Thoughts on God's Love
St. Valentine's Day gives the opportunity to celebrate love and most importantly, God's love. Without His redeeming love, we would never have known His salvation or forgiveness. Because God is love, He mercifully drew up a plan of eternal reconciliation. While God's redeeming love is the central theme of the Bible, there are three other aspects that should encourage us as we consider God's agape love.
We read a declaration of God's everlasting love in Jeremiah 31:3.
The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying:
"Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you."
While this was originally directed towards His people, Israel, in the Old Testament, it is the same God who paid for the Church with the blood of His Son and draws us to Himself. His love is unconditional and constant. Often we do not feel worthy of His love, particularly if we believe in a performance-based acceptance. Christ's perfect sacrifice means we can be accepted and loved by God's grace alone.
In the cancel culture of today, it is reassuring to know that God's love for us does not change! He may have to discipline us when we wander from His path just as parents chastise their children for their own good, but He never ceases to love us.
Zephaniah 3:17 is a delightful verse as we contemplate the subject of God's love.
The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
God takes pleasure in saving the lost and restoring broken lives and hearts. Only He can save us from the power of sin through His Son and when individuals repent, there is rejoicing in Heaven (Luke 15:10).
The Church is portrayed in the Bible as Christ's bride. The bride, fully satisfied with His love, becomes still in His presence with inner peace and assurance. Which bridegroom does not rejoice over his bride? Our heavenly Bridegroom rejoices over us with singing in joyful anticipation of welcoming His bride in a future day.
1 Corinthians 13 constitutes a well-known definition of God's agape love and contains a powerful statement in verse 8.
Love never fails.
God's agape love never fails. Everything else in this world will pass away, but God's steadfast love endures forever.
The phrase in 1 Corinthians 13:8 could also be translated: love will never become ineffective. As recipients of God's love, we are constantly being changed by the workings of His love in our hearts. It is our calling to share this love in a cold world to reflect God's heart.
Reaching out to others with acts of selfless love and kindness is more effective than we often realize. When someone is touched by God's love through a thoughtful gesture, they usually remember it. God's love will never become ineffective in our witness and in our lives!
God's love is everlasting, joyful and unfailing. We are blessed beyond words if we have offered Him our hearts to be filled by such love.
• • •
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
and were the skies of parchment made;
were ev’ry stalk on earth a quill,
and ev’ryone a scribe by trade;
to write the love of God above
would drain the ocean dry;
nor could the scroll contain the whole,
though stretched from sky to sky.