Love Gives Worth

Love gives worth to the one being loved. It is sin that makes us feel worthless. The more we sin then the less worth that we will feel about ourselves. We are made in the image of God and each time that we sin then that image becomes hidden more and more and our worth diminishes in our own sight until we feel totally worthless.

A worthless person, a wicked man, Is the one who walks with a perverse mouth, Proverbs 6:12

A wicked person begins to be wicked in their heart. The heart of the wicked is worth little.

The heart of the wicked is worth little. Proverbs 10:20

A wicked person is one who believes in God but only enough to make himself feel good. Their belief in God does not change their behavior or life. The wicked are ungodly and live as if there will be no judgment day before God. They are pretentious enough to seek to be accepted by others. They want God and the world.

Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.
For it flatters him in his own eyes
Concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it.
The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;
He has ceased to be wise and to do good.
He plans wickedness upon his bed;
He sets himself on a path that is not good;
He does not despise evil. Psalm 36:1-4

The wicked person will say that he hates what he does that violates his conscience…uses bad language, drinks too much, looks at things they should not look at, gossips, etc. but they do not hate it enough to stop. They are not willing to get help or to do whatever they need to do to be set free from the snare of sin. The wicked person has ceased to be wise and to do good. At one time he wanted to do right and to do good but he no longer despises sin. Either we will love sin and hate God or we will love God and hate sin. We can not do both.

Your lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
Your judgments are like a great deep.
O Lord, You preserve man and beast. Psalm 36:5,6

It is only God’s love that can preserve us. Only the Lord can restore the worth that God gave to man before the fall. Something is worth only what someone is willing to pay for it. God was willing and wanted to redeem us from the power, penalty and presence of sin and He did so by sending His only begotten Son to pay the price for our salvation. Jesus Christ paid the ransom for our life. Jesus Christ took our place on the cross and took death for us so that we could have life.

For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. I Corinthians 6:20

We could not redeem ourselves or restore our worth.

knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. I Peter 1:18,19

We were helpless. Christ died for us while we were sinners. We have been justified and saved from the wrath of God which is coming upon those who have not believed in Jesus Christ. We have been restored in our relationship with God. It is God’s love that saves, justifies and reconciles us.

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:6-11

It is only in Christ’s love that our worth is restored. It is only in God’s love that we can give worth to another. For this reason, it is important that we are filled with God’s love. When we are filled with God’s love then we give worth to each other. If a husband and wife fuss and fight with each other then they destroy each other’s self worth. When a wife does not feel loved then her worth in her own eyes is diminished. When a husband is shamed or not respected then the temptation is to become bitter toward his wife because she is destroying his self worth. When two people marry then they give each other the power over their lives to build up or destroy. People will go where they are praised and built up. Children will go where they are loved and praised. Let your marriage and home be filled with the love of God so that it will be a refuge and shelter from the storms of life and where all who enter will feel loved and of great worth.

Love Perseveres

Love does not give up when it wants to quit. Sometimes life can seem overwhelming and the temptation is great to stop trying to do what we need to do. Adam and Eve, in a sense, lost both of their sons at the same time. Cain killed Abel and then he had to leave home. We know that he married for he had offspring and the only girl that was available was one of his sisters. So, that means that Adam and Eve also had a daughter leave home at the same time.

Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.” Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. Genesis 4:1.2a

Adam and Eve could have given up and not had anymore children. Maybe they felt like a failure. Their firstborn son had killed his brother. Their hearts were probably broken and there was much grief. Sin brings grief, not only to the one who commits the sin, but also to everyone else that feels the impact. There is a ripple effect. The devil wants you to believe that the “action” that you want to do will only affect you. That is not true. Sin will cost you more than you want to pay and hold you in its power longer than you want to stay. Sin brings death. This was never a part of God’s plan for Adam and Eve or for Cain and Abel.

