A Life that Understands the Ripple Effect

The ripple effect is one of the most powerful forces for good and one of the most powerful forces for destruction. The ripple effect determines far more in your life than you realize. You are who you are in many ways due to the ripple effect but you also can change your destiny if you understand the ripple effect in your life and in the lives of others. The ripple effect is just what it says, “the action of others have a ripple effect in your life”. The closer you are to someone then the greater the ripple effect. If someone does what is right then you receive the good from their action but if someone does what is wrong then you receive the destruction from their action. The ripple effect goes on and on and reaches even those who are not even close to the person whose action begins the ripple effect, although the good or destruction lessens the further away from the good or bad decisions and actions. Just ask the children of broken homes and they fully understand the ripple effect. Broken homes not only destroy a family but they destroy a community, a city and even a nation. The strength of a nation is in the strength of its families. The strength of the family is in the strength of the father.

‘The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.’ Numbers 14:18

When men are weak in character then a nation is weak. A man becomes weak in character when he seeks to put his strength in himself or any other source other than the only true source of strength and that is in the only One who never changes and who is true and faithful.

How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Psalm 84:5a

When a man puts his strength in the Lord and not in Himself then he becomes truly strong from within and it is expressed in his outward actions. A strong man will do what is right. He will not be swayed or influenced by weaker men and women. He will stand strong and his house will not be destroyed and his nation will be blessed. He learns to be strong in the Lord and in God’s strength he is able to stand firm and resist the forces of destruction. He learns to run from temptation rather than to give in. He becomes wise and is a guide to others. His children are protected and they feel loved and learn to trust and not be fearful. Those around him feel the ripple effect of his trust and strength in the Lord.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord. Jeremiah 17:7

The man whose strength is in anything but the Lord becomes weak. His life is destroyed in a matter of time. In the beginning he may seem to prosper but it is only a matter of time before he brings destruction upon himself and due to the ripple effect, he brings destruction on those closest to him and eventually to others.

Thus says the Lord,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord. Jeremiah 17:5

He does not flee from temptation but gives in. He does not recognize the bad influence of others. He is not wise in his choices but foolish. The Bible describes the fool as one who lives as if there is no God. He may believe that there is a God but he lives as if there is not a God and forgets that one day he will have to give an accounting for his words, actions and life.

“I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,

According to the results of his deeds.
“As a partridge that hatches eggs which it has not laid,
So is he who makes a fortune, but unjustly;
In the midst of his days it will forsake him,
And in the end he will be a fool.” Jeremiah 17:10,11

How easy it is to forget God. He can not be seen and in the pursuit of life we go our own way. We look for things that can be seen to put our trust in, whether it is money, power or people. We think that these will bring us security and deliver us in a day of trouble. They can not deliver us nor can they deliver those who we have hurt in our vain pursuits.

For deliverance by man is in vain. Psalm 60:11

The Lord is the only One who can deliver in time of trouble. If He is your strength and refuge then He will be your deliverer when you call upon Him in your time of trouble.

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

It is not a matter of if trouble comes but it is when trouble comes.

For man is born for trouble, As sparks fly upward. Job 5:7

When a person calls on the Lord then he is saved, not only from his present trouble but from the trouble that is to come. It is by faith that we call on the Lord Jesus Christ. The person who the Lord declares righteous is the one who calls on the Lord Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior. The righteous man lives by faith. He has not done what is right but he recognizes his need for the One who came and lived and did what was right and then died and rose again. The Lord Jesus Christ becomes the strength of the one who will put their trust in Him. He will be blessed and his children will be blessed. His community will be blessed and his nation will be blessed.

A righteous man who walks in his integrity— How blessed are his sons after him. Proverbs 20:7

God is not mocked. He says in His Word that if a man seeks Him and surrenders His life to Him and does what He says then that man will be blessed. He will reap what he has sown and those around him will experience the good that comes from doing what is right. However, if he seeks to go his own way and do what pleases himself, then he will bring destruction on those around him. He will be doing what is wrong and the fruit of doing what is wrong is pain. He will bring pain to himself and those whom he “loves”. Of course, he does not love anyone but himself and in the end he does not even love himself for he brings on his own destruction. This man is cursed and brings curses to others, first to himself, then to those closest to him and then eventually to his nation.

