What’s Life All About Lord?

He actually tells us, through the man that He made the wisest that ever lived – King Solomon.

After God gave him all that wisdom, He left him with an important piece of information regarding what to do with it:

“And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” 1 Kin. 3:14 ESV

So, regardless of all King Solomon’s wisdom, it was the godly application of it that brought the blessings. Indeed, as long as Solomon followed that advice, he and his kingdom remained blessed:

And Judah and Israel lived in safety…every man under his vine and under his fig tree, all the days of Solomon. 1 Kin. 4:25 ESV

You have to understand however, that there are no shades of gray with God. You are either doing what He says to do, or you are not. There are no half measures. And unfortunately, regardless of all his wisdom, Solomon veered off his Creator’s path:

Now King Solomon loved many foreign women…from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” 1 Kin. 11:1, 2. ESV

Just as God said, it came to pass:

For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods… 1 Kin. 11:4 ESV

And when you violate His commands, there are always consequences:

So the LORD said to Solomon, “ Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.” 1 Kin. 11:11 – 13. NASB

God must mete out His punishment or His word would not stand in truth. But because of his father’s (King David) obedience, God showed mercy to Solomon by delaying His retribution until the time of Solomon’s son’s reign. Moreover, you can see that out of His mercy, God would also leave Solomon’s son one tribe (Judah) to perpetuate the throne in Jerusalem.

Solomon knew that he messed up in a big way and fell into a deep depressive funk, for which he tried to find solace by immersing himself in the ways of the world. Thankfully for all of us, Solomon eventually repented, turned his life around and made himself right with God. At that point, God’s wisdom returned to him in his old age and Solomon left us the wisdom gleaned from his wayward journey:

“Behold, I have acquired great [human] wisdom and experience, more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has observed a wealth of [moral] wisdom and [scientific] knowledge. And I set my mind to know [practical] wisdom and to discern [the character of] madness and folly [in which men seem to find satisfaction]; I realized that this too is a futile grasping and chasing after the wind. For in much [human] wisdom there is much displeasure and exasperation; increasing knowledge increases sorrow.” Eccl. 1:16 – 18. AMP

Solomon is saying that the pursuit of the world’s wisdom is laden with errors and dissatisfactions and the only fruit that it bears is misery – a lesson he learned from direct experience:

I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.’ But behold, this also was vanity. I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure; “What use is it?” I searched with all my heart how to cheer my body with wine…I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks…I made myself pools…I bought male and female slaves…I also had great possessions…I also gathered for myself silver and gold…I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines… Eccl. 2:1 – 8. ESV

King Solomon had immersed himself in the world – yielding himself over to gluttony, drunkenness, pride, fornication and greed; i.e. he gave into everything that his flesh yearned for. His conclusion?

Thus I considered all my activities which my hand had done and the labor which I exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after the wind and there was no profit under the sun. Eccl. 2:11 NASB

Then, Solomon applied godly wisdom to his observations and came up with the Holy Spirit-inspired meaning of life:

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or find enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and striving after the wind. Eccl. 2:24 – 26. ESV

So, the ‘meaning of life’ begins with finding contentment through God and from His provisions, as you walk in His ways and know that you play a special part in HIs plan – finding your joy as you perform the tasks that He assigns you.

I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with…I have perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live… Eccl. 3:10 & 12. ESV

Added to the ‘meaning of life’ then, is that walking in God’s ways includes laboring to help others reach their highest and best.

Knowing the meaning of life and living that way allows us to get the most out of it. It doesn’t mean that there will not be hardships from time to time however:

In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed one as well as the other… Eccl. 7:14 NKJV

Our lives have cycles of ups and downs; but the ‘downs’ are not times where God is throwing obstacles in your way. He doesn’t do that. God allows adversities to manifest in your life (usually of your own making) so that you can gather strength of character and godly wisdom to draw you closer to Him and increase your dependence upon His love.

Every day, God gives you an opportunity to connect with Him to see the meaning of life through the eyes of love, so that each day can be the best day of your life.

The last aspect revealed to Solomon about the ‘meaning of life’ is the vision we must keep in our hearts while we live it, that of the eternal paradise that awaits us. God wants us to live our lives to their fullest but even so, the day of our heavenly arrival will far surpass it:

…the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. Eccl. 7:1 NASB

Finally, King Solomon sums up all the aspects of the ‘meaning of life’ in one scripture;

The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Eccl. 12:11 – 13. ESV

Thus, all meaning in life is found in knowing and loving your God and living by the tenets of His love – which guarantees you a life now and forever, surrounded in complete love. That’s what it’s all about…

Goodnight and God bless.

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God Never Said That Money Was the Root of All Evil

What He did say was this:

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Tim. 6:10 NKJV

It is the love of money, not money itself, that is the true evil. Why? Because when you love money, you are making an idol out of it (a violation of the first and second of the Ten Commandments).

