Monday, July 14, 2014

God Loved Us First and He Loves Us Best

- Before we knew God and before we were even born, He already loved us first. Even when we were spiritually dead in transgressions, polluted by Satan & worldliness, and enslaved to our sinful nature, God chose to love us and send His Son, Jesus Christ, to die as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (verse 10). He pursues us with His relentless love. He loves us so deeply and extravagantly, not because of who we are or what we do but because of Who He is. He loves because He is Love. "In Himself, God is Love; through Him, love is manifested, and by Him, love is defined." (~Burk Parsons)
- True love (agape love which is unconditional, selfless, and sacrificial) comes from God. Because we are so loved by God first, we're free to love God and others. God's love for us liberates us to live a life of love. Christ's love fills our hearts and overflows out of our lives. Our love for our brothers and sisters who are visible proves our love for God who is invisible. It's easy to claim that we love God but do we demonstrate our love for Him by obeying His command about loving one another? "If you love Me, keep My commands." ~Jesus (John 14:15) Do you walk the talk? Words don't mean anything if they are not backed up by actions. You're a liar if you hate your brothers or sisters in Christ while saying that you love God. How is your relationship with other believers? "A test of your love for God is to examine your love for others." (~Henry Blackaby)
- Love for God and love for fellow believers are inseparable. However, it's not about how much we love God; it's about how much God loves us. We receive His love and then share it with others. When Christ is in us and we're in Christ, love is evident in our conversation, actions, reactions, attitudes, lives. Love is not a feeling; it's a decision/a choice to meet others' put others above self. Love is our calling! The banner that flies over God's kingdom is the banner of love. Let's live loved and live to love well!
"Because of their dependence upon Christ's love they dared much, and because of their love for Christ they did much, and it is the same now. The children of God are ruled in their inmost powers by love. The love of Christ constrains them; they rejoice that divine love is set upon them, they feel it shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Spirit, who is given to them, and then by force of gratitude they love the Savior with a pure and fervent heart." (~Charles Spurgeon)
- Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love, grace, and mercy that You've given me freely and abundantly. Please help me to always show love, grace, and mercy to others. Please love through me and empower me to say and do everything in love. Please use my life to touch others with Your love and draw them to You, the Source of love. In Jesus' Name, I pray. Amen.

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