1 John 4:19...
We love him, because he first loved us. (WEB)
This is one of my most favorite verses in Scripture! Though it only contains 8 words, I believe this one small verse describes the Christian life in its entirety. The only reason that we have any capability to love God is because He first loved us! God initiates and we respond. James 1:17 tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of Lights.
When we realize that He is the source of all good things and we are simply the beneficiaries of His kindness, it will change how we see the Christian life. No longer will we be 'trying' to earn His favor. No longer will we look to our own twisted expression of self-righteousness to justify ourselves in His sight. No longer will we try to compete with other brothers and sisters to get His attention.
The more that we realize that the Christian life is simply about us receiving what our Papa freely gives us, the less we will strive to earn what already belongs to us... His unconditional love and acceptance! My prayer today is that the Holy Spirit would give us more revelation about the profound power found in today's Daily Reading.
We love because He first loved us. The only reason we can continue to love is because He is continuing to pour His love into our hearts! May we all cease from our own self-effort and sink deeper into the extravagant, eternal love that God has for us... right now.
1 John 4:9-10
9 By this God’s love was revealed in us, that God has sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. (WEB)