For the wages of sin is death Romans 6:23a

However, Adam and Eve did not allow circumstances to determine their obedience. They persevered in obeying the Lord. He had instructed them to multiply and so they were committed to having more children.

Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” Genesis 4:25

Eve had become very humble. Each time that she gave birth she gave the glory to the Lord. Eve realized that she can do nothing apart from the help of the Lord. Adam and Eve could persevere during the dark days because their help was in God. The only way that we will not give up is if our faith is in One who is greater than ourselves.

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5

We can do nothing good apart from God. We will bear fruit, much fruit, when we learn to abide in the Lord. Even though Adam and Eve lived in a barren land their life became fruitful because they depended on the Lord. When they lived in a land of plenty, in the Garden of Eden, they did not bear fruit because they depended on their own reasonings rather than on the Lord.

To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord. Genesis 4:26

In the barren land Adam and Eve bore fruit for eternity because they looked to the Lord. Men began to call on the Lord after Seth was born and a godly line began that eventually brought forth the promised One who would strike the serpent on the head. It is in our humility that we can persevere and bear much fruit and then we will see the goodness and power of God.

Love Lives By Faith

There can not be love without faith. We must love by faith. Faith is doing the right thing without the need to see results. Faith is trusting One greater than ourselves. Faith is not blind faith but living on the promises of One who is faithful. There is only One who had perfect faith and that is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ lived a life of perfect faith when He was on earth. He trusted His Father in heaven completely.

But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. Acts 2:24

Jesus Christ did not raise Himself from the dead. The Father raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Jesus Christ went to the cross trusting the Father completely to raise Him from the dead.

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. Philippians 2:5-8

Jesus Christ is God and equal to God in every way but He emptied Himself and took the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men. He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross. He could only do this because He trusted in God the Father completely to be faithful to raise Him from the dead.

Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. John 14:10

Jesus did not speak His Words but He spoke only what the Father wanted Him to speak. It was the Father abiding in Jesus that did all the works of God that were done through Jesus Christ on earth. Jesus did not do miracles and works with His own power but it was the Father who did these works through him.

I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. John 5:30

Jesus had to study the Old Testament and be taught by the Father. He had to learn what the Father wanted Him to do. Jesus had to learn the promises of God that the Father had given to Him in the Scriptures.

So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. John 8:28

Jesus obeyed the Father completely and lived a life of faith in the promises of God. Jesus did not speak or act on His own initiative but He trusted in the Father completely.

For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. John 12:49

Jesus Christ has not asked His followers to do anything that He, Himself did not do on earth when He walked among men. He went to to the cross in faith and was raised so that He might be the first born from the dead. He lived a life of faith and obedience on earth as He has called us to do. He learned through Scripture what the Father’s will was for Him. He allowed the Father to abide in Him and He abided in the Father. He did not speak His Words but the Words of God. He did nothing on His own initiative except to obey and love the Father. Love, faith and obedience is a choice that we must do on our own initiative.

No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” John 10:18

Love must live by faith believing in, trusting in and obeying the One who loves us far more than we can imagine. He is faithful. Love Him and leave the results to Him.

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

Not only will you not be disappointed but the Lord has so much in store for the One who loves Him that you can not even fathom how great His love is for you. If you were to lay your head on your pillow and think of the greatest thing that God could do for you then He could still say that He can top it.

but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” I Corinthians 2:9

The life of faith is a mystery to those who do not know God. To those who know the Lord then their heart’s desire is to live for Him and to please Him. They have realized that He is the only One who can satisfy the longings of our heart.

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25,26

Love lives by faith and the one who loves God lives by faith. When we love others we love by faith. A husband and wife love each other by faith and a parent loves their children by faith. We love our friends and neighbors by faith. We even love our enemies by faith. Faith is doing what the Lord wants us to do and leaving the outcome to Him.

