I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Hannah Solomon Mesfin (WITHIN Devotional Contributor)
This weekend most of us had the chance to celebrate the ones we love so dear in our lives-whether that’s in romantic relationships, friendships or relationships in our family. We use this one particular day to express love to the fullest and show what someone means to us. And in the midst of all of this, the thought of enduring love rang so strongly in my heart. What kind of love endures through the test of time? What type of love endures through constant rejection? What love is always enduring? There’s only One I know and that is God’s love.
In Psalm 136 alone we see the phrase “His love endures forever” 26 times. In Psalm 118:1 we notice it says, “His lovingkindness endures forever”. Another translation says, “His steadfast love endures forever.” We see this word endure repeatedly. The word endure itself means to remain in existence. This word alone is not speaking just about God’s love but about God’s nature. God in nature is everlasting and anything that derives from God can only be eternal and everlasting as He is in nature. When we say God is love (1 John 4:8), we have to understand that love is who He is and not just what He gives out. From the beginning of creation, when God set in mind to create beings in His image, His love was already in existence because He already was in existence. And then to express His love in a profound way to His rebellious creation, He sent His one and only Son to take our place of punishment so that we may find everlasting life (John 3:16).
The entire Bible is ultimately a love story from God to His children. God creates His creation out of love and makes us in His image (Genesis 1-2). Man fails and is alienated from God because of sin (Genesis 3). God then sends His Son, as an act of love, for His creation by wanting to redeem us to Him (John 3:16). Finally, as creation and His children, we eagerly await His return to be restored back to His initial plan; to live in perfect harmony and intimacy in everlasting love with the Father (Romans 8:19-23).
We can find so much hope in knowing that the love we find from God is never and will never be dependent on us. I have known many people to assume that God has stopped loving them or suddenly “fell out of love” with them because of their constant mistakes and sin. But when we begin to learn about the nature of God, we then understand that our shortcomings do not cause God to love us less. He is not like mankind for His love to be swayed by the motions of this world. God simply loves because He is love. If at any moment we feel His love is distant, it is only because we have chosen to reject it. Sometimes we reject His love out of pride, out of shame, out of embarrassment or at a lack of knowledge. Regardless of the situation, His love remains—it endures forever.
“For I am convinced beyond any doubt, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The weekly devotionals seek to encourage you to dig deeper into Scripture as you take the time to daily read, meditate, and internalize the verses in the devotional, along with the passages provided below to give greater context. Take the time to read them throughout the week (repetition is important) and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp what God is showing you about Himself, about you, and how to live in light of these truths.
Passages to read/memorize/meditate:
1 John 4:8
Questions to Reflect on: