“Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.”
– Genesis 2:8
At the beginning of time, God created Adam and placed him in the Garden of Eden. Later, He saw that His friend needed a companion, so from his side, He created Eve, his perfect helpmate. While I’m sure this is nothing new to you, you may not be aware of the significance of the names of humanity’s native couple. The Jews reading the Torah would have recognized the word Adam as an identification for the man, but they also would have seen a double meaning that translates as humanity. Similarly, when they beheld the moniker Eve, they would have understood that the deeper definition for her name was life. Therefore, in the garden, the Lord placed humanity and life — the pinnacle of His creation — made in His image and endowed with the ability to decide how they related to Him and to their surroundings. Though their choice ended up costing the world a great deal, the truth is that without the presence of the forbidden tree and the freedom to choose whether or not to eat from it, God’s love for Adam and Eve would not have reached its highest form. To put it in modern terms, if I were to force my wife to give me a kiss and threaten to harm her if she didn’t, that wouldn’t be love, it would be coercion. Similarly, without the ability to make a choice to reject Him, the love between humanity and God would not be a blessing or a gift, it would be an obligation — one to be kept only out of fear.
My friend, there is no fear in love because love is freedom. In these strenuous times, it’s important to remember that when you chose Jesus, you inherited the precious and priceless gift of being truly accepted, regardless of your performance. As a recipient of the far-reaching blessings of Christ’s bountiful love, you can rest in the assurance that you are welcomed… just as you are. Even better, you can extend the grace, compassion, and big-hearted goodness of your Savior to others as it overflows from within your soul. Knowing that you’ve been welcomed by the Beloved, you have liberty to love others with the same freedom that’s been entrusted to you!
Jesus, thank you for giving me the freedom to choose to love you. I want to extend to others the same liberty you have given to me.
How does being the recipient of the free gift of God’s love inspire you to pay it forward?
If you’re unable to attend your local church or need some additional weekly inspiration, be sure to tune into Hour of Power every Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. PT on TBN or watch online at hourofpower.org/episode.