Money (wealth) itself is not evil; it is a gift from God:

And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the power to get wealth… Dt. 8:18 NKJV

Money is a tool that gives you the means to provide for your family and for others. It is neutral. But when we obsess over it, a plethora of deleterious effects result:

He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf. Pr. 11:28 ESV

That is God, talking through King Solomon – one of the richest men who ever lived. Wisdom to absorb. However, if you keep your wealth in its proper place (acknowledging that it is from God and practice wise stewardship of it to enlarge the kingdom), God takes pleasure in your abundance:

Let the LORD be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant. Ps. 35:27 NKJV

Therefore, it is up to you whether monetary wealth will be a blessing or a curse:

“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” Mt. 16:26 NKJV

What Jesus is telling us, is that selfish indulgence in this life will only lead to eternal despair. There is a very definite division between worshiping money, or, the Source of it:

“No one can serve two masters…You cannot serve God and money.” Mt. 6:24 ESV

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU.” Heb. 13:5 NASB

God assures us that if we keep our focus on Him, our lives will flourish. If it’s on the money, we will suffer:

“…the worries and the cares of the world [the distractions of this age with its worldly pleasures], and the deceitfulness [and the false security or glamour] of wealth [or fame], and the passionate desires for all other things creep in and choke out the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” Mk. 4:19 AMP

“How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” Mk. 10:23 ESV

What Jesus is saying, is that those who place their focus upon their wealth, are blinded to the fact that their money has them in its earthly grip – to the detriment of their spiritual advancement:

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. Pr. 11:4 NASB

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. Pr. 22:1 ESV

Indeed, Christ points to a better way to position yourself with regards to your wealth:

“So then none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” Lk. 14:33 NASB

“If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Mt. 19:21 ESV

Jesus is not saying to become ascetic paupers. He is showing us that we need to take our focus off of any material distractions, and place it upon Him – because it is Christ who perfects us. And, He is telling us to practice good stewardship with regards to our blessings. One way to do that, is to honor God with our ‘first fruits,’ to thank Him for His abundance, and to remind ourselves that He is the source of all our wealth:

“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now on this,” says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out such a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.” Mal. 3:10 NKJV

Moreover, what is most important (embracing God’s salvation and spreading the kingdom message), does not require money:

“Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy grain and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost [simply accept it as a gift from God].” Is. 55:1 AMP

With regards to the wealthy, they have a godly mandate for their wealth:

As for the rich…charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy…to do good, to be rich in works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. 1 Tim. 6:17 – 19. ESV

If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday… and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Is. 58:10 ESV

However, you don’t have to be flush with riches in order to share; God asks you to give from the largesse of your heart:

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor. 9:7 ESV

Give, taking solace that God will always take care of you:

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Lk. 6:38 NKJV

After all, everything you do for others, you’re doing for Christ;

“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Mt. 25:40 NKJV

Goodnight and God bless.

Godly Talk

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who love it and indulge in it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words. Pr. 18:21 AMP

“…it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” Mt. 15:11 ESV

“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.” Mt. 12:36, 37. ESV

It is glaringly apparent that the spoken word carries enormous weight – determining both your present standing with God and your outcome at the judgment seat of Christ.

It’s also vividly demonstrable that many people don’t care, as you see the vitriol, barrage of lies, name-calling and degradative speech being carelessly spewed out of the mouths of our media, the government and its constituents.

As with performing all things, God also tells us how to communicate in a godly manner. After all, He made our mouths (Ex. 4:11) and has a purpose for its use.

We begin by listening first, placing our full attention on the speaker until he or she has completed their thoughts before we respond:

If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. Pr. 18:13 ESV

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. Pr. 18:2 ESV

Similarly, we see a lack of respect in those who try to shout down others who are trying to share their ideas.

A godly communicator would listen first and then reflect to the speaker what they thought they heard, and impart to them what they thought the meaning or what was said meant. This way, any misunderstanding could be rapidly cleared up.

Then the listener would slow down their own thought processes and gently express a succinct response which shows the speaker they have heard and understood.

The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil. Pr. 15:28. NKJV

When a godly communicator speaks, he or she places great value on speaking truth:

Love…does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 1 Cor. 13:4 & 6. ESV

Ultimately, whom is the author of lies (the same one we emulate when we lie)?

