Love Believes the Truth

When it comes to many areas in life there are many people who have no problem with accepting the truth. Most people understand that if you eat lots of carbs and don’t exercise then you will gain weight. Most people understand that you can not spend your money recklessly and still be able to pay your bills. Most students understand if they want to stay in school then they must study. However, when it comes to love, many people think that they can have it all. They want to be able to do what they want to do but they still want their partner to be faithful. They want to marry someone who has not slept around but they want to be able to do what they want to do. They want love and respect and they want their lusts and desires also. However, just like the rest of life, it does not work that way. You reap what you sow.

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

Many people do not want to “live under God’s laws” but they want everyone else to. They want their “freedom” but they do not want someone else to murder them, steal from them or lie to them. The Lord did not give those laws for His sake but for our sake so that we might live in peace with one another. He does not want to “control” us but He wants us to live in harmony and love one another. He does not need us but we need Him. For this reason, the Bible calls a person a fool when they live as if there is no god. In the same way, the Lord gave us laws of truth that will set us free when we live by them. Life and marriage is good to those who will believe what God says and live by His truths. He teaches us to love one another. It is wonderful to be in love and stay in love with the same person throughout your mature years. It is wonderful to not worry about sexually transmitted diseases or the many diseases that come from having more than one partner. Most cervical cancers in women are because they had more than one partner. It is wonderful to not worry if your child will be born blind because you had more than one intimate partner. The Lord made these “rules” or “laws” or “truths” for our sake.

But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: “The Lord will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me. The Lord will make the pestilence cling to you until He has consumed you from the land where you are entering to possess it. The Lord will smite you with consumption and with fever and with inflammation and with fiery heat and with the sword and with blight and with mildew, and they will pursue you until you perish…The Lord will smite you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors and with the scab and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed. The Lord will smite you with madness and with blindness and with bewilderment of heart; You shall betroth a wife, but another man will violate her; Deuteronomy 28:15, 20-23, 27-28, 30a

All these are curses that we bring upon ourselves when we try to do life and love our way and try to “have it all”. Life and love are not any different from everything else. To have one thing then you must give up another.

Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God…The Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your beast and in the produce of your ground, in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully, and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. Deuteronomy 28:1-2,11-14

No one can make you eat healthy or spend less money to keep you healthy and your life in order. No one can make anyone study to stay in school. How easy it is to see the lives of other people. Why is there so much pain from relationships? Why do so many people who begin with love end up hating one another? Pain comes when the truth is ignored. It is the truth that if you will obey the commands and instructions of the Lord, which He gave to us for our good, then you will be blessed. Your life will be blessed and your marriage will be blessed. Your children will be blessed and all that you do will be blessed. Love and belief are choices. We can choose to believe and love God and we will be blessed or we can choose to go our own way. God is good and He is loving. He made a provision for us to know Him and follow Him through Jesus Christ. He made a way for us and His way is good. If you want a good life and a good marriage then He offers it to you through following Him. Obedience comes before understanding. After you obey then you will understand.

Love Involves the Will

Our soul is made up of our mind, will and emotions. Man is made up of spirit, soul and body. The decisions that we make in life are expressed through our body but made through our soul. Every decision that we make involves our soul and affects our soul. Love is an expression of the soul. We choose to love with our mind and our will and it affects our emotions. We choose to hate with our mind and our will and it also affects our emotions. We choose to believe with our mind and our will and it affects our destiny. Loving and believing are a choice of the mind and will. When we respond to God’s love and believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, then our spirit becomes alive. It is in our spirit that we worship and communicate with God. It is with our soul that we communicate with each other. It is with our spirit, soul and body that we love God and love another.

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. I Thessalonians 5:23

When we love God and love another as God has called us to do then our spirit, soul and body are preserved. When we sin against God and each other then we bring destruction to ourselves. Our spirit is made complete in Christ at the time of our conversion, if we are a Christian. Our soul is being made complete through our obedience to the Lord. Our soul experiences life when we do what is right. Our soul experiences death when we do what is wrong. The death to our soul is the sick feeling we have when the guilt comes and all the other feelings of regret. Guilt brings torment to the soul.

Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21

God’s Word can be implanted in our soul and saves our soul. God’s Word gives life to our soul. Just as someone who receives a heart transplant because his heart is not functioning right, so we need to receive God’s Word implanted because our thoughts are not right. We have been corrupted in our mind, will and emotions. When we receive God’s Word into our soul then it transforms our mind, will and emotions so that we will know what is right. Our mind will tell us the right thing to do and our will carries it out. The happiness we experience in our emotions is because we did what was right.

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

Sin is lawlessness and when we sin then we experience death to the soul.

Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. I John 3:4

Everyone does just what he wants to do. If a man loves a woman then he will show love to her. Many women try to make excuses for a man when he does not call, come see her, etc. but it is because he does not want to. There are always exceptions when something urgent does come up, but love will always want to make up what was missed. In the same way, many people try to make excuses for themselves about why they do not believe in God and/or do what He wants them to do, but the bottom line is that they do not want to believe in God. They do not want to do what He says. Belief and love are a matter of the will. A person does just what they want to do.

And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. I John 4:21

The Lord would not have commanded us to do something that we could not do. Every marriage that fails is because someone gave up in their mind and will to love their spouse. Everyone messes up. Love is covering another’s mess. Shame is making it known. We cover up messes with our will and we make messes known with our will. Love is not always easy but it is worth it. When you are committed to loving another then it is only a matter of time before you will make a mess and you will be thankful that the other chose to love you.

Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox. Proverbs 14:4

When you are single and live alone then there are not many messes but there is no love. When a married couple have no children then their home is clean. However, there is great joy being in a loving marriage and there also is great fulfillment in having children. Many messes come in relationships but much happiness comes when life is done right.

Love Must Be a Wise Choice

One of the most misunderstood aspects of love is that many think that love is a feeling. Love is a choice of the mind and will and the emotions and feelings will follow. The soul is made up of the mind, will and emotions and is what allows you to enjoy all of the gifts that God, in His love, gives to mankind. One of His most precious gifts is a lover, friend, companion and soulmate whom you can go through life with and share in the joy of life. Love is a commitment and should be entered into with your mind and your will and if possible, very little emotion. When you make a major decision in life, such as, where you want to live, or go to school, or what career you want to pursue, then you use your mind. With your mind you try to make the choice objectively so that you can see clearly. How much greater is the decision as to whom you will marry and share life.

If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

The most important qualification for a marriage partner is who the other person chooses to serve. If you are a Christian and they are not then you will be miserable and they will be unhappy also because you all will not be of the same mind. They will have their god ad you will want to love the Lord God. You will not be able to share your greatest joys with the person who serves a different god. Who you serve is who you will love. Love is a choice in the God whom you choose to follow and worship. Whoever or whatever is your god will be the center of your life. If a person is self centered then they want to be their own god. If money is a person’s god then that will be the motivational factor in their life. If the Lord Jesus Christ is your God then you will want to please Him. No one can serve two masters and a marriage and home can not serve two masters. You will hate his god and he will hate your god if you both do not have to same Master in life.

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. Matthew 6:24

You and your spouse must be of the same mind, otherwise there will not be unity. If you both are on the same page with the same mind then there will be little disagreement when it comes to decisions, and especially major decisions.

Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. I Corinthians 1:10

You both will want to have the same purpose in life, which means that you will be going in the same direction overall. Everything that you do will be towards the same goal. When you have the same purpose in life then each one of you will help the other achieve their unique calling and purpose in life and you both will complement each other rather than hinder one another. Each victory will be both of your victories and each sorrow will be shared. You will not cry alone.

make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Philippians 2:2

The more united that two married people are then the more each individual will achieve their full potential in life. The happier each one will be, will be directly proportional to the sameness in mind, the uniting of love and the oneness of purpose. However, all of this is only possible if both in the marriage are of one spirit. Two people can only be of one spirit if they are spiritually alive. Only Jesus Christ can make a person spiritually alive. When two people become spiritually alive then they have the capacity to be of one soul with each other. It is during the pre-marriage phase of a friendship that two people discover whether they are meant for one another. You must see the other person objectively for each of your own benefit.

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? II Corinthians 6:14,15

Marriage is one of the greatest joys when it is done God’s way. The sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage and the only way that you will know if God brings you together is when you come to the altar to say your vows to God. He brings two people together and joins them. If you enter into physical intimacy before marriage then you will not see clearly if this person is the one. You are only robbing yourself of another one of God’s gifts and you are also blinding your own eyes to what you need to see in the other person. Once two people become physically intimate then they can no longer see objectively.

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Matthew 19:6

Marriage protects the love. The vows are made to keep us faithful to our spouse. The vows are made to God and vows made to God can not be broken. They must be kept. If they are kept then both of you will be blessed and both of you will grow in the love of the Lord. Life and marriage were made to be sweet and they can be, but only, if you follow the instructions of the One who is the Author of life and the Giver of good gifts.

Love Must Choose

The Lord does not mention much about Abraham’s family in the Bible but it does say that his father worshiped false gods but Abraham did not. We don’t know where Abraham heard about the one true God, who is Lord of all, but Abraham chose to follow the Lord.

Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘From ancient times your fathers lived beyond the River, namely, Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, and they served other gods. Joshua 24:2

We do know that Noah was still alive when Abraham was a boy and they lived in the same area. Whether Abraham heard first hand from Noah what the Lord had done in the flood we do not know. Noah was a preacher of righteousness and probably continued to preach after the flood.

and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; II Peter 2:5

Abraham had to make a choice, whom he would follow. Who you follow is who you will serve. It is hard to go against the tide, that is, to go against how others are believing. However, Abraham chose the Lord and the Lord chose Abraham and made him fruitful.

Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River, and led him through all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants and gave him Isaac. Joshua 24:3

The Lord called Abraham to trust Him and live by faith. The Lord is still calling men and women to trust Him and live by faith.

Now the Lord said to Abram,

“Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;
And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3

Faith means that we trust God for His promises to us and we step out in faith on those promises. When we walk by faith then we do not walk by sight. Faith is believing that God is who He is and that He will be faithful to His Word.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

We walk by faith all of the time when we believe someone is going to do what they say. If a friend says that they will meet us for lunch then we go to the place for lunch expecting them to show up. Faith in God is the same. If He said that He will do something then we can count on Him to do it. Faith is a choice. Love is a choice. When we love someone then we will believe them. Faith grows. As we see the Lord show Himself to be faithful to His Word then we can trust Him more. Love grows as faith grows but love must first choose to have faith in the one whom we choose to love. Abraham chose to love God and believe in Him and as a result he experienced God’s love and God’s faithfulness. We usually don’t doubt God’s power but we doubt His love. Faith believes that God loves us because He says that He loves us. Not only does He say that He loves us but He showed us His love.

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

It is God’s grace that invites us to choose Him and come to Him. Faith is choosing Him and coming to Him. When we come to Jesus then we see His love, we feel His love and we know His love through His gift of salvation.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 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 2:4-9

The Lord is rich in mercy and loves us with a great love. He loved us when we were great sinners and dead in our spirit. He makes us alive on the inside because of Jesus. When someone comes to Jesus then they just begin the great journey of God’s love for them. His love for them will go through the ages into eternity. It is His grace that allows us to come to Him through faith and when we do, we receive the amazing gift of His love and we are saved from the torment, the guilt and the consequences of the messes that we have made as a result of our choosing to go our own way. When we choose Jesus then we choose also to live in His love and to walk in His ways. Life becomes good because His love is good. Love and faith is a choice and when we choose to love God and believe Him then we will also experience His love and faithfulness even as Abraham did.

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.

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.

Love is Honest

There can be no love apart from honesty. Love must be honest. No one wants someone else to cheat on them but if you want to marry someone who will be faithful to you then you must be an honest person. If you are a deceptive person then you will be deceived. It is only a matter of time before a deceptive person will be cheated in business dealings or cheated on in relationships or in some other way be deceived. Honesty must be displayed in money matters, relationships, school, jobs, taxes etc. If someone will cheat then they will lie. If someone will steal then they will lie.

For, “The one who desires life, to love and see good days,
Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.
“He must turn away from evil and do good;
He must seek peace and pursue it.
“For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous,
And His ears attend to their prayer,
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” I Peter 3:10-12

You will not have the blessing of God on your life if you are a deceptive person. Deception begins in the heart, is lived out through the life and spoken through the tongue. Deception is lying through your words and your life. Deception is communicating one thing and living another. Deception is living a double life. Deception is putting on a front. Deception is having a hidden agenda. Deception is evil and God’s face will be against you if that is who you are and what you do.

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. Colossians 2:8

You must be on your guard against deception. There are many philosophies and political agendas that are deceptive such that if you are not an honest person then you will be pulled in and deceived. The meaning of deception is that you are deceived and not aware that you were deceived until it is too late. A girl generally will not marry a dishonest and immoral man unless she herself is deceptive and immoral. It is very important that she is honest with her parents in all matters for they are her protection. If she tries to hide anything from them because she likes a young man, then she is on the way to a broken heart and a painful life. Fathers especially can see flaws in a young man that a young woman can not see. She must listen to her father and do as he says.

and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. II Thessalonians 2:10

One of the greatest protections against being deceived is to receive the love of the truth. The love of the truth also begins in the heart and is expressed through the life and communicated through words. If you love the truth then you will spot the counterfeits and more easily identify the lies and deceptions.

There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed. Hosea 4:2

Character is a packaged deal. If someone curses then they will usually do other things as well that are not good. Deception leads to other wrongs and is always a part of adultery. What does a woman get who marries an unfaithful man? She gets an unfaithful husband. What does a girl get who marries a man who is immoral and wants to have sex before marriage? She gets an immoral husband with the chances are slim that he will be faithful to her. Those who end up doing violence did other wrongs which oftentimes lead to violence. No wrongdoing stands alone.

Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds. Jeremiah 14:14

Deceptive people can sound very convincing for they are deceived in their own minds.

