A Life that Knows a Great Love

Once you know a great love your life will never be the same. You can endure anything if you know that you are greatly loved and there is nothing that can separate you from that love. Everything else in life pales in comparison to a great love. There is only One who offers a great love and it is offered to everyone.

I John 3:1-3 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

This love is unfathomable. We can never understand it that the God of the universe wants to adopt each one of us into His family to be His child and to be called His beloved. Not only that, but once we become His child then He starts making us like Him, who is perfect and is love. He calls us Beloved, which means that He wants us to Be-Loved by Him. How do we become a recipient of this great love? How do we come into His family and become one of His children?

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.

To become His child you must be born again not of the will of the flesh or the will of man but it is the will of God. It is His will that you become His child. You were destined to become His child. He designed you for Himself. He is the only One who intimately knows you and loves you in spite of all of your failings and faults. He loved you when you were at your worse and there is nothing that you have done that prevents Him from loving you. He died for you to reconcile you to Himself and to save you from the devil, the world and your own self.

Romans 5:8-10 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Your sins are covered by His blood and His love for you. His love covers all of your sins once you belong to Him.

I Peter 4:8b because love covers a multitude of sins.

Not only are your sins covered by His blood but they are separated from you and they are remembered no more.

Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Once you come to know this love you will want to stay in this love. This great love that the Lord has for you is a relationship that is mutual and for that reason you will not want to do the things you did before but you will want to please Him with all of your heart. There is nothing that can separate you from this great love which is in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:38,39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

 

A Life with Love Can Be Misdirected

The heart is where the soul abides and where the seed of love is born and grows in people. The heart is our innermost being where we long for intimacy, that is, to know and to be known. The heart is where we are vulnerable and what we guard, for when we give our heart away then we give a part of us away as well.

Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

It is in our heart that our deepest longings and desires are. In the secret places of our heart are our dreams and plans that we long to see fulfilled in our lives.

A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water,
But a man of understanding draws it out. Proverbs 20:5

A good friend or a good wife with understanding knows how to draw the plans out of their friend or spouse and encourage them to become the person they were designed to be and do the plans in their heart that they dream of doing. However, a good friend or good wife will also see when their friend or spouse’s heart is getting misdirected. Eve’s heart was misdirected when she started loving and desiring things that the Lord did not have for her. She exchanged the love of God for the love of the world.

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. I John 2:15-17

Eve’s heart started to be misdirected to temporal things that will not satisfy rather than listen to the Lord and choose to do what is right by doing His will, which will always bring satisfaction and much gladness. One of the meanings of righteousness is “doing what is right in God’s eyes”. Lawlessness is ignoring or neglecting God’s laws, principles, commands and truths and doing what you want to do. It will bring much sorrow. Jesus was the happiest man on earth because He loved righteousness and did what was right in God’s eyes.

“You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness above Your companions.” Hebrews 1:9

So, even though the fruit seemed good to Eve it was not good. It was not right for her to do what the Lord had told them not to do. Not only did Eve no longer have the love of God in her but because her heart was misdirected she loved the world and was no longer happy. Sin only offers a passing pleasure which soon fades away. The sinner spends his life chasing the passing pleasures of sin he experiences for a moment but it is only an illusion. It will never satisfy.

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, Hebrews 11:24,25

Sadness came into the world through Adam and Eve’s sin and happiness was no longer there. It is only through being restored to a love relationship with God will we love righteousness and be genuinely happy. The Lord truly takes away our sin and our guilt and fills our heart with joy and happiness so much so that we want to joyfully sing of the Lord, His great love and His righteousness.

A Life that Is Not Condemned

No one wants to be judged but the truth of the matter is that we will all be judged. However, not all will be condemned. There is no greater peace than to know for sure that you are going to heaven. Many religions offer “maybe the possibility of heaven” but they can not offer the assurance  of not being condemned to hell. Also, their “possibility” will always fall short because they are all based on what you do to earn heaven. Jesus Christ offers assurance “without a doubt” of not being condemned. He alone can make this offer.

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

Jesus Christ took the judgment and the punishment for the entire world. We were due the consequences of our sin but Jesus Christ took it for us. All of us are just as guilty as everyone else because we all have sinned.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

The Bible says that not only have all sinned but we are all equally guilty.

James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

Have you ever said a lie? Have you ever taken something that was not yours? Have you ever cheated? Have you ever lusted or been jealous or envious? If so, then you are guilty of all. However, the Lord offers you forgiveness if you will repent and turn to Him. Repenting means turning away from your sin and turning to the Lord. Jesus came to call us to repentance.

Luke 5:32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.

There must be repentance for there to be forgiveness.

Luke 24:47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

You will know when you have repented because you will feel clean on the inside and times of refreshing will come from the presence of the Lord.

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

You will be a new person and will no longer want to do the things you did before. The Lord wants there to be evidence of your repentance. If you are still hanging out with the same people and doing the same things that you know are wrong then you have not repented.

