A Life with Love is Relational

Love is about relationships. The Lord made us to be in a relationship with Him and in relationship with others. It is not good to alone. It is love that makes the relationships alive and meaningful and the relationships that we have define our lives. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God then their relationship with God changed and they changed.

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 wise,she took from its fruit and ate;and she gave also to her husband with her,and he ate.Then the eyes of both of them were opened,and they knew that they were naked;and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. Genesis 3:6,7

Sin always changes people and relationships. Something within us is destroyed and we no longer enjoy the freedom and security that we had before we sinned. Adam and Eve were ashamed and insecure. They tried to cover themselves up.

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

Sin also makes us fearful. The only problem was that there was nothing that they needed to be afraid of but sin distorts reality in our mind and we start responding not to the Lord and His Word but to our fears. When we respond to our fears then our life becomes anxious and even more insecure. Those who obey the Lord have no need to fear. They know the Lord and have put their trust in Him.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit. Jeremiah 17:7,8

Sin brings guilt and guilt changes our thoughts and our actions. The guilt in our lives will change the path that we take so that we can avoid any reminder of the guilt. God made man so that he can not live without love and in the same way, God made man so that he can not live with guilt. Man will do anything that he can to try to get rid of the guilt or to block it out. Since man can not get rid of his own guilt, his actions only lead to more guilt. It is a horrible life.

The way of a guilty man is crooked,
But as for the pure, his conduct is upright. Proverbs 21:8

The path of the guilty is no longer straight but it is crooked. His conduct becomes even more crooked just as the saying goes, “the leg of a lie gets longer and longer”. The guilt in a person’s life will twist their view of everything. They will no longer see clearly and will become suspicious of even those who have done them no wrong. Even their view of God becomes distorted.

With the kind You show Yourself kind;
With the blameless You show Yourself blameless;
With the pure You show Yourself pure,
And with the crooked You show Yourself twisted. Psalm 18:25,26

The Lord is good and loving. He is kind and blameless. However, to the guilty and crooked person He becomes twisted in their mind and eyes. The most important thing in a person’s life is their view of God. Everything that man does is a response to his view of God. God is not who you think that He is, He is who He is and He reveals Himself to those who seek Him with a pure heart. The view that you have of God is not an indication of who He is but it is more an indication of the purity of your heart.

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

There is only One who can take your sin and guilt away and give you a clean heart and that is Jesus Christ.

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

He came to earth, died on the cross and rose again to take the punishment that all of us deserve, to forgive us of our sin and to restore us to a relationship with God.

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, I Peter 3:18a

A Life with Love Brings Satisfaction

Love brings satisfaction to others by helping them to become the person that God designed them to be and to do the things that God wants them to do. A person can only do this if they have the love of God abiding in them. When Eve disobeyed God she no longer was a helpmate to Adam but she became his mate who hurt him. Her life no longer helped him grow closer to God but she hurt his relationship with the Lord by wanting him to sin just as she had sinned. Sin has a ripple effect and will always bring hurt to the people around the one doing the sinning.

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; and she gave also to her husband with her and he ate. Genesis 3:6

If you love someone then you will not want to be a stumbling block to them but will want to help them grow in their relationship with the Lord. You are either pointing people to the Lord through your life or you are pointing them away from the Lord. A person who is disobedient to what the Lord says will not only stumble themselves but they will put a stumbling block before others. God’s Word is offensive to the one who does not want to obey it. The disobedient person will often want others to do the same as they have done. It does not lessen their guilt but only increases it.

For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the very corner stone,” and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. I Peter 2:6-8

“Indeed, did God say…” is what the devil said to Eve. He caused her to question God’s Word and then she twisted what the Lord said and then she disobeyed God’s Word. She disobeyed God’s Word to her own destruction, to the destruction of her marriage and home and to the destruction of her relationship with God. The Lord had given Adam and Eve everything that man and woman could possibly want. Yet, they were not satisfied. You will never be satisfied if you look elsewhere for satisfaction, other than to the Lord. There will always be something prettier, better, more advantageous and anything else that we think would bring us happiness.

Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied. Proverbs 27:20

Sheol and Abaddon are other names for hell. The devil is never satisfied as to how many people he can get to go to hell with him. He is never satisfied with how many marriages he can destroy or how many lives he has destroyed. When your marriage is destroyed and dies then something within you also dies. You will never be the same. In the same way, the eyes of men and women are never satisfied. They will always want more.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6

As you learn to hunger and thirst for the Lord and to hunger and thirst after righteousness then you will be satisfied. Righteousness is believing what God said by faith and acting on it by obeying His Word. It may seem impossible but it is true. The word “blessed” means happy. You will be happy and satisfied in life, in your marriage and you will be a blessing to your spouse and to others.

A Life that Loves Life

Do you want to love life and see good days? The Lord gives us clear instruction on what we need to do if we want to love life. So many people just “get by” or if they are honest with themselves then they don’t really even enjoy life but just live in survival mode.

Psalm 34:12 Who is the man who desires life
And loves length of days that he may see good?

The Lord says that there are four things that you must do if you want to desire life and want to live many days that you may see good.

Psalm 34:13,14 Keep your tongue from evil
And your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

The first thing that you must do is to keep your tongue from speaking evil. In other words, don’t let your tongue cause anyone grief, since the meaning of the word “evil” is to cause grief. Don’t have an edge about you or feel that you need to get in the last word. Another aspect of this is to keep from arguing. If you want to desire life then you don’t have to always win in your discussions with others. Arguing only leads to grief so stay away from it. Jesus is our example of one who did not return evil for evil but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. Jesus refused to argue.

I Peter 2:23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;

The second requirement is to keep your lips from speaking deceit. There was no deceit in what Jesus said. Deceit was never found in His mouth because His heart was pure. Keep a pure heart and you will keep deceit far from you.

I Peter 2:21,22 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;

The third requirement is to depart from evil and do good. Again, the meaning of evil is to cause grief so the Lord wants you to do good to others rather than to cause others grief. We can only do this in the power of the Holy Spirit because it is not in our flesh. No good thing is in our flesh and the only good that we can do is what the Lord does through us. Stay filled with His Holy Spirit and you will depart from evil and do good. The secret to staying filled with the Holy Spirit is to not quench the Holy Spirit through sinning. Fear the Lord and you will hate sin. Be quick to confess so that you do not grieve the Holy Spirit and you will see Him live through you. Only God is good and the good that we do is the Lord doing the good through us.

Romans 14:19 So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

We must pursue peace with all men so that they may see the Lord in us.

Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.

Finally, to sum up, this is the way the Lord has called us to live. You will be giving a blessing and you will be blessed “the eyes of the Lord will be toward you and His ears will attend to your prayer”. Can it get any better than this? No. However, life can certainly get quite miserable for those who do evil for the face of the Lord will be against them.

I Peter 3:8-12 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For,The one who desires life, to love and see good days,
Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.
He must turn away from evil and do good;
He must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous,
And His ears attend to their prayer,
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Learn to do good and to be kind to even ungrateful and evil men and you be will called sons and daughters of the Most High.

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

A Life with Love Must Be Together

Love must be together. Love is relational and relationships must be nurtured to grow strong. The Lord brings a man and a woman together in marriage to be with each other. Your marriage will not grow strong and your love will not grow deeper unless there is an investment of your money and your time. These are the treasures that each of us have and when we invest our treasures in the marriage then our heart will be in it also. The love has become cold in many a marriage simply because the relationship was neglected and the two people have drifted apart. Each one invested their time, energy and money elsewhere and their heart was no longer with their spouse.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34

The more shared experiences then the stronger the marriage. Just as in the past when they used to make a rope strong, it was made of many many little strands of hemp. It was almost impossible to even cut through a thick rope. In the same way, the more shared experiences that married couples have then the stronger the bonds of marriage will be and when the enemy attacks then it will have a much harder time breaking the bonds of marriage. Love grows through sharing each others joys and sorrows.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 4:32-5:2

Your marriage and love will deepen as you each learn to be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other just as Christ also has forgiven us. As you and your spouse learn to walk in love and to consider the other one more important than one’s ownself then your marriage will be a fragrant aroma to the Lord and to the world.

Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; Hebrews 13:4a

As you can see, it says marriage bed, not marriage beds. A marriage will not grow strong if each of the married partners sleep in a different bed. Don’t do it. The Lord will help you if one of you has a hard time sleeping. There is something about sharing the same bed that keeps a couple together.

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate. Matthew 19:6

Separation is opposite of being together. The devil tries first to separate a married couple and then divorce is often next. If someone counsels you to separate then they are not with God but against God. Let no man separate, means let no man counsel you to separate nor let another come in between you and your spouse. A woman should never confide in any other man other than her husband. She should not go to a pastor or a male counselor to get marriage help. A woman can almost always get a man’s sympathy and a man can not see through a woman’s tears, hurts, etc. and give her the truth of what she needs to hear.

The first to plead his case seems right,
Until another comes and examines him. Proverbs 18:17

A man can not see through a woman and a woman can not see through a man. In the same way, a man should not go to a woman for counsel. Older men can help a younger man to learn to love his wife and to understand her and older women are God’s provision to help women in learning how to love and respect their husband.

A Life with Love Has An Enemy

Love has an enemy that wants to destroy it and the people in the relationship where love is. God is love and there will only be true love where God is but there is one who hates God and he will do everything he can to destroy what the Lord establishes. The Lord is the One who brings people together in marriage.

And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Matthew 19:4-6

The Lord made the marriage to be between male and a female. He joins them together and they become one flesh. They are no longer two but one. The Lord’s blueprint for marriage is that the two people are to stay married until one of them dies and then the length of the marriage has been completed. However, the devil hates what God has ordained and he tries to destroy the love, the marriage and the people in the marriage. The enemy of love is not flesh and blood but it is spiritual forces.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12

Struggles will come in any marriage but if you recognize who the real enemy is then you can stand firm together and resist him.

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

As both of you, or even if one of you, will recognize the real enemy then you can resist him and he will flee. You must be strong in the Lord and you resist him through submitting to God and in the strength of God’s might. He will have to flee.

But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes. II Corinthians 2:10,11

Do not be ignorant of his schemes. He wants one of you to harbor unforgiveness in your heart. We all wrong each other and hurt each other, and often we are not even aware of it. If you will learn to forgive quickly then that keeps Satan from getting a foothold in the marriage. The Bible says that he is “an accuser of the brethren”. He wants to accuse each one of you to the other. He might say, something like, “If he really loved you then he would not do that.” Not so, for a man often does not know what will hurt his wife. He has to learn to live with her in an understanding way. It does not come naturally.

You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way,

I peter 3:7

In the same way, a wife needs to learn how to respect her husband and love him the way that God designed. It is different from the way a wife “wants” to be loved. She will often love him the way she wants to be loved and the man will do the same. The older women are instructed to teach the younger women how to love their husbands.

so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:4,5

This word love in “to love their husbands” means that they are to want their husbands. A man marries a woman because he thinks that she wants him. If she does not communicate this after marriage then he will feel rejected.

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

The devil will do what he can to get the man to not love his wife and to get the woman to not respect her husband. It takes two to destroy a relationship. A marriage is only dysfunctional if both people are not doing what the Lord called them to do. If only one person is disobedient then that person is dysfunctional and the obedience of their partner will help them become the wife or husband that the Lord called them to be.

In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. I Peter 3:1,2

Marriage relationships are work but when they work the way the Lord designed then they are the sweetest relationships on earth. They are a taste of heaven to the marriage partners and they are salt and light to the rest of the world. When each partner does the work that God has called them to do and be the spouse that God designed them to be then God is glorified.

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

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.