God Loved First
"We love him, because he first loved us." (1 John 4:19)
Have your mom and dad ever told you that they "love you more" than you could ever love them, or that they have loved you longer? If so, they are probably right. You cannot even remember knowing your parents when you were first born, or – some of you – when you were first adopted, and you are probably still learning how to love them rightly. Your parents loved you first. They brought you into their home, and you belong to them. You are learning to respond to them with love in return. But they will always be the ones who loved you first, not the other way around.
Who "invented" love? Who created it? 1 John 4 reminds us that God did. God IS love. He is the Source of perfect love. And He loves people even when they are not lovable! Could a human being ever think up on his own the idea of God's love? No. Could we ever earn God's love? No. Could we keep loving others if it were not for God's help and what He has done in loving us first – before we were even able to love Him?
What are your thoughts when you remember that God is the Source of all love, and that He chose to love you when you were unlovely and unloving?
It makes the tears run down one’s cheeks to think that we should have an interest in that decree and council of the Almighty Three, when every one that should be blood-bought had its name inscribed in God’s eternal book. Come, soul, I bid thee now exercise thy wings a little, and see if this does not make thee love God. He thought of thee before thou hadst a being. When as yet the sun and the moon were not, – when the sun, the moon, and the stars slept in the mind of God, like unborn forests in an acorn cup, when the old sea was not yet born, long ere this infant world lay in its swaddling bands of mist, then God had inscribed thy name upon the heart and upon the hands of Christ indelibly, to remain for ever. And does not this make thee love God?
~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Those are some difficult words from Charles Spurgeon, but they are very true. Our response to God's kind of love should be to love Him more and more. 1 John 4:19 says in a very simple way that we love God, because He first loved us. God is loving; it is a mark of His nature, and we who are believers should be marked by His marks. In the Bible, believers are taught to love one another because of the way that we were loved first by God.
God loved us first, so we should love Him!
» Do I really love God?
» Why do I love God?
» Is it difficult for me to treat others with the kind of love I've been given?
Truth In Real Life
“I know whom I have believed.”
Daniel Webster Whittle was born in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, on November 22, 1840. Born to a very godly mother, Daniel Whittle learned about God at a young age. He grew up learning Bible stories and Scripture verses, but he struggled with whether or not to give his life to Christ.
At age 21, Daniel served in the military during the Civil War. In 1861 he enlisted as a second lieutenant and left to fight for one year.
“Major Whittle,” as he would come to be known, was injured in the Civil War and lost his right arm – so he returned home. While in the war hospital, he wanted something to read. He picked up a New Testament to fill his time. While he was reading it, a nurse approached him and asked him to speak to another soldier who was dying. Daniel declined, but the nurse pressed him further. Daniel tells this story:
“I dropped on my knees and held the boy’s hand in mine. In a few broken words I confessed my sins and asked Christ to forgive me. When I arose from my knees, he was dead. A look of peace had come over his troubled face, and I cannot but believe that God, Who used him to bring me to the Savior, used me to lead him to trust Christ’s precious blood and find pardon. I hope to meet him in heaven.”
Shortly after this experience, Daniel Whittle met another man who would influence his life deeply. He met D.L. Moody – the famous evangelist. Mr. Moody recognized that Daniel had musical gifts and encouraged him to join him in his work. Daniel agreed. Over the years, he wrote over 200 hymns, including “The Banner of the Cross,” “There Shall Be Showers of Blessing,” and “Moment by Moment.”
How are you using the gifts and spiritual heritage that God has given you? God gives us chances every day to witness. Are you witnessing?
1 Peter 3:15 – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.