A Life with Love has a Refuge

A refuge is a safe place where a person can feel secure. We all need a refuge. We need a refuge from the storms of life just as a person needs a refuge if they are caught in a physical storm. There is something very unsettling about being in a place that starts to shake during a hurricane or a very bad storm. The winds blow and howl and the rain seems never to stop. Often the storms seem worse during the night. The sounds can cause much fear and more than anything else the unknown can seem the worse. Not too many years ago there was not much warning when a hurricane was coming and people did not know how long it would last. The storms of life are kind of like that, we don’t know how long they will last or what will be the outcome. Storms can be frightening.

Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8

The Lord is the only One who can be a refuge for us at all times and at any time. We can trust in Him all of the time. He wants us to pour out our hearts to Him. He is a present help in time of trouble.

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

Since the Lord does not change and He loves us perfectly therefore He is the perfect refuge for us. Everything else in life will change but if God is our refuge then we do not need to fear. We do not need to fear the unknown or the changes. The Lord is a present help in time of trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Psalm 46:2,3

The Lord will cover you with His pinions and under His wings you seek refuge. Just as a mother bird will protect her babies so the Lord will protect those who take refuge in Him.

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. Psalm 91:2-4

The Lord can protect you from harm. His faithfulness is a shield and a bulwark. He is faithful to His Word. You can trust Him.

As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the Lord is tested; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. II Samuel 22:31

The Lord preserves those who take refuge in Him.

Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You. Psalm 16:1

Those who take refuge in the Lord will not be ashamed.

In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge; Let me never be ashamed; In Your righteousness deliver me. Psalm 31:1

The person who takes refuge in the Lord will see how great His goodness is that He has stored up for them.

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! Psalm 31:19

How blessed will be the one who takes refuge in the Lord.

O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Psalm 34:8

None of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned. He redeems them.

The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned. Psalm 34:22

The Lord wants us to hasten to Him and take refuge in Him. When the storm is coming it is important to hasten to the place of refuge.

I would hasten to my place of refuge from the stormy wind and tempest. Psalm 55:8

You will find that as you learn to take refuge in the Lord that you will want to sing of His love and His faithfulness. Your heart will overflow with joy. The storm will not last forever and those who took refuge in the Lord will have a testimony to share of the Lord and what He has done for them. Do you want to see the Lord and experience His love and faithfulness? Learn to go to Him rather than seek refuge in people or other “things”. He is the only sure refuge and you will be safe and secure.

But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress. Psalm 59:16

A Life that Praises

The Bible says that praise is becoming to the upright.

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

What you praise is what you will become. You will praise what you put your trust in.

Psalm 115:8 Those who make them will become like them,
Everyone who trusts in them.

What you praise is what you trust in and what you trust in is your idol and your idol is what you worship.

Psalm 115:4-7 Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of man’s hands.
They have mouths, but they cannot speak;
They have eyes, but they cannot see;
They have ears, but they cannot hear;
They have noses, but they cannot smell;
They have hands, but they cannot feel;
They have feet, but they cannot walk;
They cannot make a sound with their throat.

Praise and worship go together. The Lord calls it wickedness if you worship what you have made, whether it is your home, business, career, savings account or anything else that would tempt you to trust in rather than to trust in the Lord.

Jeremiah 1:16 I will pronounce My judgments on them concerning all their wickedness, whereby they have forsaken Me and have offered sacrifices to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands.

Have you sacrificed your children to build your career if you are married? Have you sacrificed your standards to try to get that relationship you desire? Have you forsaken the Lord by not having your quiet times with Him because you are too busy?

Deuteronomy 5:8-10 You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

If you have been trusting in anything other than the Lord then repent and turn to Him with all of your heart. Fear Him and keep His commandments. He will show His lovingkindness to you who love Him and obey Him.

Hebrews 13:15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.