How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart, Jeremiah 23:26

Deceptive people are deceived in their own hearts.

The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by, For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception.” Isaiah 28:15b

Deception brings destruction to those who are deceived. Deception comes from not having a heart right with God. God is true and He is the truth. His truth will keep us from being deceived if we know it and love Him.

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3: 13

Eve was deceived because she listened to and believed the lies of the devil. The devil told her what she wanted to hear and she loved what she heard. In her deception, she gave to her husband and he ate and did what was wrong. Thus, because of Eve’s deception Adam and Eve began a life of great hardship and struggle.

But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. I Timothy 2:12-14

The Lord sets boundaries in our lives to protect us. A fence around a schoolyard is to protect the children and to keep the children safe by keeping predators out. In the same way, the Lord put a husband over a wife to keep her from being destroyed and her family destroyed through deception. It is a foolish wife who would fight against God’s order. God does all things well and when He sets a safeguard then a person would be wise to listen and give heed to what He says. Life is good when we follow the instructions of our Creator. We were made to inherit a blessing.

for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For, “The one who desires life, to love and see good days,
Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.
I Peter 3:9b-10

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

Love 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 bestfriend 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

Love is Perfect

True love is perfect. There is nothing to add to it and nothing to take from it.

I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him. Ecclesiastes 3:14

Only God is perfect and only God’s love is perfect. His love is faithful and His love is just, righteous and upright. When we wonder how a God of love could do something then it is an indication that we do not know Him or His love as we need to know it. All of life is a response to our view of God and His love. Our greatest need in life is to have the correct view of God and His love.

The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He. Deuteronomy 32:4

Perfect love casts out fear.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. I John 4:18

If you have fears about God and doubts about His love then those thoughts are not from the Lord. His love is perfect and when one experiences and knows His love then they will have perfect peace.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27

God’s perfect love restores.

The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; Psalm 19:7a

God’s love is perfect love and when we experience His great love then He begins restoring our soul. His love washes us and cleanses our wounds so that they can heal. If you are hurting or have wounds that have not healed then come to the Lord and ask Him to allow you to know His love for you. He restores and He heals. He is gentle and understands your pain. He will carry your burdens.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28,29

When you experience the great love of God then you will not only experience oneness and healing within but you will begin to know the oneness and unity that He is perfecting in His people.

that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. John 17:23b

God’s love is so great for His people, who are sinners, that He loves them as much as He loves Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, who never sinned and obeyed Him perfectly.

“O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:25,26

When a person comes to know God’s heart and His name then they know His love and His love is in them. Those who do not believe in Jesus Christ do not know God in an intimate manner and they can only know about God. They may pray to a God but it is a ritualistic prayer and not an intimate relationship of one who knows God’s name and has a relationship with Him. The world has no assurance that their prayers are being answered nor can they have any assurance of any eternal salvation. They can only hope but it is a hope that will not be fulfilled because our hope must be in Jesus Christ and in Him alone. He accomplished salvation for the world and it is God’s perfect love that restores man to a relationship with God but each person must receive that love to experience God’s salvation. It is a gift and there is not anything we can do to earn it.

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

When His people keep His Word then the Lord is perfecting His love in and through them. His Word communicates His love to His people and when they keep His Word then His love is communicated to the world.

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 God’s people keep His words and love others then God’s love is perfected in them. Not only is God’s love perfected in the one who knows the Lord and walks with Him in obedience to His Word but it is the love of Christ that controls the believer. Therefore, as God’s love is perfected in the believer it also is what transforms the believer. Since Christ died for all, He has called all to live for Him..

For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; II Corinthians 5:14

An amazing thing happens when God’s plan of love is carried out in the marriage. As each spouse seeks to love the other fervently then they no longer see the faults and irritations of the other.

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

They only see the love of the other because their love covers a multitude of shortcomings. It truly is the love of Christ in each spouse that covers a multitude of sins and causes each one to see the other as perfect.

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

It is the love that keeps the marriage fresh and sweet. However, our reservoir of love must not be each other because it will quickly run dry. God’s love never runs out and it will be like a river of love flowing out of the person who has put their trust in Jesus Christ. In fact, the marriage that is filled with God’s love will not be able to keep it to themselves. God’s love will not only overflow into each of the spouses but it will overflow into the lives of others. How blessed will be the children of a husband and wife who have realized that they can not do it on their own and that they need One who is stronger and wiser than they are to be their Lord and Savior. God’s love is like a sweet fragrance that refreshes the hearts of others. The world is looking to see a marriage done right. Everyone longs to see love in others and especially in marriages. When a husband and wife love each other with an unselfish, pure and god-like love, then it is one of the most powerful influences for good and that married couple truly will be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.