Love is in the air and in the heart. Loving and being loved are very real desires that reside within the human soul. The yearning to love and to be loved is at the heart of so many poems, songs, stories, plays and movies.
Why is this so? It is because we are human beings created in the image and likeness of the “God who is love” (I John 4:8, 16) and who first loved us. “We love because He first loved us” (I John 4:19).
When I was 18 years old, I believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and began to understand and appreciate the truth of these words, “we love because He first loved us.”
As a Christian, what do I know of God’s first love for me? I know that God first loved me before He created me in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-14). He loved me even before He created the heavens and the earth as recorded in Jeremiah (31:3), “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
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As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I know that God first loved me by sending His son to give His life for my rebellion against God. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:10).
I know that Jesus Christ satisfied God’s judgment upon my sin and that through faith in Him my sins are forgiven and that I am a child and friend of God forever.
As a disciple of Jesus, I know that God first loved me by committing Himself to love me. Nothing has the power to separate me from His love as Paul declares in Romans (8:38-39), “I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor power, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
As one who has walked with the Lord for many years I know that the longing to love and to be loved finds its core satisfaction through faith in the Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, as Savior and Lord. Being first loved by the Lord enables one to love God and others in a very fulfilling way.
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (I John 5:11).
Drew Fenstermacher is pastor at Faith Baptist Church of State College. Contact him at pastor firstname.lastname@example.org.