Matthew 3:8 Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;

Not only are you a new person in Christ and your old life has passed away but you have been set free from the condemnation that once would have come to you.

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.

Jesus took your condemnation on the cross when He shed His blood for you so that now you are forgiven and given a new life in Christ.

Hebrews 9:22b all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

The final judgment will not come from the deeds you have done, whether it was good or bad, but the final judgment that will condemn people to hell is whether they trusted in Jesus Christ to forgive them of their sins and to give them eternal life in Him.

John 3:17-19 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

God did not send His Son into the world to judge you but to save you from your sins. If you believe in Him then you will not be judged and you will not be condemned but if you do not come to Jesus Christ then it is because you want to continue in your sin because you love the darkness rather than the light. Come to Jesus so that your sins might be wiped away and forgiveness and eternal life will be given to you.

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?

The Lord is kind and it is His kindness that leads us to repentance. He is rich in kindness and He is patient not wanting anyone to perish. Come to Him. He is calling all of us into a relationship with Him.

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.

 

A Life with Love is Full of Faith

Love is faithful or, in other words, “full of faith” in the One who loves. If there is not faithfulness then there is not love. Eve was not faithful to the Lord when she ate the fruit. She no longer loved God.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; Genesis 3:6a

Faithfulness is what the Lord looks for in those who serve Him because He knows that if they are not faithful then they do not love Him. If love is not your motive then whatever you do is going to be for selfish reasons even though it may “look” good to others. If you love God then you will love others. If you are faithful to God then you will be faithful to those to whom you are committed.

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Matthew 25:23

Someone may well say that it does not matter what they do because God is going to do what He wants to do regardless. The Lord certainly can and does do what He wants to do but those who have that attitude are not faithful. Faithful means that we are full of faith and believe what He says and we do what He commands. Faith is what pleases the Lord and when we believe Him in faith and act on what He says it brings Him delight.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

Eve sinned because she did not act in faith on what the Lord had said and commanded them. She began reasoning in her heart about what was best for her rather than trusting what God had said.

and whatever is not from faith is sin. Romans 14:23b

The outcome of Eve not having faith and believing what God said was that she disobeyed God. She did what she wanted, what seemed good to her and what was delightful. It really did not matter what benefits the fruit had to offer because the Lord said not to do it. When you start reasoning in your heart then you have already started down the path of sinning.

There is no wisdom and no understanding
And no counsel against the Lord. Proverbs 21:30

Eve exchanged the truth of God for a lie and the outcome was sin. Every time we sin we also have exchanged the truth of God for a lie. We have believed the lies of the devil rather than the truth of God. The devil uses only one weapon to get us to sin and that is lies. Often we are deceived and do not realize it until it is too late and our resulting sin brings us death to our soul, in the form of grief, sorrow, guilt, regret and much pain. It also brings consequences in relationships and marriages. We were deceived and sinned because we listened to the lies of the devil rather than to the Lord.

He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

The only way that we will ever have the life that the Lord designed for us and the loving marriage and relationships that He intended is if we know God’s Word and if we are faithful to Him by believing what He says and obeying it.

And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:18,19

Faith and obedience go together. You can not have one without the other. The Lord has a rest for us and it is heaven. Those who have believed and their faith is a living faith expressed through obedience will enter into heaven because they have believed on the One and Only Son of God, Jesus Christ.

A Life that Is Full of Wisdom

If you really want to live life to the fullest, and it is possible, then you desperately need wisdom. We all need God’s wisdom and wisdom is His instruction on how to live well. He came that you might have life and might have it abundantly but we sabotage our own lives by not knowing His ways and not living according to His wisdom. God’s wisdom is His ways.

John 10:10b I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Even though Jesus is the Son of God, He still needed to learn God’s ways and the wisdom from above. Jesus was full of wisdom but He had to be taught just as we need to be taught God’s ways.

Luke 2:40 The Child continued to grow and become strong, becoming full of wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

Jesus learned the Word of God and lived according to it. This is what it means that God’s grace was upon Him. God’s grace enabled Him to grow strong and full of wisdom.

Luke 2:52 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

The Lord will also give us His grace to live according to His ways. Just as Jesus increased in wisdom, we too, are to grow in wisdom.The Lord promises to give wisdom to anyone who will ask Him. He gives it without reproach, which means, He does not say “I told you so” rather, He is waiting for you to ask so that He can help you live life without needless pain.

James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

God’s Word is the source of wisdom.

Proverbs 4:5 Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

If you want to become full of wisdom then you must become full of God’s Word and be filled with His Spirit. As you seek to obey the Lord in what He says in His Word then He illumines your heart by His Spirit and fills you with His insight and wisdom.

Psalm 119:98,99 Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies,
For they are ever mine.
I have more insight than all my teachers,
For Your testimonies are my meditation.

You must love God’s Word, live by God’s Word, dwell in God’s Word, meditate on God’s Word and devour God’s Word. If you will do this then you will see the quality of your life greatly improve and not only will you be blessed but you will be a blessing to others.

