In Love; with HIM

Reminiscing about the Munnar camp days, particularly the second altar call on the third night by Rev. Aby Peter, inviting young souls to take a decision to Love Christ, I couldn’t feel my legs moving. In the midst of a crowd of 800, I was one of the very few left sitting. With a heavy heart and a burdened soul, I went back to the dorms that night. Alas! Sleep had left me long ago. Sitting on the stairs, gazing at the night sky, I let my tears flow free knowing very well none was out on the freezing midnight, wherein even the moon was also MIA. Wrapping a jacket around me, I sat in the solace of a paper and pen. Nothing came to me for almost two hours of me staring blankly unlike what I was used to. And that is when I realized, I had lost it. I had lost my connection. I sat there still, mourning my loss and nursing the broken heart. I had lost a relationship, all while chasing my dreams. That very night, I actually felt the heartbreak what poets described. With puffed up eyes and a running nose, under the midnight sky did I learn, one of the very important lessons for my life.
 
Hereby, young and beloved in Christ, I present to you, THE FIVE INEVITABLES FOR A SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIP:
 
1. CONSTANT COMMUNICATION
The first and foremost, the most important factor in any kind of relationship, is being constantly in touch with your lover. From the very good morning, the moment you wake up till the good night kiss, keeping your bae informed of you probably more than what your mum may know, it’s being constantly in touch. The amazing factor is, it happens to be a two-way relationship. “Prayer” is you talking to God and “The word” is God talking to you. It’s absolutely necessary for you to know Christ’s heart first, to love him as he deserves to be.
 
2. TRANSPARENCY IN HONESTY
Knowing each other like the back of your hand and having no secrets or hidden truths between both is the beauty of any relationship. The absence of honesty causes us pain far more than what we give it credit for. Don’t let your past hinder your present. Be transparent. Be honest. Know Christ inside out and above all, make sure Christ knows you enough that you aren’t denied entry on the final call.
 
3. OBEDIENCE AND SUBMISSION
It so happens when you love someone wholeheartedly; you grow possessive of them. Jealousy overtakes the senses and possessiveness starts running through the veins – Submission is the secret. Christ says, “Whoever loves me, hearkens to my words” with which I understand and write out of personal experience – Obedience comes natural when you’re in love, because, your motto ends to be pleasing your beloved.
 
4. PERSONAL INTIMACY
The very important inevitable part of any successful relationship is the personal intimacy between the lovers. Persis John in her book, “The Lover and his beloved” portrays the relationship with Christ as that of a married couple. If constant communication helps you be closer; intimacy let’s you inside each other breaking all the barriers.
 
5. RENEW YOUR VOWS
David, in Psalm 51 writes, “Renew a right spirit within me” – indicating a renewal. We often lose the spark and the essence of our first love in the fast paced life. It’s really important, we renew our bond, refresh the spark and keep our lamps burning without fail for a healthy long lasting relationship.
Take a step closer and taste his mesmerizing love.
 
Constantly communicating, being honest, obedient and submissive, maintaining a personal intimacy and renewing my vows, I knew I had a long way to walk in this journey, but, I was sure I had my hand risen, whenever the next altar call was. To be constant in a relationship with my Lover and to be able to behold it’s beauty.
Come on people , fall in Love ! This is YOUR MOMENT.
 
Photo Credit: Unsplash

His Beloved

I am my lover’s and my lover is mine – Solomon 6:3

I am my lover’s and my lover is mine – Solomon 6:3

When you think of religion, what comes to your mind—A set of rules, regulations and obligations or a deep, intimate relationship with God? Throughout our life, we have been taught to become a goal oriented person. How emancipating it is to realize that we couldn’t be good enough for him to love us more, or bad enough for him to love us less!

We need to learn that Jesus freely lovingly accepts us and fills us up with his ludicrously lavish love. Instead of being bound to a list of do’s and don’ts,we must began to serve God out of gratitude for all he accomplished on the cross. Christ has a tender care and special attention to our needs as if they were his own needs. Our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ died so we could have a living, vital relationship with God, not just a bunch of rules and regulations, we are forced to follow.

