A Life that is Helped and Helps

We all need to help and to be helped. We need to help each other stay on God’s path. We need each other and the Lord has provisions for us. There are three layers of relationships that ladies need to help them stay on God’s path and do what is right.

Hebrew 13:7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the outcome of their way of life, imitate their faith.

The top layer are those whom you look up to and respect. If you can have a loving relationship with this person then that is great but sometimes it may be someone you admire from a distance whose life inspires you. However, you definitely need some people in the upper layer who love you and will pray for you and keep you accountable. This person sees your needs and wants to see you grow in the Lord. Find people who are growing in their relationship with the Lord whom you want to be like and you want to go where they are going in life. Be careful who you aspire to be like because you will become like the person you allow to teach you. Choose godly women who love the Lord. Look at the fruit in their lives.

Luke 6:40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

The second layer are the friends that you choose. This layer will love you and want to be with you. Both of you agree that you want to be faithful to the Lord, which means that you want to be faithful to honor your parents or husband, or you both want to be faithful in school or on the job.

Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, unless they be agreed?”

You both want to follow the Lord and you stimulate one another to do that very thing. You will stick with each other through thick and thin, no matter what the circumstances.

Proverbs 18: 24 …there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

You also want your closest friends to be wise people who seek the Lord, fear and respect Him and want to be a disciple of Jesus. A wise person lives each day as though it is his last so that he will be ready to meet the Lord.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

A fool lives as if there is no God.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

Who you choose as your friends is one of the most important decisions you will make in life. Choose right and you will treasure them and you will bless each other. Choose wrong and you will end up in situations you never intended to be and you will go places you never wanted to go. A true friend is more concerned about your relationship with the Lord than your relationship with them.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times,

The last layer is the bottom layer and this layer are the girls or young ladies who look up to you. This layer keeps you on the straight and narrow because you do not want to disappoint them. Often they think that you can do no wrong. Of course you know the truth about yourself but they truly believe the best in you. Also, this layer is important because the Lord tells us to reach out to others and especially to those who can not pay you back. The Lord Himself will make sure that your life is watered if you water others.

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

The Lord Himself was like this.

Philippians 2:3-5 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

If you are missing a layer then ask the Lord to provide and then seek out opportunities to meet people. This principle is seen in life with grandparents, parents and children. Also, Jesus looked to the Father and had the disciples, especially Peter, James and John as friends and reached out to the multitude.

An easy way to remember this is to call it the “oreo” principle. (If you like oreo cookies.) The top layer are those who love you in spite of your faults and the bottom layer are those who love you but do not see your faults. Then the sweet stuff in the middle are your friends who see the good, the bad and the ugly but who love you anyway and who will be there for you. Can it get any better? How is your “oreo” principle?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that is Filled with Love

A life that is filled with love will overflow with love. The only way that one can live a life that is filed with love is to live in the love of the One who so loved that He gave us His Son. His love is perfect, sacrificial and eternal. He loves because He is love. When we love because of His love through us then we will have His love for others. It is unconditional. Our love is conditional, imperfect and selfish.

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

How does one experience His love? It begins by receiving His love for you. How is this done? It is by keeping His commandments.

John 14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and disclose Myself to him.

His first commandment is to come to Him. When we come to Him then we turn our back on our sin. We can not continue to sin and come to Him. All of us some time or other turned our back on Him and came to sin. Now, He is calling us to turn our back on our sin and come to Him. He will meet us the moment we turn to Him. Then He will let us know the next thing He wants us to do. It will be in accordance with His Word. It may be that He wants us to change friends, or ask forgiveness or forgive someone else.

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

If you belong to Him then you will hear His voice. If you do not obey when you hear His voice then you may not hear it again. He waits until you obey. He wants obedience so that you can learn to live in His love. Is there something that you know that you should be doing and have not done it? You need to obey Him.

II Peter 1:5-8 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge, and in knowledge, self-control, and in self-control, perseverance, and in perseverance, godliness,  and in godliness, brotherly kindness, and in brotherly kindness, love.

Moral excellence is obeying the Lord in what His Word says and keeping His commandments. That is the beginning of love. This is why many marriages fail…it is because the couple sowed seeds of a lack of moral excellence before they were married and then they reaped the bad fruit later. Nearly all marriages fail because of the seeds that were sown before marriage. It is the same in all of your relationships. There must be moral excellence for relationships to have the right foundation.

