A Life with Love Does Not Hate

Love is an expression of everything that is good and hate is an expression of everything that is bad. If we love someone then we will do them good and build them up but if we hate someone then we will do what is bad towards them and will want to bring them grief. Love wants to be with someone and hate wants to do away with someone.

“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Matthew 5:21,22

Hate goes before abusive speech and actions and anger is the beginning of hate. Hate desires destruction to the one whom it is aimed towards but in actuality it destroys the one who has it within their heart. Cain hated Abel because God accepted Abel’s offering but not Cain’s offering.

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

The Lord did not tell anyone but Cain that He did not accept Cain’s sacrifice. The Lord does not shame but we bring about our own shame when we do not do life right. When we do wrong we can seek forgiveness from God or we can continue in our shame and receive more shame. Sin never stands alone. Sin brings more sin.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:9

Abel knew where his brother was. A dead man does not move. If someone will kill they will lie. If someone will steal they will lie. If someone will commit adultery they will lie. Do not be in a relationship with a liar. If you hear them lie then flee from that relationship. The person who lies can not be trusted and the one who lies will lie to you.

He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. Genesis 4:10

The Lord asked Cain the same question that He asked Adam, “What have you done?”. Cain could not silence the dead nor could he do away with Abel. Whenever a person hates someone then they give the devil power over their lives. Whenever someone kills someone then they can not get away from the victim. They become a tormented person and the person whom they killed now lives within their thoughts. Hatred destroys the person who has it.

By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. Hebrews 11:4

Cain was angry with God for not accepting his sacrifice. All anger is ultimately directed at God but it is taken out on someone else. Anger is not getting your way and what you want. Abel received what he wanted but Cain did not and so Cain killed Abel.

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

Love is of God and the message that has been from the beginning is that we should love one another. The violence that comes from anger is from the devil and when it is carried out then the perpetrator has done the works of the devil. Violence is different from other sins in that some of the other sins are natural desires that are fulfilled in the wrong way. It is wrong to commit adultery but physical intimacy is a natural desire that becomes adultery when it is accomplished between two people not married. The Lord hates violence.

The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates. Psalm 11:5

When the Lord comes into our lives then He sets us free from our own selfish desires which lead to the anger, hatred, jealousy, envy and all the other feelings and attitudes that can control us that leads to death within our souls. He takes out of our lives the things that destroy us and replaces them with what is good. He also will do this with relationships when they are given to the Lord.

We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 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 3:14-16

Jesus Christ took our death, and all that dwells in death and causes death, to the cross that we might be set free. The anger, hatred, jealousy, strife and more are what characterizes the person who is still in death and separated from God. Love is what marks the person who has passed out of death into life. Jesus Christ died and rose again that He might bring us to God. He laid down His life for us.

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

Abel loved God and Cain could not destroy Abel’s love for God nor could he silence Abel. Evil destroys the person who does it but God came to destroy the works of the devil.

The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. I John 3:8

The one who knows God will love others. The one who does not know God, their heart will have hatred. Those who love God will want to do what is right. Those who do not know God can not do what is right, for their hearts are wicked.

By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. I John 3:10

The Lord loves you whether you belong to Him or not. He wants you to come to Him. God loved Cain. Cain did not choose to love God. Love is a choice. God’s wisdom is a mystery. We do not fully understand it but when we do come to Jesus Christ our lives are changed now and forever.

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. I Corinthians 15:51,52

The Lord says that if only those who crucified the Lord Jesus Christ had understood that He loved them then they would not have crucified Him. Jesus Christ loved even His enemies and those who hated Him.

but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written,

“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” I Corinthians 2:7-9

His plan for man from the beginning has always been love. God has always loved man but God has also given man a choice. Man can respond to that love through Jesus Christ or they can reject that love. When they reject that love then their hearts continue to stay darkened and what is wrong starts to seem right and what is right seems wrong to them. Those who crucified Jesus Christ hated Him and believed that they could silence Him. God raised Him from the dead and He still desires that all people come to Him and receive eternal life.

