Love Must Grow

Love is a choice and love abides in relationships. When loving choices are made in a relationship where love is then the love will grow in that relationship. Love is a flame that can be kindled by good choices and warm the hearts of the two people in the love relationship or the love can be quenched by bad choices and allow the hearts of the two people to grow cold toward each other.

To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; I Peter 3:8

The summing up of how a relationship should be is that it is to be harmonious. The two people are to be sympathetic towards each other and brotherly, kindhearted and humble in spirit.

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? II Corinthians 6:14

The first requirement for a harmonious marriage is that the union must be of two believers in Christ. If you are a believer and you are considering marriage to an unbeliever then you are going against the Lord and His counsel. His blessing will not be on your marriage.

To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; I Peter 3:8

The word sympathy means “a feeling of sorrow for someone else’s misfortune” or “a common feeling or understanding between people”. The place that someone should always be able to receive sympathy is in the marriage. A loving marriage doubles the joys and cuts the sorrows in half. Two people who love each other will share one another’s sorrows.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

We are not only to be sympathetic towards one another but we are to be tender hearted with each other. It is one thing to be sympathetic towards another when they suffer with struggles outside of the marriage but when someone does what is wrong within the marriage then that becomes much more difficult.

not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. I Peter 3:9

One of the secrets to a great marriage is forgiveness. It is crucial to be kindhearted to one another by forgiving each other. No one is perfect and we all sin. When and if you marry then you will marry a sinner. They will mess up and you will mess up. The temptation is to return evil for evil or insult for insult, or in other words, “You did this so I will do that or I will withhold from you!” No, absolutely not, if you want a loving relationship all the days of your lives together, until death do you part, then you must learn to forgive. You must learn to give a blessing instead.

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

If you have received forgiveness from Jesus Christ for all of your sins then you can give forgiveness to another. Forgiveness is the greatest gift that you can give to another. There is no sin too great that Jesus Christ has not forgiven you. In the same way, there is no sin too great that you can not forgive in another. Forgiveness is forgiving them of their sins against you and forgiveness is the promise to never bring it up again. If you need to bring it up over and over again then it is not forgiveness. The Lord never brings up your sins to you of all that He has forgiven you.

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12

If you give to your spouse the gift of forgiveness then not only will you be giving them a blessing but you will receive a blessing from the Lord. For love to grow then there must be forgiveness. When someone shows love and forgiveness to another then they are like Christ.

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; I Peter 2:21-23

While being reviled, Jesus did not revile in return. He never returned evil for evil or insult for insult nor did he make any threats. Jesus Christ continually kept entrusting Himself to God, the Father. Jesus Christ was our example of what we are to do when we are suffering, and we do suffer when are affected by the sins of someone else. We are to go to the Lord and entrust ourselves to Him.

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

You will find that as you apply diligence in your pursuit of love in your marriage and you exercise self control (in your words and actions) and you persevere in it then you will become godly (which is like Christ), and then in your Christlikeness you will show kindness and love. This is truly the picture of marriage that God designed for it to be. Your love for each other will grow and abound. Your hearts will become knit together in love and you will become soulmates of one mind and one heart, as well as becoming one physically. This is the sweetest and most fulfilling of all relationships and is God’s gift to man and woman. It will be honey to your soul and life to your body when it is done God’s way.

Love is a Mature Choice

Love is a choice and is not just a feeling. Feelings are based on emotions and emotions are fickle and can easily change with circumstances but love is a choice based on the character of the lover. A person is not ready for the responsibility of a love relationship between a man and a woman until their character is mature enough to make choices based on wisdom and not feelings.

Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants, Psalm 144:12a

A young man is not mature until they are as a grown up plant. Maturity should come to a young man in his youth. This is a picture of prosperity. When young men are not mature in their youth then there will be problems in the family and problems in the nation. A grown up plant is one that is strong.

The glory of young men is their strength, Proverbs 20:29

A young man must be strong. He must be strong not only physically but he must be strong spiritually, emotionally and mentally.

Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. I Timothy 4:12

A young man must show himself to be an example of maturity. His speech must be gracious. His conduct must be above reproach. A young man must know how to love with the love of Christ. He must be strong in his faith and have a pure heart.

