Love No Matter What!

SDA JournalDevotional


Scripture: Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: (Romans 8:35-36 MSG)

Observation:  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?—This does not mean “our love to Christ,” as if, Who shall hinder us from loving Christ? but “Christ’s love to us,” as is clear from the closing words of the chapter, which refer to the same subject. Nor would the other sense harmonize with the scope of the chapter, which is to exhibit the ample ground of the believer’s confidence in Christ. “It is no ground of confidence to assert, or even to feel, that we will never forsake Christ; but it is the strongest ground of assurance to be convinced that His love will never change” [HODGE]. [Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Ro 8:35–36). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.]

Application:  Today’s passage is one of the most encouraging ones as it assures us that God’s love is not dependent on anything we do or fail to do.  God’s love for us is totally unconditional!  All we have to think about is how often we have done things that have been totally contrary to God’s will, when we have betrayed Him, denied Him, disobeyed Him, or ignored Him. . . even them< God still loved us and continues to love us.
I wonder if that’s the reason God wants us to experience His love for us so we can also begin to show that same kind of love toward our loved ones.  Think about your relationship with your spouse.  What if we loved them unconditionally, not just when they act lovingly toward us but even when they don’t?  What if acted lovingly toward them even when their actions are not very kind or loving toward us?  What is we spoke lovingly toward them even when their words toward us are hateful, mean, rude, unkind, or offensive?  Whether they respond in a positive way toward us or not is not the point.  It is not their words or actions toward us that should determine what we do; we should simply speak and act lovingly because of whom we are and the relationship that we enjoy with God and how He would want us to behave toward them.

What if we lived unconditional love toward our children?  I believe every parent will experience sadness or disappointment with some of the actions of our children.  When they do things that are totally contrary to the way that we have taught them or raised them, or when they speak to us in hurtful words or tone of voice.  Many times they don’t mean to be hurtful but may just be experiencing their desire for independence as part of the growing process.  As much as their actions or words may hurt us, our love for them should not be dependent on whether they always act lovingly toward us or not.  Our actions, words, and feelings should express to them that we love them regardless of what they believe, say, or do.  We should make it clear to them that our love for them is not conditioned on their response toward us, but on God’s love toward us; and since God’s love toward us is unconditional then so should be our love for them.

Does this mean that we accept, condone, or encourage negative or harmful behavior?  Unconditional love does not equate with active support.  If my child chooses to use drugs, I would not tell them “I’ll support you in whatever you do.”  That would be illogical and would actually show lack of love for them.  Unconditional love means loving them in spite of their choice to harm themselves.  If we only act loving with the goal in mind that they will change then your love is conditional on their response.  God’s love calls us to love them even when they don’t love us.

Love your spouse unconditionally.  Love your children unconditionally.  And bask in the knowledge that God loves you unconditionally. 

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, thank you for your unconditional love for me.  Help me to be Your conduit so that others, my family and children first, will experience your unconditional love for them through my unconditional love for them as well.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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