Love in Action

Love in Action

My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.  (1 Joh 3:18)

The Bible reminds us that we must put our love into action.  How can we do that?  Let’s see what the Bible has to say.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  (Joh 13:34-35)

 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”  (Joh 14:15)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?”  (Mt 5:43-47)

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  (Col 3:12-14)

All of the Bible passages that I’ve shown above talk about love being shown by actions.  The Lord asks us to demonstrate our love by:

  • Loving one another;
  • Obeying His commandments;
  • Loving our enemies; blessing those who curse us; doing good to those who hate us; and praying for them;
  • Putting on tender mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; and
  • Bearing with one another and forgiving one another.

Love (the bond of perfection) binds all of the qualities of goodness together—which means that love is the source from which all good character traits proceed.  Love motivates, sustains, and unites the presence of all good qualities of character.

Essentially, in living this way we demonstrate the concept of putting on Christ.

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  (Gal 3:27)

The Lord reminded us in His Word that GOD IS LOVE.  (1 Joh 4:8)  The Lord acts upon His own perfect love for us by constantly surrounding us with His love, grace and blessings.

For more verses about love in action, see:  Joh 15:9-10, 13; Rom 5:8; 1 Joh 2:3-6; 3:10-11; 4:7-12; 4:17-20.

A Good Name

A Good Name

What exactly is a “good name”?  It means having a good reputation, or being known as a person with a good character.  The Bible speaks most favorably about having a good name.

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.  (Pro 22:1 NIV)

Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.  (Pro 3:4 NIV)

A good name is better than fine perfume . . . (Eccl 7:1a NIV)

Ecclesiastes asserts that a good reputation is better than fine perfume!  Does that surprise you?  Let’s think about this for a little time.  Your good name is all about your integrity—your very character.

When people hear your name, what do they think about you?  Do they associate your name with timeliness, honesty, and hard work?  Or do they think several negative things instead?

Here are some valuable reasons why a good reputation can be considered better than riches.

  • A good name provides steadiness – A person with a good name means that there are positive character traits the person has. When you’re known for having a good character, it causes other people to trust you and to want to deal with you.  Trust is a stabilizing factor in life.  In business, people will want to hire you or affiliate themselves with you.  In personal life, you will have many trusted friends who will remain friends.  A person with a good character is easy to love.
  • A good name is endless – Think about the many people in history that are spoken of in our time with respect and awe. A good character stays behind when we have gone ahead into eternity.  Once we have lived our lives and passed on, what kind of legacy will we have we left behind?  How will our children, our family and friends remember us?  If we followed Jesus’ example and lived our lives by faith, we can be assured that we will have made a positive contribution to our world.
  • God bestows loving favor on those who have a good name. – When a person has a good name (a good character), they receive the favor of God and man. (Ps 84:11; Pro 3:1-4; 33-35)  People enjoy interactions with those who make them feel good and who interact honorably with them.  People will love you for your honesty; they will appreciate your work ethic; and they will respect your sense of integrity.  When a person of good character is assaulted, their friends and associates will choose to defend and protect them.  People love to unite together to help a person with a good name. 

It’s good to stop and take stock, occasionally, of the state of our reputation.  Is it in good shape?  If not, there’s still time to make changes in your life in order to repair your good name.

Humility and Wisdom

Humility and Wisdom

Humility and wisdom are two attributes that are praised in the Scriptures.  Blessings are frequently mentioned in connection with them.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.  (Pro 11:2 NIV)  Humility and wisdom are frequent companions!

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.  (Jas 3:13 NIV)  This verse informs us that humility comes from wisdom.  As a matter of fact, a person with humility coupled with the fear of the Lord will experience riches, honor, and life.  (Pro 22:4)

Toward the scorners He is scornful, but to the humble He gives favor. The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.  (Pro 3:34-35 ESV)  To people who are humble, the Lord gives favor; and the Lord bestows honor upon the wise.

Only we are capable of humbling ourselves; no one else can do it for us.  When we humble ourselves, the Lord promises to exalt us.  (Jas 4:10 NKJV)  The Bible reminds us that if we don’t humble ourselves, the Lord will do it for us.  (Mt 23:12 ESV)

James 1:5 tells us that if we lack wisdom, we should ask God for it because He will generously answer our prayer.  Scriptures state repeatedly the many blessings that God bestows upon those who are wise.  See Ps 111:10; Pro 3:13-18; 4:6-7; 14:16; 16:16; 24:3-7; Lk 21:15; Jas 3:17.

Because the end of the ages is approaching, all believers must live carefully and intentionally for the Lord.  Let us each take inventory of our strengths and our weaknesses; and if we are lacking in wisdom or humility, take steps to mend our ways. 

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.  (Eph 5:15-16 ESV)

Whoever Assails You Will Fall

Whoever Assails You Will Fall

If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me.  Whoever assails you will fall because of you.  (Isa 54:15 NASB, emphasis added)

The Lord is declaring Himself as our protector and defender in this verse!  What a promise—what a breathtaking gift!  He says this many times in various ways in the Bible.

Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish.  (Isa 41:11 NASB)

For I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.  (Isa 49:25b NKJV)

Contend means to resist, oppose, or challenge.  The Lord says that when someone opposes or challenges one of His children, HE will be the One to deal with them.  Not only will He save us, but He’ll save our children. 

These are wonderful, powerful and precious promises to rely upon.  Don’t think that they’re only in the Bible to encourage us and to reassure us.  They are provided to us as weapons of our spiritual warfare!  (2 Cor 10:4; Eph 6:17 NKJV)

The Bible teaches us that the Word of God is living and powerful—active.  It goes on to say that it is sharper than any two-edged sword, able to perceive (detect) the thoughts and purposes of a person’s heart!