When we have a real relationship with God through Christ, life gets exciting because He stirs up a passion inside us to love people—and we don’t have to struggle to do the things He calls us to do. It just happens naturally. Living with Jesus Christ as your Lord is a relationship of love. The point to notice here is that the Lord has not only given us His gifts, but He has given us Himself.

We have His pardon (Mark 2:5); His gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23); His joy (John 15:11); His peace (John 14:27); and His love (John 13:1); but above all, and best of all, we have Him.

“I am my Lover’s and my Lover is mine!”

The reason we are so confident of Christ’s love for us is because he loved us. Like an earthly bridegroom willingly and gladly assumes the responsibility for the safe keeping of his bride, so does our Heavenly Bridegroom guarantee our protection for time and for eternity. How blessed is this assurance.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

When Your Service Overshadows Jesus

I would seek GOD and fail, rather than serve HIM all my life and live under an illusion that my service is what keeps HIS heart open for me and bless me.

Sometimes, no actually a lot of times I feel like I am making a choice to stay blind even though I am standing in the bright light called Jesus. I shut my eyes and live “my way or the way the experiences in past have taught me.” I deliberately choose my way over Jesus. Result? I am wearied and disillusioned.

No, do not get me wrong, I am not going to start preaching on “obedience and serving God is everything.” Actually I am against serving God. Surprised? Yes, I am not in for “serving God” if it makes me feel worthy in HIS eyes. If that service is not from an outflow of the revelation of HIS greatest love for me, then I am against it. I would rather seek GOD all my life and fail, rather than serve HIM all my life and live under an illusion that my service is what keeps HIS heart open for me and bless me.

Jesus, my friend fortunately is not like you and me, and thankfully He is exactly what HE says HE is. Why then do I say that I choose to stay blind? Because I replace what HE says about HIMSELF with what I feel is believable and what I deserve. Yes, I do let the enemy into my head when I believe that I hold real value in God’s eyes because I do things for HIM. If I were JESUS, I would say – “How offensive!!!!”

I know I sound rude and I am sorry that you had to hear it this way. It might crash your world because it did mine. It sure did!! My intention here is to give you clarity on the triangle of Jesus, relationship and service.

 

Here it is :

1. DO YOU BOTH KNOW EACH OTHER? (Matthew 7:22-23 and Jeremiah 9:23-24)
Jesus said this for me to hear and understand that it is not my ministerial work that will become my reason to dwell with HIM when my time comes, but it will be because HE “knew” me and not because of what I supposedly did for HIM. What I claim as intimacy with Christ is just what He repudiates, and with a certain scornful dignity (casted out demons, prophecy…tell you plainly). The word “knew” in this verse comes from the Hebrew word “yada”, the original meaning of which is the sexual intimacy in a marriage. In marriage, you are called to see through each other in your nakedness, exactly the way you are – You open your real self to your spouse and become vulnerable. Did you trust Jesus enough to let you see in your nakedness? Are you letting HIM see who you really are? Love you in your nothingness? Did you even accept the poverty of your soul at HIS feet? Did you know HIM as enough to take care of you in every season of your life just as a husband does to his wife? Or were you too busy casting out demons or always trying to be perfect holding onto it as a trophy that makes HIM love you. Put this trophy down, take off your garment of works and let JESUS see the burdens of your heart, the cares of your of mind, and everything you are.

 

2. WHAT AM I DOING FOR GOD? (John 6:29)
Heard that a lot, so many times from myself. So, you want to labor for GOD? Good! Jesus has answered – “Believe in the one GOD has sent.”

I have done the mistake of thinking that believing here means – “Jesus is the son of God and He has paid the price of my sin.” Nope, it does not. Listen to this – ‘believe’ comes from the German word ‘Belieben’ which means to – ‘hold dear, value highly.’ Your work for God is assessed on the basis of how much you hold HIM dear and value HIM, and let it direct your actions and not the other way round!!

“It is you remaining in HIM that will make you fruitful and not your fruits that will engraft you in HIM”.

After all, what did you even do for Jesus to accept you? Your relationship started with HIM because you believed (valued highly) in HIS love for you.

