A Life with Love Follows

Love leads but love must first learn to follow so that in the right time, love can lead right and lead with love. If love never follows then love will never understand the needs of followers when the time comes to lead. If love does not follow what and who is right, then love will not know what is the right and good thing to do.

A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher. Luke 6:40

Who a person follows is the most important decision in life that they will ever make. We only can do what we have seen and what we have been taught. We learn by following. Who you follow and who teaches you is who you will become like. When we come into the world we are like wet cement and we are all shaped by what we hear, what we are taught and what we see. Each person should ask themselves, “who do I want to become in life?” and “what kind of person do I want to become?” Who teaches you and who you follow is who you will become like.

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

Your heart is your soul and your soul is the core of who you are and what kind of person you are. From your heart will come all that you do. Everything that a person will ever do will come from who they are in their heart. It is in the heart that love resides, but also, it is in the heart that hate lives, along with anger, bitterness, jealousy and every other evil. All of our actions spring from our heart. If our heart is filled with what is good then we will do good. If our heart is filled with evil then we will do evil and bring grief to others.

The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; Luke 6:45a

It is what goes into your heart that shapes your heart. If you hear words of hatred and bitterness then you too, will become hateful and bitter. If you hear words of love and kindness then that is also what you will become, for what you hear is what will shape your heart. What shapes your heart is what and who you become.

And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19

The invitation that Jesus gave to men and women, more than any other invitation, was simply to follow Him. He said over and over again, “Follow Me”. If men and women followed Jesus then they would hear His teaching and they would become like Him. He is the only One is who is perfectly good and He always did what was right. If one follows Him then that one will learn to do what is good and right. The one who follows Jesus and does what He says will become like Jesus. He will learn to love with a Godlike love. He will be a good husband, father, friend, business man or whatever he becomes or she will become a good wife, mother, friend, neighbor or whatever else she becomes. The one who marries a follower of Jesus will be blessed for they will have as a companion and lover one who will do them good. The Lord is good and no evil dwells with Him.

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12

The one who follows Jesus will not live in darkness and stumble over what they do not see. The follower of Jesus will have light and will be able to see where they are going. They will not have to just “hope” they are making the right decisions in life. The follower of Jesus will have the light of life.

When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. John 10:4

Those who follow Jesus will have a Leader who goes before them. Jesus will never lead where He has not already been.

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

How do we know who the true followers of Jesus are? They will hear His voice through His Word and they will follow Him and do as He did. They will love others and do what is right.

Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” John 21:22

The commands and instructions of Jesus have not changed. He is still calling men and women to follow Him. If we will follow Him then He will lead us and teach us. He will teach us how to love and how to lead others. Whoever follows Jesus will live in His love. He will keep them and He will be faithful to them. Following Jesus is a life of great reward. He takes away the hatred, bitterness and jealousy and fills the heart with love, gratefulness, joy and peace. It is a life with no regrets. Following Jesus is a life of faith and seeing His faithfulness. Following Jesus is the greatest privilege and those who have followed Him realize that it is only in Christ do we experience love and life.

Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. Matthew 4:18-22

What does it mean to follow Jesus? Following Jesus begins with reading His Words in the Bible to find out who the Lord is. Following Jesus is having a relationship with Him through receiving Him into your life. To follow Jesus is to do what He says through reading His Word and through prayer. Sometimes it means we need to leave what we were following so that we can follow Him. Following Him is immediate and if He is calling you today to follow Him then today is the day that you are to follow Him. If you give your life to follow Him then He will lead you and be your guide through this life and into eternal life. Following Jesus means that you will only taste of death but never die. You will pass out of death into life, not just in this present life, but also for the life to come. Following Jesus is forever.

A Life with Love Remembers

Love does not forget for love remembers. The greatest thing that we can do for others is to love them. The greatest act that God did for us was to love us by remembering. When we love others then we will remember what we are supposed to do, or, in other words, we will remember our responsibilities and we will remember our promises. Our responsibilities are the faithful actions connected to our roles in life. If a man is a father then he has a responsibility toward his child to be a father. He is not simply to be but he is to do. Love fulfills its responsibilities.

I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves. Ecclesiastes 3:10

The responsibilities that the Lord gives to each one is for their good. Responsibility matures a person and cultivates faithfulness. A measure of maturity in a person is when he or she learns to enjoy work. Work keeps a young person out of trouble and teaches productivity, which brings a feeling of accomplishment. A young person will also gain knowledge and skill through working. If the younger worker is wise then they will learn diligence so that they can choose what they want to do later in life. It is the slack person who has to take whatever job they can get. Everyone has to work when they are an adult but those who learned to work early in life usually get to choose what they want to do for the rest of their lives. The diligent person will rule over the lazy person and diligence is developed early in life.

