A Life with Love Does Not Manipulate

Since Adam named the serpent then he knew the character of the serpent. The serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field. His name “serpent” means “to enchant”. The devil chose to disguise himself in the serpent because the serpent was enchanting and beautiful.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! Genesis 3:1-4

When we are not trusting the Lord and His love for us then we want to be in control, thinking that we know better than the Lord and can not really trust Him with what is most important to us. We feel the need to “take matters into our own hands” to accomplish what we think would be best for us. Manipulation is not of the Lord and is neither loving nor respectful of another. It is our sinful nature that teaches us to manipulate and it can begin at an early age. A man may seek to manipulate through charm, money, power, words or actions. A man may also seek to manipulate a female through trying to make her feel sorry for him. A female should run from a man who is a manipulator just as a man should avoid a female who manipulates. Females can also manipulate through being enchanting or charming, through their beauty, tears, words or actions. It is not godlike but is more like the devil. Someone who is a manipulator can not be trusted.

When you sit down to dine with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you,
And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man of great appetite.
Do not desire his delicacies,
For it is deceptive food. Proverbs 23:1-3

It is only one who trusts the Lord who can be trusted. Don’t listen to what a person says but look at the fruit of their life. If they are trusting the Lord then the fruit will reveal what the person is like.

For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. Luke 6:44

If you want a loving marriage and a godly life then you must learn to trust the Lord to give you what you need and to not manipulate to get what you want. He knows your needs and your desires. Learn to do what is right and to walk uprightly with Him and He will not withhold any good thing from you. Then and only then you will know that the partner that he gives to you in marriage is a gift from Him and not something that you brought about by your manipulation.

No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11b

This is important because in marriage, just as in life, storms will arise and you need to know without a doubt that it was the Lord that brought you two together. If you have that confidence then you will be able to weather the storms together and they will strengthen your marriage rather than weaken it. Trusting the Lord is doing it right. When you do life right then there will be peace, quietness and confidence. Manipulation is doing it wrong. When you do life wrong there will be doubt, stress and problems.

And the work of righteousness will be peace,
And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.

Isaiah 32:17

A Life with Love Does Not Tempt

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27,28

Since the Lord says that it is sin for a man to look at a woman with lust then it is also wrong for a female to stir up lustful desires in a man that can not be fulfilled righteously. This stirring up of his flesh can be done by the way she dresses, the way she acts or the words that she says. Just as it is not loving for a man to lust after a woman neither is it loving for a woman to tempt a man to lust after her. God is love and God does not tempt people.

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. James 1:13

Satan tempts people to sin just as he sought to tempt Eve in the garden to sin. When a person tempts another person to do wrong then they are acting like the devil who seeks only to destroy.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10

Jesus Christ came to give life but Satan comes to bring death and destruction and he does it by tempting people to sin. Sin brings death spiritually, death to the soul and death to the body. After the death that sin brings there is guilt and after guilt there is judgment.

And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, Hebrews 9:27

When a female tempts a man to look on her flesh in an inappropriate manner then she is seeking his death and destruction. She may think that he is giving her attention but just as her desire is selfish toward him, in the same way, his desire is selfish toward her. Love and selfishness are opposites and a man who is selfish will never be able to love a woman the way she longs to be loved. Also, a woman who can control a man by appealing to his flesh will never respect him the way a man longs to be respected. It is a “lose, lose” situation for both the man and the woman.

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. James 1:14-16

Rather, a godly woman will be one who seeks to point a man to the Lord Jesus Christ. Her mind will be set on spiritual things rather than things of the flesh. She will bring life and peace to a man.

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, Romans 8:6

A man who finds a wife who is godly finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.

He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22

He will be blessed all of the days of her life. She will be faithful to him and will seek his good.

An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10-12

A Life of Generosity and Joy

Generosity and joy go hand and hand. The Lord Himself said that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Giving gets your eyes off of yourself and your interests and needs and causes you to become aware of the needs of others around you. The ore yo give, the more your cup of joy will overflow.

Acts20:35 In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Giving gives you a heart for the Lord, for where your treasure is there will your heat be also. Your heart will follow your treasure. Time and money are two of your treasures that you can give away.