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

There is no sin too great. We all are guilty of crucifying the Lord. It was for all of us and for all of our sin that He went to the cross. It is not too late to come to Him.

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. II Peter 3:9

A Life with Love Does All Things Well

After Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden then they began to do what the Lord had commanded them to do and that was to be fruitful and multiply.

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, Genesis 1:27,28a

First Cain was born Adam and Eve and then Abel was born. Both boys grew up into young men. Knowing that there was a God to be worshiped both of the young men sought to make an offering to the Lord. Cain was a tiller of the ground and Abel was a keeper of flocks.

Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.” Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. Genesis 4:1-2

The Lord God does all things well and He wants to show us who He is and teach us His ways. When Jesus lived among men He did all things well.

They were utterly astonished, saying, “He has done all things well; He makes even the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.” Mark 7:37

After Adam and Eve sinned then they had to learn how to please God. The Lord wants us to seek Him first and to give Him our best. Cain offered a sacrifice to God in the course of time. It was when he was ready to seek the Lord. How easy it is for all of us to seek the Lord on our own terms and say such things as, “Some day I will give my life to the Lord” rather than to come to Him today when we hear Him speaking to our heart.

So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. Genesis 4:3

Abel, on the other hand, came to the Lord with his best. He offered the first and best of His work as an offering to the Lord. The Lord received His offering.

Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; Genesis 4:4

The Lord did not receive Cain’s offering. It was not because He loved Abel more than Cain. The Lord loved both of them. The Bible does not say that God was mad at Cain but only that the Lord did not have regard for Cain’s offering.

but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. Genesis 4:4a

The Lord loved Cain but Cain’s offering was not what God wanted. It is easy to become angry when our work or anything that we do is rejected. Giving into anger can give the devil an opportunity. Anger is an emotion that can easily lead to sin. Anger makes us vulnerable to the devil.

Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. Ephesians 4:26,27

Sometimes we learn more through rejection than we do through success. Our response to life often is more important than what happens to us in life. Our response determines the direction our life will go in. When we feel rejected by someone we were trying to please we can look to the Lord or we can become angry and try to justify ourselves.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? Genesis 4:6

When we become angry with someone then we close off our spirit to that person. Anger is an outward expression of hurt but it can easily lead to sin and bitterness. Sin and bitterness go together. Bitterness takes root in our lives through unresolved hurts and leads to immorality.

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. Hebrews 12:15,16

Immorality is exchanging the eternal for the temporal. The Lord wants to build eternal values into our lives and teach us what will last for eternity. Esau exchanged the blessing of God and what was eternal for what was of momentary value. All of sin is exchanging the eternal for the temporal satisfaction of the flesh.

If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4: 7

Cain had not sinned when he did his offering. All we know was that the Lord did not have regard for his offering. Cain could still “do all things well” and the Lord would have been pleased with Cain. The Lord was instructing Cain in how to love God. The Lord loved Cain and wanted Cain to listen to Him so that Cain would know Him and please Him.

But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. James 1:19b,20

God is love and He is righteous and does all things well. The Lord says that if we will be quick to hear and be a doer of what He says then we also will be like Him and do all things well. His Word is the Law of liberty and they will set us free from the anger and bitterness that can so easily get a hold in our lives.

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

When we feel rejected and respond rightly rather than in anger then it produces in us a humility. Humility is necessary to receive God’s instruction. It is our pride that allows anger to take hold of our emotions but if we will in humility receive His Words planted in our hearts then they will take root and bear the good fruit of becoming a doer of God’s Word. The Lord wants to bless us and gives us a promise that if we will do this then He will bless us in what we do. God will bless you in your relationship with Him. God will bless you in your job and in your marriage. He will bless you in all that you do.

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
Blessed are You, O Lord;
Teach me Your statutes. Psalm 119:9-12

A Life with Love Forgives

One of the greatest expressions of love is to forgive. Forgiveness, how sweet it is for the recipient when it is given and is the greatest gift that anyone can give to another. There is no greater expression of love in a relationship than forgiveness. We all need forgiveness. All of us have done wrong and brought grief to others. There is no limit to our need for forgiveness.

Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21,22

Jesus came to bring us forgiveness. We can not give to others what we have not received. When we receive Jesus Christ and His gift of salvation then we receive forgiveness of all of our sins.

To give to His people the knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins, Luke 1:77

Jesus Christ went to the cross to forgive us of all of our sins. When we receive Jesus Christ we are forgiven of past, present and future sins. Forgiveness is a gift that God gives to us through Jesus Christ.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace Ephesians 1:7

For there to be love in a relationship then there must be forgiveness. To love someone is to forgive and to forgive is to love. Where there is forgiveness then there is love.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:22

Forgiveness is not easy but it is necessary. Forgiveness is not a feeling but a decision of the will. Forgiveness is not our will but God’s will. Even Jesus had to pray to do the Father’s will and asked the Father for His will to be done.

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39

When a person is forgiven their life is changed. When they realize the magnitude of their wrongdoings and they have been forgiven and the guilt has been taken away then their response is a response of love and gratitude. He who is forgiven little loves little but he who is forgiven much loves much.

For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7:47

There is not anything else that goes deeper into our souls than forgiveness. We all need forgiveness. When you give to someone the gift of forgiveness then you are loving them as Jesus Christ has loved you. Forgiveness is expressed in the promise “never to bring it up again”.

“For I will be merciful to their iniquities,
And I will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:12

If God so loved us that He became the sacrifice for our sins so that we could be forgiven then we ought to love one another.

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. I John 4:10,11

Forgiveness is showing mercy to someone in need. The one who shows mercy does himself good. It is cruel not to forgive and show mercy to the one who needs it. God has shown all of us His mercy through Jesus Christ. The person who has been given mercy but withholds mercy does himself harm.

The merciful man does himself good,
But the cruel man does himself harm. Proverbs 11:17

Forgiveness is not only a gift that you give to someone else but it is a gift that you give to yourself. A person reaps what they sow. When you forgive others then your sins will be forgiven you.

For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. Matthew 6:14,15

The greatest marriages and families are made up of those who have learned to forgive. Forgiveness is the medicine that brings healing to our souls. Forgiveness in our relationships is a light that teaches others how to love. Forgiveness is the salt that melts the ice of hatred. Love is the most influential power and its greatest expression is forgiveness.

A Life with Love is Pure

Love is pure otherwise it is not really love. Since only God can purify our hearts we can only love with a pure heart if our heart is right with God. Our hearts are basically selfish and we want our own way. Selfishness and love can not dwell in a person at the same time.

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. James 3:14-16

If you are still single then one of the kinds of people that you want to avoid are selfish people. They care about no one but themselves and your life will be difficult and miserable if you marry a selfish person.

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self…Avoid such men as these. II Timothy 3:1,2a and 5b

If a person gives their life to Jesus Christ then the Lord comes and lives within them and loves through them. The love of Christ is pure and unselfish.

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, Philippians 2:3-5

When someone becomes a Christian they become a new creation in Christ and the Lord gives them a new self. They are a new person and not who they were before.

But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Ephesians 4:20-24

When we become a Christian then we lay aside the old self with it’s selfish practices and put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him. God begins the process of restoring His image in us as He designed from the beginning. God’s image is one of a pure love.

Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— Colossians 3:9,10

God’s love is a love that man can not know or experience apart from God. His love is a love that changes the person with whom it resides and a love that changes the people who see it and receives it through the person whom it resides in. God’s kind of love is a love that has no selfish ambition or personal agenda but regards the other person as more important and seeks the welfare of the one being loved.

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

There is nothing sweeter in all of human relationships than to love and be loved with God’s love through another person. God’s love is patient and kind. It does not seek its own and it is not jealous when the other person succeeds or receives honor. God’s love is not easily provoked and is patient. God’s love bears all things, believes the best in the one loved and endures hardships and hopes for the best for the other person when all hope seems gone. This is the kind of love that God has for you. It is a love that never dies and He longs for you to know this love. This love can only be found in Jesus Christ for He alone is pure and His love is perfect. God can and does give this kind of love to His people for them to love others.