He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Jn. 8:44 ESV

That’s right, the devil himself. So, lying does not sit well with God:

Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal truthfully are His delight. Pr. 12:22 NKJV

When we lie, we are speaking hate, not love:

A lying tongue hates those it crushes, and a flattering mouth works ruin. Pr. 26:28 NASB

Instead, we can walk with God and ask Him to strengthen us in our spirit to practice loving godly talk. After all, He listens to everything we say:

For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold O LORD, You know it all together. Ps. 139:4 NKJV

God listens because He loves you and wants you to stay connected to Him. That’s why He tells us how to perpetuate our godly talk:

Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you]. Col. 4:6 AMP

Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. 1 Pt. 3:10 ESV

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Eph. 4:29 ESV

A godly communicator engages their hearts before wagging their tongues – speaking truth with love, edifying those around them, and allowing God to channel Himself through their speech.

There is power on your tongue. Use it for godly talk. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish for the kingdom: lifting one out of the doldrums, helping another get back on track with God, calling out for justice and spreading the gospel message of salvation, to name a few…

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad. Pr. 12:25 NASB

He who rebukes a man shall afterward find more favor than he who flatters with the tongue. Pr. 28:23 AMPC

Open your mouths for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously defend the rights of the poor and needy. Pr. 31:8, 9. ESV

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” Jn. 6:63 NKJV

Nice talking to you…

Goodnight and God bless.

Divine Wisdom for Making Peace

Until approximately a decade ago, this country (the USA) stood for peace, and the love of God, country and everyone in it. Now, all reasonable discourse between opposing opinions has been thrown out the window – leaving hate and havoc in its place. This has been a deliberate manipulation by this government through the entrenched ruling class on both sides of the aisles, to make people kowtow to the ultimate ‘wisdom of the government,’ the will of those governed be damned. It does that by creating purposeful division of the people, so that each look upon the other as the enemy.

There is no peace, nor can there be, if we continue down this path.

God has a different path. It’s about reaching for the highest gifts of the kingdom, which are love, joy and peace. These gifts are interdependent. If you lay waste to one, you poison them all; e.g. if we poison peace, we kill our love and joy.

The ways to lay waste to these kingdom gifts, is through the practice of faithlessness, anger, hatred and jealously, which are all forms of fear – the antithesis of love:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear; because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 1 Jn. 4:18 NKJV

Being ‘made perfect in love,’ is only possible if one has a love-connection to God. If one has a connection with Him, they would not be swimming in the swill of the fear-laden designs of our spiritual adversary.

Look at anger, hatred and jealousy. All of these are offshoots of the fear of ‘not getting what you want,’ or the fear of ‘losing something.’ Thus, they are rooted in coveting what another has or trying to get your own way; and it’s always about being ‘self-centered.’ These are all worldly ways; and God knows that you cannot practice love when your chasing after the ways of the world.

God practices righteous anger and hate, but only against that which is unrighteous:

These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren. Pr. 6:16 – 19. NKJV

Seeing that in spades these days, yes?

God uses His anger to take a stand for you against anything that prevents love from coming your way.

Humans use anger quite differently, by directing it against everything we disagree with, that threatens our personal ideology or the self-righteous we’ve wrapped around it. It destroys our peace.

Yet anger is a natural human response; so, instead of feeling bad about it, we can stop in the middle of it, take a breath and look closely at why we are angry. Is it righteous anger, whose energy we are using to remove unrighteousness, through taking constructive action to right a wrong?

For example, perhaps you get angry when you see people starving in impoverished nations. One direction to point that righteous anger in, would be to generate a loving response by taking a stand FOR finding a way to feed them. When the solution is found, your anger will dissipate.

Examples of unrighteous anger would be taking a stand AGAINST people who do not think as you do, by taking it out on them through assault, battery and degradation, while you play the victim. Unrighteous worldly anger is always destructive – used by the practitioner to make some person or element outside of themselves the source of all their problems. That way, they don’t have to take responsibility for how their lives are working out.

Indeed, worldly anger in all its forms is hugely detrimental to the one who practices it, as well as the target thereof:

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath. Fret not yourself; it only tends to evil. Ps. 37:8 ESV

Worse, it brings condemnation from God:

…let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of a man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19, 20. ESV

But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going because darkness has blinded his eyes. 1 Jn. 2:11 NKJV

Anyone who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1 Jn. 3:14, 15. NASB

Thankfully, God always shows us a better way to be, which is to be more like Him – as He describes Himself:

“The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth (faithfulness);” Ex. 34:6 AMP

For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime… Ps. 30:5 NASB

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

We can see that God is not a ‘hot head.’ His moments of (righteous only) anger are few and short-lived. God primarily focuses on giving love, favor and granting forgiveness. That’s our model.

