A Life that is Filled with Love

A life that is filled with love will overflow with love. The only way that one can live a life that is filed with love is to live in the love of the One who so loved that He gave us His Son. His love is perfect, sacrificial and eternal. He loves because He is love. When we love because of His love through us then we will have His love for others. It is unconditional. Our love is conditional, imperfect and selfish.

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

How does one experience His love? It begins by receiving His love for you. How is this done? It is by keeping His commandments.

John 14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and disclose Myself to him.

His first commandment is to come to Him. When we come to Him then we turn our back on our sin. We can not continue to sin and come to Him. All of us some time or other turned our back on Him and came to sin. Now, He is calling us to turn our back on our sin and come to Him. He will meet us the moment we turn to Him. Then He will let us know the next thing He wants us to do. It will be in accordance with His Word. It may be that He wants us to change friends, or ask forgiveness or forgive someone else.

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

If you belong to Him then you will hear His voice. If you do not obey when you hear His voice then you may not hear it again. He waits until you obey. He wants obedience so that you can learn to live in His love. Is there something that you know that you should be doing and have not done it? You need to obey Him.

II Peter 1:5-8 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge, and in knowledge, self-control, and in self-control, perseverance, and in perseverance, godliness,  and in godliness, brotherly kindness, and in brotherly kindness, love.

Moral excellence is obeying the Lord in what His Word says and keeping His commandments. That is the beginning of love. This is why many marriages fail…it is because the couple sowed seeds of a lack of moral excellence before they were married and then they reaped the bad fruit later. Nearly all marriages fail because of the seeds that were sown before marriage. It is the same in all of your relationships. There must be moral excellence for relationships to have the right foundation.

James 3:13-18 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 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. 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.

There are two kinds of wisdom just as there are two kinds of relationships. One of jealousy and selfish ambition or one that is pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering and without hypocrisy. How sweet life is when it is done God’s way.

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 that is Filled with Love

A life that is filled with love will overflow with love. The only way that one can live a life that is filed with love is to live in the love of the One who so loved that He gave us His Son. His love is perfect, sacrificial and eternal. He loves because He is love. When we love because of His love through us then we will have His love for others. It is unconditional. Our love is conditional, imperfect and selfish.

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

How does one experience His love? It begins by receiving His love for you. How is this done? It is by keeping His commandments.

John 14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and disclose Myself to him.

His first commandment is to come to Him. When we come to Him then we turn our back on our sin. We can not continue to sin and come to Him. All of us some time or other turned our back on Him and came to sin. Now, He is calling us to turn our back on our sin and come to Him. He will meet us the moment we turn to Him. Then He will let us know the next thing He wants us to do. It will be in accordance with His Word. It may be that He wants us to change friends, or ask forgiveness or forgive someone else.

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

If you belong to Him then you will hear His voice. If you do not obey when you hear His voice then you may not hear it again. He waits until you obey. He wants obedience so that you can learn to live in His love. Is there something that you know that you should be doing and have not done it? You need to obey Him.

II Peter 1:5-8 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge, and in knowledge, self-control, and in self-control, perseverance, and in perseverance, godliness,  and in godliness, brotherly kindness, and in brotherly kindness, love.

Moral excellence is obeying the Lord in what His Word says and keeping His commandments. That is the beginning of love. This is why many marriages fail…it is because the couple sowed seeds of a lack of moral excellence before they were married and then they reaped the bad fruit later. Nearly all marriages fail because of the seeds that were sown before marriage. It is the same in all of your relationships. There must be moral excellence for relationships to have the right foundation.

James 3:13-18 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 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. 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.

There are two kinds of wisdom just as there are two kinds of relationships. One of jealousy and selfish ambition or one that is pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering and without hypocrisy. How sweet life is when it is done God’s way.

