We love because God first loved us

We love because God first loved us

1. God’s abounding love:
“The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” (Psalm 103:8)
Though the Lord may be justly angry because of sin, he does not maintain his anger for long. Great as his wrath may be, his mercy is greater. God’s rule is characterized by grace.

 

2. God’s love compels us to love:
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8

 

Love must never be conceived of as a “natural” experience of the natural man. There is a “natural” love, but it must not be confused with divine love (agape). This agape love originates from God, became manifest in and through Jesus the Son, and then characterizes the lives of believers. The love with which we love is not our own. It is always God’s love in us. Because we abide in the Father and in the Son, the love becomes also our own love. So we love him with the gift of his love. We are also able to love our fellow believers with the love God has loved us with. Nothing can come out of a man that is not inside him first. If true love is to come out of him, then he must first come to know the love of Christ. God’s love in us requires deeds by which we show our love for one another. If one believer truly loves another person and does a good deed to help him, it is because Christ is working in that believer’s life. We cannot take the credit. God is love. His very nature is love. That “God is love” is explained by what God did. He sent his one and only Son into the world. Love involves concrete actions. God’s love required him to send his Son. God’s love toward mankind was supremely expressed when he sent his own Son Jesus as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

 

3. God first loved us:
“We love because God first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
Our love for others is not responding to love we received from them. It is not a love with the expectation to be loved back or to be appreciated or rewarded. We love because God first loved us.

 

4. God’s love demonstrated through Christ:
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
The love of God was demonstrated in action on the cross not mere words. We cannot save ourselves from the bondage of sin and death. Nobody can clean our sins because we are all sinners. One sinner cannot wash the sin of another sinner. Jesus is the only answer. In the Old Testament times only animals without injury mark and without disease are sacrificed to God. Jesus Christ is fully God but became fully man to reach down to mankind. Though he became a human like us, he is sinless. Therefore he is the perfect sacrificial lamb acceptable to God. Only the blood he shed on the cross can wash away our sins. Salvation is by the grace of God, which means unmerited favor from God. We don’t deserve it but God still offers it to us freely. It is a gift received through faith in Jesus Christ… the greatest gift of God to mankind.

 

5. A great promise:
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)
We have been given a great promise by Jesus himself.
Jesus will be ever near to us. He will never leave us in a state of desolate condition. He will never leave us without protection. Though Jesus ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God (a position of divine authority and power) his promise of the Great Comforter, the Holy Spirit is always with us. Believers are never fatherless or orphans. They are never comfortless.
“God’s love has seen me through sickness, discouragement,and frustration. His love has sustained me during times of disappointment and bewilderment.” — Billy Graham

 

6. Loving others proves
God’s love in us:
“If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1 John 4:20-21)

 

The confidence we have in knowing that God loves us delivers us from fear but not from responsible action. In fact, God’s love for us and in us sets us free to love others even as God loves them. To fail this test of love proves that one’s claim to love God is a lie. John makes clear that obedience expresses itself in a single command. Those who love God cannot stop from loving their fellow believers.

 

7. Loving God with
our innermost being:
He answered: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
God is the great “I AM”. There is no other like him. He loves us and he rightfully claims our love for him. This love is built on our relation with him.

 

To love him with all our heart is to love him with our innermost being. Our love for him must not be hypocritical love but complete devotion and undivided affection.

 

We must love God with all our strength. We must love him with all our power. We are commanded to love the Lord with all the energy of our being and to love our neighbours who are images of God like us. Love for God and love for neighbour are inseparable. The one is not possible apart from the other.