Forever Loved

“A prophecy: The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.
‘I have loved you,’ says the Lord.
But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’” Malachi 3:1-3

It is amazing how the God of the universe loves us. In a culture that is desperate for love, you would think this truth would come as a great comfort. Don’t think our culture is hungry for love? I challenge you to find movies, television shows or songs that don’t in some way breach the topic of love. Sure they are out there, but they are not the norm. We are swept up in epic love stories and we sing along with melodies that express our hearts’ desires: to be known and loved. Ewan McGregor sums up our desire for love with the song “Elephant Love Medley.”

“Love is a many splendid thing, love lifts us up where we belong, all you need is love!”

If you were wondering, yes I have that song memorized! Yes I mean both parts and yes it’s fantastic when I perform it. Moving on…

Love is a magnifier. By that I mean every emotion you feel when filtered through love magnifies tenfold. Love, happiness, joy, anger and pain are all magnified by this crazy little thing called love. That, I think, is what is so exciting about being in love and being loved. So much of our lives are static and routine; love never is! In the words of the poet Pat Benetar, “love is a battlefield.” It is this mix of danger and excitement that I think draws everyone towards the desire for an epic love story. When we get those stories we can’t help but share them. How many of us have been caught up in the stories of how our parents, grandparents and friends came to fall in love? There is something amazing about remembering and dwelling on your love story. This is where the Lord spoke to me last Sunday as my friend Sam taught on the book of Malachi.

Malachi is broken up in six debates between God and his people. The first debate is on the Love that God has shown His people, Israel. “How have you loved us?” they asked. God’s answer was simple but profound. I have loved you, I do love, I will continue to love you. Throughout the Bible, God’s continual faithfulness to Israel despite their ongoing failures is overwhelmingly apparent. Some may disagree but that may come from a misunderstanding of what it means to love (read here for more on that). But what about my life? Is that truth overwhelmingly apparent in my life? Following are a few things that have given me comfort this week as I thought on these things.

I Have Loved You by…

  • Giving you a wonderful family.
  • Sending Christ to die for you
  • Redeeming your past failures

I Love You by..

  • Giving you your amazing bride Bethany
  • Causing you to grow into a godly man through trials
  • Giving you breath each day
  • Giving you friends who encourage, challenge and bring you joy

I Will Continue to Love You with

  • The promise of Heaven
  • The continual presence of the Holy Spirit as it molds you
  • The opportunity to love your children and family
  • A life lived with your best friend and wife

I was already having a decent day on Sunday but God brought these truths to mind I was humbled and thankful. This amazing love God has shown me in His Son Jesus is available to all His children. Sometimes we just need to remember how God has been there for us. Take some time today to do just that. How has God loved you? How is God loving you? How will God continue to love you? I’d love to hear some of your responses below.

Have a Blessed Day,
Bryce

Bryce Cooley
I've been doing some form of ministry since 2000. For 13 years I was involved in the youth ministry at Cordova Neighborhood Church as everything from youth intern to youth pastor. God has led me and my lovely wife Bethany to Church of the Foothills where I currently reside as the Digital Publishing Coordinator. I'm excited to see where God leads my wife and I.
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Bryce Cooley
I've been doing some form of ministry since 2000. For 13 years I was involved in the youth ministry at Cordova Neighborhood Church as everything from youth intern to youth pastor. God has led me and my lovely wife Bethany to Church of the Foothills where I currently reside as the Digital Publishing Coordinator. I'm excited to see where God leads my wife and I.