He who loves purity of heart And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend. Proverbs 22:11

The evidence of a young man’s maturity will be seen in the people who are attracted to him as his friends. When a young lady is considering a relationship with a young man she should look to see who his friends are. A deceitful or charming young man will tell her what she wants to hear but a wise young lady will look at the fruit of his life rather than the fruit of his lips to determine if he is genuine and worthy of her.

And our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace; Psalm 144:12b

A young woman is not mature enough to be in a love relationship with a young man until she is as a corner pillar. A corner pillar must be able to stand alone. If a corner pillar is wobbly or weak then the entire building will fall. A corner pillar must be strong and not dependent on others for its strength.

so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, Titus 2:4

A young woman’s main responsibility when the Lord gives her a family is to love her husband and to love her children. A young woman must have learned what it means to fear the Lord in order to fulfill her God given privilege and responsibility.

Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
“Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:28-30

If a young woman learns to fear the Lord and love Him then she will be ready for a love relationship. The fruit of her life will be such that her children will rise up and bless her and her husband will praise her.

Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. I Peter 3:3,4

She will focus more on her relationship with the Lord and the inner beauty that comes from that relationship rather than on the outward beauty that will fade away with time. She will still seek to be beautiful but the beauty that comes from within will outshine the beauty that is on the outside.

To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. I Peter 3:8,9

The union of two mature people in marriage will be a blessing. They will be a blessing to each other, a blessing to their children and a blessing to the world. A great nation is made up of great families and great families are made up of great marriages and great marriages are made up of great Christians who are mature in their relationship with the Lord and mature as individuals.

Love has Requirements of the One who Loves

Our hearts are deceitful. We can get confused with “wants” and “love”. We may want someone and think that it is love. How do we protect ourselves from our own deceitful hearts? Deception means that we are deceived and when we are deceived we are not aware that we are deceived. How do know if someone else genuinely loves us or if they have some other selfish desire?

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

If someone has these three requirements then it will help their own heart to have the pure motive of pure love for another rather than a selfish desire, that has the pretension of love.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8

The person that has a pure heart is one who will see the Lord. When we see the Lord then we see the sin in our hearts. We realize our desperate need for the Lord and for Him to cleanse our hearts. When Isaiah saw the Lord then he saw his uncleanness.

Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 6:5

We will want to come to Him for cleansing. The person who has a pure heart will draw near to God.

let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience Hebrews 10:22

The next requirement for true love is a good conscience. If we do not have a good conscience then we will have ulterior motives in all that we do. A good conscience is necessary for good behavior in everything. When our conscience is not good then we will have a twisted view of God and a selfish love. We will not be able to love another with God’s unconditional love. If someone “loves” you but they are compromising in another area of their life, then do not trust their “love”.

keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. I Timothy 1:9

If someone does not have a good conscience then it is only a matter of time before they will suffer in their faith.

Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things. Hebrews 13:18

A good conscience leads to honorable behavior in all things, not just in love, but in everything.

For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, II Timothy 1:5a

What do others think of this person? If the one who loves is a male then what do other males think of him? The same as if the person is a female. Those of the same gender can detect sincerity or insincerity better than the opposite gender.

so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; Philippians 1:10

When someone approves the things that are excellent then that is an indication of a sincere faith.

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

Finally, our love for all people is to be a sincere love from a pure heart with a good conscience. When we live this way then our lives will be pleasing to God and we will have favor with people.

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

Love Necessitates a Response

Love is an action verb and when one is loved then a response is necessary. Even if the response is to “not respond” to the love then that also is a decisive response. However, if the love is received then there will be a response. Love changes people and when someone is loved there will be a change in the person’s life. Whether that love is from God or from someone else then other people will notice it.

For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. II Corinthians 5:14,15

When someone becomes a Christian then their life is changed because of the love of God.

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

When a person becomes a Christian then they become a new person. They are no longer the same on the inside. All of their sins are forgiven and they no longer want to do the bad things they did before. They no longer desire to be around the bad language, bad jokes and gossip, nor do they want to participate in the partying, etc. of their old companions.