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

The result of doing what is wrong is death. It is first death to the soul and then it is death to the body. We are the ones who choose our destiny, whether it is life or death. Our experience on earth is a taste of what is to come, whether it is eternal life, peace and happiness or eternal destruction, grief and punishment.

These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. Matthew 25:46

God is a just God as well as a loving God and He has given the choice to each one of us, to choose life or death. Love is a choice. We can love God and others or we can love ourselves, which in itself is not even self love but self destruction. We can bring good to others or we can bring pain to others. One day we will have to face the choices that we have made and we will see the pain that we brought to ourselves and others. Today we can make the choice to turn to the Lord or we can choose to ignore Him and turn away. No matter how many wrong choices we have made it is not too late to turn to Jesus Christ. The Lord says that He meets the one who wants to do what is right.

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

No matter how far from God a person has gotten, He still loves them and is still calling to them. Repent means to turn to God from our self and to put our trust in Him.

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

He will save you, He will guide you, He will become your God and lead you in the way you should go. He is the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for you.

I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. John 10:11

He invites all to come to Him. His ways are pleasant and He is good. He will lead you in the good way. He loves you unconditionally. He calls to you, right where you are and He knows and loves you today. You don’t need to fix your life first. He wants you just the way you are today. His love is incomprehensible and it is perfect. You don’t have to become good, for you can not, and our good will never outweigh our bad. He takes our bad and gives us His goodness. We are forgiven of all of our sins and He makes us right with God. All we need to do is come to Him and tell Him that we need Him to be our Lord and our Savior.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

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

The Lord is the only One who can stop the ripple effect in our lives. Jesus Christ won the victory over sin and death at the cross. No matter how much destruction you have experienced, because of Jesus Christ, you do not have to bring destruction to others. Apart from Jesus Christ, you will bring pain and destruction to your self and others. When a person recognizes their desperation for the One who not only saves us from ourselves but can also restore us and heal us from the ripple effect of others then they will come to Him. Jesus Christ is gentle and humble. He does not condemn us but He heals and restores us. He bore our griefs and sorrows. He was pierced through and crushed for our sins. Each of us has gone our own way but all of our sins fell on Jesus on the cross. If you have experienced pain in your life then come to Him and you will experience His healing, His comfort, His love and His restoration.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him. Isaiah 53:4-6

A Life that Understands a Great Relationship

Few people have great relationships but a great relationship is worth more than all the money in the world. A great relationship is a true gift from God and once a person has a great relationship, whether it is a friend or a spouse, they will never be the same. A great relationship brings great joy and is medicine to the soul. It brings comfort when nothing else can comfort, lifts a person up when they are down, minimizes their sorrows and brings joy to their heart and healing to their soul.

A joyful heart is good medicine, Proverbs 17:22a

A great relationship allows one to accomplish far more than they could ever have accomplished without it. A great relationship brings the best out in each of the ones in the relationship and teaches a person to love and to trust to a deeper level than ever imaginable.

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

A great relationship makes the heart glad and brings good counsel that is sweet to the one needing it.

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

God made us to be in great relationships and He sent His only begotten Son so that we may be able to be in great relationships. He wants us to have a great marriage and great friendships. A great relationship is only possible through Jesus Christ, who came to reconcile us to a great relationship with a great God.

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, II Corinthians 5:18

The Lord wants us to be reconciled to others once we are reconciled to Himself. We can only give to others what we have received ourselves.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. II Corinthians 5:20

He came to show us what a great relationship looks like.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

A great relationship has a great love that is willing to lay down their lives for their friends. Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. He came to be our friend and wants to be our friend.

but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. John 15:15b

Jesus Christ has entrusted His great friendship to us. He wants us to learn to be a great friend to others. We can do that when we learn to trust Him. A friend loves at all times and that is the friend that we have in Jesus Christ. He loves us at all times. He loves us no matter how often we fail, how deep we fall, how far we stray, or how unfaithful we are. If we will only come back to Him then we will be restored and experience His great love.

A friend loves at all times, Proverbs 17:17a

You can be this great friend to someone else. Not many people have someone who will love them when they feel that no one else loves them. It is easy to love the lovable. Everyone can do that but only a great person can love one who does not deserve love. Only a great person can be a friend to others in spite of their failings or love a spouse when the spouse has failed and only a great person can be in a great relationship. When two people learn what it means to be great in God’s eyes then they will have learned what it means to be a great person and then they will be able to have a great relationship.

