He Loved Us First

August 13, 2021

19 We love because he first loved us.

1 John 4:19

Written by Gayle Haywood from the Brentwood Campus

I can still remember the night. I still remember the exact location. I still remember where we were going and what we were doing the first time I told my husband, David, I loved him. It was a significant moment in our relationship and the trajectory of our future.

As special as this moment was to him and to me, I wasn’t the first person to tell him, “I love you.” Certainly, his parents, siblings, other family members, and perhaps other girlfriends, expressed their love for him. But, in truth, none of us was first to express love to him.

Today’s scripture reveals who beat each of us to the punch line. God said it first. Love originated with Him. God is love. He created it. It was his idea, and He said it first. Not just to David, or each of us, but to each of His creations.

It is from God, who is love, that all love finds its source. Bible commentator William Barclay says, “When we love, we are bearing on the reflection of God, and we are living the very life of God. Love makes us kin to God…Love comes from God, and love leads to God.” Human love is a response to His divine love. We love because God loved us. Human love is not something which a man could create for himself—it is the response to the divine love of God.

Very simply, we love because God first loved us. God made the first move. Love originated with Him. In and through Jesus Christ, He has modeled what love looks like. What does this love look like? It is unending, enduring, unconditional, sacrificial, long-suffering, everlasting and eternal. Because of God’s love for us, He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to show us what love looks like. Jesus Christ is the manifestation of God’s love. He is the epitome, the supreme example, the perfect physical expression of God’s love directed to you, me and each of His other creations.

We can’t take the credit for love. True love is bound up in the very essence of God. We cannot fabricate it on our own. God loved us before we were capable of loving Him. God poured the love of Christ into our inner being so that we love with the same supernatural love with which we are loved.

Love is the primary way we are recognized as Christians and the most powerful evidence of being born again. We can only love others because of what God has done in our lives. We are the objects of God’s divine love, and He gives us the desire to love others. Loving our brother is not only an expectation, it is an imperative. Our ability to demonstrate love is a direct consequence of our status as God’s children.

I can and do love my husband, my family, my friends and others, but more importantly God, I love because God loves me.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. Today, be assured you ARE LOVED. God loves you with an everlasting and unconditional love. There is nothing you can do or say that will separate you from His love. Read this promise in Romans 8:38-39.
  2. Spend time expressing gratitude and appreciation to God for loving you first and for demonstrating to you what true love looks like.
  3. Look for ways to be the first person to express love and kindness to your spouse, your child(ren), your neighbor, a friend, or even a stranger. Love others well.
  4. Who in your sphere of influence needs to hear that God loves them and you love them, too? Seek to have a gospel conversation to share this good news.

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