Love…And How to Love Others

Love is not random nor are some people just lucky to find love. Love does not just happen with two people. Just as there are principles in finance and laws of nature so there are laws and principles on love. Within a person there must be the root for love and the right nurturing for love to grow and mature. There is a root for love and just as the roots produce the fruit in nature so love is a fruit with a certain root within an individual. We can not produce a true and lasting love on our own. It must be produced within us and love must have the necessary root so that it might bear the fruit of love. Without this root there will be no true and lasting love. When there is a lasting and true love between two people then there will also be the other characteristic of a loving relationship and, that is, there will be trust. Love and trust are in all great marriages.

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. II Peter 1:5-7

Moral excellence is the characteristic of anyone who is worthy of trust. A morally excellent person is one who will not compromise. They don’t lie, cheat or steal. They don’t deceive others nor slander others. A morally excellent person keeps their commitments even to their own hurt. Their word is good and can be trusted. These characteristics are what we want in our leaders, neighbors, friends and marriage partners, but more important than desiring them in others, is for us to cultivate them within ourselves. How blessed is the person who has a leader, neighbor, friend or spouse with moral excellence and even more blessed is the person whose own life is characterized by moral excellence. The root of true love is moral excellence.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; II Peter 1:2

The beginning of moral excellence is a knowledge of God. All moral excellence is based in God. Some people want to do good without God, but it is impossible to do good with a pure heart, on our own, for our very own hearts are corrupted. When life is all about self then there will be a conflict of interest. If there is One greater than ourselves that we want to please, then we will be willing to sacrifice what we want, for the knowledge of Him. When we want to please Him then we will know Him and when we know Him then grace and peace will be multiplied to us. Grace and peace are found in Jesus Christ. We can not give to others what we ourselves do not have. When we receive grace and peace then we can give grace and peace to others.

seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. II Peter 1:3

When we know the Lord Jesus Christ and we receive His grace and peace then He also gives us His divine power in everything that pertains to life and living a Christlike life. This divine power comes through the true knowledge of Him. We must know the Lord, not merely know about Him, but we must know Him with our heart, soul and mind. This is how we receive the true knowledge of God that comes through His Word, which is the revelation of who He is. He has called us to know Him and He wants us to share in His glory and excellence. We do this through following Him in obedience to His Word.

For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. II Peter 1:4

The Lord wants us to have a loving marriage and relationships where there is trust. The Lord plans only good for us. He wants us to escape the corruption that is in the world. The corruption in the world comes from the evil desires of others and if we don’t become like Christ, who is good and loving, then we too, will be corrupted by lust. Lust is the same Greek word as desire. A desire becomes a lust when it is desire that is out of the will of God. God’s will is moral excellence. The only way that we can become partakers of the divine nature is through the promises of God. The promises of God are magnificent, glorious and excellent. When we live according to His Words and His promises then we will live a magnificent, glorious and excellent life. In doing so, we will become trustworthy and will be a blessing to many. If we choose to live according to our own ways and desires then much grief will come to us and many broken and damaged relationships. Our lives will become corrupted.

For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. Hebrews 4:2

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the beginning of moral excellence. Not just believing that Jesus Christ lived, but also believing that He is the Son of God, that He lived for you, that He died for you, that He was raised from the dead for you and He lives today for you to know Him. He loves you. This is the good news. However, this good news will only profit those who believe it and unite themselves to Christ in faith. When a person comes to Christ then they receive Jesus Christ into their life and their life starts to become transformed in that excellent and glorious likeness of Christ through His precious and magnificent promises.

Love Remembers and Finds Rest

Everyone looks and longs for love, that is, until they either give up or they find it. Love is worth finding, for love is man’s biggest need. Where there is love there is life. When a person feels loved then they experience significance, purpose and life. Love gives meaning to their work and love gives a person something to look forward to and that is to see and please the one who loves them. Love gives companionship and friendship. Love teaches a person to trust. Love is personal and nothing can take the place of love. Life without love feels empty, aimless, futile and vain. Love gives hope and when we have hope we will persevere. Without love we give up and die. Man did not lose love in the garden of Eden when he sinned, for God still loved him, but he lost the ability to see love. In place of love there came fear and in place of life there came death. Man was afraid of God because he had done what was wrong and he began to hide from God. Man no longer experienced God’s love.

Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” Genesis 3:9,10

We all have hidden and it is not until we hear God calling us do we come to Him. We have hidden behind all sorts of things but deep down all of us know that there is a God and that there is a creation. The Lord has put that in all of our hearts. Even though we don’t know God or His love, we know that there is a God. How do we find God again? It is not until we find God will we find love. It is not until we find God will our deepest needs ever be met. When we come to God then we will also find purpose and meaning in life, love in the deepest recesses of our being, peace and joy, and we will learn to trust again. What has been destroyed in our lives will be restored. How do we find God?

Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls…Jeremiah 6:16a

Man is always thinking that he or she has found something new and better. There is less love in the world than ever before and more divorces and broken marriages than ever before. The “new” ways are not better. They may seem better at first because there seem to be few restrictions, but the end is death. Death to the marriage and death to the soul.

There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:2

If what you have been doing has not been working then ask the Lord to lead you in the good way. God’s ways are perfect and there is no pain in His ways. Don’t be stubborn. You hurt yourself by not walking in the ancient path.

…But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ Jeremiah 6:16b

When you walk in the way which seems right to you, but it is not the ancient path that the Lord designed then the outcome will be depression and gloom. There will not be life.

“Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them, They will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it; Jeremiah 23:12a

The ancient path is the good way and the Lord says that He will meet you if you will come to Him and call on Him. He will show you the good way and your life will be good. One of the meanings of the word “good” is the highest form of love. You will find God and in finding Him you will also find love.

You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.
Behold, You were angry, for we sinned,
We continued in them a long time;
And shall we be saved?
For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
And all of us wither like a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
There is no one who calls on Your name,
Who arouses himself to take hold of You; Isaiah 64:5-7a

You will know when you have found the good way, the way of the Lord, because you shall find rest for your soul. You will experience the love that never changes and is not dependent on your performance. That longing to be loved for who you are will be met because He knows you and you will be loved with an unconditional love. We all know that we are not the person that we pretend to be. All of us hide behind a front. All of us have failed and have a fear that if people really knew us then they would not love us. None of us have called on the Lord or aroused ourselves to take hold of Him. It is for this reason that Jesus Christ came. He loves us and it was love that caused Him to arouse Himself so that He might take hold of us. We have not called on Him but He has come and called us to Himself.

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; I Peter 3:18

Now, all we need to do is come. When we come to Jesus Christ, He meets us where we are. Coming to Him is turning to Jesus Christ and trusting Him to save us and to lead us in His good way so that we can know Him, so that we can live in His love, so that we can be able to love others and we will find rest for our souls. He restores us to Himself and He also restores our marriages and our families. He forgives us and gives us the power to forgive ourselves and others. Jesus Christ gives love, life and rest. He calls to all of us to come to Him.

“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

There is no greater love than to lay down your life for someone else. Jesus Christ laid down His life for you.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Not only do you become a friend of God when you believe in Jesus Christ and come to Him but you also become God’s child.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. I John 3:1a

Love will Be Tested

Abraham loved the Lord and he was called the “friend of God” by God Himself. Other people claim to love the Lord but the problem is that their love for other things or other people is greater than their love for God. If someone loves anything or anyone more than God then it is not love but it is idolatry. Idolatry is giving to someone or something else what they are not worthy of and wanting from someone or something else what they can not give. No one but God is worthy of our worship and no one but God can give us true significance and security. Until we come to the place in our life where we trust God completely and realize that we can not trust anyone or anything else then we will never feel secure. God alone is trustworthy and God alone can give us security and significance. Abraham loved God and Abraham loved his son, Isaac. Would Abraham be willing to give up Isaac in his love for and worship of God? In Isaac was Abraham’s significance as a father of many nations and in Isaac would Abraham be a blessing. And yet, God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham was being asked to give up what was precious to him and what he loved in order to prove his love for the Lord.

Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” Genesis 22:1,2

Abraham trusted in God. He took God at His Word and believed in the promises of God even when it appeared differently. Abraham did not walk by sight or by his understanding but he walked by faith and obeyed God.

So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance. Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.” Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.” Genesis 22:3-14

The Christian life is not any different these days. The Lord wants us to trust Him and obey Him. The Lord wants us to love Him above all others. Our love for Him will be tested. Love must be tested for until we love the Lord above all others then we will never be able to love others with the love of Jesus Christ.

