Victoria Fellowship Church (VFC)
International and Interdenominational
House Fellowship for week commencing 4th September 2016
Quarter Theme: Standing On God’s Promises
Topic: I have loved you
Texts: Jeremiah 31: 1-14
Memory Verse: The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)
Our text for today, Jeremiah 31: 1-14 is a love story between Israel and God. It captures the true essence of the depth of God’s love when He declared that he has loved Israel with an everlasting love. It is a story of grace. It demonstrates the extent of His love, not only to Israel, but to all whom he has chosen- you and me. It offers great hope that no matter who we are and what we have done, He loves you. The motive for His love is to bring us close and stay closer to Him.
God’s love for Israel, whom he described as a virgin bride (31:4), is everlasting and has persisted through the experienced judgment. Because of their sin, they were exiled to Babylon, but through this difficult time in their history, at no point did God’s love for Israel cease; it is everlasting. His faithfulness to Israel had remained steadfast through this time of Israel’s infidelity and the consequent judgment. God was even now at work in death to bring new life. Romans 5:8 corroborates this.
This emphasis on divine love and faithfulness is used to ground God’s renewed promises to Israel. Because God loves Israel, He will act to save them as he is faithful to His promises. We are partakers of the covenant and thus extend to us. Please note that Israel brings no words or deeds to this relationship that motivates God to make His salvation known to them. What motivates God is His love for Israel and His faithfulness to the promises He made to them and their forebears.
We need to understand God’s unconditional love. No wonder Apostle Paul said in 2 Thess 3:5 “May the Lord bring you into an ever deeper understanding of the love of God”. Many people believe that God is distant and uninterested in us, but this is isn’t true. God loves us deeply and has gone through great lengths to have a lasting, personal relationship with us. His love motivated Him to send His only begotten son (John 3:16). He put His love to action, even at His inconvenience. When we love the brethren, we will demonstrate it by our action even when it cost us something or inconveniences us.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
- What does the statement “I have loved you” mean to you personally? Do you think there is anything that can take away this love of God from us? Romans 8: 38-39
- Discuss practical ways we should respond to God’s love for us. Romans 6:1; John 13:34-35
- Each verse in Jeremiah 31:1-14 brings out the characteristics of God’s love for man. From those scriptures, identify and discuss these characteristics. (For example, from verse 4, we can find out that God’s love builds and does not remember the past i.e. calling Israel Virgin, despite their betrayal and backsliding)