God loves us so much that He not only leads by example, He tells us how to achieve the same:

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Eph. 4:31, 32. NKJV

In addition, (and so glaringly applicable now), God tells us to stay away from angry people:

Make no friendship with a man given to anger, or go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways. Pr. 22:24, 25. ESV

But, you can’t always avoid angry people. The way to peace is not to answer in kind:

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Pr. 15:1 NASB

We want to make peace with ourselves as well, when we indulge in anger because often times anger is an avenue that invites the devil into your heart:

Be angry [at sin – at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior], YET DO NOT SIN; do not let your anger [cause you to shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down. And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, or nurturing anger, or harboring resentment, or cultivating bitterness]. Eph. 4:26, 27. AMP

Whatever discord we may encounter, the way to peace always requires the application of love:

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions. Pr. 10:12 NASB

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” Lk. 6:27, 28. NKJV

God wants us to be like Him – spreading peace, joy and love by teaching the kingdom promises and living them out as a peaceful godly example:

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Rm. 12:18 ESV

God always presents us with a choice: practice fear and die on the inside, or make the choice to live for peace, love and joy:

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. Mt. 5:9 NKJV

Goodnight and God bless.

God Speaks About the Danger of Laziness

God often reveals the wisdom of His word by demonstrating the consequences of going against it:

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. Pr. 6:6 – 11. ESV

Sluggard. You just can visualize a lazy, shiftless, slug-type of a person. But why is God warning us about what appears to be a minor offense? It is the consequences of laziness that are His concern because they can be severe. In the scripture above, we find that even the basic needs of a lazybones are unmet; whereas those who act diligently, reap rich rewards.

He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. Pr. 10:4 NKJV

In addition, those who are lazy often find themselves subject to the whims of taskmasters:

The hand of the diligent will rule, but the slack hand will be put to forced labor. Pr. 12:24 NASB

Worse still, their lazy lives are filled with strife:

The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway. Pr. 15:19 ESV

But it is in the eternal sense where the consequences of spiritual laziness are gravely damaging – leading to self-induced disinheritance of God’s promises. Instead, God says that we must exercise the same zeal in seeking Him as the apostles did:

…show the same diligence [all the way through] so as to realize and enjoy the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be [spiritually] sluggish, but [will instead be] imitators of those who through faith [lean on God with absolute trust and confidence in Him and His power] and by patient endurance [even when suffering] are [now] inheriting the promises. Heb. 6:11, 12. AMP

God loves you and wants a love relationship with you; but you must initiate that connection and continue to keep that connection intact:

The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. Ps. 14:2 NKJV

Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face continually [to be in His presence]. 1 Chr. 16:11 AMP

Being in a relationship with God then, is a doing. Lazy ones beware. Yet even we doers fall short in our doing. Thankfully, God in His infinite mercy calls us to jump back up on the saddle and retake our active role in our relationship with Him; and in His love, He will heal us from the consequences of our lazy slip:

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chr. 7:14 NKJV

Look at the verbs in that scripture: humble, pray, seek and turn – all words of action, yes? So, even the way back to God’s love, requires doing. If you have a little lazy streak in you, you must motivate yourself to be diligent in your walk with Him, by remaining focused on the benefits received by being related to Him, which include His favor and the ability to live in liberation from the god of this world:

How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, who seek Him with all their heart. Ps. 119:2 NASB

And I will walk at liberty, for I shall seek your precepts. Ps. 119:45 NKJV

Yet seeking God’s ways will be unfruitful unless you act upon them:

…prove yourself doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. James 1:22 NASB

The words come from God. He is love; so they reflect the same. Thusly, love is also made possible through action:

“ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND…YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ Mt. 22:37 & 39. AMP

And you know, the effort to love, is really no effort at all…

Goodnight and God bless.

God’s Marital Wisdom

Last week we considered the wisdom that God imparted to Solomon and how important it is to have that same wisdom in our lives. Yet, having a head full of wisdom does not create a wise person. It is in the application of that wisdom in one’s life, that makes him or her wise. (James 1:22 – 25.)

Let’s consider the application of God’s wisdom in marriage; and as we do, we will find that He has woven that marital wisdom throughout the Bible, not just in the proverbs.

Marriage was the first institution God created after He formed Adam and Eve:

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

God is telling us that when a man and woman are wise enough to become husband and wife, something extraordinary happens: there comes a spiritual opportunity to transcend their individuality and become one.

He also tells us that He has another purpose for their union:

Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. Mal. 2:15 ESV

God is trying to spread the love. He loves the husband and wife as one and desires the fruit of their loins to create other bundles of love, to amplify His efforts. You’ll also notice that this same scripture infers that marriage is a sanctified relationship – not to be breached by a lack of wisdom that leads to faithlessness.

Indeed, God says that it is wise for a man to find and keep a good wife:

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband… Pr. 12:4 NKJV

He who finds a [true and faithful] wife finds a good thing and obtains favor and approval from the LORD. Pr. 18:22 AMP

Moreover, God says that finding a good wife will also make for him an incomparable partner:

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not harm all the days of her life…She perceives that her merchandise is profitable…Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Pr. 31:10 – 12, 18 & 25 – 28. ESV

That’s a woman worth having! Note that a man could strive for those characteristics as well, just saying.

