A Life with Love Allows “Bad Things”

Some people wonder why God allows “bad things” to happen to good people. First of all, this question is not from the Lord rather it is from the devil. It is saying, “Would God do something bad?”. It seeks to put doubts into people about God just as the Serpent did in the garden when he said to Eve, “Indeed, has God said…”. In other words, what the serpent was really saying was, “Would God withhold something good from you?”

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” Genesis 3:1

The question “Why do bad things happen to good people?” implies that God is the author of bad and that people are actually good.

There is no one who does good.
The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men
To see if there are any who understand,
Who seek after God.
They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one. Psalm 14:1b-3

There is no person that does good. We have all failed and gone our own way. Apart from God none of us seek after Him. Not only is God the only One who is good but no bad is in Him. No evil dwells with Him. One of the meanings of evil is to cause grief. The Lord does not cause grief to anyone. We bring grief upon ourselves when we disobey God and what He has told us to do.

No evil dwells with You. Psalms 5:4b

Adam and Eve brought grief to themselves and to their offspring when they disobeyed God. Death, sadness and every other “bad thing” never was in God’s plan for Adam and Eve. However, it was God’s mercy that even allowed the grief to come to them. If God had not been true to His Word then they would have continued in their rebellion against God by doing what they wanted to do rather than doing what they ought to do. There is no record of them ever disobeying God again. Sometimes, it seems, we learn more from the consequences of our sin than we do through the instruction of not to sin. However, how much better life is if we will learn from His instruction to do what is right rather than learn from His discipline.

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Hebrews 12:11

Understanding is knowing the Lord. He wants us to believe and trust Him first and then we will understand.

And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10b

It is unbelief that wants to understand first and then obey. Anything that is not of faith is sin.

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

By faith we obey and in obeying we are preserved from the destruction of sin.

But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. Hebrews 10:39

The Lord often will speak to us through three different ways. The first way that He wants to teach us His way is through His Word. He wants us to listen to Him and obey Him by doing exactly as He says. If we don’t listen to His Word then sometimes He will send someone our way who will speak His truth to us. Of course, no one knows you as the Lord does and often this person will not be as gentle as the Lord is with us. It can be painful coming from someone else but it is still love. The Bible says “faithful are the wounds of a friend”. A true friend will speak the truth to you. If you still will not listen and obey then circumstances will speak even more loudly to you through the pain and sorrow that comes to your heart from not obeying and following the Lord.

Wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding, But in the hearts of fools it is made known. Proverbs 14:33

The Lord loves you. He never wants anything bad to happen. He wants you to learn from Him. He is gentle and humble in heart. His ways are good.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,
Otherwise they will not come near to you.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him. Psalm 32:8-10

The Lord wants to surround you with His lovingkindness. That is who He is. He wants to instruct you and teach you the good way. He will counsel you with His eye on you. Don’ be like a stubborn animal that needs a bit and bridle to hold them in check. Draw near to the Lord. He will draw near to you.

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

As you learn to seek Him day by day and look to Him moment by moment you will be able to tell of His amazing love and what He has done for you. The nearness of God will be your good for you will have made Him your refuge.

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works. Psalm 73:28

How to Have A Life of Peace

You will be living life to the fullest when you have peace. The Lord offers us peace and an untroubled heart.

John 14:1 Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.

He gives us not only peace but peace that can not be taken away. Let not your heart be troubled nor let it be fearful.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

Fear is the opposite of peace. The world offers a lack of peace and lots of fears but a Christian had much peace and a lack of fears. A person who has God’s peace, which is a great peace, will not stumble when circumstances are troubling.

Psalm 119:65 Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble.

God’s Word is His law and the Lord says those who will love His Word will have great peace

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Are you living in the world and in the kingdom of this age. You will have troubles and tribulation. If you live in His kingdom then you will be courageous for you will see that He has overcome the world.

Luke 1:78,79 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.”

It was the tender mercy of God that sent Jesus Christ to us. He came to shine on us while we were in darkness and the shadow of death but He will guide our feet into the way of peace. If we allow Him to be our Shepherd then He will guide our feet into the way of peace. One of the ways He does this is by leading us down paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Psalms 23:3 He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

When we walk in His righteousness then we will experience His peace. He is righteous and He wants us to walk in His righteousness. We have to learn how to do what is right through His Word and the example of godly believers who are living out the Word of God.

