GOD’S RELENTLESS LOVE
We know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
1 JOHN 4:16
The greatest truth in all Scripture is this: God is love. Understanding this truth in its full dimensions will set you free to enjoy all that’s yours as a Christian. But you must accept that God loves you. If you grew up experiencing unconditional love in your family, this may not be difficult for you. However, if your early years were void of love, this truth may be hard to accept. God loves you, not because you deserve His love but because His nature is love. The only way He will ever relate to you is in love. His love for you gives you an inherent worth that nothing can diminish.
No human can comprehend God’s love for His children. Our limited experience of human love hinders us from understanding God’s unconditional love for us. We can see a picture of this love in the life of Hosea.
Hosea was a righteous man, but God told him to marry a sinful woman. Hosea obeyed and took Gomer as his wife. He cherished her and treated her with dignity and respect. Never before had Gomer experienced this kind of love, but she soon grew dissatisfied. She began giving her affections to other men.
Gomer became so involved in adulterous pursuits that she finally abandoned Hosea altogether. Other men used her until she had nothing left to give. Then they sold her into slavery. After this, God gave Hosea an amazing command: “Go and buy her back” (author’s paraphrase; see Hos. 3:1-2). Despite the intense pain and hurt that Gomer had inflicted on Hosea, God told him to forgive her and to pay any price to bring her back home.
God’s message is clear: when we reject Him and turn our devotion elsewhere, our rejection carries the same pain as an adulterous betrayal. After all God has done for us, it’s incomprehensible that we should reject Him. It’s even harder to fathom that God could love us even after we’ve rejected, ignored, and disobeyed Him. Yet God’s love is completely different from ours. His love follows us to the depths of our sinfulness until He’s reclaimed us. His love is undaunted when we run from Him, and He continues to pursue us. What incredible love He’s demonstrated to us!
If you can’t accept the truth that God loves you, you’ll be limited in the way you can relate to Him. When He disciplines you, you won’t take it as an expression of His love. Rather, you may resent Him. When God says no to a request that’s less than His best for you, you’ll conclude that He doesn’t care about you. Without a clear understanding and acceptance of God’s love for you, you’ll be disoriented to Him and to what He wants to do in your life. If you accept God’s love, however, you’ll be able to return love to God as well as to others (see 1 John 4:19).
Are you experiencing the profound sense of joy and security that comes from knowing that God dearly loves you? Being assured of God’s love for you sets you free to enjoy the numerous expressions of love He showers on you each day.
When do you have the hardest time accepting the fact that God loves you? Why is it hard to feel loved by God? When is it easiest to believe that He loves you?
Describe a season in your life that resembles the unfaithful, ungrateful wandering of Gomer.
How does Hosea’s example of God’s relentless, loving pursuit of you change your view of God? Of yourself? Of a relationship with Him?
What was the most meaningful statement or Scripture you read today?
Reword the statement or Scripture into a prayer of response to God.
What does God want you to do in response to today’s study? [Henry T. Blackaby, Richard Blackaby (2014). Seven Realities for Experiencing God – Member Book. LifeWay Press. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]