God leaves nothing to chance. Because your marriage is so sacred to Him, He left you instructions for how to conduct yourself within it, so that your relationship will thrive:

Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Eph. 5:22 – 24. NKJV

Some ladies are prone to take exception to this scripture, so let’s break it down a little. First, like any verse of scripture, it must be taken in context. The two verses just prior to the above citation read thusly:

…giving thanks always for all the things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God. Eph. 5:20, 21. NKJV

So, we are moving from a contextual former scripture that reveals our need to submit to one another within the family of God (if what we are submitting to is in alignment with God’s word), to a deeper and specific application within a godly marriage. Thus, the marital application infers that a ‘good husband’ should fill the role of making sure that God’s will (His wisdom) is carried out within the marriage, stating that the wife should defer to his leadership.

In addition, the scripture suggests that this marital command is especially important in spiritual matters – where the husband is primarily supposed to lead.

But what if hubby is being a little lax in his spiritual leadership? God’s got wisdom for that as well, telling us that the wife can step in and take the relationship to a higher level:

Wives, likewise be submissive to your husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives… 1 Pt. 3:1 NKJV

For my female readers, I want to stress that God is not being chauvinistic in any way. The husband too, has his own set of responsibilities within the marital relationship:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her…so husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church…let each of you so love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Eph. 5:25, 28, 29 & 33. NKJV

We see then, that the husband is to love his wife with a depth that commands he sacrifice his life for her. That is an attitude that is far from chauvinism. Also, the husband must love his wife as he loves himself. Why would God tell the men to do that? It’s because we cannot love anyone until we first know what love is; and the only way to know love is to first give it to ourselves.

Husbands must nurture that relationship – keeping it sweet and showing her honor and compassion:

Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Col. 3:19 NKJV

…husbands, love with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. 1 Pt. 3:7 ESV

We must concede that in most cases, men possess greater physical strength than women. But that has no bearing on the spiritual side of marriage. In my opinion, man’s physical strength is complemented by the greater strength of the heart that the woman brings to the relationship.

Also note in the same scripture that marriage grants a spiritual oneness that connects the husband and wife – a oneness so precious to God that if either bring discord to than harmony, His love is cut off until that oneness is restored.

God takes a firm stand against anything that brings harm to the marital union:

“For I hate divorce,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong and violence,” says the LORD of hosts. “Therefore keep watch on your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously [with your wife].” Mal. 2:16 AMP

It is extremely rare to find God expressing the word ‘hate’ is Scripture. So why is He using such a strong and negative expletive here? It’s because divorce thrusts violence upon the entire family. Everyone in the home begins to fear for the well-being of their spirit, soul and body; and because fear and love cannot coexist, the love is leeched out of the entire family.

Divorce is Satan’s greatest weapon. He steals the family’s love to weaken them for his purposes. Conversely, keeping a marriage together, making it work by living by God’s marital wisdom, keeps the love – the very thing the devil cannot overcome.

If you do not choose to seek the wisdom of God and apply it, there will be no love to buffer against discord (which comes whenever you put two humans together). Without love, bitterness sets in and is projected outwards:

A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike; to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one’s right hand. Pr. 27:15, 16. ESV

(You could just as easily substitute the word ‘husband’ for ‘wife’ here.)

When bitterness takes root, somebody strays because they think the solution lies in ‘greener pastures.’ The fruit of this straying is often adultery:

Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched? So is he who goes into his neighbor’s wife; none who touches her will go unpunished. Pr. 6:27 – 29. ESV

Remember that two of the Ten Commandments expressly forbid adultery; and God pulls no punches about the seriousness of this transgression:

You shall not commit adultery. Ex. 20:14 NKJV

…you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife… Ex. 20:17 NKJV

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Heb. 13:14 ESV

God loves you so much. He knows how much destruction is brought to your house when you seek solace in flesh outside the home:

For the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life, to keep you from the evil woman, from the flattering tongue of a seductress. Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, nor let her allure you with her eyelids. for by means of a harlot a man is reduced to a crust of bread; and an adulteress will prey upon his precious life. Pr. 6:23 – 26. NKJV

Adultery leads to divorce. Violence falls upon every member of the household in divorce – including the perpetrator, who loathes him or herself for their transgression. Even if the adulterer manages to carry on their illicit tryst undiscovered, they are already divorced in their heart, if not in the courts.

Adultery separates the perpetrator from the love of God, and should they remain impenitent, they run the danger of losing their eternal date with Him:

Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; for she cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men. Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death. Pr. 7:25 – 27. NKJV

But thank God for His mercy! Even if you’ve fallen for this trap, if you return to Him with sincere confession and repentance, He will restore your relationship with Him.