And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. Luke 22:24-26

In the world, a person may be considered great because of success, position, power or beauty but those are not the characteristics of true greatness. True greatness is humbling oneself and seeking the success of others. A truly great person will not use you to seek their success but they will seek what is best for you. A truly great person will consider you more important than himself. For this reason, only a truly great person can have a great relationship because a truly great person can be trusted. Jesus Christ proved Himself to be the greatest man of all when He walked on earth. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, equal with the Father, humbled Himself and considered others more important than Himself.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:3-7

A truly great person will do nothing from selfishness or conceit. They are secure in who they are and do not need to use others to bolster their poor self image. They will find greater joy in the success of others and in doing so the Lord will bless them. A truly great person realizes that His worth is in God and that he can love others because he knows that he is loved with an everlasting love that does not change. A truly great person experiences more joy than others and because he has learned to water the lives of others then he is confident that the Lord will water his life.

And he who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:25

A truly great person is a joy to be around, a light to others and a picture of God’s love. This is the person that the Lord is making each one of His children into and one day they will be like Him, when they see 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. I John 3:2

A Life Successful in Everything

A person may be doubtful of the statement that someone can be successful in everything. Of course, it does not mean that someone could be a successful tennis player if they have no talent but it does mean that a person can be successful in everything that matters in life, that is, in the matters that are important, such as job, marriage, family, etc. It is a promise that God gives to the person who will do exactly as He says to do in each area of life. It is an amazing promise.

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Joshua 1:8

Everyone wants to be successful and pursues success in one form or another. Either God’s Word is true or it is not. If it is true then every word is true and every promise will hold up and never fail. If a person will do this one thing then the Lord promises success. The person must take God’s Word and meditate on it day and night and be careful to do according to all that is written in it. This is an incredible promise.

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers. Psalms 1:1-3

This promise was not just for the people in Joshua’s day because it is repeated in the Psalms. The person must not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the path of sinners or sit in the seat of scoffers but they must meditate on God’s Word day and night. The wicked are the people who do not fear God. They believe in God but don’t do what He says. They are pretentious in their religion. The sinners are those who live as if there is no God. They don’t care what others think and are not pretentious. The scoffers are those who have heard the Word of God at some time in their life but they have turned their back on God and have gone their own way. So, the person who wants to be successful must not stay around or listen to these types of people. However, they must learn to meditate on God’s Word, listen to what He says and do it.

Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. James 1:21-25

The Lord also mentions this promise in the New Testament in the book of James. If someone looks intently at the perfect law, which is God’s Word, and abides (or lives) by it and does not forget it but does it, then this man will be blessed in whatever he does. What an amazing promise! The only way to meditate on God’s Word day and night and to not become a forgetful hearer is to memorize it and put it in your heart. An easy way to do this is to memorize a verse every morning and then think about it and repeat it during the day. If possible, then memorize another verse at night before going to bed and think about it and repeat it if you wake up in the middle of the night. Review your verses out loud and if possible, to someone else. Do whatever it takes to remember God’s Word so that you can do it. You will find that as you do this that God Himself will speak to you through His Words and He will show you what to do in everyday life. God’s Word is very real in business, in family situations, in difficult relationships and in every situation of life. When a person does exactly as the Lord says then that person will see incredible changes in his life and also great success. God blesses His Word and the person who believes and lives by His Word will be greatly blessed with success, peace and much happiness.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.
If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you alone will bear it. Proverbs 9:10-12

The Bible says that the knowledge of God is understanding. As you learn to meditate on God’s Word then you will receive much understanding about God and life. God will become a daily reality to you. You will learn to talk to Him and you will also hear Him through His Word. You will see God in many different situations and you will see how amazing and great His love for you is. Wisdom is learning how to do life the right way so that you will not be hurt nor hurt others. Wisdom and understanding are more precious than jewels and nothing you desire compares with them.

How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.
For her profit is better than the profit of silver
And her gain better than fine gold.
She is more precious than jewels;
And nothing you desire compares with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
In her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways
And all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who hold her fast. Proverbs 3:13-18

Happy is the man or woman who discovers these amazing promises! They will have success in whatever they do. Their life will overflow with great joy and peace. They will not only survive whatever comes their way but they will thrive. They will have great understanding and they will truly be a blessing to many as their life will be built on wisdom.