It is through Jesus Christ that we offer up a sacrifice of praise to the Lord. We are to thank Him for all of the great things that He has done. This is one of the ways that you become more like Him. When you praise Him then He is your focus and you become what you fix your eyes on.

Psalm 30:4 Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones,
And give thanks to His holy name.

When He is your trust then He will be your Savior. He will deliver you, save you, protect you, provide for you and whatever else you need. His name is Jehovah and His name means “the becoming One”. He will become what you need and your praise will be becoming to Him.

A Life that Is Not Anxious

Worry and anxiety, which are basically the same thing, can rob a life of health, wealth and happiness. Anxiety can paralyze a soul and kill the body. It can ruin relationships and destroy marriages and families. Anxiety is not from the Lord but is one of the favorite tools of the devil.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10

Anxiety lurks in every opportunity and waits at every door. Anxiety is a result of fear and fear is the opposite of faith. Satan is the thief and he wants to make a person fearful. If he can put one in a state of fear then he can keep them anxious. If they are anxious then they become devoured and controlled by their fears and worries.

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. I Peter 5:8

There is an answer to the struggle of being anxious and worried. It is not God’s design for anyone to struggle with these two afflictions. God’s provision is for anyone who desires to be set free from fears, worries and anxiety.

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10

If a person will turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and ask Him to be their Savior and Lord then He will be with them. He will be their God, which means Savior. He will help them, strengthen them, and will uphold them. He is saying in this verse that you need not be afraid and you need not look to others to save you in your difficult or impossible situation but that He will save you. This is a promise for those who belong to Him.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

The Lord wants you to come to Him with all of your worries and anxieties. Talk to Him and let your requests be made to Him. Thank Him for hearing you.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, I Peter 5:7-9a

When you pray then you are humbling yourself before the Lord and this is how you keep firm in your faith. When a person stays firm in their faith and casts their anxieties on Jesus Christ then they are resisting the devil. When a person resists the devil then the devil flees.

Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7b

The Lord says that He will never leave us or forsake us.

for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” Hebrews 13:5b

Not only will He never leave us or forsake us but after we suffer in our afflictions then He comforts us.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, II Corinthians 1:3

After He comforts us then He makes us more like Him, confirms our relationship with Him, strengthens us and establishes us.

After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. I Peter 5:10

A Life that is Pro Choice

Everyone wants the ability to choose in life and what is amazing about the Lord is that He gives the opportunity to choose and to make choices. In fact, our thoughts, our actions, our destiny and our life are determined by the choices we make. Our ability to make choices begins at a very early age. We begin to choose good or evil as a very young child. After a child is old enough to be weaned from his mother then he is old enough to choose between right and wrong.

He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. Isaiah 7:15

The difficulty that we have is that we are born with a foolish heart and we are inclined to do what is wrong. We may want to do what is right but we will find ourselves doing wrong at times.

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; Proverbs 22:15a

The Lord has made people to know Him and to live in His love. It is man who turns his back on God. It begins with a choice to do something wrong. It may be a “little lie” or something else we may consider “little” but the effect is the same in that it is wrong and our conscience has been defiled. At this point we can either admit the wrong or deny it and try to justify it.

For a fool speaks nonsense,
And his heart inclines toward wickedness:
To practice ungodliness and to speak error against the Lord, Isaiah 32:6

The foolish person denies the wrong and it inclines him toward doing it again. When he does this then he sets himself on a path that is not good and the outcome will not be good. Rather than refusing evil and choosing good, he has refused to do good and chosen what is bad. His thoughts and words are nonsense which means that they make no sense. They lead him down a path of practicing what is against the Lord and to justify himself even further he will say things about the Lord which are not true. He will not only go astray but will lead others astray. He will add more sin to his sin.

Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days. Proverbs 19:20

A wise person is one who listens to the Words of God and accepts God’s correction. He will correct us through His Words as they speak to our conscience through His Holy Spirit. He forgives our sins and cleanses our conscience when we ask His forgiveness.