You alone are the Lord. You have made the heavens, The heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on it, The seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them And the heavenly host bows down before You. Nehemiah 9:6

The Lord God is the Creator of everything and He fulfilled His responsibility to create the heavens and the earth and all that is in them.

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.” Genesis 3:15

However, even though the Lord God made Adam and Eve and fulfilled His responsibility towards them as their Creator, He loved them and gave them a promise after they had sinned. He promised that although Satan would bruise man on the heel, that a seed which would come through Eve would bruise Satan on the head. Satan would be defeated by the seed of the woman and that seed was the first promise of a Savior, which was fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ.

And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, Acts 13:32

God remembers His responsibilities and His promises for He is love and loves people. His promise of a Savior is for all people. He loves all people. There is no distinction with the Lord as to poor or rich, color of skin, status into which we were born, country we live in, or any other factor. God looks on the heart and he does not show partiality.

For there is no partiality with God. Romans 2:11

Our promises are simply our words that we have said in any expression of what we will do in the future. Promises go beyond responsibilities. We don’t have to make a promise to do something but if we do make a promise then it becomes our responsibility to fulfill that promise we made. Promises are our words of what we will do. If a father tells his son that he will take him fishing, then that promise becomes a responsibility of the father. It would be better for the father to not make a promise than to make a promise and not fulfill it.

It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Ecclesiastes 5:5

In the same way, it is easy for all of us to “make a promise” by saying to someone we love, “I am going to take you…” or “I am going to buy you or get you a…”. Often we make promises to make ourselves feel better for the moment because we want to make the one whom we have a responsibility to love feel better. Sometimes we know, even in that moment, that the promise will never be fulfilled. That word to the one “we love” becomes a hope and when that hope is not fulfilled then the heart is broken.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

Trust and love can not be separated. When promises are not fulfilled then we learn to not trust someone and we start to lose respect for that person who does not remember their word that they gave to us. When we don’t trust someone then it makes it harder to love and respect that person. Love remembers and love does.

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 made a promise to Adam and Eve at the beginning of creation. He fulfilled that promise through Jesus Christ. The promise is for all, but only those who believe will receive the promise of eternal life. Salvation through Christ is a promise fulfilled and is an expression of love. It was not God’s responsibility to make the promise. The promise was a gift and God fulfilled His responsibility to make good on His Word. We can trust Him and love Him because He has proven Himself to be trustworthy.

in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago, Titus 1:2

A trustworthy person is rare. When you find a friend who is trustworthy then you are blessed. When you are a trustworthy person then all who are in your life will be blessed.

Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy man? Proverbs 20:6

Many a child has strayed away because of unfulfilled promises. Many a wife has finally given up because of unfulfilled promises. However, it is never too late to ask forgiveness and seek to fulfill your words. The Lord will help you. First, ask Him if there is anyone with whom you have any unfulfilled promises. Unfulfilled promises are hurtful ways.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way. Psalm 139:23,24

God’s way is the way of love and it is called the everlasting way. His ways are good and it is His way for you to fulfill your promises. When we turn to Him for help then He will hear our cry for help. He will teach you His ways.

And He teaches the humble His way. Psalm 25:9b

He meets the one who wants to make things right with others. He will show you His way and walk with you as you seek to do what is right.

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

We have to learn His ways. We all fall short of doing the right thing but He is a gracious and loving God and when we come to Him in humility and contriteness then He forgives us and He restore us.

A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:17b

Not only does He restore us but He gives us a willingness to do His will and walk in His ways.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:12

As we learn to remember the Lord and follow Him then we will learn His ways. His ways are faithful and true and that is who He wants us to be towards our loved ones. God remembered us when He fulfilled His promise. Love remembers. Love remembers responsibilities and love remembers promised words that have been spoken.

A Life with Love Seeks Forgiveness

God made man in His likeness and man chose to go his own way. When man went his own way then he became corrupt in his heart and soul. Rather than know love he began to know hate.

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

Killing comes from hate. When we hate someone then we want to do away with them. We no longer want them around. Love is from God but hate is from the devil.

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 3:12

After Cain killed Abel then he went out from the presence of the Lord. He married and had children. His children had children and one of his descendants was named Lamech. Lamech loved himself and took two wives, which was never God’s design. Lamech also killed a man for wounding him and a boy for striking him. He wanted even greater vengeance if anyone were to hurt him.

Lamech said to his wives,“Adah and Zillah,
Listen to my voice,
You wives of Lamech,
Give heed to my speech,
For I have killed a man for wounding me;
And a boy for striking me;
If Cain is avenged sevenfold,
Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.” Genesis 4:23,24

Lamech wanted even greater vengeance than what God had given to Cain as a protection. He wanted vengeance seventy times seven.