Still, you must deal with the destructive aftermath and pray that your household can heal. Sin always has consequences.

Far better to let God direct your marriage. It is His wisdom that leads us into matrimony; and it is the same wisdom that shows us how to exercise love, respect, fidelity, kindness, benevolence, mutual submission and restraint (by keeping our affections at home). When you apply that wisdom, you’re completing your connection with God and living out His purposes, which always lead to your highest and best life.

Doesn’t that sound wise to you?

Goodnight and God bless.

God’s Wisdom Trumps Earthly Knowledge Every Time

When King Solomon was handed the rulership of Israel, God came to him in a dream and asked him what He could give him. As we know, instead of riches and power, Solomon asked for wisdom, to be able to rule effectively over the children of God. (1 Kin. 3:9)

God was so impressed with the king’s humility that He also showered riches and honor on him as well as wisdom. (2 Chr. 1:11, 12.) Just how wise did God make Solomon?

Now all the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. 1 Kin. 10:24 NKJV

Thus, King Solomon received wisdom directly from God, making him the wisest man on the planet.

What does ‘wisdom’ mean? In the Bible, it is translated from the Hebrew chakam, meaning ‘intelligent, skillful, artful and cunning;’ and from the Greek saphes, which means to be clear. English dictionaries define wisdom as ‘the quality of having experience, knowledge and good judgement.’

It would appear then that wisdom is a character trait you learn from having experienced what life has to teach you and from the processing of what these life lessons taught, leading to gaining an ability to astutely apply the knowledge that is beneficial – all with a mind and a heart that is clear from misconceptions:

The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise. Pr. 15:31 NKJV

God is the Source of life; therefore, it is His lessons that bring wisdom to the willingly listening student. But, where does one start?

The [reverent] fear of the LORD [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; Pr. 1:7 AMP

God is saying that wisdom is found in Him:

…those who seek the LORD understand all things. Pr. 28:5 NASB

That makes sense. We seek God by living in and by His word. We gain His wisdom from the Holy Spirit, who reveals the meanings of those words to our spirit:

…there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding. Job 32:8 NKJV

The good part is that God gives it freely to those who ask in faith:

…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. But he must ask in faith without any doubting… James 1:5, 6. NASB

Let’s ask God why we need this wisdom:

For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and preserves the way of his saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come in your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, delivering you from the way of evil… Pr. 2:6 – 12. ESV

So, with wisdom comes the ability to know God intimately – understanding His plan for you and His path for getting you there. Furthermore, God keeps you covered on all sides during that journey…

God puts wisdom above all things:

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you, she will bring you honor when you embrace her. Pr. 4:7, 8.  NKJV

Once we seek wisdom, God will keep pouring it into us:

“He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” Dan. 2:21 NKJV

So, we’ve looked at why God wants us to have wisdom (primarily to facilitate having an intimate relationship with Him, and in so doing, have an extraordinary life). But what happens to those who don’t seek out His wisdom?

Therefore My people go into exile because they lack knowledge [of God]; Is. 5:13 AMP

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Hos. 4:6 NKJV

If you’re seeking God’s wisdom, you must also keep the company of others who do likewise:

He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Pr. 13;20 NASB

Ultimately, those who act in opposition to God’s plan for them, will be subject to the whims of the god of this world, because they invited him (Satan) in, by rejecting the kingdom wisdom:

When anyone hears the word of the kingdom [regarding salvation] and does not understand and grasp it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. Mt. 13:19 AMP

It doesn’t have to be that way if you stick with God’s ways:

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart, the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes… Ps. 19:7, 8. ESV

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver…and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her, those who hold her fast are called blessed. Pr. 3:13 – 18. ESV

So, it is the use of God’s wisdom that promotes our highest and best life, not the so-called wisdom of the world:

Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. 1 Cor. 3:18, 19. ES

There is no [human] wisdom or understanding or counsel [that can prevail] against the LORD. Pr. 21:30 AMP

Just remember, when you get your wisdom, don’t forget form whence it came; and don’t allow yourself to get puffed up with your new-found awareness:

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. Pr. 11:2 ESV

Thus says the LORD, “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom…but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, who exercises lovingkindness, justice and the righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD. Jer. 9:23, 24. NASB

For we get these very qualities by walking in His wisdom…

Goodnight and God bless.

Why Would You Need God’s Mercy?

Why? Because no one is above falling down. Everyone sins. (Eccl. 7:20) There are no exceptions – including King David, whom God had called ‘a man after His own heart.’ (1 Sam. 13:14)

God had helped establish David’s throne in Jerusalem, uniting all of Israel under his rule. He covered him with His favor, granting David an eternal dynasty:

…the LORD will make you a house…And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever. 2 Sam. 7:11 & 16. ESV

(There is no physical house or throne that will last forever. God is referring to the eternal kingdom of Christ, whose incarnate body would later come from King David’s lineage.)

