The Joy of a Fool or the Joy of the Wise?

Behold What Manner of Love the Father Has Bestowed on Us! Disqus

Count the Cost: For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down His life for His friends

By John Foll, written between 7/25/2017 and 7/27/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll

The Joy of a Fool or the Joy of the Wise? Which will you have? How can both the wise and the fool have joy?

Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.” Proverbs 15:21 KJV. Now from the NASB: Folly is joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight.” Proverbs 15:21 NASB.

Solomon declared that foolishness or folly is joy to the man who lacks understanding. The fool is compared with a man of understanding who walks uprightly, the wise man or the righteous man. Is there also joy for the righteous? Yes true joy! There are two paths to joy. Which one will you choose?

There are two paths: folly and wisdom, everyone must choose between them. We want to compare the supposed joy of folly with the true joy of wisdom, to see how the joy from wisdom leads to righteousness and infinitely exceeds folly. Study the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes for the folly of wickedness and why righteousness is the only wise course to choose. This idea of two paths can be found throughout the Bible, including the Psalms.

The path of true wisdom is to study everything the God has to say in the Bible, not just taking a few verses, a single verse or words here or there to base your beliefs on. Some confine themselves to just a portion of the New Testament of the Bible from a single apostle to build their beliefs, but this is not wise. But Solomon says that the wise study matters and want to get understanding in order to make the right decision. In chapter two of Proverbs, which can be viewed as an introduction to Proverbs, written to his son he sums up that we should treasure his commandments and listen to wisdom and want to get understanding: “My son, if you will receive my words And treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God. 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 He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course.” Proverbs 2:1-9 NASB.

The Joy of the Fool:
Some try to live their life without the joy of the Lord in their life fully, and get grouchy and easily irritated with things that happen and with the mistakes and sins of others, and many times do not look to their own greatest need. Some of these are focused too much on the folly of others, while giving themselves a pass on their own folly. They don’t understand the strong desire that some have who have given themselves completely to God and are strongly motivated to serve Him and others. This desire and joy to serve God like this cannot be supplied by anything we can do, it is a gift only from God, given to those who desire to love and obey Him in all things. But since they don’t have that joy from the Lord for themselves or fully, they don’t have the same sweet motivation to serve and obey God that the soul who has given and devoted themselves to God has. They can only feel a sense of duty, and know that they should be doing something better or different, and know fear and guilt. But to have the joy that God wants everyone to have, it can only be had by yielding completely to God and obeying Him.

Many are not concerned too much about sin because the Bible teaches that we are ‘saved by grace alone’, and they have been taught to believe that this is the sum of what they need to know. But many of them are missing another essential part of what they need to know to be saved. They don’t know that those who are saved by grace should be so happy for this salvation that they would want to obey everything that God has commanded, so not much attention is given to trying to get victory over sin in their life by His power, because they have been blinded against this and other essential Bible truths. They think that living their life this way makes them happy and gives them joy, because they think they are freed from the need of living right, ‘no worries’. Have you heard this? But this is the path of folly because Solomon admonished us that we should consider the path we are traveling on and seek to do what is right. According to Solomon those who do not seek the path of wisdom and righteousness are on the path of folly. Most of those who are not too concerned will not listen to anything that is said regarding this. But this is as Solomon has already declared. What has been will be again. Those that love folly or those who are falsely comforted by the folly of error, will not hear anything else, because their heart is set on it. But the wise will see and hear the truth and understand when it is presented to them or study it in the Bible. Solomon has dealt extensively with the idea that there is a path of wisdom and a path of folly in his writings, which is the opposite of what many believe in our day! The teachings of folly in our day are widespread, from the pulpits to the theatre and many popular entertainments. Satan has been busy spreading the idea to some that it doesn’t matter what they do, because God will save them regardless, and to others he tells them not to worry about sin since they are ‘saved’: ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law’ as A. Crowley wrote, the self-proclaimed ‘wickedest man’ in the world. A. Crowley had a great impact on the development of the wicked entertainments in the music world and Hollywood too through his many followers and devotees. But what he wrote is not all that different than what is taught from many pulpits! [Please don’t read his writings, or you might be deceived too.]

