We Love Because He First Loved Us

By Francis Frangipane

Do you love Jesus Christ?  Is there a part of your heart that not only intellectually accepts Christ's death for you, but actually loves Him for the price He paid? 

Do you love His word and appreciate the many times He's rescued you from difficulties and battles, many caused by your own sin or foolishness?  Do you love how He accepts you unconditionally when you turn to Him? He has forgiven every sin you have ever committed.  How can you not love Him? 

For too many people, knowing Jesus goes no deeper than agreeing to the historical fact of His existence. However, loving Him is a distant, almost unnatural reality for them. They take His name in vain or anger and, incredibly, use it as a curse. However, when you say the name of Jesus, its very sound calms the troubling in your heart.  They mock His righteousness and delight in lawlessness.  Yet, you love righteousness, even if you fall short of your own spiritual aspirations. 

The fact that you possess love for Christ, even if your love is imperfect, proves something vital about you. The very existence of your love has been cultivated and awakened by God's love for you.  The living Christ has actually approached you and revealed Himself to you. As it is written, "We love, because He first loved us" (I John 4:19).

Today, Christians argue about doctrines and divide over eschatologies.  Yet, let us look at the deeper issue: do we each love Jesus Christ?  If so, our love for Him is the result of His love for us.  You see, the proof that we truly know Jesus Christ is not measured by the degrees we post on a wall, but the degree of love for Him that burns in our hearts. 

Do you love Him?  If so, it is because your love is a response to the relentless warmth of God's love for you.  His love has proven itself irresistible. He says, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you" (John 15:16).  Again, He says that "No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him" (John 6:44).  Even our coming to Him is a product of His love for us.

When I say, "I love You Jesus," it is because at some point, long before I knew Him, before I could discern His voice or recognize His influence in my life, His love was drawing me to His heart. Yes, I know I am not worthy, but still Christ loved me.  True, I have no righteousness of my own, but I imagine there was a moment in heaven when the Son turned to the heavenly Father and said, "I love Francis. I will bring him to Myself, show him My ways and become the strength of his life." 

Never wonder if God loves you. Rather, look at your heart. Do you love Him? If so, your love for Him is proof of His love for you. We love, because He first loved us.

Heavenly Father, help us to pause, to absorb into our consciousness the impact of Your purposed love for us. Let this wondrous love influence everything we think and all that we do and become: I am my Beloved's and He is mine. You banner over me is love.  Let my life be flavored by Your unfailing mercy until, with all my heart, I love You, even as You have loved me.