Love Is More than Being Sorry

Even when Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying what the Lord had commanded them God still loved them. He still wanted to communicate with them.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. Genesis 3:6,7

They hid from Him but God did not hide from them.

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8

They hid from God and knew they were naked so they made coverings out of fig leaves for themselves. For the first time they were afraid.

Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:9

However, even in their fear they were honest with God about what they had done. They did not deny what they had done.

He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” Genesis 3:11

The Lord provided for them because He loved them. In spite of their sin the Lord knew that they needed help. The Lord gave them what they needed.

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21

Cain, on the other hand, denied his sin to the Lord.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:9

Of course the Lord knew what Adam and Eve had done before He asked them and He knew what Cain had done. He also knows what each of us has done but He wants to know if we will be honest with Him.

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.” Genesis 4:10-12

Adam and Eve repented of their sin and sought to obey God from that time on. Cain seemed to be sorry for the consequences rather than sorry for what he had done. There does not seem to be any desire for obedience.

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 4:13,14

The Lord still showed Cain mercy and provided for him. He did not need coverings as Adam and Eve did after they sinned but he needed protection. The Lord provided protection for Cain. The Lord still loved Cain and heard his cry for help.

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. Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Genesis 4:16a

There are still two kinds of people. There are those who repent of their sins and turn to the Lord and there are those who are sorry for the consequence of their sins but there is no desire to change. Peter wept over his sin when he denied the Lord and grieved over what he had done.

And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:75

Judas on the other hand, was sorry for what he had done, but there was no repentance.

Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. Matthew 27:3-5

The Lord loved both Peter and Judas. The Lord loves each of us and has shown us His kindness over and over again desiring that we will repent and come to Him.

Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:4

Peter was restored in his relationship with the Lord and Judas was not. The Lord came to restore us. He loves us but He wants us to not only be sorry for what we have done but to turn away from our sin and turn to Him with all of our heart. He wants us to love Him. He wants our hearts. Love is more than just being sorry for what you have done. Love is changing and going in a different direction so you won’t do the same thing. If you love someone then you will get help rather than continuing to hurt them over and over again. Love is more than just being sorry. Love is repentance and changing.

Love Makes Acceptable

The Lord did not regard Cain’s offering but God did regard the offering of Abel. What was the difference in their offering and why did the Lord have regard for the offering of Abel but no regard for Cain’s offering?

So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. 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. Genesis 4:3-5

We worship the Lord through our offerings to Him. The Lord does not say in His Word why He did not respect Cain’s offering. We know that the Bible says that Cain made His offering at the “end of days”. We know that the Lord wants us to give to Him first and not last.

Honor the Lord from your wealth
And from the first of all your produce; Proverbs 3:9

The Lord wants us to honor Him from the first of our days and from the first of our productivity or work. However, there is “something” more than our offering that the Lord wants. There is no mention that Cain offered this “something” to the Lord. When and how we give our offerings to Him are more of an indication of whether or not we have first given Him that “something” that He wants.

For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:16,17

That “something” that the Lord wants first is your heart. Since Cain made his offering “in the course of time” or “the end of days” it seems that he was simply being religious but that his heart did not belong to the Lord. He did not give his treasure to the Lord first and as a result Cain’s heart did not first belong to the Lord.

for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

The Lord does not need our offerings. He loves us and we need to give Him first our hearts and then our offerings as an expression of our thanksgiving to Him and love for Him. He wants us to call on Him.

“If I were hungry I would not tell you,
For the world is Mine, and all it contains.
“Shall I eat the flesh of bulls
Or drink the blood of male goats?
“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving
And pay your vows to the Most High;
Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.” Psalm 50:12-15

Cain did not call on the Lord when the Lord spoke to Cain about Cain’s troubles. He went to his brother, Abel. Was Cain feeling sorry for himself? Self pity will often follow anger for anger is often an emotional response to feeling hurt. We do not know but we do know that there were two opposing forces that desired Cain’s heart.

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 4:6,7

Not only did the Lord want Cain’s heart first and then his offering but sin also desired Cain. Either we will master sin or sin will become our master. Sin is a cruel master and will make us slaves to it and brings death.

Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? Romans 6:16

Cain did not go to the Lord but Cain went to Abel. When we mess up we can either go to God and agree with Him about our sin or we can go to someone else. Whether Cain was feeling sorry for himself and looking for pity we do not know but we do know that Cain did not choose the Lord and go to Him. Cain ending up chosing sin. Cain did not love God nor did he love Abel.