II Timothy 3:16,17 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

As you are trained in walking in righteousness through His Word then you will be equipped for the good works which He has prepared for beforehand for you. One of the good works that He has prepared for you is that He has called you to be a peacemaker. Before you can be a peacemaker you must be at peace with God, with yourself and with others.

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

A peacemaker is one who leads others to peace with God. Once people are at peace with God then they will have peace with themselves and will be able to be at peace with others.

James 3:18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Peace if the fruit of righteousness. Where there is righteousness there will be peace.

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

Do you want peace in your life, in your family, in your all of your relationships and in your job or wherever you are? Let there be righteousness in you and there will be peace, quietness and confidence.

 

 

 

 

 

A Life with Love is Faithfulness

One of the greatest gifts that you can give to someone whom you love is faithfulness. Faithfulness is being faithful in every area of your life. A faithful person will be a faithful spouse and parent. Love and trust is built on faithfulness. Faithfulness is learned from the only One who is truly faithful.

This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23

We can learn to trust and love God because He alone is faithful. We have hope because of Him. His lovingkindnesses and His compassions are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. II Timothy 2:13

His faithfulness is not based on our faithfulness. He is faithful because that is who He is. It is through Him that we learn to be faithful. The only way that we will ever be faithful to the people on earth that we are called to love is if we learn to be faithful to the One who loves us completely and has called us to love Him. Someone asked Jesus what is the greatest commandment.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Matthew 22:36

Jesus answered and said that the greatest was to love God.

And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39

The second commandment was like it because the evidence of our love for God is our love for others. If we love God then we will love others. If we don’t love others then we do not love God and we are only deceiving ourselves.

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. I John 4:20,21

Faithfulness begins with loving God and is expressed through loving others. Faithfulness begins in the heart. We can go through the motions but if we are not faithful in our heart then we are not faithful. However, faithfulness is not merely in our heart but it will be seen through our attitudes and actions. If we love with a whole heart then the recipient will know it and if we love only half-heartedly then they will know that also.

For their heart was not steadfast toward Him, Nor were they faithful in His covenant. Psalm 78:37

.The Lord wants us to be faithful to Him and do according to what is in His heart and His soul. When we learn to be faithful to the Lord then we will walk before God. When we learn what it means to walk before God then we will also learn what it means to be faithful. There is no faithfulness apart from God and apart from walking with God.

But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always. I Samuel 2:35

One of the greatest gifts that a father can give to his children is to be faithful to his wife and their mother. One of the greatest gifts that a mother can give to her children is to be faithful their father and her husband. God gave His greatest gift to us when He gave His Son to take our place on the cross and to pay for our sins so that we might become one of His children.

God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. I Corinthians 1:9

The faithfulness of Jesus Christ to do what the Father had sent Him to do was His greatest gift to us.

He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, Hebrews 3:2a

Jesus accomplished the work that the Father had given Him to do.

I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. John 17:4

In the same way, the Lord has given each of us some work that He wants us to do. If He has called you to be married then He wants you to be faithful. If He has called you to be a parent then He wants you to be faithful. Whatever work in building His kingdom that He has given you to do He wants you to be faithful. Faithfulness is who God is and faithfulness is what He is looking for in His children, in those who are called by His name.

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Luke 16:10

If a wife were to love her husband every second of every day of the week except for ten minutes on a Friday night would she be a faithful wife? No, she would have been unfaithful if she had been with another man. Faithfulness is being faithful all of the time with all of your heart. Love is faithfulness and faithfulness to love is truly loving the way that God loves us and has called us to love one another.

A Life with Love is Sincere

Love is sincere or it is not love at all. Insincere love is a pretension and is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy does not fool anyone but the one who has it. Love must be genuine. Everyone longs to see genuine love and longs to be loved with a genuine love.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Romans 12:9a

A sincere love is a love that is not fickle. It does not change with the times and circumstances. It loves when the one loved seems unlovable. It is the love that great marriages are made of and what should characterize all marriages. It is the love that is repeated in the vows made to God during the wedding ceremony.,,for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.

Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy man? Proverbs 20:6

A genuine love is not intentions but faithfulness in actions. A sincere love never changes. This is the love that God has for all of us. This kind of love is impossible apart from God.

Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, I Peter 1:22

When we draw near to God then we will learn what it means to have a sincere love for others.

let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, Hebrews 10:22a

A genuine love must come from a sincere heart with a clean conscience. Only God can clean our conscience.

having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience Hebrews 10:22b

A sincere love is one which loves expecting nothing in return. A sincere and genuine love will never fail.

