TRUE LOVE STORIES NEVER HAVE ENDINGS!
Let’s be the kind of people whose LOVE endures — for God and others!
Recently we came across several sweet stories about enduring love. A couple who had been married for 73 years were reunited after spending a whole year apart! They had a sweet reunion after her husband got over Covid. A couple in their 90’s reunited after Covid separation. Can’t you picture them in your mind? Sweet elderly people whose genuine love has endured through everything, now in their wheel chairs and weakened condition still passing along hugs and love to one another!
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the following words appeared printed in BOLD type inside the window of a jewelry store: “We Rent Wedding Rings”! Can you imagine that? People who are so uncertain of their love enduring that they rent their wedding ring, instead of buying it?
I remember back to the Valentine’s Day, 45 years ago, the year that Colleen and I got married. I made her a big heart-shaped valentine (we still have it) that had many smaller hearts around the edge, with 2 love birds in a tree singing this message – “It’s no secret, I LOVE YOU!” We LOVED each other then, we LOVE each other now (almost a half-Century later), and we will always LOVE each other. That’s what we made a covenant to do. That’s what our lives are all about…
What kind of LOVE do you want? Temporary or enduring? Most of us want an ENDURING LOVE – one with no sad ending…
GOD’S LOVE NEVER ENDS!
Psalm 136 – O Give thanks to the Lord for His love endures forever (has NO END).
Special note: His Love never ends; His mercy endures forever…This is repeated 26 times in this Psalm! This is not VAIN repetition. This is not excessive. No verse can contain a statement more worthy to be repeated.
Psalm 136:23,24 – He remembered us in our low estate His love endures forever. And rescued us from our enemies, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever; …His love has no end! His love never quits! His faithful love endures forever.
Psalm 100:5 – For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Oh the grandeur of a God whose love has NO END!
This word for love is the Hebrew word “hesed”. It is found around 250 times in the O.T. This kind of love is so wonderful that it needs to be expressed in a variety of ways: steadfast love, faithful love, unfailing love, loving-kindness, loyal love, mercy, incomprehensibly gracious love, unmerited love.
Psalm 136:23,24 – He remembered us in our low estate His love endures forever. And rescued us from our enemies, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever; …
Special note: …His love has no end! His love never quits! His faithful love endures forever!
GOD’S LOVE NEVER FAILS!
As we consider God’s unfailing love for us, and the world, let’s be inspired to follow His good example! It is a wonderful pattern for our love relationships with the Lord and others that tends to fail too often, sad to say! Let’s determine to be channels of God’s “agape” LOVE that is so wonderful, powerful, and faithful…
I Corinthians 13:8 – LOVE (Charity) NEVER FAILS…
I Corinthians 16:14 – Let all your things be done with charity (Love)…
Special note: The above verse always reminds me of our 3rd daughter that we named “Charity’. As they were growing up, we regularly had family devotional and training times together. When she was still very young and could barely even read, she surprised us one morning when it was her turn to share something. She reminded us of this verse! I’ll never forget it! It put a face to it, and brings a smile to my heart…
John 15:9 – As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love. (JESUS)
Lamentations 3:22 – It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not...
NIV – Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
NASU – The Lord’s loving-kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.
RSV – The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end;…
TLB – His compassion never ends. It is only the Lord’s mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. 23 Great is his
faithfulness; His loving-kindness begins afresh each day.
Special note: It is good to always remember with each new day that His LOVE is available, and more than enough and unfailing!
Jeremiah 31:3 – The Lord has appeared of old unto me, saying, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love” (“I have loved you with a love that lasts forever.“) therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you.
Psalm 109:26 – Help me, O Lord my God! Save me because of your unfailing love.
Hebrews 13:5-8 – … He has I will never (never, never!) leave you, nor forsake you… 8) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Special note: His enduring love has always been, and will always be. The love of a family member or friend may fail us one day – but God’s love is constant, reliable and dependable. When all others may forsake us – God will be steadfastly by our side, ready to shower us with His love. God will never give up on us! Don’t ever doubt God’s love for you. His love is the love that knows no end – you can never get to the end of God’s love. His is a mighty love that has no beginning and no ending.
GOD’S LOVE IS GREAT
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Ephesians 2:4 – But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, …
Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Special note: God’s love is personal. He knows and loves each individual personally. You might ask, “Why would God love ME?” It is because of who He is: GOD IS LOVE. (I John 4:8) That’s his very nature. God defines love. God is the one who gives love its meaning, because that is who he is. God has always been love and will always be love.
