I have loved thee with an everlasting love… (Jeremiah 31:3)
Love. If any word was ever overused, yet undervalued, it’s this one. We use it to speak about people, places, objects or food, and then, when we want to express our truest, deepest sort of love, we find we need to add more words.
When God says He loves us, He means it. ‘Love’ with Him isn’t just an expression of positivity towards something or someone. Instead, it’s an all-encompassing, undeserving and total love in its fullest sense.
What passes for love nowadays changes frequently. One day, you might decide that you love pizza more than any other food, but after a week of eating only pizza, you’ll probably find that your love is on the wane! Our favourite place gets replaced by a new favourite place. We hear about couples – both celebrities and ordinary people, who declare they’ve fallen out of love with each other. Human love doesn’t really seem to last.
God’s love is different. His isn’t a temporary, change-your-mind sort. Instead, it’s an everlasting love. God is eternal. He never had a beginning; He never will have an end. His love for us is the same. We can turn around and peer as far as we can into the past, before the creation of the universe, and we still see God’s love. Then gaze into the future – right through the end times in the book of Revelation, when this earth has gone and there are new heavens and a new earth. Look as far as you can into eternity – His love is still there, stretching out into the distance, unchanging and forever.
People try to express the strength of their love by words such as ‘I love you this much’ (while stretching out their arms as far as they can), or ‘I love you to the moon and back.’ God has also shown how much He loves us. Not only a distance of approximately five feet, or of a few hundred thousand miles. The distance that divine love has gone is much greater – from the glories of heaven to the death of the cross at Calvary. God demonstrated His love by giving His Son to take the punishment for our sins.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)