Unfailing Love

by Carolyn Hope

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

There are different levels of love. The love you have for your best friend is different than the love you have for your brother or sister. The love you have for your parents is not the same as the love you have for your spouse. There are different depths of love, and each relationship reflects that.

Jesus talked about the greatest level, the deepest depth, of love. There is a love that is stronger than all the others, and that is the kind of love that will lead you to give up your very life for another. This love is relentless, reckless, and willing to do whatever it takes to give someone what they need. It’s willing to give up everything for another person. When you think about it, there are prices and costs for everything in this world. Life, however, is priceless. It’s worth more than money can buy. The most expensive gift, therefore, is your life.

This is the kind of love that Jesus gave us. He surrendered His perfect, priceless life for you. The cross, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is a picture of God saying, I will do whatever it takes. His love for you was so deep that there was NOTHING He would hold back from you. The Lord’s love for you is incomparable. It is trustworthy (1 John 4:16), and it never, ever, ever fails (1 Cor. 13:8). He gave it all for you. He loves you far too much to let you go.

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Unfailing Pursuit

by Carolyn Hope

Then the man of God went to the king of Israel and said, “This is what the LORD says: The Arameans have said, ‘The LORD is a god of the hills and not of the plains.’ So I will defeat this vast army for you. Then you will know that I am the LORD.” (1 Kings 20:28)

Earlier this week, I mentioned how King Ahab was perhaps the wickedest of the kings of Israel. Even he, however, received help from the Lord. The Arameans had demanded King Ahab give them everything, or else there would be war. Ahab chose war, and because of the Lord, the Israelites defeated the Arameans, not once but twice. Before each of these battles, God sent a prophet to King Ahab to tell him that they would be victorious by the Lord’s hand. Both times, the prophet closed with this final statement: “Then you will know that I am the LORD.” The whole purpose of God’s victory for the Israelites was for King Ahab to know Him as Lord.

We look at King Ahab as a hopeless case, too twisted and evil for redemption. God looked at him and said, Ahab, you’re worth pursuing. I haven’t quit on you yet. Ahab had his back completely turned to God, and still, He reached out to him. God repeatedly came after the man who had forsaken Him and His ways.

Jesus’ pursuit of you is unending. Indeed, His greatest act of pursuit for you was the cross, but His pursuit did not finish there. Every single day, He keeps pursuing your heart. You are never too far away for His hand to reach you. You are never in too dark of a place that He doesn’t see you. His heart is always for you. He will pursue you for the rest of your life, and He will do whatever it takes to get your attention. Forget what everyone else sees or says about you; God says you are worth chasing after.

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Unfailing Peace

by Carolyn Hope

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Imagine a lake surrounded by a forest. The water is still and calm, steadily quiet. As the wind moves the trees, the reflection on the water changes, but the water itself is as still as ever. Even though storms come, bringing a disruption to the quietness of the waters, when the storm is over, the lake returns to its tranquil state. This is peace. Regardless of circumstances, a peaceful heart remains steady and unshaken.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace, which means He rules over it. Jesus not only has the power to consistently be at peace, but He is a Peace-Maker and a Peace-Bringer. When the disciples were caught in a storm, Jesus spoke peace into the situation, and the waters stilled. When we were lost in our sin and at war with God, Jesus came to earth and sacrificed Himself for us, so that we might be at peace with God. Jesus creates peace wherever He goes.

The Prince of Peace lives inside of you. Therefore, you can have peace in every situation, and in fact, you can bring peace into chaos! You are a peace-carrier and a peace-maker. The same power of Jesus to calm storms and raise the dead lives within you. Walk in peace today. Let your heart be still and steady. Receive Jesus’ words to His disciples before His crucifixion: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). You have a peace that is greater than what you’re going through. Let this peace rule in your heart (Col. 3:15). It will not fail you.

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Unfailing Patience

by Carolyn Hope

But when Ahab heard this message, he tore his clothing, dressed in burlap, and fasted. He even slept in burlap and went about in deep mourning. Then another message from the LORD came to Elijah: “Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has done this, I will not do what I promised during his lifetime. It will happen to his sons; I will destroy his dynasty.” (1 Kings 21:27-29)

Ahab was probably Israel’s most wicked king (see 1 Kings 21:25-26). God proclaimed doom to him and his whole family because of his wickedness. In this passage, we see how Ahab responded to that decree – he humbled himself and mourned. The Lord saw this and decided to delay the destruction on Ahab’s family until after Ahab’s death.

This is only one example of the amazing patience God has for us. Even to those who are utterly depraved, those we would consider as ‘too far gone,’ He shows incredible patience and forbearance. Do not mistake God’s patience for a pass to do wrong – He is still a just King, who will punish the wicked and reward the righteous. Again and again in Scripture, however, God goes above and beyond with extravagant patience to unworthy people.

Patience says, “Wait a little longer.” No matter how long it’s been, or how hopeless it seems, patience doesn’t let go or give up. You, child of God, are a product of patience. Not only was God patient with you in the past, waiting for you to come to Him, but He is also patient with you now as you grow in Him. You can trust the patience Jesus has for you. It’s unending and unfailing.

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Unfailing Grace

by Carolyn Hope

For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:9-10)

“By the grace of God I am what I am.” This is such a powerful statement, especially when you consider that it came from Paul. The man who had once been such a strong antagonist against the church became one of its greatest apostles. Only the grace of God can cause such a total transformation.

What is grace, though?

Many times, we look at grace like an eraser. We think its sole purpose is to remove our sin. If you look at the original Hebrew, however, you’ll find that grace means a gift or favor. Grace then, is God’s gift to us and favor toward us. We cannot earn or deserve grace, but God freely gives it to us anyway. The full purpose of grace isn’t simply to take the trash out of our lives so we don’t stink anymore – it’s actually to impart into our lives to make us new and right.

Grace is an empowerment to live the way God calls you to live. The beauty of His grace is that it is sufficient (2 Cor. 12:9). It is always more than enough. God’s grace is a source of power inside you that will never run out or die. This power is what pushes you to become better and more than you’ve ever been before. Live gracefully (full of grace) today. You have what it takes.

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An Unfailing God

by Carolyn Hope

We have a God who is unfailing. Never once has He failed, nor will He ever fail in the future. People let us down, disappoint us, and deplete our hope. God does not.

There are many characteristics of God, many facets of who He is. In every one of them, He is unfailing. He is unfailing in patience, in grace, and in love. This week, I hope you will find affirmation and confidence in the unfailing nature of our Jesus. He is always for you. He will always pursue you. You can count on Him to come through for you; He will, every time.

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