A Life with Love on How to Love

Love is not random nor are some people just lucky to find love. Love does not just happen with two people. Just as there are principles in finance and laws of nature so there are laws and principles on love. Within a person there must be the root for love and the right nurturing for love to grow and mature. There is a root for love and just as the roots produce the fruit in nature so love is a fruit with a certain root within an individual. We can not produce a true and lasting love on our own. It must be produced within us and love must have the necessary root so that it might bear the fruit of love. Without this root there will be no true and lasting love. When there is a lasting and true love between two people then there will also be the other characteristic of a loving relationship and, that is, there will be trust. Love and trust are in all great marriages.

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

Moral excellence is the characteristic of anyone who is worthy of trust. A morally excellent person is one who will not compromise. They don’t lie, cheat or steal. They don’t deceive others nor slander others. A morally excellent person keeps their commitments even to their own hurt. Their word is good and can be trusted. These characteristics are what we want in our leaders, neighbors, friends and marriage partners, but more important than desiring them in others, is for us to cultivate them within ourselves. How blessed is the person who has a leader, neighbor, friend or spouse with moral excellence and even more blessed is the person whose own life is characterized by moral excellence. The root of true love is moral excellence.

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

The beginning of moral excellence is a knowledge of God. All moral excellence is based in God. Some people want to do good without God, but it is impossible to do good with a pure heart, on our own, for our very own hearts are corrupted. When life is all about self then there will be a conflict of interest. If there is One greater than ourselves that we want to please, then we will be willing to sacrifice what we want, for the knowledge of Him. When we want to please Him then we will know Him and when we know Him then grace and peace will be multiplied to us. Grace and peace are found in Jesus Christ. We can not give to others what we ourselves do not have. When we receive grace and peace then we can give grace and peace to others.

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

When we know the Lord Jesus Christ and we receive His grace and peace then He also gives us His divine power in everything that pertains to life and living a Christlike life. This divine power comes through the true knowledge of Him. We must know the Lord, not merely know about Him, but we must know Him with our heart, soul and mind. This is how we receive the true knowledge of God that comes through His Word, which is the revelation of who He is. He has called us to know Him and He wants us to share in His glory and excellence. We do this through following Him in obedience to His Word.

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

The Lord wants us to have a loving marriage and relationships where there is trust. The Lord plans only good for us. He wants us to escape the corruption that is in the world. The corruption in the world comes from the evil desires of others and if we don’t become like Christ, who is good and loving, then we too, will be corrupted by lust. Lust is the same Greek word as desire. A desire becomes a lust when it is desire that is out of the will of God. God’s will is moral excellence. The only way that we can become partakers of the divine nature is through the promises of God. The promises of God are magnificent, glorious and excellent. When we live according to His Words and His promises then we will live a magnificent, glorious and excellent life. In doing so, we will become trustworthy and will be a blessing to many. If we choose to live according to our own ways and desires then much grief will come to us and many broken and damaged relationships. Our lives will become corrupted.

For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. Hebrews 4:2

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the beginning of moral excellence. Not just believing that Jesus Christ lived, but also believing that He is the Son of God, that He lived for you, that He died for you, that He was raised from the dead for you and He lives today for you to know Him. He loves you. This is the good news. However, this good news will only profit those who believe it and unite themselves to Christ in faith. When a person comes to Christ then they receive Jesus Christ into their life and their life starts to become transformed in that excellent and glorious likeness of Christ through His precious and magnificent promises.

A Life with Love Must Be Tested

If love is not tested then we will never know the depth and strength of our love. It is not until our love is tested will we know if it is genuine. We all want to say that we will be faithful in our love for another. That is the intent of our heart but what is the strength of our character? Love is a choice and it is a choice that we must make many times in order to stay faithful. We make the commitment to love another but we live out that commitment every day afterwards. Love is not a matter of words only but a matter of faithfulness in living out the words that we have made to another. That commitment that we make to love another will be tested. It is not a matter of “if” but “when” it will be tested.

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

Love begins with experiencing God’s love. We love the Lord because He first loved us. When we experience His love then we can love others with an unconditional love, which is the way that we all want to be loved.