A Life that Loves

It has been said that people are happiest doing two things and which these two things are loving and learning. The Lord made us to love and He made us to learn. Both of these activities help keep the focus off of ourselves. The most unhappiest people in the world are the people who are all about themselves. We are basically selfish and only the Lord can change our hearts and character so that we will love others more than ourselves. God is love and when we are filled with the Lord’s Spirit then we too will love others as He has loved us.

I John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

God’s love was made known to us through the life and death of His only begotten Son.

I John 4:9-11 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

If the Lord so loved us this way then we also ought to love one another. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

I John 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

When the Lord permeates all of your life and relationships then love is what will characterize them. Even if the other people are not loving they will usually eventually respond to the love of Christ in you.

I John 4:12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

One of the most exciting things as a Christian is to love people who you naturally would not love and it can only be done by His Holy Spirit abiding in you. He will love through you and will give you a genuine love for others. As you walk with Him then you will start to see others the way Jesus does and you will have compassion on the people you are around.

I John 4:16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

Love is the opposite of judgment. Judgment condemns but love forgives and accepts.

I John 4:17,18 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

If we love others then we will not fear in the day of judgment because we have done what our Lord commanded of us. His love casts out the fear in us when we will stand before Him. Sin brings guilt and guilt brings fear. Doing right brings peace and peace brings confidence.

I John 4:19-21 We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

The Lord will love through you. God loves us because He is love. Love is not dependent on the recipient but on the giver. Have you received God’s love? If so, then the evidence will be that you also will love. It is by our love for one another that the world will know that we are Christians.

John 13:34,35  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.”

A Life with Relationships

Relationships help keep us from being lonely and give us worth, purpose and meaning in life. They also keep us balanced and accountable. We were made for relationships and yet many struggle with few meaningful relationships. Relationships teach us how to receive and give love and it is through relationships that the world is changed. Even if you missed out on certain relationships earlier in life it does not define your life or your ability to make relationships. Relationships must be built on the One who designed us to be in relationships.

Genesis 2:8 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

The Lord God made man and gave him life. Man became a living being because God gave him life and God is the source of all life. When God is absent in a person’s life then he only exists, rather than thrive and life life to the fullest.

Genesis 2:18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

Everything that God had done up to this point He said that it was good. However, after He formed man then He said that it is not good for man to be alone. It was not good then and it is not good now for man to be alone. Man had God but man still needed to be in a relationship with another human being. Through another human being man would find companionship, help and love. The word “helper” means literally savior and is the only time in the Bible that it is used in reference to a person. Every other time it is used in reference to God. The word “suitable” means corresponding to. God made a helper who would respond to Adam’s heart and bring him companionship. Even though Adam lived in a perfect environment and had a job to do, which was to cultivate the earth and name the animals, he still needed a helper and companion, who would respond to his heart. God made man and woman because He wanted them but God made Eve for Adam because they needed each other. Man was not made to live alone. God loved man and woman from the beginning and gave them instructions on life because He wanted them to live life to the fullest.

Genesis 2:15-18 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 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.”

The Lord knew what man needed and as long as man listened to and obeyed God then man and woman would live happily ever after. As long as they lived in their relationship with their Creator then they would be safe from any grief and the pain of death.

Genesis 3:1-7 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 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. 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.

Woman did not listen to the one whom God had given to protect her and Adam chose also to not obey what he knew was right and so both chose to go their own way and do their own thing apart from what God had commanded. Their relationship with God was changed and they became estranged and separated. The Lord came and they hid.

Genesis 3:8-10 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. 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.”

Separation, death and guilt came into the world and with it fear, grief, pain and blame. When trust is gone in relationships then the relationship is changed and not the same. With broken relationships come broken hearts. With broken hearts there comes blame. Someone is responsible for the brokenness. Often we want to transfer the blame.

Genesis 3:11-13 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? 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.”

With broken relationships come consequences which bring more sadness.

Genesis 3:16 To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”

Woman sinned first and the Lord spoke to her first. The consequences of her sin was pain in childbirth and she would desire her husband but he would rule over her.

