God is love, and therefore God demonstrates His love to all—yes, even to those who reject His saving love (Mark 10:21-23). God’s special love for believers is extraordinarily unique, but His universal love for all is in no means meaningless.

God demonstrates universal love by granting the daily solar cycle and annual seasonal changes to all indiscriminately (Matt 5:44-48). God’s love is “that perfection of God which prompts Him to deal bounteously and kindly with all His creatures” [L. Berkhof, Manual of Christian Doctrine]. Even those who walk in their own ways are still recipients of God’s goodness to them (Acts 14:15).

God demonstrates universal love by holding together, through Jesus Christ, all the things necessary for each person’s life (Col 1:17). This is not just some mere sustaining force, but individual consideration (Acts 17:26-28). God designed life to be dependent on His benevolent love. What is significant in this passage is that God’s benevolent love is so individually bestowed, that it enables each and every person to seek Him and find Him. Acts 17:26-27 is indeed the practical version of the famous universal love of God in John 3:16!

Since “love is kind” (1 Cor 13:4), it is no surprise that God shows his love in universal kindness to everyone—even those who never are thankful (Lk 6:35)! God is gracious, merciful, slow to be angry at, excessive in love, good, and merciful to all and to everything that he has made (Psalm 145:8-9).

Love also involved joy and pleasure derived from the object of love. God’s love is universal in that sense too, as He rejoices in the whole universe as His Creation (Ps 104:31). Charles Hodge, in his Systematic Theology, writes: “As the universe teems with life, it teems also with enjoyment. There are no devices in nature for the promotion of pain for its own sake; whereas the manifestations of design for the production of happiness are beyond computation.” Surely that is evidence of God’s universal love!

Most uniquely, God’s universal love is displayed universally to the world in the giving of His Son to the world. Jesus showed the love of a close friend to Judas (Matt 26:48-50), prayed for God not to hold the sin of crucifying Him against the soldiers (Lk 23:34), and gave Himself so anyone could believe in Him and not perish (John 3:16).

God is love, and the demonstrations of that are felt by all.