Stubborn Love

Michael Beck Michael Beck

“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?” (Luke 15:4)

Typically, the rule of thumb is “you can’t reach someone who doesn’t want to be reached.” But thankfully this maxim does not apply to God’s pursuit of us. His love is stubborn. He is not willing for any to perish. He devises means to bring His banished back to Himself. He will leave the ninety-nine to seek the one going astray.

The Father’s heart yearns for every prodigal. His eyes scan the horizon, longing to see the broken form of a beloved son. Yes, the return of some must be by way of a degrading pig-pen, but the prayer of a loving intercessor is “Whatever it takes!”

God wants His people to be united with Him in love. His love for us outstrips our love for Him. He doesn’t wait for us to love Him before He loves us. “We love him, because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) He doesn’t pursue the naturally attractive – He goes after the chief of sinners. He finds us at our worst, our ugliest and pours upon us His abundant grace. If we are to change into anything attractive to Him, He must beautify us.

A back turned toward God causes Him to mourn. But our rejection of Him does not prompt Him to reject us. He bears long with us. His love is longsuffering. He does not give up easily. Is there a time when His Spirit will stop striving with us? Yes, but not without a fight. “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” (Prov. 29:1) The word “often” points to God’s stubborn love for the stubborn. “… How OFTEN would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matt. 23:37)

Unite with the heart of God for every erring soul. Don’t give up until He says, “It is enough.” And then know, that God gave that soul every chance to repent.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.