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

Our love for the Lord will be expressed in our love for our spouse, our family members and others.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Deuteronomy 6:5

When we learn to love God with all of our heart, soul and might then we can love another. Loving God means loving others. We learn of love from God and we learn what it means to be faithful from Him also. Adam and Eve were tested in the garden of Eden. They failed the test and chose to not love God by loving themselves. The Lord continued to love them in spite of their lack of love for God and the rest of the Bible is the story of God’s love for Adam and Eve and all of their descendants and His faithfulness to show them that 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

Adam and Eve were more concerned about “what was in it for them” than in being faithful to their Creator and God.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6,7

Eve was tested when she was tempted to eat of the tree which the Lord had said not to eat. She was tempted because of how she looked at the fruit of the tree. What Eve saw was “good” and “delightful” and “desirable”. However, it was not good but bad, it would not bring her delight but pain and it only seemed desirable but in the end she would regret it. That is how the test will be. It will seem appealing and tempting but will only destroy. If we fail the test then it will bring not only death to the love relationship but it will bring death to the soul.

For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. Hebrews 10:36

Every love relationship has a lot of promise. If we enter into a marriage covenant then it has the promise of a loving and trusting union between a man and a woman that will bring great joy, satisfaction and love that will grow as the two grow old together. The marriage relationship is the sweetest, warmest, most trusting and loving relationship on earth when it is done God’s way.

Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
Whoever is discerning, let him know them.
For the ways of the Lord are right,
And the righteous will walk in them,
But transgressors will stumble in them. Hosea 14:9

God’s ways are right. Those who are wise will learn the ways of God and walk in them. Their marriage will be blessed. Those who are faithful in their relationship with God and in their marriage when they are tested will grow even stronger in their love. Testing brings trials and trials produce endurance. Endurance is what strengthens and perfects us. It is the relationships that endure the tests and trials of life that bring the lasting joy and satisfaction in life as they are made perfect and complete.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

When you are tested through trials then persevere in doing what is right. Stay faithful. Walk by faith and not by feelings. Love can grow and be restored in relationships. Relationships are not easy but they are worth it. Do what is right. Don’t give up.

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12

All love relationships will be tested. Your relationship and love for the Lord will be tested. Your marriage will be tested. Love is faithfulness and perseverance and those who are faithful and persevere to the end will be glad. Those who are faithful to the Lord will be faithful in their marriage.

For yet in a very little while,
He who is coming will come, and will not delay.
But My righteous one shall live by faith;
And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. Hebrews 10:37-39

A Life with Love Remembers and Finds Rest

Everyone looks and longs for love, that is, until they either give up or they find it. Love is worth finding, for love is man’s biggest need. Where there is love there is life. When a person feels loved then they experience significance, purpose and life. Love gives meaning to their work and love gives a person something to look forward to and that is to see and please the one who loves them. Love gives companionship and friendship. Love teaches a person to trust. Love is personal and nothing can take the place of love. Life without love feels empty, aimless, futile and vain. Love gives hope and when we have hope we will persevere. Without love we give up and die. Man did not lose love in the garden of Eden when he sinned, for God still loved him, but he lost the ability to see love. In place of love there came fear and in place of life there came death. Man was afraid of God because he had done what was wrong and he began to hide from God. Man no longer experienced God’s love.

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

We all have hidden and it is not until we hear God calling us do we come to Him. We have hidden behind all sorts of things but deep down all of us know that there is a God and that there is a creation. The Lord has put that in all of our hearts. Even though we don’t know God or His love, we know that there is a God. How do we find God again? It is not until we find God will we find love. It is not until we find God will our deepest needs ever be met. When we come to God then we will also find purpose and meaning in life, love in the deepest recesses of our being, peace and joy, and we will learn to trust again. What has been destroyed in our lives will be restored. How do we find God?

Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls…Jeremiah 6:16a

Man is always thinking that he or she has found something new and better. There is less love in the world than ever before and more divorces and broken marriages than ever before. The “new” ways are not better. They may seem better at first because there seem to be few restrictions, but the end is death. Death to the marriage and death to the soul.

There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:2

If what you have been doing has not been working then ask the Lord to lead you in the good way. God’s ways are perfect and there is no pain in His ways. Don’t be stubborn. You hurt yourself by not walking in the ancient path.

…But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ Jeremiah 6:16b

When you walk in the way which seems right to you, but it is not the ancient path that the Lord designed then the outcome will be depression and gloom. There will not be life.

“Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them, They will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it; Jeremiah 23:12a

The ancient path is the good way and the Lord says that He will meet you if you will come to Him and call on Him. He will show you the good way and your life will be good. One of the meanings of the word “good” is the highest form of love. You will find God and in finding Him you will also find love.

You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.
Behold, You were angry, for we sinned,
We continued in them a long time;
And shall we be saved?
For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
And all of us wither like a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
There is no one who calls on Your name,
Who arouses himself to take hold of You; Isaiah 64:5-7a

You will know when you have found the good way, the way of the Lord, because you shall find rest for your soul. You will experience the love that never changes and is not dependent on your performance. That longing to be loved for who you are will be met because He knows you and you will be loved with an unconditional love. We all know that we are not the person that we pretend to be. All of us hide behind a front. All of us have failed and have a fear that if people really knew us then they would not love us. None of us have called on the Lord or aroused ourselves to take hold of Him. It is for this reason that Jesus Christ came. He loves us and it was love that caused Him to arouse Himself so that He might take hold of us. We have not called on Him but He has come and called us to Himself.

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

Now, all we need to do is come. When we come to Jesus Christ, He meets us where we are. Coming to Him is turning to Jesus Christ and trusting Him to save us and to lead us in His good way so that we can know Him, so that we can live in His love, so that we can be able to love others and we will find rest for our souls. He restores us to Himself and He also restores our marriages and our families. He forgives us and gives us the power to forgive ourselves and others. Jesus Christ gives love, life and rest. He calls to all of us to come to Him.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28,29

There is no greater love than to lay down your life for someone else. Jesus Christ laid down His life for you.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Not only do you become a friend of God when you believe in Jesus Christ and come to Him but you also become God’s child.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. I John 3:1a

A Life with Love Will Be Tested

Abraham loved the Lord and he was called the “friend of God” by God Himself. Other people claim to love the Lord but the problem is that their love for other things or other people is greater than their love for God. If someone loves anything or anyone more than God then it is not love but it is idolatry. Idolatry is giving to someone or something else what they are not worthy of and wanting from someone or something else what they can not give. No one but God is worthy of our worship and no one but God can give us true significance and security. Until we come to the place in our life where we trust God completely and realize that we can not trust anyone or anything else then we will never feel secure. God alone is trustworthy and God alone can give us security and significance. Abraham loved God and Abraham loved his son, Isaac. Would Abraham be willing to give up Isaac in his love for and worship of God? In Isaac was Abraham’s significance as a father of many nations and in Isaac would Abraham be a blessing. And yet, God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham was being asked to give up what was precious to him and what he loved in order to prove his love for the Lord.

Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” Genesis 22:1,2

Abraham trusted in God. He took God at His Word and believed in the promises of God even when it appeared differently. Abraham did not walk by sight or by his understanding but he walked by faith and obeyed God.

So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance. Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.” Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.” Genesis 22:3-14

The Christian life is not any different these days. The Lord wants us to trust Him and obey Him. The Lord wants us to love Him above all others. Our love for Him will be tested. Love must be tested for until we love the Lord above all others then we will never be able to love others with the love of Jesus Christ.

“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. Matthew 10:37

True love is unconditional and is not selfish. True love does not look for what it can get from someone else and true love does not give to someone else what that person is not worthy of. If Abraham had not loved God, the One who blesses, then he would not have really loved the blessing of Isaac for Isaac would have become an idol and a stumbling block to Abraham. In the same way, we must love the Lord Jesus Christ above all others in order to love others. When we learn to love God the way He has called us to love Him then we will be able to love others with the same kind of love which He has loved us and that is a Christlike 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. I John 3:16

A Life with Love Must Believe and Leave

Unless one believes and receives they will never leave. Unless one leaves they will never see. The Lord tells the man that he must believe in Him and receive the gift of his wife in marriage and leave his mother and father and family. If he will trust the Lord and do this then the man will experience the incredible gift of love and the joy of oneness with his wife.

