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

Love Lives By Faith

Abraham chose to believe in God and God chose Abraham to bless Him.

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

When Abraham chose to believe in God then he merely responded to the knowledge of God that the Lord puts within each one of us.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, Romans 1:18-22

God is love and He loves all of mankind. Love is God’s plan. Adam and Eve suppressed the truth and that same sin has continued to this day. God’s wrath is against all of the ungodliness and unrighteousness of man that has come about from suppressing the truth about God. Man for some reason does not want to believe that God loves him. Believing God is faith. Faith is not just believing there is a God but faith is coming to Him since He is God and believing His love and putting your trust in Him. Abraham did not just believe that there is a God but he lived according to that faith. His faith was not just an intellectual faith, his faith dictated his actions.

You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 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 2:19-23

Abraham was called God’s friend because he believed in God. His father was an idol worshiper and suppressed the truth of God. Abraham chose to walk by faith and not by sight and God blessed him. The Lord is still blessing all who do not suppress the truth but respond to the knowledge of God and live by faith.

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

The Lord rewarded Abraham when he stepped out in faith and obedience and left his country and his relatives. The Lord made him a great nation and made his name great. The Lord blessed him and made him a blessing. The Lord is still looking for those who will trust Him with all of their heart so that He can pour out His love on them.

For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars. II Chronicles 16:9

The Bible says that a fool lives as if there is no God. A fool is wise in his own eyes but a fool has suppressed the truth and missed out on experiencing God’s love and goodness, on knowing God, on being blessed, on being a blessing, on peace in this life and everything good in the life to come. The fool has exchanged the truth of God for a lie and has chosen his own idols, which can never satisfy him or give him the peace and security that he longs for. His idols can not bless him nor love him. When a man acts foolishly and does not believe in God then he brings conflict upon himself. He will surely have wars within and without, in his marriage and in his home and in his nation.

But the wicked are like the tossing sea,
For it cannot be quiet,
And its waters toss up refuse and mud.
“There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.” Isaiah 57:20,21

The Lord first gives us the faith to believe in Him and then He lets us see and know His love and He gives us peace on the inside.

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

Is your heart fearful about anything? By faith come to Him. He will take your fears and He will give you His comfort and love. He loves you.

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

Are you worried or anxious or is your heart troubled about anything? By faith come to Him. He will take your fears and give you His peace. He cares for you.

casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. I Peter 5:7

Love Unites

The Lord said in His Word that love is the perfect bond of unity. There will be no unity without love.

Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Colossians 3:14

There will be no peace without unity and very little will be accomplished without unity.

being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3

Unity must be preserved just as love must be preserved. You can not have one without the other. Love and unity can be lost and when a group of any people is divided against itself then it will fall.

If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. Mark 3:25

Many people want to live life without God. However, God is love and without God there will be no love or unity or peace. When God is removed from a marriage, home, community, city or nation then there will be fighting, stress, constant struggle, arguing, bitter jealousy and selfish ambition. The people will bite and devour one another and ultimately end up destroying each other. Only a fool lives as if there is no god.

But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. Galatians 5:15

The Lord has called us to love and to be at peace with one another. It is only possible through God. Jesus Christ came to set us free. Freedom begins on the inside when Jesus Christ sets us free from the things within that enslave us, whether it is bad thoughts, a bad feeling or attitude or bad habits and actions. There is not freedom on the outside if there is not freedom on the inside. We are controlled from within and unless we are controlled by what is good then we gravitate towards what is bad.

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13

It is only when God controls us through His Spirit that we can love one another. It is our flesh that is selfish and destroys us. When a person gives their life to the Lord then He gives them His Spirit. Love comes and lives within them and love starts to live through them.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, Galatians 5:16,17a

We are our own enemy when we allow the flesh to control us. It is our flesh that enslaves us. It is our flesh that destroys us, our marriages, our families, our cities and our nations. God’s Spirit is greater than our flesh and when God’s Spirit controls us then we do what is right. When people do what is right then we will love one another. We will help one another. We will be strong and there will be peace, quietness and confidence. Our strength must come from God and God must be our strength.

How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Psalm 84:5a

Blessed means happy. Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed are the marriages where love abounds. Blessed are the children in whose homes God is honored. Blessed is the nation that trusts in the Lord and really mean that in God they trust. Blessed are the communities, cities and lands where God’s name is remembered. He will come and bless those who honor Jesus Christ, the only true Lord God and Savior.

in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you. Exodus 20:24b

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