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

Love Gives “Good Things”

A question we need to ask is “Why does God give good things to bad people?”. For there is no one good but God and Adam and Eve did not obey their loving Creator who had nothing but good for them in their present and future. God is good and His plans for us are for our good. God loves us. In spite of what Adam and Eve did the Lord still loved them and wanted good for them.

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

The Lord has a good plan for all of us. He has a good future and He gives us hope.

Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:12,13

If we will call upon Him and come to Him then we will find Him when we search for Him with all of our heart. He will listen to us when we pray to Him. He loves us and longs to show us 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

No matter how “bad” we have been and no matter how far we have run from God He still loves us. He still wants us. He made us to love us. He finds no delight when we fall and when we experience grief.

For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness;
No evil dwells with You. Psalms 5:4

There is no god like the One True God who we know through His Son, Jesus Christ. There is none like Him for He delights in unchanging love.

Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love. Micah 7:18

The Lord wants all of us to come to Him. He will pardon and forgive all of our sins when we come to Him. He came to redeem us because He loves us. When we come to Him then He takes all of our sin and gives us all of His love. His love is a gift and there is nothing that we can do to earn it. We must receive it.

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 2:8,9

When we receive the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ then we receive not only forgiveness but we receive His love. We become His child and everything that is included in being a child of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

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 receive Jesus Christ through faith. Faith is coming to Him. It is by grace. Grace is His invitation to come to Him. When we turn away from our sin and come to Jesus Christ through faith by His grace and receive Him as our Lord and Savior then we become His child. We are either going away from God and going toward sin or we are going toward God and away from sin.

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

When we come to Him then He meets us where we are and brings 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, I Peter 3:18a

When we become God’s child then He pours out His love on us. God loves us with the same love which He loved Jesus Christ when He walked upon the earth.

and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them. John 17:26

The Lord made Himself known to us so that we also may know God the Father. He who knows Jesus, the Son of God, also knows God, the Father.

If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him. John 14:7

The commandment has not changed. The same instruction that God gave to Adam and Eve, He has also given to us. When we become His child then He wants us to live in His love forever. If we will keep His commandments then we will know Him and experience His love.

In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” John 14:20,21

The Lord wants to give us good things. He loves us and wants us to know His love and live in it. The way we live in His love is to obey Him. His commandments are for our good and to keep us from grief that we would bring upon ourselves by going our own way. Love is a choice and again, just like in the Garden of Eden, the Lord has given that choice to man, if man wants to love God and obey Him or not love God and go his own way.

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

Not only does God give good things to those who do not deserve them but there is no good thing that He will withhold from those who obey 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

God gives us good things because He loves us. He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him for us wants to also with Christ, freely give us all things. There is none like Him who delights in unchanging love. It is only a fool who would not come to Him.

Love Allows “Bad Things”

Some people wonder why God allows “bad things” to happen to good people. First of all, this question is not from the Lord rather it is from the devil. It is saying, “Would God do something bad?”. It seeks to put doubts into people about God just as the Serpent did in the garden when he said to Eve, “Indeed, has God said…”. In other words, what the serpent was really saying was, “Would God withhold something good from you?”

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” Genesis 3:1

The question “Why do bad things happen to good people?” implies that God is the author of bad and that people are actually good.

There is no one who does good.
The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men
To see if there are any who understand,
Who seek after God.
They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one. Psalm 14:1b-3

There is no person that does good. We have all failed and gone our own way. Apart from God none of us seek after Him. Not only is God the only One who is good but no bad is in Him. No evil dwells with Him. One of the meanings of evil is to cause grief. The Lord does not cause grief to anyone. We bring grief upon ourselves when we disobey God and what He has told us to do.

No evil dwells with You. Psalms 5:4b

Adam and Eve brought grief to themselves and to their offspring when they disobeyed God. Death, sadness and every other “bad thing” never was in God’s plan for Adam and Eve. However, it was God’s mercy that even allowed the grief to come to them. If God had not been true to His Word then they would have continued in their rebellion against God by doing what they wanted to do rather than doing what they ought to do. There is no record of them ever disobeying God again. Sometimes, it seems, we learn more from the consequences of our sin than we do through the instruction of not to sin. However, how much better life is if we will learn from His instruction to do what is right rather than learn from His discipline.

