Valentine’s Day gives each of us the opportunity to express our love to that special someone in our lives. With full hearts we shower cards, candy, flowers, and candlelight dinners on our beloved. And some of us promise that our love will last “til death do us part.” Yet, all these things prove temporary. The candy is eaten, the flowers fade, the cards are tucked away and, tragically, half of all marriage vows are broken. We live in a fickle and fallen world.
But the Lord says to those who belong to Him, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love…” (Jeremiah 31:3). God’s love for His children is not limited by time, or based on emotional impulse, or contingent upon our behavior. God’s love began before time and continues for eternity. It lasts forever!
Yet, our minds cannot comprehend such vastness, and we still tend to fear. Paul seems to anticipate our doubts when he says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”(Romans 5:8). Because of our sin nature, we were considered enemies of God and objects of His wrath. But God didn’t wait until we came to Him. He sent His one and only Son to give His life in our place before we repented. Not only does God tell us how much He loves us, He showed us by paying the ultimate price for our sins.
But wait! There’s more. Paul continues, “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10). Jesus willingly paid the penalty of our sin, and the fact that He rose from the dead proves that His sacrifice was sufficient. Now He is seated at the right hand of the Father and lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25). He prays for us! And Jesus’ prayers are always answered because He knows the will of His Father.
John tells us that we have an Advocate before the very throne of God (1 John 1:21). If Jesus had enough power to satisfy God’s wrath on the cross when He died for us, do you think it is harder for Him forgive us now? A love that is strong enough to save us is strong enough to keep us.
Jesus is the final Word on the subject, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29).
It is true that, in our feeble way, we hold on to God, but the greater reality is that His love holds onto us. As the hymn writer, George Matheson, wrote so eloquently:
O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be