Love – according to the famous lyrics; it’s a “many splendored thing”, “it’s what the world needs, NOW!” and apparently it’s “all you need.”
Love – everyone wants to feel it. We have love for everything from specific foods to sports teams, from pieces of art to places around the world. We want love from those we care about and value. Many of us want God to be one of those who loves us. Certainly God is faithful, shows mercy and dispenses compassion, but does he love (specifically me) all the time?
I want to believe the answer is yes and Scripture seems to back up that hope. If we dig past “God so loved the world” and get to the nitty-gritty of daily living the Bible is clear that God is for me even when I waiver in my love for him.
In the midst of some serious praise Psalm 103 has a bunch to say about our love relationship with God. Let’s look at four of those things.
- God’ love is unconditional…no matter what. Verse 8 tells us that his love is unfailing and that in the expression of that love he shows compassion, mercy and a really important one (to me) patience. When you think of the Prodigal Son remember that the father loved him, looked for him, ran to hug him and welcomed him home (complete with a party) BEFORE he knew if his son was sorry for what he had done. When Peter denied having any knowledge of, or relationship to Jesus; he must have had a broken heart. Yet quickly after his resurrection he went out of his way to welcome Peter back BEFORE he talked with him. Unfailing, unconditional love is a wonderful thing.
- God’s love is not earned…or forfeited. When we do wrong we are still loved. It doesn’t mean there are no consequences or that the relationship doesn’t change, but it does mean that no matter what we are loved! In the middle of the Psalm we read that God does not constantly accuse us, remain angry forever, punish us for all our sins or deal harshly with us (even if we deserve tougher treatment than we receive). The psalmist continues by telling us that God is like a tender and compassionate father who understands we are weak and made of dust. He also states once again that the love of God is unfailing. You can’t hear that too many times.
- God’s love is unending…in power. It’s a simple statement but an important one. The unfailing love (there’s that promise again) is as great as the heights of heaven. There appears to be no limit, at least that we can determine, to the size of the heavens (the space beyond us and past where we can see). I don’t know about you, but I’m glad that the awesome power of God is clothed in unfailing love.
- God’s love is unending…in time. Once again a simple statement and once again an important and profound truth. The love of God doesn’t have an expiration date. It doesn’t run out of patience, forgiveness or mercies. Most of us have tried the patience of someone in our lives. We may have cause others to get to the “end of their rope,” but not God. His love is constant, consistent, all-encompassing and always sufficient. Now that’s good news.
Quote of the week:
“My prayer is that, weary of such noise, we will turn back to the source of all calmness, that source is God. Everything we lack, God has in abundance: Compassion, sensitivity, patience and boundless love.”
Janet Jackson – 2018 Billboard Music Awards
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