Unfailing Love in the Time of Granola Balls!

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Happy Valentines day, everyone!  I bet a lot of you are thinking “Happy for who?”  Yes, Valentines Day is one of those holidays created for the blessed few who have already found their kinsman redeemers.  I am not one of those.  And originally, when thinking about Valentines Day, I had planned to back a huge plate of brownies, put in New Moon, and revel in sugar and solitude, the absence of a lover in my life.

But I think that’s where our idea of love and Valentine’s Day gets us started off on the wrong track.  And that’s why I felt led to have my first post be here, for you guys, on Valentine’s Day, because there is so much more to love than cards and kisses. (PS, Here’s a little mini-devotional for Valentine’s Day!  If you just want the recipe, you can skip down…but I really wish you wouldn’t!)  And I think we often forget that we have the ultimate lover, who loved us thiiiiiiiiiiis much (insert mental image of Jesus on the cross).  Now, maybe you’ve heard that a million times in Sunday school, or maybe this is your first time.  Either way, it never hurts to hear it again and again.  And again and again.  I think it’s a good thing to remember when we’re trying to balance repentance and servitude (more to come on this one ;D).  So first, for today, I want to talk about God’s love for us.

When starting this post, I figured I’d look in the most obvious place for verses talking about God’s love for mankind, for us: the concordance.  Without even looking at a single first, we can get a sense of how much God loves us just by the shear number of times that love is mentioned in the Bible.  Sure, there is romantic love, brotherly love, etc. but still, all love.  That means it obviously means something to God.

One of the first times we see love mentioned in reference to God is in Exodus 15:13, where it says:

“In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.”

You’ve got Moses and Miriam singing here, praising God, and as they mention his love, they see that it is unfailing.  These people have just come out of one of the harshest periods in the Bible: when then the Israelites were held under the bondage of Egypt.  Many of them turned away, many believed that God had forgotten them.  But He hadn’t.  And He still doesn’t.  God will never forget his people!  His love is unfailing, and according to a very random Google search, this means that God’s love is reliable or constant…it is constant!  Just think about that for a minute.  We all say we love, I don’t know, popcorn or Twilight (I know, I know-insert your more relevant example here), but do we constantly love popcorn or Twilight?  Is our love for these things reliable, unfailing?  I don’t think so.  It’s even hard to imagine that love between human and anything is unfailing.  But that’s just it: God’s not human, He’s well…God.  What means when His Word says that His love is unfailing for His people, than that means His love does not stop just because we didn’t do Bible study for an hour today, or that He stops loving us when disappoint Him by turning from Him.

You see this same thing manifesting itself in Romans 8.  I think Paul captures this idea as beautifully as we could ever hope to imagine.  Romans 8:38-39:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Nothing, nothing in all of creation has the ability to separate us from this unfailing love that He so magnificently showed in the person of Christ, who came and demonstrated the power of true love, by becoming totally separated from God (which, because He was God, is a pain I don’t think we could ever grasp) so that we won’t ever have to be.  There’s no curtain anymore, and there’s no more sacrificing, nothing else that we have to do other than accept this love that cannot ever be taken away (and by that acceptance, other things should come naturally…).  So while romantic relationships can come and go (or be awesome, but still, not be as powerful as God’s relationship with us!), let’s take a moment this Valentine’s Day to remember exactly what it means to say you love something, knowing that it is inevitably less than when God says, “I love you.”

Song to listen to while mixing: From the Inside Out by Hillsong

Granola Balls!

Modified for ease in a dorm room from an amazing food blog, gimme some oven, here.

2 packets of blueberry Quaker oatmeal

1/2 cup Skippy peanut butter (I used super chunk)

1/4 cup dried cranberries

3 tablespoons of honey

A splash of Almond Breeze, Vanilla (not pictured)

1) Pour all ingredients into medium-sized mixing bowl.

2) Mix it all together (don’t be afraid to use your hands!!!)

3) Then stick it in, stick it in…into the fridge for about 30 minutes.

4) Take everything out, roll ’em into balls (I made about 25) and keep them in the fridge for up to a week!

1 serving=1 ball

Makes 25 servings.  Calories per serving: 41 Sugar: 4g Protein: 1g

(Phew, so that was my first post!  Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness!  I hope you enjoyed!  I know the recipe is super simple, but I really love these things.  So anyway…questions? Comments? Personal experiences? Ways that I can pray for you?  Comment below, let me know what you think, and share it with your friends!  God-willing, more to come.)

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