You are loved with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)

FBC Earlville 9-06-15 10:30 AM Rev. J.B. Stopford, Pastor

INTRODUCTION Read 31:1-9 For September 13, please read Jer. 32 and learn about Jeremiah’s purchase. On September 20, our final message in this series of unique passages in Jeremiah will be from Jer. 45.
Today’s message highlights another one of those verses that you may have hung on a wall plaque. Elizabeth Elliot, author of “Through Gates of Splendor” and longtime host of the radio program, “Gateway to Joy”, used this verse every morning as her introduction to her program. The verse makes sense, but what did it mean for Israel – and for us today? PRAYER

# 1 THE GOD OF THE “OLD TIMES” “in the past” (31:3a)
The Jews of Jeremiah’s day were saying, “we remember the God of the old stories that our ancestors passed down to us. That’s ‘old times’. God is not for today.”
God specializes in being the God of history – even our history – to point us to the cross! God desires to be the central Person in our lives, and so designs our lives around His worship
Illustration: the clerk who refused to sign licenses for same-sex marriages. While our opinions may differ, the result is that it is drawing attention to Who she calls the central Person in her life – the Lord Jesus!
Why the burning bush? God hungers for worship!
How did Jesus deal with the woman at the well? John 4:24 “God is a spirit – and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
God hungered for worship in the OT days; He hungers for worship in the NT days.
Illustration: I found “fortune cookies” yesterday right next to the Matzos broken bread we use for the communion. Isn’t that WONDERFUL? What does my fortune for today say? (open cookie and read it) And WHY should I even consider allowing the cookie to run my life?
Fortunately, the Bible isn’t silent: 1 Cor. 10:11 (“These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.”); Rom. 15:4 (“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”); 2 Pet. 1:20-21 (“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”)
God IS the God of the old times! And those old times teach us today!

# 2 THE GOD OF THE “NEW TIMES” “everlasting love”
2 words here set God apart:
(1) everlasting It is used at least 95 times in Scripture, and 5 in Jeremiah alone: including 31:3, Jer. 10:10 (King); 20:11 (confusion); 23:40 (reproach); and 32:40 (covenant). God thinks things through everlastingly. Do we?
Illustration: I look at this week’s calendar – doctor’s appointments, republication primary Thursday, lunch date on Friday – in between is a funeral, work on finishing emptying George & Pearl’s apartment, OH, and all that involves the church. What did I forget? OH and love Thuvia! Do you see “everlasting” here? Not really – we think “today”. God thinks “everlasting”!
(2) love Depending on the version you use, “Love” appears 500 times in Scripture (264 OT, 236 NT – MORE in OT than NT!). What book has the most uses of “love”? Psalms! Jeremiah has 14 uses. But this is the ONLY verse in Scripture where “everlasting” and “love” appear together, side by side.
So by way of application, this is a dynamic verse! God desires to be a part of our TODAY. And He does so by letting us in on His heart – His is an EVERLASTING LOVE – in particular toward ISRAEL. (Let’s not forget that in light of current history). But by application, toward US.

CONCLUSION Which “time” are you in?
Is your awareness of the one true God current, or so far ago that it is no longer current but just a memory.
Jesus: “this do in remembrance” because He didn’t want us to forget – that He will be the God of the future, and He hungers to be our God today.
So what do we do now? We abandon ourselves to His everlasting love on display in our lives – not for what WE get out of it, but that so HE gets all the attention.
God, the God of everlasting love, has loved US with an everlasting love in the giving of HIS Son Who ABANDONED Himself to the cross, so that He could give US everlasting LIFE, so that in turn we may present all our lives abandoned to Him. i HAVE LOVED YOU WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE
Close in prayer

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