Forty years ago I fell in love.
Yes, forty years ago I entered into two love relationships. One of the relationships involves a commitment until the day I die. The other is eternal.
I met the love of my life in October, 1969, the night I first laid eyes on Linda Bowling. The eternal affair began seven months earlier, when I met Jesus. Linda and I are committed to one another for a lifetime. Jesus and I are united forever! I courted Linda for nearly two years before she said "I do." Jesus, on the other hand, pursued me! (Luke 19:10)
Love stories abound throughout history. Countless books and plays have been written about lovers. Hundreds of movies have warmed our hearts with memorable love story lines. And what about the thousands and thousands of songs? Paul McCartney whimsically wrote, "You'd think the world would have had enough of silly love songs. I look around me and I see it isn't so. Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs. What's wrong with that? I need to know. So here I go, again. I love you!..."
There are stories of true love, puppy love, parental love, secret love, star crossed love, and unrequited love. The greatest love story of all, however, is the story of God's love. It is a perfect love. The love of a Holy God for fallen man. It is a story of sacrificial love - unmerited love - everlasting love. Jesus himself summed it up in one powerful powerful statement recorded during a dialog with a man named Nicodemus. You know it by heart. It's the "Golden Verse" of the Bible. "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." (John 3:16)
I didn't deserve such love. Neither did you. Yet He still came to Earth - obedient to the mission - paid the penalty for my sins and provided the way for me to live forever in a loving relationship with my Creator. Is it a great love story? You bet it is. "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13).
Aren't you thankful for God's love?