Matthew 6:21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The generous person will be prosperous or successful.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous man will be prosperous,

Give to those who can not pay you back. The Lord says that even sinners give to those from whom they will receive something back. When you give to the needy of His people you are giving to the Lord.

Matthew 25:35-40  For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

The person who gives to the rich will come to poverty. Give to a person in need and they will give you their heart.  When you meet the need of the needy then you are removing the obstacle in their life so that they can hear the Gospel. You are allowing them to see the love and truth of God so that they can hear the love and truth of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:16 He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

Give to the poor and the Lord says that He Himself will pay you back. It is the only time in Scripture where the Lord says that He will become man’s debtor. His payment is in full and more. He remains no man’s debtor.

Proverbs 19:17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord,  And He will repay him for his good deed.

Give to those who have helped you spiritually.

Galatians 6:6 The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.

Your cup of joy will overflow as you give to the Lord by giving to His people, the needy and to reach others for Christ.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

A Life that is Helped and Helps

We all need to help and to be helped. We need to help each other stay on God’s path. We need each other and the Lord has provisions for us. There are three layers of relationships that ladies need to help them stay on God’s path and do what is right.

Hebrew 13:7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the outcome of their way of life, imitate their faith.

The top layer are those whom you look up to and respect. If you can have a loving relationship with this person then that is great but sometimes it may be someone you admire from a distance whose life inspires you. However, you definitely need some people in the upper layer who love you and will pray for you and keep you accountable. This person sees your needs and wants to see you grow in the Lord. Find people who are growing in their relationship with the Lord whom you want to be like and you want to go where they are going in life. Be careful who you aspire to be like because you will become like the person you allow to teach you. Choose godly women who love the Lord. Look at the fruit in their lives.

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

The second layer are the friends that you choose. This layer will love you and want to be with you. Both of you agree that you want to be faithful to the Lord, which means that you want to be faithful to honor your parents or husband, or you both want to be faithful in school or on the job.

Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, unless they be agreed?”

You both want to follow the Lord and you stimulate one another to do that very thing. You will stick with each other through thick and thin, no matter what the circumstances.

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

You also want your closest friends to be wise people who seek the Lord, fear and respect Him and want to be a disciple of Jesus. A wise person lives each day as though it is his last so that he will be ready to meet the Lord.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

A fool lives as if there is no God.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

Who you choose as your friends is one of the most important decisions you will make in life. Choose right and you will treasure them and you will bless each other. Choose wrong and you will end up in situations you never intended to be and you will go places you never wanted to go. A true friend is more concerned about your relationship with the Lord than your relationship with them.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times,

The last layer is the bottom layer and this layer are the girls or young ladies who look up to you. This layer keeps you on the straight and narrow because you do not want to disappoint them. Often they think that you can do no wrong. Of course you know the truth about yourself but they truly believe the best in you. Also, this layer is important because the Lord tells us to reach out to others and especially to those who can not pay you back. The Lord Himself will make sure that your life is watered if you water others.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.

The Lord Himself was like this.

Philippians 2:3-5 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,

If you are missing a layer then ask the Lord to provide and then seek out opportunities to meet people. This principle is seen in life with grandparents, parents and children. Also, Jesus looked to the Father and had the disciples, especially Peter, James and John as friends and reached out to the multitude.

An easy way to remember this is to call it the “oreo” principle. (If you like oreo cookies.) The top layer are those who love you in spite of your faults and the bottom layer are those who love you but do not see your faults. Then the sweet stuff in the middle are your friends who see the good, the bad and the ugly but who love you anyway and who will be there for you. Can it get any better? How is your “oreo” principle?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life of Eternal Security

We all have a need for eternal security. We can’t really live life abundantly unless we are eternally secure. How can we know for sure that no matter what happens if we die that we will spend eternity with the Lord?

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

This was the first time that Jesus was identified as the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. If you notice the word sin is singular. The word is literally iniquity, which means that someone is their own god or lord. They want to run their own life and do not want anyone to tell them what to do. This was the original sin in the garden. Adam and Eve did not obey God but did what they wanted to do. They committed iniquity. All of us come into the world committing iniquity. Toddlers want to do it their way. We want to make our own decisions. We want to choose our destiny. This is the sin that we need to repent of…wanting to be our own lord rather than the One who rightfully belongs on the throne of our life and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:12,13 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Whoever calls upon the Lord Jesus Christ for Him to be their Lord will not only receive Him as their Lord but He will become their Savior.

