Because He First Loved Me

I’ve been going through what I call a spiritual lull these past couple of weeks. I haven’t been reading my Bible as much as I should, and when I do pray it’s more out of Christian obligation than heart-felt desire. So Saturday morning (5:30am to be exact) I said a prayer before work asking God for the grace to get out of this spiritual valley and to ignite a fire within me. I prayed for my worship to be pure and my praise to be true.  My desire is to chase after Him with all my being, in order to reach new heights and have greater intimacy.

After “Amen,” I was out the door.

At work I was mostly going through the motions – checking in members, handling complaints, etc. – and wishing I was back in bed. I was finally relieved to get my break and get some much needed caffeine in the form of a large French vanilla iced coffee.

As I power-walked down the street I heard voices singing. I looked ahead and saw four people— three men and a woman— harmonizing, but I couldn’t make out what they were singing. Living in NYC, it’s quite common to see people performing on the street or just being weird, for lack of a better term, so at first I paid it no mind. But as they got closer, I heard:

Oh, how I love Jesus. Oh, how I love Jesus. Oh, how I love Jesus because He first loved me.

My face barely suppressed the smile emanating from my inner being as I recognized this as a divine moment. It was as if God was telling me that even when I don’t feel love for Him, His love for me is unshakable in spite of what I’ve done and unconditional regardless of what I haven’t. It is never fleeting, but firm. For both believers and nonbelievers, it is not Him but we who allow our love for God to turn cold and stale. Our love can easily be shaken because of what we feel He hasn’t done, and conditional based upon His fulfillment of our expectations.

But I’m thankful now in remembering that God’s love is not contingent upon my spiritual highs and lows; for as the song says, He first loved me.

Consider what you owe to His immutability. Though you have changed a thousand times, He has not changed once.
– Charles Spurgeon

Tara Pook