He First Loved Us

“We love because God first loved us.”

This wisdom comes from a man named John, who knew Jesus personally and had experienced God’s love firsthand. What did John mean about love? I think he meant that we can’t generate our own love from out of nothing. We can’t imitate, copy, or fake the sort of love John is describing.

If I think I’m going to wake up in the morning and gut it out – just love, love, love everybody I see, then I do not understand real love. Love is a gift first, a “grace” from God. We can’t earn it through holiness. We can’t measure it by time or worth. God’s love is higher, wider, deeper, and longer than we can ever imagine. We can only receive it.

We love because He first loved us. John was telling us to receive first, give second. If we don’t receive God’s love, if we haven’t fallen into the arms of love, it’s going to be very hard to extend any genuine sort of love to others.

So, today, what can you do to receive God’s love? Take a walk maybe? Sit still for a bit? Marvel at a mountain, or stand by a tree? Pray, hike, read, journal, bake, create, stare out the window, or do whatever is nourishing to you. And as you do, remember you are God’s child. Imagine yourself as a child in the loving arms of God, and allow Him to love you. Receive!

Then, give.

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