“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. Matthew 10:37

True love is unconditional and is not selfish. True love does not look for what it can get from someone else and true love does not give to someone else what that person is not worthy of. If Abraham had not loved God, the One who blesses, then he would not have really loved the blessing of Isaac for Isaac would have become an idol and a stumbling block to Abraham. In the same way, we must love the Lord Jesus Christ above all others in order to love others. When we learn to love God the way He has called us to love Him then we will be able to love others with the same kind of love which He has loved us and that is a Christlike love.

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. I John 3:16

Love Must Believe and Leave

Unless one believes and receives they will never leave. Unless one leaves they will never see. The Lord tells the man that he must believe in Him and receive the gift of his wife in marriage and leave his mother and father and family. If he will trust the Lord and do this then the man will experience the incredible gift of love and the joy of oneness with his wife.

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

Marriage can only be done in faith. Faith must come first and then a person will see God’s faithfulness. God’s ways are perfect and His instructions are for our good. We must follow what He says to experience His goodness and faithfulness. A woman must also leave her family and to receive the gift of her husband and experience God’s design for love in marriage. This is easier said than done. Leaving is not just physically but needs to be emotionally also. It is by faith that we leave and by faith that we love and cleave. In a similar way, the Lord told Abram that he needed to leave his family and country and go to the land that God would show him. Abram had to believe God and leave his family, friends and country by faith before he would see God’s faithfulness. When a person gets married they have to believe that it is God’s plan for them and they have to leave family, friends and home to go into the marriage that God will show them.

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; Genesis 12:1

Abram had no idea what the land would be like. He stepped out in faith and the Lord blessed him. In a similar way, a person has no idea what their marriage will be like. Marriage is wonderful and is an amazing gift from God but it is best to go into it with no expectations. When someone expects something then they focus on what they are expecting and it leads to disappointment when things do not turn out the way they expected. However, it is best to give expectations to the Lord and then allow Him to give you what He knows that you need. If you have expectations then you may miss the amazing gift that the Lord has for you. Marriage is a step of faith and the Lord will bless you and your marriage if you step out in faith and walk and live by faith.

So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him; Genesis 12:4a

Not only did Abram see the land when he stepped out in faith but He saw the Lord. When Abram saw the Lord then he received the promises of God. God’s promises are received in faith and experienced in life. Abraham believed, he went and he saw and lived in the promised land.

The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. Genesis 12:7

Living on God’s promises is a life that lives above the normal, soars like the eagle and sees what others can not see. The outcome of faith is seeing God and His faithfulness. The person that lives by faith will want to worship the Lord when they see Him, just as Abram built an altar and worshiped the Lord. Abram was filled with thanksgiving. When a person experiences God’s design in marriage then they will be filled with thanksgiving. Faith is believing in God, coming to God, trusting in His promises, walking with God and waiting on God.

Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31

Do you need new strength? Do you want to soar like an eagle? Do you want to run and not get tired and walk and not become weary? Learn to wait on the Lord. First, comes believing and coming to God, then trust His Words and promises, walk in obedience to Him and then wait on Him to work in His time according to His will. You will not be disappointed. The Lord is a great God and He loves you. Nothing is too difficult for Him and He wants to give you many good gifts. The Lord wants you to know Him and know His Word so that you can live by faith. Ask Him to help you. Read His Word daily. Come to Him in prayer.

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

Love is not Selfish

Love is neither selfish nor self seeking. Love is not all about self. This is very difficult for all of us because we are basically selfish. We see this in toddlers and it does not change much as we grow older. We have to be taught to think of others and even then, we often do it for a benefit to ourselves. We want to be thought well of or we want to be liked. We want to do what is socially acceptable or we may realize that good manners, thinking of others, is necessary for success. All of this is true. We like others who think of others, who are socially acceptable, who have good manners and who basically communicate that they like us! However, it is only the Lord Jesus Christ who can teach us to love others with an unselfish love because He is love and He loves with an unconditional love. God’s love expressed through His Son, Jesus Christ, changes a life when it comes into a person’s life. His love floods the heart and the recipient of His love is never the same. God’s love is a force more powerful than anything else and His love changes the person. His love is the only power that can change the world. Abraham was called a friend of God because Abraham had experienced the love of God and his life was changed. God had promised Abraham the land of Canaan. However, there came to be strife between the herdsmen of Abraham and the herdsmen of Lot. There was not enough room in the land for all of their livestock when they were living together. They needed space for their livestock. Abraham had every right to choose first but he gave the first choice to Lot, his nephew.

