He First Loved Us

God loves us with an everlasting love. His love for us never runs out. It never fails. It never comes to an end. And it also had no beginning… He loves us because He is love. Therefore, it is clear that He loved us before we ever loved Him. And a revelation of that will cause us to love Him in return…

1 John 4:19 NKJV
We love Him because He first loved us.

The only reason that we can love God is because He loved us first. It is impossible to love God without first knowing that He loves you. God is the initiator every time. For God so loved the world, that He gave… His love compelled Him to action, initiating the restoration of our relationship with Him, reconciling us back to Himself. Following Jesus is not about how much you can love God, it is about how much He loves you. You cannot love God adequately. So, you might as well give up and simply focus on how much He loves you…

Matthew 22:34-40 NIV
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ ’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

But aren’t we meant to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength? Jesus said it right there. It is in read writing. It is the first and greatest commandment. The Greek word translated first means chief, best and foremost in order and importance. And so, isn’t loving God the best, and most important thing? Yes, of course it is. But, tell me, how is that going for you? Are you attaining this standard of perfection yet? Are you truly loving God with absolutely everything inside of you? Every fibre of your being? I know that I am not!

Here Jesus was tested, by an expert in the Law, with the question of what is the greatest commandment in the Law? This is talking of the Law of Moses. And we are not under that Law anymore! It has been abolished, disannulled, nailed to the Cross and taken away. It is obsolete. Finished. Done. And done away with. And with it went its first, and greatest, commandment. We now have a better covenant based on better promises (Hebrews 8:6). The New Covenant is based on promises, not commandments (no matter how great the commandment!).

Remember, the New Covenant comes with one – only one! – commandment. And that is to love one another, as Jesus has loved us. The promises that the New Covenant is based on are all about how much Jesus loves us. Promises of forgiveness, health, prosperity, blessing, joy, peace etc. They point us to the unconditional, everlasting, perfect love of God. And when we experience this love, we will start to love others effortlessly, fulfilling the single commandment of the New Covenant automatically. The simplicity of Christ!

And don’t worry, God is most definitely part of the “others” that you will start loving effortlessly. Straight after John said that we love God because He first loved us, He said: “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20). To love God is to love His children. That is primarily how God receives our love.

Hebrews 6:10 NIV
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

We show God love by helping, serving, and ministering to His people. And the only way to do that, is first to be helped, serving, and ministered to by Jesus. You can only give away what you have got. You can only love God because He has first loved you…

Peter

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