James 3:13-18 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

There are two kinds of wisdom just as there are two kinds of relationships. One of jealousy and selfish ambition or one that is pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering and without hypocrisy. How sweet life is when it is done God’s way.

A Life that is Filled with Love

A life that is filled with love will overflow with love. The only way that one can live a life that is filed with love is to live in the love of the One who so loved that He gave us His Son. His love is perfect, sacrificial and eternal. He loves because He is love. When we love because of His love through us then we will have His love for others. It is unconditional. Our love is conditional, imperfect and selfish.

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

How does one experience His love? It begins by receiving His love for you. How is this done? It is by keeping His commandments.

John 14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and disclose Myself to him.

His first commandment is to come to Him. When we come to Him then we turn our back on our sin. We can not continue to sin and come to Him. All of us some time or other turned our back on Him and came to sin. Now, He is calling us to turn our back on our sin and come to Him. He will meet us the moment we turn to Him. Then He will let us know the next thing He wants us to do. It will be in accordance with His Word. It may be that He wants us to change friends, or ask forgiveness or forgive someone else.

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

If you belong to Him then you will hear His voice. If you do not obey when you hear His voice then you may not hear it again. He waits until you obey. He wants obedience so that you can learn to live in His love. Is there something that you know that you should be doing and have not done it? You need to obey Him.

II Peter 1:5-8 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge, and in knowledge, self-control, and in self-control, perseverance, and in perseverance, godliness,  and in godliness, brotherly kindness, and in brotherly kindness, love.

Moral excellence is obeying the Lord in what His Word says and keeping His commandments. That is the beginning of love. This is why many marriages fail…it is because the couple sowed seeds of a lack of moral excellence before they were married and then they reaped the bad fruit later. Nearly all marriages fail because of the seeds that were sown before marriage. It is the same in all of your relationships. There must be moral excellence for relationships to have the right foundation.

James 3:13-18 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

There are two kinds of wisdom just as there are two kinds of relationships. One of jealousy and selfish ambition or one that is pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering and without hypocrisy. How sweet life is when it is done God’s way.

A Life with a New Heart

The greatest miracle in the world is when the Lord gives someone a new heart. Not only does He give someone a new heart but He puts a new spirit within them. He removes the heart of stone which we all have in us that causes us to be self centered and to care for ourselves above all others. Our old heart becomes more and more hardened and we do not even feel the pain that we cause to others. We say ugly words with no thought of the broken hearts and hurt feelings of our parents, friends, spouses, acquaintances and those who serve us in the work places of life. Sometimes we don’t say or do anything but our sins are acts of omission when we could have done something to relieve the suffering of someone else but we were so consumed with our own lives we never really noticed. Our thoughtlessness can be as damaging when we may be the only person in a position to help someone else in need.

Ezekiel 36:26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

When we become born again then He puts His Spirit within us and makes us a new person. He gives us a new heart and a new spirit and He comes to live within us and lives through us. He opens our eyes and our ears. He becomes our God and our Lord. He causes us to walk in His ways and observe His ordinances and when we do that then we will love the Lord and our neighbor as we should.

Ezekiel 36:27,28 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.

He will cleanse us from our sins and forgive us from everything wrong that we have done. His forgiveness is complete and includes all of our sins: past, present and future. He forgives us of our acts of omission as well as our actions that we have done against Him and others.

Ezekiel 36:29a Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness;

He will bless us and multiply our resources. He will keep famine away. He will multiply the fruit of our labor.

Ezekiel 36:29b-30a and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you. I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field,

He will remove our disgrace among others and take away our shame.

Ezekiel 36:30b so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations.

The evidence of a new heart is that when we remember our evil ways and deeds that were not good then we will hate what we have done. If it were not for His great love for us then we would also hate ourselves for what we have done. Our heart of flesh will feel the pain and grief that we have caused others.

Ezekiel 36:31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations.

The incredible good news is that we are forgiven and made right with God through Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. We can now commune with Him and hear His voice. We can see His great love and feel it as well. We can love others with a pure heart and feel their pains and griefs. We have compassion on others because of His great compassion on us. This is how you know that you have a new heart and that His Spirit lives with you. You are a new person and the old things have passed away. New things have come.

