He Stretched Out His Arms and Died

Jeremiah 31:3  “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

Search the scripture from Genesis to Revelation and you will find no evidence that God’s love can be earned, bought, or intensified.  The cross says, “there is nothing that you can do to make God love you less… there is nothing to do to make God love you more.”  He loved, and loves us all the same.  He loved us before we knew Him.  Love was, and is, an arbitrary decision by God.

When Jeremiah relayed God’s declaration of everlasting love he was not speaking of a “from this moment on” kind of love.  Rather, he speaks of a love that finds it’s origins in the very essence of God – before all time began.  He speaks of a love that lacks a terminus.  God’s love is an eternal constant that is forever giving, forever full, never waning, never wanting.  Love is the motive of God.  Love answers the “why” of creation, investing every moment with meaning.  The scope of God’s love is immeasurable.

Paul says that this love “surpasses knowledge.” (Ephesians 3:19) In other words, the sum of man’s knowledge cannot contain the magnitude of love.

Theologian Carl Barth was asked by his students to identify the most profound truth in the world. He replied,  “Jesus loves me,  this I know, for the Bible tells me so!”  Relationship with God is not something two parties grow into.  It begins with the understanding that God loves us.  Any other premise leads to a fractured view of God.  I wish I could properly attribute my closing quote, but the author is lost in time.  Somebody once said,  “I once asked Jesus how much He loved me.  He smiled and stretched His arms out wide… and died.”   There is no greater evidence of God’s love for us than the cross.

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