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

God’s correction leads to confession and confession leads to repentance and repentance is turning from our sin to God. When we repent and turn to Jesus Christ then we will receive the Holy Spirit.

Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

We receive the Holy Spirit when we are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. This is not a water baptism but a turning to the Lord with all of our heart and a turning away from sin. When a person turns to the Lord then He receives you and you receive Him, through His Holy Spirit. His Spirit comes to live within your heart.

Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I Peter 3:21

The blood of Jesus Christ, which was shed on the cross, cleanses you from all of your sin and cleanses your conscience when you turn to and receive Him as your Lord and Savior.

how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience… Hebrews 9:14

You become a “new person” and the “old person” is crucified with Christ.

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

What then is the choice that the Lord gives to us? He gives us the choice to choose the Lord Jesus Christ. We can freely choose Him now and follow Him. He does not force anyone to follow Him. Christianity is a love relationship with Jesus Christ where a person trusts Him because they have turned to Him with the result that they hear, know and experience His love. His love is perfect and He can be trusted completely.

choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

Those who choose “not to choose” the Lord will also have an outcome of the choice they made.

when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed… II Thessalonians 1:7-10

A Life with Love Wants to Do Right

Love does what is right. The loving person will want to do what is right in the sight of God and all men. Sometimes we do not know the right thing to do but we will almost always recognize the right thing when it is done by someone else.

Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son who is living, and your son is the dead one’; and the other says, ‘No! For your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’” The king said, “Get me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. The king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” Then the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for she was deeply stirred over her son and said, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!” Then the king said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother.” When all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had handed down, they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice. I Kings 3:23-28

When King Solomon became king he was presented with a difficult situation in which he had to make a decision. When he made the right decision the people recognized that it was right and he gained their respect to rule over them. How important it is for a leader to do what is right so that the people who he is to lead will listen to, follow and respect him. When parents do what is right then their children will feel secure and want to honor them. When a husband does what is right then the wife will respect Him from her heart rather than only out of obedience to the Lord.

“The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me,
And His word was on my tongue.
“The God of Israel said,
The Rock of Israel spoke to me,
‘He who rules over men righteously,
Who rules in the fear of God,
Is as the light of the morning when the sun rises,
A morning without clouds,
When the tender grass springs out of the earth,
Through sunshine after rain.’ II Samuel 23:2-4

The leader who loves will do what is right. He will care about those whom the Lord has given him responsibility for their well being. A great leader will rule in the fear of God. God’s Word will be in his heart and on his tongue. He will be as refreshing as when the daylight comes when the sun rises in the morning. There will be peace, quietness and confidence.

And the work of righteousness will be peace,
And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17

When there is love and righteousness in the home then those who live there will feel secure. When a husband and father loves his family and does what is right then his wife will trust him and so will his children.

Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation,
And in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places; Isaiah 32:18

When a mother is loving and does what is right then her children will love her when they are young. They will praise her when they are older and will also want to come back home to visit when she is older.

When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, But when a wicked man rules, people groan. Proverbs 29:2

When a leader is wicked and does what is wrong then those under that leader will groan. Rather than loving them he will bring them much sorrow and shame. He will not have their respect but they will live in fear. There will be no joy or peace. This can be true in a family and home and the children will long to leave and not come back.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. I Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient and love is kind. Love wants to do what is right and does not rejoice in unrighteousness. Love rejoices with the truth.

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

When love, kindness and truth characterize your life then you will do what is right in the sight of God and men. Not only will you do what is right but you will find favor with God and have a good reputation with men.

A Life with Love Shows Mercy in Justice

When Cain’s offering was not accepted by God, rather than doing what was right he did what was wrong and he murdered his brother, Abel, whose offering God had accepted. When we do wrong we can still do what is right. The choice is ours.

And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4:4b-7

It may be humbling but we can still do what is right and if we do what is right then we will be glad and our countenance will reflect it. The Lord gives us the opportunity to humble ourselves before Him so that we might receive His grace which enables us to do what is right no matter how great the sin.