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.

A Life that Loves

It has been said that people are happiest doing two things and which these two things are loving and learning. The Lord made us to love and He made us to learn. Both of these activities help keep the focus off of ourselves. The most unhappiest people in the world are the people who are all about themselves. We are basically selfish and only the Lord can change our hearts and character so that we will love others more than ourselves. God is love and when we are filled with the Lord’s Spirit then we too will love others as He has loved us.

I John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

God’s love was made known to us through the life and death of His only begotten Son.

I John 4:9-11 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

If the Lord so loved us this way then we also ought to love one another. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

I John 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

When the Lord permeates all of your life and relationships then love is what will characterize them. Even if the other people are not loving they will usually eventually respond to the love of Christ in you.

I John 4:12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

One of the most exciting things as a Christian is to love people who you naturally would not love and it can only be done by His Holy Spirit abiding in you. He will love through you and will give you a genuine love for others. As you walk with Him then you will start to see others the way Jesus does and you will have compassion on the people you are around.

I John 4:16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

Love is the opposite of judgment. Judgment condemns but love forgives and accepts.

I John 4:17,18 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

If we love others then we will not fear in the day of judgment because we have done what our Lord commanded of us. His love casts out the fear in us when we will stand before Him. Sin brings guilt and guilt brings fear. Doing right brings peace and peace brings confidence.

I John 4:19-21 We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

The Lord will love through you. God loves us because He is love. Love is not dependent on the recipient but on the giver. Have you received God’s love? If so, then the evidence will be that you also will love. It is by our love for one another that the world will know that we are Christians.

John 13:34,35  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

A Life that Loves

It has been said that people are happiest doing two things and which these two things are loving and learning. The Lord made us to love and He made us to learn. Both of these activities help keep the focus off of ourselves. The most unhappiest people in the world are the people who are all about themselves. We are basically selfish and only the Lord can change our hearts and character so that we will love others more than ourselves. God is love and when we are filled with the Lord’s Spirit then we too will love others as He has loved us.

I John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

God’s love was made known to us through the life and death of His only begotten Son.

I John 4:9-11 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

If the Lord so loved us this way then we also ought to love one another. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

I John 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

When the Lord permeates all of your life and relationships then love is what will characterize them. Even if the other people are not loving they will usually eventually respond to the love of Christ in you.

I John 4:12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

One of the most exciting things as a Christian is to love people who you naturally would not love and it can only be done by His Holy Spirit abiding in you. He will love through you and will give you a genuine love for others. As you walk with Him then you will start to see others the way Jesus does and you will have compassion on the people you are around.

I John 4:16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

Love is the opposite of judgment. Judgment condemns but love forgives and accepts.

I John 4:17,18 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

If we love others then we will not fear in the day of judgment because we have done what our Lord commanded of us. His love casts out the fear in us when we will stand before Him. Sin brings guilt and guilt brings fear. Doing right brings peace and peace brings confidence.

I John 4:19-21 We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

The Lord will love through you. God loves us because He is love. Love is not dependent on the recipient but on the giver. Have you received God’s love? If so, then the evidence will be that you also will love. It is by our love for one another that the world will know that we are Christians.

John 13:34,35  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

A Life that Is Not Ashamed

We often are very concerned and conscious of what others think of us and we want to be accepted and respected by others. As we grow older we become aware of what we need to do to be “socially acceptable”. Only a very secure person can go through life willing and able to stand alone.  It is a natural desire to want the respect of others, however, it can become a snare for us and hypocritical if we change our behavior or put on a certain front in order to receive the acceptance and respect of people.

Matthew 6:2 So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

The religious leaders in Jesus’ day loved the praise and honor of men but the Lord called them hypocrites because it was not who they really were when they gave for appearance sake. They only gave so that others might see and honor them.

Matthew 6:5 When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Again, they prayed so that others might respect them for their “spiritual” prayers. Again, the Lord called them hypocrites. To receive the praise of others was their reward in full.

Matthew 6:16 Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Again, their life was all about putting on an appearance in order to be accepted and praised by others.

