Thursday, June 17, 2010

THE UNRELENTING LOVE OF GOD

I want to talk with you about the word unrelenting. It means undiminished in intensity or effort—unyielding, uncompromising, incapable of being changed or persuaded by arguments. To be unrelenting is to stick to a determined course.

What a marvelous description of the love of God. Our Lord's love is absolutely unrelenting. Nothing can hinder or diminish his loving pursuit of both sinners and saints. David, the Psalmist, expressed it this way: "Thou has beset me behind and before…. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there" (Psalm 139:5, 7–8).

David is speaking of the great highs and lows we face in life. He's saying, "There are times when I'm so blessed, I feel lifted with joy. At other times, I feel like I'm living in hell, condemned and unworthy. But no matter where I am, Lord—no matter how blessed I feel, or how low my condition is—you're there. I can't get away from your unrelenting love. And I can't chase it away. You never accept my arguments about how unworthy I am. Even when I'm disobedient—sinning against your truth, taking your grace for granted—you never stop loving me. Your love for me is relentless!"

We need to consider the testimony of the apostle Paul. As we read of Paul's life, we see a man bent on destroying God's church. Paul was like a madman in his hatred for Christians. He breathed out threats of slaughter against everyone who followed Jesus. He sought the high priest's authorization to hunt down believers so he could charge into their homes and drag them off to prison.

After he was converted, Paul testified that even during those hate-filled years—while he was full of prejudice, blindly slaughtering Christ's disciples—God loved him. The apostle wrote, "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). He said, in essence, "Even though I wasn't conscious of it, God was pursuing me. He kept coming after me in love, until that day when he literally knocked me off my high horse. That was the unrelenting love of God."

Through the years, Paul became increasingly convinced that God would love him fervently to the end, through all his highs and lows. He stated, "I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38–39). He was declaring, "Now that I'm God's, nothing can separate me from his love. No devil, no demon, no principality, no man, no angel—nothing can stop God from loving me."