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

His grace will always measure up to the measure of the sin. One aspect of His grace is the strength to do what needs to be done to do what the Lord wants to be done.

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. Romans 5:21b,22

If you mess up or sin once or a million times you can still turn away from sin and turn to the Lord to begin doing what is right. Cain could still have done what was right or he could do what was wrong. The choice is still our choice. The wages of sin is death. It is death to us spiritually and it is death to our soul and death to our body. If we will do what is right then the Lord will meet us and help us.

You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways. Isaiah 64:5a

Cain was jealous of his brother and killed him. Cain did not love his brother but he hated him.

For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. I John 3:11,12

How much easier it is for us to love someone else when we have more than they do. However, when someone becomes more successful and has more money, receives more honor or is accepted more then that love can easily turn to hate.

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; I John 3:15a

Sin begins in the heart but if it is not quickly checked and confessed then it will lead to action. Cain did not plan to kill his brother. Most of us don’t plan to sin but we have allowed sin to take root in our heart and then to master us. Sin is a cruel master and when Cain heard his punishment it was too hard to bear. The Lord spoke to Cain.

He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to bear! Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” Genesis 4:10-14

When Cain poured out his heart to the Lord then the Lord heard him and showed him mercy. The Lord is a just God but He is also merciful. How important it is to show mercy to those to whom we have to show justice. This is such an important truth for parents when they need to discipline their child. There can be no love without justice but love must be shown in justice so that the one who receives justice should not despair.

So the Lord said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him. Genesis 4:15

Many a regret comes from an action in the emotion of the moment. Cain messed up privately in his worship with the Lord and the Lord reproved him privately. The Lord had not told anyone. Cain told his brother and when they were alone he killed him.

Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Genesis 4:8

Jealousy is a sickness of the heart that can destroy us from the inside out. It is a secret sin that comes from insecurity. The best way to deal with jealousy is to get it out in the open. Go to someone who walks with the Lord and who you can trust and confess your sin of jealousy to them and ask them to pray for you.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16

The Lord is faithful, righteous and able to cleanse and heal us if we will confess our sins. He can also restore our relationships and heal our marriages and homes.

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:8,9

In God’s righteousness and faithfulness to His Word there is justice but in His love He shows us mercy when we come to Him and pour out our heart to Him.

A Life with Love Must Be Selective

Contrary to what some may say and others may believe we can not have it all. We can not have a life filled with love and do what we want to do. To find and keep love a life must be selective about what it hears, sees and does. What comes into your life is what will be expressed through your life.

and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood— Revelation 1:5

There is One who loves us and He loved us with His life and He released us from the things that would destroy our lives, our marriages and our homes. He does not want us to go back to a life of destruction. He came to bring us life overflowing.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10

There are six things that must characterize your life if you want to find and keep love. If you do these six things then you will live on the heights of the earth, that is, you will live above your circumstances rather than under your circumstances. Often it is not our circumstances that determine our lives but our response to our circumstances.

He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity,
He who rejects unjust gain
And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe;
He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed
And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil; Isaiah 33:15

“He who walks righteously” Walking righteously is doing what God says. He is the only One who is righteous and when we do what He says then we will walk righteously.

It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the Lord our God, just as He commanded us. Deuteronomy 6:25

“speaks with sincerity” Speaking with sincerity can only come when a person is honestly walking with God. Only a person with integrity, where there is no double mindedness in them, can speak with sincerity. This person is singular in their desire to please God. There is nothing that they desire from another.

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

“He who rejects unjust gain” To reject unjust gain is to not be deceptive or cheat in any way. It is to be honest in all of our dealings. To reject unjust gain is to walk in God’s ways and not to want our own way. The Lord says that He will teach us how to profit. When we are seeking Him and seeking to walk in His ways then He will show us how to profit in a way that all will benefit.