Proverbs 3:13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.

Measure your life by God’s Word and see where you are in His wisdom. Are these the qualities that characterize your life?

James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

Wisdom will illumine your face and you will be a light to the world.

Ecclesiastes 8:1 Who is like the wise man and who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man’s wisdom illumines him and causes his stern face to beam.

God’s wisdom will give you insight and you will be like the stars that shine.

Daniel 12:3 Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

Jesus was full of wisdom and He wants to fill you with His wisdom. He has made this offer of wisdom to all but it is only those who seek Him who will find and discover His wisdom. Much of the pain we go through in life is not knowing His wisdom. He has given us many gifts but if we do not have His wisdom then we never experience the joy of His blessings, rather sadly, we experience much sorrow because we don’t know His ways.

Proverbs 10:22 It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich,
And He adds no sorrow to it.

Let Him make you rich in good gifts rather you becoming poor with much sorrow because you don’t have His wisdom. Let Him make you rich with a loving spouse and loving children. Let Him make you rich with a clear conscience rather than poor with shame and compromise. Let Him make you rich in the things that really make life rich rather than you becoming poor with the cheap substitutes that are only counterfeits to the real gifts of life. The Lord is good and wants to give you good gifts that will bless you.

James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Last of all, if and when you become a mother, one of the greatest gifts that you can give to your children is to teach them God’s ways so that they will be full of His wisdom beginning at an early age.

 

 

 

A Life with Love Must Choose

Love was the plan and life was the choice. Eve could choose to live in the love that the Lord planned for her and Adam or choose death and the corruption, guilt and shame that would follow.

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

The Lord gives all of us this choice. We may eat freely of what He has given to us but if we do what He has told us not to do then we will die. The Lord wanted man to live and told man what he must do to live and what he must not do or he will die. Faithfulness and love go together. If Adam and Eve were faithful then they would live in God’s love. Even if Adam and Eve were not faithful then the Lord would still be faithful to His Word. It is God’s faithfulness to His words and promises that give us security and hope.

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

II Timothy 2:13

Love is a choice and love is faithfulness. God loved Adam and Eve and so He had to be faithful to His Word. If they had kept His commandment then they would have lived. God can not lie. He is truth. What He says will happen.

so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. Hebrews 6:18

God’s plan for Adam and Eve was that they would live in His love. He would be faithful to them and keep His Word that He promised them. They could live in the garden and live securely in His love. He wanted them to be faithful to Him. There is a godly jealousy and that godly jealousy protects the relationship. A man who loves his wife wants her to be faithful to him and the same is true for a wife who loves her husband. We also want God to be faithful to His Word and He wants us to be faithful to Him. Faithfulness is love and love is faithfulness and both are choices.

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. Galatians 6:7,8

Adam and Eve would reap the consequences of their actions. They could choose God’s plan and live in His love or they could choose their own flesh and reap corruption of their relationship and the death of their lives. The Lord gives each of us the same opportunity to choose Him or to choose to go our own way and please our flesh. God is not mocked and will be faithful to give you what you choose. If He could choose for you then He would choose life but the choice is your choice and so you must choose.

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.

II Peter 3:9

A Life that Knows Tender Mercy

Unless you know the heart of the Lord then it may be hard to understand that He has tender mercy and wants you to know His tender mercy towards you. Yes, He is a holy God and can not even look upon evil and yet He came to show us His tender mercy and bring us to Himself.

Luke 1:77-79 To give to His people the knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins,
Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

God sent Jesus into our dark and fallen world, because of our own sinful ways, to give to us the knowledge of salvation and the forgiveness of our sins. It is because of His tender mercy towards us that motivated Him to come visit us with salvation. He not only wants to save us and forgive us but He wants to guide our feet in the way of peace. The Lord comes and visits us but we need to recognize our time of visitation. Has He come to you? Jesus wept over the people in Jerusalem because they did not recognize their time of visitation.

Luke 19:41-44 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

Has anyone ever come to you and spoken God’s Word to you? Consider that it may be the Lord who is coming to you. It may be your time of visitation if you have not yet come to receive Him and know Him.

Matthew 10:40 He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.

If you have come to know Him and are a believer then keep your behavior excellent among others so that they will have no cause to slander you (but if they do let it be because of your good deeds that they misinterpret) and will on account of your life glorify the Lord in the day of their visitation.

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

The Lord loves you and it is His love and tender mercy that is calling you to Himself. He came so that He might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh for our sins and was made alive in the spirit.

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

Come to Him and experience His love and compassion. He is gracious and abundant in His love for you. For as high as the heavens are above the earth so great is His love for those who will come to Him and honor Him as Lord and Savior.

Psalm 103:8-13 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.

There is nothing greater than knowing the tender mercy and compassion of God. It is eternal life to know Jesus Christ and when we know Him then we will count all things to be worthless in comparison to the surpassing greatness of knowing Him. When we come to know Jesus Christ then we will want to press on to know Him more.

Romans 11:33a  Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!