First Comes Love…

May 5, 2022

“We love because he first loved us.”

1 John 4:19

Written by Victoria Garrett from the Brentwood Campus

What is Love?

How would you define love? A warm, fuzzy feeling about someone? Serving your neighbor or showing affection? In our culture, there are many ways that love is defined. But where did love begin? At the end of the day, who defines what love is? Is it our culture, our feelings, or God Himself?

The Exact Definition

God is the definition and exact representation of love. And He showed that love to us before we ever loved Him (1 John 4:8, 19). First comes love because Jesus embodied what love looks like: He was and is patient, kind, selfless, humble, honoring of others, forgiving, true, protective, trustworthy, steadfast, unfailing, and so much more (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

God demonstrated His own love ultimately through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. While we were still sinners, Christ died to save us (Romans 5:8), and when we receive that love, it covers our sins forever. What a Savior!

What About Us?

Since we are fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s own image (Psalm 139:14), we were made to love Him back and extend His love to others. However, we can only love like God when we receive His love for us. Without Christ, people can partially love or appear to love, but they can never love like Jesus can. The Spirit of Christ enables us to love God and other people; apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

So, what happens now that we know of God’s love for us? We receive it and give it away daily. His love in us and shown through us is proof that we belong to Him (1 John 4:8). Jesus said that others will know we are His disciples by our love for each other (John 13:35).

Now What?

Reflect on the love you have received in Christ. Thank Him for the sustaining power and depth of His affections for you. Then, think about how you can extend this love to others. Who in your life needs to know that God loves them? How can you show them His love today?

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