Through the years, one love story stands out above all others as the greatest love story ever told. In fact, this is the story upon which all other love stories are based. It is a story of compassion, tenderness, heroism, never ending commitment, and selfless sacrifice. This ageless story is about a man who gives up his life so that his bride can live. I invite you to read more.
What is this great love story and how is great love defined? We find our answers in John 15:13. There we read, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Easter is the story of God’s love for us expressed through the selfless act of His Son, who gave His life and rose from the dead, so His bride, the Church, could live forever.
Most love songs are written about the love between a man and a woman, however, with little or no change in the lyrics, many love songs allow us to substitute Jesus as the object of our love and as the one we are singing to. Singer Kenny Rogers, who passed away just before Easter, left us a beautiful love song whose lyrics seem to capture the essence of our relationship with Jesus. This certainly is the case in his song, THROUGH THE YEARS.
Here are a few of the key elements to a perfect love:
Commitment: The following is written in Isaiah 41:10. “Do not fear: I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Here, God gives us His assurance that no matter what we encounter in life, He will be with us. In his song Through The Years, Kenny Rogers sang, “Through the years, when everything went wrong together we were strong, I know that I belong right here with you. Through the years I never had a doubt, we’d always work things out. I’ve learned what love’s about, by loving you through the years.”
Someone strong to rely on: Life can often seem too hard. We face challenges that seem insurmountable. Jesus declares to us that with Him at our side we can do things that we otherwise could never do. Matthew 19:26 says, “Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” The song lyrics say it this way, “Can’t imagine anything the two of us can’t do.”
Trustworthy: Here are three Bible verses on trust. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). “Those who know your name trust in you; you never forsake those who seek you, LORD” (Psalms 9:11). “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely” (Proverbs 3:5). The lyrics to the song offer this, “Through the years, you’ve never let me down, you turned my life around, the sweetest days I’ve found I’ve found with you.” He also sang, “I can’t remember what I used to do, who I trusted, who I listened to before.”
Always there: God never forgets us. Isaiah 49:16 tells us that God has us engraved on the palm of His hand. God has always been there for us. Revelation 1:8 says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.” Jeremiah 1:5 offers us this, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I dedicated you.” Kenny sang it this way, “I can’t remember when you weren’t there”
The rock on whom we lean: There is no doubt that we need God in our life. In Psalms 18:3, David tells us that God is our rock, our fortress, our deliverer, our refuge, our shield, our saving horn, and our stronghold! The song says it this way, “Can’t imagine needing someone so but through the years it seems to me, I need you more and more.”
Compassionate and forgiving: One of the best places in the Bible to read about the love God has for us is in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8. It is there we read that love is patient, kind, not jealous. Love is not rude, and not quick-tempered. Love bears all things and never fails. The song says this, “through all the good and bad I knew how much we had, I’ve always been so glad to be with you.” It also says, “It’s better every day, you’ve kissed my tears away.”
Now, with a fresh perspective, I invite you to sing this song, but as you do, sing as if you are singing to Jesus. I promise you that with Jesus in your heart, you will experience the greatest love story ever told.
Heavenly Father, Jeremiah 31:3 assures us that you love us with an everlasting love. Jesus demonstrated that love for us on the cross. Help me to always love you above everything else in life, amen.
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