By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. 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. I John 3:10-12a

However, if Cain had come to God with a broken and contrite spirit then the Lord would have accepted him and he could have then made an offering acceptable to God. Cain would have seen the salvation of God and offered to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving which would honor the Lord.

“He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me;
And to him who orders his way aright
I shall show the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23

There is only one way that we can master sin and that is if we have living within us the only One who has never sinned and not only mastered sin but defeated sin through His obedience and sacrifice to God.

But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,

My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:10-12

Jesus Christ bore our sins on the cross and defeated death for us because He loved us that much and because He still wants us, just as He wanted Cain and Abel. The choice though is still ours just as Cain and Abel had to make a choice. Will we choose to love God or will we choose sin? We have two opposing forces that want our hearts…God’s love is calling us and sin also desires us. Whichever one we choose will be our master and we will end up serving the one whom we have chosen. To not choose God is to choose sin. Cain probably never planned to kill his brother. That is how sin is, one sin leads to another and before we know it we have done things that we never intended to do and it is only because we never chose God in the first place.

If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

There is only one response though when we choose God and that is to make an offering that He has promised to accept.

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Romans 12:1

When we offer ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ who first offered Himself for us then we will see and the world will see that God’s will is good, acceptable and perfect.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

When we choose the Lord not only will we see how good and perfect the Lord is and how wonderful His will is for us but our countenance will also be lifted up. We will be the happiest people around because not only has our offering been accepted but even more we have been accepted by God.

So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? Genesis 4:6,7a

We are accepted not because we have done well, for no one can do what is right in God’s sight, but because we have chosen the only One who did what was right in the sight of God. The Father was well pleased with Jesus and because of Him, the Father accepts us and loves us.

For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— II Peter 1:17

Love Casts Out Fear

There is no comfort in fear. Fear can emotionally paralyze the one who has it. Fear can control us and ultimately destroy our mental well being. Fear comes from not knowing and not being in control and when life seems out of control we become anxious and fearful. Fear is not a part of God’s will for your life.

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

The only cure for fear is when we will trust the One who is always in control and who loves us perfectly. We do not even love ourselves perfectly so we can not even trust ourselves. Nor do we have all power to control everything always so we are helpless and can not even help ourselves. There is only One who can ultimately help us and He is all loving and all powerful and we can trust Him. He is in control and is fully aware of everything that is going on in our lives. Nothing catches Him by surprise.

The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all. Psalm 103:19

The Lord can do whatever He pleases. He is the only One with that kind of power.

Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps. Psalm 135:6

The Lord loves you and He loves all of us. He does not show partiality.

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

His love is perfect and it is available to any who will call on Him. He is able, He will and He wants to deliver you from your fears.

And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Will be delivered; Joel 2:32a

The Lord will not only deliver you from your fears if you call on Him but He will save you. He will be your Savior in this world and for all eternity if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead.

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:9,10

He will never leave you nor forsake you if you call on Jesus Christ to save you.

for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. Hebrews 13:5b, 6a

He will replace your fear with His peace. There is not anything that can take His peace away from you.

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

To those who call on the Lord Jesus Christ to save them He will be their refuge and One whom they can go to any time and call on any time if they ever start feeling fearful again. He will deliver them from evil and their soul can find safety and shelter from the troubles of life.

For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent. Psalm 91:9,10

Those who call on the Lord Jesus Christ and put their trust in Him will not be disappointed.

For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:11-13

He is a present help in time of trouble. If this is a fearful and troubling time for you then maybe God has allowed this time so that you will realize that you need Jesus Christ in your life, not only for now, but for all time.

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

If you are weary of trying to make it on your own or if you are weary of carrying the burden of your fears and anxieties then come to Him. He invites all who are weary to come to Him. He is gentle and humble of heart and He understands your fears, anxieties and troubles and He loves you.

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

Jesus Christ loves you and in His love your fears will be cast out and in Him you will find rest for your soul. He will be a present help in time of trouble and you will be able to take refuge in Him and be safe. He will give you His peace and nothing can take it away. He will never leave you. You will not be disappointed when you put your trust in Him.