The favor of God continued to follow David until one warm spring night when he decided to cool off on the roof of his house. From his vantage point, King David saw a woman bathing on her rooftop nearby. He was smitten. (Note that he was also married at this time.)

The king did a little detective work and found out that the woman’s name was Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah – one of his handpicked soldiers. David suppressed his spiritual self and gave into the flesh. He had Bathsheba brought to him for an adulterous tryst that left her with child. Subsequently, our heretofore virtuous king had Uriah sent to the front lines of a battlefield where his death was all but guaranteed.

When Bathsheba’s prescribed mourning period was over, David took her as wife and she bore him a son. Foolishly, they thought they had pulled one over on everyone. Uh-oh:

But the thing that David had done [with Bathsheba] was evil in the sight of the LORD. 2 Sam. 11:27 AMP

You can’t pull the wool over God’s eyes. He sent His prophet Nathan to King David to deliver His judgment:

“Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD to do evil in His sight?’ “ 2 Sam. 12:7 – 9. NKJV

David is standing before his Creator’s representative, accused of adultery and murder – both punishable by death according to Mosaic Law. Yet God exercised His mercy, and through Nathan, laid upon David a lesser sentence, telling him that his house would be troubled for the rest of his days and that his sins (that he had hoped to keep hidden), would be replayed in the public eye.

(Indeed, David’s first child by Bathsheba dies, one of his subsequent sons rapes his half-sister, the half-sister’s brother exacts revenge by killing the perpetrator and goes on to publicly commit adultery with David’s wives and plots a violent coup of the king’s rule but is killed during the attempt.)

David wholeheartedly confesses and repents of his sins and God answers his repentance through Nathan:

“The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.” 1 Sam. 12:13 NASB

Our God is such a loving and forgiving God. However, though He blots out our sin, we are still left to deal with the consequences caused by them. Sin is so destructive – it hurts God, the victim and the perpetrator. Yet there must be consequences; otherwise, everyone would just cavalierly continue in their sinful ways.

God tells us that sin (disobedience) brings a curse (Dt. 30:19, 20.) that carries the consequences of breakage – in both life and the relationships contained within. Yet praise be to God that He forgives:

…you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love… Neh. 9:17 ESV

Why? Because it is the only way the you can be healed from your sin. If you don’t have faith in God’s forgiveness, you will not forgive yourself. And the subsequent guilt and shame you heap upon yourself causes you to hate that person in the mirror, which severs your love-connection with God.

God loves you so much that He never wants to you to be disconnected from Him, as well as He does not want to be detached from your love:

I, I am he, who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Is. 43:25 ESV

For His sake – so that love circle remains intact. Thus, He guarantees His forgiveness:

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chr. 7:14 NKJV

And just like King David, we ‘turn from our wicked ways’ through confession and repentance:

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose]. 1 Jn. 1:9 AMP

God forgives and so should we. We are to model Him, and that includes His mercy. In fact, we must exercise our mercy first, if we hold a grudge against anyone, before we go before our Father to receive His:

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Mt. 6:14, 15. ESV

Forgiveness begins in the mirror, so that we can break down any barriers that we’ve erected between God and ourselves. Furthermore, when we extend that forgiveness outwards (Eph. 4:32), it completes our relationship with God and all others – ultimately completing our relationship with ourselves.

Forgiving is the highest act of giving – where we give our love away, regardless of whether we think the object of our love deserves it or not. After all, who doesn’t deserve love?

Goodnight and God bless.

What’s in Your Heart?

A God song; and He loves to hear you sing it:

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! Ps. 95:1, 2. ESV

God loves to hear your praises because it shows your love and your desire to stay in relationship with Him. It assures God that you want to belong to Him and steep in HIs goodness and mercy:

Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God; it is He who made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name! For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations. Ps. 100 NKJV

The Bible tells us that ‘the LORD is good, and His mercy is everlasting’ 126 times! I think that God wants that truth firmly implanted in our hearts. The word ‘mercy’ is translated from the Hebrew racham, which may also be rendered as ‘compassion’ or ‘lovingkindness.’ This is the kind of love that has covered you since your conception:

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well. Ps. 139:13, 14. NKJV

Moreover, God surrounds you with that love for all your days:

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there where none of them. Ps. 139:16 NASB

The LORD will perfect that which concerns me… Ps. 138:8 NKJV

You have a special place in God’s uni-verse (His ‘one song’). And you have a special verse to sing, which you’ll find when you plan your life around Him. What ensues is a life of joy as He walks along side of you:

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock… Ps. 92:12 – 15. NKJV

What does that ‘flourishing’ look like?

