Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking for True Love in 2014?

My study in God’s Word today focused on God’s unfailing love. The one desire all humans share is to experience unfailing love, as Proverbs 19:22 says, “What a man desires is unfailing love, better to be poor than a liar.” It only takes a glance at our culture to see the need all around us – people are looking for love. They are desperately seeking a love that will last, a love that will be faithful and true. Unfailing love. The Bible uses the expression “unfailing love” thirty-two times. But not once is this referring to human love. In each instance, “unfailing love” refers to the love God has shown to us – a love that meets every need of our hearts.

We often hear I Corinthians 13:4-8 quoted at weddings and in greeting cards referring to what true love ought to be – and yet, a quick review of the qualifications would prove that no human has ever loved perfectly in this way. We strive to. We seek it as a goal and some may express love well, but just as there is “none righteous, no not one,” there is also no one on Earth able to meet this lofty goal of perfection. But perhaps the intent in this Scripture is not to condemn us for failing to meet the perfect standard, but to reveal the One who does. The only One who can meet the need of every human being.

God’s love is patient. 2 Peter 3:15  “Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.”

God’s love is kind. Luke 6:35  “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

God’s love doesn’t envy or boast. James 3:14 ” But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.

God’s love is not proud. Philippians 2:8  “And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

God’s love is not self-seeking. Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

God is not easily angered. Exodus 34:6-7 “And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’

God keeps no record of wrongs. Psalm 130:3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?

God’s love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Psalm 5:4 “For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome,” Psalm 31:5 5” Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

God’s love always protects. Psalm 40:11 “Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord; may your love and faithfulness always protect me.

God’s love always hopes. Jeremiah 29:11 “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

God’s love always trusts. Jeremiah 17:5-8 “This is what the Lord says:
‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
    who draws strength from mere flesh
    and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
    they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
    in a salt land where no one lives.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.’

God’s love always perseveres. 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

God’s love never fails. Exodus 15:13 “In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.