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

Love Is Being Accepted

All of us long to be accepted for who we are rather than for what we can accomplish or for what we have or for any other superficial reason. Deep down we know that we will ultimately lose sometime even if we have won a million times and that what we have gained we can lose. Everything that is temporal is superficial and most of which was beyond our control. We had no choice what country we were born in, who our parents are, our physical appearance or intelligence or talents or status in this world. If we focus on these attributes that we have been given then we become even more insecure because no matter how “whatever” someone is they know that someone will come along who is prettier, or smarter, or more athletic or “whatever” it is that we have been praised for or have sought after. Everyone is basically insecure on the inside and think that something more will make us “feel secure”. Eve thought that if she ate of the forbidden fruit then she would be wiser.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6

All of these temptations are illusions. They will not make you wiser nor will you feel more secure nor even feel better. They certainly will not make you accepted more. There have been many women who have fallen into the trap that “if only” they could change “this” or “that” then they would be accepted or “when” they get “this” or “that” then they will feel secure. It is not so and it will never be. However, there is something very attractive about a person who is secure in exactly who they are and that they do not need someone else to give them their security and that they have accepted themselves for what they have and are not constantly seeking for more. The person who is secure does not feel the need to control others or to manipulate. Blessed is the man who finds a wife who is secure.

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

One of the most amazing truths in the Scripture is that God, the Father loves His children, those who believe in Jesus Christ, with the same love that He loves Jesus. How can this be? Jesus never sinned and we have all sinned. The Bible says that our righteousness is as filthy rags. The filthy rag is one that stinks. Our sin stinks and we are sinners.

For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; Isaiah 64:6

However, when we become one of His sheep He loves us as His own. The only way this happens is because when we become a Christian we receive the righteousness of Christ. He takes our filthiness and He gives us His sweet fragrance.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10

This is best illustrated in the Shepherd who cares for the sheep. When a lamb becomes orphaned because it’s mother dies the Shepherd takes the lamb and finds a nursing ewe who has lost it’s little lamb and covers the orphaned lamb with the skin of the dead lamb. The nursing ewe, who normally will have nothing to do with a lamb not her own, smells the sweet smell of her own little lamb and adopts the live orphaned lamb as her own and cares for it and nurses it until it can survive on its own. In a similar way, Jesus covers us with His robe of righteousness and that is what God, the Father sees in us sinners, the righteousness of Jesus Christ and He fully accepts us as His own and loves us with the same love with which He loves Jesus.

Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. Romans 15:7

The only way that we can love another with perfect acceptance is when we realize that we are fully accepted by God. The only way that two people will feel secure in their relationship is when they are secure in their relationship with the Lord. There is nothing that we can do to be accepted by God other than to be “in Christ” and to be covered with His righteousness. Righteousness is doing it right all of the time and we have all failed. We have no righteousness of our own but those who belong to Jesus Christ have been declared righteous in the eyes of God because of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ never failed to do what is right. We are loved with the same love that Jesus is loved with and we are accepted into the family of God and into heaven because of Jesus Christ and that He has given His righteousness to us and taken our filthy rags.

Love Unites

Love unites. Love is one of the most powerful fores in the world. We long for love. We long to be loved and we long to love. It is the food for the soul. Without love our emotions dry up and our hearts become hardened. It is a friendship love that unites friends and it is a brotherly love that unites family. It is romantic love that unites a couple in marriage. However, it is only God’s love that can sustain any of these relationships. God’s love is the purest love ever known. No one can know God’s love unless they know God. God’s love is called agape love because it is a love that is not conditional on the other person.

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. I John 4:15,16

Believing in and confessing Jesus Christ as the Son of God allows a person to come into the personal knowledge of the love of God. God abides in the that person and that person abides in God. Jesus Christ was the fullest and greatest expression of God’s love. We do not deserve God’s love and yet it has been poured out on us through Jesus Christ.

for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:28

The life of Jesus Christ was was sacrificed for the forgiveness of sins. His blood was poured out for us. It was love that sent Jesus Christ to the cross to die for us.

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

For God so loved us He gave His only begotten Son.

I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. John 10:11

Jesus laid down His life for us.

because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5b

God’s love has been poured out within us through His Holy Spirit who has been given to us. It is His love that unites us. Our love for Him and our love for each other. He came to love us.

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

Love covers a multitude of sins. People will either see our sins or they will see our love. When they see our love they no longer see our sins.

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

How did Jesus love us? He laid down His life for us. We also ought to lay down our lives for each other.

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

How do we know when we truly love each other? It is when we keep His commandments that His love is expressed towards each other.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. I John 5:2

What is the outcome when we love each other? The world will know that we are Christians by our love for one another. God is love and love is the expression of who God is.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34,35

When we love as the Lord has commanded us there will be no division. There will be unity for love is the perfect bond of unity.

Love Listens and Hears

Love hears because love is listening for the voice or cry of the one whom they love. Every mother understands this fact. Even in her sleep she is always listening for the cries of her children. She knows their cries and their voices and each one is unique. She knows their sounds because she loves her children. Her heart is attentive to them.

But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. I Thessalonians 2:7

So also the Lord hears our cries and He delivers His children from all of their troubles. He is attentive to each one of us.

