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Love always perseveres

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This is a text-only version of an article first published on Friday, 19 December 2014. Information shown on this page may no longer be current.

When have you done something that needed you to persevere, even when you felt too tired or just unable to continue? These stories show us times when people didn't give up, even in the face of difficulties.

We will explore what this shows us about God's great love. HOW WIDEWhen Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Herod was king of that land.

Some wise men came to Jerusalem after a long journey.

They asked Herod 'Where is the child born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.

We thought he would be in your palace. 'Herod was taken aback.

Who was this baby they spoke of? A new king? But he was the king of the Jews! Herod could find no one else in Jerusalem who could shed any light on the matter.

This worried him. Finally he talked with the chief priests and the Jewish teachers. 'Where will the Messiah be born?' he asked.

'In Bethlehem,' they told him.

'The prophets of old foretold it. ' He secretly called the visitors to him.

'Go to Bethlehem and find the child.

When you find him, send word to me so that I might go and worship him too. 'Leaving Jerusalem, the wise men were excited about following the star.

It led them to the place where the child was.

They went into the house and saw the child with his mother.

They knelt down and worshipped him and presented their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

All too soon it was time to go home, but the wise men had been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, so they began their long journey avoiding Jerusalem. Retold from Matthew 2: 1-12HOW LONGOne day the tax collectors and sinners were all crowding round, listening to Jesus.

But the religious teachers started grumbling.

'Why is Jesus friendly with these sinners?' One said.

'Yes, he even shares food with them!' said another. Then Jesus told them some stories.

'If you have a flock of 100 sheep, and one of them gets lost, what will you do? Surely you will leave the 99 safely in the field and go searching for that sheep.

You'll keep looking until you find it.

Right? And when you find it, you will put it on your shoulders and carry it home.

Then, in your deep joy you will call your friends and neighbours and invite them over for a celebration. 'You know, it's the same in heaven.

There is more joy when one sinner turns to God than over 99 good people. 'Jesus told them another story.

'If a woman has ten silver coins and she loses one, what will she do? Won't she light a lamp and look for the coin? She'll even sweep the floor and keep searching carefully until she finds it.

Then, when it's found, she will call her friends and neighbours and say, "Let's celebrate! I've found the coin I lost. "' Jesus finished, 'In the same way, God's angels are so happy when even one person turns to him. 'Retold from Luke 15: 1-10HOW HIGHWhen I found out I'd got a place in the 2012 London Marathon I was excited on one hand and scared on the other.

I had never run a marathon before.

Although I knew I could run for about 15 miles and I hoped I could keep going for the full 26. 2, I wasn't 100 per cent sure.

Through the winter and early spring, I trained hard. On the day, I knew that (barring serious injury) I would finish. There are things I remember about the day, like passing the Cutty Sark, turning on to Tower Bridge, seeing my family in the crowd, and hearing the woman on the Embankment who shouted, 'Go on, Yvonne, you're doing great! Nearly there, love, nearly there. ' (I didn't know her, but I had my name on my vest. )I also remember Big Ben striking as I came past, but after that I have no memory of getting to the finish line.

In fact, when I was in Westminster later in the year, I looked around and didn't know what direction I had run in after Big Ben. Running the marathon hurt in a way I hadn't experienced before.

But I knew I could and would get to the end, and the fact that I did fills me with pride.

I love it that God's love has the perseverance, patience and endurance never to give up, not to get tired, not to wonder if it's strong enough to finish, and not to forget how it got to where it was going!Look again at the 'How wide' and 'How long' stories and think about how they demonstrate perseverance and endurance. HOW DEEPWhat do you want to say to God about 'Love always perseveres'? Tell God what you'd like to say. Ask him what you need to ask.

Be quiet and listen to what God wants to say. Psalm 27:14 says, 'Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!' (NRSV). LOVE TOUGHLiving in God's ways means that we have to 'love tough' and choose to be different.

Talk with God about this and ask him how you can 'love tough', persevering and remembering Romans 8:37-39:'In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us.

I am sure that nothing can separate us from God's loveā€”not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and notpowers above or powers below.

Nothing in all creation can separate us from God's love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!'Above is an edited extract from Yvonne Morris's Exploring God's Love in Everyday Life.

(See the review below).

Reproduced with permission of BRF. Yvonne Morris is the Diocesan Children's Adviser.

The Door has three copies of Exploring God's Love in Everyday Life to give away.

To enter the draw send your name and address to: Exploring God draw, the Door, Diocesan Church House, Oxford, OX2 0NB.

The closing date is 9 January.

Page last updated: Friday 19th December 2014 12:00 AM
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