Ken’s Thursday Blog
I saw the word in an advertisement for a new book to be released. It occurred to me that this word describes God’s steadfast and reckless love for us as His created people. The word that I saw was the word “relentless,” and it flooded me with memories. Memories of a day when I too was somewhat “relentless.”
This story, while shared in various places, is simply the story of the beginning days with my wife, which I will summarize. We dated a few times, but then I did my own thing. That “doing my own thing” cost me dearly. The next year when I tried to restore the relationship, she would have nothing to do with me. After weeks of persistent inquiries, she agreed to a date, with the stipulation that this outing would mean absolutely nothing. After all, she had moved on and had a boyfriend, and his name was not Ken.
Honestly, I do not know where it came from, but in those dark days of repeated rejection, I was relentless. I would not give up, and I didn’t. Perhaps God in His graciousness did have mercy on me and gave me the heart and determination of a relentless pursuer. Merriam-Webster defined “relentless” as “showing or promising no abatement of severity, intensity, strength, or pace: unrelenting.” Other definitions include the concept of being incessant. That described my young foolishness. I would not let go; I would not give up; I was “relentless.” And it paid super dividends, as we recently celebrated our fifty-fifth wedding anniversary.
However, my relentless behavior in the days of courting my wife pales in comparison to the relentless heart of our creator God. Isaiah records the Lord saying to us, “Because you are precious in my eyes, you are honored, and I love you. I give people in your place, and nations in exchange for your life” (Isaiah 43:4 CEB). It was King Solomon who prayed at the Altar, “O God, God of Israel, there is no God like you in the skies above or on the earth below who unswervingly keeps covenant with his servants and relentlessly loves them as they sincerely live in obedience to your way” (I Kings 8:23 MSG). And the Apostle Paul reminds us of the depth of God’s relentless behavior, “…God shows his love for us, because while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 CEB). God gave His Son in exchange for us, as Isaiah wrote earlier.
Terria Moore wrote in an online blog, “Here’s the Truth. Jesus was crushed for MY iniquity. His body was broken for ME. He sacrificed everything for ME, because I am worth everything to Him. Jesus loves me with an unbreakable, unshakable, unbending, unending love! His love for me has never been an obligation. He pursued ME and chooses ME day after day for all eternity. There is nothing I can do to make God love me any more than He does. There is nothing I can do to make God love me any less than He does.”
The Old Testament prophet Hosea’s story is an incredible illustration of God’s relationship with His people. We see love, promise, sacrifice, unfaithfulness, and redemption in the story of a man and his wife. But there’s a bigger story God is telling here. It’s about His boundless love for his people—first Israel and then us. He keeps his promises, and he is relentless in bringing His people back to Him.
Here is the good news today: God’s relentless love for us shapes how we live and the way we love. Regardless of what you are feeling or experiencing due to the viral pandemic, urban unrest, racism, the divisions caused by political ideologies, poor health, unemployment, or lousy self-esteem, God absolutely and relentlessly loves and believes in you. The Apostle Paul underscored that thought when he wrote, “I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us” (Romans 8:38-39 MSG).
Maybe the real question of the day is, “If God is fully committed to loving us with His relentless and unfailing love, how committed are we to believing that we possess His love?”
P.S. The Book I saw advertised is: Relentless: The Unshakeable Presence of a God Who Never Leaves by Michelle Cushatt. I need to read it! klm