“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 (ESV)
Why do I love Jesus? As we interns volunteered at a VOM Advance conference this past weekend, an idea struck me that has become one more reason why I love the Savior.
What does “first loved” that John discusses look like? During the first session of the conference, a story about Muslim who heard the gospel especially caught my attention. Not knowing Christian expressions like hallelujah, the man proclaimed, “Allahu akbar! [God is great]” He startled the congregation, as the Arabic phrase is used by suicide bombers just before detonation. But the Lord startled me with a thought: regardless of the man’s limited knowledge, Jesus knew and loved his heart.
Jesus knows the hearts of His people and the hearts hardened against Him. He is not threatened by human ferocity or resistance. Humans fight Him, curse Him, mock Him, hate Him, and butcher His children with actions and words, yet He loves us. The man who can forgive one who persecutes His children certain does love. Though I’d just get angry at evil people, Jesus is so merciful and loving that He woos them.
His mercy and forgiveness don’t come from a lack of caring for His children. In fact, out of the extravagance of His care does He deliver justice while showing mercy by being the payment for all who call on His Name.
At the conference, I realized that I love Jesus Christ because He loves sinners—not sin, but the people He created. From His broken body pours the precious substance all so desperately need: God's eternal love. As I love Him, I, a sinner, simply return what He has given me through the cross. The love I have for Jesus is a droplet from the deluge of His own love. That is how Jesus “first loved” me.
J.G. Spires is a college student studying English and Broadcast Media on the east coast. She grew up in a Christian family and came into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ while in middle school. Over the years, the Lord has developed in her a passion for His people and His Word. Her goal is to write for the edification of the Church and the evangelization of the lost. She loves being outside, writing fictional short stories and serving the Church.