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

We are so unlike the Lord. We think that if we have forgiven someone seven times then we are doing well. The Lord says to forgive seventy times seven! How many times does He forgive us? Not only does He forgive us but He separates our wrongs that we have done as far as the east is from the west.

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12

Not only are we to forgive but the only time in the Bible where the Lord uses the word “never” in a command form is when He says to never take revenge, which means to pay back wrong for the wrong done to us. This is very difficult to do, especially in the hustle and bustle of life. Someone is a little rude to us in a check out line or in someplace like an airport, how easy it is to have an “edge” and be a little rude or cold to them. Life does not always go our way and the person who can overlook and forgive is truly the light and salt of the world. That person will be respected as a person of high character and that person will also find honor, favor and love.

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:19-21

The Lord tells us never to take vengeance but He says that vengeance belongs to Him. There has been much killing and violence done in the world because of man taking vengeance. Often a person will take revenge, not for himself, but, for someone else. He will take up an offense and take it upon himself to hurt another. However, no one ever knows the true story of an “issue” between two people. We do not know. For one of us to take up an offense and become a “judge and jury” is very wrong and the Lord says that it is evil. The Lord gives grace to the one who is hurt by another. God’s grace brings comfort and healing and allows the offended one to bear up under the affliction.

but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, Romans 5:20b

The bystander does not receive the same grace as the one suffering. The friend or relative receives grace to bring comfort, encouragement and consolation. In doing so, he will pour water on a fire that can easily burn many and destroy much good. The one who takes revenge is pouring gas on a fire already burning and brings much destruction. That person who takes revenge is doing the work of the devil.

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. Romans 16:20

The Lord is a God of peace. The Lord wants all of mankind to be at peace with Him and to be at peace with each other. He came to bring us peace. He gives grace and He offers us the gift of forgiveness. God is also a God of righteousness. His ways are right and just. When we walk in His ways then we will find and keep love in our relationships. How powerful it is when a married couple learns to forgive each other and to give much grace to one another. The outcome of doing what is right in relationships and life is peace, quietness and confidence.

And the work of righteousness will be peace, And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32;17

The person who longs to do what is right will be satisfied and happy. The one who does right in life will have God’s favor and blessing.

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

When a person loves and forgives others and they do what is right in God’s eyes then they will have peace with God, they will have peace within themselves and they will have peace with others.

When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7

It is hard to continue to do evil to someone who loves you. It is hard to even speak evil of one who experiences good because of you. The Lord says that the way that we can overcome evil is if we will do good.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

However, only God is good and the only way that we can do good continually and genuinely is if we have God living within us. He will come into one who comes to Him in faith and asks Him to be their Lord and Savior.

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; Isaiah 61:1

He is truly good and one of the first things that He does is set you free from the bitterness and hate within that has come into your heart through the pain caused by another. He forgives you and He gives you the power to forgive another. He truly sets the captive free, for we are held captive by the thoughts and desires of our own heart with its pains and struggles.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:8

Has your heart been broken? There is hardly a soul in the world who has not had their heart broken at some time or other. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted. He binds up their wounds and He brings healing. If you have “tried” love and it has not worked then come to the Lord and try His ways. His ways are good and they are perfect and they bring comfort and healing to the heart and soul. Let Him have His way in your life. You will not be disappointed.

To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed. Psalm 22:5

Again, He says, that the one who will trust in Him will not be disappointed and His words are true.

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

A Life with a Love that is Pure

Love is an intangible that can not be touched and yet it can be felt. Love is the deepest longing of our heart. We long to be loved and we longed to be loved with a pure love that refreshes the heart and fills us up. When we are loved with a pure love then we are energized. We can endure much, overcome obstacles, climb mountains and we can conquer problems with much greater ease. Love is the oil that keeps life going smoothly. Without love, life can become a grind.

And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. I John 3:3

God is the only One who is pure and His love is the only love that is pure. His love is not a “I will love you if you do this or that” or “If you loved me then you would do this or that”. His love is a “I love you in spite of this or that” and “I loved you even when you did not love me”. God loved us when we were His enemies. God loved us when we were guilty and had no love for Him. God loved us and made it possible for us to know His love. God so loved all of us that He gave what was most precious to Him in order that we might receive what is most precious to Him. He gave His only Son.