What is folly?
It is doing the wrong thing, saying the wrong thing, or thinking the wrong thing, or believing something that is not right and living your life and basing your decisions in life on these falsehoods. It is anything that hurts or destroys you, others, or hurts God. It is hasty speech, not thinking things through, being too proud or too lazy to correct problems after they become known. It is also unkind words, hurtful things, addictions, unconfessed or unrepented sins, these will shut out the soul from eternal life and from peace, love, faith, joy and happiness forever that God wants everyone to have, unless they finally repent. It is folly to not humble your heart and repent and give your heart completely to God, since this leads to your salvation and all the peace, love, joy, faith, hope and happiness that God wants you to have, now and forever. Why would anyone not want what God has to offer? Yet God lets everyone decide what they will have; weather they will have life and peace and joy from Him and eternal life, or a nagging conscience, death, and be forever lost.

Now why would doing foolishness appeal to anyone? And why would being a fool and doing foolish things or saying or doing or thinking foolish things be a joy to anyone? Because the fool doesn’t want to think too much, but just to have a good time and always be in mirth and in laughter. I.e. ‘no worries.’ The foolish person does what feels good, and they don’t usually think very much about the consequences if at all; they just don’t care, even though some might think that they do.

Being a fool leads to wickedness.
Solomon said, “I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:” Ecclesiastes 7:25 KJV. Solomon said here that wickedness is folly, even foolishness. We are not sure why Solomon wanted to apply himself to folly, foolishness and madness like he said. He greatly sinned and had to repent of this once he came back to his senses, but it had a bad effect on the children of Israel that they never totally recovered from. What a different course the children of Israel might have had if Solomon hadn’t experimented with wickedness, folly, foolishness and madness! Solomon also warns us that: “Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.” Proverbs 16:22 KJV. Fools teach folly to all who will listen, teaching them to be a fool too. “Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.” Proverbs 17:12 KJV.

Note: In these Proverbs below Solomon tells what happens to the scoffer, which sounds similar to ‘the fool’ described in other places by Solomon and the Bible: “He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, and he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, reprove a wise man and he will love you.” Proverbs 9:7-8 NASB. Or ‘scorner’ as it says in the King James. And the psalmist Asaph compares the foolish with the wicked, and the proud: “I said unto the fools, deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, lift not up the horn: Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck.” Psalm 75:4-5 KJV.

The Joy of the Wise:
True joy comes only from salvation that Jesus brings you: “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:12 NASB.

True joy is a fruit of being Jesus’ disciple like He said before He died on the cross to His disciples: “Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy. Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world. Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” John 16:20-24 NASB. Paul also tells us that one of the fruits of the Spirit is Joy: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 NASB. Therefore to get true joy you must be born again (John 3:3, 5), which is also a requirement to be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven, which is how you get the Holy Spirit, who will also give you ‘the Fruits of the Spirit’.

It is important to know what true joy is and get it for yourself, because there is a counterfeit!
And to have true joy is an antidote against sin, because with it God helps you to want to be more like Him, serve Him, and if you continue cooperating with Him - you will get even more joy! Your cup will run over! Psalms 23:5. And the Holy Spirit, which brings true joy, is the antidote against being deceived by the counterfeit, or ‘another gospel’ or ‘another spirit.’ Some who think that they are born again and have the Holy Spirit may not in fact, have the Holy Spirit at all, but ’another spirit’ and believe in another gospel than what Jesus and Paul preached. “For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.” 2 Corinthians 11:4 NASB. “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9 KJV. This ‘another spirit’ preaches ‘another gospel’ which teaches you to stay in sin and get your joy from foolishness, this is ‘the spirit of error’, instead of having the true joy from the Holy Spirit. So there is a true spirit and a false spirit.

