A Life with Love Needs to Give

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

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

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

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

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

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

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

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

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

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

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

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. I John 3:16-18

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

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

A Life with Great Confidence

People try to live life without the Lord and the Bible describes such a person as a fool.

Psalm 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.

Living life without God is like having a painting without acknowledging the artist or enjoying a meal with no thought of the cook. It can’t be done although it is often tried. A life without God is a life that tries to feel it’s way through life just as a blind person has to feel their way around. It will often lead to pain and sometimes much pain because it is a guessing game. There are no absolutes apart from God. The laws in science are the ones He designed and set up. He is the Creator and author of life.

Genesis 2:4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven.

All the Lord had to do was to speak and He created. He spoke and the worlds were created out of nothing. All matter has to be created out of matter except when it comes to the Lord. All He has to do is speak it into existence.

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

God is the only truth that there is and apart from Him there is no truth. When someone tries to deny the existence of God then they have started to believe a lie and will be deceived from then on. Often people don’t want to believe in God because there is something in their life that they don’t want to give up and if they were to acknowledge God then they would have to acknowledge their conscience. If they can get rid of the thought of God then maybe they can get rid of their conscience and enjoy the very thing that they want to. However, when they shut off their conscience then they also shut off their ability to fully enjoy their sinful ways. It is your conscience that allows you to fully enjoy the gifts that the Lord has given to mankind.

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

The person who puts their trust in the Lord will walk with confidence because He knows the One whom He has trusted.

Psalm 27:3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.

A fool puts his confidence in himself and leans on his own understanding. He learns the hard way through pain and regret, that is, if he learns at all. Some people will do the same wrong thing over and over again and yet expect different results.

Proverbs 14:16 A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident.

If you will learn to trust in the Lord with all of your heart and not lean on your own understanding then you will find that He will lead you in the way you should go and that His ways are good. Whatever He tells you to do, do it. Don’t try to understand first and then follow His instructions but rather follow first and then you will receive understanding.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life with Love Needs to Receive

 

God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. Genesis 1:31a

Love was a gift that God gave to Adam and Eve through His relationship and fellowship with them. As long as they kept His commandment then they would live in His love. In the day that they would disobey they would die and their capacity to receive God’s love would be gone. Love is always a choice. Adam and Eve chose to not love God and in doing so, chose to not receive and experience the gift of His love.

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

When Adam and Eve sinned they no longer experienced God’s love as they did before their sin. Their guilt separated them from God and they hid themselves. They became isolated and lonely.

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8

The consequence of their sin was that Adam and Eve had to leave the presence of God. God is love and in His presence is love. Love is received in the spirit, experienced in the soul and expressed through the body. Adam and Eve died spiritually when they sinned and could not longer receive God’s love in the spirit. As a result of their sin they could no longer experience love in their souls or express it through their bodies.

therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, Genesis 3:23a

If someone wants love in their life and in their relationships then they must receive the gift of love in their spirit. God is spirit and He comes to live within a person in their spirit. When we receive God in our spirit we become spiritually alive.

God is spirit, John 4:24

When we become spiritually alive and are restored to a relationship with God then we receive the gift of His love. God is love and when He comes to live within a person then He fills that person with His love. The love of God within a person is like a river of love that never dries up. God is the source of true love and when we receive His Spirit then we become spiritually alive and we become filled with the love of God. It is the love of God that we have received that we can give to others.

Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; John 37b-39a

The only way that love can thrive in a marriage, family or a friendship is if God is in the relationship. God’s love is pure and is a love that is true, faithful, kind, patient, giving, merciful, believes the best, hopes for the best and desires the best in another. God’s love is not selfish but is sacrificial, steadfast, enduring and is eternal. God’s love gives grace and forgives. God’s love never dries up nor can it ever be exhausted. God’s love is perfect. God’s love is beyond our understanding. It is so deep that we can never fully comprehend it. It is so magnificent and perfect that we can only believe it and receive it and when we do our lives and relationships are never the same. God’s love was fully expressed through the life and death of Jesus Christ. When we come to know Him then we begin a love relationship with God that never ends. There is nothing that can separate us from God’s love once we have received it through Jesus Christ.