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

You will be blessed as you learn to long for the Lord. He longs to love you and show you His grace. He is waiting for all to come to Him. He came to us and waits for us to respond to Him. When you become weary then remember that there is One who will allow you to rest in His love and know His deep and abiding love that will never leave you.

“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

The Lord will hold you in His arms and keep you safe and secure. His love is eternal and He never changes.

The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms; Deuteronomy 33:27a

A Life of Grace

Grace does not excuse you from your sin or give you the freedom to do what you want. Grace is what the Lord gives to the humble that allows that person to do what is right. In the Bible grace was a blessing that came before or after the commands of what the Lord wants His people to do or be.

James 4:4-6 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Grace is not something that we give ourselves when we mess up and sin. God gives grace to the humble and His grace is what enables us to not be crushed by our guilt but to be able to get back up and do what He has called us to do. God gives grace to the humble. Humility is confessing your sin to the Lord and your need for Him. Grace allows us to be faithful to the Lord so that we will not be called an adulteress by our flirting with and friendship with the world. He gives a greater grace than what the world has to offer. Grace is what sets you free from your bondage to sin.

Ezra 9:8 But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage.

You were in bondage to sin before you became a Christian. He saved you from your sin and sins and the consequences of them. Your sin is your desire to be your own god and the sins are all of the snares that you became caught in by trying to be your own god.

Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Again, our redemption is through His blood and forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of His grace towards us. God is gracious towards us because of what Christ did on the cross. He took our sin.

Ephesians 1:7,8a In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.

Grace increases when we sin. This means that there is nothing that is beyond His grace to allow you to come back to Him. His grace is what allows us to come back when we have fallen so that we can be restored in our fellowship with Him.

Romans 5:20,21 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Grace reigns through righteousness to eternal life. Eternal life is knowing the Lord. If you are growing in grace then you will be growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

John 17:3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Grace is with those who love the Lord Jesus Christ with a pure love. A love that obeys Him and keeps His commandments.

Ephesians 6:24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.

Are you growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord? Is your love for Him incorruptible and pure? Or are you still struggling with friendship with the world? He loves you and jealousy desires the Spirit that He has made to dwell in you. Ask the Lord to help you be faithful to Him. Put yourself around Christians who love Him rather than the world. The Lord will help you and give you more grace to be faithful to Him if you will humble yourself before Him.

 

A Life with Love Guards the Heart

Since love flows out of our hearts and is expressed through our actions towards another then the one who loves understands the great importance of guarding the heart. Same thing as “garbage in garbage out” except it is “love in love out”. What comes in is what will go out.

Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

Since God is the source of love and His love is pure then our greatest need in life is to know Him and to experience His love moment by moment. If we will do this then out of our heart and life will flow the love of God.

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

However, our hearts are deceitful and we will even deceive ourselves. When one is deceived they do not realize that they are deceived. That is the meaning of deception. Satan is a liar and seeks to deceive us through our hearts by making temptations seem so appealing just as he did with Eve.

The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

However, it is not until we have given into the temptation and fallen into the devil’s snares of death that we realize we have been trapped. Once we are trapped in the snares of death then we go into a downward spiral.

But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. James 1:14-16

A Christian has been made spiritually alive but his soul can still experience death through sinning. The death that he experiences is not any different from the death that the nonChristian experiences. The nonChristian lives in a perpetual state of death but the Christian can still experience death to the soul and that is through the guilt, regret, depression, etc.

For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality. Colossians 3:25

It is not until we come to the Lord will we be cleansed of our sins. The nonChristian needs a total cleansing. When we come to Him for salvation then He cleanses our conscience through His Holy Spirit and His Word and purifies our hearts so that we can see Him again and experience His great love.

Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I Peter 3:21

The Christian needs their conscience to be cleansed through confessing their sins for when they sin while they are the world.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9

IF we do not guard our hearts and keep a clear conscience then our view of God become distorted and we want to ultimately blame God for what is happening in our lives. We do not doubt His power but we doubt His love.

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

The Bible says that the way of the guilty is crooked.

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

When we do not have a clear conscience and there is guilt in our heart then we start to see God as twisted and our actions will also become twisted towards those whom we should love. The one whom we should be loving starts not to understand our actions and their responses become different and then begins the downward spiral in the relationship.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8

A double minded person does not have a pure heart. A double minded person is one who says to himself, “Should I do this or should I do that?” They go back and forth on what they should do. The double minded person will not receive help from the Lord until they confess their sin to the Lord and surrender their heart to Him and He cleanses it.

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

The Lord wants us to pursue love with all people. However, we need to have a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere heart. These are characteristics of the heart and must characterize our lives in all of our relationships. When we have these qualities then God’s love will fill our lives and hearts and will flow through us to others.

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19

We will see the Lord and will want to be like Him. We will be secure in our relationship with Him and will not be fearful of what other think of us. We will be able to consider others more important than ourselves. We will not feel the need to control others because we will be filled with the Lord and His love for others. It will be Jesus Christ who controls us.

For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. II Corinthians 5:14,15

The outcome will be far greater than what anyone can imagine. The Lord can do far more than what we can ask or think when we guard our hearts, live by faith, keep His Word and allow Him to live through us according to His power which works in us.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20,21

A Life with Love Has an Order

Where there is love there will also be order, harmony and peace. The opposite of order and peace is disorder or chaos. When the Lord designed marriages and families He had an order for everything so that the family would work in an orderly manner and so that there would be harmony and peace. It is important to understand God’s order for the family so that when it does get out of order everyone knows what and where they need to be to reestablish the peace and harmony. There is security in order. Those under authority and leadership need to feel loved and secure.

But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.

I Corinthians 14:40

God’s blueprint is for the husband to be the head of the family and Jesus Christ is the head of the husband. The wife is under the husband’s authority and the children are under both the mother and the father. This structure is not about worth but about order of authority and responsibility. The greater the authority then the greater the responsibility.

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. Ephesians 5:22-24

The church is the bride of Christ. The husband is to be the head of his bride as Christ is the head of the church. As the church is to trust and be subject to Christ, so also, the wife is to trust her husband and be subject to her husband. She is to do this as unto the Lord. The visual expression of her relationship with the Lord and her submission to the Lord is seen in her submission to her husband. She learns to trust her husband and submit to her husband through trusting the Lord and submitting to the Lord. Ultimately, it is the Lord she is trusting and submitting to.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, Ephesians 5:25

The Lord has given the man the headship of the family but he also has the greater responsibility. He is to lead the way in love and through love and to be an expression of the sacrificial love of Christ.

You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. I Peter 3:7

Not only is the husband to love his wife with the same sacrificial love which God loves him but he is to live with her in an understanding manner. So much so is he to do this that if he does not then his prayers will be hindered.

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

If a husband is not doing as the Lord instructed him then the wife is to continue to respect his position and not say a word to him. She is not to be his conscience. A man fights with his conscience and if she wants fighting in the home then this is the easiest way to get it. If she wants her husband to become like Christ and love her with a Christlike love then she needs to do as the Lord has instructed her and not say anything to him. She is not responsible for her husband but she is responsible for her behavior. She is to be chaste and respectful.

Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear. I Peter 3:3-6

A wife’s husband is her lord. This word “lord” is the same Greek word as the word “Lord” in Lord Jesus Christ. If Jesus is her Lord then her husband is to be her lord. This means that he is in authority over her and she is to submit to him and obey him. Sarah obeyed Abraham and considered him her lord. She did what he told her to do without allowing fear to control her.

