1 John 4:19: “We love Him because He first loved us.”

May 19th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

This verse has been called the sum of the gospel because it reminds us that it is God who first reached out to sinful humanity, ultimately displaying His love for us on the cross. True selfless love does not find its origin, its starting point, in humanity’s soul. There is no goodness in us capable of being the source or cause of our love for God. Our love comes from God Himself, a result of His love poured into us. This verse goes even beyond our love for God, revealing that our capacity to love others is also grounded in God’s love. Any consistently selfless love we show to others is still just a reflection of His love. We are simply sharing with others the love He has already lavished on us.

C.S. Lewis describes the problem with love this way:

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable . . . The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers . . . of love is Hell.1

“LORD, we remember that to love is to be vulnerable to heartache. But we also count the cost as You did and choose to love this day, in Jesus’ name.”

1C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1960), p. 169.