 

3. FAITH WITHOUT GOOD WORKS? (Romans 1:17)
Ah, the enemy has used this against me for so long. Faith without good works is dead. I used to keep trying to do work for God and feel better for a few days. It felt like always walking under the supervision of a tough boss. It started taking me away from Jesus. Until one day, when I realised I do not feel loved anymore. What is the difference between Jesus and this world if I feel that I have to constantly work to be in a place of favour?

I digged into the Word and found Romans 1:17. I was called to live (be alive) by faith and not by works. What is the original meaning of faith? The root word is ‘pistuo’, original meaning is ‘fidelity, I rest my heart upon, I am loyal to’. So what was my loyalty to Jesus calling me to do when I started feeling like I am loved and accepted because of my works? It called me to drop everything else, and fight and push out these lies from my life to replace them with the truth of GOD. Yes, in that season that was my service to Jesus. Pick up the sword and cut off all lies and submit my polluted mind to Jesus and let HIM renew it.

 

4. SO WORK IS NOT IMPORTANT? (Luke 17:7-10)
Ummm, I think it is. It keeps you motivated and keeps you going. But I have to keep checking my heart and keep praying that I look at my works unto Lord the way HE looks at it. In the word HE asks you –  “Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’” Now, this servant if he knew how much HIS master loves HIM unconditionally – had his heart yearned for this small appreciation. In fact, he would have kept doing and doing and doing awed by how loved he is. I keep telling myself –  Sneha, do not make Jesus small in your eyes. He loves “you” and is not dependant on what you do for HIM. Check your understanding of HIM. Faith is always to be put in someone or something, it is always relational and it gives you an identity – out of which flows out your vision and hence your responses to life. So, faith navigates your service and not the other way round. Are you faithful to Jesus? Wow, go ahead and change the world for HIM.

 

My prayer for you is that you focus on what was done for you by Jesus and what has made you into more than what you can do and you will become out of it. You will find yourself at the place of serving lovingly !!

Radical Love

What I find attractive about Christianity compared to all other religions or philosophy is the radical kind of love. When we see Jesus and his time on earth, we do see this unusual kind of love. The good shepherd who would give his life for the sheep (John 10:11). The rabbi who would wash his disciples’ feet (John 13). And he was not only talk but did what he proclaimed.

 

In the first century, so many people started believing in Christ and automatically lived their lives in the expression of His love. They were not self focussed. And as an example, they gave up everything they had. This love got them to a point where what an average person holds dear, it meant nothing to them anymore!! Imagine that conviction, that made them give up everything they owned. So when the persecution broke out in Jerusalem, most of these new Christians were dispersed into the various ends of the Roman world. And the truth of the Gospel was spreading like wildfire. More people were accepting the new faith in spite of the great persecution. Something that makes me wonder is that most of these people were just commoners. They were not intellectuals or apologetics. Neither did they have access to the latest technology or had huge chunks of money for promotion. Yet something was so attractive about the gospel, which was beyond the philosophies and intellect of those times. Something so intriguing, that brought people to the truth.

 

It was love. Radical love as Christ loves us – changed the course of history.

 

History tells us that three centuries later, Christianity became an accepted popular faith in the Roman Empire. Christianity was properly institutionalized, having a lot of power in the government. And do you know what we did when we had so much power in our hands? The atrocities that were done to the church in the first century is far less compared to what we had done to the world. We killed in the name of Christ, abusing our power and hence steering ourselves into the dark ages.

 

What I’m trying to say is, that it is possible to forget the very essence of love when we focus on our doing than focusing on Him from whom this radical love flows. We are so caught up with the story of the good Samaritan, that we have forgotten the essence of it’s message. That’s it’s not just difficult to love but impossible to love unconditionally. We have been nurtured to be self focused. And so we end up doing our own versions of love which hurts rather than heal.

We cannot love on our own.

We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). The love that we experience from Jesus becomes a powerhouse and automatically flows from us. He is love and we merely respond. We were designed to live our lives in an automatic expression of His love. And it’s so important to stress on that. Stress on His love. Stress on His relationship with us. We can only love like Christ if we are constantly aware of His love. It’s our faith in Christ that’s reflected in our love for people. Church (we – the body of Christ) is not meant to be a place for us to point out who is right or wrong, but to walk with them in their struggles of faith. So the question you need to ask yourself is not, if you have enough love for people, but do you really know how much He loves you? If you do know then that knowledge of His love will surely flow from your life.

