Across the Pastor’s Desk: Steadfast love for others, selves

Published 9:26 am Friday, February 10, 2017

Across the Pastor’s Desk by Monrad Mandsager

Monrad Mandsager is a retired chaplain.

Forthcoming Valentine’s Day prompts me to write an article on love, maybe simply quoting some biblical passages regarding “The Lord, the Lord, a God gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love to the thousandth generations of those who love me.”

Monrad Mandsager

Monrad Mandsager

Email newsletter signup

Singing praises to the Lord, for he is good, and his steadfast love endures forever (II Chronicles 5:13).

“But I trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because he has dealt bountifully with me,” (Psalm 13:5-6).

“Steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord,” (Psalm 32:10).

“Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you,” (Psalm 33:22).

“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever,” (Psalm 118:29).

“The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love, teach me your statues,” (Psalm 119:64).

“The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, the Lord is good to all, his compassion is over all that he has made,” (Psalm 145:8-9).

These, and many other biblical passages, speak of the Lord’s love as being steadfast and faithful. You can count on it. He will not give up his love toward you and me. We sin, we fall short, our love is sometimes shallow, but if we recognize and confess our sins and shortcomings, he will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousnesses.

“Forgive us our sins and shortcomings, O Lord, and renew us in your steadfast love.”

In the New Testament we have the great example of Jesus laying down his life for us for our salvation, and God loving this world so much he gave for us his only son.

Jesus said to his disciples, “As the father has loved me, so have I loved you, abide in my love.”

This is  my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay don one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. How much have we been loved? Let us spread our arms in the form of a cross. That much.

“God proves his love for us in that while we are still sinner, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8).

In response to God’s steadfast love and Christ’s sacrificial love, may the Holy Spirit move within us to love God and Jesus, to love ourselves rightly and humbly, and love our neighbor as ourselves, love our valentine as ourselves. May our love be genuine, steadfast, kind, patient, good, generous, faithful. This would be the work of the Holy Spirit and God’s love within us. So be it.

In God’s love, Christ’s love for all.