“This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins…We love because He first loved us.” - 1 John 4:10, 19
In his book, Tortured for Christ, Richard Wurmbrand wrote: “Without fear we sang in prisons 30 feet beneath the earth. We were terribly hungry, beaten and tortured. The Communists were good at torturing us. We would say to each other, ‘the Communists beat us very well – let us do our work well. Let us sing well.’”
Wurmbrand, a man of Jewish decent, spent 14 years in Communist Romanian prisons for His faith in Christ. He was physically tortured and placed in solitary confinement for several years because of his unwavering love for Jesus Christ. He refused to stop spreading the Gospel, despite the cost. He refused to stop worshiping his Lord…even in prison.
Richard Wurmbrand understood true freedom. He knew firsthand the glorious freedom of loving God. From behind steel bars and within the confines of chains, he was free. Free to believe. Free to hope. Free to pray. Free to sing. Free to die for Christ. Because God loved him, he was free to love God.
God is love; therefore, He is the initiator of all love. Our love for God is always in response to His love for us. And the ultimate demonstration of His love is seen in His Son, Jesus. Whatever happens in life, if we look to the cross, we can know we are loved. Our risen Savior, the Lord over all creation, is our invitation to love God. And in loving Him, we are free to enjoy Him. We are free to love Him because He is worthy…to seek His face and not only His hands.
Have you paused lately to consider the freedom you have in Christ if you believe in Him? You are free to know and to love your Creator. The God who counts the stars and knows them by name loves you and knows the number of hairs on your head. You are free to talk to Him and ask Him questions. You are free to worship Him, even in chains, like Richard Wurmbrand did. You can love Him wholeheartedly, because He first loved you. What glorious freedom!
Holy Father, Thank You for loving me. Thank You for sending Jesus as the sacrifice for my sins so that I can love You, too. Without forgiveness I could not have a relationship with You at all. Lord, help me to be steadfast and firm in my faith. I want others to know that You love them. Use Me to accomplish Your plan. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.