The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease.Lamentations 3:22 (NLT)
Have you ever met someone who showed conditional love? If you’re not sure what I mean by that, let me rephrase it. Have you ever met someone who only loved you so long as they got what they wanted? It’s very elementary school. “I’ll love you forever if you give me your grape Caprisun!” (This is an actual thing I heard when I was in elementary school.) The person offering their undying love conditioned it based on whether or not they were permitted to swipe someone else’s Caprisun drink for lunch. If the offer were genuine, I’d say it’s not such a bad deal. A person will show me love forever in exchange for an 89-cent drink. I’ll be shown compassion, grace, mercy, joy, blessing, and a million other wonderful things. OK! Sign me up! I’m down for that!
However, the reality is that love which is conditional isn’t actually love at all. That kid who offered their undying love for the sweet nectar of your Caprisun also made the same offer to every other kid in the lunch room. Twenty-four hours later, the promise was forgotten and they resume their lunchroom treachery anew. Apparently, the word “forever” in kid-speak means something like “until I need something else from you.”
Unfortunately, this sort understanding of love that we learned in elementary school can often times carry over into our high school, college, and adulting years. Even worse, sometimes this concept gets misapplied to the love of God. Yet, the truth is quite different!
As our verse today states, “The faithful love of the LORD never ends.” Notice, it doesn’t add “as long as we are good,” or “as long as He feels like it,” or even “as long as He gets His way.” Instead, this verse nails what the Bible calls agape love. Agape love is simply this; unconditional, undying, freely given love. You can’t earn it, it just is. This is the type of love that our God, our Savior, shows to us every moment of every day.
So, what about when we commit sins? The second half of the verse covers that. “His mercies never cease.” In other words, because of His love, He shows us endless mercy. He forgives. He shows grace. He loves us. There is nothing that any of us can do, or ever have done, that will lessen the love that God has for each one of us.