You First Loved Me

John 3:15-17

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

My word for the year in 2015 was “Love”. It came about as the result of a dream I had towards the end of 2014. I’m actually surprised at how long ago this was since I remember it so vividly.

In the dream, I was at home, in the village where I grew up. There was a small mob around my family and me. Apparently, there were people “coming for us” because we were Christians. Some of the people around us were also Christians, but they had decided to pretend they weren’t and were trying to convince us to do the same. In the commotion, I felt the need to speak up, so I found a bucket and stood on it to get everyone’s attention.

“When I think about God, I think of Love. I see a God who had so much love He had to share it. So he decided to create human beings. Now, God knew that for man’s love to be real, it needed to be a result of free will. So he gave man a choice in the form of a command. The man could eat of any tree in the garden except the one right in the middle. God did not remove it from the garden because He wanted it to be man’s choice. To allow for real love, God had to allow the man the option to not love Him. Being God, He knew that the man would make the wrong choice, bringing death upon himself. So before creating him, God made a plan for man’s redemption then went ahead and created him. That’s why the Bible refers to Christ as the lamb who was slain “before the foundations of the earth.” Now you’re asking me to deny the God who created me, despite the fact that He knew He would have to die for me? The God who quite literally “loved” me into existence? They can go ahead and take my life! But can they really take what they never gave me in the first place?”

I woke up at this point, tears running down the side of my head. I felt your love so deeply in this moment. Every time I think about, it brings a flood of tears to my eyes. In fact, I’ve been crying almost uncontrollably while writing this.

I remember, when I was in high school I faced a short period when I actually questioned your love. I made a very rational observation about the tree in the midst of the garden. A loving parent wouldn’t put a knife among their child’s toys and then tell them to play with all the toys in the box, except the knife. The logical thing would be to not put the knife within the child’s reach. So, if you really didn’t want man to eat of the tree, why did you put it in the garden?

Luckily, this line of “rational” thinking only lasted a little while. (Phew!) I’m so glad, that you have opened my eyes to understand the importance of free will. I know there are many times when I have made the wrong choice. When doing what I thought I wanted was more important to me than loving you. I pray that you would help me change the things I “want”. In knowing that your will for me is always the best, then my wants will be aligned to your will and it will be easier to choose to love you.

6 thoughts on “You First Loved Me

  1. That dream was powerful! Makes me wonder how different the world would be if we really understood God’ s love

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