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Hebrews 12:11

Understanding is knowing the Lord. He wants us to believe and trust Him first and then we will understand.

And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10b

It is unbelief that wants to understand first and then obey. Anything that is not of faith is sin.

and whatever is not from faith is sin. Romans 14:23b

By faith we obey and in obeying we are preserved from the destruction of sin.

But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. Hebrews 10:39

The Lord often will speak to us through three different ways. The first way that He wants to teach us His way is through His Word. He wants us to listen to Him and obey Him by doing exactly as He says. If we don’t listen to His Word then sometimes He will send someone our way who will speak His truth to us. Of course, no one knows you as the Lord does and often this person will not be as gentle as the Lord is with us. It can be painful coming from someone else but it is still love. The Bible says “faithful are the wounds of a friend”. A true friend will speak the truth to you. If you still will not listen and obey then circumstances will speak even more loudly to you through the pain and sorrow that comes to your heart from not obeying and following the Lord.

Wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding, But in the hearts of fools it is made known. Proverbs 14:33

The Lord loves you. He never wants anything bad to happen. He wants you to learn from Him. He is gentle and humble in heart. His ways are good.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,
Otherwise they will not come near to you.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him. Psalm 32:8-10

The Lord wants to surround you with His lovingkindness. That is who He is. He wants to instruct you and teach you the good way. He will counsel you with His eye on you. Don’ be like a stubborn animal that needs a bit and bridle to hold them in check. Draw near to the Lord. He will draw near to you.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8a

As you learn to seek Him day by day and look to Him moment by moment you will be able to tell of His amazing love and what He has done for you. The nearness of God will be your good for you will have made Him your refuge.

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works. Psalm 73:28

Love is Faithfulness

One of the greatest gifts that you can give to someone whom you love is faithfulness. Faithfulness is being faithful in every area of your life. A faithful person will be a faithful spouse and parent. Love and trust is built on faithfulness. Faithfulness is learned from the only One who is truly faithful.

This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23

We can learn to trust and love God because He alone is faithful. We have hope because of Him. His lovingkindnesses and His compassions are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. II Timothy 2:13

His faithfulness is not based on our faithfulness. He is faithful because that is who He is. It is through Him that we learn to be faithful. The only way that we will ever be faithful to the people on earth that we are called to love is if we learn to be faithful to the One who loves us completely and has called us to love Him. Someone asked Jesus what is the greatest commandment.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Matthew 22:36

Jesus answered and said that the greatest was to love God.

And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39

The second commandment was like it because the evidence of our love for God is our love for others. If we love God then we will love others. If we don’t love others then we do not love God and we are only deceiving ourselves.

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. I John 4:20,21

Faithfulness begins with loving God and is expressed through loving others. Faithfulness begins in the heart. We can go through the motions but if we are not faithful in our heart then we are not faithful. However, faithfulness is not merely in our heart but it will be seen through our attitudes and actions. If we love with a whole heart then the recipient will know it and if we love only half-heartedly then they will know that also.

For their heart was not steadfast toward Him, Nor were they faithful in His covenant. Psalm 78:37

.The Lord wants us to be faithful to Him and do according to what is in His heart and His soul. When we learn to be faithful to the Lord then we will walk before God. When we learn what it means to walk before God then we will also learn what it means to be faithful. There is no faithfulness apart from God and apart from walking with God.

But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always. I Samuel 2:35

One of the greatest gifts that a father can give to his children is to be faithful to his wife and their mother. One of the greatest gifts that a mother can give to her children is to be faithful their father and her husband. God gave His greatest gift to us when He gave His Son to take our place on the cross and to pay for our sins so that we might become one of His children.