…so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, I Peter 4:2-4a

A new Christian will no longer want to live the rest of their life pursuing their own desires but they will want to live for the will of God. Some of their old companions will understand and want God, for they too have become disgusted with their own fleshly pursuits, but others of their old companions will be surprised and not understand.

Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. I Peter 2:1-3

The one that experiences God’s love will have a hunger to read God’s Word, the Bible. It will be like a love letter to them from the Lord. They will learn more about His love and how to love Him back. God’s Word will be sweeter than honey to them, whereas before they knew God, reading the Bible was dry and hard to understand.

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. I Thessalonians 5:11

The new Christian will want to be with other Christians. Christians will encourage each other in the Lord and each will find strength from the other.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. I John 4:7-9

Finally, the one who experiences God’s love will want to give that love to others and share the hope that is now in them.

but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; I Peter 3:15

They will want to share with others the good news that God loves us and that He came to give us life and that it is an abundant life that is available to all.

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10

Love Has Made Itself Known

God has made Himself known to mankind. God is so evident to mankind that man has to turn away from God so as to not believe in God. When people turn their back on God then they become scoffers. In turning their back on God they also turn their back on His love. They no longer see God nor do they see His love, even though at one time they did see God and His love.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:18-20

God has made Himself known to all. Every child believes in God. God has made Himself known to all of us and we are without excuse. God made us to know that there is a God. Our conscience tells us that there is a God and all of creation make known that their is a God. It is man who has to suppress the truth of God. Man would rather choose sin than choose God. This began in the garden of Eden and has continued throughout all generations.

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:21

God loves us but when we do not respond to His love then our foolish hearts become darkened. As we continue to not respond to His love, for He shows us His love many times and in many ways, then we start to doubt that their is a God. Now, rather than have the true revelation of who God is, we start to fathom what God must be like in our own minds. The outcome is, “my god would not do this or that”. When people do not choose the love and knowledge of God it is because they have exchanged the truth of God for a lie. This is what Adam and Eve did in the garden and this tendency has continued to this day.

For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Romans 1:25

God has made us to worship and when we do not worship Him then we worship a false god, whether it will be an idol made with hands, or a person, or the earth or any other aspect of creation. Any of these choices is worshiping a false god and is foolish. The outcome is we will not believe in the true God and we will never know true love. There is only one true God and He is the only source of true love.

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; I John 3:16a

God made Himself known to man again in His witness of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that He is God and there is no other. He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, so that we might know Him and know and live in His love.

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. I John 4:9

God has now made Himself known to the world through what He has said and done through Jesus Christ so that we are without excuse.

If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. John 15:22

The Lord has given us His Word so that we are without excuse. His Word is truth.

If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin John 15:24a

Have you ever felt close to God through nature? Have you ever felt the Lord speaking to you? Has there ever been anything in your life that the only explanation for it is God? If you have ever had any of these experiences then it is God calling you to Himself. If you turn to Him and worship the Creator, who is the one and only true God, then you will know His love and know Him. If you have ever had any of these experiences and still choose not to follow Jesus Christ then you are without excuse. The Lord loves you and wants a relationship with you. You will be the one who has turned your back on Him. You will be judged by your own words and actions.

He said to him, ‘By your own words I will judge you, Luke 19:22a

If you hear His voice or if you have seen His hand then come to Him and allow Him to come into your life. He loves you and has made Himself known to you. If you will come to Jesus Christ then you will know Him and live in His love forever.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20

Love Has a Great Cost

The Lord loves mankind and each person in the world. He desires that each one would know God and His great love for them. Apart from God and His great love each person will perish and spend an eternity away from God and separated from His love.

but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. II Peter 3:9b

God is patient towards us. He wants us all to choose to know His love. Love is a choice and the Lord has given the choice to each person to come to Him so that they might not perish.

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

The gift that God offers to any who will receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior is to become His child. This offer is to any who will call upon Jesus Christ.

