Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Unfailing Love

35 Who can separate us from the love of Christ?
Can affliction or anguish or persecution
or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
36 As it is written:
Because of You
we are being put to death all day long;
we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.
37 No, in all these things we are more than victorious
through Him who loved us.
38 For I am persuaded that not even death or life,
angels or rulers,
things present or things to come, hostile powers,
39 height or depth, or any other created thing
will have the power to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
Romans 8:35-39

We were created to love and to be loved. There's a lot the Bible has to say about love, not the least of which is "God is love" (1 John 4:8). As ones created in God's image, we need to be able to give love and receive love in order to be emotionally, and sometimes even physically, healthy. This can take many forms, such as a marriage, a parent-child relationship, siblings, friends. But there are many opportunities for love beyond those types of reciprocal relationships. Loving those who cannot or will not love you in return is a big part of what it means to be disciple of Jesus.

Matthew 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you

We see this modeled in Christ (Romans 5:8), and one of the beautiful outcomes of such a love is what Paul stresses here in these few verses of chapter 8. Because the love Jesus has for us is completely not dependent upon us, there is absolutely nothing we can do to separate ourselves from that love. What an amazing promise!

What would it look like if we loved each other like that? Paul gives us a picture of what this kind of love looks like in 1 Corinthians 13. I wrote a series on this recently

Do you love even when you don't feel loved? For those you say you love, does it look like 1 Corinthians 13? I know that is a high standard. In fact, it is impossible to do in your own strength. But with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26)