Because He First Loved Us

becauseWeek 44 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is nearly finished. This week’s reading was 2 Peter 3, and 1 John 1-4.

1 John 4:19 says that we love because God first love us.

“The first and greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and the second is like it – to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). However, there are times when our love for God may fall short of this standard, and people whom we may have a hard time loving. If we are trying in our own strength to truly love God and others, we will never be able to do so perfectly.

The good news is that it isn’t about our love, but rather God’s love for us! When we begin to truly understand the width and length, and height and depth of the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:18), we will begin to fall in love with Him. We won’t have to struggle or strive to love Him more. Our love for Him will be a natural response to His love for us.

As we are filled with the knowledge of the love of God, that love will overflow from us to those around us. We’ll find ourselves freely giving out the love that we have freely received (Matthew 10:8). It won’t be about us endeavoring to show love in our own strength, but rather about God’s love flowing through us.” – Exerpt from previous post, “Focus On His Love For You.”

 

Rest In Him

Rest In HimWeek 12 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is drawing to a close. This week’s reading was John 2-6. These chapters speak mainly of some of Jesus’ miracles, His words to Nicodemus and the woman at the well, interactions with the Pharisees and the multitudes who followed Him, as well as other instances that occurred throughout His ministry.

In John 6:27-29, Jesus told the crowds not to work for food that spoils, but rather food that endures to eternal life, which He would give them. The crowds asked Him in response what they must do to accomplish the works required by God. Jesus defined the work of God for them as this – to believe in the One sent by Him.

So often, it’s easy to get caught up in all the things we feel that we must do to try and merit our relationship with God, and be a good Christian. We try and try, yet constantly fall short of the image painted in our minds. Our good works, however, aren’t the basis of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. He wants us to rest, our work being to believe in Jesus, trusting in Him for our salvation, and continued right standing before God.

Earlier, in John 3:16, Jesus states that anyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. Verse 17 reveals that He came not to condemn the world, but to save it. Verse 18 emphatically declares that those who believe in Him ARE NOT CONDEMNED! Romans 8:1 says it this way – “. . . there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” As we fix our eyes on our Savior, we are transformed by His love and grace.

This coming week, I challenge you to shift your attention away from yourself and your actions, and begin fixing it on Christ, and what He’s done for you. Begin to focus on God’s work of believing in the One He sent, trusting wholly in His finished work at the cross as the basis of your relationship with your Heavenly Father. Rest in Him, assured of your position as a child of the Most High!