 

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Dear Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,

I’m sorry that I took so long to respond to your mail. Anyways, I think today is the perfect day to write. I have some exciting news to share.

Last week, my brother Lazarus fell ill. We tried everything and he was just getting worse. And eventually, he died. We had his funeral too. This was 3 days ago. You must be wondering what the good news is.

Well, Jesus arrived this morning. When Lazarus got sick earlier, we had asked of him because we saw God working through him. When I saw him today, I had wished he had come earlier. The moment I heard about his arrival, I went out to meet him. Seeing him, I just poured my heart out to him, saying, “Lord, only if you had been here, this would not have happened. But even now, I believe that God works in and through you.” Looking back at that statement now, I realize that the people around me who heard me might have thought that I was still expecting a miracle. But, to be honest, I had no clue then that something more could happen. I was just confessing what I generally believed about Jesus. But on hearing that, Jesus replied, “Your brother will live again.” I was like, of course on the last day, at the resurrection. That’s when he said, “No, Martha, not on the last day. I’m talking about right now. I’m the resurrection and the life. Do you believe?” At this point, I really didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t think it was even a possibility to see my brother again. How could I? I saw him die. There was no light in his eyes. I buried him. How could he just come back to life? So, I just wrapped the conversation up, saying, “Yes you are Christ, the Son of God.”

Elizabeth, now what I am about to tell you might shock you, but this has turned my entire life around. Just before noon, we took Jesus to where Lazarus’ body was laid. By now, there was a foul stench around the cave. He asked us to remove the stone from the cave. He prayed a small prayer and called out to Lazarus. My head was spinning around by this time. I was a little embarrassed when he did that. The entire neighborhood was there. But every confusion, sorrow and unbelief vanished the moment I saw my brother walk out of that grave. The joy that took over me! Yes, Elizabeth, you read right. My brother was dead and is alive again! Jesus is the resurrection and life. He wasn’t talking about the last day of resurrection. He really meant it, that today I would see my brother alive.

I can’t tell you how happy I am. I have been yapping to everybody I meet. I’m so overjoyed and overwhelmed at the same time! I feel before today, I didn’t really believe that Jesus is the Son of God, but now I do.

He is in town for a week. I was wondering if you wanted to meet him. One encounter with him can change your life. I believe he is really the one we have been praying for, the Messiah. So excited for what God has planned!

Anyway, let’s meet up soon. Let me know if you are coming over.

Love,
Martha

Photo Credit: Unsplash

More Than a Fairytale

There once was a ballerina who lived in a home that I was volunteering with. Only thirteen, she was beautiful with brown skin and curly hair. Of all that we did, we most enjoyed singing together, ‘Price tag’ by Jessie J was our jam.

It started out great, but out of the blue, things drastically changed. In all my years of working with children, she is the only child who made me cry. Each day, she would pretend like she couldn’t hear anything I said and would make wounding comments about me, and often my dark skin; in front of a room filled with people. Each night, I’d tuck her into bed, pray with her and walk back home with tears running down my face. Day after day I’d build up my courage to walk into the house knowing I’d be wounded again. This wasn’t about me though. Ballerina was being bullied in school about her brown skin and I was bearing the brunt of it.

There is much to say about relationships. No one has it all figured out and we probably never will. Whether we like it or not, relationships aren’t going to go away. What I do have figured out, is this.

We expect more than what other people can be or give. Truth is, no one can give us everything we long for in our life. The kindest thing I can do is acknowledge that we are human and are bound to mess up.

We must be merciful when people make mistakes. Why? Because Jesus never gave me what I deserved. And since we are called to be like Him, I don’t have the right to even the score with what they do or don’t deserve.

We must give in the same measure that we receive. God put His love on the line for me by giving up his Son when I was unlovable. To add to that, He is gracious when I am stubborn.

