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

Love Fills the Heart

When a person experiences love, really great love, then love will fill their heart. When love fills the heart then love will fill the life, the marriage and the home. When the heart is empty of love then the life, marriage and home will be empty of love.

The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; Luke 6:45a

A good person is one whose heart is filled with the Lord. There is no one good but God. God is good and His love is what changes lives, marriages, homes and the world. However, there is no such thing as a vacuum and if the Lord does not fill your heart with His love then your heart will be filled with what is not good. The opposite of love is selfishness and evil and if our hearts are not filled with God’s love then our hearts will be filled with selfish ambitions and what is evil.

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. James 3:14-16

Where there is jealousy and selfish ambition there will be confusion and every evil thing. Whether we want to or not, when we are not filled with God’s love and His truth then we will inadvertently do evil to those whom we should love and will bring them grief through our selfishness, our neglect, our attitudes, our actions or our words.

and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. Luke 6:45b

The devil uses only one weapon to cause us to bring grief to others and that is the lie. He whispers into our heart thoughts that are not good and we start responding to them and before we know it we are believing these lies.

You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

The lies of the devil stir up our imagination and put doubts into our hearts about our spouse, children, coworkers, bosses, friends and neighbors. It is when we act or speak on these doubts that stir up strife in our lives, our marriages, our homes and our world.

He who loves transgression loves strife; He who raises his door seeks destruction. Proverbs 17:19

Strife is the beginning of destruction. Strife will bring destruction to our marriage and our home and everything else that is precious to us. Love believes the best and seeks to know the truth so that the lies will be recognized and dismissed. The devil is an accuser but the one who loves God and the person who has His truth and His love in their heart will recognize these accusations and not respond to them. Love believes the best in others. If we respond to a lie then our response will always be wrong and bring grief to another.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. Revelation 12:10

Jesus Christ has the power and authority over the devil and when Jesus Christ is in our lives then the devil has no power to deceive us into believing his lies. As we learn to respond to Jesus Christ, who is the truth and who loves us with His own life, then we will bring life and love to others.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6

When Jesus Christ fills us with Himself then we will be filled with His love, His truth and His life. Our hearts will be filled with what is good and our homes and lives will be filled with love.

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. James 3:13

Good thoughts, attitudes and actions can only come from one who is wise and understanding. The Bible says that knowing God gives understanding and revering Him is the beginning of wisdom. Good will be expressed through the gentleness of God’s wisdom and the outcome will build up and not tear down.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. James 3:17

This will characterize the one whose heart is filled with love.

Love Does Not Grow Weary

Love is not a fifty yard dash but it is a marathon. It is a long run in the right direction that brings incredibly great rewards if we stay the path. Do not grow weary. It is worth the struggle, the perseverance, the endurance, the pain and the growth that will occur in you.

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. Galatians 6:9,10

We will not always have opportunity to do good to others. The word good means the highest form of love. When we love we are doing good to others. First, we are to love and do good to our spouses. Then we are to love and do good to our children. Next we are to love and do good to our extended family, friends, neighbors and those whom we work with or engage in business. This is the order of the requirements in responsibility that the Lord has for leaders.

An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. I Timothy 3:2-7

The Lord says that we will know others by their fruit. No one knows what another’s relationship with the Lord is like but if his relationship with the Lord is not right then it will show up in his marriage. No one really knows what a person’s marriage is like but the fruit of the marriage will be made known in the children. If the children are not being brought up right then there will be problems with those outside of the home. The Lord would not make these requirements in leadership if it was random how a marriage or children end up.

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

A person’s relationships and family are the fruits of a trustworthy man. They are indications of a person’s relationship with the Lord. The most important relationship is a leader’s relationship with the Lord but no one knows what is done in secret but the Lord. The Lord tells us to look at the fruit.

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15-20

If there are issues in your marriage, family or outside of your family then the temptation is to focus on the marriage partner, children or others but the need is to focus first on your relationship with the Lord. Are you being faithful? Are you seeking Him with all of your heart? Are you spending time with the Lord in His Word and prayer daily and especially in the morning? Or are you secretly feeding your flesh? Do you have bitter jealousy or selfish ambition in your heart? The good fruit or the corruption in our own relationship with the Lord, in our marriage and our family will be evident.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7,8

Do not be deceived by the deceptiveness of sin and the flesh, God is not mocked. If you are feeding your flesh secretly it will be seen openly in the fruit in your relationships. If you are feeding your spirit then you will see life and experience life and peace in your life and in your relationships.

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:6-8

Love Is Not Easily Angered

Anger is an emotion that can easily destroy love. Only a fool will allow anger to control him and it is best to not be angry at all.

Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9

A person who is slow to get angry is greater than the mighty. He who rules his spirit shows more power than he who captures a city.

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. Proverbs 16:32

Love is not easily angered because love and understanding sees the need in the other person rather than the desire in one’s own self to get angry.

