My youngest daughter and I just finished reading through The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. It’s written in paraphrase, storybook form. It’s beautiful. There were times when I could barely hold back tears.
One of my favorite lines describing God’s love for us is “God’s Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.” This line repeats throughout the book from start to finish. Not only is it a wonderful way to describe God’s love to children and adults, but even the cadence of the words is melodic to read.
And somehow, it sticks.
When I’ve done or said something incredibly offensive to God, His love is Never Stopping.
When I stray on crooked paths that promise light, but turn into darkness, His love is Never Giving Up.
When I’ve broken the hearts of those around me with my words or actions, His love is Unbreaking.
When I don’t understand how He could still love me after all of my past and future failures, His love is Always and Forever.
How do I share this love with others?
There are a buffet of techniques we use to share the gospel. We can go to a six-week class at church and discover how to walk across the room, strike up a conversation and proceed through a three, four, five step process to pray “the prayer” and accept Christ then check that person off the list, shared the gospel with Sue, check. I’m not necessarily ripping on these methods or programs, but sometimes in these methods, the simplicity of relationship and love is lost.
And man, do we all need relationship and love…in action.
When I choose to love someone, show her kindness, listen to her and be patient with the Holy Spirit’s leading rather than place a gospel tract in her mailbox, or become frustrated when she doesn’t “accept” Christ in a twenty minute interaction, it becomes less about me and more about God.
There is simplicity in loving those around me even when it’s hard. By simple, I don’t mean easy. I mean straightforward. There is simplicity in things like kindness towards a neighbor, encouragement for a friend, compassion and interest for those who don’t share my beliefs. And there is simplicity in patience. Not fear of man, procrastination, or idleness, but patience while I allow God to lead. There is a huge difference.
In his book Abba Father, Brennan Manning writes:
The success and failure of a given day is measured by the quality of our interest and compassion toward those around us.
God’s Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreakable, Always and Forever Love. Sometimes it’s that simple.
What does this look like for you?