The love of God can blot everything wretched that I have faced in my life, offences included. Let’s get personal. If I choose not to love, it is not my offender’s fault. A person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love (1 John 4:7)

When it came to Ballerina, I exclusively depended on Him for patience and love. Every time I prayed, I forgave, and the one who benefitted the most out of it was me. It takes a lot less to forgive than it does to hold a grudge. Striving to persevere, my stint with the home was finally over and I had one last night of devotion to lead.

For weeks, the story of Jesus washing his disciple’s feet was pressing on my heart; not just to read but to literally do. “How am I to ask our family to wash each other’s feet when no one sees eye to eye?”, I wondered. That night, we gathered in the family room, and courageously, I read from the Bible.

“So, if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious… If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.” John 13: 14-17

As we considered this story the atmosphere in the room changed and the reverence was tangible. I stepped up to go first. I walked up to the Ballerina and asked if I could wash her feet. It was the most humbling thing to do. It felt like I was saying sorry even though I was the ‘victim’. That was the point! A relationship is at stake and someone must try to fix it. Does it matter whose fault it is? Jesus treasured me enough to disregard my fault when he chose to be nailed to the cross instead of me.

I corrected my perspective and washed her feet knowing it was the least I could do. Our family of twelve, who didn’t go a day without a brawl, washed each other’s feet because Jesus said so. We said goodbye a few days later but I believe we learned some solid lessons that night.

“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another.” John 13:34

 

Photo Credit: Unsplash

The Actual Good News

We do not believe in a cruel and merciless God. We believe in a God who pardons our sin and forgives our transgression. He does not stay angry forever but delights to show mercy.

Salvation. I looked it up in the dictionary which defines it as, deliverance from sin and its consequences. Another definition I came across says it is the preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss.

More than often I’ve heard views of Christianity that depict an angry God and fearful people trying to escape his wrath and hell. Among other unfortunate reasons, I feel that somewhere down the line we possibly may have represented our faith wrongly, portraying a need for preservation from a God who threatens to send us to hell. Yes, I believe there is a hell. No, I don’t believe Jesus likes anyone ending up there.

We do not believe in a cruel and merciless God. We believe in a God who pardons our sin and forgives our transgression. He does not stay angry forever but delights to show mercy. He is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love. That’s what the Bible says.

I am saddened by our human capability to turn even the deepest love song to a hollow battle cry.

Unquestionably, as long as there is sin in our life we ought to work on it. We can’t be free from what we won’t stop doing. A legal declaration might keep us out of hell but it certainly doesn’t make us fit for heaven. However, salvation isn’t about getting us out of hell. It’s about getting sin out of us and our lives. Not because God will get mad at us but because sin robs us of our joy and life.

A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. But Jesus, he came so we can have real and eternal life. More and better life than we ever dreamed of.

Now this is what we believe. God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge, but to save the world through him.

He loved. He gave. He saved.

Having said that, I am convinced that there is not a single person in this world who needs to be saved from God. The greatest need of all mankind is to be saved to God. I rest my case.

References:
John 10:10
Micah 7:18
Psalm 103:8
John 3:16-17

God Loves Us

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him…

So when did He begin to love us? Is it when we repented or acknowledged that we were sinners?

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Cross is the proof of Father God’s love for us. Since the fall, man has been hiding from God doubting His goodness and love. Sin corrupts our understanding of the Father. Our Father God was expressing His love at the cross. Love was the only motivation behind the cross.

So when did He begin to love us? Is it when we repented or acknowledged that we were sinners?

Ephesians 1:4For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love.

God loved us before the foundation of the world. That means He knew us before even we were born. Knowing all our weaknesses, faults, unfaithfulness and frailties He didn’t give up on us. God our Father knew we were going to go astray and before even we did He forgave us in Christ Jesus whom He foreordained (1 Peter 1:20). So even before we were lost in Adam He found us in Christ.

Isn’t this amazing? God the Father loves us and He cares for us. He is mindful of us (Psalms 8:4), knows our struggles and empathizes with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15). He is just like the father in the story of the lost son (Luke 15) who forgave his son before he repented and welcomed him back with open arms restoring his sonship.