Matthew 1:21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

When you become His child, then you become one of His people and He will save you from your sins. The word sins is plural because we commit many different sins that ensnare us and enslave us but He sets us free when we come to Him.

John 8:36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

He also gives us His Spirit as the surety for our eternal salvation and it when the Holy Spirit comes to live in us then He bears witness with our spirit that we are truly saved.

Romans 8:15,16 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

The Lord says that we can know that we are His child and have eternal life, not hope or guess but know.

I John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

 

 

A Life that Can Do All Things

A life that can do all thing is only a life that can do all things through the strength and ability that God provides. The Christian life is the sweetest life ever known but it only comes from a dynamic relationship with the Lord Jesus.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

There is a prayer that expresses it well and it is “I can’t, You never said I could. You can, You always said You would.” He lives the life through you in the power of His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the gift He gives us when we receive Him. He said that, “He would never leave us or forsake us.” He is a present help. If some things seem hard to do or hard to understand then give these matters to Him and ask Him to help you.

Matthew 11:29 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.

If something seems too hard in the Christian life then maybe you are taking a burden that He never intended you to have. This is the only time in Scripture where Jesus describes Himself. He is gentle and humble of heart. If you truly follow Him then you will find rest for your soul.

Romans 8:5-8 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

These verses reveal one of the principles of the victorious Christian life. If you are living in the flesh then you will experience death to your soul, which is the defeat you feel and the regret and remorse. If you are living according to the Spirit then you will want to obey and please Him. The flesh is hostile to the Lord and the things of God but the Spirit is alive to the Lord and the things  of God. Ask your self if there is anything that is feeding your flesh. There are so many things today that feed our flesh and when we feed our flesh we will not desire the Lord and it will be impossible to obey Him. After a while often the result is doubting our salvation. It is the Spirit that gives us assurance of our salvation.

Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

The word lusts in the Greek literally means desires. Our flesh has desires that want to be satisfied. The only problem is that they don’t satisfy but leave the Christian feeling empty. They may get for a moment what they want but then once that moment passes then they are lonely on the inside and the temptation is to fill that emptiness comes again but it only increases the emptiness.

James 1:14-17 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. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

If one will only flee from temptation and call on the Lord for help then in time they will receive the good gift that the Lord has for them. We are often tempted right before the Lord gives His good gifts. He wants to fulfill your desires.

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

A Life that is Filled with Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

James 3:13-18 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

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

A Life that is Wise

A life that is wise is spared much heartache and pain. A wise young lady does not have to learn from hindsight, which are her mistakes, but she has the foresight to avoid the pain that comes from mistakes. People are not better people because of the mistakes that they made but they are better people because of the knowledge that they learned from their mistakes. How much better it is to learn the knowledge beforehand so that we do not have the baggage of painful and broken relationships or habits and patterns that are difficult to change. Wisdom is having the knowledge to get the desired result. Prudence is the wisdom of how to avoid undesirable results. Wisdom and prudence go hand and hand.

Proverbs 16:16 How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!

Proverbs 8:12 I, wisdom, dwell with prudence.

No amount of money can heal a broken heart. Wisdom keeps a life of regrets from characterizing your life.

A Life that is Filled with Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

James 3:13-18 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

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

A Life that is Wise

A life that is wise is spared much heartache and pain. A wise young lady does not have to learn from hindsight, which are her mistakes, but she has the foresight to avoid the pain that comes from mistakes. People are not better people because of the mistakes that they made but they are better people because of the knowledge that they learned from their mistakes. How much better it is to learn the knowledge beforehand so that we do not have the baggage of painful and broken relationships or habits and patterns that are difficult to change. Wisdom is having the knowledge to get the desired result. Prudence is the wisdom of how to avoid undesirable results. Wisdom and prudence go hand and hand.

Proverbs 16:16 How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!

Proverbs 8:12 I, wisdom, dwell with prudence.

No amount of money can heal a broken heart. Wisdom keeps a life of regrets from characterizing your life.