Why are we writing this article?
Because we don’t want you to miss out on the best thing in life that could ever happen to you, and lead to your salvation and eternal life! There are many today that think that because they are saved by grace that they cannot be lost, since they were baptized into the Christian faith and at one time took a public stand and gave their life to God. And also there are many people who think that because they believe ‘the truth’ and take a firm stand against the world and sin that this makes them good, when they are missing out on the very joy that all Christians are supposed to have. There is nothing wrong with wanting to take a firm stand against the world and sin by itself, but if someone is lacking the true born again experience that Jesus said that all are required to have to enter the kingdom of Heaven, John 3:3, 5, then it can be a detriment and turn others away from God. Many of them are also lacking true peace, love and true faith, etc. but are very zealous to keep God’s Law or His requirements (they think). Why are we picking on these two groups? Because we are hoping that if you have a problem in either of these areas that you will wake up. All of us have probably been in one of these two groups or the other in our life at one time, maybe both. We hope someone will be rescued from the pit of sin, and as many as possible by this article. We used to have problems in this area too and would still have them, but for the grace of God. In our past we were lacking the real peace, love, joy, faith, hope, and happiness that God wants all Christians to have. See also 1 John 1:4:20-21; 1 John 2:3-6 how to know if you know Jesus. We do not want to go back to that way of living that we used to live, there is no peace, hope, joy or power or assurance of salvation in either of those paths; the end of these paths are always death, unless the soul humbles itself before God and allows Him to help them. All need to know that Jesus came to give us life and more abundantly, and they need to know and have the hope that Jesus wants to give them. John 10:10. And to let Him make them free indeed from all addictions and sin. John 8:36.

We are also writing this article because there are some who think that they are born again and there are some who think that they have received the Holy Spirit, but their life is lacking the change that all who are born again should have. In any case, it is folly to try to live your life without yielding to God all the way and being fully born again. Some think that they have the Holy Spirit because there is a lot of excessive joy, fun and excitement in their life. And dare we say babbling? Those who think that excited babbling in languages unintelligible to others is proof that they have the Holy Spirit, need to think carefully about whether they really have the Holy Spirit or not. Those who think that they are born again should also think carefully about whether they are still born again, and all the way. And there are those who think that when they get a special feeling that this is God’s leading, without checking to know for sure. All who believe that they have received the Holy Spirit in full need to be especially on guard to make sure that they don’t have ‘the spirit’ that is contrary to sound reason or the Scriptures. Sometimes there is a problem with sin in the life that gets excused, because they believe that they can’t be lost since they are saved or because they have the Holy Spirit. Or they don’t think too much about their problems of sin or do not admit it to others, and are focused on ‘rooting out’ sin in other people or in other institutions, etc., in anyone but themselves. Is this really true? You bet.

Is there a false joy?
Yes, Solomon declared above in Proverbs 15:21 that a fool gets joy from his folly and foolishness.

This also leads to the question is there a false Spirit too?
Yes.Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1 KJV. Are we to have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us? Yes. Paul says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19 NASB. Therefore we are all temples for the Holy Spirit to dwell in, if we would have Him; that means that the Holy Spirit should be there fully in everyone’s heart, this is the way God intended it to be. Should you test the spirit that is in you to see if it is the Holy Spirit or another spirit of the antichrist? Yes. 1 John 4:1-3. John also says, “We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:6 NASB. Those who listen not to the apostles in the New Testament, or Jesus or the prophets in the Old Testament do not have the Spirit of truth.

