Sunday, 07 May 2023
“He led his people through the desert; his love is eternal.” -Psalm 136:16
Psalm 136 celebrates the goodness and mercy of God as the Psalmist calls for praise and thanks to Him. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Even when humanity chooses not to love Him, yet His unfailing love is infinite and unconditional. The LORD is always with His people; His promises are Yes and Amen!
The expression of God’s love is unimaginable; it transcends human ideologies and all racial concept. We are limited; but the love of God is unlimited. In Isaiah 54:4 -10 the word of God shows how caring, compassionate, merciful, loving and enduring the love of our Lord and Master is, as expressed in His word. His chosen people who He dearly loved, delivered and brought into the Promised land, sinned and aroused His anger that brought upon themselves the consequences. Yet in tenderness, as a husband to them, God reiterates His faithful love:
Israel, you are like a young wife, deserted by her husband and deeply distressed. But the LORD calls you back to him and says: "For one brief moment I left you; with deep love I will take you back. I turned away angry for only a moment, but I will show you my love forever." So says the LORD who saves you. …..The mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will never end….” (Isaiah 54:6-8, 10)
When we know the true position of God for us in life we will place more premium on the Love for God rather than Love for our “self.” God’s deep and covenant love for us, His children, helps us want to live pleasing to Him. In as much as God’s love is enduring and unending, yet He wants us to do our own part by drawing near to him daily in our lives and decisions. Every time we trust God’s wisdom and do whatever He says, even when we don’t understand it, we deepen our relationship and friendship with Him!
We don’t normally think of love and obedience as a characteristic of friendship; it is reserved for relationship with a parent or the boss or a superior officer, not a friend. However, Jesus made it clear that obedience is a condition of intimacy with God. This is why He said, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:14) Therefore being His disciples who He calls as friends, we must be willing to obey Him.
We obey God, not out of duty or fear or compulsion, but because we love Him and trust that He knows what is best for us. We are following Christ out of gratitude for all He has done for us, and the closer we follow Him, the deeper our friendship with Him becomes. Because we have been forgiven and set free, we obey out of love and our obedience brings great joy and blessings, coupled with the steadfast love of God that endures forever!
As we meditate on God’s work in our lives and His constant love, let us be grateful to Him and thank Him continually.
Act on it: “Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:26)
Listen: 'Give thanks to the LORD!'