WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 28, 2021
TOPIC: THE EVERLASTING LOVE OF GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3 New King James Version).
Jesus called the devil a liar and the father of lies. “There is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44b New Living Translation). The devil tells lies to human beings, including the followers of Christ, many times. Unfortunately, they believe him and, sometimes, even make decisions based on the devil’s lies!
He started lying to human beings in the Garden of Eden when he deceived Eve to eat the fruit God had forbidden them to eat. He told Eve she would not die as God had said. He gave them the impression that God’s command not to eat the fruit was out of hatred for them. “Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’” (Genesis 3:4-5 New King James Version).
The serpent (devil) presented himself as a friend and God as an enemy. Eve and her husband, Adam, therefore, rebelled against God who put them in the beautiful garden. They believed the words of a trespasser and disobeyed God. The consequence was their eviction from the garden.
One of the lies the devil still tells people today is that God doesn’t love them. Have you been in a situation that you feel that God doesn’t love you? Such a feeling and, in fact, belief, is common when people are going through life’s crises or challenges.
When some Christians are facing the trials of life and they have done all they could do, including praying, fasting, sowing seed, going for deliverance, confessing their sins, and confessing the word of God, and there is no change or, probably, things seem to be getting worse, they sometimes begin to say it is because God does not love them. Yes, the devil whispers this to them or even says it aloud to their hearing through some persons!
Without trying to minimize the challenges or trials of life that some people, including Christians, are going through, we must never listen to the lie of the devil that God does not love us. You, in particular, must avoid believing this lie even if you are facing challenges that are yet to receive answers from heaven.
Hear this: God loves you. God loves you unconditionally. He loves you. He has always loved you. He will continue to love you. God’s love for you is not dependent on what you or do not do; it’s not based on your performance. There is nothing you do that can make God love you do or not love you. This is too difficult for some people to believe. John 3:16 says God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
As regards the time this scripture is talking about, nobody was born again then. Nobody had repented of his sins at the time God decided to love the world and sent Jesus to die for her sins. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 New King James Version).
Some people who are not even born again and are deep in sin erroneously believe that God does not love them because of their sins. This is not true. They attribute any bad thing that happens to them or evil occurrence to the fact that God does not love them. This is not true.
God loves both the righteous and the sinners. He loves the righteous not because he is righteous and He does not hate the sinner though He hates sins. God’s love is unconditional. He has made up His mind to love human beings notwithstanding what they do. God’s love is eternal; it is everlasting. “The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3 New King James Version). This was God’s word to the families of Israel.
However, God’s love must not be confused with God’s justice. It is natural for parents to love their children. But when the children do what is wrong, the same loving parents will discipline them. They could beat or punish the children they have shown so much love. Isaiah 54:8 says, “‘In a moment of anger I turned my face away for a little while. But with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,’ says the LORD, your Redeemer” (New Living Translation).
God will forever love you and you must not use your experience to judge whether He loves you or not. He has committed Himself to love you. “For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation” (Psalm 100:5 New Living Translation). The New King James Version renders the phrase “His unfailing love continues forever” as “His mercy is everlasting.”
Don’t attribute the wickedness of the devil to God’s hatred for you. No. God loves you. Don’t say because the answers to your prayer have not come, it’s because God does not love you. God loves you. Other factors could be responsible for delayed answers to prayers. Don’t let the devil make you hate God because he has told you God does not love you.
Some people have believed this lie and have said since God does not love them, they should both go their separate ways! If that describes you, repent and return to God today. He loves you. However, His love does not cancel the fact that you will face the consequences of your actions. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6:7-8 New King James Version).
This is why you should sow the seeds of good deeds. You should make the right choices because there are consequences. But the truth is that even when people experience the negative consequences of their bad choices or wrong actions, God still loves them.
It is because God loves human beings that He has given us His Word to obey so that we can make the right decisions that will produce positive consequences. But when we disobey Him, we face the consequences. God still loves the disobedient person but His love may not stop the consequences.
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 says, “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?” (New King James Version).
God’s love is everlasting. If you’re going through trials or life’s challenges, it is not because God does not love you. Hear the apostle Peter’s words of encouragement to suffering Christians: “Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are” (1 Peter 5:8-9 New Living Translation).
God’s love for you endures forever. Nothing can terminate it. Romans 8:35 says, “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death?” (New Living Translation). The answer is no. Paul gave a list of negative experiences that Christians could go through, which we must never interpret as God not loving His children. These include tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or sword.
Verses 37-39 say, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For 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 created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (New King James Version). Nothing can stop God from loving you. His love for you is unconditional; it is everlasting.
In Psalm 136:1-26, the writer says, “His faithful love endures forever” (New Living Translation). The New King James Version renders the phrase as “His mercy endures forever.” In many scriptures, including the psalms, where the New King James Version says the mercy of God endures forever, the New Living Translation renders the phrase as “His faithful love endures forever.” God’s faithful love continues forever.
Your responsibility is not to try to earn His love but to accept God’s love and respond to Him by loving Him. Matthew 22:37 says, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (New King James Version). Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27 say a similar thing.
Obedience is proof of love for God. If you love Him, you will obey Him – obey or keep His commandments (John 14:15). Then, you will reap the blessing of obedience. God’s love for you is everlasting but it doesn’t always prevent you from suffering the consequences of your disobedience. However, His love will make Him have mercy on you. Nevertheless, as regards salvation and eternity, the soul who sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:20). Sinners would go to hellfire not because God did not love them but because they rejected His love.
You cannot earn God’s love. There is nothing you will do that will make Him love you more or less. Trying to earn God’s love is an exercise in futility. Rather, accept God’s love. Love Him. Respond to His love. Start by giving your life to Jesus Christ if you haven’t. Accept Him as your Lord and Saviour. Continue by obeying His Word. God loves you. His love is everlasting.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank You for demonstrating your love for the world by sending Jesus Christ to die for our sins. I shall not try to earn Your love but accept Your love. Holy Spirit, help me to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind. I shall continue to respond to Your love, love You, and obey You in Jesus’ name.
(For about 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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