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Ps. 103:1 – 5. ESV

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God…who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. Ps. 146:5 – 8. ESV

God loves you, extends His grace over you and is filled with compassion for you. But remember, it’s up to you to invite God into a relationship and to do your best to follow the plan He has laid out for all of us in His word, in order to reap a life that makes you want to sing:

Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain that you rise up early an go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Ps. 127:1, 2. ESV

It’s all about sticking to the plan:

Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble. Ps. 119:165 NKJV

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Ps. 119:105 ESV

Yet, we all fall away from the plan from time to time. But because God loves us so much, He will use the consequences of our choices to teach us how to return home:

It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes. Ps. 119:71 NKJV

God’s plan is the only plan for your heart:

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. Ps. 119:9 ESV

The great part is that God’s plan is not only temporal, it leads you into eternal life with Him as well:

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints. Ps. 116:15 NKJV

So, are you ready to sing your verse? It’s planted in your heart…

Let the godly ones exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds. Ps. 149:5 NASB

Goodnight and God bless.

Does God Need Love?

God is Love:

…God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.] 1 Jn. 4:8 AMP

As we also know, God created the entire universe through Christ, and through whom He also holds it all together. Thus, God is complete within Himself, the end all and be all. So, in our logical way of thinking, God wouldn’t need anything.

Humans were made in the image of God; and we possess most of His attributes, albeit a bit flawed, perfected when we receive our salvation through Christ.

For us, it is not enough to just send love outwards. We need to receive it as well.  Loving for the sake of loving is a great altruistic state to aspire to. Yet I think that because our love penetrates the hearts of those we to whom we send it, (whether they are consciously aware of it or not), the recipient’s heart cannot help but radiate its own love back to the sender. And that’s what motivates us to send love in the first place.

I believe we are modeled after our Creator in that way; and I may be going out on a limb here, but I feel that God also needs love. Even though He is love, God has repeatedly expressed His desire for love from His children.

Love exists to give. It’s part of a grand cycle – whereby it gives of itself, receives back from whomever it has visited and then sends itself back out again to nourish yet another heart. That’s the way it can work for all of us. We receive the love of God [because He first loved us (Jn. 4:19)] and we marinate in that love for a while, adding a measure of our love. Then we send this new love bundle back to Him and out into the world as well.

When we love, we resonate with God, practicing His original purpose for us:

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 1 Jn. 4:7 NASB

Jesus said that we love God by obeying His word (Jn. 15:10). Thus, part of showing God our love, is by loving each other.

Another way to demonstrate our love to God is through praise and worship; and God gave us the blueprints for doing just that – contained within the psalms that He inspired in King David.

This is not about some selfish God in heaven saying, “You must love Me.” Instead, it’s about a God who loves you so much that He wants to shower you with all He’s got. But, God knows that you must first make the connection with Him through the expression of your love to keep this heavenly ‘love-loop’ alive. When you do that, your life will blossom to its fullest. So, part of God’s strategy in the psalms is to show you the reasons why you should love Him – i.e. to motivate you to connect.

One reason is that God is the Source of all your joy:

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and on the harp I will praise You, O God my God. Ps. 43:4 NKJV

‘Joy’ is translated from the Hebrew simchah, meaning ‘exceeding gladness.’ It transcends happiness. If you remain with God, your joy will be continuous – made obvious by the gratitude that spreads itself across your countenance.

The greatest way that we can show that gratitude to God, is to make known our Source of joy to everyone around us:

In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to your name forever. Ps. 44:8 ESV

There is no wrong way to love God. He is moved by your love, and He remembers your ‘love efforts’ forever:

I will not rebuke you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, which are continually before Me. Ps. 50:8 NKJV

Conversely, it’s never appropriate to be ungrateful to God. Because He loves us and does so much for us, our gratitude should shine like the sun – whether we are riding on a peak of our life’s experience or experiencing one of its valleys:

In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other… Eccl. 7:14 ESV

God uses every situation that you’re in to expand who you are – to mold you further into His resemblance and bring you closer to Him:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2 – 4. ESV

For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined…we went through fire and water; but You brought us out to rich fulfillment. Ps. 66:10 & 12. NKJV

It doesn’t matter what your outward situation looks like. God is always sending you His love:

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! Ps. 68:19 NKJV

And let us not forget that because God loves you, He will deliver you from your valleys – lifting you up to yet another peak, even to the highest peak of all, when it’s time for your eternal transition:

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in the darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you. Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. Ps. 91:1-7, 9 – 12. NKJV

“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him, I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and satisfy him and let him see My salvation.” Ps. 91:14 – 16. NASB

Isn’t it astonishing to see how much God loves you, and wants to keep you close and care for you now and for eternity? But remember, you need to establish your love-connection with Him first, before He can do it…

Good night and God bless.