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

Marriage can only be done in faith. Faith must come first and then a person will see God’s faithfulness. God’s ways are perfect and His instructions are for our good. We must follow what He says to experience His goodness and faithfulness. A woman must also leave her family and to receive the gift of her husband and experience God’s design for love in marriage. This is easier said than done. Leaving is not just physically but needs to be emotionally also. It is by faith that we leave and by faith that we love and cleave. In a similar way, the Lord told Abram that he needed to leave his family and country and go to the land that God would show him. Abram had to believe God and leave his family, friends and country by faith before he would see God’s faithfulness. When a person gets married they have to believe that it is God’s plan for them and they have to leave family, friends and home to go into the marriage that God will show them.

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you; Genesis 12:1

Abram had no idea what the land would be like. He stepped out in faith and the Lord blessed him. In a similar way, a person has no idea what their marriage will be like. Marriage is wonderful and is an amazing gift from God but it is best to go into it with no expectations. When someone expects something then they focus on what they are expecting and it leads to disappointment when things do not turn out the way they expected. However, it is best to give expectations to the Lord and then allow Him to give you what He knows that you need. If you have expectations then you may miss the amazing gift that the Lord has for you. Marriage is a step of faith and the Lord will bless you and your marriage if you step out in faith and walk and live by faith.

So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him; Genesis 12:4a

Not only did Abram see the land when he stepped out in faith but He saw the Lord. When Abram saw the Lord then he received the promises of God. God’s promises are received in faith and experienced in life. Abraham believed, he went and he saw and lived in the promised land.

The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. Genesis 12:7

Living on God’s promises is a life that lives above the normal, soars like the eagle and sees what others can not see. The outcome of faith is seeing God and His faithfulness. The person that lives by faith will want to worship the Lord when they see Him, just as Abram built an altar and worshiped the Lord. Abram was filled with thanksgiving. When a person experiences God’s design in marriage then they will be filled with thanksgiving. Faith is believing in God, coming to God, trusting in His promises, walking with God and waiting on God.

Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31

Do you need new strength? Do you want to soar like an eagle? Do you want to run and not get tired and walk and not become weary? Learn to wait on the Lord. First, comes believing and coming to God, then trust His Words and promises, walk in obedience to Him and then wait on Him to work in His time according to His will. You will not be disappointed. The Lord is a great God and He loves you. Nothing is too difficult for Him and He wants to give you many good gifts. The Lord wants you to know Him and know His Word so that you can live by faith. Ask Him to help you. Read His Word daily. Come to Him in prayer.

For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” Romans 10:11

A Life with Love is Not Selfish

Love is neither selfish nor self seeking. Love is not all about self. This is very difficult for all of us because we are basically selfish. We see this in toddlers and it does not change much as we grow older. We have to be taught to think of others and even then, we often do it for a benefit to ourselves. We want to be thought well of or we want to be liked. We want to do what is socially acceptable or we may realize that good manners, thinking of others, is necessary for success. All of this is true. We like others who think of others, who are socially acceptable, who have good manners and who basically communicate that they like us! However, it is only the Lord Jesus Christ who can teach us to love others with an unselfish love because He is love and He loves with an unconditional love. God’s love expressed through His Son, Jesus Christ, changes a life when it comes into a person’s life. His love floods the heart and the recipient of His love is never the same. God’s love is a force more powerful than anything else and His love changes the person. His love is the only power that can change the world. Abraham was called a friend of God because Abraham had experienced the love of God and his life was changed. God had promised Abraham the land of Canaan. However, there came to be strife between the herdsmen of Abraham and the herdsmen of Lot. There was not enough room in the land for all of their livestock when they were living together. They needed space for their livestock. Abraham had every right to choose first but he gave the first choice to Lot, his nephew.

So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me; if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left.” Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere—this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah—like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar. So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward. Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled in the cities of the valley, and moved his tents as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the Lord. Genesis 13:8-13

Love considers the other more important than one’s own self. This is Godlike love. Lot chose the best land and Abraham took the other part of the land. One can only live this way on a continual basis if one has the love of Christ within them. This is what makes a great marriage and it is when each one considers the needs of the other more important than their own needs. Your needs will always be met if you will trust the Lord, not necessarily when and how you want them met, but they will be met. It is anxiety and selfishness that often makes us pursue our needs and often, they are not really needs but “wants” anyway. Mature love considers another’s needs over their own. This kind of love is learned from the Lord. He will teach you to love with His kind of love. You will be blessed even more than the recipient for you will find that there is One far greater who will look after your interests and needs. He is faithful and you will never be forgotten or forsaken. Yes, this is a life of faith. Faith in the One who loves you far more than you can imagine and who laid down His life for you.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:3-11

