Do you believe that we love because we were first loved? It’s an interesting connection to make between love for others and our experience of love from another. God says he was first. And the test of God-like love is our ability to love those who sin against us…
We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
1 John 4:19-21
I believe God when he says he was first. He has made it clear that he loved the world so much that he gave his only son for us. We also know that this happened – this loving, sacrificial decision – before the creation of the world. Jesus was set apart to be the sacrificial lamb of God before creation (1Peter 1:20).
In other words, seeing in advance that his precious creation was going to reject him and go its own way, God not only continued with creation, he made a plan to sacrifice his son to reconcile us to him because he loved us.
He loved us first. There is no doubt about that.
So what? So if we are people of God, then we ought to love. We cannot be people of God unless we love others. All others. If we cannot love the people we see, how can we love the God we don’t see? Yet love for others is the most difficult thing we could ever try to so. Sure, we can love those who love us, and we might even lay down our lives for someone we love with all out hearts.
The test of God-like love, however, is our ability to love those who sin against us. That’s what Jesus did.
How are you doing with the love test?
I’m in need of a re-write. And I’m hoping God is grading on a curve. No such luck. The standard is himself.
Love others. All others.