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

Our love for others is selfish because all of us are basically selfish. We love because of “what is in it for me”. Even though we love this way, we want others to love us with an unselfish love. Our love is a “because of what you have to offer me” and God’s love is a “because of what I have offered you”.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

God’s love is pure because it is freely given as a gift. We can not work for it and there is not anything that we can do to get Him to love us more. His love is unconditional and never changes. His love is not selfish and His love only wants what is good for us. God’s love does not seek anything from us. The Lord offers His love to everyone regardless of any qualifications and there is not anything that negates His offer of love. He loves us whether we have done good or evil.

But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:44-48

God’s love is perfect and it is pure. The Lord does good even to His enemies. For this reason He calls those who believe in Him to love their enemies. The Lord goes before believers in everything and He does not ask His children to do anything that He Himself is not doing. The Lord wants His children to love with a pure and perfect love, for that is how He loves us.

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. I John 3:2,3

True believers, real Christians, fix their hope on Jesus Christ and the transforming work that He is doing to make them like Himself and to love with His kind of love. Our hope in Him purifies believers.

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5

It is through our struggles that the Lord develops perseverance and perseverance brings about proven character and it is when we see the Lord change believers that we know that He will continue until His children share in His likeness. Those who hope in Jesus Christ will not be disappointed.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

What does pure love look like? It describes Jesus Christ, for He is pure love. Jesus Christ is patient and He is kind. Pure love does not seek its own but pure seeks the best interest of the one loved. Jesus Christ is not provoked and does not take into account a wrong suffered. He does not reward us according to the bad that we have done. Jesus Christ rejoices with the truth and also rejoices when we do what is right. He bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. He never stops loving for He is love.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 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. I John 4:7-9

Love is from God and God is love. Those who know God will love others because when we know Him then we know His love. When someone comes into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ then that person experiences God’s love and God’s love fills their heart. A Christian learns to love others by being filled with God and living through Him. The Lord purifies the believer’s heart and gives the believer a sincere and pure love for others. What does this love look like? It looks like Christ, because it is God’s love for others through the believer.

Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, I Peter 1:22

The man that learns to love his wife with the love of Christ will forever be blessed. The Lord made wives to be responders and that wife will respond to the love of Christ in her husband and love him back with the same kind of love. The mother who learns to love her children with the love of Christ will forever be blessed. Children learn what they see and experience. Those children of parents who love with the love of Christ will love others with the love of Christ. What does this kind of love look like in young people who have not yet married. When a young man loves a young woman then he will treat her in such a way that if she ends up marrying his best friend then there will be no awkwardness when he is around them. The same can be said for a young woman treating a young man with the love of Christ. Each will build up one another so as to prepare them for their future mates. If they are the ones for each other then each one will be blessed. Love is pure and does not seeks its own. It wants the best for the other and gives more than it receives. The young man or woman who has this as their rule for relationships will never lack companionship and will be blessed.

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

A Life with Love Has an Absolute

There is only one absolute in life and in the world. The word absolute means: perfect, pure and outright or unmitigated. It is because of this one absolute that we have security, knowledge, love, hope, wisdom, understanding and every other good gift in life. This absolute is also the anchor to our soul. When we lose sight of this absolute then we struggle with anxiety, panic, doubt, control issues and every other thing that brings chaos to our lives and world.

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast Hebrews 6:19a

God is the only absolute in life and in all the world. Life will change and the world will change but God will never change.

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

Jesus Christ is God, the very Son of God, and it is through Him that we know God. No person has ever seen God, but Jesus Christ is the exact representation of God, the Father, and the one who knows Jesus Christ will know God.

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Hebrews 1:1-3

Jesus Christ is the greatest expression of love because He, being God, Himself, came down to earth in the form of a man, lived a pure and perfect life, died for mankind, was buried and rose again from the dead and ascended back into heaven.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:3-8

Love is an absolute because love is an attribute of God. God is love and He expressed His love fully through Jesus Christ. Since God never changes then He is, has been and always will be love. When we have God then we will forever have love and it is a love that will never change. He won’t love us one day and then not love us the next day. His love is not fickle nor is it dependent on me. God loves because He is love. We can only know personally and experientially the love of God through Jesus Christ. Otherwise, apart from Jesus Christ, we are limited in only knowing about the love of God. We will see God’s love in nature and in the universe but not know God’s love intimately until we know Jesus Christ.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. John 14:6-11

We come into the world believing in God. God made us to be in relationship with Him. God is good, He is kind and He is loving. We have to turn our back on God to not believe in Him. The most that man can say is, “I don’t know if there is a God.” When we turn our back on God then we no longer see Him and believe in Him. Doubts come about God. When doubts come about God then doubts come about everything else in life. God is the only absolute and He and His love is perfect, pure and never changing. The Lord made us to live in response to Him. We know Him through His Word, which is who He is. When we respond to Him through His Word then our love for others will be perfect, pure and never changing. This is the only way that we can love others the way that God loves us.

but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. I John 2:5

The one who loves is the one who knows God through Jesus Christ. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

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

The only way we can truly know love and love others is when we experience God’s love for us. Just knowing about God’s love is not enough. We must know intimately God’s love and we can know His love through His Son, Jesus Christ.

