Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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Love to the End
Living in Relationship with Jesus
Terry R. Baughman
“I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
Jesus promised, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Sometimes in our own thinking we may respond, “To the end? What then?” The logical conclusion is that then we will be with Him! Nevertheless, we have a tremendous assurance of His persistent presence and continuing accompaniment until the “end of the age!”
During the time of Christ’s ministry He demonstrated His love for those who chose to follow Him. Even as the time drew near for His crucifixion and death He confirmed His enduring love for His disciples. John wrote, “When Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end” (John 13:1). There was no time when love faded or diminished. His desire to remain with those He loved was no doubt the greatest battle as He surrendered His will to the divine plan, but His love remained. “He loved them to the end.”
We can trust His Word and be confident of His everlasting love. Paul went to great lengths to confirm the character of God’s love and the extent of His efforts to sustain us, declaring, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Adversities in life may increase to such an intensity that we may be caused to question God’s love and be led away from Him, but Paul asked, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35). Then, he went on to affirm, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37–39).
Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God. There is no thing that can come between us and provide a reason to feel abandoned by God. God is always with us. He has promised His abiding presence, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
The expanse of His love has been expressed by writers, through books, songs, and verse, and yet none of these efforts individually, nor the whole volume cumulatively, can adequately express its definition. Paul prayed that, “Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge” (Ephesians 3:17–19).
God’s love simply cannot be fully comprehended or explained. Jeremy Riddle wrote and recorded the song, Furious. In the lyrics of the chorus,
“His love is deep, His love is wide, and it covers us
His love is fierce, His love is strong, it is furious
His love is sweet, His love is wild, and it’s waking hearts to life
The love of Christ constantly reaches. He desires relationship with His created ones. We can trust Him and rest assured that He will love us to the very end!
“Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone” (Romans 5:18 NLT).