Lenten Reader | Day 4

Great is His Love

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 103:8-12
Love, by definition, is an intense feeling of deep affection or a great interest and pleasure in something. The concept of love is simple, but do we really understand the meaning? We love tacos and vacations to the beach, a good book to read and of course Ohio State football. But that isn’t the same love as the love Jesus has for us. God’s love is unconditional and vast. Sure, we love tacos and a good book, but after eating tacos and reading the same book every day for a month, our love for them will probably diminish. But God loves us unconditionally and without pause, no matter the situation, no matter how many times we make the same exact mistake, no matter how unlovable we are; His love never changes.

Many times, we have a love for things but have certain conditions attached, even if we don’t realize them. But Psalm 103 says that His love is as high as the heavens and as far as east is from west. The concept of the love God has for us is not as simple as the definition that we give it. It is not the same as our love for a good football team or a vacation spent at the beach. It is great, it is forever, and it is unchanging. Even love for the people in our lives can change and become conditional if we let it.

As I sit and think about the relationships in my life, I pray people know how much I love them. But how often am I irritated after a long day at work and snap at my family or am I not compassionate or gracious towards a certain situation. But God loves us regardless of our mistakes and challenges. He does not treat us as our sins deserve or hold them against us. His love is great and abounding.

Maggie Barker