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. I John 4:9

When we come to know God’s love through Jesus Christ then God comes and lives within us. When He lives within us then He loves through us.

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

When a person has come to know the love of God then that one wants to love others. It is the Lord who loves through them and it is when the world sees God’s love in His people that they will see Jesus Christ in them.

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. I John 4:16

We love because God first loved us. If you want to find and keep love in your life and relationships then you must first find God.

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

It is through love that the world will know who belongs to God.

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35

The one who believes in Jesus Christ and receives Him as their Lord and Savior will be the one who belongs to God and is His child and His disciple. The one who becomes His disciple through believing and coming to Him will know intimately His love. This is the one who will have found love and will keep love, not only in their life but in their relationships. This offer is to everyone in the world for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.

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 1:12,13

Receiving Him simply means turning back to God rather than turning our back to God, which we all have done at one time or other. Believing in Him means turning your face to God through Jesus Christ and asking Him to come into your life and be your Lord and Savior. He will make you the person that He created you to be and that is a person who will reflect the love of God to others. It is when we are loved and when we love that we are the happiest and most fulfilled. How sweet it is to find and know God’s love, a love that is pure, perfect and will never change. God’s love is absolute and the one who truly finds the love of God will not be able to keep it to themselves.

A Life with Love Must Be Preserved

Love is destroyed through doing wrong. Doing wrong brings pain and doing right brings happiness. We reap what we sow. Sometimes we reap immediately but more often we reap later, however, we always reap what we sow.

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

When we reap what we sow then that is called judgment. Our actions are judged by their consequences and the consequence of our actions is the judgment that we bring on ourselves.

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

The actions that we do, whether right or wrong, come from our heart. It is also out of the heart that our words come. It is our own deeds and our own words that will judge us and the judgment that we receive will be without partiality.

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37

The Lord gave each one of us a conscience which tells us what we should do and lets us know when we do wrong. We have within us the “knowledge of good and evil”. If we do wrong then our conscience becomes hardened and if we do right then our conscience becomes more sensitive. The word “violate” means to change and when we violate our conscience and do wrong then we are changed. When our conscience becomes hardened then we are changed and can no longer give or receive love like we once did. Love is the food for the soul and nourishes the soul and keeps it healthy. We need love. The Lord made us to thrive when we are loved.

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17

When we go against our conscience and do wrong, and not do the right thing, then we have sinned. The sting of death is sin.

The sting of death is sin, I Corinthians 15:56

Where there is sin, there is not only death to the soul, but there is death to the love which feeds the soul. In place of love there is guilt.

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 5:22

Sin brings guilt and death. Death to our soul and death to our relationships. Instead of love, with sin, we have guilt and death. Instead of oneness we have separation, first of the souls and then physical separation.

For the wages of sin is death, Romans 6:23

Love must be preserved or it will not remain. Love is the sweet fragrance in the relationship. Love is the salt that preserves the relationship and keeps it from rotting and keeps it fresh. Love is what covers the multitude of sins that each of us commit, whether it is the words spoken, or the deeds done in frustration or the neglect that is easy to come into a love relationship.

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

The only way that we can love one another is if we have been born of God, or, in other words, if we have been born again into God’s family as His child.

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 1:12.13

All of have sinned and are guilty and separated not only from each other, but from God.

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

When we give our hearts to Him then He gives us His heart, which is filled with His love and He loves through us. He takes our hardened evil heart which has brought, not only ourselves much grief, but pain to others through our words and our wrong actions. His heart is pure and good and He will love through us.

Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

It is His love that restores our relationship with Him and with everyone else. When we believe in Jesus Christ then we become born again, our sins are forgiven, our guilt is removed and we become God’s child and a part of His family. We will not be judged or punished for our wrongs, for Jesus Christ took our judgment and our punishment on the cross. We receive eternal life and eternal love through Jesus Christ.

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. John 3:16,17

God did not send Jesus Christ into the world to judge the world but that the world might be saved through Him. The Lord is coming again to judge all of those who did not believe in Jesus and receive Him but chose instead to go on in their own ways and continue in the anger and stubbornness of their hearts.

I, the Lord, have spoken; it is coming and I will act. I will not relent, and I will not pity and I will not be sorry; according to your ways and according to your deeds I will judge you,” declares the Lord God.’” Ezekiel 24:14

Come to Him, if you have not done so, while you can and before it is too late. He will restore you and He will allow you to find and keep love. He will preserve the love in your life and in your relationships. Your wrongs will be forgiven, your guilt will be removed and you will be clean on the inside. You will thrive and your heart will be happy.

