Wednesday, July 27, 2011

He loved me first ...

"We love each other because he loved us first." 1 John 4:19

Do you ever read/ponder/meditate over scripture and then later realize there is a (deep) lesson there for you? duh!

I studied this verse, among others, just recently and ... It’s really the gospel in a nutshell.

As I mulled it over in my own heart, I realized that while it’s a small verse, it holds great power.

The power to love.
While I was still dead in my sins, Jesus loved me enough to lay down his life for me. He freed me from the chains of sin that bound me. It’s this powerful truth of the gospel that gives me the freedom to love. The power of the gospel propels me to love. It’s so powerful, it’s a matter of cause and effect; He loved us, we now love each other.

Because I have been forgiven of much, I can love much. Because I am loved, I can love those who won’t love me in return. Because I didn’t do anything to earn His love, I can love unconditionally. Because He loved those who hurt him and deserted Him, I can love those who hurt me. Because He laid down His life for me, I can lay down my life in love for others.

I hide this truth, deep in my heart where the other treasures of His word are stored. Then comes a day of running late, whining, losing things, bickering and I’m pushed hard. And then one more argument breaks out. My irritation builds and the frustrated sarcasm begins to rear its ugly head. I breathe deep and pause. “He loved me first, He loved me first, He loved me first…” It’s like a mantra I repeat over and over in my soul. The gospel of love reminds me of all I’ve done against my Savior and all He’s done for me. Slowly the irritation and impatience lessens, like air being released from a balloon. I can love and am loved by God–because He loved me first.

“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. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:7-10

Had a God appointment a couple of days ago .. friend O' mine (let's call her "flip") and I went to do coffee on a Monday of all days. I (we) never do this kinda stuff. Pouring our heart out over coffee, laughing, solving the world's issues and then ~ an ordained God appointment. A horrific event happened and one of the waitstaff working was distraught. What do godly women do? they console, care, touch the brokeness and offer the only 'thing' they have .. to pray ~ offer a face to look into. So we did ... and off we went into the week.

He loved me first ... and He so totally completely loves you too!

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