Most of us will admit that when we got married we thought we knew about love but once we were married we realized that our love for another was not very mature. Most problems in marriage, if not all problems, are from selfishness or conceit. We really think that we are somebody important and when another does not think that we are as important as we would like to think we are, then we get offended and often get an attitude. If the attitude is not corrected then it affects our behavior. If our behavior is not corrected then it affects the relationship and before we realize it we really don’t care for our partner because we feel that they don’t really care about us. We are all very selfish and into ourselves. Unless that changes then there is not hope for any happy relationship. The problem is not with the other partner but the problem is within. Only Jesus Christ can change a person from within. You must come to Him and allow Him to change you. He is the only hope for a happy and fulfilling marriage. Go to Him and ask Him to come into your life to be your Lord and Savior before you get married. If you are married then go to Him. He is is a present help in time of trouble. It is His will that you have a loving and fulfilling marriage. He will help you.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. II Corinthians 5:17

Jesus Christ can make you into a new person and He can also renew your marriage. Come to Him if you need help. Come to Him if you have tried and failed. Come to Him.

A Life with Love Remembers

How easy it is to forget, that is, we forget the things we should remember and we remember the things we should forget. This has been a problem through the ages and for this reason we are filled with fear. If only we will remember, the Lord says, then we will not fear and if only we will live in His love then His love will cast out all fear. Life is sweet when it is free of fear and worry. Fears rob us of much joy and worry destroys our peace. Faith is the opposite of fear and prayer is the answer to our worries. Prayer is the expression of our faith. Faith is coming to the Lord through prayer. Faith is not just believing that He is able but believing that He will. Prayer is asking Him to help us in our need and asking Him to do what needs to be done. Faith is trusting His love and His power.

“I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you are afraid…
That you have forgotten the Lord your Maker,
Who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth,
That you fear continually all day long…Isaiah 51:12a,13a

The Lord is so loving that we can not comprehend how great His love is, but we can accept it because His love is a gift to all who will receive it. God is so powerful that the Bible says that nothing is impossible with Him.

For nothing will be impossible with God. Luke 1:37

The Lord’s love is so great for His children and all power is His so that He is able to take anything that happens, no matter how bad, and cause it to be for our good. The word “good” means the highest form of love. If we belong to Him, then we have nothing to fear ever. He is in full control and nothing catches Him by surprise. It pleases the Lord when we trust Him and rest in His love and His power.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

When we are anxious then He wants us to come to Him with our burdens and worries. He will give us His peace in place of our anxieties. His peace will guard our hearts.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7

When we have His peace then we can go through anything. His peace will remain with us as long as we keep our eyes on Him.

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. John 14:27

Let not your heart be troubled nor let it be fearful. When you live in His love then you will find that you will have peace and be free from fear for His love will cast out your fear.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, I John 4:18a

Are you fearful or anxious? Is your heart weighed down with troubles? Come to Jesus Christ and receive His love. Jesus Christ came to love us and to restore us to a love relationship with God. His love is available to anyone who will come to Him and receive it. When you receive Jesus Christ then you receive His love.

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, John 1:12

If you have received Jesus Christ earlier in your life then have you forgotten who He is, that He is your Maker and He stretched out the heavens and laid the foundation of the earth? Have you forgotten that nothing is impossible with Him? Are you fearful? Are you anxious? Have you forgotten how great a love the Father has for you, that you are His child?

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. I John 3:1a

Seek the Lord once again with all of your heart. There is no good thing that He will withhold from those who seek Him. Don’t seek the blessings but seek the Blesser.

The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing. Psalm 34:10

The Father who gave up His only begotten Son, will He not with Christ freely give you all things? There is nothing that is good that He will withhold from those who belong to Him and seeks Him.

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Romans 8:32

We doubt His love because we do not know Him. We don’t come to Him because our faith is little. We “have not because we ask not”. The Lord is waiting to show you His love.

Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him. Isaiah 30:18

How blessed are those who long for the Lord. His love is immeasurable towards those who fear Him and come to Him.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. Psalm 103:11

Come to Him all who are weary of carrying their burdens. Come to Him all who are anxious over the troubles of life. Come to Him all who are fearful. He will take carry your burdens, take your worries, troubles and fears and give you His love and His peace.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30