Romans 8:35-39 – Nothing can ever separate us from Christ’s love... 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 hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. …38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Special note: None of these things and adversity need faze us because Jesus loves us! When it comes to the LOVE OF GOD, this is a love that pursues us, and this is a love that we are never going to be separated from.
I John 3:1 – Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
Ephesians 3:19 – …to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
I John 3:16 – By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
I John 4:7-11,16 – 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another... And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
Special note: When it comes to the problems we face in our lives, at lot of it has to do with us not really knowing that God loves us.
DRINK FROM THE RIVER OF LOVE
At our communion time Sunday we sang the following prophetic “Call and Response” Scripture chorus:
GOD IS LIKE A GREAT O’ER FLOWING RIVER
(Ps.1:3; 36:8; 46:4; 65:9; 78:16; Is. 33:21; 43:19; 66:12; Ezek. 47:5; John 7:38; Rev.22:1,2,17)
God is like a great o’er flowing river, Come and drink, my child – Come and drink, my child –
God is like a great o’er flowing river, Come and drink of the love He offers you!
“You are like a great o’er flowing river, I will drink, my Lord, I will drink, my Lord –
You are like a great o’er flowing river, I will drink of the love You offer me!“
Revelation 22:1,2,17 – 1) …he showed me a pure RIVER of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the RIVER, was the tree of life, The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations… the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the WATER OF LIFE freely.
Psalm 36:8 – They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, and You give them drink from the RIVER of Your pleasures.
Psalm 1:3 – He shall be like a tree planted by the RIVERS of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
Psalm 46:4 – There is a RIVER whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
Psalm 65:9 – You visit the earth and water it, You greatly enrich it; The RIVER of God is full of water; You provide their grain, for so You have prepared it.
Psalm 78:6 – He also brought streams out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like RIVERS.
Isaiah 33:21 – …the majestic Lord will be for us a place of broad RIVERS and streams…
Isaiah 43:19 – Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness and RIVERS in the desert.
Isaiah 66:12 – For thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a RIVER, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing STREAM.
Ezekiel 47:1,5 – …there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east… it was a RIVER that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a RIVER that could not be crossed.
John 7:38 – “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow RIVERS OF LIVING WATER.”
GOD REVEALS HIS LOVE TO MOSES
Exodus 34:5,6 – The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness …
Special note: This is a wonderful revelation! God is telling us who he really is and what he’s really like! God tells us he’s merciful and gracious. He’s slow to anger. God is abounding in steadfast love (loyal love) and faithfulness. He is endlessly patient – he has so much love! God’s love is not just in reference to our goodness or restricted by our badness. God loves you – Why? Just because he loves you. Love is who He is! He loves you more than you can ever comprehend. God loves you, not because you’re great, it’s because He is GREAT! His love is not waiting until you get your act together – before He loves you.
LOVE IS A CHOICE
Because God loves us, we ought also to love one another. We MUST choose to obey God and willingly love others, even as He loves us.
John 13:34 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (Jesus)
I John 4:11 – Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Is your love un-ending?
It’s easy to give up when you have a major conflict with someone. As we know, this brings a lot of pain to people’s lives. We might be tempted to run from the situation, or to do something to pay them back.
Fathers and Mothers struggle with teenagers, parents may struggle with adult children. Sons and daughters may have conflicts with parents. They may be hard to love. Husbands and wives may struggle to live peacefully together. The person you work with might be annoying to you. Your brother or sister may have said hurtful things. Each of us have had challenging relationships in life. Families quarrel, and people hurt each other.
Family problems affect everyone – especially the children:
A teacher of a sixth-grade class was shocked to see the results of a creative writing task assigned to her students. They were asked to complete a sentence that began with the words “I wish.”
The teacher expected the students to express wishes for bicycles, dogs, television sets, and vacations..
Instead, twenty of the thirty children (2/3) made reference in their responses to their own disintegrating families. A few of their actual sentences were as follows:
“I wish my parents wouldn’t fight and I wish my father would come back.”
“I wish my mother didn’t have a boyfriend.’
“I wish I could get straight A’s so my father would love me.”
Our adversary the devil goes about as a roaring lion – seeking to destroy people and families…
So how can we overcome the enemy and determine to keep on loving each other through everything?
I Corinthians 13:4-8 – Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or 5 rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. 6 Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. 7 Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting. 8 Love never fails!
Love never fails – never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end.
Don’t give up. If you continue to be faithful in love, you may eventually see a big change in that person.
First of all we need to be willing to forgive. Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples had some challenges with forgiving people.
