1.oppressively constant; incessant.“the relentless heat of the desert”
synonyms: persistent, continuing, constant, continual, continuous, nonstop, never-ending, unabating, interminable, incessant, unceasing, endless,
God’s love for us is relentless.
Perhaps, even “relentless” isn’t a good enough description of how God loves us. Yet, perhaps it adequately speaks to the nature of God who never quits on His creation. Do you remember the story of the prodigal son? In that parable of Jesus what does the Father do? Despite the son asking for his inheritance and wishing his father to be dead, the father lets him go. One of the hardest things to do as a parent is to let a child go and have them make their own choices even if those choices are harmful. Tough love has the capacity to hurt your heart while you relentlessly pursuit reconciliation and renewal of that lost loved one.
The father waited for his son to come to his senses. The story is more than just about this lost or prodigal son. This story is about the relentless kind of love that is embodied in the father. He waits, and even while his son is still a long way off, the father goes and runs to him. (Luke 15:20) It was unbecoming of an adult in the culture of Jesus to run anywhere, and this father runs to his undeserving and wayward son.
Isn’t that what God the Father has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ? He relentless love took Jesus to the cross for us. His relentless love brought about a way for us, the undeserving and wayward sinner, to experience right relationship with Him once again.
For the love of God – Our Response
What is our response to this relentless love? Can we recognize how undeserving we are and how amazing it is to have a God who pursues us like this? Secondly, if we accept this relentless love through Jesus Christ alone, the next step in the reciprocation of that love is our desire to become like Christ. By this I mean we ought to recognize that Jesus embodied for us in His living and dying what Holiness in human form looks like. Thus we are to place our feeble feet in the very footprints of Christ for the salvation of humanity! Our response to His love will take us to places we would never have wanted to go. (John 21:18) Perhaps it won’t take us to suffering and death like the Apostle Peter, but His love will propel us to do outrageous things for the cause of Christ!
Christ’s relentless love will prompt us to take up our crosses too and follow him! (Matthew 16:24) If we truly accept His salvation and grace in our lives, we will not be able to just keep it hidden inside of us, we will want to share that ceaseless love to those who are still lost in the darkness of lovelessness.
For the love of God…be bold in your relentless pursuit of others!
For the love of God…be genuine in your passion to serve Him humbly!
For the love of God…wrap your arms around the unlovable and show them love like they have never seen before!
For the love of God…be Holy as He (Jesus Christ) is Holy!
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
His mercies never come to an end,
They are new every morning
New every morning
Great is Your faithfulness, O Lord
Great is Your faithfulness”
-May all the Glory be to God and that of His Relentless love of You and Me!
Captivate my heart, O Lord,
Ransack and decimate my sins
shatter all of my dreams and hopes
if you were not invited too.
Banish my selfish, prideful heart
that wants only to be seen by others
hold hostage in me the un-surrendered
unwavering, unapologetic closets
that I have kept from your light.
Shake me into awakening
make me bleed so I can feel
Your love must hurt me deeply
before I can be restored.
Melt away my apathy
I’ve been far too numb to care
tear down my idol worship
of things and people and places
Lord begin this in me today…
Violently awaken me
and allow me to drink from your
still waters and refreshing grace
I’ve been comatose for far too long
like a sleepwalker through life.
Tear away these scales from my eyes
allow me to finally see the world
in your blinding light.
Shine on me and reveal how I really am.
Luke 5:16 (ASV)
But he withdrew himself in the deserts, and prayed.
Apathy is the death of man’s spiritual relationship with God. It happens when we stop caring, or find ourselves at a point in our lives where we are unfeeling. Have you been there before? It can be both terrifying and silent because we are often very good at faking it. We are often quite good at acting the part even when the heart isn’t in it.
I don’t mean to cast any doubts your way today or cause you to feel down…because there is hope in all of this! Sometimes this pathway of apathy leads directly to the wilderness. What do I mean by the wilderness? I don’t mean an empty lonely place full of strife and pain. When I say wilderness I am implying that there are times in which God is longing for us to draw closer to Him. If we are aware of this apathetic pathway we can take steps in the right direction.
Why did God lead His people into the wilderness in the first place? Through this dry and thirsty place God showed His chosen ones how they could fully rely on Him. He was present for them. He was (and still is) in love with His people. When they were in this barren wilderness the total acknowledgement that they needed help became completely apparent. Stepping onto this pathway of apathy is dangerous, but it can also lead us back to the wilderness and back to a right relationship with God.
Are you unfeeling today? Are you simply going through the motions in life right now? Sure the routine is somewhat rewarding but somehow you’ve lost that passion you once had. Perhaps it’s time to take a step into the wilderness once again and get reconnected with the Almighty. Apathy might be the death of man’s spiritual relationship with God…but it doesn’t have to be!
Taking time to stand before God without distractions of all kinds is absolutely necessary! If Jesus had to get away and commune with the Father what makes us think that we can simply ‘go it alone’? The truth of the matter is we cannot! The wilderness is calling…will you go? Will you take the time that your spirit and heart crave? Will you sacrifice some of your schedule in this day and give it completely to God so that He has your undivided attention? It’s not so much for His benefit but rather completely for our benefit and His renewal that we do this.
Go into your wilderness and meet with The Father, and over time you will find that every motion your body makes, every schedule that you keep matters to Him as well. He wants to be included in it all, He wants you to bring glory to Him in all things. But it begins with our time in the wilderness before Him.
Lamentations 3:21-23 (NIV)
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 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.
Do you sometimes have trouble recalling the love of God in your life? Are you far from God right now? Are there days when you wonder what God is doing with you? Are you struggling right now?
If the answer is yes and ‘I don’t know’ to these questions let me encourage you today. The inventor of love, the Creator of the Universe thinks that you are special! He thinks that you are worthy of His fellowship! Now when I bring that statement to mind how do you feel? I hope it evokes in you a warmth of love and peace because our Father in Heaven wants us all to know that we matter to Him!
These beautifully written verses tell us that His grace and love are new every morning for us. How awesome is that? No matter how badly we’ve screwed up in the past our God wants to mend and forgive. The only issue that keeps us from receiving these promises of love and compassion…is us. Do you doubt? We cannot allow doubt to replace faith in our lives. Doubt can pull us away from God because we just can’t grasp Him in a tangible sense. But know that He is there and faith is the evidence of things unseen and believing in Him!
Do you stumble and trip in sin? I want to caution you that this life isn’t a game. We are granted grace by God, but that grace isn’t some ‘get out of jail’ card that we flash every time we choose to sin and think callously ‘oh well God will forgive me.’ We have to get serious about our faith, meaning if it is in our power, which it is and God can grant us that power, we must avoid the trappings of temptation all together.
Yes God’s love and compassion are steadfast! These attributes of God are not going anywhere, but we have to wise up and shake up our lives in order to receive them from God! He is spurring us to change our patterns and to accept Him and His renewing grace every day! Will you receive it anew today? He loves us so very much and desires for us to love Him back without strings or conditions attached.
This beautiful passage always strikes a chord in my life and evokes for me a sense of His perfect peace that He offers anew to us each and every day. How awesome is that?!