Mark 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be  ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of someone who was secure in who He is and who was willing to be rejected by others in order to accomplish something greater. Jesus Christ knew that He was accepted by His Father and He lived to please the One who had sent Him. Jesus Christ promises us that if we will not be ashamed of Him and His words then He will not be ashamed of us when He returns. An indication of a true Christian is that they will be ashamed of the things they did before they were a Christian and they will not be ashamed of Jesus Christ and following after Him after they have become a Christian.

Romans 6:21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.

Sometimes a conflict is created between a Christian and unbelievers who are in a close relationship with the new Christian. They may be a family member or a friend who has not yet come to Christ. New Christians want to please the One who died for them and the nonChristian does not understand that kind of commitment because they have yet to experience His amazing love.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

We are secure in the Lord once we come to know Him and we understand that His words are power and that He will never leave us or forsake us. We have a sure foundation in Him which can not be shaken and He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him.

II Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

What great joy it will be for those Christians who did not shrink back and who were not ashamed to suffer for being a Christian. Sometimes it might seem lonely but He promised us that He would never forsake us. Even though we can not see Him, we believe in Him and know that He is faithful and will fulfill all of His promises that He has given to us. He is not ashamed to call us brethren.

Hebrews 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Neither is God ashamed to be called our God, for He has prepared a place for us.

Hebrews 11:6 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.

When the Lord comes again it will only be those who were not ashamed of Jesus Christ during the time of their stay on earth who will not shrink back in shame. Those who refused to call upon Him will wish they had and will shrink away in shame for their many sins and for not calling upon Jesus Christ, the Lord of lords and King of kings.

I Peter 4:16,17 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if itbegins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

It is not too late to call upon Him. It is not too late to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and call upon His name. He desires that all come to know Him.

Isaiah 55:6,7 Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
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.

 

A Life that Does Not Give Away Intimacy

There is a saying, “If the milk is free why buy the cow?”. There are certain gifts that have been given to us and that a young lady should not give away except to the right person at the right time. She should not give away her body to men but it is to be saved for her husband alone and only should be given to him after he has taken her in marriage. Marriage is a man’s commitment to a young lady to love her, to cherish her, to protect her, to provide for her and ultimately to lay down his life for her. Many a man will make promises to get what they want and then once they have gotten their desires then they never fulfill their promises. Engagement is not marriage and the same rules for dating apply during the engagement period.

I Corinthians 6:18-20 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Marriage is not a 50/50 proposition but it is a 100/100 relationship. Each one gives all of oneself to the other so that they might become one. However, what is right before marriage is wrong after marriage. It is right to abstain from sexual relations before marriage and wrong to withhold from each other after marriage. There is a saying that girls that do “it” before marriage don’t want to do “it” after marriage so it is foolish for both to compromise God’s standard of morality. God is not mocked. He has His standards for our good and we are foolish not to abide by what He has said.

Galatians 6:7,8 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Moral excellence is the root of true love in a marriage and it is expressed through waiting until after the wedding to have a physical relationship. If two people are morally excellent in their standards then they will trust each other after they are married. If a man and woman compromise before marriage then the trust will not be there as it could have been had they waited.

II Peter 1:5-7 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

If you have compromised God’s moral standard then it is not too late to repent but there needs to be repentance and though that may be hard it is necessary. Repentance means that you are turning your back on your sin and turning to God. However, you must keep turning to the Lord so that you do not fall back into your old ways. You also must flee from temptation. Temptations are often much stronger if you have tasted of the pleasures of that particular sin. You do not miss what you have never known.

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

You can, by God’s grace, keep His standards of righteousness. God is faithful and will provide a way of escape to the one who calls on Him and puts their trust in Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

 

A Life that Chooses Good Friends

You will become like your friends therefore the most important decisions that you make in life after choosing the Lord Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior is who will be your friends. Choose good friends and you life will be blessed. Choose bad friends and your life will be filled with grief. This is one of the most profound choices that you will make in life. The companions with whom you walk through life will influence your other decisions.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Choose only to be with wise men and run from fools. A fool is someone who lives as if there is no God. They may even say that they believe in God but if they are living as if there is no God then they are living like a fool. Run from them.

Psalms 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
There is no one who does good.

