He Can’t Help It!

When I re-read this journal entry from more than twenty years ago, it encouraged me anew.  And words with that much staying power must be shared with other believers!

I recorded the following thoughts after realizing I was less than thankful for my family and my non-Christian upbringing.  Perhaps you can relate in some way, as well.

. . . There was a subconscious thought that I would have been so much better off if I had been raised in a Christian home.  Today, God made it clear that He wouldn’t have loved me any more this day even if I had been a Christian and truly seeking Him all my life.  He loves me, and there are no degrees of His love.  He does love me.  Had I been a Christian with a Christian upbringing, really desiring that walk with and growing in Him from the beginning, He would still have loved me exactly the same today.  On top of that, life wouldn’t be easier.  I’d just be going through different experiences in which to trust Him.

father daughterReading this all these years later only brings it home so much more vividly.  God can’t help it.  He loves me.  It’s not based on how many years I’ve known Him, or how I was raised.  And His love for me doesn’t grow.  His love for me is.  Period.  It’s the same for you.  May this truth become even more real for you each coming day.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love.  1 John 4:16  NIV

Love Never Fails

As I listened to a human message about agape love, that unconditional and perfect love of God, the Lord added His message to my heart.  The preacher encouraged us to love with agape love those people who are not yet saved, are not in right relationship with the Lord, or are even out of relationship with us.  If we live this love, we were promised, they will have to come around sometime, even if it’s in the distant future, because love never fails1.

I moved from there with Holy Spirit while He took me down a different path from the one on which I had just traveled.  Love never fails is the Word of God, so it is Truth2.  Not only is the Greek word for love in this reference agape, but in another reference, God is love3, the Greek word used is also agape.  God, Himself, is the agape love that never fails.  He doesn’t just have it, and He doesn’t just love with it.  He is this very love!

I then thought of many people who have never turned their lives around, as far as we know, nor have they been restored to family, despite friends and family members praying faithfully and loving them as best they could.  Did love fail?  Agape love never fails.  How, then, do we reconcile our experiences that appear contrary to the Truth of the Bible?

Since God is this agape love, He loves every person perfectly, regardless of their deeds or words.  He never messes up by saying or doing the wrong thing that moves them farther away, nor is He impatient with slow, or seemingly non-existent, progress.  Yet, even in His perfect love, people all over the world are not restored to family and friends, or end up in hell by refusing to repent and receive His love.  Has agape failed?  Has God failed?  Absolutely not!  Love will never fail!  What have failed are our man-made, man-determined, expectations.  If God loving perfectly (and patiently) doesn’t always bring about His desired change in others, our imperfect (and often impatient) efforts at living agape love for others certainly won’t.  How can we make sense of it all?

We need to understand the expectations we have had in these socalled failed cases.  We expected if we showed God’s love, we would get our will for someone else because we know it’s God’s will, too.  What we have failed to grasp is that, in His unlimited wisdom, plan, and perfect agape love, God created each of us with a free will, and He does not override those wills – ever –  even when those wills end up leading to eternal death in hell, forever separated from Him and His love.  Even in that outcome, love hasn’t failed.  Agape made the way for that person (and every other) to be reconciled to God’s love for all eternity, through Jesus Christ.  With His blood, Jesus paid the price so we could know this amazing love, even for those who would never accept it.  No, that love never fails.  It never has and it never will.

Where does this leave us, with regards to the wandering ones?  Since God so loves them, even as He so loves us, we continue allowing His love to grow in us and show through us so that all around us are exposed to His wonderful, perfect love.  The difference now is that we have removed our limiting human expectations about the outcome, for love never fails!

1 1 Corinthians 13:8

2 John 17:17

3 1 John 4:8 & 16