Daily Devotion - February 3, 2021 - God Loves Us First

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion – February 3, 2021
Reading: 1 John 4:7-8, 18-19
Weekly Theme: God’s Love
Today: God Loves Us First

As a young child, I was taught to pray to God who loves me and wants to protect me. I recall singing the song, “O How I Love Jesus”....”because he first loved me”. I knew God loved me and prayed for his protection each night before I went to sleep. When I went to church as I child, I was taught by my Sunday School teachers of the love of God and his Son, Jesus Christ, who came to earth to show us to how to love God and love others. For as long as I can remember, I have had assurance that God loves me and that he loved me first but did not fully understand just how deep and wide God’s love is.

As I became an adult God’s love became even more obvious to me as I experienced his love and grace and to understand that even in God’s anger, which is slow to come, there is the desire to bring forth love. God makes the first step in his relationship with us and extends his grace to us. When we receive the gift of God’s grace, we enter a loving relationship with God. We love God as a Father, and as the Son and as the Holy Spirit because God (the three in one) loves us first and continues to love us. We cannot out-love God.

The bottom line is that God created each one of us for the sole purpose of loving us. Today’s passage reminds us that we cannot fully grasp true love (agape love – the love of God that is unconditional) without being in a relationship with God. Love that originates from God is the very love that will help us love one another as God loves us. In other words, God is the epitome of and the very source of true love. We are to revere and respect the power of God to save us from the evils of this world and to save us from our fleshly selves. We are also to love God and know that his love is perfect and when we are in relationship with God and receptive of the way his grace sanctifies and completes us, we can be made perfect in his love. Love originates from God who enables us to love others --- even those who may not love us back

Today I encourage you to reflect on the different phases of your life and remember when you first became aware of the reality that God loves you and loved you first. How did you see God as a child, or as a teenager or young adult? How do you see God now? More importantly, as you look back on your life with God, when did you first realize that God always loves you first? As you reflect over your life from childhood to now, hopefully you have come to understand that faith does not come from all that we have accomplished in God’s name but is based on this simple truth... God loves us first and desires for us to love him back and to love one another. This reality that God loves you first is the essence of and the beginning of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Dear God, thank you for loving us first. Help us to receive your gift of love, to acknowledge that You are love, and to share that love with others through our actions and deeds. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 
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