Could a “wrong spirit” seduce any Christian who thinks they are saved or any who think that because they believe the truth they are saved?
Yes. Just because someone has seen miracles or had miracles happen to them does not mean that they have the Holy Spirit or still have the Holy Spirit. Also when someone gets the Holy Spirit, that does not mean that the devil stops harassing them or trying to trick them into sinning; the tempter never gives up while life lasts. If you think everything is going fine, then watch out! “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NASB. If you ‘have the Holy Spirit’, if you think you have had the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit be doubly on your guard! Joy and miracles are not proof of the Holy Spirit, but the proof is in peace and love in the heart for God and others, in addition to joy, and in having more and more victory over sin as time progresses. Are we trying to caution you against receiving the Holy Spirit? No way! We are advising you to be on your guard and pray diligently. If you have received the Holy Spirit this is the most wonderful thing you could ever experience this side of Heaven, and the Holy Spirit will help you to live a righteous life for God! There is no safety in your life, unless you have humbled yourself to God, and devoted yourself completely to Him and have received the Holy Spirit, and have had great changes in your life to help you to be an overcomer.

Now let us talk about the joy of the righteous that God wants to give everyone:

The joy that the righteous can experience on this earth, and later for all eternity with the Lamb, far exceeds anything that can be experienced on this earth. True joy is found in the path of wisdom; in knowing, loving and obeying God.You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Psalm 16:11 NASB. The righteous’ prayer to their Heavenly Father is:I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.” Psalms 119:16 KJV. And “Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.” Psalm 119:35 KJV. Yes the righteous delight or receive joy from keeping God’s commandments; this is something that those that don’t think they need to or can’t keep God’s commandments will never know, unless they repent.

True joy is found in the things that the fool detests, and those with true joy detest folly.The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.” Proverbs 13:19 KJV.

Those who have found the path of wisdom, peace and joy, know that they can count on God to take care of them and save them.But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” Psalm 5:11 KJV. This is the only basis for real joy.

Those who have found the path of wisdom, peace and joy are not afraid to give or serve God and help others, this is what they live for. They know that giving to God and to others will only increase their joy and eternal riches in Heaven, where the most blessed are the most unselfish, and the most giving. And they have great joy! “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." Luke 6:38 NASB.

God’s best gifts are given to those who love Him and are devoted completely to Him; His willing servants. This joy cannot be known except by those who know it, or only partially by those learning to yield to God. We can describe it, but it can’t be understood until you get it for yourself (if you don’t already have it). It is what makes life worth living, living for all eternity! But if you have given your heart to God at one time, you probably knew at least part of this joy if not more. Whenever this fully happens, it will change your life forever! It is very hard indeed to go back to your old ways without this peace, love and joy!

Now for the conclusion of the matter:
The joy of wisdom exceeds that of folly and sinful pleasures and indulgences. It is as far is the east is from the west, and as far as righteousness exceeds wickedness and as the day exceeds the night. Ecclesiastes 2:13.

My desire for all is that they would cease to find joy in folly, and want to be wise, seeking after the wisdom from God, and become born again, filled with the Spirit and with much joy!

May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you! And may your heart be filled with God’s inexpressible love and joy! Amen.

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.” Psalms 1:1-3 NASB.

