A Life with Love Reaps Love

A person reaps what they sow. However, just as when we sow seeds in a garden there is a delay in the reaping so also often it is not until later that we reap the fruit of what we have sown in relationships. If we sow seeds that are good then we will reap good fruit, but likewise, if we sow seeds that are not good then we will reap fruit that is not good.

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

God was not mocked in the garden of Eden when He said that man could live in the garden and enjoy all of the blessings of living in His love and in fellowship with Him. He was true to His Word. He is always true to His Word. When He told man that if he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil then he would die. Man sowed disobedience and reaped death. God was true to His Word.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16,17

God was not being mean, in fact, it is love when we are faithful to our word. We can trust God because He is faithful to His Word. A child learns not to trust a parent when they do not stick to their word, either in promising something good or saying that a consequence will follow disobedience. For this reason, it is important in relationships to be faithful to our words so that when we say something we carry it out. Trust is built on faithfulness and love is built on trust.

God is faithful, I Corinthians 1:9a

So, God is not mocked. If we sow love in our relationships then we will reap love. Some people will reap sooner and some people will reap later but we will all reap what we sow. The time period before a couple gets married is very important because they are sowing the seeds that they will reap later. A marriage staying together is often determined by what was sown in the relationship before marriage. People do in their youth what they later regret in life but it is too late to take back the bad seeds that were sown.

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

The word “lusts” means desires. When one lusts after what God has not yet given to them and they fulfill their lusts then they have sinned and sown seeds that they will reap later. The fruit of lust is sin and the result of sin is death. When a man or woman does not pursue what is right, which is righteousness, or pursue faithfulness, love and peace then he or she will succumb to their lusts.

But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. James 1:14-16

It is of the utmost importance for a young man and woman to learn God’s ways when they are young so that they can sow the good seeds in their relationships before they get married. Defrauding a person is obtaining something by deceit. When a young man takes before marriage what belongs in marriage then he is defrauding the young lady that he supposedly loves. He is sowing bad seeds that he will reap later. When a young woman gives to a man what is to be saved for marriage then she also is sowing seeds of destruction. Often when a marriage fails, people will wonder what happened and forget the seeds that were sown earlier. When a couple waits on the Lord for the gifts of marriage that He has for them then they will be blessed and their children will be blessed. If a man waits until his wedding day for the gift of physical intimacy then he will outshine the sun in his happiness.

In them He has placed a tent for the sun,
Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; Psalm 19:4b,5a

A young man and a young woman rob themselves of the love and joy that God has designed for them in the gift of marriage. Marriage can be a taste of heaven and is the sweetest and most intimate relationship on earth when it is done right. God is not mocked. Marriage is meant to be a sowing and reaping of love. The more that love is sown then the more the couple wants to sow love. It is the most beautiful love cycle that God has created between two people.

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9

One of the wonderful aspects of God is that He always gives us a chance to be changed. Until the day we die we can come to Him in faith and ask His forgiveness. Repentance is acknowledging that we have failed and turning away from our own way to following the Lord and His ways. Faith is coming to Him and asking Him to forgive us and to take control of our lives. If we have not been sowing what is right it is not too late to start today. Start sowing the seeds of love in your relationships. Love is of God and He will teach you how to love in His Word. If you are not married then do it right and you will be eternally glad. You will be blessed, your future spouse will be blessed and your children will be blessed.

Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. Luke 6:47,48

God is not mocked. If we act on His Words then our marriages will be loving and will stand strong when the storms come. God is faithful to His Word and we will reap what we have sown, whether it is good or bad. When we are faithful to sow the seeds of obedience to His Words then we reap the good fruit and our lives be strong and our relationships will be filled with love.

A Life that Resists

The devil has already been defeated but he is still trying to cause as much grief as he can. For this reason he is called the evil one. The word evil means to cause grief and the Bible says that hell is one of the things that is never satisfied. Sheol is another word for hell.

Proverbs 27:20a Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,

Satan is going to be cast into hell with all the demons and he is trying to take as many people as possible.

Matthew 25:41 Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

As mentioned earlier the devil was defeated when Christ went to the cross. This was spoken of in Genesis and is the first reference to Jesus Christ coming. He came to bruise the devil on the head.

Genesis 3:15 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.”

The Bible says that the devil roams to and fro throughout the earth looking for someone to destroy.