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

To become God’s child is a free gift of love that God has given to those who believe in Jesus, His only begotten Son. It is a gift of life as well as a gift of love. To become His child means that a person is adopted into God’s family. It is a legal adoption with all of the rights as of the only begotten child of God, who is Jesus Christ. An adopted child of God becomes a fellow heir with Jesus Christ.

but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, Romans 8:15b-17a

However, the gift came at a great cost to God. God, the Father, gave His only begotten Son to die for the world that they might live. Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, came and shed His blood to give us this gift of life and love.

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

Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He is the innocent One who was slain for the world. The world had turned its back on God and now God turned His back on His Son so that the world might have the gift of love and eternal life through Jesus Christ.

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

This Lamb of God, who paid the price of His own blood to give to the world the gift of love has become the Shepherd of those who come into His flock through believing in Him. He, who is now the Good Shepherd, understands the sheep and their needs.

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

You know when you belong to the Good Shepherd because you hear His voice. He will shepherd you as the Good Shepherd and you will know His love. Love gives security. When someone gives their life to Jesus Christ and He becomes their Shepherd and they become one of the sheep of His flock then no one can snatch them from Him. They are secure now and forever.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. John 10:27,28

Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd and He knows His own and His own know Him.

I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, John 10:14

The day will come when we will see the Lamb of God on the throne of God. He is the Good Shepherd and will shepherd all who belong to Him forever. When they see Him He will wipe every tear from their eyes.

They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:16,17

The Lord Jesus Christ is coming again. He is patient and not wishing for any to perish but when He comes it will be too late for those who did not choose to love Him when they had the chance.

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. II Peter 3:8,9

Come to Christ. His arms are open wide. When He went to the cross His arms were stretched out for the world. He will receive anyone who comes to Him. He will receive you and you will receive Jesus Christ and His amazing love. Love is a choice and God offers that choice to you.

Love is So Amazing

Love is so amazing. Love empowers the giver of love and the receiver of the love. Love influences and changes lives. Love gives worth to the recipient and even gives greater worth to the one who gives love. Love sets free the one who loves and sets free the one who is loved. Love gives great joy to the recipient and even greater joy to the giver. There is nothing that can compare with love. Money can not buy it. Love can not be sold. Love is a gift that is a choice of the lover and the one who is loved to receive the gift of love. Love can not be forced but it is a force that changes people, nations and the world. The one who loves is more at peace, has more joy, experiences more freedom and is richer than the richest person who has ever lived. With love people can do far more than they ever dreamed and without love a person is almost paralyzed with loneliness, fear and many other ailments.

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

God is love. Love is who God is and the Lord made man to receive love and to give love. The Lord made man in His image and an attribute of God is love.

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; Genesis 1:27, 28a

Man and woman together is the image of God. It is a mystery and it is beautiful the way God created male and female. We need each other. It is not good for man or woman to be alone.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18

It is not good for a husband and wife to be alone. The Lord called them to multiply so that together they could not only love each other but love another with the love they had together.

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, Genesis 1:28a

Love is a choice and the Lord allowed choices in the garden so that man and woman could always choose to love God. God loved Adam and Eve but He did not force them to love Him.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16,17

The Lord still offers man the choice to love Him. Love means coming to God. God’s grace through Jesus Christ is His invitation to come to Him and be restored to Him and to live in His amazing love.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

Eternal life is knowing God. When a person comes to God then they come into a personal knowledge of God through Jesus Christ.

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

When a person comes to know God then they also come into an experiential knowledge of the love of God. This love changes their life. This love changes everything about them. This love of God changes their desires, their decisions and their destiny. The love of God through Jesus Christ sets them free from their unforgiveness, bitterness, their sin and their guilt. This love from God living in them through His Holy Spirit empowers them to live above their circumstances and to have a peace and a joy in their circumstances. This love of God gives them more worth than all the money in the world for now they are a child of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

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

God’s love is truly amazing and although we will most likely never fully understand it we can experience in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is love and the expression of love. When we know Jesus Christ then we know love. When we become God’s child then we have love. When we give God’s love to others then we express His love.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. I John 4:7

Love Takes Away Weariness

The Lord loves all of mankind and one of the first principles that God established was a day of rest. The Lord has never asked us to do anything that He Himself has not done. He set an example for us from the very beginning in that He created six days to work and then a day of rest.