So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me; if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left.” Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere—this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah—like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar. So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward. Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled in the cities of the valley, and moved his tents as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the Lord. Genesis 13:8-13

Love considers the other more important than one’s own self. This is Godlike love. Lot chose the best land and Abraham took the other part of the land. One can only live this way on a continual basis if one has the love of Christ within them. This is what makes a great marriage and it is when each one considers the needs of the other more important than their own needs. Your needs will always be met if you will trust the Lord, not necessarily when and how you want them met, but they will be met. It is anxiety and selfishness that often makes us pursue our needs and often, they are not really needs but “wants” anyway. Mature love considers another’s needs over their own. This kind of love is learned from the Lord. He will teach you to love with His kind of love. You will be blessed even more than the recipient for you will find that there is One far greater who will look after your interests and needs. He is faithful and you will never be forgotten or forsaken. Yes, this is a life of faith. Faith in the One who loves you far more than you can imagine and who laid down His life for you.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:3-11

Most of us will admit that when we got married we thought we knew about love but once we were married we realized that our love for another was not very mature. Most problems in marriage, if not all problems, are from selfishness or conceit. We really think that we are somebody important and when another does not think that we are as important as we would like to think we are, then we get offended and often get an attitude. If the attitude is not corrected then it affects our behavior. If our behavior is not corrected then it affects the relationship and before we realize it we really don’t care for our partner because we feel that they don’t really care about us. We are all very selfish and into ourselves. Unless that changes then there is not hope for any happy relationship. The problem is not with the other partner but the problem is within. Only Jesus Christ can change a person from within. You must come to Him and allow Him to change you. He is the only hope for a happy and fulfilling marriage. Go to Him and ask Him to come into your life to be your Lord and Savior before you get married. If you are married then go to Him. He is is a present help in time of trouble. It is His will that you have a loving and fulfilling marriage. He will help you.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. II Corinthians 5:17

Jesus Christ can make you into a new person and He can also renew your marriage. Come to Him if you need help. Come to Him if you have tried and failed. Come to Him.

Love Remembers

How easy it is to forget, that is, we forget the things we should remember and we remember the things we should forget. This has been a problem through the ages and for this reason we are filled with fear. If only we will remember, the Lord says, then we will not fear and if only we will live in His love then His love will cast out all fear. Life is sweet when it is free of fear and worry. Fears rob us of much joy and worry destroys our peace. Faith is the opposite of fear and prayer is the answer to our worries. Prayer is the expression of our faith. Faith is coming to the Lord through prayer. Faith is not just believing that He is able but believing that He will. Prayer is asking Him to help us in our need and asking Him to do what needs to be done. Faith is trusting His love and His power.

“I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you are afraid…
That you have forgotten the Lord your Maker,
Who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth,
That you fear continually all day long…Isaiah 51:12a,13a

The Lord is so loving that we can not comprehend how great His love is, but we can accept it because His love is a gift to all who will receive it. God is so powerful that the Bible says that nothing is impossible with Him.

For nothing will be impossible with God. Luke 1:37

The Lord’s love is so great for His children and all power is His so that He is able to take anything that happens, no matter how bad, and cause it to be for our good. The word “good” means the highest form of love. If we belong to Him, then we have nothing to fear ever. He is in full control and nothing catches Him by surprise. It pleases the Lord when we trust Him and rest in His love and His power.

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

When we are anxious then He wants us to come to Him with our burdens and worries. He will give us His peace in place of our anxieties. His peace will guard our hearts.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7

When we have His peace then we can go through anything. His peace will remain with us as long as we keep our eyes on Him.

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

Let not your heart be troubled nor let it be fearful. When you live in His love then you will find that you will have peace and be free from fear for His love will cast out your fear.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, I John 4:18a

Are you fearful or anxious? Is your heart weighed down with troubles? Come to Jesus Christ and receive His love. Jesus Christ came to love us and to restore us to a love relationship with God. His love is available to anyone who will come to Him and receive it. When you receive Jesus Christ then you receive His love.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, John 1:12

If you have received Jesus Christ earlier in your life then have you forgotten who He is, that He is your Maker and He stretched out the heavens and laid the foundation of the earth? Have you forgotten that nothing is impossible with Him? Are you fearful? Are you anxious? Have you forgotten how great a love the Father has for you, that you are His child?

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. I John 3:1a

Seek the Lord once again with all of your heart. There is no good thing that He will withhold from those who seek Him. Don’t seek the blessings but seek the Blesser.

