I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
One of the questions I like to ask myself and others periodically is this: What does God think of you right now? Does he have a frowning face or a smiling face? Many who read these questions know the right answer in their head. Few feel it in their souls. Jeremiah 31 surprises us with that profound statement that our God in Christ has loved us with an everlasting or eternal love that transcends time and space. That love does not change nor is it influenced by our actions or inaction.
That the Lord would say this in Jeremiah's time is mind-blowing. Jeremiah has dressed down Judah for its persistent unfaithfulness in idolatry and an overreliance on politics. God has sent the Babylonians as an instrument of judgment to crush Judah, exiling the people from the land in the process. In the middle of all this, God tells the people - I love you!
This is a love we are not familiar with in our human ranks. Perhaps we get tastes of it with parents loving their kids no matter what. Still, even parents can be fickle or capricious when things go really wrong.
Not so with the Lord. He loves no matter what.
That love is meant to have an affect - to teach us gracious love. To show us a faithful love. If you desire to love Jesus Christ, his people and even the lost, you will never grow in that love until you first take in the love of God for you. The biggest barrier to our loving is our struggle to receive God's love. Ask yourself today - what does God think of me right now? Through Christ, does he look at me with a smiling face? If you can answer that question by sitting with it, you will be changed, and you just might find yourself loving in new ways.