world or that even come into your thoughts. The Lord wants to give you good things and perfect gifts.

Isaiah 55:8,9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Learn to think His thoughts and learn His ways. His thoughts are revealed to us in His Word and that is also how we learn His ways. He has given His Word to us. It is His revelation of who He is. It is the only way that we know the only true God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us through Jesus Christ.

Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

He wants to teach us His ways and He wants us to observe His Words, by observing He means to study, know and obey them.

Psalm 25:4 Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.

Are you thinking His thoughts and learning His ways. It is a lifelong process and the more we know His ways then the more we will know Him and experience His good gifts. That is why the Lord says over and over again in His Word that the ones who keep His commandments and follow His ways are blessed. Morality is keeping His ways and being obedient to His Words, which are eternal values. Immorality is doing what you want to do and satisfying your flesh, which are temporal values.

A Life with a Great Love

The Lord offers us in His Word a great peace, a great reward and great goodness to be bestowed on us, but first we must receive His great love. His great love is available to all but only those who receive His Son will ever know the privilege,honor and gift of experiencing His great love by becoming His child.

I John 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.

Not only do you become His child but your Heavenly Father will love you with the same love with which He loves Jesus Christ. Unbelievable! We understand how He could love Jesus. Of course He loves Jesus because Jesus Christ is perfect but does He really love the rest of us the same way? Yes!!!

John 17:23 so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.

Once you belong to Him there is nothing that can separate you from His love.

Romans 8:38,39 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.

Once you have His great love then He promises to give you all things. You no longer have to work for God’s favor or hope that your good will outweigh your bad. His love is a gift and everything that you receive after His great love is a gift. He wants to give to you and give to you some more.

Romans 8:32 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?

God’s incredible great love is available to all. There is no one who has sinned too much or has done anything too horrible to be rejected by His great love. All have been disobedient to God. We have all sinned.

Romans 11:32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

God has loved everyone, every single person ever born, the Lord has and is offering His great love to them.

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

The Lord talks about a “time of visitation”, which means that this is the time that He is coming to you and calling to you to come to Him. Do you hear Him calling to you to come to Him or if you have strayed, calling to you to come back to Him?

Luke 19:44 …because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.

The Lord works through His children so that the world might come to Him and be saved. The world is looking for the “real thing” and observing your life to see if you are genuine or a hypocrite. Are you a real Christian or are you pretending to be something that is not really real in your life. Are you ever afraid to be transparent? The Lord wants our lives to be transparent so that others might see Jesus in us. The only way that you can be transparent is if you have a clear conscience.

I Peter 2:12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

If you want to experience the greatest love ever known and want to live a life in His great love then you must receive Him as your Lord and Savior.

John 1:12 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,

Once you receive Him you will also experience His great goodness in your life. The Lord loves to show the world how good He is and He does it by showing His great goodness to His children, for those who fear Him and to those who take refuge in Him.

Psalm 31:19 How great is Your goodness,
Which You have stored up for those who fear You,
Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You,
Before the sons of men!

 

A Life that Listens

A life that listens to the voice of the Good Shepherd is a life that lives in tranquility. The Lord speaks to us in different ways. He says that His sheep hear His voice. This is what He wants. He wants to speak to you through His Holy Spirit that He has made to dwell within you. He speaks to your spirit when you become spiritually alive. You become spiritually alive when you become born again. You become one of His sheep and He becomes your Shepherd. As your Good Shepherd, who lays down His life for the sheep, He will protect you and guide your steps to keep you out of harm.

John10:11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

He knows you by name and calls to you. He will communicate His love for you in many different ways. You will see His hand and hear His voice.

John 10:14-16 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

He has sheep throughout the world and all through the ages. We belong to the Shepherd and He makes us one, regardless of color or race. He is the good Shepherd. The word “good” means the highest form of love. He has an unconditional love for each one of us. There is nothing that we can do to cause Him to love us more.

Proverbs 6:22 When you walk about, they will guide you;  When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you.

He speaks to you through His Word. You must be faithful to put it in your heart so that when the time comes that you need comfort or guidance or whatever your need is, He can talk to you as you walk about and even when you are asleep or awake.

Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

The word “beloved” means just what it says, “be loved”. The Lord calls you beloved because He wants you to be loved by Him. Let Him love you as He longs to do. Let your striving be your seeking after Him so that you can hear His voice. He will give to you even in your sleep.

 

 

A Life that is Near to God

The Lord says that He is not far from you and that those who draw near to Him then He will draw near to them.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

The nearness of the Lord is a refuge. A refuge means protection from the storms and stresses of life.

Psalm 73:28 But as for me, it is good for me to draw near to God; I have made the Lord God my refuge and placed my trust in Him, That I may tell of all Your works.

Do you ever feel stressed out or depressed? If so, then you are living as if you have no Shepherd. If you have not come to the Good Shepherd and given your life to Him then now is a good time to do it. Or maybe you gave your life to Him earlier but now you are living as if you have no Shepherd.

Matthew 9:36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.

Another reason why people do not draw near to Him but rather go far from Him is that they feel that He has been unfair. He is good and there is no unfairness in Him but if that is your perception then it will feel like reality to you. The Bible says that you will go far from Him. Going from Him begins with just not seeking Him or neglecting your time with Him. Do you find that you are making excuses for missing your devotions or for missing church? Before you realize it, your heart has become kind of cold to the things of the Lord and then after awhile you really don’t even miss Him. You will also start going after emptiness and in a matter of time you will feel empty.

Jeremiah 2:4 “What injustice did your fathers find in Me,
That they went far from Me
And walked after emptiness and became empty?

He is calling for you to come back to Him. We all drift at certain times in our lives but don’t stay away from Him. He wants you more than you know and offers you rest for your soul. You will have no rest as long as you are not close to Him. He made you to be close to Him.

Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.