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. Romans 8:38,39

A Life with Love Needs to Be Steadfast

True love is steadfast and does not change. It is not dependent on the actions of others nor is it moody or fickle. The more steadfast a love is in a relationship then the more secure the relationship is. Relationships were designed by God to reflect Him. God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

God is love and He is the One who pursues us with His love. Our love for Him is a response to His love for us.

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

God’s love never changes. He loved us from the beginning and wanted us to love Him from the beginning. It is man that chose not to love God. Even when man rejected God’s love, God did not stop pursuing man. In fact, He wanted a relationship with man so much so that He sacrificed His only begotten Son so that man could come back into that love relationship with Him. God broke down the barriers that separated man from God’s love.

And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, Colossians 1:21,22a

God pursued man because God loved man. God has pursued each one of us through Jesus Christ. He still pursues a relationship with us. His love does not change. His love is steadfast. It is His unchanging love that makes us feel secure so that we can respond to Him. When we respond to His love and our mind is steadfast in Him, trusting in Him always, then we will live in His love and peace.

The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

When we respond to His love and our heart is steadfast in Him, trusting in Him, then we will not fear hearing bad news. We will not be anxious.

He will not fear evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7

In every love relationship there is a pursuer and a responder. In the love relationship between a man and a woman the man is the pursuer and the woman is the responder. The more the man’s love is pure and steadfast then the more the woman is free to respond. She will feel secure and will learn to trust the man. A man’s love for a woman can only be steadfast if he is secure in his relationship with the Lord and his heart is steadfast towards God. Just as we have to learn to trust the Lord and respond to Him so a woman needs to learn to trust a man and respond to the man that she will one day marry. For this reason, it is important that the female not initiate towards the young man who is pursuing her. When she does not hear from him then she is to learn to wait and trust. If he loves her then he will continue to pursue her. If his love is not a steadfast love then she needs to wait on the Lord for the Lord to work in the young man’s heart or to wait on the Lord for the man of God’s own choosing if he is not the one for her. She needs to learn to wait and respond and not to take matters into her own hands and initiate towards him or do anything else to try to get him to give her the attention she desires. The only way that she can do this is if her heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

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. James 3:17,18

When the relationship between a man and a woman is done right then there is love and the relationship stays pure. The relationship is also filled with mercy and good fruits. It does not waver but is steadfast and it is filled with peace.

If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, And if you scoff, you alone will bear it. Proverbs 9:12

The Lord loves us and love gives us a choice. We can choose Jesus Christ and choose to live according to His wisdom and understanding or we can scoff, which means we do not act on what God says. When we choose to follow Jesus Christ the outcome will be good and the gentleness of wisdom will be seen.

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

When we scoff then we choose to pursue our own ambitions rather than pursue the Lord and His ways. The outcome of scoffers will be seen in the brokenness and pain in their relationships. When relationships are not done right then there is jealousy, disorder and every evil thing. There will come much grief to both the young man and the young woman. It destroys not only their lives but brings grief and destruction to those who are affected by their own selfish ambitions.

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

A Life that Loves God’s Word

The Word of God is like honey to the soul of the one who loves the Lord. It satisfies, it renews and refreshes, it rejoices the heart, it restores and gives wisdom. More than anything it allows one to fall more deeply in love with the Lord.

Psalm 19:7-10 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.

There is nothing to compare to the joy of spending time in God’s Word and sitting at His feet. It is His love letter to Christians and once you realize this you will not be able to stay out of His Word if you belong to Him.

Luke 10:38-42 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with [q]all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

When we love the Lord then everything that we do is an overflow of our love relationship with Him. We can not be in His presence enough and realize that it is only a taste of heaven.

