“He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world …in love…” (from Ephesians 1:4)
When we think about the love of God, we tend to think in terms of our present relationship with God. We often see God’s love as a response to how our day is going – or in response to some good thing that we are doing, or in how we are doing our level best to avoid doing something we know we shouldn’t do.
We also tend to think that God loves us more when we are good – and loves us less when we are not. OR that God loves certain people more than others.
But the key factor of love is not found in the conditions for love… but in the choice to love. God did not choose to love any of us because we were good, or pleasant, or selfless, or decent, or honest… or, in some small way, worthy of His love.
God chose to love us because that’s Who He is (God is love!) – and what someone is… always leads to what that someone does.
Today’s verse points to something that we find hard to believe. The apostle tells us that God “chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.” If we understand this correctly, Scripture is telling us that before God ever spoke creation into existence He had the thought of us… and He treasured us from that very first thought. Before any matter had been created, He settled the matter of how He would invest His infinite love in us. This was His sovereign choice – and He made it before He ever created.
So… God loves us… but not just in some general ‘loving all humanity’ way.
He thought of you. He thought of me. And He treasured us both in an individual and infinite way “before the foundations of the world.” Before He ever said, “Let there be light!” the light of His love already existed… and was already given to us.
This is so hard for us to accept, because deep down in our heart of hearts we know that we really don’t deserve the love of an Almighty, All-knowing God.
But what we really need to understand is that we never deserved His love – but that didn’t matter to Him. What mattered was His choice – and being faithful to that choice… before He ever uttered the universe into existence. Love was His choice.
In a small way, we DO understand. When we have our own children, we choose to love them no matter what. Even before they are born, our hearts turn to them. We treasure them, we dream about them, we wonder about them, we dedicate our hearts to them.
And after they are born, even when they do bad things, disobedient things, hurtful things, rebellious things, stupid things – we still love them (even with all their faults and failings). There is just something within us that “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1Corinthians 13:7)
Children give us a muddled glimpse into the Heart of God for each of us. In a real sense, we are ALL His children, chosen as the objects of His amazing love – “before the foundations of the world.”
And our greatest joy in life comes when we make the choice to become willing recipients of the limitless love that God has been offering us… from all eternity.