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Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us [or given unto us], that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.” 1 John 3:1 KJV.
Yes, it is a great love that the Father has bestowed on us! He has given us His only Son, Jesus Christ to die for our sins, and if we will confess our sins, He will forgive us (1stJohn 1:9), and He will fill us with His precious Holy Spirit (if we desire), so that we can have the power to become His son or daughter! This is the true meaning of this text! If we desire, God will forgive us and change us into His likeness, so that as we draw closer and closer to His love, we will more and more reflect His love to the world. This is what it means to be a son or daughter of God! Oh wonderful love of God! Not only does He grant us mercy and help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16), but He also wants to grant us the joy of serving Him, and sharing His love to the world! Luke 12:32.
It is the most natural thing in the world for all who truly learned to love Him to reflect this love to all who are around them. (How can you not love Him?) If you will just fall on your knees, confess all of your sins, and yield your heart to His great love for you, all this love, joy and peace can be yours! This is God’s promise to you, if you would have it!
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:2 KJV. If you have confessed all of your sins and have given your heart completely to God, then now you are the son or daughter of God. Every day give your heart back to God, and recommit your life to Him. This brings you much happiness and joy, for God never forces Himself on anybody, and He loves it when His children give themselves unreservedly to Him! The fact that you gave your heart to God 5, 10, 20 or 30 years ago has nothing to do with today. So do not deny yourself the truest joy of giving your heart back to God each day and each hour! It will make you happy! Why deny yourself this pure holy pleasure?It will make God happy and He will fill you with His precious Holy Spirit!And let not the stain of guilt darken your heart, when you can receive the forgiveness of your sins right away! There is no reason to wait for a convenient season to confess all of your sins. Acts 24:25. As soon as you sin make your confession known to God, that you may come boldly to the throne of Grace and obtain help and mercy in time of need.Hebrews 4:16. When you confess all of your sins, and yield your heart completely to God, then when Jesus comes back in the clouds with great glory, you will be able to see Him as He is, and will not shrink back in fear. “But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:39 NASB.
You can never come before God boldly for anything, if you have any sin or stubborn willfulness in your heart.So constantly make your heart pure and clean before God, by confessing all of your sins of thought, sins of words and sins of deed. And then you will be able to come boldly before His throne of grace for your other prayers and receive the requests that you make, when your heart is pure! You can never have happiness or joy while you still have any guilt in your heart. You can never be all that you can be or be the son or daughter of God, if you have unconfessed or unforsaken sins. But there is absolutely no reason why you must have guilt in your heart or have unforsaken sins in your life, when God would be delighted to forgive you and give you the power to become His son or daughter! When you let God forgive you, and when you let God change you to help you to forsake all of your sins, you truly become His son or daughter! This is a most wonderful promise that God has given us, that He would want to call us poor sinners His son or daughter! What did we ever do to deserve this honor or love? Nothing! God does this out of His heart of pure and unselfish love!

No one but God knows the end from the beginning. Sometimes you have uncertainty in your life about the outcome of your life, or whether you will get the help you need to survive or get by. Before you have given your heart completely to God, you will have a lot of uncertainty in life, and probably some guilt, or unfulfilled duties and dreams and desires of being a better person. You may have prayed to God and made your petitions known, and struggled through your life trying to be a better person. But you probably failed too, right? Sometimes life can be very discouraging. Some people give up thinking that they could ever break out of the rut they are in, and break their bad habits and stop sinning, and they know that they are falling short of God’s plan for their life. You just want to be happy, right?
But even though things may look dark to you, you can receive the help that you so desperately need in God!Just throw yourself on His great mercy to save you: it’s what He’s been waiting for! If you will humble yourself before God, confess all of your sins, and just get to know Him, you will learn to love Him. If you desire this joy, spend time with God, studying your Bible, especially the many precious promises of His love for you, and faith and love building stories in the Bible, and then praying as much as you can. As you get to really know Him, you may find yourself falling in love with Him. It’s OK! Just let it happen. When you are ready (you will know when you are ready), tell God that you love Him and just give your heart to Him, and give Him permission to do whatever He wants in your life! (You can do this before you have fallen completely in love with Him!) Then give your heart to Him each day. When you belong to Him you will know it, your heart will be filled with such love and unspeakable joy! (If you have continued to yield your heart to Him each day and each hour, and always confessed all of your sins, and always obeyed His voice to your heart, and what you have learned from the Bible, then this will happen and keep happening.)
When you have given your heart completely to God, you have become His son or daughter, and your whole life will change forever for the better when this happens.Then you will wonder why you never gave your heart to God completely before. You will find that you have given up nothing of value when you agree to let God be the Lord of your life, but sin, misery and death. God’s precious light from the Bible will explode with clarity that you never saw before, and your heart will just yearn to help others and tell them how much you love Jesus and the Father. Then when Jesus comes back in the clouds with great glory (Matthew 24:30; Mark 13:26) you will say, “This is my God in whom I have waited for!” Isaiah 25:9 NASB. He has come back to save me and take me to Heaven, just like He promised! John 14:1-3. I will go with Him and be happy forever!” All this joy and peace and eternity with your God, whom you love, can be yours, if you get to know Him and give your heart completely to Him! Everyone that has this hope in Him (1 John 1:1-2), allows Him to make themselves pure and holy for Him.And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” 1 John 3:3 KJV. This is the most glorious promise to us, that God is willing to make us holy and pure for Him!
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God be with you! Amen.  
For more information on this, and the love of God, and of Faith, please see our site: White Raiment Evangelism for more of our articles and books, etc.

