Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Mid-Week Message - Unending Love

"Long ago the Lord said to Israel: 'I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.  With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.'"  Jeremiah 31:3 (NLT)  

I had this habit as a little one of getting in trouble first thing in the morning.  I would get out of my bed, walk into the living room or kitchen and straight into a fight with my brother or sassing my mother.  One way or the other, I found a way to start my day off with these words, "Just wait until  your Daddy gets home."  Those dreaded words set the tone of my days on a fairly regular basis for a span of my young years.  My mother knew that I loved my father beyond measure and the worst punishment I could have was the knowledge that I would disappoint him.  

Fast forward to my teen years.  After church one evening, the youth group was going to the local A&W restaurant.  Since I had driven my mother's car that evening, I offered to be one of the drivers.  As I was making a left hand turn into the parking lot, one of my passengers said, "A motorcycle!" right before I heard it hit the car.  The hardest part of the accident for me was calling my dad and telling him about it.  By the grace of God, no one was hurt.  But I had wrecked my mom's car.  When my parents arrived at the scene I saw that my dad's left cheek was twitching, which was a tell-tale sign that he was angry.  My heart was crushed.  

Because I derived my picture of God from my relationship with my earthly father, I spent much of my adult life worrying that I would disappoint Him just like I worried about disappointing my dad.  When I struggled with sin in my life I wondered how long the Lord would continue to love me.  I was fearful that at some point He would give up on me.  I have heard other people wonder how He could possibly continue to love them when they are unsuccessful at conquering the challenges life presents.  

What I have learned through the years, as my relationship with Him has grown, is that His love has no end.  God is not going to turn His back on us.  Just as the prodigal son's father ran to greet him, so the Lord is waiting for us to return to Him when we stray.  Sin is a fact of our lives.  We have an enemy that is unwilling to cease tempting us with earthly pleasures that seek to pull us out from under the umbrella of God's covering.  However, provision was made over two thousand years ago for the remission of our sins.  It is the blood of Christ that washes us clean and allows us to stand before the Father and receive His acceptance and to be confident in His love for us.  

I know so many people who are dealing with sin in its various forms.  Aren't we all in some way or another?  What I want to reassure everyone of is that we are not at risk of losing the love our heavenly Father, no matter how difficult the road we walk might be.  He is right there with each of us.  Every step.  Every struggle.  Every tear.  His love for us never wavers.  There is nothing we can do to stop our Creator from loving us.  All we have to do is to turn to Him and ask Him for his help and confess that we need Him.  When we ask for His forgiveness, scripture says He will grant it.  May we all walk in His love and peace this week. 

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