They have all turned to their own way, Each one to his unjust gain, to the last one. Isaiah 56:11b

“And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe” The Lord does not take bribes

For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. Deuteronomy 10:17

“And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe” The Lord does not want us to take bribes.

You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. Deuteronomy 10:19

“He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed” The Lord does not want us to listen to bloodshed. We need to stop our ears from listening to bloodshed. Is there bloodshed in the news? Is there bloodshed in the books or movies that are available? The Lord wants us to be proactive in what we listen to and to stop our ears from listening to bloodshed. The Lord wants us to hate bloodshed and not listen to it.

therefore as I live,” declares the Lord God, “I will give you over to bloodshed, and bloodshed will pursue you; since you have not hated bloodshed, therefore bloodshed will pursue you. Ezekiel 35:6

“And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil” The Lord wants us to shut our eyes from looking upon evil. We will only be able to do what we know. He does not even want us to have the knowledge of evil. If we want to find and keep love then we must be innocent in what is evil. There is something pure and refreshing about a person who is innocent in the knowledge of evil.

but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. Romans 16:19b

The Lord says that if you will do these six things then you will live on the heights of the earth. You will be secure and you will not worry over the basic necessities of life, in fact, they will be given to you and you can be sure of them.

He will dwell on the heights,
His refuge will be the impregnable rock;
His bread will be given him,
His water will be sure. Isaiah 33:16

For the person who does these six things they will not only live securely and live a life above the way the rest of the world but they will see the Lord in His beauty. This person will see the Lord and their eyes will also behold that far distant land that He has in store for them. Their entire perspective will be changed and they will realize that this life is only passing. They will have something far greater to live for than what this world has to offer. They will see the One who is love and in seeing they will realize that they have found love and they will keep the love that God has for them, for God is love.

Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will behold a far distant land. Isaiah 33:17

A Life with Love Does Not Shame

The Lord does not shame His children and neither are we to shame one another. There is probably nothing greater that can quench love than to shame another whom God has called us to love. When a person has done wrong then they feel their own shame and it is not the responsibility of anyone else to add to it.

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones. Proverbs 12:4

When a wife shames her husband then it goes to the very core of his being and she becomes like one who drains the life out of him. Rather than being a blessing or a gift to him as the Lord intended she has become like the rottenness of death to his very bones.

But when David returned to bless his household, Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel distinguished himself today! He uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants’ maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!” So David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel; therefore I will celebrate before the Lord. I will be more lightly esteemed than this and will be humble in my own eyes, but with the maids of whom you have spoken, with them I will be distinguished.” Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death. II Samuel 5:20-23

When Michal, King David’s wife shamed him then he no longer desired to be with her. She had no child to the day of her death. Sometimes a wife will want to put her standards on her husband but she is not to be his conscience and her standards may not be the standards that the Lord has called him to.

In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. I Peter 3:1,2

A wife is not responsible for her husband’s actions but she is responsible for her behavior before the Lord. If her husband is not doing what is right in the sight of the Lord then the Lord will deal with him.

For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest upon the land of the righteous, So that the righteous will not put forth their hands to do wrong. Psalm 125:3

If a person is a Christian and is in authority then the Lord will not allow that Christian to continue to do wrong. The Lord will deal with him. If a husband continues to do wrong and the wife has been submissive to her husband and not been his conscience then she needs to trust in the Lord. He is faithful and will not allow the righteous to continue to do wrong.

The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. John 8:3-6

When the leaders brought to Jesus a woman who had been caught in adultery, He did not shame her but rather took the focus off of her by writing on the ground. When Jesus wrote on the ground then everyone was no longer looking at the woman but looking at what He was writing. Since she had been caught in adultery, in all likelihood she was not fully clothed. Rather than allowing her to receive further shame from others He wrote on the ground, He used the time needed for someone to bring her something to wrap herself in.

But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. John 8:7-9

Jesus is so amazing that He did not even shame those who brought her to Him. He again stooped down to give them a gracious opportunity to realize that they were not any different than the woman who had been caught in her sin.

Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” John 8:10,11

We are all sinners. Grace is the opposite of shame. Jesus did not come to shame us but He came to show us God’s grace so that we might acknowledge our own sin and come to Him in faith. Salvation is a gift that we receive by His grace when we come to Him in faith.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; Ephesians 2:8

When the woman called Jesus Lord then she was acknowledging that Jesus Christ is the Savior who came into the world. He did not come to condemn but He came to forgive.

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

She left her encounter with Jesus having been forgiven. His command to her was to “go and sin no more”. If we have had an encounter with Jesus and we have been forgiven then we will want to “go and sin no more”. A changed life is a testimony of a person who has come into a relationship with Jesus Christ. We will no longer want to do the things we did before.

A Life with Love Needs to Give

Just as love needs to be received love also needs to be given away. When love is given away then the receiver reaps more love and has more love to give away. Love is like a cycle that never ends. It is in the giving and receiving of love that we thrive and find our meaning and purpose in life.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. Galatians 6:7

Love is like a seed that is sown. The more love that one sows then the more love will that one reap. Love is also the water that nourishes the seed of love that is sown. When a person seeks to water the lives of others then their life will be watered.

The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:25

Love is meeting the needs of someone else. God gave His only begotten Son so that we might have eternal life.

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

We needed to be forgiven of our sins so that we would not perish but have eternal life. God gave and met this need in our life.

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13,14

God gave so that we might be redeemed and forgiven. When we are redeemed and forgiven we are also rescued from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of God’s beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. John 1:9

In the kingdom of darkness there is no light. Those who are still in that kingdom live in a world of despair, darkness, depression and without hope. The Lord wants to deliver them and transfer them to His kingdom, where love is. God gave to us so that we might be able to give to others. When we give to others and meet their needs then we are showing the love of Christ. Love removes the obstacles so that those who have not yet come to know Him might see His love for them, in order that they might come to Him, hear His Word and be forgiven.

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

Jesus Christ laid down His life for us so that we could come to know Him. He wants us to lay down our lives for others so that others may come to know Him.

This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. John 15:12-14

A Life that Calls

From the very beginning the great men and women of God, who lived by faith, called on the Lord. The wicked do not call on the Most High but look elsewhere for help.

Genesis 13:4 to the place of the altar which he had made there formerly; and there Abram called on the name of the Lord.

The incredible privilege of being able to call on the Creator of the universe is what makes Christians so unique. The Lord has made us a people for Himself.

Deuteronomy 4:7 For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the Lord our God whenever we call on Him?

The Christian life begins with calling on the Lord and the Christian life is a relationship where we continually call on Him. He says that whoever, which includes everyone, calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Romans 10:12,13 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.”

He tells us to call on Him when we are in trouble and He will rescue us. Has He ever rescued you? Did you honor Him by telling others what great thing He has done for you?

Psalm 50:15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”

Full repentance involves turning from your sin and turning to the Lord and calling on Him, that He might have mercy on you and save you from your iniquity.  Iniquity is  what your sin is called of wanting to be your own lord, by going your own way and making your own decisions. Once you repent from your iniquity then He will save you from your sins, which are all of the foolish acts, words, thoughts and offenses against Him.

Jonah 3:8 But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands.

The Lord wants you to call on Him so that He can show you great and mighty things.

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

Where are you in your calling upon the Lord? Do you call on Him every morning before you start your day or have you become weary in your walk and no longer call on Him as you did earlier when you first came into your love relationship with the Lord?

Isaiah 43:22 Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob;
But you have become weary of Me, O Israel.

The Lord longs to hear from you and waits for your call. Just as a parent, who loves their child waits for their calls when they are away, so your heavenly Father is waiting to hear from you.

Psalm 4:1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.

He will answer you and He will hear your call. He loves you and longs to hear from you. You will find strength that you did not have and boldness in your soul.

Psalm 138:3 On the day I called, You answered me;
You made me bold with strength in my soul.