How do we love Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud? Let us count the ways…
We love that the music video has 200 million views.
We love that Ed is a Grammy nominated artist.
We love that he has three sold out shows at Wembley Stadium.
And we love that he has reminded us that true love goes way beyond the middle school topsy-turvy, touchy-feely pop song version that has come to define the greatest gift on earth. Case in point:
When my hair’s all but gone and my memory fades,
And the crowds don’t remember my name.
When my hands don’t play the strings the same way,
I know you will still love me the same.
—From Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud
I hope this song helps people think long and hard about throwing the phrase “I love you” around like it was costume jewelry trying to pass for a flawless diamond.
Oh, and I also hope that ballroom dancing makes a comeback—even though I was clearly born with two left feet!
But most of all, I hope this song has the same effect it had on me in reminding me that there is only one love that will last way, WAY past when my (and your) hair is all but gone and my memory fades.
The kind of love described in the song is possible from another human being, and a few (who are very fortunate) have found it. But an eternal and everlasting kind of love can only come from an eternal and everlasting Creator.
And here is what He is thinking out loud:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love
out of faithfulness I have drawn you close.” (Jeremiah 31:3, The Voice)
This word “everlasting” here is what Ed Sheeran is trying to get at in the sense that he will love the love of his life for the rest of his life. But that’s just it—isn’t it? When Ed is gone, then he is no longer here to love her. And this is true of all the “eternal love” promises we make and pledge and swear and sing about. They can last a lifetime, but a lifetime on this earth is but a drop in the ocean compared with eternity.
In the depths of our soul, we need a love that can last forever, and what God is thinking out loud for you to hear is this: I have loved you forever and I will love you forever.
Think back in your mind to the beginning of time…baffling isn’t it? When God said, “Let there be light”—He loved you!
But before even that…He loved you!
Before there were stars…He loved You!
Before there was the sun and moon…He loved You!
And even more mind blowing is this: God’s love not only stretches back through infinity past before the beginning of time, it plays on into the eternity of the future like an unbroken melody of acceptance and grace!
So when you hair is all but gone, you will wear God’s love like a crown. When the crowds don’t remember your name, He has carved your name on the palm of His hand. When your hands don’t play the strings of life the way they used to, His strength will carry you through the end of your life and even through death itself.
And at that moment, you and I will know the true meaning of this beautiful picture:
For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things, as when we stare into polished metal. I realize that everything I know is only part of the big picture. But one day,when Jesus arrives, we will see clearly, face-to-face. In that day, I will fully know just as I have been wholly known by God (1 Corinthians 13:12, The Voice).
Isn’t that amazing? Right now, we only get a blurry picture of love. We experience shades of it with a friend or a spouse like looking into a smudged, broken mirror. But one day we will be overwhelmingly confronted by the embodiment of love itself. We will gaze into the eyes of Jesus Christ and then (finally!) every fiber of our being will be enlightened and awoken to the everlasting love of God!
So knowing all this, perhaps it is time that we start thinking out loud about the love of God, as well? Our friends who don’t know Jesus have a hole in their hearts that can only be filled with the everlasting love of God. God is faithful in drawing them close, but we are the carriers of the message for the sake of THE Cause of Christ. Let’s think of ways to think out loud about God’s love as we dance through this life with our loving Savior!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Isn’t it amazing that we don’t have to look for an eternal love in this world? God’s love is eternal and unconditional, so with the pressure off, let’s go out and think out loud about God’s love for the sake of the lost souls who need to experience His love too!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Dear Father, thank You for Your everlasting love that goes back before there was time and stretches beyond eternity future. Fill us with a sense of that love so that we can share this message with those who seek what they will never find on this earth.
Read: Romans 5:8. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners (NLT).
Get: The Father’s Love Letter Video. Check out this enduring “Love Letter” from God, based entirely on verses from the Bible. Then pass it along to someone who needs to hear how much God loves them.
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Want to share this with your students? Copy and paste the following text message: “In the depths of our soul, we need a love that can last forever.” Do you agree? Read more in this week’s devo: http://hubs.ly/y0vSZl0”
Big Idea: Ed Sheeran’s song, Thinking Out Loud, has reminded us about the kind of eternal love that can only come from God Himself. Because we are the recipients of this love, we must share it with others.
Key Scripture: Jeremiah 31:3
- Why is Thinking Out Loud such a popular song?
- Do you agree that everyone is looking for an eternal love? Why or why not?
- How has God’s everlasting love impacted you?
- How can you apply this Soul Fuel to THE Cause?