He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly. Proverbs 14:29

The angry person does not realize that once they are over their anger the damage has been done in the spirit of the other ones who have seen it. Anger destroys intimacy in a marriage and a family because it puts fear in the one who is vulnerable. A wife is vulnerable to her husband and children are vulnerable to parents. Fear keeps the vulnerable one from opening up.

A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression. Proverbs 19:11

It is a wise and discreet person who is slow to anger. It is a loving person who overlooks mistakes and shortcomings in others. It is love that covers a multitude of sins.

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

A wise person is slow to anger and a prudent person conceals dishonor. A loving person is one who conceals dishonor in someone else. They will not seek to exalt themselves at the expense of someone else.

A fool’s anger is known at once, But a prudent man conceals dishonor. Proverbs 12:16

Anger pours gas on a potentially explosive situation whereas love pours water on a fire. A wise and loving person will learn to turn away from anger.

Scorners set a city aflame, But wise men turn away anger. Proverbs 29:8

Anger and wrath are related and so is fretting. Fretting is another word for being anxious and when we are anxious then it leads to evildoing. Doing evil is usually taking things into our own hands to deal with a situation and the outcome will not be good.

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.
Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more;
And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.
But the humble will inherit the land
And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity. Psalm 37:7-11

The opposite of anger is to trust in the Lord, rest in Him and wait for Him. We can only do that if we know Him and know His love. If you do get angry with someone and say or do something that is not right then go to the person and ask their forgiveness for what you have done.

He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. Proverbs 28:13

Don’t try to conceal your angry response by excusing or justifying what you have done or blaming someone else by saying they caused your anger. Maybe what they did was wrong but it does not excuse our response if it is not right. If we confess our sins to one another and forsake them then we will find compassion. Ask for prayer from another who has struggled and seen victory. All of us can relate to being angry but it does not justify us being that way.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. James 5:16

My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. James 5:19,20

It is the soul of the angry person who dies when they get angry and say and do things that they regret. We need each other to help us in our struggles when we stray from the truth of God’s ways. Ask the Lord to help you find an older Christian who will pray for you and who you can talk with and confess your sins to so that they can turn you back to the Lord and His truth.

Love is Wise

True love will always act with wisdom. Love seeks only the best for the other and wisdom are the practical steps of action of what we need to do to get where we want to go. If we want a loving marriage then we need wisdom to know what we need to do so that our marriage will be filled with love. Most people know what they want but they do not know how to get there. Most people get married wanting for their marriage to be filled with love but too often the love fades and then the marriage dies.

A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, Proverbs 1:5

A wise person will always be learning in the ways of love. Wisdom and understanding often go together and the wise and understanding person will acquire as much wisdom and counsel that they can get. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Lord is understanding. The Lord is love and wisdom and He is the One who created man and woman and so He understands what each of us needs far more than we do. The more we know Him then the more we will understand how to love. Only a fool will try to do relationships on their own and especially marriage and family.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

Much of the grief in relationships begins with the tongue and what we say. Wisdom will teach you what to say and what not to say. You can never take back your words and much of our regrets have to do with what we said in the emotion of the moment.

The heart of the wise instructs his mouth Proverbs 16:23a

Your tongue can also bring much healing to your spouse. All of us have been hurt and disappointed in life and we bring that baggage into our marriages. There is nothing sweeter than for a spouse to know our hurts and pains and to love us through the difficult times.

…the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18b

A home is meant to be a refuge from the storms of life. It is a taste of heaven to come home to a loving spouse. When you give love then you will receive love. Often where you are weak your spouse is strong and both of you will learn wisdom from each other on how to love. Loving is a learning process and we need to love in actions and words. Wisdom will teach us how to love in word and deed.

Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. I John 3:18

If you feel a need for wisdom or you don’t know what to do in your marriage then ask God for wisdom. He promises that He will give wisdom to all who ask Him. God is the source of all wisdom and He will give you wisdom for what you need to do.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

With the Lord is wisdom and counsel. There is no counsel apart from Him. The person who seeks the Lord will find Him when they seek Him with all their heart. They will also discover wisdom and their life will be sweet and good. They will soar in life and their marriage and children will be blessed. If you miss the Lord you will have missed it for all eternity and there will be no end to their misery.

With Him are wisdom and might; To Him belong counsel and understanding. Job 12:13

There is much counsel contrary to the ways of God. You will not recognize the lies that permeate our world unless you know God’s ways and His truth. Good counsel will never go against what the Lord has said in His Word.

There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the Lord. Proverbs 21:30

Wisdom is more important than money and yet how much time is spent seeking wealth over wisdom. The most important things in life money can not buy and we lose them through a lack of wisdom. Once they are gone it is never the same. We value the love in our marriage, our families, our friends and the well being of our health, our emotions and minds, and yet money can not buy any of these but wisdom tells us what we need to discover and preserve them.

How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver. Proverbs 16:16

He who gets wisdom loves his own soul.