Love never fails; I Corinthians 13:8a

The greatest gift that you can give to another is a genuine and sincere love. This kind of love can only come from a pure heart and a good conscience with a sincere faith in God.

But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. I Timothy 1:5

We can only find this kind of love in Jesus Christ. He gave His life for us. He loved us when we did not deserve it. No one deserves anyone’s love. Just as God’s love is a gift to us so is anyone else’s love. When you love with this kind of love then you will know that Christ is in you and you are in Christ. You will have a clear conscience and your heart will not condemn you. You will not help another when you see a need, out of guilt, but it will be love that motivates you. It will be a love greater than yourself for it will be God’s love.

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. I John 3:16-20

The Lord is so gracious to us. He knows our heart and He knows all things. He knows how weak our love is for others. He will help us learn to love and will love through us. Ask Him to teach you and help you love others with His kind of love.

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. I John 3:21-22

The Lord does not condemn you and don’t let your heart condemn you. The Lord will give you what you need to help you have a genuine love for others and keep His commandments. When you obey Him and love sincerely in deed and truth then you will do what is pleasing in His sight and He will hear your prayers. You will receive what you ask for from Him.

This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. I John 3:23

This is His commandment, that we believe in Jesus Christ and love one another as Christ has loved us. Trust in Him and obey Him.

How to Have A Life Filled with Joy

We all want to have joy. Sometimes it may seem that joy is not possible all of the time but actually it can be. Is not it possible to have peace all of the time and also love? Yes, the Lord wants our lives to be filled with His fruit. Joy is not just an emotion even as love, peace, patience and kindness are not merely emotions either. Joy is a well being or satisfaction and pleasantness in the spirit. It is part of the fruit of the Spirit and comes with no guilt or regret. Emotions come and go and we are not to live by them but the fruit of the Spirit is an expression of Christ in us.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Joy is knowing His presence and having His favor on your life. Joy comes from the Lord. It is a security that comes from His presence and knowing that the Lord will be with you, will guide you and has a pleasing future for you. You can try to please yourself or you can have His pleasures which last for eternity.

Psalm 16:9 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

The Lord has also given us something special in this life which will give us great joy and that is the privilege of serving Him through the spiritual gift that He has given to you. There is no one like you and although others may have the same spiritual gift as you, it will not be expressed in the same unique way. The Lord has a job for you to do and only you can do it.

I Peter 4:10,11 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

There are two types of gifts, a speaking gift and a serving gift. If your gift is speaking then you are to speak the utterances of God, which is His Word. His Word has the power and you are the mouthpiece to speak it. If your gift is serving then He has given you supernatural strength though His Spirit. If you are filled with His Word and His Spirit then He will be glorified in your life and the church will be built up.

II Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

You must know His word if you want to be used by Him. He uses His Word. We are only His vessel through which He speaks. If we know His Word then we will be prepared for the goods works that he has planned for each of us.

II Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

You must keep a clear conscience so that the Holy Spirit is not quenched in your life. The Lord uses His Spirit and His Word. Sanctified means to be cleansed and set apart for a holy purpose.

II Timothy 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

Finally, we must continually humble ourselves before the Lord, for He give grace to the humble. Jesus was full of grace and truth. The Word of God is truth and grace allows us to live out the truth and therefore be full of truth through the power of the Holy Spirit.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

When you are prepared and set apart and obedient to His Word then the Word becomes flesh through you and Jesus Christ is glorified. You are a part of His body and the spiritual gift that He has given you is meant to be an expression of Him to others. The word joy has the same root as the word grace and gift. You will have great joy when you exercise your spiritual gift through the grace that He gives to you.

John 17:15-19 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.

Jesus has sent us into the world. He has prayed that we would be cleansed and set apart through His Word. He wants to use you. When He uses you to fulfill His plan for the world then you will have great joy. When you are faithful to Him and obedient to Him and His will for your life then your life will overflow with joy. May you be blessed by entering into His joy and hearing His words to you, “Well done, My good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master.” What has He called you to do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life with Love Wants to Do Right

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Avoid a Life of Sorrow

It is our choice in life if we want to experience unnecessary sorrow or experience and live in the love of God. Sorrow is a part of life but much of the sorrow that we experience is because we either don’t want to or don’t know how to experience the love of God. How can this be?

Psalm 32:10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked, But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him.