Psalm 16:11 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 makes our troubles seem much less and our joy is much greater when we delight ourselves in Him.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

His Word is His revelation of who He is and He has given it to us that we may observe all that He says.

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

Jesus Christ is God and was in the beginning before the worlds were made.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Jesus Christ came and lived among men so that we could know Him and have a relationship with Him.

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.

Jesus is full of grace and truth. He revealed Himself to those who knew Him when He walked on earth. They were blessed because they saw and heard the very Son of God, of whom all the prophets and Moses spoke about in the Old Testament.

Luke 10:23,24 Turning to the disciples, He said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see,for I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see the things which you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and did not hear them.”

However, even more blessed are we when we believe in Him whom we have not seen and hear Him who stills speaks to the hearts of men and women who come to Him.

John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

The Lord has had His words and miracles recorded so that we might believe in Him.

John 20:30,31 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

There is no privilege greater nor is there anything sweeter than to know the Lord and find your delight in Him. When He is our desire and the longing of our heart then He becomes our very life and the One for whom we live and will die for that He might be exalted. He lived and died for us and we live for Him and if we should die for Him it would be an honor and privilege to be more like Him.

Philippians 1:20b,21 Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

 

 

A Life with Love Honors and Respects

 

Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:11b-13

When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of which He commanded them not to eat then they did not honor or respect God. He only gave them one law and out of respect for God they were to obey that one law.

Respect what is right in the sight of all men. Romans 12:17b

We are to respect what is right in the sight of all men. When we keep God’s commandments then we will be respecting what is right in the sight of all men.

Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. I Peter 2:17-19

We are to show honor to all people, we are to honor the governmental authority, whether it is a president or king, and we are to be submissive to our employers with all respect. We are to submit not only to employers who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. This finds favor with God and is honoring to Him.

Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect. Titus 2:9,10

Respect is not pilfering (which is stealing) and taking what is not yours to take nor is it giving to others the privileges that have been given to you because you work at a certain place. If you do work for yourself, during your paid time from someone else, then you are not honoring the Lord and stealing also.

Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. Ephesians 6:5-8

Respecting someone is showing good behavior at all times, not just when the authority is around as “men pleasers” but as “God pleasers”, doing what is right when no one is watching. Showing respect to the Lord in your job is working for the one who pays you as if you are working for the Lord.

And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. Ephesians 6:9

Just as employees are to respect those whom they work for so also the employer or boss is to respect those who work under them.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth. Ephesians 6:1-3

Children are to honor and respect their fathers and mothers.

Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33

Just as the husband is to love his wife so the wife is to respect her husband. One of a man’s biggest needs is respect. Just as when a wife does not feel loved she has a more difficult time respecting her husband, in the same way, when a man does not feel respected then it is more difficult for him to love his wife. Respect and love is not always deserved but it is to be given because the Lord requires it of us. The more a wife learns to respect her husband then the more secure she will feel and the more love she will experience in her marriage.

Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you. Genesis 3:16b

Before Eve sinned she and her husband, Adam, were to rule together but after she was deceived and sinned the Lord put her husband over her to rule her to keep her from being deceived again and experiencing even more grief. The more a wife honors the new design that the Lord gave her because of her being deceived and sinning, then the more she will be kept from temptation. If she rebels against this new design of her husband ruling over her then she will experience much more pain, sadness and depression.

What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty! Psalm 8:4,5

Respect is the opposite of rebelling and respect means honoring the position of the one whom the Lord has put in authority over us, whether it is a mother, father, husband, employer or governmental authority. Respect is also honoring another human being because they have been made in God’s image and have been created for honor and glory.

A Life that Is Fulfilling

The Lord created you to have a fulfilling life. There is no life apart from Jesus Christ. He made the claim that He is the way, the truth and the life. Fulfillment in life can only come though Jesus Christ and there no other way.

