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*Grace Nuggets: Simple reminders of God’s great love for you.

If someone were to ask you ‘What would it take to quit loving someone you currently love dearly?’ what would your answer be?

For example, what would it take to stop loving your spouse/significant other? Some may say, ‘if my spouse/significant other cheated on me, that would be the end. I couldn’t stand trying to live with the betrayal. After all, if he/she did it once, chances of it happening again are likely. Nope. Cheating on me would be the end of that relationship.

If you were to ask Jesus, He’d say, I’ve been betrayed before. In fact, the ones I love have betrayed me over and over again. But I still love them. I’ve forgiven them. I’ll welcome them back as many times as they ask. Betrayal won’t kill my love for them. Each new day is a fresh beginning with Jesus.

Others may say, ‘If my spouse/significant other’ abused me that would be the end. No one should have to suffer the pain of abuse from another person. Jesus understood the pain of rejection and abuse. Those that should have accepted him the most readily were constantly ridiculing him, discredit him and trying to kill him. For a time Jesus avoided them. The spoke of their abuse and called them hypocrites, but even while keeping his distance from them he prayed for them. At one point he even wept for them. Eventually they did kill him, but even then some of his dying words were ‘Father forgive them.’

Jesus knows abuse and rejection. Even though he removed himself from abusive situations, he still prayed for his enemies. Jesus knew the difference between loving the person and not the actions they take.

Would it be a child’s rebellion that ended your love for him? Jesus often called the ones who mistreated and rejected him his children and called them to his open arms. Jesus knows rebellion and while he hates to see us rebel, he refuses to stop loving us.

Paul’s prayerful desire is for us is that we know a love that is beyond our knowledge. That love is the love Jesus showed while on earth and continues to show every day for us. I don’t understand it. I can’t fathom how someone can love the abusive parent, the abusive or cheating spouse, the terrorist, or the person who cuts me off on the interstate.

I don’t understand how he can love someone who he knows will betray him or wants him dead or speaks evil of him, or fails him time and time again. I don’t understand how he can overlook someone’s past and present sin and love them anyway. I don’t understand Jesus’ love, but I’m eternally grateful for his love for me. For you see it’s the love of Jesus that keeps me going when others mistreat me, discredit me or betray me. It’s the love and forgiveness of Jesus that keeps me sane when, once again, I’ve done something, or said something that displeases him because I know that even when I hurt him deeply by my thoughts, actions and words his love is deeper still.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. I’m in awe as I consider the great love you have for us mere mortals. We fight and bicker. We betray and abuse. We neglect or destroy the most important relationships we have. Still, you love me. This is too wonderful, too awesome to comprehend. Help me this day to consider, with each step I take, the great, unending love you have for me. In your holy, loving name I pray, Amen.

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