Week of November 20
by Max Lucado
"Love," Paul says, "never fails" (1 Corinthians 13:8 NIV).
The verb Paul uses for the word fail is used elsewhere to describe the demise of a flower as it falls to the ground, withers, and decays. It carries the meaning of death and abolishment. God's love, says the apostle, will never fall to the ground, wither, and decay. By its nature, it is permanent. It is never abolished.
Love "will last forever" (NLT).
It "never dies" (MSG).
It "never ends" (RSV).
Love "is eternal" (TEV).
God's love "will never come to an end" (NEB).
Love never fails.
Governments will fail, but God's love will last. Crowns are temporary, but love is eternal. Your money will run out, but his love never will.
How could God have a love like this? No one has unfailing love. No person can love with perfection. You're right. No person can. But God is not a person. Unlike our love, his never fails. His love is immensely different from ours.
Our love depends on the receiver of the love. Let a thousand people pass before us, and we will not feel the same about each. Our love will be regulated by their appearance, by their personalities. Even when we find a few people we like, our feelings will fluctuate. How they treat us will affect how we love them. The receiver regulates our love.
Not so with the love of God. We have no thermostatic impact on his love for us. The love of God is born from within him, not from what he finds in us. His love is uncaused and spontaneous.
Does he love us because of our goodness? Because of our kindness? Because of our great faith? No, he loves us because of his goodness, kindness, and great faith. John says it like this: "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us" (1 John 4:10 NIV).
Doesn't this thought comfort you? God's love does not hinge on yours. The abundance of your love does not increase his. The lack of your love does not diminish his. Your goodness does not enhance his love, nor does your weakness dilute it. What Moses said to Israel is what God says to us:
The LORD did not choose you and lavish his love on you because you were larger or greater than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! It was simply because the LORD loves you. (Deut. 7:7-8 NLT)
God loves you simply because he has chosen to do so.
He loves you when no one else loves you. Others may abandon you, divorce you, and ignore you, but God will love you. Always. No matter what.
This is his sentiment: "I'll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I'll call the unloved and make them beloved" (Rom. 9:25 MSG).
This is his promise. "I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself" (Jer. 31:3 NLT).
From A Love Worth Giving
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2002) Max Lucado