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 that Has Victory Over Temptation

Temptation is something that we all struggle with and we are sorry when we give into temptation. There is something within that tells us right from wrong. If we give into temptation then over time wrong will no longer seem wrong but will seem right and then we end up self destructing. We can see it clearly in others but the wrong that we ourselves do has blinded us to our own destruction.

James 1:14,15 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.

The word “lust” in the Greek in this verse literally means desire. A desire that is outside of God’s will and standards is a lust. It can be overeating, laziness, sex, drinking and anything else where we want to indulge our flesh and we know that it is wrong. When lust is conceived it gives birth to sin and when sin is accomplished it brings forth death. Do not be deceived. Sin brings forth death and with death comes defeat, guilt and regret.

James 1:16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

The devil wants you to sin because he wants you to experience death and destruction. Sin brings destruction to soul and body. The devil came to destroy you. He is a thief. He wants to rob you of your worth, peace, joy, and everything else that is good.

John 10:10a The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

The devil only uses one weapon to get you to sin and that is a lie. He is the father of lies and he continually tells you lies hoping that you will be deceived and believe one of his lies. He will want you to think that whatever that temptation is, that if you will do it then you will be happy. He will appeal to your flesh, your eyes and the boastful pride of life. He will also tempt you to take things into your own hands to even meet your own needs. If he can get you to compromise for any reason then he has won the battle. If you are a Christian then he has lost the war, for you belong to Jesus, but the devil can still cause you to lose the battles in your daily life so that you will live a defeated Christian life.

John 8:44b He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

If you want to have victory then you must have the truth to identify the lies. The Bible says to resist the devil and he will flee from you. You resist him through the truth of God’s Word.

James 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

When you resist the devil through God’s word then you will see the escape that the Lord has provided for you so that you can flee from the temptation.

I Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

Flee from the temptation but don’t just flee from temptation but pursue righteousness with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart.

II Timothy 2:22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

Faithful is He who calls you to Himself and He also calls you to become like Christ. He sets you apart for Himself and will complete in you what He began when you first became a Christian and that is the amazing transformation into His image.

I Thessalonians 5:23,24 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Speaks Forever

The Bible says that those who listen to the truth will speak forever. After you are gone then what will be the legacy that you leave behind for others to follow? If you listen to the truth then your words will speak forever and bring life and light to those who hear. Listen to the truth so that the words you speak will be truth.

Proverbs 21:28 A false witness will perish, but the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.

Whatever you listen to is what you will speak. You can tell how a person spends their time and who they listen to by what they say. Let your words be truth and let them be said in love.

Luke 6:45 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; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

Let your speech be as it were the utterances of God and then the Lord will be glorified. Your words will give grace to those who hear and you will be more like your Lord, for He was full of grace and truth.

I Peter 4:11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The Lord is made known to the world through our lives, words and actions. Let others behold the Lord in you and let you be a fragrant aroma of Him to the world. They will behold His glory.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Guard what goes into your heart with all diligence. For from your heart flow the springs of life. Just as you guard what goes into your mouth knowing that it will either give life to your body or death. So also, what goes into your heart will give life and health to your whole body.

Proverbs 4:20-23 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
For they are life to those who find them
And health to all their body.
Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.

Your words will feed your soul and will also bring life or death to those who hear what you say. You are the one who will eat the fruit of your words. Have you ever chastised yourself for what you said and wish that you could take your words back? That feeling of regret is death to your soul. Have you ever spoken kind and good words to someone and then you were the one who was blessed?

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

How many times have you thought of the words that someone said to you years ago and they were just what you needed for that moment. A mother’s words will either bless her children or they will bring them grief. Let your words bring life to those who hear them even long after you are gone. Learn now God’s wisdom and fill your heart with His Words so that they will speak forever to the hearts of the listeners.

Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

 

A Life that Counsels

We all need counselors in our lives and when we have good counselors then there will be peace, quietness and confidence. When there are good counselors in the land then the nation will have peace, quietness and confidence. A good counselor will tell you what is the right thing to do in any given situation.

Isaiah 32:17,18 And the work of righteousness will be peace,
And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.
Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation,
And in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places;

A life that gives good counsel is a life that listens to the Word of God and stands in the counsel of the Lord.

Jeremiah 23:22 But if they had stood in My council,
Then they would have announced My words to My people,
And would have turned them back from their evil way
And from the evil of their deeds.

The only good counsel is the council of the Lord. What you listen to is what you will give to others. For this reason it is of most importance that a Christian does not listen to the counsel of the ungodly but learns to meditate of the Word of God.

Psalm 1:1,2 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.

You must listen to the Lord’s counsel before you give counsel to others. The Lord’s counsel is often different to that of the world or even “current” Christian counsel. His Word never changes and what was applicable in His Word two thousand years ago is just as applicable today.

