‘The Lord is … abounding in steadfast love’

The love of God is a prominent topic in the Bible.

The love of God is a prominent topic in the Bible. In the Old Testament we see His love exhibited in His personal relationship and fellowship with Adam and Eve.

Later, He tells his covenant people, the Israelites, “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself” (Jeremiah 31:3).

The greatest demonstration of God’s love is found in the New Testament and the superlative picture of this love is displayed in the exemplary Person and the unparalleled work of Christ.

New Testament passages like, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:7 10) and the well-known, much quoted John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” reveal both the availability and efficacy of God’s love.

There are also many compelling stories from the lives of men and women who have either discovered or displayed the love of God. Some of them, like the one following, are powerful, perhaps even life-changing.

A young man had a disagreement with his father and left home.

Several years elapsed and he missed his father and his father’s love. He wanted to return and reconcile, but felt that his father may have forgotten about him or no longer loved him.

Finally, he sent a telegram saying, “Father, I’m coming home, but I will only enter your house if you place a white flag on one of the trees in the front yard to indicate that you still love me. If I see no white flag, I will continue on my way.”

He boarded a Greyhound bus that he knew travelled right past his father’s house. As he came closer to home, he was afraid that there would be no white fl ag, so he asked the young man in the seat next to him if he would look and let him know if there was a white flag in the front yard. Fearfully, he kept his eyes closed and his head down.

A few minutes later, his companion said, “I think you’d better open your eyes and look for yourself!” He looked out the window of the bus and in his father’s yard, he saw that a white flag had been attached to every branch on every tree. The dozens of flags waving gently in the breeze seemed to be sending an invitation saying, “Yes son … come home — I love you!”

“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Psalm 103.8).

Pastor Ross Helgeton is the senior pastor of Erskine Evangelical Free Church.

− Faith & Reflection