God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. I Corinthians 1:9

The faithfulness of Jesus Christ to do what the Father had sent Him to do was His greatest gift to us.

He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, Hebrews 3:2a

Jesus accomplished the work that the Father had given Him to do.

I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. John 17:4

In the same way, the Lord has given each of us some work that He wants us to do. If He has called you to be married then He wants you to be faithful. If He has called you to be a parent then He wants you to be faithful. Whatever work in building His kingdom that He has given you to do He wants you to be faithful. Faithfulness is who God is and faithfulness is what He is looking for in His children, in those who are called by His name.

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Luke 16:10

If a wife were to love her husband every second of every day of the week except for ten minutes on a Friday night would she be a faithful wife? No, she would have been unfaithful if she had been with another man. Faithfulness is being faithful all of the time with all of your heart. Love is faithfulness and faithfulness to love is truly loving the way that God loves us and has called us to love one another.

Love is Sincere

Love is sincere or it is not love at all. Insincere love is a pretension and is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy does not fool anyone but the one who has it. Love must be genuine. Everyone longs to see genuine love and longs to be loved with a genuine love.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Romans 12:9a

A sincere love is a love that is not fickle. It does not change with the times and circumstances. It loves when the one loved seems unlovable. It is the love that great marriages are made of and what should characterize all marriages. It is the love that is repeated in the vows made to God during the wedding ceremony.,,for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.

Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy man? Proverbs 20:6

A genuine love is not intentions but faithfulness in actions. A sincere love never changes. This is the love that God has for all of us. This kind of love is impossible apart from God.

Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, I Peter 1:22

When we draw near to God then we will learn what it means to have a sincere love for others.

let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, Hebrews 10:22a

A genuine love must come from a sincere heart with a clean conscience. Only God can clean our conscience.

having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience Hebrews 10:22b

A sincere love is one which loves expecting nothing in return. A sincere and genuine love will never fail.

Love never fails; I Corinthians 13:8a

The greatest gift that you can give to another is a genuine and sincere love. This kind of love can only come from a pure heart and a good conscience with a sincere faith in God.

But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. I Timothy 1:5

We can only find this kind of love in Jesus Christ. He gave His life for us. He loved us when we did not deserve it. No one deserves anyone’s love. Just as God’s love is a gift to us so is anyone else’s love. When you love with this kind of love then you will know that Christ is in you and you are in Christ. You will have a clear conscience and your heart will not condemn you. You will not help another when you see a need, out of guilt, but it will be love that motivates you. It will be a love greater than yourself for it will be God’s 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. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. I John 3:16-20

The Lord is so gracious to us. He knows our heart and He knows all things. He knows how weak our love is for others. He will help us learn to love and will love through us. Ask Him to teach you and help you love others with His kind of love.

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. I John 3:21-22

The Lord does not condemn you and don’t let your heart condemn you. The Lord will give you what you need to help you have a genuine love for others and keep His commandments. When you obey Him and love sincerely in deed and truth then you will do what is pleasing in His sight and He will hear your prayers. You will receive what you ask for from Him.

This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. I John 3:23

This is His commandment, that we believe in Jesus Christ and love one another as Christ has loved us. Trust in Him and obey Him.

Love Wants to Do Right

Love does what is right. The loving person will want to do what is right in the sight of God and all men. Sometimes we do not know the right thing to do but we will almost always recognize the right thing when it is done by someone else.

Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son who is living, and your son is the dead one’; and the other says, ‘No! For your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’” The king said, “Get me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. The king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” Then the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for she was deeply stirred over her son and said, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!” Then the king said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother.” When all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had handed down, they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice. I Kings 3:23-28

When King Solomon became king he was presented with a difficult situation in which he had to make a decision. When he made the right decision the people recognized that it was right and he gained their respect to rule over them. How important it is for a leader to do what is right so that the people who he is to lead will listen to, follow and respect him. When parents do what is right then their children will feel secure and want to honor them. When a husband does what is right then the wife will respect Him from her heart rather than only out of obedience to the Lord.

