Jeremiah 31:3 - God's Great Love!

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you
with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. Jer
31:3 (NIV)

The most powerful scriptural metaphor for our journey is the
desert sojourn of the Hebrews.  In the desert they expressed all the
traits of the addicted personality.  They experienced the stress and
fear of withdrawal symptoms, longing for the old days of slavery.
They hoarded more of their manna than they needed, and it rotted.
They deceived themselves with idolatry and excuses.  They made
resolutions to obey God's commandments, only to backslide when left to
themselves.  They acted in self-centered, narcissistic, manipulative ways,
with self-images so eroded that at times they wished they had died in
Yet through it all, God guided the people of Israel, protected
them, suffered over them, commanded them and raged at them,
continually inviting and empowering them to choose to trust and to love.
The desert is where battle with attachment takes place.  The
saga depicts a journey out of slavery, through the desert, and toward
the garden that is home.  But it is much more than a journey; it is
the discovery of the depths of weakness, the power of grace, and the
price of both.
Moreover, what takes place in the desert is not simply difficult
travel and adventurous learning; it is repentance and conversion, the
transforming of mixed motives into purified desire, the greening of desert
into garden through the living water of grace.  There is no
geographic journey here; it all takes place within our hearts.  And we are
not only purged and purified, but we are allowed to begin a loving
courtship, a homemaking between the human soul and its Creator.  [Gerald G.
May; Recovery Devotional Bible]

If an angel should fly from heaven and inform the saint
personally of the Saviour's love to him, the evidence would not be one whit
more satisfactory than that which is borne in the heart by the Holy
Ghost. Ask those of the Lord's people who have lived the nearest to the
gates of heaven, and they will tell you that they have had seasons
when the love of Christ towards them has been a fact so clear and
sure, that they could no more doubt it than they could question their
own existence. Yes, beloved believer, you and I have had times of
refreshing from the presence of the Lord, and then our faith has mounted to
the topmost heights of assurance. We have had confidence to lean our
heads upon the bosom of our Lord, and we have no more questioned our
Master's affection to us than John did when in that blessed posture; nay,
nor so much: for the dark question, "Lord, is it I that shall betray
thee?" has been put far from us. He has kissed us with the kisses of
his mouth, and killed our doubts by the closeness of his embrace.
His love has been sweeter than wine to our souls. [Spurgeon, Charles
H., Morning and Evening]

"I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the
Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye." Ezekiel 18:32.
Satan is ready to steal away the blessed assurances of God. He desires
to take every glimmer of hope and every ray of light from the soul;
but you must not permit him to do this. Do not give ear to the
tempter, but say, "Jesus has died that I might live. He loves me, and
wills not that I should perish. I have a compassionate heavenly
Father; and although I have abused His love, though the blessings He has
given me have been squandered, I will arise, and go to my Father, and
say, 'I have sinned against heaven, and before Thee, and am no more
worthy to be called Thy son: make me as one of Thy hired servants.'"
The parable tells you how the wanderer will be received: "When he
was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and
ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him." Luke 15:18-20.
But even this parable, tender and touching as it is, comes short
of expressing the infinite compassion of the heavenly Father. The
Lord declares by His prophet, "I have loved thee with an everlasting
love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3.
While the sinner is yet far from the Father's house, wasting his
substance in a strange country, the Father's heart is yearning over him;
and every longing awakened in the soul to return to God is but the
tender pleading of His Spirit, wooing, entreating, drawing the wanderer
to his Father's heart of love.
With the rich promises of the Bible before you, can you give
place to doubt? Can you believe that when the poor sinner longs to
return, longs to forsake his sins, the Lord sternly withholds him from
coming to His feet in repentance? Away with such thoughts! Nothing can
hurt your own soul more than to entertain such a conception of our
heavenly Father. He hates sin, but He loves the sinner, and He gave
Himself in the person of Christ, that all who would might be saved and
have eternal blessedness in the kingdom of glory. What stronger or
more tender language could have been employed than He has chosen in
which to express His love toward us? He declares, "Can a woman forget
her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of
her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee." Isaiah
Look up, you that are doubting and trembling; for Jesus lives to
make intercession for us. Thank God for the gift of His dear Son and
pray that He may not have died for you in vain. The Spirit invites
you today. Come with your whole heart to Jesus, and you may claim
His blessing.  SC53-55