The wicked person trusts in himself and wants to “be the master of his own destiny”. The godly person trusts in the Lord and wants the Lord to guide their life and be their Lord and Savior. Many are the sorrows of the wicked. You may get your “own way” but the price that you pay will be great sorrow. The person who trusts in the Lord will have great joy and experience much lovingkindness.

Psalm 16:4a The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied;

One of the amazing aspects of the Lord is that He gives us a free choice. We don’t have to worship Him. We can worship whoever or whatever we want, whether it is an idol fashioned by hands or if it something else such as money, material things, houses, cars, sports, people, beauty or anything else that we allow to control our lives and determine our direction in life. If it controls our happiness then it has the capacity to bring us sorrow and it will in just a matter of time. If God controls us then He will give us joy.

Isaiah 53:4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.

Jesus took our sin and our sorrows that we might have His righteousness and joy, which are everlasting. He is eternal and what He gives to us is eternal. When we give our sorrows to Him then He takes them and gives us eternal life. We realize that we have placed our hopes and joy in what can never satisfy and we come to Him and give Him all that we had earlier put our trust in.

II Corinthians 7:10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

Are you sorrowful? Have you thought that someone or something could satisfy you and then have realized that person or thing can never fill your heart? Come to the Lord. He will take your sorrows and give you joy. He wants you to live in His love. Abide in His love and your cup will overflow with joy.

John 15:9-11 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

The secret to avoiding a life of sorrow is to abide in God’s love. The way we abide in God’s love is to first give our hearts to Him and then once we have surrendered to Him and been born again, we are to keep His commandments. Jesus kept the Father’s commandments and did exactly as the Father commanded Him. He did not tweak it by saying, “God really did not say this or mean this…” Yes, if He said it in His Word then He means it. Keep His commandments and your joy will be made full.

 

A Life with Love Shows Mercy in Justice

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

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

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

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

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

but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21b,22

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Life with Love Must Be Selective

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Life with Love Fills the Heart

When a person experiences love, really great love, then love will fill their heart. When love fills the heart then love will fill the life, the marriage and the home. When the heart is empty of love then the life, marriage and home will be empty of love.

The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; Luke 6:45a

A good person is one whose heart is filled with the Lord. There is no one good but God. God is good and His love is what changes lives, marriages, homes and the world. However, there is no such thing as a vacuum and if the Lord does not fill your heart with His love then your heart will be filled with what is not good. The opposite of love is selfishness and evil and if our hearts are not filled with God’s love then our hearts will be filled with selfish ambitions and what is evil.

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. James 3:14-16

Where there is jealousy and selfish ambition there will be confusion and every evil thing. Whether we want to or not, when we are not filled with God’s love and His truth then we will inadvertently do evil to those whom we should love and will bring them grief through our selfishness, our neglect, our attitudes, our actions or our words.

and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. Luke 6:45b

The devil uses only one weapon to cause us to bring grief to others and that is the lie. He whispers into our heart thoughts that are not good and we start responding to them and before we know it we are believing these lies.

You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. 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 lies of the devil stir up our imagination and put doubts into our hearts about our spouse, children, coworkers, bosses, friends and neighbors. It is when we act or speak on these doubts that stir up strife in our lives, our marriages, our homes and our world.

He who loves transgression loves strife; He who raises his door seeks destruction. Proverbs 17:19

Strife is the beginning of destruction. Strife will bring destruction to our marriage and our home and everything else that is precious to us. Love believes the best and seeks to know the truth so that the lies will be recognized and dismissed. The devil is an accuser but the one who loves God and the person who has His truth and His love in their heart will recognize these accusations and not respond to them. Love believes the best in others. If we respond to a lie then our response will always be wrong and bring grief to another.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. Revelation 12:10

Jesus Christ has the power and authority over the devil and when Jesus Christ is in our lives then the devil has no power to deceive us into believing his lies. As we learn to respond to Jesus Christ, who is the truth and who loves us with His own life, then we will bring life and love to others.

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

When Jesus Christ fills us with Himself then we will be filled with His love, His truth and His life. Our hearts will be filled with what is good and our homes and lives will be filled with love.

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. James 3:13

Good thoughts, attitudes and actions can only come from one who is wise and understanding. The Bible says that knowing God gives understanding and revering Him is the beginning of wisdom. Good will be expressed through the gentleness of God’s wisdom and the outcome will build up and not tear down.

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

This will characterize the one whose heart is filled with love.