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If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'” Luke 14:26-30 NASB.
Are you able to finish the course that is set before you? Hebrews 12:1. You will be able to finish the course that is set before you, if you count the true cost, and the true value of the surpassing riches that God wants to provide you. “And raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:6-7 NASB.  
Count the cost of loving, obeying and serving Jesus. Whenever you see the true value of serving Jesus with all the love, joy, peace, faith and all the other gifts that He wants to give you, and agree willingly to serve Him, then this will be what your soul wants, and you will get it. The value of what you get infinitely exceeds the cost that you will pay. But He who loves his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers or sisters, and even their own life more than Jesus, cannot be His disciple. When you calculate the true cost and value of giving your heart completely to God and serving Him, you will see that even though you may have to suffer much from friends, family and others, and may even make the ultimate sacrifice, that it will all be worth it in the end, for the rich bounty of love, joy and peace that you will reap for yourself and others whom you have helped, now and for all eternity in Heaven! God will call you His good and faithful servant, if you prove to be faithful to Him. So count the cost!
What kind of a price can you put on having peace, wonderful peace, and having this great love and joy that God wants to give you? Is there anything in this life that can equal it or compare with it in any way?No. God’s gifts that He wants to give you are priceless and beyond compare. All the riches of this world cannot compare to one moment of pure peace, love and joy that He will give you! And this peace, love and joy will continue throughout eternity, without end! Oh, the riches and bounty of God for us poor mortals!
Jesus also said,So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. Luke 14:33 NASB. If you give all of your possessions willingly and freely to Jesus, He will bless you and keep you. He may not ask you to sell or give away all that you have to the poor right away, like the rich young ruler thought He had asked him to do (Luke 18:22), but He will ask you to be a wise steward of your time, goods, means and talents, which you should willingly use to bless others as they have need. Matthew 25:14-30. The poor include not only the poor in this world’s goods, but those who are poor in the knowledge of salvation. Our heart should care about our poor brothers and sisters throughout this world that do not know Jesus yet, or those who don’t know Him all the way yet, that need to get to know Him better. Jesus knows you have needs and will take care of you! He is not necessarily asking you to sacrifice all that you have now, but to be willing to help others, as the need arises, from your store of resources. He is asking you to love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 22:39), because love is the fulfillment of the law.Romans 13:10. But whatever you do to help others, the cost is insignificant compared with the infinitely better riches and reward of love, happiness, and joy that you will accrue throughout eternity! Whatever sacrifice you make for God is definitely worth it, if you count the cost and the return on your investment that you will get forever in Heaven! Don’t think about what you will lose, think about what you will gain! When you have God’s love in your heart, you will find that the things of this earth have lost their hold on your heart, and you will willingly give to help others, even sacrificially. And you will be happy to do it!
If anyone does not love his neighbor as themselves, they cannot be Jesus’ disciple, because He said,A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 NASB. And: “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. John 15:12-14 KJV. So if you want to be Jesus’ friend, you must do whatsoever He commanded you, which is to love one another, as He loves you. Therefore anyone who does not love his or her neighbor as themselves, cannot be Jesus’ disciple.
But if you find God’s Spirit stirring your heart with love and joy, and see the true value of serving Him, you will willingly yield your heart to Him! And then you will see that there is no sacrifice too great for your God, whom you love, for all the peace, love, faith, hope, and joy that He gives you, and from all the love and joy you get as you see someone else made happy when they give their heart to Him, and become as happy as you are! Enter into the joy of your Lord, enter into the kingdom of Heaven prepared for those who love Him! Matthew 25:21. Amen.