A Life with Love Honors Another

Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. Genesis 9:20-24

Noah drank wine and became drunk. Drinking wine is mentioned in the Bible as not being wise.

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise. Proverbs 20:1

If you want to be mocked then drink wine and if you want fighting in your life and marriage then drink alcohol. Alcohol has destroyed more families and more lives than we will ever know. It is wisdom to stay away from it. The Bible also says that drinking wine is not loving.

It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles. Romans 14:21

The word “good” means the highest form of love. Therefore, the highest form of love towards anyone is to not cause them to stumble. Wine is a stumbling block to many and you have no idea who it is a stumbling block until they have stumbled over it. The Lord has one of the biggest warnings towards those who are stumbling blocks.

but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes! Matthew 18:6,7

Noah lived a life of wisdom and honor and only did a little foolishness. However, it is his foolishness that is much remembered.

Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor. Ecclesiastes 10:1

His foolishness brought much pain and sorrow to one of his sons and one of his grandsons. Ham saw his father naked and went and told his brothers.

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

Rather than covering his father’s shame, Ham made it known. Love covers a multitude of sins and love covers shame. Ham did not honor his father.

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the Lord your God gives you. Deuteronomy 5:16

It did not go well with Ham because he did not honor his father. As a result, it did not go well with one of Ham’s sons. As a parent it is more painful to see your children suffer than it would be to bear the suffering yourself and especially if you are the cause of the grief. Love acts wisely and love honors. How important it is for parents to not allow their children to ever see them naked. When a parent allows this to happen then that parent is setting their child up for failure and making it more difficult for the child to fulfill God’s commandment to honor their mother and father.

All who honored her despise her
Because they have seen her nakedness; Lamentations 1:8b

Also, it is neither good or wise for a young lady to allow any man to see her nakedness before marriage. It will cause the man to not have as much respect for her after marriage and many a man will not marry a woman once he has seen her nakedness. A woman needs to keep her mystique and a man needs for a woman to keep her purity. If a man wants a female to unclothe herself then he does not love her. A man who will abuse his wife is also a man who can not wait until marriage for the physical. If a woman will have high standards for herself and not compromise physically then the man will rise to those standards and honor her and treat her with love and respect.

Woe to you who make your neighbors drink, Who mix in your venom even to make them drunk So as to look on their nakedness!“You will be filled with disgrace rather than honor. Now you yourself drink and expose your own nakedness. The cup in the Lord’s right hand will come around to you, And utter disgrace will come upon your glory. Habakkuk 2:15,16

The glory of a young man is his strength, whether it is his physical strength or the strength of his character. It is to his shame and disgrace to give his date or “friend” anything to intoxicate her in hopes of seeing her nakedness. A young lady’s glory is her purity and her beauty. It is a disgrace and shame for her to give to someone else what is reserved only for her husband and in marriage.

And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, Matthew 1:19

When Mary, the mother of Jesus, became pregnant with Jesus and was “with child” before marriage, Joseph, who was engaged to her and being “a righteous man”, did not want to disgrace her. Joseph did not understand that it was the Lord, through His Holy Spirit, who had appointed this to happen. It was not until the angel came to him in a dream and let him know that the Messiah was coming into the world through Mary, did Joseph understand that Mary was still a virgin and had remained faithful and pure. Joseph had to have felt hurt and betrayed, however, righteousness is doing what is right in God’s eyes, and Joseph knew that the “right thing to do” was to not make known any shame and disgrace. Joseph not only loved Mary but he loved the Lord and wanted to do what was right. If someone wants a good marriage then they must have a godly marriage and a godly marriage is doing what is right in God’s eyes. Doing what is right is God’s eye is doing life, love, and relationships according to God’s design.

A Life with a Love that Can Be Restored

Love can be restored. All of us have failed at loving perfectly and when we do not love then our love relationships are hurt and damaged. When our relationships are hurt then people are hurt and when hurt continues then it breaks relationships and when relationships are broken then hearts and people are broken.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and He alone can give us hope when all seems hopeless. He saves those who are crushed in spirit. When our hearts are broken we must look to Him. He can heal. There must be healing for relationships and love to be restored. If we close off our heart because of hurt then we also close off our hearts to give and receive love. When we close off our heart and do not allow God to heal it then we also become bitter. Bitterness is unresolved hurt that feels like it just happened yesterday, when in fact, it occurred sometime in the past. When we are bitter then we relive the hurt over and over again. Bitterness destroys a person and also hurts those who are close to the one who is bitter. Bitterness creates loneliness.