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

When you come into a relationship with Jesus Christ and discover what He created you for, then your life will have direction and you will find much fulfillment and joy. A life without Jesus Christ is like a ship without a captain and like a boat without a rudder. It will float along aimlessly or will be tossed about by the waves of life. When we come into a relationship with Him then He gives us His Spirit as the pledge of our belonging to Him and He becomes the Captain of our life. He gives us  His Spirit and His Word to direct our life.

II Corinthians 5:5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.

The Lord has given you two things that will help you in your relationship with Him and help you fulfill your purpose in life. Those two things are the Bible and His Holy Spirit. The more you fill your life with the Word of God and are filled with His Spirit then the more you will grow in the Lord and fulfill your purpose in life. The outcome of a dynamic relationship with Him is great joy and great peace.

Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Life is a race to the finish line to run well with all of our heart, to not grow weary and quit and to have a clear conscience. We must fix our eyes on Jesus so that we will be able to run well and allow Him to control our life. He keeps us in the race. If we are to run with endurance the race that is set before us, then we must have the resources to do so. You must feed your spirit and starve your flesh. The Lord gives you the energy through His Spirit and your flesh must free from the baggage that results from being a slave to sin. It is hard to run with baggage.

Romans 8:5-8 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

The Word of God is what feeds our spirit so that we will have the desire to please the Lord and the joy of doing so. Your flesh does not want to do the will of God so you must starve the flesh.  Whichever you feed the most is going to win, either your flesh, with the result of death or the spirit, with the result of life. You must spend time with the Lord everyday so that your spirit is fed and you can hear His direction. Talk to Him through prayer and let Him talk to you through His Word. You must starve the flesh. This means that you can not look at trashy things or hear trashy talk. The flesh will keep you out of God’s Word. The flesh does not want you to come to God but wants only to indulge itself in what pleases the flesh. You can not serve two masters. You must choose if you want a fulfilling life through feeding the spirit or death through feeding your flesh. You can not have both.

John 6:35-37 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

Are you in a dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ? Is your life fulfilling? Come to Him and begin that relationship for the first time or if your heart has gotten away from Him then come back to Him that you might experience His life in you. In Him alone do we find complete satisfaction and fulfillment.

 

 

A Life with Love Does Not Disgrace

To disgrace someone is the opposite of giving someone grace. Love is gracious and so to disgrace someone is to not show them love but to shame them. To shame someone is to make their sins and shortcomings known but grace covers up the sin of others and their shame. God is gracious and showed Adam and Eve grace from the very beginning after they had sinned. Because of their sin they were filled with shame and were afraid so they did themselves from God.

Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” Genesis 3:9.10

Sin brings shame and disgrace.

Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to people. Proverbs 14:34

Our conscience bears witness against us when we sin and although we try to rationalize it or hide it we still know that what we have done is wrong. When the nonChristian appears before God for judgment then it will be their own conscience that will bear witness against them. The Lord knows not only everything that we have done but also the secrets of our heart. Nothing is hidden from Him.

For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. Romans 2:14-16

Sin also brings fears and even though we may try to bury our fears and forget them they still will resurface at times. When the Lord takes away our sin then He also takes our fears. Adam and Eve were fearful and ashamed because of their sin.

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21

The Lord was gracious and full of compassion for Adam and Eve. He knew they were naked and afraid and so He spoke to them and provided for them by clothing them.

the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. James 5:11b

When Jesus came into the world, He came to show us what God was like and to show us God’s love. Jesus Christ was full of grace and truth.

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. John 1:14

Just as disgrace and shame are the same so grace and love are the same. Grace is the expression of love and love covers sin. God loved us by sending Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, to take away our sin and to cover our sin through His death on the cross for us, which was the expression of God’s love and grace.

