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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A Persistent Love

A Persistent Love

Keith Wishum recently shared an example of persistent love from the annals of American history:

Bess Wallace had known him since they first met at school when she was five. But she wasn't
particularly impressed with the gangly boy with the glasses. After graduation, she left with no

The young man felt differently about Bess. "I thought she was the most beautiful and the sweetest
person on earth," he said, and he determined to win her heart. For a year, he showered her with
attention and a flood of letters. Then he proposed.

She declined.

Still he refused to give up. For 8 more years, he continued writing and visiting, proclaiming his
love to Bess. Because she was affluent and he was not, he launched into a variety of business
ventures trying to earn his fortune and impress her. Through 2 years of combat in WWI, he continued
his letters to her, carrying her picture in his pocket.

Over the years, Bess slowly came to love her persistent suitor and eventually promised to marry him
upon his safe return from war. In June of 1919, she became his bride: the bride of Harry S. Truman,
who would later become the 33rd president of the United States.

Truman practiced a persistent love. Not many men continue to love even when rejected. Not many
endure career failures in hopes of impressing a woman. Few would devote nine years of attention and
effort in hopes of being loved in return.

God would.*

God's love for us is so persistent that He sent His one and only Son to save us. "Although [Jesus]
existed in the form of God, [He] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped (i.e., a
thing to be held on to for advantage, ESV note), but emptied Himself, taking the form of a
bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled
Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" (Philippians 2:5-8 NASB).

Jesus' death on the cross was the only sufficient payment to redeem us from our sins (1 Peter 3:18).
God gave His Son and Jesus gave His life to save us. He has revealed in His word how we may receive
the blessings that come through Christ's atoning sacrifice. His desire is that the message of
salvation through Jesus continue to be shared throughout the world (Matthew 28:18-20).

God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts
16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans
10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He has
promised to continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John

He continues to give us opportunities to accept His offer of salvation and eternal life. "The Lord
is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not
willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). He continues
to call us through the Gospel message (2 Thessalonians 2:14). He is waiting, longing, for more to
answer His call. That's persistent love.

If you haven't obeyed the Gospel, He's waiting on YOU. He loves you and wants you to be saved. He
demonstrated His great love for you by giving His Son to die for your sins (Romans 5:8).

Won't YOU accept His offer on His terms?

-- David A. Sargent

* From "A Word from Williams Road" by Keith Wishum, minister of the Williams Road church in
Americus, Georgia. 4/30/19.

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