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

Satan comes like a thief, when you least expect him and when you are at a weak moment. If he can not rob you of salvation then he will seek to rob you of your joy and cause you to be a defeated Christian. Christians are defeated when they compromise.

John 10:10a The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

Christians are useless in the kingdom of God when they compromise. A stream that has been trampled by animals is worthless to drink out of and so is a polluted well.

Proverbs 25:26 Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.

However, the Lord tells us to resist the devil and he will flee.

I Peter 5:9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

We resist the devil through the Word of God. It is the sword of the Spirit and Jesus Himself used the Word of God when He was tempted by the devil.

Matthew 4:3-10 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will command His angels concerning You’; and‘On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”

After you have suffered a little while then the Lord Himself will come to you and comfort you. Resist the devil by keeping firm in your faith and standing on the Word of God. Don’t compromise. Cry out to the Lord to help you. Quote the Word of God out loud or read it out loud.

I Peter 5:10 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.

After you have seen His love and faithfulness you will be strengthened in your faith and now you are to strengthen and encourage other Christians. We need each other.

Luke 22:31,32 Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Jesus is praying for you that your faith will not fail.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Forgives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 8:6-8 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

A Life that is Helped

The Lord helps His children. He is our Helper and is a present help in time of trouble.

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

The Lord is for me through those who help me.

Psalm 118:7a The Lord is for me among those who help me;

Don’t be timid about asking for help. Jesus asked for help when He was here on earth. He asked the Samaritan woman to give Him a drink.

John 4:7 There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”

Joseph asked the cupbearer to help him by mentioning him to Pharoah (after the cupbearer was released) so that Joseph could get out of prison.

Genesis 40:14 Only keep me in mind when it goes well with you, and please do me a kindness by mentioning me to Pharaoh and get me out of this house.

The Lord has provided angels, who are ministering spirits, who help us also in our time of need.

Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?

Often they come in bodily form so that we do not recognize them at the time.

Hebrews 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.

Finally, the Lord gave us a Helper when He departed to go be with the Father and to prepare a place for us. He did not leave us alone.

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

The Lord uses people to help us and at other times He sends angels when we are in need and then He has also provided His Holy Spirit to help us. He never leaves us without help. It is good to call on Him when we are in need and by faith give thanks to Him for His lovingkindness towards us. He is good and He is faithful.

Psalm 92:1,2 It is good to give thanks to the Lord
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning
And Your faithfulness by night,

 

 

A Life with a Citizenship

This is not our home nor is our citizenship in this world. From the beginning of those who lived by faith they made it clear that their citizenship is not of this world but they are looking forward to their heavenly city and home.

Hebrews 11:16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

The Lord has prepared a city for us and He has described what a citizen of this city looks like in His word. He asks what this citizen looks like in Psalm 15.

Psalm 15:1 O Lord, who may abide in Your tent?
Who may dwell on Your holy hill?

In other words, what does the person look like who will live with Him in His city?

Psalm 15:2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,
And speaks truth in his heart.

He does what is right and walks with integrity. He is honest in all of His dealings and the way this is done is that he speaks the truth to himself first within his own heart. The only way that he can do this is if God’s word is in his heart.

Psalm 40:8 I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law is within my heart.

So, not only does he love the Lord with all of his heart, soul and mind but he loves his neighbor with a Christlike love. His neighbor is every person that he comes in contact with, whether it is in a store or where he lives. The meaning of evil is to cause grief. He does not cause grief through bad mouthing someone or any other way. He is also loyal to his friends.

Psalm 15:3 He does not slander with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;

We are not to hate anyone but what this is saying is that we do not give honor to a reprobate but we honor those who fear the Lord. There are a lot of people who are reprobates and do not seek the Lord. What about the books you read and the songs you listen to…are the authors and composers men and women of God?

Psalm 15:4 In whose eyes a reprobate is despised,
But who honors those who fear the Lord;
He swears to his own hurt and does not change;

Also, another big thing to the Lord is that a citizen of His keeps their word even when it hurts. Have you made a commitment and then changed your mind? You keep the commitment. You swear to your own hurt so that you do not bring dishonor to our King.

Psalm 15:5 He does not put out his money at interest,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things will never be shaken.