Now there was a famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. It came about when he came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you.” It came about when Abram came into Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. Pharaoh’s officials saw her and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. Therefore he treated Abram well for her sake; and gave him sheep and oxen and donkeys and male and female servants and female donkeys and camels. Genesis 12:10-16

Abraham was not doing what was right when he asked Sarah to say that she was his sister. However, Sarah was trusting in the Lord and the Lord did not allow any harm to come to Sarah. A wife’s trust is to be ultimately in the Lord. That is the only way that she can have that quiet and gentle spirit which is precious to the Lord.

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

Children are to learn to obey their parents and honor their mother and father. Children learn how to do this through their parents. When a child sees their mother honoring their father then they learn to honor him also. In the same way, when a husband honors his wife then the children will also. A son’s glory is his father so if his mother is disrespectful of her husband then she is destroying her children’s glory. A child gets their self worth from their glory so she is also destroying their self worth. A person with a poor self worth will make poor choices in life so a mother who does not honor and respect her husband is bringing about her own children’s failures in life.

And the glory of sons is their fathers. Proverbs 17:6a

When a child gets his own way then he brings shame to his mother. A mother must teach her children to do what is right and not what they want to do.

The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother. Proverbs 29:15

Children need to be disciplined and they also need reproof, which is instruction on how to do what is right. A godly husband and father leads his family in the ways of the Lord and a godly mother teaches her children the ways of the Lord. As a result of God’s design for the family there will be respect, love, peace and harmony. They will also all dwell securely and joy and gladness will fill the home as a fragrant aroma.

“You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness above Your companions.” Hebrews 1:9

A Life with Love Has a Destiny

People want love and most people know that they need love. If someone says that they don’t need love it is because they have been hurt and hurt brings fears of being hurt again. God did not make a person’s heart to be hurt or for anyone to be rejected. God made all of mankind to be loved and God has loved man from the beginning. God’s destiny all along has been for man to be in a love relationship with God and to be in a love relationship with others.

In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, Ephesians 1:4b,5

God’s destiny before He made man was for man to be in a love relationship with God. God made man for relationships, first with God and then with others. It was God’s destiny for every person that came from Adam to experience and know His love and to be able to express that love to others. When Adam and Eve sinned, God was grieved because the relationship was no longer the same. Man could not enjoy God because of His guilt. Adam and Eve’s guilt separated them from God. In a similar way, if you sin against someone else, then it is your guilt that keeps you from enjoying that other person. That person still may love you but the relationship is no longer the same until you confess your sin and receive forgiveness and are restored. Since Adam and Eve sinned every single person that was related to them received the same tendency to sin and receive guilt. The Lord needed to do something to remove the guilt so that man could be in relationship with God and enjoy the fellowship that was lost in the garden of Eden.

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

All of us have sinned and experience guilt from our own sin. Our sin and our guilt keep us from experiencing God’s love.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23

God loves you. He did not come to judge us but came that we might be saved through Jesus Christ. When He comes again it will be to judge all who did not believe in Jesus and turn to Him.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16,17

God’s wrath is poured out on the sinful actions that we do. When Christ comes again those who do not know Jesus Christ will be judged and will experience the wrath of God. Those who have believed in Christ will not be judged because Jesus Christ took their judgment and gave them eternal life.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men Romans 1:18a

When man sins and does ungodliness and unrighteousness then man experiences God’s wrath through the consequences of the sinful actions which he chose to do. One aspect of the wrath of God that man experiences here on earth when he sins is the brokenness in the soul that feels the guilt, regret, fears and all the other consequences that we hate when we do wrong. It is this brokenness within us that causes us to realize our need for God and it is God’s love that draws us to Him. If we did not experience the consequences of sin then we could continue in our sin and never turn to the Lord. So, it is even in God’s wrath that we experience His kindness and mercy that leads us to Him.

Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, Romans 2:4,5

When someone continues to sin and does not repent and turn to God then that person stores up more wrath for themselves. Jesus Christ came to love man and to save man from experiencing God’s wrath, which all who are stubborn in their heart and do not believe in Jesus will one day receive. God did not destine man for wrath but for love. It is here on earth that we experience a taste of wrath and a taste of love but we must choose which one we want for all eternity. Without Christ we will experience God’s wrath forever but if we believe and trust in Christ then we will experience God’s love forever.