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  (Heb 4:12 NKJV)

Use the Word of God as the weapon that it truly is.  Meditate upon it; speak with the Lord about it; and let Him know that you not only believe it but you depend up it to come to pass in your life.  Believe the Word and stand upon it by faith.

Your faith and trust in Him and in His Word will please the Lord as well as improve your life immeasurably.

He Remembers that We Are Dust

He Remembers that We Are Dust

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.  (Ps 103:13-14 NIV)

The Lord knows all about our frailties, and that our earthly bodies—formed from the earth—will one day decay and die.  We are compared to the grass which rises from the earth, and eventually wastes away and returns to it.

As human beings, we grow and mature and become strong and healthy.  We may be blessed with robust health, and even grow to be quite tall and attractive to others.  If we blossom in health and beauty, and riches and honor; even then we are destined to live only a certain number of years and then pass away, certain to be buried in the earth.

However, in spite of all of that, because the Lord made us in His own image, He has created us to be eternally valuable.  (Gen 1:27)  He calls mankind His special treasure. (Ps 135:4)

But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them.  Yes, many a time He turned His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath; 39 for He remembered that they were but flesh, a breath that passes away and does not come again.  (Ps 78:38-39)

Because God is full of compassion, He never turned His full anger upon mankind.  Instead, He demonstrated His great love for us by sending Jesus, His Son, as our Savior and Redeemer.  (Joh 3:16; Rom 5:8)

God has poured His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  (Rom 5:2-5)  The Holy Spirit is our teacher and our guide.  (Joh 14:26; 16:13)

God has even made us conquerors through Jesus Christ, and nothing will ever be able to separate us from His powerful, unending love.  (Rom 8:37-39)  You are special in God’s sight, and you’re the apple of His eye!  (Zech 2:8)

The Lord calls you CHOSEN and PRECIOUS.  (1 Pet 2:4)  Glory to God!

God’s Invisible Qualities

God’s Invisible Qualities

How can we be sure of a God whom we can’t see, and be confident of His goodness when it is equally invisible to us?

Since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.  (Rom 1:20 NIV)  The Bible says that we need to look around us at the evidence that is VISIBLE.

The touch of the Master’s hand is all around us.  We see it in the order, beauty, and dazzling variety in creation.  The great expanse of space with its billions of planets and the incredible world of the microscopic are all testimony to an “Orderer” of great creativity.  God has left his fingerprints all over his world so we can know he is here.  (Source:  www.crosswalk.com)

The evidence that there is a Creator God who is good is literally all around us.  Look at the intelligent design in all of creation—from its plants to its animals to the uniqueness of every, individual human being.

Ponder the vastness of the heavens and the inevitability of the tides, and you will glimpse the scope of God’s mighty power.  Take time to observe the beauty of creation (flowers, sunrises and sunsets, beautifully colored birds, etc.) and the multiplicity of foods that are available to human beings in order to grasp God’s great love for mankind.

God sent His Son, Jesus, to earth in the form of an infant born of a virgin. (Mt 1:18-25)  Jesus was human and visible, approachable, and loving.   He demonstrated the heart of God to us by:

  • Teaching the Good News of the Kingdom (Mt 4:23; 9:35);
  • Healing many, many people (Mt 4:24; 8:16; 9:35; 12:15; Mk 1:34; Lk 4:40; 6:19; 8:47);
  • Miraculously feeding huge groups of people (Mt 14:13-21; Mk 6:31-44; Lk 9:12-17; Joh 6:1-14 and another instance in Mt 15:32-39; Mk 8:1-9); and lastly,
  • Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:6-9; Joh 3:16; 15:13; 1 Joh 3:16; 4:9-10)

God the Father has spoken to all mankind through His Son, Jesus Christ.  (See Heb 1:2-4; Col 1:15-17; 2 Cor 4:4)  Jesus is referred to in the Bible as:

“who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person . . . “  (Heb 1:3)  Jesus, while on earth, demonstrated to us all the heart of His Father and the goodness of His Father.  Thankfully, we have the written Word of God which gives us reliable testimony concerning these things.

Take time to ponder God’s beautiful qualities which Jesus so amply displayed while He was on earth.

Ponder the Voice of the Lord

Ponder the Voice of the Lord

Today, we’re going to study the importance of the Voice of the Lord.  We posted an article three and a half years ago on this topic, but since it’s of vast importance, it is worthwhile to investigate again.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders; the Lord is over many waters.  (Ps 29:3)  ~ God controls everything in creation, including every body of water, no matter how large or small!

“If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”  (Ex 15:26)  ~ Obedience to the voice of the Lord attracts God’s blessings.  God states that He is our healer, and that is addressing physical healing.

“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.”  (Deu 28:1)  ~ As we obey God’s voice, He responds by giving us protection from and power over our enemies; blessings in our children, food, and livestock; prominence over other nations; and abundant prosperity.  (See Deu 28:1-14)

The Lord also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the Lord will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.  (Joel 3:16)  ~ The Lord shelters and becomes a refuge for ALL who will yield to and obey His mighty voice.

His voice is unique in that ALL of creation recognizes it as the sound of the Creator God, the Supreme Being, the Lord of Lords.

And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!  (Rev 19:6)  ~ The voice of the Lord is the voice of the Lord God Omnipotent!

Pay attention to and choose to obey the voice of the Lord, and you shall surely be blessed.