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; Hebrews 12:15

Bitterness comes from not drawing near to the Lord in your pain and allowing His grace to transform you in your pain. Pain does change us and pain can make us more loving, sensitive and compassionate or it can make us bitter. God’s grace takes what could be bad and makes it good for those who love Him.

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

Once you are healed then your relationships can be restored. Sometimes pain comes from looking to someone to give you what only God can give you. Only God can give you eternal security, perfect love and total protection. Expectations destroy relationships. Even though a husband promises and makes a vow to God to love, protect and provide, a wife must still look to the Lord to be her Lover, Protector and Provider. The Lord will never disappoint her. We will always be disappointed if we look to anyone other than the Lord. He is the only One who can make the promise never to disappoint. Give your expectations to the Lord and allow Him to fulfill them His way.

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

In the same way, a husband must look to the Lord. He must not have expectations of his wife, for he too, will be disappointed. The temptation is even greater for the husband to become bitter, otherwise, the Lord would not have given him a specific command to not be bitter.

Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. Colossians 3:19

For love to be restored those who have been hurt must experience God’s healing. For healing to occur they must look to the Lord. Expectations must be given to God. Confession to God and each other must occur. Cleansing of wounds must happen. In a relationship between two humans both people are at fault in some way. Both must humble themselves before God and before each other. Forgiveness must be given and received. We can and do forgive because God has forgiven us. Relationships and love can be restored in Jesus Christ because He forgives and He restores.

But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away, yet I will not.” And Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you, that this very night, before a rooster crows twice, you yourself will deny Me three times.” But Peter kept saying insistently, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” Mark 14:29-31a

Peter failed in his love for Jesus. Peter denied that he even knew him when the test of his love for Jesus came. However, Peter was broken and allowed the Lord to restore him in his relationship with Jesus and Peter went on and became a faithful and great leader for the Lord. He ended up dying for Jesus out of his love for Christ and Peter was faithful to the Lord until the end of his life. His love and his relationship with Jesus was restored. The Lord can reconcile any broken relationship and restore the love in the relationship.

‘Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You, Jeremiah 32:17

Your past failures do not define your life nor do your past failures determine your future.

A Life with Love Lives By Faith

Enoch walked with God. He did not just walk before God but he walked with God. Enoch loved God and God loved Enoch.

Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. Genesis 5:21-24

The Bible says that after Enoch had his first child then Enoch walked with God. There is something very humbling about having a child. We realize our desperate need for God. When a baby is born we see the marvelous and magnificent hand of God and we want to worship and praise Him. Our heart is filled with much gratitude. We don’t know much about Enoch before his first child was born but we do know that he had a uniquely close walk with God after his first child.

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. Hebrews 11:5

Enoch was a man of faith and he was pleasing to God. He was so pleasing to God that the Lord did not allow Enoch to see death. Enoch walked with God by faith. Faith is what pleases the Lord. Faith is believing and trusting in what God has said and acting on it. Faith is not one of many options but it is the only option for the one who wants to please God and walk with Him.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

Faith comes from hearing the word of God.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. Mark 13:30

Faith is not what saves a person. Jesus Christ is who saves a person and faith is believing in His Word and coming to Jesus Christ for salvation. You can have faith in other religions but they can not forgive you and save you. Saving faith is putting your hope and trust in Him and what He did for all of us on the cross and coming to Him through His promises. Faith is acknowledging that there is not anything that you can do to deserve or work for salvation. It is God’s grace that invites us and allows us to come to Jesus Christ by faith.

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. Ephesians 2:8,9

Faith is believing what we can not see. By faith Enoch saw the Lord.

It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Jude 14,15

Enoch did not have any Scripture nor did he have the Law. However, Enoch had the knowledge of good and evil within him and Enoch chose to do good. All of us have the knowledge of good and evil. We do not need someone to tell us what is good and what is evil. Our conscience tells us what is right and wrong. When we listen to our conscience and do what is right then we become more sensitive to right and wrong. When we ignore our conscience and do what we know is wrong then our conscience becomes hardened and we no longer recognize good and evil. Good brings us happiness and evil brings us pain. We have to at first consciously block God out to do wrong but then the wrong starts to seem okay and then the wrong seems to be right. After awhile God does not even seem to exist or He may seem cruel and twisted. When we start to see wrong as right and right as wrong then we no longer can see God for who He really is, a loving and good God.

With the kind You show Yourself kind;
With the blameless You show Yourself blameless;
With the pure You show Yourself pure,
And with the crooked You show Yourself twisted. Psalm 18:25.26

Your view of God is not an indication of who God is but is more of an indication of the perversion of your heart.

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

Enoch had a pure heart and he saw the Lord by faith. Enoch saw the kindness and love of God and so Enoch experienced God’s love.