Cross is not the end of His expression of love. God in the ages to come wants to show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:7). Can we really comprehend what is the width and length and depth and height of His love (Ephesians 3:18)? Can we experience His love that is beyond knowledge (Ephesians 3:19)? The greatest feeling ever is to be loved. Know for sure that you are loved by Him.

Love Notes In the Sky

My problems were big and persistent too,
But not too big for my God to bring me through.
The clouds were still grey and yet so much had changed,
Drowned out by the rainbow and the reminders and reassurance it gave.

Sitting on my bed I let out a sigh,
Pulled down by my worries, and tired, I cried,
How do I get past this, where do I begin?
There’s too much happening, and too little strength within.

I lay on my bed and looked out my window,
The skies were grey and the thunder billowed.
I knew God would speak, He definitely had something to say,
Majestic messages can be sent in the most humble ways.

I’ve often learnt from the glorious skies, as the Bible says;
The heavens declare His glory and His might.
So I stared at the gloomy skies and I could relate,
The hideous greys were the hard situations I faced.

I watched all noon as the grey just grew, and then poured down,
Could it mean more troubles coming soon?
It was evident — the allegory in the clouds and my life.
But where was the message I desperately had to find?

I spent all day looking at that particular side, the mighty hills I loved
Were eaten whole by the monstrous grey skies.
Is there nothing but troubles coming my way?
That’s definitely not the message I was hoping for that day.

I walked up to the window as the rain settled down,
And in that moment I turned my head around.
I looked to the other side, just once, and oh my!
Look at what I almost missed this whole while:

I saw the brightest rainbow I’ve ever seen in my life.
Here was the message, it had finally arrived!
It was plain and clear, I rest my case;
Keep your eyes on the God you worship, rather than the situations you face.

My problems were big and persistent too,
But not too big for my God to bring me through.

The clouds were still grey and yet so much had changed,
Drowned out by the rainbow and the reminders and reassurance it gave.

Reminding me that God is my refuge and He is my strength,
Reassuring me that He’s ever-present to help.
Troubles and grey skies, they will float by.
But keep your eyes on God and His love notes in the sky.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” -John 16:33

References:

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” -Psalm 19:1
“God is our refuge and strength, and ever present help in trouble” -Psalm 46:1

Beyond comprehension – GOD’s love

God’s amazing love is not based on us getting our act together to deserve it. It is not based on our track record of performance to guarantee its continued flow.
Rather, God’s love is based on the fact that God is love (1 John 4:7).

God loves you, it’s not like what the world gives.

I am talking to you about God’s amazing love. A relationship with God is like no other relationship you may have experienced.

Yes, there is nothing like the love of God! It is the most overwhelming thing I have ever encountered in my life.

God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:7). Demonstrates means to show, prove, establish, or render conspicuous.

God’s gracious love took the initiative to save us from our helpless, ungodly condition.

These verses show that salvation is totally from God and His great love. There was nothing in us that was lovable or that motivated God to send the Saviour. As God pictures Israel (Ezekiel 16:3-6, 9-10), we were like an unwanted new-born infant, thrown into a field, squirming in our blood, a piece of garbage about to die. He took us, bathed us with water, anointed us with oil, and wrapped us in fine garments. Salvation stems from His great love.

Amazing, isn’t it? God knows me and still loves me. God knows that I am a sinner, yet He forgives; I am diseased, yet He heals; I am in a pit, yet He pulls me out; I am ungrateful for His good gifts, yet He gives them anyway; and I deserve justice, yet He grants mercy.

God’s amazing love is not based on us getting our act together to deserve it. It is not based on our track record of performance to guarantee its continued flow. Rather, God’s love is based on the fact that God is love (1 John 4:7). He is gracious (Exodus 34:6). He extends His love and grace to sinners apart from and in spite of anything in them.

Like a father’s love for a wayward and rebellious son that waits anxiously for him to return home so he can grant him a new start, is God’s love for us. It is beyond comprehension.

God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).

The knowledge that God loves you will keep you going when things go wrong. Bible says “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38, 39)

Volumes have been written about the characteristics of God, but when it is distilled to the most basic categories, He is love (1 John 4:8). Love is not something he chooses to do or give. It is the very essence of who He is. He doesn’t just love-He is love.