“The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me,
And His word was on my tongue.
“The God of Israel said,
The Rock of Israel spoke to me,
‘He who rules over men righteously,
Who rules in the fear of God,
Is as the light of the morning when the sun rises,
A morning without clouds,
When the tender grass springs out of the earth,
Through sunshine after rain.’ II Samuel 23:2-4

The leader who loves will do what is right. He will care about those whom the Lord has given him responsibility for their well being. A great leader will rule in the fear of God. God’s Word will be in his heart and on his tongue. He will be as refreshing as when the daylight comes when the sun rises in the morning. There will be peace, quietness and confidence.

And the work of righteousness will be peace,
And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17

When there is love and righteousness in the home then those who live there will feel secure. When a husband and father loves his family and does what is right then his wife will trust him and so will his children.

Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation,
And in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places; Isaiah 32:18

When a mother is loving and does what is right then her children will love her when they are young. They will praise her when they are older and will also want to come back home to visit when she is older.

When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, But when a wicked man rules, people groan. Proverbs 29:2

When a leader is wicked and does what is wrong then those under that leader will groan. Rather than loving them he will bring them much sorrow and shame. He will not have their respect but they will live in fear. There will be no joy or peace. This can be true in a family and home and the children will long to leave and not come back.

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. I Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient and love is kind. Love wants to do what is right and does not rejoice in unrighteousness. Love rejoices with the truth.

Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3:3,4

When love, kindness and truth characterize your life then you will do what is right in the sight of God and men. Not only will you do what is right but you will find favor with God and have a good reputation with men.

Love Shows Mercy in Justice

When Cain’s offering was not accepted by God, rather than doing what was right he did what was wrong and he murdered his brother, Abel, whose offering God had accepted. When we do wrong we can still do what is right. The choice is ours.

And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4:4b-7

It may be humbling but we can still do what is right and if we do what is right then we will be glad and our countenance will reflect it. The Lord gives us the opportunity to humble ourselves before Him so that we might receive His grace which enables us to do what is right no matter how great the sin.

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

His grace will always measure up to the measure of the sin. One aspect of His grace is the strength to do what needs to be done to do what the Lord wants to be done.

but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21b,22

If you mess up or sin once or a million times you can still turn away from sin and turn to the Lord to begin doing what is right. Cain could still have done what was right or he could do what was wrong. The choice is still our choice. The wages of sin is death. It is death to us spiritually and it is death to our soul and death to our body. If we will do what is right then the Lord will meet us and help us.

You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways. Isaiah 64:5a

Cain was jealous of his brother and killed him. Cain did not love his brother but he hated him.

For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. I John 3:11,12

How much easier it is for us to love someone else when we have more than they do. However, when someone becomes more successful and has more money, receives more honor or is accepted more then that love can easily turn to hate.

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; I John 3:15a

Sin begins in the heart but if it is not quickly checked and confessed then it will lead to action. Cain did not plan to kill his brother. Most of us don’t plan to sin but we have allowed sin to take root in our heart and then to master us. Sin is a cruel master and when Cain heard his punishment it was too hard to bear. The Lord spoke to Cain.

He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to bear! Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” Genesis 4:10-14

When Cain poured out his heart to the Lord then the Lord heard him and showed him mercy. The Lord is a just God but He is also merciful. How important it is to show mercy to those to whom we have to show justice. This is such an important truth for parents when they need to discipline their child. There can be no love without justice but love must be shown in justice so that the one who receives justice should not despair.

So the Lord said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him. Genesis 4:15

Many a regret comes from an action in the emotion of the moment. Cain messed up privately in his worship with the Lord and the Lord reproved him privately. The Lord had not told anyone. Cain told his brother and when they were alone he killed him.

Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Genesis 4:8

Jealousy is a sickness of the heart that can destroy us from the inside out. It is a secret sin that comes from insecurity. The best way to deal with jealousy is to get it out in the open. Go to someone who walks with the Lord and who you can trust and confess your sin of jealousy to them and ask them to pray for you.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16

The Lord is faithful, righteous and able to cleanse and heal us if we will confess our sins. He can also restore our relationships and heal our marriages and homes.

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:8,9

In God’s righteousness and faithfulness to His Word there is justice but in His love He shows us mercy when we come to Him and pour out our heart to Him.

Love Must Be Selective

Contrary to what some may say and others may believe we can not have it all. We can not have a life filled with love and do what we want to do. To find and keep love a life must be selective about what it hears, sees and does. What comes into your life is what will be expressed through your life.

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

There is One who loves us and He loved us with His life and He released us from the things that would destroy our lives, our marriages and our homes. He does not want us to go back to a life of destruction. He came to bring us life overflowing.

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

There are six things that must characterize your life if you want to find and keep love. If you do these six things then you will live on the heights of the earth, that is, you will live above your circumstances rather than under your circumstances. Often it is not our circumstances that determine our lives but our response to our circumstances.

He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity,
He who rejects unjust gain
And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe;
He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed
And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil; Isaiah 33:15

“He who walks righteously” Walking righteously is doing what God says. He is the only One who is righteous and when we do what He says then we will walk righteously.

It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the Lord our God, just as He commanded us. Deuteronomy 6:25

“speaks with sincerity” Speaking with sincerity can only come when a person is honestly walking with God. Only a person with integrity, where there is no double mindedness in them, can speak with sincerity. This person is singular in their desire to please God. There is nothing that they desire from another.

Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. Psalm 73:25

“He who rejects unjust gain” To reject unjust gain is to not be deceptive or cheat in any way. It is to be honest in all of our dealings. To reject unjust gain is to walk in God’s ways and not to want our own way. The Lord says that He will teach us how to profit. When we are seeking Him and seeking to walk in His ways then He will show us how to profit in a way that all will benefit.

They have all turned to their own way, Each one to his unjust gain, to the last one. Isaiah 56:11b

“And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe” The Lord does not take bribes

For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. Deuteronomy 10:17

“And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe” The Lord does not want us to take bribes.

You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. Deuteronomy 10:19

“He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed” The Lord does not want us to listen to bloodshed. We need to stop our ears from listening to bloodshed. Is there bloodshed in the news? Is there bloodshed in the books or movies that are available? The Lord wants us to be proactive in what we listen to and to stop our ears from listening to bloodshed. The Lord wants us to hate bloodshed and not listen to it.

therefore as I live,” declares the Lord God, “I will give you over to bloodshed, and bloodshed will pursue you; since you have not hated bloodshed, therefore bloodshed will pursue you. Ezekiel 35:6

“And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil” The Lord wants us to shut our eyes from looking upon evil. We will only be able to do what we know. He does not even want us to have the knowledge of evil. If we want to find and keep love then we must be innocent in what is evil. There is something pure and refreshing about a person who is innocent in the knowledge of evil.

but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. Romans 16:19b

The Lord says that if you will do these six things then you will live on the heights of the earth. You will be secure and you will not worry over the basic necessities of life, in fact, they will be given to you and you can be sure of them.

He will dwell on the heights,
His refuge will be the impregnable rock;
His bread will be given him,
His water will be sure. Isaiah 33:16

For the person who does these six things they will not only live securely and live a life above the way the rest of the world but they will see the Lord in His beauty. This person will see the Lord and their eyes will also behold that far distant land that He has in store for them. Their entire perspective will be changed and they will realize that this life is only passing. They will have something far greater to live for than what this world has to offer. They will see the One who is love and in seeing they will realize that they have found love and they will keep the love that God has for them, for God is love.

Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will behold a far-distant land. Isaiah 33:17