The Lord gives those who live according to His laws a promise that they will never be shaken. You will find that there will be an amazing peace that comes over your life on a daily basis as you live according to His ways. When you violate His ways then you have not loved someone and you have brought grief to someone. Do not minimize your sin by saying that “we are under grace”. Grace was never meant to excuse your sin. Confess your shortcomings to Him. He will forgive you and help you learn to do what is right. He did not just save you so that you would become His child and a citizen of His kingdom but He saved you so that you would be able to live as a child of God and a citizen of His country. He wants you to represent Him to the world as His child and His ambassador.

Isaiah 33:15-17 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;
He will dwell on the heights,
His refuge will be the impregnable rock;
His bread will be given him,
His water will be sure.

Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will behold a far-distant land.

He wants you to see Him before you get to your heavenly home. He wants you to see the King in His beauty and wants you to behold that far distant land just as the great men and women of faith who have gone before us did.

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

To sum it up, the child of God and citizen of heaven has clean hands, a pure heart and a clear conscience.

A Life that is Victorious

We all want to be victorious. It is the way the Lord made us. He made us to win. No one wants to lose or feel like a loser. How can we live a victorious life? There is only one way to live that kind of life.

I John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

The first prerequisite to being an overcomer is that you must be born again. Have you been born again?

John 3:3-8 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

You must be born again of the Spirit. You will fail over and over again in the flesh. The only way that you can have the victory is in the Spirit because Jesus overcame and He lives in you if you have been born again. How do you become born again?

John 1:12,13 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, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

If you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior then He gives you the incredible gift of becoming His child. You become born of God into His family. It is by faith that we receive Him and call upon Him.

Romans 10:9-13 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.”

You call on Him in faith and He will save you and you will become His child. How do you get the faith to believe? You receive the faith from hearing God’s Word.

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

It only takes a little bit of faith. Your faith will grow as you grow in your relationship with Him. Call on Him. Come to Him. He says that you will not be disappointed. As you grow in your faith then you will see victory in your life. Victory over discouragement. Victory over depression. Victory over sin and sinful habits. You will not only be sorry for the consequences but the Lord will give you a sorrow over your sin. That sorrow will lead to repentance, which is a turning away from your sin and a turning to Him, over and over again until you have been changed and see the victory. This is God’s will for you.

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.

He is patient and He is kind. Come to Him with your struggles and your burdens. He will take them and give you His peace and His joy.

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 that Loves God

Jesus makes it very clear who loves Him. Love is not a feeling but love is an action of obedience.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

If you are doing what you want or what your flesh desires and then talk about God’s grace then you are not loving God but you are mocking Him. He died for you, not so that you could do what you want but so that you would be free from the passions of your flesh so that you would do as you ought and thereby love God by keeping His commandments.

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

Do not let your heart deceive you. God is not mocked. Whatever a person sows that will he reap. If you sow to the flesh then you will reap destruction.

Galatians 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Eternal life is knowing Jesus, the only true God, and when you come into the knowledge of Him, an intimate knowledge, then you want to love Him. If you just know about Him then there is not the passion to love Him back.

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

If we know Him then we realize that everything else is rubbish in view of the surpassing greatness of knowing Him.

Philippians 3:8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,

Once you find Jesus then you will be willing to sell all that you have and count it loss that you might gain Him.

Matthew 13:44 The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Moses knew the Lord and the Lord showed Him His ways.

Psalm 103:7 He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the sons of Israel.

Do you keep His Word? Do you know His ways? When we learn to obey His Word and walk in His ways then His love is perfected in us and we become more like Him. We also will know that we are in Him.

I John 2:5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:

We also will have the assurance that He is in us and that His Spirit abides in us.

I John 3:24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him.  We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

If He abides in us through His Spirit that He gives to us when we receive Him as our Lord and Savior then we are His child. If we are His child then we will want to keep His commandments. If we keep His commandments then we will abide in His love and will want to love Him more because of His great love for us.

A Life that Is Remembered

Jesus was very kind to women and treated them with equal respect as He treated the men. There were a number of women who followed Him and loved him while He was on earth.

Mark 15:41 When He was in Galilee, they used to follow Him and minister to Him; and there were many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.

The women also remained with Him, looking on from a distance, when He was crucified.

Mark 15:40 There were also some women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome.