Matthew 18:21,22 Then Peter came to Jesus and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Be ready to forgive them often
Ephesians 4:31,32 – Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil. Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.
BELIEVE FOR THE BEST, NOT THE WORST
Choose to believe the best about everyone.
Remember the good they have done. Try not to focus on the negative. Don’t keep a record of wrongs.
I Corinthians 13:7 – Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
Keep loving them through the difficult times. None of us are perfect yet!
I Peter 4:8 – And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
Even if there is distance, choose in your heart to care.
Be willing to love even when they hurt you.
Pray for yourself. Pray that you will be filled with God’s love for them.
Pray for them to also be filled with God and with His love.
HAVE STEADFAST LOVE
There is one thing they never want you to do. They never want you to give up on them.
When they push you away, still determine to love them.
When they don’t answer your calls, still love them. When they don’t text back – be patient and kind.
Please continue to care and to say, in any way that you can, “I love you”.
They may not deserve it – but please – keep loving them.
Even when they’re not doing very well, they’ll want you to love them.
It will mean so much, to know that you still love them through thick and thin… unconditionally.
What’s the best use of life? Is it to be angry, resentful, frustrated and hate others? No, the best use of life is to love.
The best expression of love is being willing to leave the past behind and go forward – determined not to stop loving.
LOVE NOW AND ALWAYS
Don’t take family and friends for granted. You never know when you may see them for the last time. Life is fragile.
The best time to love is now. Someday it will be too late.
Sometimes it’s already too late. The person you struggled to love may pass away. Maybe they have moved on in life. Though they were once a big part of your life – now they are NO LONGER part of your life. You missed your chance.
We need to seize the opportunity to love while we can.
Smile, cherish the little things about those you really love, and remember to give them a hug. Hugs can provide a lot of comfort.
Everyone needs a hug! …According to the research, a hug may make an individual feel happy by reducing feelings of loneliness and the harmful physical effects of stress. Hugs can change negative moods by helping the body and brain and boosting these feel-good hormones. A 10-second hug helps the body fight infections, eases depression, and lessens tiredness. A 20-second hug reduces the harmful effects of stress, relieves blood pressure, and ensures a healthy heart. Hugging a newborn child increases the baby’s weight and improves its overall development. It’s no surprise that a good hug leaves us feeling happy, relaxed, and content with the world.
- “One of the best feelings in the world is when you hug someone you love and they hug you back even tighter.
- “I love the kind of hugs where you physically feel the sadness leaving your body.”=-)
SEEK FOR BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS TO BE RESTORED
Restoration is better than giving up. It’s always better to RESOLVE a conflict – rather than DISSOLVE the relationship.
Determine to restore broken relationships.
Be a peacemaker – God blesses the peacemakers
Matthew 5:9 – Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Psalm 34:14 – Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.
God will bless you as you continue to be a peacemaker and love like Jesus!
Be a good listener
James 1:19 – Be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to get angry.
DON’T SAY HURTFUL THINGS
Ephesians 4:29 – Don’t say anything that will hurt others [let any rotten/unhealthy word come from your mouth], but only say what is helpful [good] to make others stronger [build others up] and meet their needs. Then what you say will do good [give grace; be a gift] to those who listen to you.
When you talk with them – do it with love.
Ephesians 4:15 – We will speak the truth with love. We will grow up in every way to be like Christ, who is the head.
SEE AND UNDERSTAND THEIR PERSPECTIVE
Look at other’s needs and hurts. Try to see their perspective. Try to understand them.
Philippians 2:1-4 – Does your life in Christ give you strength? Does His love comfort you? Do we share together in the spirit? Do you have mercy and kindness? 2 If so, make me very happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and having one mind and purpose. 3 When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. 4 Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.
I Thessalonians 5:14 – Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.
The Golden Secret
The following story reveals an amazing insight —
On her golden wedding anniversary, a grandmother revealed the secret of her long and happy marriage. “On my wedding day, I decided to choose ten of my husband’s faults which, for the sake of our marriage, I would overlook,” she explained. A guest asked her to name some of the faults. “To tell the truth,” she replied, “I never did get around to listing them. But whenever my husband did something the made me upset, I would say to myself, ‘It’s good for him that’s one of the ten!’ “
LOVE LIKE JESUS
John 15:12 – This is my commandment, that you LOVE one another AS I HAVE LOVED YOU! (Jesus)
May the Lord help our love to be like God’s magnificent love – love that goes on and on and never has an ending!
Special Acknowledgement: Thanks to Colleen Jaquith for assistance in the preparation of this message and for sharing it at our online service.