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August 9 Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 31-32
“I have loved thee with an everlasting love.”
Meditate today upon God’s everlasting love for his elect. John Gill rightly observed, “God’s everlasting, unchangeable, and invariable love to His elect, through every state and condition into which they come, is written as with a sun-beam in the sacred writings.”
The Eternality of It
God’s love for us did not begin yesterday. It is not something born in time. His love for us does not begin with our love for him. — “We love him because he first loved us”(1 John 4:19). God’s love for us springs up from eternity, and is the ground of Divine predestination, of our election and redemption by Christ, and our calling by God the Holy Spirit (Jeremiah 31:3; Ephesians 1:4-6; Ezekiel 16:8). All God’s acts and works of grace performed for us before the world began arise from and are demonstrations of his everlasting love for us. Election was an act of God’s eternal love (Ephesians 1:4).
The Immutability of It
There is no possibility of change in our God (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17). God’s love does not change. It cannot be taken from us; and it cannot be destroyed, neither by us nor by hell itself (Romans 8:35-39). God’s love, like all his gifts bestowed upon men, is without repentance. He will never cease his own to cherish. Those who are loved of God have been loved of God from everlasting and shall be loved of God to everlasting. His love is eternal both ways. He will not depart from the objects of his love nor cease to do them good, for he cannot change (Jeremiah 32:40; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17).
The salvation of our souls does not stand upon a precarious foundation of time, but upon the immutable foundation of God’s everlasting love. We change often, but there are no changes in his love.
The Gifts of It
The gifts of God’s free and everlasting love are too many for us to calculate; but here are three gifts of God’s everlasting love to his elect. In comparison with these three, all others, great as they are, must be considered to be far, far less. — (1) The Lord God has given us himself because of his great, everlasting love for us (Ezekiel 37:27). – “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” — (2) The gift of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to suffer and die as our Substitute was and is the great commendation of his love to us (John 3:16; Romans 5:6-10; 1 John 3:16; 4:10). — “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15). — (3) The gift of His Spirit to regenerate, call, and seal us in his grace in “the time of love” is the gift of God’s everlasting love to us (Ezekiel 16:8; Titus 3:3-6). Indeed, all that God does in time, or will do to all eternity is only telling his people how much he loved them from everlasting.
The Distinctiveness of It
God loves his elect distinctively. The Word of God tells us in the plainest terms possible that God’s love for his elect is a special, sovereign, distinctive, and distinguishing love (Isaiah 43:1-5; Romans 8:29; Romans 9:11-24).
God loves his people delightfully. I mean by that that God delights, takes pleasure in, and is complacent with his elect because of his love for us. God so loves us that he smiles on us perpetually, even when he appears to be frowning upon us!
Our God loves us as he loves his darling Son. That means he is well-pleased with us (Matthew 17:5). The Father and the Son are one; and the Son of God tells us that His “delights” were with us from eternity (Proverbs 8:31). He could not have used a stronger word than this to express his love for us. The word “delights” expresses the most intimate, sweet, ravishing pleasure. Can you get hold of this? Our God so delights in us that he says, “Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse: thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes” (Song of Solomon 4:9).
The Efficacy of It
God’s love is more than a wish or desire in his heart to save sinners. God’s love for us is an effectual love. That simply means that those who are the objects of God’s love shall be saved precisely because they are the objects of his love. Otherwise the love of God is an utterly useless thing.
Knowing that God loved us when we hated him, that he loved us before the world began, that he loves us as he loves our Savior, that his love for us will never cease, never change, and never vary, these thoughts compel us to love him, and lay us under the greatest obligations possible to reverence him, worship him, devote ourselves to his glory and his will, and serve his interests while we live in this world (1 John 4:19; 2 Corinthians 5:14; Titus 3:5-8). O Spirit of God, ever constrain us to these things by the sweet revelation and knowledge of God’s everlasting love for our souls!