Yesterday was an unexpected and unofficial holiday because THE ROYALS WON THE WORLD SERIES! Now I am not a big baseball fan. I don’t keep track of records or anything like that, and I only watch the games when I can go to the stadium or when I’m at someone’s house and they have the game on which means I can count on one hand the number of games that I have actually watched this season. But I have to admit…I got excited when the Royals won the World Series and spent all day yesterday with my niece and nephew. We were watching the parade and the other celebrations on TV and I didn’t get anything else done but a little bit of laundry. (And before anyone says anything… Most schools in the area cancelled classes yesterday so everybody could enjoy the celebrations. There were over 800,000 people– out of the 2+ million that live in the area– at the parade and celebrations yesterday.)
Read: Psalm 107
I fail. I am a failure especially when it comes to love. When it comes to loving others or loving myself, I fail. I do or say something that pushes them away or that hurts them. I am a failure when it comes to love, but I know that I’m not the only failure out there. In fact, I bet everyone feels like a failure at some point when it comes to loving their family.
But God’s love for us never fails.
In Psalm 107, we read about 4 examples of His unfailing love:
- Verses 4-9: God delivers those who are wandering through the wilderness. They are lost and hungry and thirsty. He feeds them and gives them water.
- Verses 10-16: God sets free the captives and offers forgiveness to those who rebel.
- Verses 17-22: God heals those who are afflicted. We may not always see the healing here on earth, but the Lord does heal those who are afflicted.
- Verses 23-32: God rescues those who are overwhelmed. When the storms of life threaten to overwhelm you, God provides a safe harbor in the storm.
God’s love for us is not based on what we do, who we are, how much money we have, how much we know, or how wise we are. God’s love for us is not based on us. God’s love for us is based on who He is, and because He is love, His love never fails.
But how do we respond to this love?
Many people run away from this love or ignore it. They refuse to accept it. They refuse to accept Him. How can God love me when I can’t even love myself? How can I love something or someone that I can’t see or hear? Someone who can’t be measured by my senses? For some, it is a scary thought that there is someone out there that knows every little thing about them and loves them anyway. Most of us can’t fathom a love that has no conditions and will never fail them.
But how does God want us to respond to His love for us?
He wants us to accept it and to return His love.
How do we show this love? Psalm 107 also shows us how the Lord wants us to respond to His love
- Give thanks for it. (Verse 1)
The psalmist gives us our first answer right off. “Give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love.”
- Speak to others about it. (Verse 2)
Do you share how much the Lord loves us with others? Do you tell them what Christ did for them on the cross? Is your life a reflection of that love? Mine is not, and I don’t speak to others about how much the Lord loves us and what Christ did for us nearly as often as I should.
- Sacrifice thanks offerings. (Verse 22)
In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel was commanded to make sacrifices of animals as a show of thanksgiving for God’s love for them. Because of what Christ did for us on the cross, we no longer need to offer animal sacrifices to show our gratitude, but there are other things we can sacrifice or give to show our gratitude. They are not necessarily material things that we can sacrifice either. We can sacrifice our negative thoughts, our selfishness, anything and everything that takes us away from God’s best for us.
- Tell of His works with songs of joy. (Verse 22)
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” (Psalm 100:1) You don’t have to be a singer, songwriter or musician to praise the Lord with music. You just have to love Him and sing for Him.
- Exalt Him in the assembly. (Verse 32)
Gathering together with other believers is another way show thanks to the Lord. I grew up in a family where attending church services every Sunday was mandatory. I wasn’t given a choice. Unless I was sick, I was at church on Sunday. I grew up loving the church especially the local body that I grew up in. I never expected that some of the worst hurts I would experience in life would also come from within the church. I never expected that there would come a time in my life when attending church services would be something that I would be reluctant to do, but even through the hurt and the reluctance to attend I recognize that gathering together with other believers is important not only for our growth and change, but purely for our relationship with Christ.
- See & rejoice in His love. (Verse 42)
We have to learn to see the ways that He shows His love to us. We have to mindful of His presence and aware of even the little things that He does to show us He cares. Write down or photograph or keep an audio/video recording of what the Lord is doing in your life.
- Consider the great love of the Lord. (Verse 43)
Spend time thinking about how much He loves you. Remember Philippians 4:8? What is more excellent or praiseworthy than the unfailing love of the Lord.
Share Christ’s unfailing love with someone.
Record a time when you have been wandering in the wilderness, held captive or rebelling, afflicted, or overwhelmed and the Lord has shown His unfailing love to you.