"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." Jeremiah 31:3
God is the absolute center of all that exists. All nature and all created things revolve around Him. He is also the center of all His people, who form a wide circle around Him. His purpose is to draw them to Himself, their center, in eternal life.
"I have loved you with an everlasting love" means that God loved us and planned our salvation even before the world was created, when we were but thoughts in the creative mind of God. Amazing condescension! Unspeakable love!
"I have drawn you with loving-kindness" tells us that His love was first expressed in the kindness of our creation and continued care. But it is most beautifully expressed in the kindness of our salvation. What loving-kindness this is: "God so loved the world that He gave is one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Wonderful love, indeed!
Looking beyond His cross to His throne, Jesus promised: "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself" (John 12:32). He drew us through Baptism and by His Word. He continues to draw us through the preaching and teaching of His pure Gospel message. At the last He will draw to Himself in heaven and give us a crown of life.
PRAYER: Drawn to Your cross, O Lord, may we walk in Your footsteps here and enjoy the warmth of Your loving-kindness in heaven; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)