Key Verse: Jer 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
An amazing fact illustrated throughout God’s Word, is how much God loves us.
Jer 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…”
God knows us the way we will be, the way we will be acting, the way we will think… before we are even born. Although possessing this foreknowledge, He declares openly of His “unfailing loves” for us!
Ps 36:7 “How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.”
Ps 130:7 “Put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.”
Jer 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”
Isa 54:10 “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken.”
What a contrast with man, who claims to have unfailing love, and fails to even be faithful, if not through deeds, then through impure thoughts!
Prov 20:6 “Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?”
Matt 5:28 “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
How far has humankind fallen since the original sin in Eden!
Rom 3:10-11 “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.”
Question 1: How many on this planet can justly claim to possess unfailing love?
Question 2: How many are truly seeking God and are righteous?
Notice, we are the ones who broke our relationship with God by pursuing a life independently from Him. However, He is the One who takes the initiative to reach out to us and repair our broken relationship with Him. How much is His love for us! His love is unfailing!
Question 3: Read each of the following texts, and write down who is the first to reach out first to each of these individuals or groups of people.
Gen 3:8-9, 21 “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”… The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”
Gen 16:7-10 “The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.
Then the angel of the LORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count.”
Acts 7:30-31 “After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai.”
Acts 12:6-7 “The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” He said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.”
Acts 9:1-6 “Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Every time the One who reaches out first is God or His messenger (an angel). When Adam and Eve first sinned, God was the One who approached them with love and clothed them (see Gen 3:10).
When Hagar ran away from Sarai out of desperation, it was an angel from God who appeared to her and encouraged her to return to her mistress and gave Hagar the promise of a numerous offspring.
It was God who approached Moses through a burning bush, encouraging him to become his spokesman for the deliverance of His enslaved people in Egypt.
It was an angel send from God who appeared to Peter, although the disciple had not prayed for deliverance. He was set free from his prison.
Jesus is the One who appeared to Saul, whose intentions were to continue his murderous attempts against the Christians. He became an ardent Christian spokesman and traveled throughout the world to share God’s love with others.
God is the One talking to you right now through these words, impressing on you the veracity of these words and how much He cares for you. He is the One drawing you to Him.
John 6:44.65 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day…This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.”
Rev 3:20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”
Question 4: Who draws anyone to Jesus without?
Question 5: How did God show His ultimate love towards each one of us?
John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
Rom 5:10 “When we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son. “
Rom 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”
God loved us so much, that He was willing to die for us so that we could be reconciled and have fellowship with Him! What an amazing love! The King of the Universe willing to die for His creation to save it for eternity!
2 Cor 5:18 “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ.”
Question 6: How do you know that God loves you?
Jesus would have died just for you! Your friendship is important to Him! His hunger for your fellowship is incomparable! He loves you! Meditate over these words.
The Shingle Tear
There was just one. It dropped out of the corner of my eye, and before I could reach up to wipe it away, it had already coursed down my cheek. Where had it come from, this single tear?
In completion of an exercise given out at our home Bible study group, I had been spending some rare quiet time with my Best Friend. The assignment hadn’t been specific. The only instructions were to find a quiet place away from distractions, and open our hearts to God. Finding a quiet place is a challenge in my house, however, so when I found myself facing a 90 minute wait in the car while my boys were at puppet practice, I seized the opportunity to do my homework!
To try to explain in words the magnitude of those 90 minutes would be an impossible feat. All I can say is that God was right there in my car with me, and His presence was so tangible, his voice so loud, that I kept expecting to see Him in the passenger’s seat. The things God told me were numerous and far too personal to put down on paper, but the one thing that really stuck out in my mind was the words of Col. 3:12: “As those who are CHOSEN OF GOD, HOLY AND BELOVED . . .” I was CHOSEN by God! I was HOLY! I was BELOVED! It was not an idea I had contemplated before, and to say that if left me in awe would be an understatement.
And now, as the 90 minutes drew to a close, I closed my eyes to reflect on this for just a few more minutes: “Chosen by God” . . . “Holy” . . . “Beloved” . . . What did this mean in practical terms? How did this status of “Beloved” by God really manifest itself in everyday life?
That’s when I felt the warm, wet stream course down my right cheek, the cheek closest to the passenger’s seat. My eyes snapped back open. Tears aren’t foreign to me, but I didn’t feel any of the emotions that usually accompany them. “Maybe I’m just tired,” I mumbled. But that wasn’t right either. When my eyes are tired, they BOTH water and I get LOTS of tears . . . What was going on?
Then He spoke: “I shed that tear,” He said. “When you start up that engine, your mind will return to other things: what to cook for dinner, whether or not you will get funding for that equipment at work, how to teach your boys to put their clothes away . . . The thought that our time together will soon end brought tears to my eyes, and one of them dropped on your cheek.”
“Oh Lord!” I breathed, almost reverently touching that still-moist spot. “You have enjoyed this time as much as I have! But . . . How . . .”
My question about how a busy God would have time for me was immediately interrupted by the first line of Col. 3:12: “Chosen by God, holy, beloved . . .” Suddenly the full meaning of this verse struck me: I am God’s beloved. He desires to spend time with ME, to commune with ME, to have a relationship, a friendship with ME!
“Oh Lord,” I repeated, “why can’t we do this more often?”
He didn’t answer. He didn’t need to. I already knew. He WAS always there. It was ME who was too busy, too insecure. It was MY adamant belief that the God of the universe didn’t have time to spend with me; MY poor self-image that shouted I wasn’t important to God.
“Oh Lord,” I repeated. “Help me to ALWAYS realize how close You are, how much You desire to be with me! Help me to NEVER again let busyness or insecurity come between us! Lord, help these 90 minutes to go on forever!”
His response was clear: “That’s exactly what I died for!”
“So as those who are chosen by God, holy and beloved . . .” (Col. 3:12)
Assignment: Meditate (or in other words reflect, think about what it means) and memorize the Key Verse: Jer 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” What does it mean to you that God “loved you with an everlasting love?” What are some ways that you can remember how God has demonstrated that love for you? Are you grateful of that kind of love? Talk to God about how thankful you are that He cares for you.