The righteous cry, and the Lord hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. Psalm 34:17

The Lord loves us and wants us to cry out to Him. He does hear our voice and the sound of our prayers. He hears our cries of distress.

I love the Lord, because He hears
My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live. Psalm 116:1,2

Just as the Lord hears us He also wants us to listen to Him and hear Him. He said over and over again when He was on earth, “He who has ears to hear let him hear”.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. John 5:24

It is through hearing His Word that we believe in Jesus Christ and receive eternal life.

He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” John 8:47

An unbeliever can read the Bible but the unbeliever will not be changed because they are only reading words with their mind. When a person becomes a Christian then they will read God’s Word with their mind and heart and it will no longer be just reading words but they will hear God speak to them through His Words.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

It is through hearing God’s Word that we receive faith. Is your faith little? If you struggle in your faith then read God’s Words over and over again. Ask the Lord to increase your faith. Faith and fear can not reside in the same vessel. Are you fearful? Get into God’s Word and stay in God’s Word until you know His peace.

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

The Lord hears your cries and He listens to your prayers. He loves you. If you will come to Him then you will know His comfort and His peace. He will be with you in trouble.

As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; Isaiah 66:13a

Being a Christian is having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. He hears the cries and prayers of His children and He wants us to listen to Him also. He speaks to us and He wants us to talk to Him. Being a Christian is far more than just believing intellectually in God and believing that Jesus Christ is God’s Son. Being a Christian is having a living faith that lives on His promises and follows Him in obedience. When a person is a true Christian then they will no longer “listen” to the world but they will “listen” to the Lord. For this reason, their lifestyle will be different. They will no longer want to do the things they did before. They will choose different friends if their nonChristian friends do not want to listen to the Lord. The Christian’s values will change. The Christian will have become a new person in Christ for they will have heard from God. God is still calling for those who will listen.

Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts Hebrews 3:7,8a

The Lord says that “Today” is the day of salvation. If you hear His voice then come to Him. Do not harden your heart for you do not know what tomorrow holds and you do not know if you will hear His voice again or if you will have another chance.

for He says, “At the acceptable time I listened to you,
And on the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation”— II Corinthians 6:2

He hears you because He loves you. He is listening for your prayer and cry to Him.

Love Brings Comfort

Everyone needs comfort. A baby seeks comfort from the time that the baby leaves the womb. Children need comfort and will only thrive with it. The word “fatherless” or “orphan” means without comfort. God’s design is that mankind would never be without comfort. Comfort is an expression of love that gives the “feeling” of being loved. The word comfort means “to come alongside”. In other words, the idea of comfort is that you will not be alone. The Lord said that it is not good for man to be alone.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; Genesis 2:18a

It is not good for anyone to be alone. The Lord made us to be in relationships. We were made to be in relationship with God, to receive of His love and to love Him back. Jesus came to bring us back into relationship with God. When Jesus left this earth He promised that the Comforter would come to those who trusted Him. This Comforter would be the Spirit of God Himself and would never leave them.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; John 14:16 (KJV)

They would not ever be alone again because Jesus would come to them and comfort them through His Holy Spirit.

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14:18

God never sent His Holy Spirit to convict Christians. God sent His Holy Spirit to comfort Christians. When we draw near to God then we feel His comfort. The Lord wants us to see Him and know His love. He does not want us to feel alone. He came so that we would never be alone again. Sin isolates but love comforts.

After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 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 14:19-21

If we believe in Jesus then we will see Him. We come into Christ and Christ comes into us when we become a Christian. Because Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and lives we live also. When we keep His commandments then we will live in His love and know His comfort and His love.

I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. John 10:11

When a person believes in Jesus Christ and receives Him as their Savoir and Lord then He also becomes their Shepherd. He is a good Shepherd and He laid down His life for His sheep.

I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. John 10:14-16

The true sheep will hear the Shepherd’s voice. Not only will true believers see the Lord but they will also hear His voice. The Lord calls for His sheep in every generation. It is our belief in Him and our love for Him that unites us into one flock with one Shepherd for all eternity. Just as sheep have differences in outward appearances, they will all have a sheep’s heart and they will all have the one Good Shepherd.

But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. John 10:2-4

Jesus Christ is the true Shepherd and the true sheep hear His voice and they follow Him. He knows them by name and He goes before them. The true sheep will follow the true Shepherd because they know His voice.

I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. John 10:9

Jesus is the door. We must enter into His flock through Him. If we do then we will be saved and we will find comfort and rest for our souls. He cares for His sheep for He is the Good Shepherd.

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