A few days ago I woke up hearing the words of I John 4:19 over and over again: “We love because he first loved us.” As I reflected on these words, I was reminded of what the Holy Spirit had spoken to me several years ago from this same passage.
I was reading through I John 4 as part of my morning devotions, stopping every few verses to dwell on John’s words and listening for what the Holy Spirit might want to speak to me.
As I came to I John 4:10, suddenly it was as if God downloaded a whole paragraph into my heart. “You are very comfortable expressing your love to me, and you do it often when you pray. But why don’t you spend more time allowing me to express my love to you?”
I was startled by how direct and powerful God’s words were to me. I read and reread I John 4:10 over and over again.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
I couldn’t stop thinking about the revelation God had given me. I realized that if I wanted to be closer to God, I needed to spend more time in his presence, dwelling on his love for me and soaking in the experience of the Holy Spirit pouring his love into my heart.
Since that day, I have increased the amount of time I spend slowing down, quieting my mind, and inviting the Holy Spirit to rest on me. I regularly meditate on passages that speak of different aspects of God’s love, and I listen for his voice.
As a result, slowly but surely, I can see how my life is being changed by his love for me. Every once in a while I notice new grace to respond in love where I used to respond impatiently with little or no kindness. The old Rick still shows up more than I would like to admit, but I’m also finding it easier to recognize my sin and I’m finding new freedom to confess it to Jesus and even to apologize to those I harm.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” I John 4:10
“We love because he first loved us.” I John 4:19
WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE FOR YOU TO SPEND MORE TIME SOAKING IN GOD’S LOVE?
WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT HAVE HELP YOU EXPERIENCE HIS LOVE FOR YOU?