Everlasting Love

March 18, 2018

Just as God is eternal, his love for us is also eternal. He highlighted this truth when, through the prophet Jeremiah, he said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness” (Jer. 31:3). But why would God love us everlastingly? Of all his creations, we are God’s handiwork, created in his image and likeness. It was his plan that no one should perish but have everlasting life. However, this good plan of God for us is imperiled if we make the wrong choices, as was in the case of Adam and Eve. In their particular case, God did not abdicate his love for Adam and Eve when he included in his judgment the promise of a redeemer. He said, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Gen. 3:15).

God’s love is steadfast. The steadfastness of God’s love towards us was beautifully presented by the apostle Paul when he said, “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” (Rom. 8:38-39). Unlike the love we have for one another which is conditional and temporal, God’s love is steadfast. Not even death can separate us from him since even after this life, we shall be with him. It is his love for us that will translate us from this life into the next. In good times and bad times, God will be with us for he is Lord over all.

God’s love is sovereign. The apostle John described God’s sovereign love when he said, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10). His love is not dependent on anything that we have done. He loves us because he chose to love us. Moses, the servant of God, made this truth clear to the nation of Israel when he declared, “The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh King of Egypt” (Deut. 7:7-8). There is nothing that Israel has done that caused them to be deserving of God’s love. In fact, they were rebellious against God. This sovereignty of God’s love is akin to him being just. He said, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” (Rom. 9:15).
 
God’s love is personal. His love is directed towards us personally and individually. He said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3). He is not an impersonal God or one who loves generalities. He even said that he has a personal plan for us: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you” (Jer. 29:11-12). He is not a God far away but a God nearby. He loves to fellowship with us. In fact, he created us for his pleasure and he finds delight in our personal worship. But while God is love, he does not tolerate evil but deals with it in love. The Bible tells us, “My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son” (Heb. 12:5-6).

God’s love builds up. Even when we are at our lowest, he is quick to restore. He demonstrated this to Israel when he said, “I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful” (Jer. 31:4). Though there are times when we fall, he will restore us into his covenant relationship and will once again stand before him rejoicing – with singing and dancing. This joy is likened to what the Israelites experienced when they came back from captivity mentioned in Psalm 126. The Psalmist said, “Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:4-6).

Because God’s love is everlasting, we can always count on it. The apostle Paul asked, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Rom 8:35). Nothing and no one can separate us from the Lord of God because God’s love never fails. Hallelujah!