For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, I Thessalonians 5:9

He knows the separation and loneliness that sin brings. He understands the destruction and death that sin brings to a person and the brokenness in their souls and their relationships because of sin. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, so that we might be saved from the power, penalty and presence of sin and death. Your destiny is to be in a love relationship with God and to be His child and live forever in His love.

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. II Peter 3:9

A Life with Love as a Gift

Love is not a right nor is love something that we can earn. Love is a gift that God has given to us that we do not deserve.

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

God did not have to give. He gave because He loved. No one ever has to give or receive love. Love is a choice and that choice is to give love or to receive love. If it was not a choice then it would not be love. Love must be given and received to be experienced.

He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:11-13

Jesus first came to His own people, the Jews, but they did not receive Him and experience His love. He also came to the world that any who wanted to receive God could and whoever received Jesus Christ would become His child. Jesus was the lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world so that whoever would believe in Him would have eternal life and not perish.

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

Those who receive God’s love through Jesus Christ become born again into God’s family and become recipients of the greatest love there ever was or will ever be.

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ John 3:5-7

When we receive God’s love then we are born into His family and become His child. We become spiritually alive. It is in our spirit that we have the assurance that we have become His child and that we know His love.

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, Romans 8:16

When we become His child then He is the One who gives us that assurance. When someone belongs to Him then God’s Spirit confirms it through the spirit of the person that has been made alive. God restores the life to the spirit that died when Adam sinned. It is through the spirit of man that God communicates with man. When someone is spiritually dead then they can not hear God. When one becomes spiritually alive then they can hear the Lord because the relationship is restored.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. John 8:27,28

Jesus Christ reversed the curse of death that took place when Adam and Eve sinned and brought us life in Him.

And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. I John 5:11,12

When we receive the gift of God’s love in Jesus Christ then we receive life, we are restored to our relationship with God and can fellowship with God through prayer and His Word and we become His child. There is no greater gift or greater love!

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 3:1

Those who have received the gift of God’s love that He gave through Jesus Christ will want to spend their lives thanking Him for the incredible gift of His love.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! II Corinthians 9:15

A Life with Love is Faithful

Love is not a feeling, although there certainly are feelings that come and go in love, but love is not based on feelings. Love is a faithful commitment to the one loved. God is faithful and it is from Him that we learn faithfulness. Faithfulness is based on trust and love grows with faithfulness. Faithfulness means to be full of faith and when we are full of faith in the Lord then we will be faithful to do what he has called us to do in our commitments in loving others.

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

All of us have different work that we need to accomplish and be faithful to fulfill. When we do the work that God has given us to do then He is glorified. The Lord gives different instructions for each person in different relationships. A friend is to love at all times. A person that has a close friend through life is rich indeed.

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

The instructions to the husband and the wife is that they are to love and respect one another. This is the main work that God has called the husband and wife to do. When they do this then God is glorified in their marriage and they are blessed.

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

When your spouse is your best friend, favorite companion, lover, soulmate, teammate, and biggest fan then you are really blessed. Even more, when you are these to your spouse then you are still more blessed for the Lord Himself said that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35b

However, just as love is not stagnant but needs to grow and mature, we need to learn how to be the husband or wife that the Lord has designed for us. It is a work of faith that we learn as we mature in our relationships and as a person. It is in the early years of marriage that a couple learns to express their faithfulness to one another in learning to love each other and their faithfulness to God by doing the work in marriage of loving and respecting that God has called them to do.

and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, I Thessalonians 3:12a

A strong and loving marriage in the later years will be determined by the early years of marriage when the couple faithfully learns to love each other and meet one another’s needs. These years are sometimes more challenging with the demands that are there with jobs, children and often when money is short but it is during these years as the couple learns to work together and love each other that they become one in spirit, soul and body. Their hearts become knit together in love and the many joys, sorrows and struggles that they share will make their marriage a strong one that will last a lifetime…”until death do they part”.