“You loved me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:24
Before anything else existed, there was love.
God exists in three persons, and love flows between the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—it always has and it always will. The life of God is filled with perpetual joy because of the constant self-giving, and therefore receiving, that takes place within his own nature.
Isn’t that the most beautiful thing you’ve ever heard? This is the reason why love is so great! This is why the longing to love and to be loved runs so deeply in all our hearts. We are made in the image of God. We are made to give and to receive love just as God himself does.
Jesus said that the greatest command is to “love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” This is what we were made for. This is our highest calling! And the second is like it, “love your neighbor as yourself.” So what went wrong? Professor Michael Reeves says,
It was not that Adam and Eve stopped loving. They were created as lovers in the image of God, and they could not undo that. Instead, their love turned. When the apostle Paul writes of sinners, he describes them as “lovers of themselves, lovers of money… lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:2-4). Lovers we remain, but twisted, our love misdirected and perverted. Created to love God, we turn to love ourselves and anything but God.
The heart of what the Bible calls sin is a misdirected love—loving the wrong things. That’s the fundamental human problem. That’s why our first instinct is to hide from God. When Adam loved God, he walked with him in the garden. But when Adam’s love turned, he hid from God.
Will you take some time to reflect on your walking with and your hiding from God?