Rescued from the pound
Image via WikipediaMy dog is a rescue dog. We've had her for several years now. She will still run away if given the opportunity. She will still bark at me when I come home like I'm an invader. She will still steal food off the counter. She will still jump on the furniture. But she also identifies with us as her pack. She is still thrilled when we come home. She usually remembers her rules. In exchange, she's well fed, treated for disease, petted, walked, spoken too, cared for and loved.
I have a master too. He rescued me.
Some people get worked up about God forcing His love on us. They call it "divine rape" and object to the insult to their free will. But I view God as our rescuer. It's not divine rape. It's divine rescue. We all are in the dog pound, doomed for execution unless we are adopted. The floors of our cages are covered with excrement and urine and flies. It's very noisy in there. When he picks us, he brings us to his kingdom. And we learn the rules of the house. And we learn to love and respect our master. Where is free will? The cages were never locked, but we still needed him to open them.
Jesus says about himself in Luke 4:18-19 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19