The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the Lord. Proverbs 19:3

It is man who ruins his own life and his own marriage. Man chooses to go his own way and then in the wickedness of his own heart, man blames God. First, he ignored his conscience and then his heart became hardened and he could no longer see God. Then, to man, God becomes twisted in his mind and he does not want to believe that there is a God. However, God has made man to know in his heart that there is a God but man in his foolishness chooses to live as if there is no God and then he becomes even more foolish and blames God in his heart. He cries out, “why would you do this to me, God?”.

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; Psalm 14:1a

But God, reached down to man in His great love and loved man when man had turned his back on God. Two of the most powerful words in the Bible are the words “but God”. All of us have foolish hearts. Each of us has gone our own way. But God, did not leave us in our desperate need for Him. He came to us.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

If you have gone your own way and turned your back on God and His great love. It is not too late to come back to Him. He came for you and me. He has demonstrated His love for us when we did not love Him. Jesus Christ came and died and rose again in order that we might be reconciled to God and see Him and His great love for us.

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

Just as the Lord took Enoch so that He might not see death so the Lord took the death that we deserved so that we might have life. Enoch lived by faith and trusted in a loving God and he experienced God’s love. We too, when we put our faith in Jesus Christ, will see God in His great love and come to know Him. Then, one day, He will also take us home to live with Him for all eternity.

A Life with Love Must Grow

Love is a choice and love abides in relationships. When loving choices are made in a relationship where love is then the love will grow in that relationship. Love is a flame that can be kindled by good choices and warm the hearts of the two people in the love relationship or the love can be quenched by bad choices and allow the hearts of the two people to grow cold toward each other.

To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; I Peter 3:8

The summing up of how a relationship should be is that it is to be harmonious. The two people are to be sympathetic towards each other and brotherly, kindhearted and humble in spirit.

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? II Corinthians 6:14

The first requirement for a harmonious marriage is that the union must be of two believers in Christ. If you are a believer and you are considering marriage to an unbeliever then you are going against the Lord and His counsel. His blessing will not be on your marriage.

To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; I Peter 3:8

The word sympathy means “a feeling of sorrow for someone else’s misfortune” or “a common feeling or understanding between people”. The place that someone should always be able to receive sympathy is in the marriage. A loving marriage doubles the joys and cuts the sorrows in half. Two people who love each other will share one another’s sorrows.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

We are not only to be sympathetic towards one another but we are to be tender hearted with each other. It is one thing to be sympathetic towards another when they suffer with struggles outside of the marriage but when someone does what is wrong within the marriage then that becomes much more difficult.

not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. I Peter 3:9

One of the secrets to a great marriage is forgiveness. It is crucial to be kindhearted to one another by forgiving each other. No one is perfect and we all sin. When and if you marry then you will marry a sinner. They will mess up and you will mess up. The temptation is to return evil for evil or insult for insult, or in other words, “You did this so I will do that or I will withhold from you!” No, absolutely not, if you want a loving relationship all the days of your lives together, until death do you part, then you must learn to forgive. You must learn to give a blessing instead.

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

If you have received forgiveness from Jesus Christ for all of your sins then you can give forgiveness to another. Forgiveness is the greatest gift that you can give to another. There is no sin too great that Jesus Christ has not forgiven you. In the same way, there is no sin too great that you can not forgive in another. Forgiveness is forgiving them of their sins against you and forgiveness is the promise to never bring it up again. If you need to bring it up over and over again then it is not forgiveness. The Lord never brings up your sins to you of all that He has forgiven you.

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12

If you give to your spouse the gift of forgiveness then not only will you be giving them a blessing but you will receive a blessing from the Lord. For love to grow then there must be forgiveness. When someone shows love and forgiveness to another then they are like Christ.

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; I Peter 2:21-23

While being reviled, Jesus did not revile in return. He never returned evil for evil or insult for insult nor did he make any threats. Jesus Christ continually kept entrusting Himself to God, the Father. Jesus Christ was our example of what we are to do when we are suffering, and we do suffer when are affected by the sins of someone else. We are to go to the Lord and entrust ourselves to Him.

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

You will find that as you apply diligence in your pursuit of love in your marriage and you exercise self control (in your words and actions) and you persevere in it then you will become godly (which is like Christ), and then in your Christlikeness you will show kindness and love. This is truly the picture of marriage that God designed for it to be. Your love for each other will grow and abound. Your hearts will become knit together in love and you will become soulmates of one mind and one heart, as well as becoming one physically. This is the sweetest and most fulfilling of all relationships and is God’s gift to man and woman. It will be honey to your soul and life to your body when it is done God’s way.