Love Never Ends

by Sam Stinson

"I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases." (Song Of Solomon 2:7, ESV)

Love is essential for Christ's disciple. Love is a desire we awaken so that the abilities we practice and the opportunities we are presented with may be met with our actions. (cf. Hebrews 10:23-25) Love has a power that, depending when awakened, may cause one to to ascend upwards in bliss or downwards in despair.

In his book, The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck said, "I define love thus: The will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth." (p. 82) He continued by saying, "Love is not simply giving; it is judicious giving and judicious withholding as well. It is judicious praising and judicious criticizing. It is judicious arguing, struggling, confronting, urging, pushing and pulling in addition to comforting. It is leadership. The word 'judicious' means requiring judgment, and judgment requires more than instinct; it requires thoughtful and often painful decisionmaking." (p. 111)

Reflecting on Paul's tender words, an early disciple named Clement wrote this: "Love joineth us unto God; love covereth a multitude of sins; love endureth all things, is longsuffering in all things. There is nothing coarse, nothing arrogant in love. Love hath no divisions, love maketh no seditions, love doeth all things in concord. In love were all the elect of God made perfect; without love nothing is well pleasing to God; in love the Master took us unto Himself; for the love which He had toward us, Jesus Christ our Lord hath given His blood for us by the will of God, and His flesh for our flesh and His life for our lives."

Does not love sear us with its seal? See her who clutches a sixty-year-old picture to her chest; with the comfort God has given us, let us comfort her. (2 Cor. 1:4) See him who waits in the cold room; let us be his family, holding his hand. Love sacrifices, love languishes, love awakens early, love stays up into the early hours, love leads, love suffers without a sound, love is the line that deepens. The balm of the gospel is the essence of God's love for us in that he sent Jesus our savior to die for us. Our healing came through his stripes (Isaiah 53:5). I adjure you, fellow-laborers of the vineyard, let us engrave this love on the tablets of our hearts. (Proverbs 3:3) Let us struggle, let us exemplify, let us extend ourselves, making room for others (II Corinthians 7:2). Let us break up our cardiacal fields and sow the seeds from which love buds. Prophecies will die, knowledge will be forgotten, but love will not (I Corinthians 13:8). Let love be our motive whenever we speak, whenever we act.

Love is the very flame of the Lord God (Song of Solomon 8:6).