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

The Father who gave up His only begotten Son, will He not with Christ freely give you all things? There is nothing that is good that He will withhold from those who belong to Him and seeks Him.

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Romans 8:32

We doubt His love because we do not know Him. We don’t come to Him because our faith is little. We “have not because we ask not”. The Lord is waiting to show you His love.

Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him. Isaiah 30:18

How blessed are those who long for the Lord. His love is immeasurable towards those who fear Him and come to Him.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. Psalm 103:11

Come to Him all who are weary of carrying their burdens. Come to Him all who are anxious over the troubles of life. Come to Him all who are fearful. He will take carry your burdens, take your worries, troubles and fears and give you His love and His peace.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Love Is Trust

Love means you can be trusting and you can only trust someone that is trustworthy and that you know loves you. Abraham loved the Lord and He trusted the Lord because he knew the Lord loved him. Abraham knew the Lord and knew that God is all powerful. The Lord is the only One who is totally trustworthy and when a person comes to the point of trusting the Lord completely then others can trust the Lord in them. Abraham trusted the Lord and because he so completely trusted the Lord, his son, Isaac also trusted. Abraham loved God and trusted God and Isaac loved his father and trusted his father because he knew that his father trusted the Lord. Isaac did not just hear about God but he saw the faith of his father and learned to love and trust the Lord on his own because he experienced the outcome of his father’s faith. Faith is best taught through “seeing” and experiencing God’s faithfulness rather than just hearing about it. In the same way, a wife learns to trust her husband when she sees her husband trusting the Lord. The children also will learn to trust their parents and the Lord as they see their parents living by faith, looking to the Lord and trusting Him through His words and promises.

Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.” Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together. Genesis 22:5-8

Abraham said that he and Isaac were going to worship and that they would return. Isaac heard his father’s words that they would return. He trusted his father even though there was no lamb for the burnt offering. Abraham believed that God was able to even raise Isaac from the dead. Abraham did not doubt God’s love or power.

He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type. Hebrews 11:19

Trust is not seeing but believing the one who is faithful to their words and thereby proving themselves to be trustworthy. Abraham knew that he and Isaac would be returning but he did not know all of the details. Isaac knew he could trust his father because his father loved him and was trustworthy. The Lord wants us to learn to trust Him in the same way so that He can walk together with us through life. It is not until we live by faith will we see God’s faithfulness. Abraham may have walked up that mountain but he must have wanted to run with great joy on the way down. That is how exciting a life of faith is, it is trusting the Lord by faith and seeing His faithfulness. A life of faith in the Lord gives incredible joy and makes you want to run and tell the world how wonderful the Lord is and how great His love is. Great is His faithfulness.

The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22,23

Love is Friendship

Abraham loved God and he was called the “friend of God” by God Himself. What a statement to call someone your friend and to be called that by God. No one else in all of history has that honor.

and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. James 2:23

A friend is one who believes in you. Abraham believed in God and believed that God loved him and Abraham trusted in God’s love. Abraham believed in God’s power and God’s love for him.

Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance. Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.” Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together. Genesis 22:1-8

The Lord tested Abraham and his love for God. How easy it is to put our natural affections for someone before our devotion to the Lord. Abraham believed that either God would raise Isaac from the dead or that God would provide the sacrifice for Abraham said, “we will worship and return to you”. He trusted God completely and God blessed Abraham greatly. Great faith goes before great blessing. Great faith in the One who is faithful. God is faithful and He promised Abraham that Isaac would be his heir. Abraham did not know the how’s or why’s of what God was asking because Abraham did not question God. He trusted God and believed God’s Word. A friend is one who trusts you. There can be no love without trust and there can only be trust if you believe someone loves you. Abraham trusted and loved. God entrusted to Abraham much and loved Abraham.

Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.” Genesis 22:9-14

Abraham knew the Lord and Abraham trusted the Lord. Faith is not blind but faith is believing in the One you know. Abraham believed God and saw God’s provision. The Lord repeated all of His promises to Abraham and added still another promise that Abraham would possess the gate of His enemies.

Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” Genesis 22:15-18

Abraham believed God and the outcome was that Abraham obeyed God. Faith leads to obedience. The Lord is still looking for those whom He can bless and who will be His friend.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. John 15:13,14

Jesus showed us that greater love by dying for us. We can trust Him completely. Those who trust Him will have faith in what He says and those who have faith in what He says will obey Him in what He commands. His commandments are good and they are loving. We can trust Him fully and we can obey Him completely.

