We Love Because He First Loved Us
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he first loved us”
1 John 4:10
For many of us growing up, love did not flow freely through our families and through life as The Lord originally intended. We have come through life broken and kicked, and some of us have been kicked pretty hard. We have developed, like the words of the prophet Isaiah, “calloused hearts” (Isaiah 6:10). Our skin becomes thicker and so we are numb to pain; like a shell of defense to repel the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”. The love that the world gives can be fragmented and fleeting, based so much on performance, talent or “good” behavior. We are loved one day, only to be forgotten the next.
But God doesn’t love as the world loves.
Consider this - before you woke up this morning God already loved you!
The Danish philosopher, theologian and poet Soren Kierkegaard in this beautiful prayer (from his book of collected prayers) shares the thought that God has not only loved us first but continues to love us first in all things, without ceasing.
“Father in Heaven! You have loved us first, help us never to forget that You are love so that this sure conviction might triumph in our hearts over the seduction of the world, over the inquietude of the soul, over the anxiety for the future, over the fright of the past, over the distress of the moment. But grant also that this conviction might discipline our soul so that our heart might remain faithful and sincere in the love which we bear to all those whom You have commanded us to love as we love ourselves.
You have loved us first, O God, alas! We speak of it in terms of history as if You have only loved us first but a single time, rather than that without ceasing You have loved us first many things and every day and our whole life through. When we wake up in the morning and turn our soul toward You - You are the first - You have loved us first; if I rise at dawn and at the same second turn my soul toward You in prayer, You are there ahead of me, You have loved me first. When I withdraw from the distractions of the day and turn my soul toward You, You are the first and thus forever. And yet we always speak ungratefully as if You have loved us first only once.”
Soren Kierkegaard 1813-1855
No matter your history of love lost and/or love not given, by parents, family, friends, the world at large, meditate on the words of James Bryan Smith.
“God loves us first and loves us always and in every moment – with a passionate love because God is for us, God longs to be with us, and God wants what is best for us. And in every moment of every day, He finds us delightful.”
James Bryan Smith
Do you struggle with the thought that no matter what God loves you, He is for you?
That before you woke up this morning, God already loved you.
I would love to hear your thoughts email me - firstname.lastname@example.org