Genesis 3:17-19 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;

Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.
“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”

Man sinned by doing what his wife wanted him to do rather than what God wanted him to do. He disobeyed God. His consequences were that the ground would be cursed because of him and there would be thorns and thistles that would make his work more difficult. He would now have to sweat things out in his work and it would not be as pleasant and enjoyable as God had designed. Man still struggles with the thorns and thistles in his occupation.

Genesis 3:22-24 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

It was God’s mercy that sent Adam and Eve out of the garden lest they eat of the tree of life and live forever in their now sinful state. Before God sent them out of the garden the Lord also gave Adam and Eve a promise of a Savior so that they might have hope and not despair.

Genesis 3:14a,15  The Lord God said to the serpent,
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

There would come from the seed of the woman a Savior who would destroy the tempter, Satan, who had brought grief to Adam and Eve. Mankind came into an awful cycle that only God could straighten out, a cycle of sin and death and with it a cycle of grief and despair. Man became brokenhearted with broken relationships.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;

The promised One who would destroy the works of the devil would also bind up the brokenhearted and heal them and heal their relationships.

 

 

 

A Life 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 a Thriving Marriage

The Lord wants your marriage to thrive as much as He wants you to thrive in life. Don’t get discouraged if you feel that your marriage is not where it should be or could be. The Lord is a restorer and there is no marriage beyond His restoring love and power. Where the Lord is, there is hope and where there is hope then things will get better.

Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord has given us a blueprint for marriage. Just as a builder must follow the architect’s blueprint for the building to stand strong so you must follow the Lord’s blueprint for marriage. Everyone strays from His blueprint and that is what it means to “miss the mark” at times. If you will turn to Him then He will help you and restore you. His blueprint is in His Word.

Psalm 19:7,8 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 Lord will restore you through His Spirit and His Word. He will give you wisdom and bring joy once again to your heart and marriage. He will open your eyes and give you enlightenment and insight. He is good and He is loving. He is all powerful but you must follow His instructions and do exactly as He tells you. You are not responsible for your spouse. The Lord is fully capable of changing your spouse. Do not focus on your spouse but ask the Lord what He wants you to do.

Ephesians 5:22-32 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

Marriage is a mystery and the mystery is great. Marriage is only between a man and a woman. All other unions are a perversion of God’s design and will ultimately bring grief. God’s design is based on the relationship of Christ and the church, which are all Christians. There is an order in marriage and that order is good. Submission of the wife does not minimize or negate her worth but elevates it. Jesus submitted to the Father even though He was equal to the Father. The church is to submit to Christ. The Father took responsibility for Jesus and Jesus takes responsibility for the church. The wife is to submit and the husband is to love and provide. The wife is to respect and the husband is to lead and protect. If one of the spouse fails to fulfill their responsibility it does not nullify the responsibility of the other spouse. In fact, the best thing for a wayward spouse is for the faithful spouse to continue to be responsible and faithful. If a spouse does not keep their marriage vow to the Lord then it does not negate the marriage vow of the other. Marriage vows can not be broken they can only be “not kept” because they are not vows made to each other but they are vows made to God in the presence of others. Other people are witnesses of the marriage vows that the couple makes to God. The Lord says to keep your vows. You will find that as you are faithful to the Lord then you will see His faithfulness to you.

Ecclesiastes 5:4-7 When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God.

Whatever you do, do not say that it was a mistake that you married your spouse. Pay your vows and let the Lord deal with your spouse. The Lord does not in fools. Get to work in your marriage and fear the Lord by doing what He has called you to do. You will find that the Lord will help you, guide you and strengthen you and you will become more like Him. Your life will be a light to others and a testimony of the Lord. There are many people who struggle in difficult marriages and want to quit but the Lord does not bless quitters but He does bless those who are faithful and honor Him.

 

 

 

 

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