Psalm 16:7 I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

The Lord is faithful and He will counsel you but you should not counsel someone else if you yourself are not listening and doing the counsel of the Lord. In the same way, do not go to someone for counsel who does not have the fruit of an obedient life.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

A wise person will grow in wisdom and understanding and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel. The Bible says that a “man of understanding” is one who knows the Lord. A good counselor is one who knows the Lord and walks with Him in obedience.

Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,

Anyone who plots evil against the Lord, His people or Christianity is a wicked counselor. Stay away from them. They will destroy your life, your marriage, your children and all that is precious to you.

Nahum 1:11 From you has gone forth
One who plotted evil against the Lord,
A wicked counselor.

Give heed to the Lord and what He has to say and listen to godly counselors who counsel you in His Word. Research the counsel that you hear to see if it is consistent with what the Lord says. Don’t walk in your own counsels and do what you want to do. Rather walk in the Lord’s counsels and what He says and do what you ought to do.

Jeremiah 7:24 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward.

As you go forward in your walk with the Lord and grow in the knowledge of Him then He will use you to give godly counsel to others and those who listen will turn to the Lord and learn to walk in His ways. As for you, your life will overflow with great joy and the light of Christ will shine brightly through you.

Daniel 12:3 Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

When you lead others to righteousness then they will know His peace and His quietness and His confidence. They in turn will be a guide to their neighbors and will lead others to Him.

Proverbs 12:26 The righteous is a guide to his neighbor,
But the way of the wicked leads them astray.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Overcomes Depression

Depression is a struggle for many people and if we can not overcome depression then it can easily overcome us. The Lord wants us to have victory in every area of our lives and depression is one area that we can see His power and His love. First of all, He helps us in our depression.

Psalm 143:7,8 Answer me quickly, O Lord, my spirit fails; Do not hide Your face from me, Or I will become like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.

Depression can begin in our spirit and then go to our soul, which is our mind, will and emotions and then finally it can affect our bodies. Depression can begin in our emotions after an emotional high, (having a baby etc.) or physically (after physical exhaustion) and then affect us spiritually. Either way, when we are depressed then we are down and are struggling to get back up again. Just as our blood sugar can fluctuate and give us feelings of lethargy and tiredness so depression can do the same for our spirit. However, just as protein will keep our blood sugar more level if we eat protein in the morning, so the meat of the Word of God will keep our spirit more level and less prone to ups and downs if we spend time in God’s Word each morning. Just as when Elijah was depressed the Lord had the ravens bring him protein to nourish him. The meat of God’s Word will nourish our spirit and strengthen us spiritually.

I Kings 17:6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook.

When we spend time in the Word of God in the morning then we will have a good measure of God’s lovingkindness and truth in our spirit and soul to begin the day so that we will be more ready for the trials throughout the day and the unexpected surprises.

Psalm 59:16 But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength;
Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For You have been my stronghold
And a refuge in the day of my distress.

When you learn the discipline of spending time with the Lord every morning then you will see that He is your strength and will be your stronghold all day long and your refuge in distress. Distress brings depression if there is no place that we can go to with our distresses. We need a refuge that we can run to anytime.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe.

Learn to come to Him in the morning and you will find yourself running to Him throughout the day. He will lift you up and you will know His secure arms around you holding you up.

Psalm 27:5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.

If you are a new Christian then long for the milk of His Word each morning and fill your heart up with His Word.

I Peter 2:2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

Then as you grow in Him then start learning to chew on the meat of His Word. He will teach you and lead you in the way you should go.

Hebrews 5:13,14 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

Most people struggle at times with depression. It is not a sin but it is when the body, soul or spirit is depressed or down. However, it is not healthy spiritually to remain for a long period of time in a state of depression. The Lord will lift you up but He has given you His Word and His Spirit to strengthen you in Him.

 

A Life that Is Content

Contentment is being satisfied with what you have and not always longing for more or something different. There is a lot to be said for contentment. Many a man would give anything to have a content wife. Contentment is a character quality that comes from the Lord. It is an attitude of the heart that must be practiced until it is who we are. The Lord wants us to be content.

Hebrews 13:5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”

The Lord has provided all that we need and when we are not content it is a message to the world that our Heavenly Father has not provided for us. His name means “more than enough”. He takes care of His children and often gives us more than what we need so that we might have some to share with others.

I Timothy 6:8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.

Discontent comes from envy and coveting. When we are looking at what others have then we will never be satisfied. The Lord wants us to keep our eyes on Him.

Proverbs 27:20b Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.

Things will never make you happy nor will people ever make you happy. Jealousy is also a symptom of a discontented life. Again, it is wanting what someone else has and not being content with what the Lord has given to us.

I Timothy 6:6-10 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

When we long for things other than what the Lord has provided for us then often it will lead to temptations and snares. Many a young couple has gotten ripped off by someone because of their haste to have more. Learn to work hard, wait on the Lord and trust Him. He is faithful.

Psalm 73:25-28 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

Let Him be your desire and portion in life. Your flesh and your heart will fail but He never fails. Let the nearness of God be your good and if He is, then you will have much to tell about for He is faithful to those who put their trust in Him.