He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good. Proverbs 19:8

There is nothing that compares to wisdom. Wisdom is different from knowledge. Wisdom is the right application of knowledge. The Lord stores up wisdom for those who love Him. If you are wise then you are wise for yourself. If you neglect wisdom or do not seek it then you will be the one who suffers from the lack of wisdom.

If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, And if you scoff, you alone will bear it. Proverbs 9:12

When you find wisdom then you will be blessed and those who live under your influence will be blessed. Wisdom is more precious than jewels and all desirable things can not compare with wisdom. You will also discover knowledge, prudence, discernment, understanding and discretion.

“For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her. “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And I find knowledge and discretion. Proverbs 8:11,12

Love Is a Response

Love is a response to love. We can only love to the extent that we have known love. We can only know love through God since He is the source of love and God is love. When we love God then we will know the Lord and His love and we will be known by Him. It is then that we can love others with a God like love.

but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him. I Corinthians 8:3

God loves us and when we experience His great love for us then we want to love Him back. It is only when our hearts are evil that we do not want to love One who loves us so deeply and so sacrificially. The Lord is good and only does good towards us. The opposite of good is evil. One aspect of the meaning of good is the highest form of love and one of the meanings of evil is to cause grief. The Lord loves us and shows us good. We are the ones who bring Him grief and sadness by not loving Him and by rejecting His love for us. When we do not love God then we not only bring grief to God but we bring grief on ourselves. We also bring grief on those whom God has called us to love.

He who returns evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house. Proverbs 17:13

Since our hearts are evil we can not love God the way we need to so when we come to Him then He gives us a new heart to love Him. It is also this new heart that allows us to love others.

Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

If you are struggling with loving God and loving others then ask God for a new heart. It is not within ourselves to love God and love others.

Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Ezekiel 18:31a

Either we will love something else first or we will love God first. Whatever else it is that we love before God will be sin to us and will ultimately destroy us. The Lord wants us to cast our sins away from us so that we can love Him. When we love God and come to Him then He will bring healing to our lives and our relationships. He will heal us and restore us.

Woe to them, for they have strayed from Me!
Destruction is theirs, for they have rebelled against Me!
I would redeem them, but they speak lies against Me.
And they do not cry to Me from their heart

When they wail on their beds;
For the sake of grain and new wine they assemble themselves,
They turn away from Me.
Although I trained and strengthened their arms,
Yet they devise evil against Me.
They turn, but not upward,
They are like a deceitful bow; Hosea 7:13-16a

When we stray from the Lord the destruction follows. The Lord wants us to respond to His love and come to Him with all of our heart. He does not want us to just seek Him when we need something.

‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3

Love is a response to love. We can only respond to God’s love when we see it. He will show you His love. Call to Him. He will answer you. The Lord will meet you where you are. He will show you great and mighty things which you did not know. The Lord will bring healing to your broken heart, if your heart has been broken. He will show you His great love and restore your relationships. He will teach you how to find and keep love. He will give to you with an abundance of peace and truth. He will show you how to respond in love.

Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth. Jeremiah 33:6

There is none like the Lord. He is the Only true God and He rides the heavens to our help. He is our dwelling place and underneath us are His everlasting arms.

“There is none like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to your help,
And through the skies in His majesty.
“The eternal God is a dwelling place,
And underneath are the everlasting arms; Deuteronomy 33:26b,27a

God’s love never changes. He always loves us. The Lord keeps loving us and waits for us to come to Him and respond to Him once again. When we respond to Him then we will love Him by keeping His commandments. When we keep His commandments then we will experience His love and want to love Him more.

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 14:21

Jesus loved the Father and did exactly as the Father commanded Him. Jesus has asked us to do what He Himself did.

but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. John 14:31a

If we will keep His commandments then we will live in His love just as Jesus kept the Father’s commandments and lived in the Father’s love.

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. John 14:23

Love Is Met with Love

The plan from the beginning was that we were to be loved and we were to respond in love. This is still the plan and it is the plan for all relationships. Love seeks only the best for the other and has no selfish ambitions. When we are loved and love in return then we will be and do what we were created to be and do. God created us to be loved by Him and it was His desire that we respond with love for Him. However, love is a choice and in the beginning man chose not to love God.

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. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Genesis 3:8-11

We hide ourselves from those whom we do not love. We will find reasons to be elsewhere. When two people are in love then they will find every reason to be together. They will make time to be together. When two people no longer love each other then they will find excuses to be elsewhere and hide from each other behind the excuses. When Adam and Eve hid they no longer loved God but God still loved them. God is faithful even when we are not.

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

God’s design was that nothing could separate us from His love, that is, nothing can separate us from His love but our own selves. Love is a choice and we do not have to love God. We can try to hide ourselves from Him.

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

We can try to hide from God and we can try to run from Him but we can never get away from His love for us.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;

If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You. Psalm 139:7-12

There is no place that we can go to where He is not there. There is no place that we can hide that He dies not see. His love pursues us and He longs to love us.

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

He longs to be gracious to us and He is waiting for us to come to Him so that we can know his compassion and His love. How happy are all who come to Him. He meets us with His love.