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8

When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior then all of our sins are taken away, even the secret sins of our hearts. We are forgiven and our sins are covered, never to be made known and our conscience is cleansed before God. This is how God has loved us and this is how He wants us to love one another.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. I John 4:11

One aspect of the definition of righteousness is doing life right and living according to God’s ways. When Joseph thought that Mary had been unfaithful to him, he was hurt and could not take her as his wife, but Joseph, being a “righteous” man desired to send her away secretly, rather than shame her publicly.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. Matthew 1:18,19

Just as sin is a disgrace to any people so also righteousness exalts a person. When we live and love according to God’s ways then others will see Jesus Christ in us. When a marriage is filled with God’s love then there will be much grace shown to the other and sins will be covered up rather than made known to others. To love is to be like God and when we are like God then we will love. God is love and love is what defines the Christian and the Christ centered marriage and family.

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. John 13:34,35

A Life with Love Needs Grace

We need God’s grace to love and to be faithful to what He has called us to do. He has called us to be His children and love is to characterize our lives. We are to represent Him to others in our lives and our marriages are to show the world His plan of love for mankind. His grace and peace is multiplied to us through the knowledge of God.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; II Peter 1:2

We are powerless to love with a Godlike love apart from the Lord but can be recipients of His grace and power. We need His grace and His power to live the life He intended for us and to have the love in our marriages that He meant for us to have.

seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. II Peter 1:3

His divine power has granted us everything that we need pertaining to all of life and to live a godly life and to have a godly marriage in an ungodly world.

For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. II Peter 1:4

It is His precious and magnificent promises that allow us to become like Him and to escape the corruption that is in the world. It is His promises that give us hope that our life and marriage will not be destroyed or corrupted but will grow stronger and stronger as we grow in the love and knowledge of Jesus Christ. We no longer have to live according to our lusts but we can live according to His will which will allow us to experience His love and will bring us great joy and peace. The word “lusts” in the original language means “desires”. It is our “lusts” that destroys love in our relationships and brings death to our marriage. It is His will that nourishes love in our marriage.

But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. James 1:14,15

The Lord tells us not to let our “lusts” deceive us. He will give us His desires for our life, which are good and perfect gifts. If we had all of the knowledge to choose what is best for us then they are the good and perfect gifts that He would choose for our lives. He is the only One who is all knowing and knows what we need and what is best for us.

Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 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. James 1:17,18

The lusts of the world bring corruption and destruction to our life and marriage. Love in marriage is a good and perfect gift that He wants to give to us. He will give you the grace and power to live according to His ways and to not give in to temptation. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11

The Lord is the One who gives grace and glory. If you humble yourself before Him then He will give you His grace so that you might have the power to walk uprightly, obey Him and live according to his promises. You will escape the corruption that is in the world that comes to those who seek their own will and live according to their own desires.

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

A Life that Listens and Hears

There is a difference between listening and hearing. A child can listen to what you are saying but they don’t hear what you are saying. If you are a mother or a teacher then you fully understand this concept. The Lord said over and over again, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”.

Matthew 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

The Lord makes it very clear what is going to happen. He also is telling us to not only listen but to hear what He is saying. How blessed will be those who heard Him.

Matthew 13:41-43 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

The Lord tells us that not only should we be prepared for Him when He comes again but we need to be careful to not compromise His standards during the time of our stay on earth. Again, He says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”.

Luke 14:34,35 Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

God’s Word is given to us to change our lives and not just for us to talk about it. How easy it is to talk about God’s Word but not let it infiltrate every area of our lives. The Lord wants us to obey His Word and not just gain knowledge of His Word with it having no effect on our lives.

Jeremiah 23:29 “Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?

God’s Word is like a hammer and how much we need it to break open our hearts so that we can hear what He has to say, rather than just listen to the words.

John 5:25 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

Before we came to know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we were dead spiritually and it is only when we hear Him and respond to His voice that we come to life spiritually. God’s Word has the power to give life and those who receive His Words by faith receive that life, which is in Jesus Christ.

Romans 1:16,17 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. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear”, Jesus says to all and how blessed are all who hear His Word and comes to the Lord in a saving faith. They receive eternal life, they do not come into judgment and they pass out of death into life.

John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.