All of us came into the world with a foolish heart. We must turn away from our foolish ways and turn to the Lord with all of our heart. Don’t look at what a person says but at what they do. It is by their deeds that people distinguish themselves.

Proverbs 20:11 It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself
If his conduct is pure and right.

In the same way, the kind of friends that you attract will be the kind of people whom you are attracted to. Is your life pure and right? It is not only by their deeds that a person distinguishes himself but also by his type of speech.

Proverbs 22:11 He who loves purity of heart
And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.

Choose only friends who desire a pure heart. Those who want their heart to be pure will be discerning about where their eyes go and what their ears hear. What goes into  the heart of a man is what comes out of him and what comes out through his mouth is what defiles him.

Mark 7:20 And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man.

It is those who have a pure heart who will see Jesus.

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

Our greatest need in life is to see God for all that we do in life is a response to our view of God. If our view is right then our conduct will be upright. If our view of God is twisted then we will be crooked in our ways. If we choose friends who do not know God or do not see Him then they will lead us astray and we will forget our God.

I Corinthians 15:33 Do not let anyone fool you. Bad people can make those who want to live good become bad.

Choose good friends and choose to be a good friend to others. Friendship means speaking the truth in love.

Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.

If your friends are good then they will point you to Jesus and help you stay on the right path. Sometimes they might tell you what you don’t want to hear but it is much better than to have friends who will always tell you what you “want” to hear. Our hearts are deceitful so we need others in our lives who will help us in our times of weakness and temptation. The temptations will pass and the blessings will follow if we are faithful.

Proverbs 27:9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.

 

 

 

 

A Life that is Helped and Helps

We all need to help and to be helped. We need to help each other stay on God’s path. We need each other and the Lord has provisions for us. There are three layers of relationships that ladies need to help them stay on God’s path and do what is right.

Hebrew 13:7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the outcome of their way of life, imitate their faith.

The top layer are those whom you look up to and respect. If you can have a loving relationship with this person then that is great but sometimes it may be someone you admire from a distance whose life inspires you. However, you definitely need some people in the upper layer who love you and will pray for you and keep you accountable. This person sees your needs and wants to see you grow in the Lord. Find people who are growing in their relationship with the Lord whom you want to be like and you want to go where they are going in life. Be careful who you aspire to be like because you will become like the person you allow to teach you. Choose godly women who love the Lord. Look at the fruit in their lives.

Luke 6:40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

The second layer are the friends that you choose. This layer will love you and want to be with you. Both of you agree that you want to be faithful to the Lord, which means that you want to be faithful to honor your parents or husband, or you both want to be faithful in school or on the job.

Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, unless they be agreed?”

You both want to follow the Lord and you stimulate one another to do that very thing. You will stick with each other through thick and thin, no matter what the circumstances.

Proverbs 18: 24 …there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

You also want your closest friends to be wise people who seek the Lord, fear and respect Him and want to be a disciple of Jesus. A wise person lives each day as though it is his last so that he will be ready to meet the Lord.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

A fool lives as if there is no God.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

Who you choose as your friends is one of the most important decisions you will make in life. Choose right and you will treasure them and you will bless each other. Choose wrong and you will end up in situations you never intended to be and you will go places you never wanted to go. A true friend is more concerned about your relationship with the Lord than your relationship with them.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times,

The last layer is the bottom layer and this layer are the girls or young ladies who look up to you. This layer keeps you on the straight and narrow because you do not want to disappoint them. Often they think that you can do no wrong. Of course you know the truth about yourself but they truly believe the best in you. Also, this layer is important because the Lord tells us to reach out to others and especially to those who can not pay you back. The Lord Himself will make sure that your life is watered if you water others.

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

The Lord Himself was like this.

Philippians 2:3-5 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

If you are missing a layer then ask the Lord to provide and then seek out opportunities to meet people. This principle is seen in life with grandparents, parents and children. Also, Jesus looked to the Father and had the disciples, especially Peter, James and John as friends and reached out to the multitude.

An easy way to remember this is to call it the “oreo” principle. (If you like oreo cookies.) The top layer are those who love you in spite of your faults and the bottom layer are those who love you but do not see your faults. Then the sweet stuff in the middle are your friends who see the good, the bad and the ugly but who love you anyway and who will be there for you. Can it get any better? How is your “oreo” principle?