And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. (1 John 4:16-19)
The Love God Has For Us
Children do not understanding the deeper meanings of love when they are first born. They know the dependency they have on them because of all their needs. In time, as they experience the manifestation of a parents love, their relationship grows deep. A bond is created that is inseparable. Growing into adulthood does not remove the respect for the parent as love grows even more. The relationship of the child to the parent is a perfect model of emergent love that takes time and experience to fully understand. This kind of love is not unlike the love we have with our heavenly Father.
Obedience to the gospel flows from a love for God because of what He did in sending His Son. What happens to a heart touched with the good news of redemption is nothing less than a realization of what the love of God was willing to do for man. It is an incredible experience. But even at the beginning of the bond of the Father and the child, love is not quite realized. It will take many years to bring about a deeper meaning of what the love of God means in the life of a child of God. Love is something that is always perfecting itself. What is so wonderful about the love of God is how much deeper the love grows in the years one feels the tender hand of a loving Father. And, the greatest part of this love is that a lifetime of being blessed with the joy of the Lord is never quite fully understanding what that love is. The love of God is so expansive the universe itself cannot contain the parchment needed to explain it.
The more we seek to know the love of God the less we fear. Love takes away the haunting uncertainties of life. Spending time in the word of God fills our hearts with the hope of the eternal promises of the Lord who never lies. His love is pure. It never fails. The greatest evidence of love is when we ask the Father to forgive us – and He does. We fail Him again and we ask forgiveness – and He does. His mercy is so abounding. His grace is so full. Love is found when we fall on our knees thanking our God for who He is and why He loves us. The love of God is so great He knows my name out of six billion people on this planet. He cares about me – He protects me – He blesses me – He knows me. God’s love is so wonderful.
I love God because He first loved me. He proved it by giving me – yes me – His Son. What greater love is found in this world than the love of God poured out in my heart through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the atoning of my sins on the cross? There are no words to explain it. But it is real. Thank you God for loving me.
There is nothing holier, in this life of ours, than the first consciousness of love – the first fluttering of its silken wings. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hyperion, 1839)