Love is A Gift

Love is not elusive nor is it a fantasy but love is a gift. Love is a gift that God gives to mankind from Him and it is the most pleasant and desirable of all God’s gifts.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; I Corinthians 13:5-8a

Love enters the heart and changes a person from the inside to the outside. When someone knows that they are loved then they are secure and satisfied. Love takes away fears, humiliation, shame, rejection, anxieties and every other negative thing that destroys us. Love can not be bought and there is not anything anyone can do to work for love. Love is a gift from the giver. Love must be received as a gift.

But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13

Faith will one day be done away with because it won’t be necessary. Hope will one day be fulfilled. Love will never end. Love is eternal and those who have love will live eternally. God is love and when a person becomes a Christian then God comes to live in them and when He comes into their life then love comes into their heart.

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

God is love and God created man to be loved. Man turned his back on God’s love and chose to go his own way. God’s love did not change and He sent Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son into the world to show mankind His great 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 4:9

Jesus Christ lived a perfect life, died for our sins and rose again. He is coming again for those who love Him, so that they might be with Him forever. He will love them forever and they will live forever in His love. The gift of God’s love comes through receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38,39

There is nothing that can separate us from God’s love once we have received it. God’s love is forever. When we receive Jesus Christ then He releases us from our sins.

and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood— Revelation 1:5

This gift is offered to all and any who will come to Jesus Christ can receive God’s gift of love. Jesus Christ will never leave the one who comes to Him and receives Him. When we receive Jesus Christ then we receive God’s love and we come into His kingdom.

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

When we turn from ourselves to God to follow Him then He transfers us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in whom we receive forgiveness of all of our sins.

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” 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.” Romans 10:9-13

When we receive Jesus Christ then we also receive God’s gift of love. When Jesus Christ comes into our life then God loves us with the same love with which He loves Jesus. This is an amazing fact. We, who are sinners, and Jesus Christ who never sinned are loved with the same love.

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

Do you feel loved? Do you know that there is One who loves you? Have you received the gift of love? His love for you will never leave nor will His love ever fail.

for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” Hebrews 13:5b

Love Gives Significance

Only someone greater can bless and give significance to someone else.

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

God is greater than all and He is the One who gave Abraham his purpose and meaning in life and He is the One who gives all men and women and children their significance of who they are. He is the Creator and we are His creation. He made us in His image and made us and has given our lives meaning and purpose. When we are restored to a relationship with Him then we will find the meaning and purpose for our lives. He so loved us that He sent His Son to bring us back to Himself.

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

We could not find our way to God so He provided a way for us. When we come to Him then He restores us to a relationship with Him and we become His child.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, John 1:12

We become His child by becoming born again into His family.

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

When we are born again into His family then we have an inheritance.

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, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Romans 8:15b-17

The word “Abba” is the same as the affectionate name “Daddy”. We can call God, who becomes our heavenly Father, once we come to know Him, then we can call Him “Daddy”. It is an intimate relationship with God that the Lord brings us into when we come to know Him. We also receive eternal life, which begins the moment we come to know Him. Eternal life is not just living forever but it is knowing God.

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

Also, when we come to know Him and become His child and become an heir then we also inherit a blessing.

for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. I Peter 3:9b

The Lord gives us meaning and purpose in life when we give our lives to Him. His design is that we would be a blessing to the world. God blesses people so that they might be a blessing. God gives us love so that we might give love to others. God gives us forgiveness so that we might forgive others. The Lord blessed Abraham so that he might be a blessing. The Lord said that through Abraham all of the families of the earth would be blessed because it was through Abraham that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, came into the world.

For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.” And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. Hebrews 6:13-18

Jesus Christ is the hope of all who have put their trust in Him. We live by faith and wait patiently for Him. Jesus Christ gives meaning and purpose to life. God is love and His love is expressed through Jesus Christ to the world. When Christ lives in a person then they have significance and then they can truly love others because they do not need to get their significance from someone else. Jesus Christ validates them and gives their life meaning. A person is free when they know Christ because they do not need to look to someone else for meaning, purpose, love, validation, significance or any of the other needs that are deep within us. Jesus Christ sets a person free and they are able to love, to forgive and to bless others.

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; Galatians 5:1a

You can never truly love until you are loved. God loves you and has offered you a gift of a great love, and that is to become His child.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. I John 3:1