By Jodi Thomas
I have been a Christian for almost 30 years, and in that time I have studied a lot about the nature and character of God, as revealed in the Bible. The more I learn, the more I marvel. He is. . . marvel-ous, really. God is, to the infinite degree, all the following: holy, just, merciful, gracious, omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), omni-present, righteous, glorious, mighty. . . if you looked up all the bible verses on those qualities alone, it would blow your mind. Yet there is one characteristic that sets Him apart from all other gods. . .from All other. Love.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.” (1 John 4:16)
God isn’t just loving. God IS love. Right now I’m reading The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren. In it he lists four facets of God’s love, which I want to take a moment to expound upon, as I thought he summed it up pretty well.
God’s love is wide enough to be everywhere. Psalm 139:7-10 says it beautifully:
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” We just finished celebrating Christmas. One of the names of Jesus is Immanuel, which means God WITH us. God is with us in our joy, in our pain, in our darkest moments, in our deepest disappointments. There is no place that His love cannot and will not reach.
God’s love never changes. Unlike seasons, circumstances, or people, God’s love never changes. . . never gives up. . . never lets go. Twenty-six times the Psalms mention God’s unfailing love; Psalm 33:5 says, “The earth is full of His unfailing love.” The interesting thing is that not once is God’s love mentioned apart from the adjective of unfailing. THAT is the nature of His love. It does not fail. It is steady—steadfast. Unlike us—in our failures, our sins, our weaknesses, our fickleness—His love does not change.
God’s love is deep enough to handle anything. The other night, as I was putting my son to bed, I was really tired. My son is Mr. Chatty, and sometimes, when it’s the end of the day, it’s just too much for me. He confided in me about something he had done that day. Unfortunately, that was not my day for Parent of the Year award, and quite simply, I did not handle it well. I got agitated and irritated over his failure; I came down on him pretty hard. It was not a good moment. But God is not like that. We can confide our deepest sin, and He is always there for us. Refresh your memory of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-23. That story is less about The Prodigal Son and more about the unfailing, unending, deep, and deeper still love of God. Whatever you’ve got. . . He can handle.
God’s love is high enough to overlook my sins. Jesus came for one reason and one reason only: “to seek and save the lost.” (Luke 19:10) He is still doing that today. When we accept God’s forgiveness through faith in Jesus—in His payment of sin on the cross and His gift of salvation—our sins are no more. Instead of our yuck, He sees Beauty. That is the gospel.
This Valentines Day, know that there is One who Loves you more than you can ever imagine. The One Who is the True Valentine. Your heart is safe with Him. Will you be His?