Mary Magdalene was probably the oldest of the women since she is mentioned first and so she had to be around fifty years old. Mary, mentioned here is the mother of Jesus and Salome is the mother of James and John and was Mary’s sister. Mary was either in her late forties or in her fifties since Jesus was thirty three years old at this time. The disciples honored these women and they were included in His ministry and afterwards.

Acts 1:14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

However, there was one woman who the Lord honored by mentioning how she will be remembered wherever the Gospel is preached.

Mark 14:3-9 While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted?For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

She did what she could to honor and minister to Him. Simple as that. She did what she could. Jesus did not ask her to do anything but out of her love for Him she did what she could. We all have different gifts and abilities. When we do what we can then Jesus takes note of it and remembers it. Don’t worry about doing something great for the Lord. Do what you can do. Whether it is giving a cup of cold water to a thirsty person or helping the fatherless in Jesus’ name, either in your hometown or across the world, just do what you can out of love for Him.

John 12:3 Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

In all likelihood it was probably Mary, who sat at His feet, who anointed His head and his feet. The house was filled with the sweet fragrance of her love for Him. Also, since this happened before His crucifixion, her offering was a fragrant aroma to Him during His suffering. That is how it is, when we do what we can in our love for Him then the house of God is filled with a sweet fragrance and we are a fragrant aroma to Him.

Ephesians 5:2 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.

Our love for Him is expressed in our love for each other. When we consider others more important than us and love others as He has loved us then we will be like Christ and an offering to God as a fragrant aroma.

II Corinthians 2:14 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.

The Lord is the One who leads us in victory in Christ and He is the One who manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. As we learn to walk with Him, He will lead us and make Himself known through us to the world. You are the one the Lord wants to use to make Himself known to a hurting world.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Overflows

Jesus said that He came to give us life and not just life but an abundant life that is overflowing.

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

Jesus is the only One who can give us life because He is the life.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

In Him is life and His life is the light of men.

John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

We can not live apart from Him. When we try to “do it on our own” then all we will experience is death. Someone may walk around on the outside but the inside of them is death. Everything is “blah” and they are not motivated and may struggle with depression. They have no light and therefor live in the darkness.

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the Lord, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

The Lord is abundant in His grace and His forgiveness of our sins. Before we can walk in His way we must forsake our way and return to Him.

Matthew 7:14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

What is our hope? Our only hope is Christ. He is the way. He leads us into life. The early Christians were first called “the Way” because His way of life for them was so different than the world. They followed Jesus and lived according to His ways.

Acts 24:14 But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets;

His way is very different from “our way” but when we follow Him and walk in His ways we experience life and His life overflows through us.

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.

He came that 2we might have life and might have it abundantly.  He is the way. When we follow Him we will not walk in darkness but will have the “Light of Life” in us.

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

When we look to Jesus Christ we experience life to the fullest and then He lifts us up and sets us on a high place so that we might give light to others.

Matthew 5:14,15 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

 

 

 

A Life that Loves

The greatest of all is love and love is the most powerful influence in the world. When we learn to love as Christ did then our world will be changed. We will be willing to die for each other even as Christ died for us.

Romans 5:7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.

This word good means the highest form of love. What the Lord is saying is that someone would not be willing to give up their life for someone who does the right thing  but perhaps maybe someone would die for a person who loved them. Love is the greatest power in the world. We will always want to be around those who love us.

I John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

We know that Jesus loves us. He died for us and He would do it again. He did not die for us because we were good but He died for us because He is good. Jesus Christ is the expression of the highest form of love.

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

The only way we can love with the love of Christ is if we die to ourselves first.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

We must deny ourselves and follow Him. It is a daily dying to ourselves and it is the path to freedom and to Christlikeness.

Luke 9:23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

This life is only possible through His Spirit and by His Spirit. He will only lead you where He has gone before you. There is no fear in a life of dying to self and following Him. In your dying you will begin living and in your death others will find life.

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Jesus went before us. He was crushed for our iniquities and by His scourging we are healed. He died for us.

Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.

The Lord is pleased when we offer ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice. How is it seen by others? It is seen through our love for others as we are poured out as an offering to Him.

Isaiah 53:10-12 But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

You have the opportunity to be like Jesus when you intercede for those who have sinned against you. You may not be able to bear their sins as Jesus did on the cross but when you pray “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”, you will be more like Him than you will ever know and others will see Jesus in you.

Luke 23:24 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.

The greatest is love and those who love are the greatest.

I Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.