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By John Foll, 12/8/2016.

Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down His life for His friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. John 15:13-14 NASB. Jesus is the good shepherd who laid down his life for His friends!Jesus said, “Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46 NASB. We are Jesus’ friends if we do what He says. Doing everything that He said is doing everything that He has commanded us.
What did Jesus command His friends?This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” John 15:12 NASB. How do we love one another? By keeping the Law. Paul says that “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of thelaw.” Romans 13:10 NASB. What law is Paul talking about here? The 10 Commandments. “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,’ and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:8-10 NASB. Paul is listing some of the 10 commandments here, but not all of them. But we believe that even though he is not mentioning all of them, or that he specifically is not mentioning any of the commandments regarding how we should treat God, that he is meaning them as well. Thus we see that the fulfillment of the Law is love.
Jesus told us that if we are His friend, that we will do what He has commanded us. If we refuse to do anything that He has commanded us or do not ask for His help to keep His commands, we are not His friend. What has He commanded us? “And He said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."” Matthew 22:37-40 NASB. Jesus clearly states here that all of the Law, which are the 10 Commandments, and the Prophets are dependent on loving God first, and then loving everyone else second; there are no laws greater than these. Thus love is the fulfillment of the Law, as Paul stated in Romans 13:8-10. We cannot love our neighbor as ourselves if we do not first love the Lord our God with all of our heart, all of our mind, all of our soul and all of our strength. See also Mark 12:29-31.  
If you are Jesus’ friend, you will want to keep all of His commandments, which are to love one another. If you are Jesus’ friend, that means that you love Him. If you love Him with all of your heart, and all of your mind and with all of your soul and with all of your strength, then you are keeping the first great commandment that Jesus commanded. Jesus laid down His life for His friends, which will be you, if you love Him. You cannot be Jesus’ friend, if you do not love Him or want to do everything that He has commanded.
How can you love Jesus? “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.’” John 14:23-24 NASB. Is that what you want? Do you want to keep Jesus’ word? Then Jesus and the Father will make their abode in you!This is the secret to how you can love Jesus! When you learn that you are a sinner and in need of Him, and that He laid down His life for you, then you will learn to love Him, if you choose to believe it! There can be no greater love than Jesus, the Son of God laying down His life for you, except for the love of the Father who gave His only Son Jesus to die for your sins! “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.” John 3:16-17 NASB. So we see that the Father greatly loves us too, for He gave His only Son Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sins!
How do you prove that you are Jesus’ friend and do everything that He commanded, which is to love Him and one another; which is to keep the 10 Commandments? It is God’s gift to you, if you will accept it. The Holy Spirit will produce this desire in your heart, if you will let Him! See John 16:7-11 for more on how the Holy Spirit will give you the desire to be Jesus’ friend, by convicting you of sin. The Holy Spirit will also give you the ability to do everything that Jesus’ commanded, if you invite Him into your heart and make a confession of all your sins. Jesus promised that if anyone would keep His word, that He and His Father would come and make their abode in them! Oh precious sweet promise! Jesus wants to abide in your heart, if you will ask Him to! This is how you can keep His word, the only way: If Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit abide in your heart continually. God so longs to give you this precious gift! “We love Him [God], because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 KJV. When you finally see your great need of Him, and that He is your only hope, and that He will provide all the help that you need, then you will love Him. Let God’s love penetrate your heart, and come boldly to Him before the throne of grace, that you may obtain help and mercy in time of need. Hebrews 4:16. Amen.





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