Listen to this devotional:
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV)
When I was a "tween" (between childhood and adolescence), I was sweet on a boy in my class. Like many tween girls do, I found excuses to walk out of my way past his house. My hope was to catch a glimpse of this boy who made my heart flutter.
One day, I went into a maple grove, took out my pen knife and carved a heart, putting my initials at the top and his at the bottom with an arrow piercing through it. I thought that inscribing the maple tree would ensure that our love would bloom. It didn't, of course.
Long before I made an adult decision for Christ, God made the decision to grant me His grace.
Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NIV)
As a child of five, God inscribed that love through Jesus Christ on my heart. Even though I may not have understood its full significance, He still chose to engrave it within my heart. Throughout my life, God's love has always remained with me, even though I may not have lived as if I knew Him. God was faithful, even when I was not.
2 Timothy 2:11-13 – Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. (NIV)
These days, God's love permeates my life, even on the occasions when my life fails to display it. I wish I were always faithful, but I often fail. However, unlike the inscribed heart on the maple tree, which the bark has likely overgrown, God's love has lasted. Now as I look back over more than a half century of God's love gracing my life, I know that He has always been with me, even when I couldn't feel Him or see the results of His love — for His love endures forever.
Prayer: Lord God, with all our hearts, we thank You for loving us through Jesus Christ. Enable us, through Your Holy Spirit, always to show Your love by how we live. Give us grace to enable us to share it with others, for we pray in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.