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Genesis 2:1-3

We know that the Lord did not need rest because He never becomes tired or weary.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. Isaiah 40:28

The day of rest was so important to the Lord that He made it one of the Ten Commandments. The Lord established it as a moral law.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:8-11

The Lord has told us to remember the sabbath day and that we are to keep it holy. Holy means that it is to be set apart for the Lord. He makes it very clear that we are not to do any work, and not only are we not to work but we are not to allow anyone else to serve us through working.

The Lord was pleased for His righteousness’ sake
To make the law great and glorious. Isaiah 42:21

The Lord’s ways are great and glorious. He designed for His people to be a great people and He gave them His laws that they might do them and learn His wisdom and His understanding and their lives would point others to the Lord . He wanted them to be an example to others through keeping His Word.

So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ Deuteronomy 6:4

Jesus did not come to abolish God’s Laws but He came to fulfill them.

Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. Matthew 5:17

The Lord says that if anyone annuls any of His commandments and teaches others then He shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. However, whoever keeps and teaches them shall be called great in His kingdom.

Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:19

Not only will we be called least in the kingdom of God if we don’t keep His commandments but we will not be loving God.

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15

The one who loves God should love His brother also.

And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. I John 4:21

When we keep God’s commandments then we are loving God and loving others.

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

When Jesus Christ rose on the first day of the week, the early Christians began honoring Sunday as their sabbath. It was mentioned as the Lord’s day by John, the apostle in the book of Revelation.

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, Revelation 1:10

Whether someone honors the Lord on Sunday or on Saturday is not the question. The question is “do we keep His commandment and honor the Lord one day of the week and keep it holy?” If Sunday is the Lord’s day, then do you allow anyone to serve you? Do you go out to eat after church on Sunday? If you do, then someone is serving you and having to miss church to prepare for you. Most of the people who work on Sunday are the poor and often they have no choice. If they are a mother then their children most likely will also miss church. So, eating out on Sunday is not honoring the Lord or loving others.

For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? James 2:2-4

Spending money on Sunday and someone serving you could also be thought of as treating the poor differently. The poor who have to work on Sunday are not often able to go to church. At least in the first century the poor could stand in another place or sit down by someone’s footstool when they came together when the church was assembled. The Lord says that it is wrong to treat the poor differently.

“If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And speaking your own word,
Then you will take delight in the Lord,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 58:13,14

The Lord has amazing promises for the one who will honor Him and not do his own pleasure on the Lord’s day. The Lord says that if you will call it a delight and honorable, and honor it, not doing your own thing or seeking your own pleasure or even speaking your own words then you will take delight in the Lord. Not only will the Lord be your delight but you will ride on the heights of the earth, or in other words, you will live above circumstances and the happenings of what is going on in the world. And the Lord Himself will feed you His promises and His Word.

Do not fret because of evildoers,
Be not envious toward wrongdoers.
For they will wither quickly like the grass
And fade like the green herb.
Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:1-4

Do you struggle with envy or worry? Are you anxious? Are you frustrated because there are desires in your heart that have gone unfulfilled? The answer to all of these struggles and frustrations is to learn to delight ourselves in the Lord. The Lord says that there is a relationship between honoring the Lord on His holy day and learning to delight ourselves in the Lord. The Lord is good and He loves us. He established His laws and His ways so that we might be a great and glorious people who would bring glory to Him and His greatness. If we do not keep His commandments then we will be distressed and depressed and living as if we do not have a Shepherd.

Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38

Christians are the Lord’s workers and they are to live according to God’s Word, His commandments and His ways. What it means to make disciples is that Christians are to live out His Word and teach others how to do so also. In doing so, we will become more like our Lord and Savior and the world will be drawn to Jesus Christ as He is exalted in our lives. Others will come to Him and find rest, not only for the bodies as they learn to follow Him but rest for their souls.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Love is Influential

Nothing in all of the world has a greater influence than love. Men and women can be forced to do things they don’t want to do but love will cause the very things that they otherwise would not want to do seem like privileges to the one who loves and is loved. No one has had a greater influence on mankind than Jesus Christ. He never forced anyone to follow Him. He loved his followers.

Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. John 13:1b

He never asked of anyone anything that He himself had not already done. His leadership style was not being served but rather He came to serve.

just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28

His power was not in Himself but He trusted One who could not be seen.

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, John 5:19

He did nothing on His own initiative and never sought His own will.

“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

He never sought His own glory.

He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. John 7:18

He was faithful to do the work that God had given Him to do.

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

He was humble and gentle.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, Matthew 11:29

All of Jesus’ disciples but one died a martyr’s death. They voluntarily gave up their lives for Jesus who loved them and gave His life for them. Nearly two thousand years later people are still following Jesus Christ and giving their lives to love and serve Him and if necessary to die for Christ.

When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; Revelation 6:9

Jesus Christ was not physically attractive.

He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. Isaiah 53:2b

Jesus Christ was so unassuming that no one recognized that He was God in the flesh until God revealed it to them.

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. Matthew 16:15-17

However, Jesus Christ had so much influence when He walked on earth that the religious leaders envied Him so much that they wanted to kill Him. They looked for people to accuse Him so that they might have a reason to put Him to death and they could find no one.

Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, and they were not finding any. Mark 14:55

Jesus Christ was innocent of any wrong doing and He went around doing good. Yet, His influence was greater than any man who has ever walked on this earth. All of history is determined by His life. B.C. means “before Christ” and A.D. means “in the year of our Lord”. Jesus Christ was crucified, died and was buried and rose again in Jerusalem. Everything to the east of Jerusalem is called the east and everything to the west of Jerusalem is called the west. Geography is measured by His death, burial and resurrection. Men are still today trying to erase His name and put an end to Jesus Christ just as they did in His day. It will never happen. Jesus Christ is alive and is coming back again. He is the beginning and the end.

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Revelation 22:12,13

When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden the Lord drove them out of the garden lest they eat of the tree of life and live forever separated from God.

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24

God sent Jesus Christ to die for the sin of the world so that anyone who would believe in Jesus Christ would be restored to a right relationship with God. Christ died, was buried and rose again so that we might have eternal life.

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. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18

Those who have believed in Jesus Christ have been forgiven and have had their consciences washed clean through the blood of Christ and have the right to eat of the tree of life and live forever in heaven.

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. Revelation 22:14,15

Those who have believed in Jesus Christ have been forgiven and can eat of the tree of life. Those who have not believed in Jesus Christ will be judged for their sins and will not be able to enter into the presence of God. They will be outside forever. The word “dogs” is another word for unbelievers. If we believe in horoscopes or ever have had our fortune told then we are practicing sorcery. If we have ever looked at another person in the wrong way then we are immoral. If we have hated anyone then we have murdered in our heart. If we have ever put anything before God then we have committed idolatry. If we have ever even told a white lie or any lies then we are guilty of lying. All of us deserve judgment and yet the Lord offers us forgiveness because Jesus Christ took our judgment and punishment on the cross. Those who believe in Jesus Christ have been forgiven of their sins and will not be judged and will spend eternity in heaven. Those who have not believed and followed Jesus Christ will be judged for their sins when he comes again and will spend eternity in hell.

Love is Comfort to a Husband

Everyone needs comfort and will seek it out. A man longs for comfort as much as a wife does, however, comfort for a man is different than what is comfort for a wife. A man needs to feel like a man and he is comforted when his manhood and masculinity is affirmed. A man also needs the love and comfort of a female. A man should go from his mother’s love to his wife’s love. For this reason the Lord told the husband to leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife.

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

A wife completes a man and together they are the image of God. She brings out of a man something that nothing else will bring out of him.

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27

If a man loves his wife then he will be willing to die for her. When he marries his wife he gives her his heart and soul. He makes a total commitment to her because he is taking responsibility for her. The wedding day is a total change for a man. They are no longer two but one and now he is responsible for another. A wife is a gift from God.

He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22

A man needs a wife to comfort him. A wife is a companion to a man. Most men will rise to a higher level in every way when they find a good wife. Marriage is not only union of the body and spirit but union of the soul. A wife becomes a man’s soulmate and he will share his innermost thoughts, ambitions and desires with her. He needs a wife whom he can trust.

An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10-12

One of the meanings of the word “good” means the highest form of love. An excellent wife will love her husband and only do her husband good. One of the meanings of “evil” is to bring grief. An excellent wife will not bring her husband grief. She will be his greatest treasure and will bring him comfort through her quiet and gentle spirit that trusts in the Lord. He will know that she will always be there for him. He can trust her.

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones. Proverbs 12:4

An excellent wife will be the crown of her husband. A man needs to rule and an excellent wife gives him the right to rule. A wife needs to understand that God made men to conquer and rule and a husband must first believe that he rules well in his home first before he can conquer the world. A husband that has an unsubmissive wife will be frustrated all of his days and will bring her husband shame. Submission is a good thing within God’s will. A submissive wife helps her husband succeed as a father and also in life. A man ruling his family well is so important that the Lord makes it a requirement for leadership outside of the family.

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?) I Timothy 3:4,5

A husband also needs his wife’s praise and respect. Often a man will put on a facade of confidence but on the inside he feels his own insecurity and failures. He needs for his wife to respect him and praise him. Their children need for her to praise her husband publicly around them. A child’s self worth comes from their father and when a wife praises her husband to her children then she is actually increasing their own worth and confidence in life.

And the glory of sons is their fathers. Proverbs 17:6b

A wife also brings comfort to a man through the physical comfort of her body.

Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.
As a loving hind and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be exhilarated always with her love. Proverbs 5:18,19

If every wife understood her husband’s need for comfort and love and met them then there would be few divorces. Divorce begins with the neglect of comfort for each other. A man generally will not leave his wife for any other reason than for the comfort of another woman. Any woman who marries or has an affair with a married man is an adulteress. It will be his destruction but he is blinded by his need for love and comfort. An adulteress is a totally selfish and manipulative woman who cares only for herself and does not even have the capacity to love a man. She will use him and never respect him. She is pretentious in her words and actions.

The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; He who is cursed of the Lord will fall into it. Proverbs 22:14

An adulteress uses the two main needs of a married man to deceive him and lay a trap for him to fall into a deep pit. A man needs praise and he needs physical intimacy. An adulteress flatters a man that she wants to deceive. Flattery and praise sound the same but flattery is manipulative and praise is genuine.

Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And call understanding your intimate friend;
That they may keep you from an adulteress,
From the foreigner who flatters with her words. Proverbs 7:4,5

An adulteress offers to a man what his wife is not satisfying him with, to both of their destruction.

“Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning;
Let us delight ourselves with caresses.
“For my husband is not at home,
He has gone on a long journey;
He has taken a bag of money with him,

At the full moon he will come home.”
With her many persuasions she entices him;
With her flattering lips she seduces him.
Suddenly he follows her
As an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool,
Until an arrow pierces through his liver;
As a bird hastens to the snare,
So he does not know that it will cost him his life. Proverbs 7:18-23

He may no longer desire his wife’s affections because he is bitter toward her.

Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. Colossians 3:19

A man’s eyes may no longer be satisfied with his wife. Generally, a man who is moral before marriage will be moral after marriage. The eyes of man are never satisfied but he needs to learn self control so that he will be satisfied with his wife.

Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied. Proverbs 27:20

If he has self control before marriage then it will be easier for him to exercise self control after marriage. A man who wants to have a great marriage and be faithful to the Lord might want to make a covenant with his eyes just as Job did to keep himself pure. A faithful husband needs to do whatever he needs to do to hold himself accountable to God.

I have made a covenant with my eyes; How then could I gaze at a virgin? Job 31:1

Also, if his wife satisfies his physical needs then he will not be so easily tempted just as a man needs to satisfy his wife’s emotional needs so she will not be tempted. Marriages are God’s provision for comfort and love for a man and a woman. Marriage gets sweeter and sweeter as the years go by if the husband and wife learn to love and comfort each other. It is the most intimate of all relationships and the closest that one can come to experiencing heaven on earth if both are believers in Jesus Christ.